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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 11 January 2017
I started off this book thinking that it would end up in my "could not finish" pile. It does start pretty darned slow but you see, that's the magic. It sort of sneaks up on you. This book is really about loving yourself, overcoming the incidents in life that knock you back and though you seem to be carrying on, your internal compass is really totally skewed. It's just sheer luck the timing of me reading this book - seeing as I'm 40 and also waking up to the things that I do to hold myself back. I absolutely loved seeing both characters wake up and reclaim their lives. A slow burn with real depth. Beautiful book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 December 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I enjoyed Lorello's Faking It which has a bit more depth than your average chick-lit and a positive message, so was looking forward to this. Sadly, this is far more cliche-ridden (gay best friend, singleton girlfriend - yawn) and the humour fell flat for me.

Sunny (yes, this is very American - I disliked her already for her name) has just turned forty and is forced by said best friends to put together a list of forty things to do to shake up her dull life - including sleeping with a scriptwriter on whom she has a crush...

Really, there are no surprises in this tale but the genre relies on attractive characters for whom we can root - sadly, I didn't feel that about either of our protagonists. However many times someone is described as 'charismatic', I need to witness it for myself in the book rather than just taking the author's word for it - and that didn't happen here.

So sorry, this isn't meant to be much more than a light and fluffy rom-com but I found the whole thing rather charmless, flat and dull.
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VINE VOICEon 4 January 2015
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is about two people- Danny Masters, a successful writer who is also a recovering alcoholic and Sunny Smith, a great fan of his. Sunny is a storeroom manager in a book shop and an unpublished writer herself. She has been unlucky in love but has two very good friends who try to kickstart her life by setting her 40 tasks to achieve in her 40th year. One of these tasks is to sleep with Danny Masters who seems such a distant figure, that, to her, the task has failed before it has even started. However, chapter by chapter, as we get to know these two troubled individuals we find their lives becoming more closely intertwined. Sunny turns from being a rather pathetic angst-ridden woman into a much more successful individual who turns out to be more than a match for Danny. A good read and although the outcome is not unexpected, there are plenty of twists and turns along the way.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As Sunny approaches her 40th birthday she begins to think that her life isn't as great as it could be. Her friends convince her to make a list of 40 things to achieve in 40 weeks. One of the things she adds to the list is 'sleep with Danny Masters' who is her celebrity crush.

This is a sort of 'will they?/won't they?' kind of story and for anyone who has read enough romances like this one it'll be a bit predictable. Misunderstandings, upsets and interferences all combine to keep the story moving and it was well written but nothing new. I'm not sure I'd class a screenwriter as a celebrity though (sorry screenwriters), so I found it a bit hard to understand Sunny's infatuation but everyone's different I suppose. Some of the characters got on my nerves and in a character driven story like this that's a bit frustrating so things were dragging on by the time I got to the end.

It's a fairly fast read and a solid story, it just didn't grab me.
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VINE VOICEon 12 October 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Sometimes you have the whim to move completely away from your usual reading matter (mine being historical fact, social, SF/Fantasy, thrillers & graphics), for no particular reason either. So I am in the time-honoured realm of couple meet, are attracted to each, drawn apart, united once and happy ending.
Elisa Lorello handles this with a deft touch, the central characters are both forty/fortyish neither are having much self-confidence, but generally are quiet likeable folk so from the instant of their accidental meeting and their swift quirky division you are turning the pages wishing them to get together again, even if their intermediate choices or foibles are being annoying, which of course is just how ordinary people are.
Sunny Smith comes with two sort of stock friends, a fraternally bossy gay man (also her boss at work) and a single woman of similar age whose mission in life is to see her friend hitched up; actually both are made quite believable and realistic in that there are tensions and fallings out.
Danny Masters has demons and a teenage daughter he is devoted too, realistic so far, though at this stage the idea of a celebrity script and screen-play writer with a devoted fan base I found a bit difficult to accept (and I am sure will cause a wry smile amongst many in that profession), however maybe I am being a bit nit-picking.
Being in very unfamiliar territory I would not dare to fit this book into any particular genre for fear of getting it quite wrong. A love story in an ordinary recognisable world is as close as I dare. I must admit a number of the social references were American so I missed out on the nuances, and as for the details in shopping trips and makeovers, they truly lost me, but I got the gist.
Anyhow the reader will soon know where this is going, but so what? Enjoy the journey I'd say. Quite a refreshing change of reading for me.
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on 22 November 2012
I am a big fan of Elisa Lorello's books after a recommendation from a friend and this one is another great read. Its light and easy to read but not frothy and lacking in substance. Her characters are believable and likeable, apart from Charlene, who you are not supposed to like anyway! I found some of the sentences rather long to start with but it certainly didn't detract form a fun plot. I guess it struck a chord as I would love to work in a bookshop and don't we all have a little celebrity crush that we wish could be something more?
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VINE VOICEon 10 December 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There's a classic blurb on the back of one of the old Penguin Classic edition of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. It summarises the book beautifully, quoting it as much as I can recall it, "At a time when great armies were marching across Europe, and the fate of countries hung in the balance Jane Austen wrote a novel in which the only events are that a young man changes his manner and a young lady changes her mind..."

