Chick Lit is one of those genres that has sub-genres, some of which are a bit of a head scratcher. Did you know that there is a wellspring of romance novels focused on the Amish?
I won’t be reading those.
Sometimes I think there ought to be a sub-genre devoted to Helen Fielding and Bridget Jones: the spunky, flighty, slightly immature British girl with a job she doesn’t really like trying to convince herself that she cares more about the cad than she truly does, all the while finding herself embroiled in madcap capers and avoiding the True Love right in front of her face.
Such is the case, anyway, with Never Google Heartbreak.
Vivienne lived with and was engaged to wealthy, handsome Rob for five years, during which he postponed (called off) their wedding twice. So of course she should not be surprised when he does it a third time, although she is.
This time, though, Viv packs up her stuff and decamps to a new flat, where she assumes she will live temporarily while waiting for Rob to come to his senses. Imagine her surprise when things do not go as she planned.
Fortunately, she has a couple of stalwart besties, including Max, an artist whose outwardly unkempt appearance belies a heart full of, at the very least, devotion to Viv.
As Vivienne scampers about town, desperate to reclaim Rob, she hears from more than one character, more than one time, that Rob was a bit of an arse. In fact, we see so many people tell Viv this that we start to question her judgment. The Rob we meet is not exactly Mr. Wonderful, which only compounds our confusion. Does Viv love him? Really love him? Or does she love the idea of him and the idea of the life she thought they’d have together?
While she traverses this achy breaky minefield, she also has to do battle on the professional front, as all good Brit Chick Lit heroines do. She lands herself in several escapades intended to make us laugh at her, if not mock her entirely, but when you know that their only purpose is to provide some sort of requisite comedic interlude, they tend to lose their punch.
There are a couple of romances here. Vivienne’s romantic journey will take her someplace she doesn’t expect, and her reactions to it are what give this book its emotional core. Unlike some of the more contrived scenes intended to belittle her, those in which she realizes what love truly should feel like are sweet. She doesn’t need to be embarrassed in order to have emotional growth.
For all of its predictability, this is a cute, adorable book, and Viv is almost impossible not to like. Even when you want to knock some sense into her.