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on 18 June 2013
This was one of those books that I had heard lots of good things about but never actually got round to reading it, well I've finally read it and this is what I thought...

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 the author 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!
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on 28 August 2017
The book started out well, but it did fail to keep my interest. I found the main female character to not well-rounded enough and thus unbelievable or unlikable. I seriously don't know anyone that obsessed by anything like the main female is be rom-coms, except maybe my ex who was infatuated with a b-class girl band. The dilemma was thrown out of control in the end. The Notting Hill placement was a good touch.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 March 2013
Having never read any of Ali McNamara's books I had no idea of what to expect. When I read the synopsis and saw some of the comments left I started to look forward to it immensely. Something I should clarify having now read this book though. The book is described as an endearing and romantic fun read. That's exactly what it is and it's frustrating when people leave negative reviews because of this. You should always know the sort of book you are about to pick up and that description is perfect for it.

Scarlett our main character is almost obsessed with the movies. She loves all films but romantic comedies are her thing. Her fiancé David is sensible and caring but that's where it ends. As soon as I started reading I just fell in love with Scarlett. Yes she is slightly ditzy and has her head in the clouds more often than not, but she is very endearing. Her fiancé ...is the most boring character I have read about in a while and my empathy was firmly with Scarlett when she compared him to some of her movie idols.

The movie theme is what really made this book and the fact that the films and certain well known quotes are used from start to finish gave it that extra bit of magic. Scarlett also seems to have an extremely bad habit of causing havoc and mayhem wherever she goes. When Scarlett is given the opportunity to house-sit for a friend in Notting Hill she jumps at the chance. With her house-sitting duties comes a whole heap of new friends as well as an annoyingly handsome next-door neighbour.

Now I know that some people may write this book off as being predictable and far too fluffy and romantic, but I say don't knock it until you tried it. After all Rom-Com films make millions because people sometimes want the predictable fairy tale. This book was a sheer joy to read and took me completely away from reality. It was like my favourite Rom-Com wrapped up in a book. I loved it so much I immediately picked up the second book featuring Scarlett (and boy was I glad I did!). If you want a book which transports you away from the dreary day to day chores, pick this one up. You will be transported to the madcap world of Scarlett and it's fun from start to finish
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on 15 April 2017
Given as a gift but reader not overly keen
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on 18 July 2017
I loved this book as I have other books that Ali has written. It's a simple, easy, enjoyable book that you will not want to leave down
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on 29 October 2017
I really enjoyed the book, great easy read......
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on 4 March 2012
I picked this book up in the charity shop I work in. Love Actually is my favourite film of all time and I thought- "Yeah! I'll give this a go. I hope it's as good as it looks!"

Let me tell you now- it's absolutely brilliant. I thought it would be slightly predictable, maybe one or two flaws, but as the story unfolded I found myself increasingly in awe of how clever and how perfectly the author fits in the film references. I'm not one to laugh out loud at books, but this one had me gasping, cheering, bawling my eyes out and grinning until my face ached. The film references are witty, well placed, and as embarrassing as it is to admit this, I picked up on every single little reference. The jewellery box key, the cooking scene with Sean, Disneyland, the french porter named Pierre, the Star Wars wedding, that fountain...and Sean's surprise at the end- I cannot possibly think of a better ending.

The characters are brilliantly written. The elderly couple in the hotel, Oscar, Dermot and Finley...the policemen! You instantly understand Scarlett's film obsession, you love Sean, and you even feel sorry for David! I love Scarlett's dad to pieces- and really start to feel for her mother, even though I'm not sure I quite ever forgave her.

The cameo appearances from celebrities are great too, and the film facts at the end were a really lovely touch. I'll definitely be looking out for Bernard in every Richard Curtis film from now on!

I literally read the entire thing in about 6 hours. The perfect rom-com, and just when you think something predictable will happen- BAM! in comes another film reference.

If you're a fan of Notting Hill, Love Actually, Pretty Woman, Chocolat, Bridget Jones' Diary, Gone with the Wind, Sleepless in Seattle, The Blues Brothers- or any film with Hugh Grant or Colin Firth in it- I guarantee you will be awestruck by the sheer brilliance of this book. I actually cried at how much Scarlett reminds me of myself.I know I'm a soppy, hopeless romantic- but it's genuinely the funniest and sweetest book I've read in a long time. It definitely does the films justice. I honestly can't fault it!
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on 1 April 2016
Having purchased both the Kindle version and audio version, and enjoying two previous Ali MacNamara books, I had been looking forward to reading/listening to this one. I love the film Notting Hill and I love Chick Lit so this seemed a good choice. However I found the main character annoying, yes I get she loves the movies but the constant need to link every experience in her life to a scene she had seen in a movie was exhausting at best and downright annoying at worst. Other characters were predictable clichés and don't get me started on the plot. I couldn't get through this book let alone another two in the series. I returned the audio version of the book, that heaven's audible have that option, just wish I had the same option on Kindle.
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on 20 July 2016
Absolutely terrible! I like a good chick lit with the best of them, but this was awful! It was soooo obvious what was going to happen right from the start. I persevered hoping for the twist in the tale.... But it never happened!
I understand that the story is based on Scarlett being cinema obsessed, but the constant references to films in absolutely EVERYTHING she sees or does is just too much! I was bored, & disinterested, & have wasted hours of my life that I will never get back! ( I'm sure there must be a film quote in there somewhere!) . Do yourselves a favour & steer clear!
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on 30 March 2017
I like 'chick lit' & a bit of mindless froth, but gave up reading about a quarter of the way through. I found the main character & her constant need to act out movies rather wearing. I've given it 2 stars rather than 1 because it's not the worst book I've read, I just don't have time to persevere with books I'm not enjoying.

Someone else mentioned "You had me at Hello", Mhari McFarlane is an excellent example of engaging & smart chick lit.
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