2 July 2016

Review - Love and Other Man-Made Disasters

Love and Other Man-Made Disasters
by Nicola Doherty

A contemporary teen romance by Irish author, Nicola Doherty, about facing your fears and falling in love. A story with humour and heart, this book is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Holly Smale and Stephanie Perkins.

Juno is scared of a lot of things. Climate change, urban foxes, zombies - the usual. So when she goes on a skiing holiday with her mum's adrenaline-mad new husband and his tearaway twins, she doesn't hold much hope of surviving. Then she meets Boy. Gruff, hairy and thrill-seeking, he's everything Juno doesn't like. Or is he? Juno's about to discover there's nothing more scary than falling in love.

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I received a copy from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: Love and Other Man-Made Disasters was a bit of an assortment of things for me. Juno's almost droll outlook and wisdom made me smile, but I wasn't a fan of the pacing and I didn't really get Boy as a BBF.

As someone who has spent a couple of years as a Seasonaire and a large chunk of my life on family snowboarding holidays, I enjoyed all the skier/boarder references. I've lived the chalet lifestyle and also been the winter holiday guest, so I appreciated the many winter holiday insights.

Juno is a worrier. This is an intentional part of Juno's charm. For some reason she reminded me of Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but in a teenage girl kinda way.

I emphasised with Juno's need to find something to cling onto when faced with uncertainty. Her home life has dramatically changed and she's facing the big transition from finishing high school to starting University. The events in the book show her faced with the reality of growing up and having to fend for herself. It's a sort of test run, featuring a hot young ski instructor. Having spent one very hectic Christmas in the French Alps writing my dissertation I liked how she sneakily took her homework with her and fell in love with the slopes. 

I'm a big fan of coming of ages stories but I felt a little disconnected with the characters and story in general at times. I think this may have been because certain elements felt a little convent and hurried, whilst others a bit unrealistic. What I felt was the most accurately portrayed was Juno's worry about her new situation and the awkwardness of first romances.

Overall I enjoyed the story and the moments of nostalgia it invoked, however I would have liked a little more character engagement and development.

3 - 3.5 Stars in my Sky!

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