Saturday 11 July 2015

Review ~ Not You It's Me by Julie Johnson

Reviewed by Donna ~ 3.5 stars

“He’s the embodiment of composure; I’m the epitome of chaos.”

This is one of those books where the blurb just pulls you in. Most of us have probably all seen that viral You Tube video of where the jumbotron pans the crowd and the couples have to kiss, then you get that one dude who ignores his girlfriend while prattling on his phone, the crowd goes wild, booing and hissing and then the girl is saved when the guy sitting next to her reaches over and gives her a kiss instead…a knight in shining armour. Well this is how this book starts and I have to say, I loved it.

“For the possibility of something truly wonderful. Because a life without hope, without love…that’s really no life at all.”

Gemma has her own issues to deal with and relationships are not her forte, for some reason she always manages to pick frogs and even when she kisses them, they do not turn into princes. She has abandonment issues and the way that she was brought up doesn’t help, so perhaps her outlook on relationships isn’t the best either. But I loved her as a character, she was an artist, she was funny, she was clumsy, she had a knack of getting into trouble without even trying but this only made her all the more endearing.

“Because you aren’t built for deceit or lies or darkness. I’m shadow and you’re sunshine. You’re not like me. You’re just…different.”

Chase Croft is a man who has a mountain of issues himself. His family are dysfunctional, competitive, irrational and just generally, awful people, yet somehow they are billionaires and now with his Uncle having to retire he has had to come out of hiding to take over the family business. The press have wondered where he has been for the past five years so when he appears on screen on a jumbotron kissing a woman the world goes wild and life these two people will never be the same again.

“My world - it’s monochrome. Black and white. But you…you’re painted in every shade on the palette. You’re screaming color. A fucking rainbow.”

I have to say that this was a fantastic premise for a book, I loved the way they met and as the cat and mouse began with these two I was itching for them to succeed. I felt sorry for both of them, their parents and families having such a negative effect on their outlook on life and romance in general, they were both missing out on so much. These two were total opposites yet they had more in common than you would ever imagine and it was obvious that there was that spark, but neither were looking and yet sometimes those sparks burst into flames and together their flames roared.

“Take a risk on messy. Live fearlessly. Love recklessly. Most of all, just love.”

Julie Johnson did fantastically well bringing these characters to life, both of them wormed their way into my heart and I was championing them all the way. The banter between them had me in hysterics at times and it is this melded with some serious issues that really balanced this book. Yes they have their fair share of angst as any new relationship would have and what with this being the first real relationship for both of them you knew they were going to make mistakes, but it never came across as too much. It was understandable and relatable.

“He didn’t stay…no one ever stays.”

This would have been a solid 4-4.5 star for me, but I just felt towards the end the plot just ran away a bit, it got a bit silly and a tad unbelievable and so much was crammed in, in so few pages, my brain struggled to keep up. Overall though, I really enjoyed it, I laughed a lot and even teared up a few times. So for anyone wanting an easy read that will make you chuckle then I highly recommend it.

“He loves me, and it breaks my heart…in the exact way it needs to be broken.”

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