London Belongs to Me
Author: Jacquelyn Middleton
You can always get me to read a book about writing, writers, music or any kind of artistic creating. I love that behind the scenes view of art. It’s essentially what I want to do so I’m a sucker for reading about it.
Alex Sinclair is a new graduate who hops on a plane to her beloved London to make it in the theatre world as a writer. Alex is a super fangirl with a vast knowledge of theatre and the city. I get the feeling she’s supposed to be one of those highly relatable characters. But she really, honestly, just annoyed me.
I’ll start with what I liked about London Belongs to Me. The stuff about London is cool. Middleton knows the city well. There are some interesting theatre tidbits strewn in throughout. I didn’t mind the pop culture/fangirl references although in the beginning they annoyed me. I do feel like it balances out.
For the most part I liked the “romance” or at least one aspect. Basically the guy is always working so he’s never really around. Yes, that might suck but hey, it’s realistic especially in a cutthroat business.
One of the reasons I decided to read this book was several reviewers talked about the great friendship between Alex, Lucy and Freddie and how it doesn’t disappear with the romance. And that’s true. Why would it? Because very early on it seems clear that the only purpose of Lucy and Freddie is to make Alex feel better about herself. To cater to her every whim and tell her that she’s great.
Yeah, I felt like this and Alex’s family was just a little too much. A little too sickeningly sweet. Because that’s pretty much the purpose for her entire family as well. Hell, even an ex-shows up to tell her how inspiring she is and how much he really misses her. The only person in the world that seems not to like Alex is super bitch Olivia.
Olivia is a whole other problem because she’s just so over the top. She’s basically one level below Basic Instinct for no reason at all. I could deal with that but it created problems with Alex for me because she’s such a drip that even after Olivia steals from her, screws her over and repeatedly threatens her Alex…
Doesn’t do anything about it and continues to live in Olivia’s spare room.
Go to your father’s girl! Go to a hostel! Go anywhere else!
My last major problem with this book is what makes me think of it as more of a fairy tale than anything else.
Spoilers below! Last warning!
Despite everything Alex somehow winds up getting everything she wants in London within a year. (Actually, less than a year considering when it all actually happens.) Do major theatre groups call unknown writer’s to produce their unedited plays friends have submitted for them?
I don’t know. Maybe it could happen.
Is my bitterness taking over?
I did like elements of London Belongs to Me. It’s a good fast holiday read and seriously, if you look at it like a fairy tale you might be able to overlook some of those issues. I think I would have been okay with a couple. Like super bitch Olivia- if Alex had more of a backbone before the answer to her problems quite literally fell into her lap. I could have handled special snowflake Alex if maybe some people called her out or if things were left open-ended career wise perhaps. Why couldn’t she just have been happy in her writer’s workshop?
Just altogether it was a little too much for me and I wound up not liking Alex.
Recommend: Eh. This book is getting great reviews on Goodreads so I would check those out of it sounds interesting. Or, if you want a modern fairy tale to breeze through for the holiday season.