The Drought. I already knew about the Mike Gayle's and Nicky Hornby's of this world, but Nick Spalding I was not familiar was a name that kept appearing on Amazon whenever I did a search.
Just last month Spalding signed a three-book deal with Hodder & Stoughton on the back of the success of his self-published novels.As a fellow indie author, it is great to see someone like Nick Spalding so bloody well! It gives you hope...!
So I decided to take the plunge and see what Love... From Both Sides was all about, and I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed.
I have to say that I wasn't gripped from the first chapter, and I have seen a couple of reviews say similar things, but keep faith with it as I did because it is very funny from there on after. The first chapter describes quite an awkward sexual encounter for lead character Jamie Newman. Perhaps I just didn't know Jamie well enough at this point to appreciate the comedy value Spalding tries to get across. It's a bit BANG in your face!
However, what follows is a very clever concept of inter-changing chapters as told by Jamie, and the other main character, Laura McIntyre, as they go about their single lives looking for love. The benefit of getting both the male and female perspective works really well, and this is an idea which has been used by Mike Gayle since in his novel The Stag and Hen Weekend.
Like most novels in this genre, you know where things are heading and that the two main characters will eventually meet and get together, but in a way you don't care, because by the end of it, you want them to be together. The laughs come in the middle and how they get there.
Spalding is clever in that he keeps it simple. You can relate to the trials and tribulations that Jamie and Laura go through during the dating period, and he is great and conjuring up those feelings you have felt during those times in your own life, which perhaps isn't a surprise seeing as Spalding says he has based it on 'real-life of dating disaster and relationship blunders'.
All in all, a really good read, especially for those boring train journeys to work!
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