Monday, July 8, 2019

Book #Review: Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie

Book Title: Anyone But You
Author:  Jennifer Crusie |WebsiteTwitterFacebook
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Romance, Romantic Comedy
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: Mass Market, ebook
Cost: $1.99
Pages: 283
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Thriftbooks
Publication Date: November 21, 1996
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For Nina Askew, turning forty means freedom--from the ex-husband, freedom from their stuffy suburban home, freedom to focus on what she wants for a change. And what she wants is something her ex always vetoed--a puppy. A bouncy, adorable puppy. Instead she gets...Fred.

Overweight, middle-aged, a bit smelly and obviously depressed, Fred is light-years from perky. But he does manage to put Nina in the path of Alex Moore, her gorgeous, younger-by-a-decade neighbor.

Alex seems perfect--he's a sexy, seemingly sane, surprisingly single E.R. doctor--but the age gap convinces Nina that anyone but Alex would be better relationship material. But with every silver-haired stiff she dates, the more she suspects it's the young, dog-loving doc she wants to sit and stay!
This is the story of Nina who is recently divorced, in her 40s and is trying to restart her life.  She's trying to get all the things she'd been denied in her marriage to a successful lawyer. She starts by filing for divorce, moving into an apartment in a building with character, unique neighbors and getting a puppy. Only she doesn't get the puppy of her dreams, she gets instead Fred.  Fred's got the most depressing face ever but he like her wasn't expecting much love from the world.

I loved that she was learning to find herself, however, her self-esteem was in the toilet. She was just trying to exist instead of embracing the new change in her life and that was dragging her back from a great opportunity. She was able to see what being stagnant was doing to her boss and her boss's business but didn't see how much of herself was reflected there As we were reading I laughed at some of her antics and her moods because #same. I loved that as we went along it became clear this was shaping up to be an older woman/younger man romance. I loved how the dog was the reason they were introduced and that was the cutest meet-cute.

At times it became clear this was a little dated especially the parts of the discussion about VCR, but Netflix and chill is as old as time because watching VCR and TMC and hanging out was how these two began their friendship.  Both struggling to find a way into more but being held back by the assumptions and beliefs that Nina had. She's just turned 40 and she's not confident in herself, her body and believes at first that Alex is just a shiftless 25 year old and that scares her that she's attracted to him. She doesn't believe she can measure up to women in his age group but Alex sees her as a beautiful woman and considers her sexy but she's not willing to see herself as he sees her.  Alex is a successful man but his family's inability to respect his field of expertise and Nina's lack of respect because of his age put him a unique place of wanting her but being afraid to go for what he wants because he doesn't want to lose what they have.

I loved how she's all over the place because she's never had a choice that's hers, her mother is a strong influence and without even knowing it, Nina was still letting her mother's ideas shape her everyday decisions. She's either her mother's or her ex-husband's choices and now she's trying to find her own voice and ideas so she tends to go back and forth between what she's known and what she's learning to be true.  It's a very real and relatable struggle.  It at times got boring though because she kept repeating the same things over and over again DESPITE all the evidence to the contrary. How much more signs did she need?? Nina kept discounting what Alex said or did because she kept writing him off based on his age, despite the fact that he was a successful Dr.

I loved the relationship between Alex and his brother Max. I cracked up often with their conversations because I swear Alex waited until Max was drinking to drop salient questions and comments on him. Almost like he was trying to kill him by choking. Hilarious. Alex's family life is complicated and this is the greatest source of stress for him, but it's also a motivating factor for him to follow his dream career path.

I loved how the subplot of her best friend learning to come to terms with her past is a great catalyst for the changes Nina needs to make and learn to accept. Their main problem becomes of course them, Nian's inability to take Alex seriously based on his age and his fears that because she doesn't take him seriously he won't be able to hold her to him.  Seriously I wanted to whisper that Nina needed a few hours of therapy and so did Alex's family who kept the pressure on him to conform even though it didn't work for them.

I loved how their friends were able to see what they couldn't and totally made sure to let them know. Especially Norah, because talk about being a kick-butt woman.  I loved how the ending came together because no one is perfect but we can learn to be happy alone and we can also learn to be happy together.  They both had to figure out how to do that without losing themselves to the fears and expectations of others.

I still loved how it all came together, the changes their relationship brought to their friends and the improvements they made in their lives. I loved how they were together. It was a great romance with lots of good humor and aged surprisingly well.
Do you have any good rom-com to share?? Leave them in the comments and of course; 
Happy Reading my loves, 

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