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on 4 June 2013
The first Anna Maxted book I read was 'A Tale of Two Sisters', which I enjoyed very much. This was a disappointment after that, although to be fair 'Behaving Like Adults' was her first novel.
This is definitely NOT 'side-splittingly comical' as Cosmopolitan claims in it's review ...... in fact I didn't laugh once. It's a good enough read though; I certainly didn't feel like giving up part way through.
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on 13 June 2017
I always like Anna Maxted books - they're realistic and thought proviking
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on 15 July 2003
Another book from this Author dealing with a taboo subject. I am a man who doesn't mind admitting to reading books written for women.
This book should be compulsory reading for those men who consider rape as acceptable. In this book the emotions of a woman wronged are examined. I cannot agree with the other reviewer who found the treatment was trivialised in some way. I saw that as a strength because it highlighted the way in which some women consider such an attack. The way in which she came to understand that it was not her fault and the reaction of other people showed what a long and difficult journey this can be,
The light heartedness of the sub-plot helped to focus my thoughts on the suffering, the attempts to live a normal life.
If I have one criticism it was that the ending lacked the strength of the body of the story. Basically it was a cop-out. But having said that I'm not sure how it could have been done better.
All in all a good book dealing sensitively with a difficult and emotive subject.
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on 26 January 2007
Holly Appleton believes in old fashioned love; the kind where girl meets boy and they all live happily ever after. She believes it so much that despite her own track record in the lurve department (a recent un-engagement to her fiance Nick), she sets up a dating agency and calls it Girl Meets Boy so that others might fulfill their romantic destiny.

Sounds a bit too airy-fairy? Well don't stop reading yet because Holly's problems start when she decides to give her newly "unaffianced" other half a kick up the new millennium by trying to shock him into moving out. She does this by agreeing to go on a date with one of the men who has applied to her agency. Not only is Stuart Marshall light years away from Holly's usual type (Nick, the ex-fiance), but he is also incredibly unpleasant. Stuart Marshall is oilier than the Exxon Valdise.... and he's not the sort of chap who takes no for an answer.

If you have never read any fiction on the rarely broached subject of date rape, then Anna Maxted's book is a good place to start. Date rape is something that happens to far too many women, and Holly's story is not an uncommon one.

I'm not going to give away the ending (and believe me, highlighting the subject matter does not even touch the surface of the story beneath it), suffice to say that Holly goes through the wringer, running the whole emotional gamut from denial to self hatred and finally to acceptance and re-building her confidence to deal with the rape and come to terms with it in her own mind (the scariest place of all).

I enjoy Anna Maxted's work generally and was surprised by the intensity of this story compared to her other novels. I had been looking forward to its publication and whilst I was not disappointed, it was not what I was expecting.

I bought Behaving Like Adults second hand from Amazon Marketplace (for a measly £1.50 - BARGAIN!), however, some people do not like to have their books sullied by the hands of others (I'm on a budget, so I can't afford to be fussy) - anyway, it's published by Random House, ISBN 0-09-943988-3 priced £6.99 and came out in June 2003.
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on 23 August 2008
On reading this book I found the rape and Holly's reaction to it very uncomfortable reading. At times the descriptions of how she felt made me feel the violation for her.
The rest of the story is sweet, although I guessed the plot early on, but made enjoyable reading. I enjoyed this book and didn't want to put it down at times, even tried to read it at work but kept getting bleeped!
If you're feeling low yourself or are going through an emotional time, don't read this book as it will not help your mood. If you want an insight into what it is like to be raped however, I would recommend this as a starting point to put yourself into someone else shoes. Be warned though, at times this book is not light reading.
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on 10 July 2003
To the reviewer who gave this book 1 star due to it 'taking a witty approach', did we read the same book???
I found absolutely nothing witty in that particular scene, or the whole book even. To imply that the author took a witty approach is to imply that she somehow trivialised the subject matter - a point I would strongly disagree with.
Even before I started reading the book, I knew what to expect. I knew the basic plot line and having read 'Running In Heels' I knew that Anna Maxted's books do not follow the usual, formulaic style of most 'chick lit' books, and that she dares to broach subjects that most female writers dare to touch.
'Behaving Like Adults' tells the story of Holly Appleton, manager of dating agency 'Girl Meets Boy'. She is idealistic, a real softie at heart, can't even bring herself to throw ex fiancé Nick out of their shared house. In an attempt to convince Nick that they are undeniably 'over', she decides to go on a date with an agency applicant, Stuart Marshall. This is where things start to go wrong.
I thought it was incredibly brave of the author to approach such a sensitive subject in this way.
My only gripe against the book is that I felt it 'lost' itself in places, and could have been shorter toward the end. Those of you with a soft heart will be glad to know that the ending is ultimately happy, maybe too happy for some. I though the characters were well thought out and the contrasting storyline of Nick and his family gives the reader something else to concentrate on other than what is happening with Holly. I particularly liked Claudia's character, and found myself laughing out loud at her 'driving etiquette'.
All in all, I would say this is an excellent book. As a young female myself, I feel things like this should be explored more. There is sometimes too much of a light-hearted feel to 'chick lit' books, and I think a lot of authors would benefit from straying from the constraints of the genre every once in a while.
Touching, poignant and very moving. Will stay in my mind for sometime after putting it down - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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on 18 August 2003
I dont often write reviews but I really had to comment on this book, short of writing directly to the author. I really loved the story and "couldnt put it down". It's a shame it has a bit of a frothy back cover, because the description really doesnt do it justice. It's theme is actually very serious so it is eloquent and thought provoking when it needs to be, yet enjoyable and light hearted too. I loved the character of Holly and really laughed at some of the "that's so true" things Anna Maxted made her come out with. A great book, Anna. Well done. I think it should be a movie made by Richard Curtis!
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on 10 May 2003
I am so impressed with how Anna Maxted dealt with such a sensitive issue with careful thought, sensitively, emotionally and with true brilliance.
She is one of the best writers around, to be able to deal with such a dark issue in this book and still bring humour, romance and still make you generally enjoy this book and feel good is so clever.
I myself am not a writer and cannot put into words how brilliant this book is so you will have to buy it and read it immediately.
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on 6 September 2003
Had to write a note just to say how brilliant I found this book to be. Could not put it down and finished it within a day and a half. Had me talking out loud at the characters. Definitely worth a read.
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on 15 June 2003
I loved Getting over it, and even though I liked Running in Heels alot this is the closest Maxted has come to getting that darkness and light back into her books. Behaving like Adults is more mature than getting over it, her main Character Holly is way more likeable than Natalie in Running in Heels and Maxted is as funny as ever. If you like Marian Keyes you'll like this. They both write intelligent witty books with lots of heart. Next one please!
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