Love Your Life

Love Your Life

A Novel

eBook - 2020
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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Owe You One, an utterly delightful novel about a woman who ditches her dating app for a writer’s retreat in Italy—only to find that real love comes with its own filters
“As close to perfect as romantic comedies get.”—Jenny Colgan, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop on the Corner

Call Ava romantic, but she thinks love should be found in the real world, not on apps that filter men by height, job, or astrological sign. She believes in feelings, not algorithms. So after a recent breakup and dating app debacle, she decides to put love on hold and escapes to a remote writers’ retreat in coastal Italy. She’s determined to finish writing the novel she’s been fantasizing about, even though it means leaving her close-knit group of friends and her precious dog, Harold, behind.
At the retreat, she’s not allowed to use her real name or reveal any personal information. When the neighboring martial arts retreat is canceled and a few of its attendees join their small writing community, Ava, now going by “Aria,” meets “Dutch,” a man who seems too good to be true. The two embark on a baggage-free, whirlwind love affair, cliff-jumping into gem-colored Mediterranean waters and exploring the splendor of the Italian coast. Things seem to be perfect for Aria and Dutch.
But then their real identities—Ava and Matt—must return to London. As their fantasy starts to fade, they discover just how different their personal worlds are. From food choices to annoying habits to sauna etiquette . . . are they compatible in anything? And then there’s the prickly situation with Matt’s ex-girlfriend, who isn’t too eager to let him go. As one mishap follows another, it seems while they love each other, they just can’t love each other’s lives. Can they reconcile their differences to find one life together?
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

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VaughanPLDonnalee Feb 28, 2021

I love Sophie Kinsella's books, but I'm having a hard time knowing how to rate this one. It's was a mixed bag, that's for sure. I liked the meet-cute at the writer's retreat and initially I liked how it was so difficult to transfer their magical holiday romance into a real-life relationship once Matt and Ava were back in London. This book has Kinsella's trademark breezy, light humour and it was a fun, easy read. But the main character, Ava, was incredibly annoying. She was so awful for most of the book. I thought Matt should have dumped her. She was like a caricature of the paranoid, demanding, irrational girlfriend. She was constantly dragging him off at inopportune moments to ask demanding, probing questions. And she insisted on rushing everything and never thought, "maybe we should take it slowly and see where it goes". And I hated her horrible, badly behaved dog! And her group of friends just seemed like a contrived paint-by-numbers friends group with zero authenticity. The ending with the two groups of friends all merged felt ridiculous. But Matt and Ava's relationship at the end finally started to feel a bit more believable. The ending was definitely better than the whole mess in the middle. In the end it was an OK read and I enjoyed it (mostly), but it's not my favourite Kinsella book.

r
RosaReads2
Feb 26, 2021

I tend to be the outlier in Kinsella’s overall lower-rated books and enjoy them more than the majority of readers, but this book was a hard sell for me.

The couple fall in love after one week together while on a retreat in Italy, never really knowing each other in real life. Once back in England and away from their relaxing vacation, they understand how incompatible their lives really are. For me, they felt doomed from the moment they got off the airplane.

Kinsella's heroines tend to have similar traits, but while I mostly enjoy her heroines, I initially found Ava exhausting instead of entertaining. With only her POV, she comes across as inflexible and near tyrannical when it comes to being vegan and upcycling her wares. In her relationship with Matt, they both lacked honest communication until it came out in anger.

At approximately 50%, there was a marked improvement in their continued backstories, character development (including secondary characters,) and overall story line. What was once somewhat mundane and frustrating, became fun and refreshing. Also, the romance started gaining some needed momentum. Initially, their relationship was a little far-fetched and I struggled to find a reason for them to have continued once they were home in the UK. As the story progressed and I saw a shift in communication, recognition of responsibility, and mutual effort, I began to root for the couple. While not my favorite by this author, it wasn't a total loss and I enjoyed the second half much more than the first.

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mdf211
Feb 26, 2021

I'm not sure there's been a less likeable female lead in fiction besides the actual Shopaholic. Immature, flighty, and just plain irksome. And that ill-mannered dog that's supposed to be endearing. I can't be the only one who struggled to get through this book. Although Ava grew up and 'somewhat' redeemed herself at the end, this book was a dud and I am baffled by the glowing reviews.

d
Dee_BPL
Dec 11, 2020

Loved this! A fun mix of quirky characters makes this a fun read!

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