I am a really unromantic person, who isn’t all that into romantic books, so this book was right up my alley. I was approached by the author Courtney Clark, who asked me to read and review her first book A Story of Like. I was more than excited to do so, as I read the description, and it was exactly the type of book I needed to get me back into reading cheerful books (I had been on a thriller/drama binge before this book came along). I absolutely love to support up and coming authors, so when I was approached, I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to get started on this book.
Addison Anderson is very smart, funny, and has the best one liners. The alliteration in her name, and in her entire family, has not been lost on her. She works with the elderly, she has a precocious little dog named Lola who wears a superhero cape pretty much all the time, and a cat with a Hitler mustache- a Kitler if you will. The one thing that Addie doesn’t have, is a man in her life. Although, she’s not particularly on the prowl for a new man, she wants someone to cozy up to at night. This is soon fixed when she decides to take herself to speed dating at a local bar. When she is matched up with two men from the speed dating night, she gets ready for her dates and meets them both with some enthusiasm, and some wariness. The first guy REALLY likes to talk about himself, and his life as an architect. The next guy, Charlie, isn’t the best looking dude, but he has charm and wit. Those things are what sets their friendship off to a great start.
Charlie is just your average looking man, but he’s caring, sweet, smart and is always there to hand out a laugh. After some nights of Netflix binge watching, (by the way, they watch my favorite show HIMYM), there friendship takes a turn for the better when Lola, Addie’s dog disappears, and Charlie heads right over to Addies house to help with out hesitation. That’s when Addie realizes that maybe Charlie is more than a friend, and she wants to take their relationship to the next level.
What happens after that fateful night is filled with cute moments, as well as fighting, an imminent break up, and the possibility of the two getting back together. The reason for the couple’s break up is Addie’s belief that they are not on the same levels, feelings-wise, and she isn’t sure if she can meet him on his level just yet. Charlie feels like he doesn’t want to pressure Addie into saying those three little words, and he will wait until she decides what she wants to do. (What a sweet dude!).
I liked this book a lot, because it was a really interesting take on the romantic comedy. Usually the girl is reeling for a guy, and cannot wait to get her hands on one. Addie is not like this, oh no, she’s more meh about relationships than your average single 28 year old woman. Which is part of her appeal. She knows that a man doesn’t define her, she just wants to spend time with a nice person. One thing that I could say for a piece of criticism about this book is the amount of times that Addie says she doesn’t want a boyfriend, or that her and Charlie are just friends, or that she doesn’t know if she loves Charlie- it’s a little too much. Which makes it lose it’s meaning after a while. It’s like when someone keeps telling you that they’re not an asshole- you start to believe that they actually are. Now, I don’t know if this was the intention of the author, but if it was she did a mighty fine job. Over all though, this book had me literally laughing out loud, as well as getting all mushy at the adorable things Charlie would do for Addie. I was rooting for this pair the entire time, and now I’m waiting for a second book to see where their relationship ends up (No pressure, Courtney).
5 out of 5 stars right here, hopefully we will see more of Addie and Charlie, but anything written by this girl is sure to be a hit.
Thankfully, Courtney, the author was willing to do a Q&A with me! Her answers were interesting and some were unexpected, enjoy:
Kerrie: The main character in this novel is surrounded by family, are you close to yours?
Courtney: Although Addy’s family members only bear a passing resemblance to my own, both of our families are extremely tight knit—a fact that I am grateful for each time my dad comes over to catch the crickets in my basement (I may or may not have a slight cricket phobia).
K: What was your biggest inspiration for this book?
C: I am such a book nerd! One day I had just finished a great book, but all I could focus on was that the story starred yet another super sexy billionaire. I thought, “How many of those can there actually be in the world? Surely if there were so many, I would have snagged one by now.” Thirty minutes later I had written my prologue and emailed it (along with a brief outline) to some fellow book lovers to see if I was crazy for wanting to write a romantic-ish book about regular people. Luckily, the consensus was that I wasn’t crazy, at least not about the book.
K: Obviously you know I’m going to ask this question. Are you single?
C: Um…yes. Why? Do you know anyone who is looking? (Maybe I DO!)
K: Did any of the things Addie went through happen to you? Or is it all fiction?
C: Oh, there are definitely snippets of truth in this book. I mean, who hasn’t had a friend call to fake an emergency on a bad date? When writing A Story of Like, I really liked the idea of creating something that was hilarious in how it mirrored real life, and sharing some of my own embarrassing shenanigans (or at least parts of them) seemed like the best way to accomplish that goal.
K: What is your writing style? Do you have any weird writing habits?
C: I like to organize my thoughts and ideas first before starting a book, so I write a lot of notes and charts because I want to know how my novel will begin and end before I make it all come together. As for weird habits…well, some of my best ideas come while I’m on the elliptical machine, so I always keep a notebook and pen handy to write down ideas and tweak my outlines while I’m stretching afterwards.
K: What is your favorite part about this whole creating a book experience?
C: It’s really freeing to be able to give people the happy ending you want them to have without all that pesky reality getting in the way.
K: Do you think you will write more about Addie and Charlie?(please say yes lol no pressure).
C: Right now I am working on my new comic novel, An Introvert’s Guide to Living Abroad, and although neither Addy nor Charlie make an appearance, I am planning a second book in the A Decidedly Unromantic Romance series. Don’t expect Addy or Charlie to be the stars (after all they had their happy endings), but expect to see them again. (I guess I could settle for that.)
K: I really love that your focus was on the “average” person, so if this book were made into a movie, who could you see as the cast?
C: To be honest, when I was picturing Addy and Charlie, they looked more like people who would star in my Facebook newsfeed than on the big screen.
K: What part of the book was the hardest to write?
C: I’m pretty sure that Charlie is my ideal guy, the type of person who I would like to someday marry, so it was so hard to write Addy repeatedly putting him into the friend zone. Thank goodness for Cory because that girl definitely needed an intervention!
K: I love that this book makes a lot of mentions to pop culture, such as the show How I Met Your Mother, I don’t usually see that in books now a days, so it was really cool. What made you decide to add those little tidbits of today’s world?
C: I think that for most of us it is completely normal to talk about pop culture or compare our lives to a TV show, so I wanted to include that in the book to make it feel more authentic.
K: What made you decide to write this specific book?
C: Romance is great, but sometimes real life is better. Love isn’t always about instant connections or six-pack abs. For me, it’s about who you laugh with and who is going to be there for you, even when you’ve briefly hopped aboard the crazy train and are mid freak out. I wanted to put something out in the world that showed how amazing the ordinary—making fun of your girlfriend because she laughed so hard she snorted—kind of love can be.
K: Do you have any advice for unpublished writers out there?
C: Don’t give up. Writing can definitely be a lonely and stressful process, but if you believe in what you’re writing, whether it’s a bestseller or not, it’s completely worth it.
This was a really fun experience, the book was a different take on romance that was surprising and something that I definitely recommend!