19 November 2013

Review: How To Choose A Sweetheart by Nigel Bird

What they say: “She came into the bookshop. That was it. That was the beginning.”

This isn’t the first romantic story to feature a balcony, nor is it likely to be the last. Even so, what takes place in ‘How To Choose A Sweetheart’ is a modern, fresh take on an old-fashioned tale.

Max is a bookseller. Since his relationship with Jazz ended, he’s struggling to find purpose in life. That all changes when a beautiful woman, Cath, walks into his shop and pins up and advert asking for a piano teacher for her daughter, Alice.

It’s almost perfect. Max takes down the details and gets in touch immediately. Within a short space of time he manages to secure the position as Alice’s piano teacher and establish that Cath’s a single mother. 

What could be better? Well, he might be able to play the piano for a start. Or his newly acquired piano teacher might not be an old, alcoholic wreck. Or he might be completely over his ex-girlfriend. And he might not be forced into a position where he needs to come up with a composition of his own to woo the new lady in his life.

It’s a tangled web we weave and Max seems to be sticking in the threads like a spider in a web. A topsy-turvy romantic comedy that will warm your cockles and split your sides.

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I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: How To Choose A Sweetheart is funny, sarcastic, sorta awkward and charming.

Max is a somewhat bumbling guy who works in a bookshop. He's still trying to win back his ex Jazz when he catches sight of Cath. Max is instantly determined to date her. Max's master plan is to teach her young daughter piano the huge flaw being he can't play the piano! I think I found this so endearing because Max reminded me of a friend of mine who pretended to speak French to charm a girl.

The story follows Max as he bundles through his own piano lessons and attempts to come clean with Cath. For me the best element of the book was Max's 'inner voice' because he has a rather unique and witty take on life. Every time Max tells a lie he concocts another even more elaborate one to get away with the previous lie.

Max's relationship with Cath's daughter Alice was really sweet; I like a guy who is manly enough to talk to a teddy bear! The inclusion of the grumpy, drunk piano teacher Mr. Evans allowed Max to consider other people's problems and to do something nice.

The story is fun and short. I would have liked to learn more about Cath and to her past. The book is well written and I loved the almost awkward way Nigel Bird presented Max's thoughts.

3 - 3.5 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:

  • "I'm sorry, I'm a vegetarian." "And I thought you were English."
  • "It doesn't seem fair. I should have been your Prince Charming." "Max you are a prince, just not mine, that's all."
  • The only direction he seems to move in is downwards, his degree wasted on tourists wanting to know about Harry Potter, Fifty Shades and Hunger Games and the like.


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