This book felt like an updated version of that structure. It's set in America in New York State and in California. The age range has shifted to mid life and it's two key protagonists are both over 40 and come with baggage. It's a modern novel and distances barely matter, and the internet and Skype are used readily. It's a classic novel and the plot hinges on some large coincidences, necessary to bring the two protagonists together. The supporting characters are fleshed out enough to be recognisable and human. The main events are that a man alters his manner and a lady alters her thinking.

It's an enjoyable love story of two people both needing and wanting to find something. it describes well how lost they both are in their lives- how adrift from themselves they are, and how people help them to come back to the truth of who and what they are. One of the characters- Danny Masters has great success but some inner hollowness. The other character Sunny is more grounded, but rather unambitious. The supporting cast goad them into getting their acts together, and finally the characters meet...and its a disaster. The rest of the book is about how the initial attraction remains, and how events work to bring them back together eventually, after a long, winding and interesting series of diversions and false starts.

This is a very enjoyable novel, with well described and developed characters, and a decent plot. It moves along swiftly, is well written and paced. It would easily be adaptable to a film version.

As a novel it's a very good holiday read.
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VINE VOICEon 9 February 2015
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Sunny has to get her life in gear; she is forty and still works hidden away in the stockroom of a bookstore after a trauma caused by the end of her marriage. What happened to her dreams? Well, at least one of them is about to come true: she is going to see screenwriter Danny Masters at his latest film's premier. However, Sunny gets more than she bargained for when she not only meets her hero, but manages to create an internet storm at the ensuing Q&A session.

From there on it seems that Sunny is destined to hide for the rest of her life, where Danny is compelled to search. They both have a lot of emotional luggage to unload before they can move on. Sunny begins and new relationship which should be perfect; Danny ends an old one, which wasn't. There is no chance their paths will cross again - is there?

If you love the tug and pull of a well-made story, this is for you. The worlds of LA and New York, Danny and Sunny, brought into a culture clash that may cost happiness, are the backdrop to a love story where success is the key to success.
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VINE VOICEon 5 November 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I read this book quite quickly, its an ok read but I think I was expecting something different than what I got.

The book jumps between chapters based around Sunny and Danny, although I didn't find it difficult to follow because of this. The main characters and the supporting characters are all generally easy to like.

The premise of the book is a woman celebrating her 40th, who with the help of her friends comes up with 40 things to do, one of which is to sleep with a screen writer she has never met.

The characters are not made perfectly, which I liked, they have histories and have done things that readers will probably not like, but adds another dimension to the book.

A quick read and quite enjoyable although not a keeper
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VINE VOICEon 16 April 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I enjoyed this story about Sunny Smith who has a major crush on Danny Masters a celebrity screenwriter. She is turning 40 and not happy about the way her life is turning out. Her friends decide that she should make a list of 40 things to achieve in 40 weeks although she is not keen on the idea. She never expects to meet Danny and when she does after a memorable first meeting it doesn't turn out as she hoped. They both feel a connection but struggle to decide if you can instantly know when you meet your soulmate. This is a good read but the characters can be a bit annoying at times and I don't feel this book is as good as her previous novels.
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