Wednesday, 22 April 2015
The Love Shack by Jane Costello
Publication date: 23 April 2015
Published by Simon & Schuster
Purchase from Amazon here
My rating: 4 stars - a brilliant read
Life's great when you're 29 years old with a gorgeous girlfriend and fulfilling job. Until you have to move back in with your mum . . .
Dan and Gemma have found their dream first home, but the asking price is the stuff of nightmares. The only way they'll ever save enough for the deposit is by moving in, rent-free, with Dan's mum.
It's a desperate solution, but it's only for six months. And Gemma's determined to
make it work, no matter how bad things get.
But between Dan's mum's kitchen karaoke, her constant innuendos, irrepressible argumentative streak and - worst of all - her ham and pineapple curries, life back at home would test the patience of two saints. Which Dan and Gemma most definitely are not.
Then, as they're trying to convince themselves it will all be worth it, Gemma's past comes back to haunt her. And suddenly the foundations of their entire relationship are shaken to their core…
Hooray! Jane Costello is back with a new book. This means two things to me...summer is coming, and I am in for a great feel good read. I haven't been disappointed on either. As I write this review the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I have a big smile and feel all warm and happy after finishing The Love Shack.
The story focuses on Dan and Gemma, a young couple who have been searching for ages for their perfect home. Like for many of us, money is tight and the nicest houses are in the most expensive areas. Eventually they stumble across 'the one', but with money scarce they make the decision to move in with Dan's Mum for a while to try and save as much as possible. What can possibly go wrong? Hahaha....hmmmm....
My love of the book started with the front cover, screaming to me to pick it up and get reading. I absolutely love it. So pretty and inviting! Then there's the name. I've had the B52's going round in my head the last couple of days, even dancing around to it. As soon as I started reading I was engrossed!
I really like the concept of the storyline. A young couple in love, looking forward to building a home and future together. But as with most of us, money (or the lack of it) gets in the way. Moving in with Dan's Mum Belinda probably brings most people out in a cold sweat at the thought of either moving back in with their parents, or having to move in with the mother in law!!
Jane writes each chapter alternating between Dan and Gemma. This really appeals to me as it allows me as a reader to get into both of their heads and see where their views and feelings come from. I warmed to both Dan and Gemma early on and wanted to rush to the end to check whether they get their happy ending.
But my favourite character is Dan's Mum Belinda. Oh how I loved Belinda. She is the star of the book for me and had me laughing lots. She is not a conventional Mum by any stretch of the imagination. She can't cook, writes books saying that all men are bastards, and has no boundaries. But that's what makes her so brilliant and gives some real comedy. I love her, but can imagine Dan being embarrassed by her, or both Gemma and Dan being driven mad having to live with her on a daily basis. It would be wrong not to mention Dan's Grandma as well. She is so lovely and also funny. I would be happy to hang out with her.
It's not all fun and high jinks though. Life does change for Dan and Gemma, and becomes quite dull and more like reality. I felt for them so much. Normal life can be such a drag, and seeing it happen to someone else I felt myself wanting to talk to them and show them how easy it might be to keep the spark of fun alive. A mystery person from Gemma's past appears which brings a more serious aspect to the book, and risks ruining everything. As much as parts of the book were fun, this made me more frustrated at times, especially seeing the world through Dan's eyes too. I admit wanting to shake Gemma and tell her to cop on to herself.
I did really enjoy this book and flew through it. I could happily sit there and read Jane Costello books every day in the sunshine, and I intend to read her back catalogue over the summer. If you like a book that has romance, love, laughter, emotion, and dreaming about your happily ever after this could well be the book for you.
Thank you to the publishers who provided a copy in return for an honest review.