2020 by Emily Henry

Subtitle: „Two writers, one holiday. A romcom waiting to happen….“. I’ve been stumbling over some ethusiastic instagram reviews the last few weeks and thought, wow, I need to read this one! So thanks a lot to @netgalley for this reviewer’s copy 😊. As soon as I got it I discovered that there’s already a German translation available. Already? The German translation was published this March, the original English this May – ??!!  Ok, so now that I read the original, I’m stuck with the task of writing a review in English, so please forgive me any linguistic mistakes, as this is not my native language. (–> some German remarks at the end of this review).

January is a hopeless romantic author of lovestories, believing in happy ends and true love lasting forever and ever. Her own life currently is less than rose-colored: she’s broke, her boy-friend just dumped her, and she just found out that her beloved father, who just passed away, had betrayed her mother for ages. He left January with a small house on a beach, and when she couldn’t afford the rent anymore, she moved in. Unfortunately this ist he house in which he spend his time with „that woman“, and it’s next door to the house of Augustus, also a writer, also broke and also trying to get his life together again after a break-up….and happening to be Januarys former University crush.

Gus doesn’t believe in romance, he writes the more serious kinds of novels, and so they come up with a bet: is January able to write profound literature? And could Gus produce a lovestory?

From this initital situation we follow the two protagonists through one summer in which everything could happen: writing two ovels, falling in love, stepping out of their comfort zones and forgiving the past.

And no, this is not a light, predictable rom-com. It‘s funnily written, yes, it’s lightheartedly written, but  there is so much more to it. All characters are described with vulnerability, and the language is beautiful and partly poetic. Maybe that’s not really obvious for native English speakers, but for me it definitely was, the writing’s really sophisticated, and I could indulge in the words. Reduced the speed of my reading, hahaha, but made it all the more worth reading it!

And so much underlying wisdom, so much love for life – I enjoyed every page. This is not the average romantic comedy i usually read in one or two days. Here’s a bit more to ponder upon, and I loved the underlying message: live in the moment, love this happy moment, and maybe there’ll be a happily ever after. And if not, that’s perfectly ok, too.

Und ein paar Lobesworte in Deutsch: dies ist ein wunderbares Buch mit wunderbaren, echten Charakteren. Das Leben ist nicht immer schön, aber die Kunst ist es, das Glück zu finden – und es hat mir sehr viel Freude gemacht, January und Gus dabei zu begleiten. Und ich empfehle die Originalversion, denn die Autorin versteht es, poetisch und doch mit leichter Feder zu schreiben, Witz zu versprühen und mitzureissen. Ein Vergnügen, mal wieder einen Roman auf English gelesen zu haben!

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