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Just Like You by Nick Hornby


As reviewed on The Cafe, TV3!

Nick Hornby is one of my favourite authors. He’s written eight bestselling novels, including High Fidelity and About a Boy, and he also writes screenplays. So I approached his new novel, Just Like You, with a great deal of enthusiasm.


Set in London in the spring before the Brexit vote, Just Like You is a love story about an unlikely couple. Lucy married a man who seemed the perfect match, who ended up making her miserable, so now Lucy is a teacher and solo mum with two boys. When Lucy meets Joseph who works part time at the local butcher’s shop, there is an immediate attraction. But Lucy isn’t looking for love, she’s looking for a babysitter. And even if there is an attraction, they are polar opposites. She’s white, he is black. She’s in her early forties, he’s twenty-two. She’s educated and middle class. He’s working class and working a portfolio of jobs and is an aspiring DJ.

This doesn't seem like a romance that will last. Lucy goes out with someone much more suitable, an older novelist with similar interests. Joseph meets a girl who ticks all the right boxes, but she drives him a bit crazy. It turns out these relationships only make them realise how much they care for each other, even when it seems their romance is doomed to be just enjoyable fling. Or is it destined to be an ongoing love story, despite the pressures from the outside world? I can’t tell you what happens next!

Just Like You is an utterly charming story about falling head over heels in love with your polar opposite. It’s funny, wise and tender – another fabulous read from the pen of Nick Hornby.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Penguin Random House

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