When it comes to reading I do love to indulge in a rom-com or two and find that typically these are penned by female authors. Earlier this year Love, Unscripted, the debut novel from Owen Nicholls, caught my attention thanks to all the praise it was receiving across social media. As well as being intrigued by the hype this book was receiving I was also curious to see how a romance book would play out from a male perspective and the wonderful Alara from Headline kindly sent me a copy over allowing me to satisfy said curiosity. Today I’m sharing my review of this recently released book, thank you to Headline for gifting me a copy.
About The Book
For film projectionist Nick, love should mirror what he sees on the big screen. And when he falls for Ellie on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, it finally does.
For four blissful years, Nick loved Ellie as much as he loved his job splicing film reels together in the local cinema. Life seemed… picture-perfect.
But now it’s 2012, Ellie has moved out and Nick’s trying to figure out where it all went wrong.
With Ellie gone and his life far from the happy ending he imagined, Nick wonders if their romance could ever again be as perfect as the night they met.
Can love really be as it is in the movies?
Nick works, lives and breathes movies. As such he has a somewhat skewed perspective on romance, wanting to believe it’s all hearts and flowers like in the movies. The realisation that the world is distinctly different from the on screen action brings him to earth with a bump when his girlfriend of four years, Ellie, moves out of their shared home following a row. Having not seen this coming Nick begins to analyse their relationship from the very start in an attempt to pinpoint where things went wrong. Will Nick find what his looking for or will his own self-pity mean he will simply wallow in the comfortable rut he’s made for himself?
This story is told using flashbacks to the couples screen worthy meet-cute at a party to celebrate the election of Obama as well as insights into the aftermath of their breakup, right up the present day. The character’s are perfectly portrayed to allow the reader to see their flaws and vulnerability which is something I adore. I especially enjoyed reading a book told from the male perspective which laid bare the self doubt men experience when it comes to matters of the heart.
As a massive movie fan myself I particularly enjoyed the film references which were littered throughout and really added that something extra to my reading experience and enjoyment of the story. Another really fantastic aspect of this story is it’s focus on protagonist’s in their 30’s as opposed to the much younger character’s I’m used to in this genre of book. This story’s angle gives a great insight into the transition from your 20’s into the world of having to ‘grow up’ and accept the responsibilities you have for the future – it really made a refreshing change!
Whilst Love, Unscripted no doubt has it’s roots in the rom-com genre I feel it’s necessary to point out that this book’s coming of age story offers much more than the average run of the mill romance. With it’s equal measure of laughter, love and heartbreak it offers a realistic insight into relationships and a story with real substance.
Nicholls’ easy writing style made this book a joy to read, immersing me in the story and keeping me turning the pages to see what happened. There’s nothing worse when reading a review than it being filled with spoilers so on a final note I will just say that the ending of the book was a real surprise and left me wanting more – always a sign of an amazing read! This is a really strong debut novel and I can’t wait to see what this author releases next, as I’ll be first in line to pick up a copy!