Abigail Wood has just come out of a long relationship, and at 27 is facing the uncertain world of singledom. She has no idea how to navigate the dating scene, but fortunately her flatmate is London lothario, who teaches her the unofficial rules (be brutal, be bulletproof, be cool and detached). Soon Abigail is having loads of dates and great fun – but at some point she’s going to meet her match, and what will she do then?
I really enjoyed this book, and having read it, now want to get hold of Gemma Burgess’s debut novel, The Dating Detox.
A Girl Like You starts with a short prologue, with a distraught Abigail in a hotel room in Hong Kong, sporting a black eye and clearly upset about something (although it isn’t until later that we find out what). This taster of what was to come whetted my appetite and I was eager to see how the story got to that point. The book then jumped back six months to when Abigail was going on her first date after the end of her relationship.
The book is told from Abigail’s point of view, which means that we get to know her character very well. She is instantly recognisable – I felt that she could easily be someone I knew (and I’m sure many readers would be nodding with recognition at some of the things that Abigail did or said). Certainly Abigail is the kind of person who we would like to be friends with – loyal, funny and clever, but also sometimes lacking in confidence, unsure of her career, sometimes acting without thinking. She was a very believable and fleshed out character.
I also loved her circle of close friends – her dating mentor Robert, potty-mouthed Plum, sweet Sophie and funny Henry – again these were all characters who the reader could recognise in real life.
The book made me laugh out loud on a number of occasions, but it also had moments of introspection, sadness and realisation. The whole speed dating episode had me giggling all the way through! The author obviously has a quick wit, which comes through in the character of her narrator.
I would definitely recommend this book, and will certainly be looking for more to read by Gemma Burgess.