Review: The Lucky Escape by Laura Jane Williams

The Lucky Escape by Laura Jane Williams

3 of 5 stars 

Book Blurb:

ONE CANCELLED WEDDING

When the day finally comes for Annie to marry Alexander, the last thing she expects is to be left standing at the altar. She was so sure he was Mr Right. Now, she has no idea how she could have got it so wrong.
 
ONE UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTER

After a chance meeting with Patrick, an old friend who reminds her of who she used to be, Annie takes a vow of her own: she’ll say yes to every opportunity that comes her way from now on.

ONE SPARE TICKET FOR THE HONEYMOON

Could a spontaneous trip with Patrick be the way to mend Annie’s heart? She’s about to find out as she embarks on her honeymoon – with a man who’s not her husband…
  

Book Review:

A fun book that fell short of the expectations I had based on the cover and the book blurb. I enjoyed how real Annie, her friends, and Freddie were. Their relationships and friendships were great, and I always love seeing good, strong friendship in books. The premise was also exciting and I was looking forward to seeing how it unfolded, and it was mostly satisfying. I will explain what I can without spoilers, but I will not be able to mention some of the things that bothered me due to my self-imposed no-spoiler rule.

Some things nagged at me about this book. Like the fact that Annie tried so hard to be woke - first saying, "I tried not to hide my body from Freddie. I didn't want to add to any kind of cultural narrative that we have to be embarrassed about our bodies."

and then she said, "I'd been dieting leading up to the wedding, to the point where the dressmaker at my final fitting threatened violence if I lost any more weight."

She's clearly confused but probably trying to do what she thinks is right.

In another instance, she mentions that while she did consider making an effort to look pretty, she ultimately decided not to wear much make up because she wasn't trying to impress anyone. This sentence was immediately followed by another where she said "not that I only wear lipstick to impress men, obviously". I mean, it isn't obvious at all, because you just said you don't want to wear makeup because you weren't trying to impress anyone. Basically it's the little things like this that were really jarring about Annie, like she wasn't sure what she wanted to be. Maybe she really did need a self discovery phase/trip.

Major brownie points for mentioning the 'manic pixie dream girl' though, one of my favorite character tropes. I love when stories have self-aware characters and accept the tropes they're living out.

Also, what is the need for Annie to constantly compare every guy she meets with each other? What is this random benchmark where they need to be pitted against each other? Seems reductive. Also, it feels like she sees herself through the lens of these guy's opinions, or even their personalities. I liked that they did address this at one point in the book, but not as well or as emphatically as I would have liked.

Overall, I did really like this book. I understand that my review seems a bit too bothered about certain aspects of this book, but that's because I actually really enjoyed the book and how Annie grows as a person. In that larger scope of these book, what I pointed out is relatively minor, but enough to make me not love this. If these things were bettered, this book would be a 5 star read for me.

I still do recommend this book, especially if you like stories about growth and self-discovery, with a figurative coming-of-age story.

Thank you to Avon Books UK and Netgalley for the e-arc.

*A review copy was provided to Oh Just Books by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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