By Rachel Winters
Copy courtesy of Hachette Australia
“Would Like To Meet” made me laugh out loud, and that doesn’t happen very often. Like the best of the rom-coms it both celebrates and pokes fun at, this novel is warm, joyous, funny, and recognises the value of both romantic love and the love between friends. It’s one of the most enjoyable novels I’ve read in some time.
Evie has been slogging away as an assistant for far too long. She wants to be a full agent, someone who helps screenwriters achieve the dreams she herself has let wither. And now, her frustrating and often demeaning job is in danger. Unless she gets Ezra Chester, her agency’s prize client, to finish his badly overdue script – she’s finished. And if this isn’t her dream job, it’s the only one she has, and her best chance of finally making Agent.
But Ezra is insanely annoying. Sure, he’s rich, handsome, and occasionally charming. But there’s more than one reason Evie has nicknamed him “NOB”. Evie has no idea why he signed on to do a rom-com: he hates the things. And now he’s refusing to write the script unless Evie proves to him that people can fall in love the way they do in the movies. In other words, Evie has to stage a “meet-cute” and make it work. Evie is soon placing herself in ridiculous situation, after ridiculous situation.
I just loved this. Anyone who’s ever loved or hated a rom com is likely to get a lot of pleasure out of it. Winters gleefully plays with the clichés that abound in rom coms, and gives us a story that’s genuinely funny but also heartfelt. Humour is really hard to get right, but I’m betting that plenty of readers will be laughing at this.
The characters are very strong, and I defy you not to engage with each one of Evie and her friends. They’re a motley group: wildly different from each other, with very distinctive quirks, not above telling each other off or criticising each other, but loyal and loving when the chips are down.
This is the sort of novel that you can picture vividly in your head as you read. I would not be surprised if someone does turn this into a movie. Much of it would be just as funny and emotional on the screen – the main problem might be what to leave out to keep the movie to a reasonable length.
The novel doesn’t really say anything very new, and it’s certainly not deep and meaningful. It is however very well written and extremely enjoyable. It’s a cheerful romp that will quite simply bring pleasure and laughter and a shot of romance into your life. We all need that sometimes.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Would Like to Meet. You can read their comments below, or contribute to the discussion by leaving your own feedback.