I feel particularly underwhelmed by this novel, which I felt received a fair amount of hype. Not the Girl You Marry was a slightly more complicated version of the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days – and pointing it out in the book’s description doesn’t do it any favors. The comparison gives it a lot to live up to. Really, the lesson here of self love and staying true to who you are in relationships is great, it’s just so dull to read.
I’m just sitting here staring at the screen trying to figure out what decent commentary I can even give about this book. I was just truly underwhelmed. Event planner Hannah has sworn off love after a string of truly terrible relationships that left her scarred and believing no one could possibly want to be with her (while I recognize this is relatable for some, it’s not a trademark of the recent string of more feminist romcoms with strong women…this poor gal literally needed this guy to show her someone might want to marry her, and that stinks). Nice guy Jack, who perpetually seems to be in long-term relationships with women who don’t want him for the long-term, thinks that Hannah could be the one. But for her to get a promotion, and to get his big break, the two end up lying to each other about the true intentions of their relationship…while falling in love behind the scenes.
This novel lacked the heart and soul I’ve come to believe mark the best of this genre. I didn’t feel a true connection between Jack and Hannah…and their friends didn’t either. Most of them spent the middle of the novel trying to convince these two they weren’t in love; they hardly knew each other! And these friends would be right. There really wasn’t anything complex about Jack and Hannah, which made their romance fall flat. So blah. So boring. We know basic things, and different tropes about the characters that make us believe more conveniently that they’re meant for each other. But their dialogue, the time they spend together…it does nothing for the reader. It’s a series of boring encounters that leave you wanting for something more substantial.
I started writing this review by rating this book three stars, but the more I broke it down and thought about the positives and negatives, I couldn’t help but lower the rating. I really hate the imitations of classics or great romcoms of today that really capture magic and leave the reader with hearts in their eyes; I thought this book would have that spark, but it doesn’t. I don’t recommend wasting time on this one. There are plenty of greats out there to check out before picking up this book!
A copy of Not the Girl You Marry was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.