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Book Review: From Notting Hill with Love Actually

Plot:

She was just a girl, standing in front of a boy . . . wishing he looked more like Hugh Grant.

Scarlett loves the movies. But does she love sensible fiancé David just as much? With a big white wedding on the horizon, Scarlett really should have decided by now . . .

When she has the chance to house-sit in Notting Hill – the setting of one of her favourite movies – Scarlett jumps at the chance. But living life like a movie is trickier than it seems, especially when her new neighbour Sean is so irritating. And so irritatingly handsome, too.

Scarlett soon finds herself starring in a romantic comedy of her very own: but who will end up as the leading man?

Review:

Boy am I reading a lot faster these days with the aid of audio books whilst I am busy having a few new full-time jobs. It is amazing how much you can get done when you prioritise your time instead of being lazy using all sorts of excuses!

Let’s start off by saying I am a little biased when it comes to this author. She writes so well. Currently on a spree to read novels on my ‘Want’ on GoodReads and this was on the top or shall I say beginning of my list.

When Ali writes a novel there is just something about it that has that warm, feel good feeling that takes you away even for just a moment or a few hours that takes you into this far-away-world.

This novel was based so much on films. At the start, Scarlett annoyed me as she did come across a tad immature. However, as the novel progresses so does she. It is like, why should she be critiqued for enjoying movies as her escape? For many of us we use something in our hobbies as an escape including reading.

When I first met Scarlett she had just arrived in London where she was pretty much expecting to walk into a scene from her favourite movie Notting Hill. Her excitement at seeing buildings and roads that she recognised from the film really made me smile. It wasn’t long before she bumped into a grumpy Londoner and an absolutely fabulous character called Oscar who I liked instantly.

I loved the clever way in which Ali described the events that led to Scarlett going to London, the tale was beautifully woven into the storyline in a conversational manner that captivated me as much as it did Oscar! I must admit that Scarlett’s fiance David wasn’t painted in the best light and I really struggled to like him even if I did feel a bit sorry for him sometimes.

Scarlett was a lovely character, I’m a bit of a daydreamer myself so I could definitely relate to that side of her personality. During her quest to live out some of her favourite movie scenes she somehow got thrown together with her London neighbour Sean. I loved the irritation that sparked between them to begin with and even though their friendship was a little predictable at times I still found myself surprised by some of the moments in between.

There were some wonderful scenes in France, my favourite being Scarlett’s time in Disneyland Paris because it brought back so many memories of my own trip there. The author successfully teased my imagination with her descriptive writing so that I could almost imagine I was there alongside Scarlett!

I laughed out loud a fair few times whilst reading this book but towards the end I also found my eyes filling with tears as the storyline became sentimental and touching. The final pages were incredible and so much better than I had expected, I can’t wait to read the sequel From Notting Hill to New York… Actually which is currently sat on my bookshelf waiting for its turn to be read.

This was a fabulous read – romantic escapism at its very best!

4/5 Stars

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