Happy publication day, Keris Stainton!! ‘It Had To Be You’ is released today by Bookouture and I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour with a review. I hope you enjoy reading my review just as much as I enjoyed reading this book. Thanks Bookouture for both the blog tour invite, and the ARC of the book.
Twenty-five-year-old Bea is a hopeless romantic with a hopeless love life – until now. New beau Dan ticks all the boxes: he’s good-looking, kind and thoughtful. The complete opposite of Bea’s ex, who once threw her out in the middle of the night when she was ill so she didn’t disrupt his sleep.
So when her friends point out that she and Dan don’t have fireworks, Bea ignores them. Dan is the whole package. And yet Bea can’t stop comparing him to her best friend Henry… Because Dan doesn’t get Bea’s jokes. Or like books. Or make her laugh until she can’t breathe. Or become speechless when Bea puts on her favourite black dress for a night out…
As time goes on, Bea can’t shift the feeling that something just isn’t right. On paper Dan is the perfect man. But in reality… Will Bea be brave enough to ask for more from life – and get the fireworks she deserves?
What does TWG think?
Oh my goodness me this book could not have come at a better time!! Have you ever felt so down, that all you wanted to do was laugh? No, I don’t mean a little snigger at a rubbish Christmas joke. I mean a proper belly laugh, tears rolling down cheeks, sides hurting type laughter. You know the sort I mean? Well, I have to admit that I have been in an absolute funk of a mood lately due to various reasons – all I wanted to do was feel carefree by laughing.
By golly that happened! I hadn’t even finished reading the first chapter when I began snorting like a pig with laughter. Seriously! I thought Keri Stainton’s previous novel was hilarious but this is even funnier!
Bea is a closed box type of character as she has gone through life on the safe route, as opposed to travelling 90mph in the fast lane. Nothing wrong with that, obviously, but Bea is at the age where she feels like she is missing out on things due to her guarded nature, especially seeing as most of her friends are doing grown up things and she is stuck in dreamland…
Considering this book has a lot of characters to keep up with, I surprised myself by being able to follow each individual characters life without getting too confused! I know, right?! I think it helped that all of the characters personalities were SO different, it was easy to remember who was who and what they were all about. I absolutely LOVED Freya! She is the most hilarious character I have come across in a long time. Everything about her is brilliant and if I reckon if she were a real life person, the queue to be her best friend would be never-ending. Freya just has that….vibe. She truly has grabbed life by the, in her case, breasts, and isn’t afraid to travel down the fast lane. Absolutely brilliant.
Now, I did like Bea. She came across as such a warm-hearted character and to be honest, I found myself relating to her a little bit. Especially as, just like Bea, I struggle to see things which are right in front of me.
‘It Had To Be You’ truly is the modern-day ‘My Best Friends Wedding’, without the wedding. A lot of readers will be able to relate to the storyline in its entirety due to how close to real life it is. Not only that, I am sure a lot of readers will also be able to relate to at least one of the characters, if not more. Hell, I genuinely think that men should read this book as Keris Stainton seems to have catered for the entire population. Not all women’s/contemporary fiction is for the ladies, gents!
What hit home a lot for me was the underlying message about things being right in front of you the whole time. We are all known to make life a lot difficult for ourselves by choosing to go down the complex path in search of happiness, completely bypassing the one thing that has made us happy the entire time, ignoring it because it has always been there. We all do it, and we will continue to do so. However, on a personal level ‘It Had To Be You’ has made me think about my own choices in life and how I seem to over think things instead of just….being.
I really could not have loved this book even more if I tried. From start to finish I was in hysterics with a heart so warm, I’m surprised that nobody tried to roast marshmallows off it. Keris Stainton is an author who fills me with such joy every time I read one of her books. I really think that every one of you should go and buy her book now because really, it is THAT good.
Such a feel good, side-splitting, thought-provoking and relatable read which will leave you feeling hugged from the inside out. Absolutely hilarious and brilliant written, Keris Stainton has quickly become one of my all-time favourite authors with her genius writing.
Thank you Keris Stainton for making me laugh like I have never laughed before.
Keris lives in Lancashire with her husband and two sons. She’s written a bunch of books for young adults and children, and is obsessed with Twitter, tea, and 1D.