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Sunday, 24 October 2010

From Notting Hill With Love ..... Actually by Ali McNamara

Scarlett O'Brien is in love ...with the movies. Utterly hooked on Hugh Grant, crazy about Richard Curtis, dying with lust for Johnny Depp, Scarlett spends her days with her head in the clouds and her nights with her hand in a huge tub of popcorn. Which is not exactly what her sensible, DIY-obsessed fiance David has in mind for their future. So when Scarlett has the chance to house-sit an impossibly grand mansion in Notting Hill ? the setting of one of her all-time favourite movies ? she jumps at the chance to live out her film fantasies one last time. It's just a shame that her new neighbour Sean is so irritating ? and so irritatingly handsome, too. As a chaotic comedy of her very own erupts around Scarlett, she begins to realise there's more to life than seating plans and putting up shelves. What sort of happy ending does she really want? Will it be a case of Runaway Bride or Happily Ever After? The big white wedding looms, and Scarlett is running out of time to decide ...
My guilty pleasure, or comfort, is curling up in front of the television and watching anything with Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. My DVD's of Notting Hill, Bridget Jones and Love Actually are well watched, so when I saw the synopsis for this book I knew it would be one I would enjoy and I was not disappointed!
The main character, Scarlett, loves the movies and will always be able to match the situations in her life to the movies. She is due to marry her fiance, David, soon but is having doubts and takes the opportunity to house sit for her best friends friends in where else but ... Notting Hill. It is while she is travelling to the house that she meets a stranger in a travel book shop and who turns out to be her new neighbour - and there is an instant attraction. While Scarlett tries to ignore the attraction she begins to search for her mother, who left her with her father when she was only six months old -the search takes her to Paris and then back to London with her neighbour, Sean who appears to be the rock by her side. When she meets back up with her fiance, she compares the two of them to, who else but, Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy, but who will she choose??
The book is a great read and I devoured it in two days, I was unable to put it down, I had to read on. I was laughing and crying with the characters and at times shouting out when Scarlett made decisions. I will not spoil the ending but I was so happy with the ending, the right person won the girl.
The author's love of the films came through in the writing, so many details from each film was included, however they were cleverly woven into the story and did not distract from the storyline at all. There is lots of additional material at the back of the book too - a quiz and Ali McNamara does her own guide to Notting Hill, as well as Scarlett's favorite films with some little known facts about each film too. An excellent addition to the book.
I hope you can tell how much I enjoyed this book. I recommend it to all chick lit and chick flick fans alike.
Thank you to Hannah Hargrave of Little Brown Publishing for sending me this to review.

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