Next To You by Sandra Antonelli

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ Netgalley/ Reviews 13th June 2016
Next To You  by Sandra AntonelliNext To You by Sandra Antonelli
Published by Escape Publishing on July 25th 2016
Pages: 400
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two-stars

A witty, quirky and unexpectedly moving story about cinema, secrets and a complicated love affair.
A love of ‘70s bubblegum pop music isn’t the only unusual thing about William Murphy — being a six-foot-three albino also makes a guy stand out. Will’s life is simple and he likes it that way. But when he meets his new next-door neighbour, complicated begins to look rather attractive.
Caroline’s trying to put her past behind her and grab life by the balls, which means finding new friends besides her dog, Batman. Will offers her neighbourly friendship, and as they bond over old movies, Caroline regains her confidence and unexpected love blooms.But real life’s not like the movies, and their cute romantic comedy goes all Fatal Attraction when her vengeful ex shows up. Will learns that nothing about Caroline is quite the way it looks, and his simple life turns more complicated than he could ever imagine.

Life as William Murphy knows it changes drastically when a domestic dispute in a coffee shop ends up with spilt coffee on his very expensive shoes, especially after he discovers that his next-door neighbour is the one responsible for it. Throw in several ex-partners and everything goes for a tailspin.

So much of the book is unusual: an albino male protagonist and a silver-screen-siren-like leading lady who are way past the ‘acceptable’ ages for romantic heroes and heroines, the very offside wit and dry humour, and the strange analogies drawn, the outbursts of emotions and dialogue that seem to be appear when I least expected it.

But perhaps that’s the whole thing about this book – that it threw me off so much, because it defied every expectation I had. The story’s odd quirks were matched by the Sandra Antonelli’s distinct voice and somewhat snarky, convoluted phrases, such that most of the time it felt as though I was reading some satirical newspaper hurriedly bundled into a novel. But within these layers lie a complicated love story, tinted in the sepia colours of a rom-com that could have been made with retro had it come to life, peppered with innumerable pop culture references…and perhaps, perhaps, just a little clever for its own good and a little overdone for my liking.

two-stars

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