A Girl Like You
“I’ve discovered the secret to successful singledom. I’m acting like a man. And it’s working.”
After breaking up with her boyfriend of, well, forever, Abigail Wood must learn how to be single from scratch.
Her dating skills are abysmal, and she ricochets from disaster to disaster – until Robert, one of London’s most notorious lotharios, agrees to coach her.
With his advice, she learns to navigate the bastard-infested waters of the bar scene and practices the art of being bulletproof. The new Abigail is cocky, calm, composed… but what happens when she meets her match?
A Girl Like You is the story of Abigail Wood. She’s 27, and has wasted her twenties in a relationship of habit – the type that is only held together by the fact you’ve been together so long, you don’t know any different. But, finally admitting that he wasn’t The One, Abigail left her boyfriend. And now she’s single for the first time in her adult life.
At first, she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing. Her attempts at dating are proving to be disastrous, and she can’t control her nerves. So her womanising flatmate, Robert, steps in to help. He teaches her the rules of singledom (be detached, act cool, don’t ask too many questions – all those clichés) and the story follows her amusing journey into ‘dating like a man’.
Abigail is a believeable character, and if you’ve ever been single in your twenties, it’s likely that you’ll relate to her. Gemma Burgess has covered it all in this novel: the politics of texting; the ‘it’s an emergency, I have to go’ escape from a bad date; the stomach-flipping joy of a first kiss; the excuses for poor behaviour when you really like someone… on too many occasions I found myself thinking “yep, I’ve been there”.
But this is not just a tale of dating woes. There are various subplots as Abigail finds her feet as a single woman: the revival of her social life; the planning of her sister’s wedding; career troubles; her developing friendship with Robert. The story is told from Abigail’s viewpoint, so her feelings seemed very real. Add this to her quirky (but not at all annoying) personality and cynical one-liners, and she was probably one of my favourite fictional characters in a long time. In fact, all of the characters have been written brilliantly. Abigail’s friends are wonderful, and the men are annoying and/or devastatingly sexy, depending on the success of her chosen date.
I do enjoy chick lit, but I often find faults in books of this genre. Even the ones I love usually have aspects that I find too cheesy or hard to believe. But I can’t criticise A Girl Like You. It’s fun, the plotlines are believable… and I read it with a huge smile on my face.