I’m back with a Thursday Review day! I decided to write a full review focusing on just one book today and next Thursday will be another compilation of reviews of some of the shorter books I’ve been reading recently. I know a lot of you prefer my long reviews so that was the best way I could think to get a balance of both kinds. Hope that’s good for you.
I very kindly got a copy of this sent to me through Netgalley. As always the fact that I was gifted this book did not sway my opinion whatsoever, as always my thoughts are all my own. Now that that’s out of the way let’s hop into my review.
Title: The First Time We Met
Author: Jo Lovett
Genres: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publication Date: November 10th 2020
Pages: 330 pages
When I Read It: 16th September 2020
Goodreads Rating: 4.67 Stars
What if you met The One on his wedding day?
Izzy doesn’t believe in love at first sight, but when Sam walks into the cafe where she works one winter’s morning, she knows without a doubt that he’s the one. Too bad Sam’s getting married. Today.
Nearly a year later, Izzy still can’t stop thinking about Sam, the one that got away, but she knows it’s time to move on: he’s a married man and probably wouldn’t recognise her if he passed her on the street. But Sam has never forgotten Izzy, the funny, gorgeous woman who asked him out on his wedding day. If the timing had only been better, he knows they could have had something wonderful. When Izzy and Sam’s paths finally cross again, everything has changed. But with the Atlantic Ocean and decades of baggage between them, they are about to find out whether some obstacles are too big for even true love to overcome.
My Goodreads Review: *aka my initial thoughts, straight after (and during) reading
It has been so long since I’ve read a romance that made my heart swell as this one did. There were points when I felt unable to breathe because of how much I loved this.
Describing perfection is nearly impossible but I’m going to try.
I loved Izzy. She was so unabashedly herself. Reading female characters like her gives me hope for the romance genre. She was strong, successful, determined and yet she had a vulnerability and confusion to her that just made you love her. At times it felt like I was reading my own thoughts. She was so superbly relatable. Sam was perfection. The carnage of his life and his terrible way of handling it all rounded out his character superbly and just made you sympathise with him but also want to hit him over the head with a hardback. I loved the children – they were depicted so well and they were all so individual. Emma was a pure joy to read and I loved getting to know her story (I wish it was a book itself 😉 )
I laughed so much at this book. The humour was exactly my kind of thing; a weird balance between dad jokes and uncomfortable situations. I obviously adored the writing style. I was so happy to get both Sam and Izzy’s POV’s. Don’t even get me started on the plot!! It was the best combination of insta love and a slow burn romance I’ve ever read. I loved seeing them grow and change over the years and how they were always just missing each other.
Overall, if you couldn’t tell already – I adored this. I cannot recommend this enough. It made my day. Just a perfect heart-warming romance that made me very very very jealous!
Characters: I loved Izzy. She was a brilliant character to read and probably my favourite part about this book. She’s had a great balance between her feisty and independent side as well as her hopeless romantic and haphazard side that just made you love her. Like I said at the time, it felt like I was reading my own thoughts a lot of the time which is probably a reason I really liked her and connected with her as a character.
I enjoyed reading Sam’s POV to, but not as much as Izzy’s. I related less to him and I spent a lot of the book feeling sorry for him because he hadn’t been dealt a great hand, but then also he wasn’t dealing with things well so that infuriated me in a hurry-up-and-come-to-your-senses type of way rather than a genuine irritation. I really liked his arc and the growth of his character.
I loved the children. They all had an individuality to them but Ruby was my favourite. I think just because she was that little bit younger; her mix of vulnerability and cuteness was just amazing. Emma was an amazing best friend! Seriously, I hope my friends would do the same for me (only I’d hope we’d tell each other everything always) But in all seriousness, I loved her wee side plot and I wish we could get a wee novella about her because she was so fun!
Characters = 9/10
Humour: This book definitely had the funny to balance out the romance. Like I said before it was a great balance between dad jokes and uncomfortable situations which I know it’s everyone’s humour but it had me howling and cringing in the best way.
Humour = 9/10
Atmosphere: I really liked the constant swapping between London and New York. It was really interesting and just added to the conflict between Sam and Izzy but also complimented the story because it showcased the differences between them. Izzy in her peaceful English garden, Sam at the top of a skyscraper in New York. It just worked really well and I really enjoyed how it effected the story so much.
Atmosphere = 10/10
Writing Style: The writing style was brilliant. I was so happy to get both Sam and Izzy’s POV’s because when it first started I was worried we would only get Izzy’s. I liked that it was so conversational; it really let you connect with the characters more and allowed for more funny moments. I also loved the email conversations and how they played into the story. It was just great fun to read and I will definitely be reading more by Jo Lovett when she releases things!
Writing Style = 8/10
Plot: The plot of this book is where this excelled, that and how much I loved Izzy. It was the most perfect combination of insta love and a slow burn romance I’ve ever read. It handled ideas of true love and ‘The One’ like an absolute dream. I have to say at first I was sceptical during the greasy spoon meet-cute but then as the story progressed I realised it was so much more than the Insta-Love trope it could have accidentally fallen into. I loved the haphazard chaos of trying to balance these feelings and also being parents and being on the other side of the pond and just ahh. It was so good. All the drama behind the scenes elevated everything. Just thinking of it makes my heart swell with joy!
Plot = 10/10
Intrigue: Intrigue isn’t exactly something that romance is famous for. It’s kind of what you sign up for when you read a romance – part of you wants that predictability, you read it with the knowledge that that happy ending will happen. So the fact that this fell into this category of enjoyable predictability I was obviously not mad at it whatsoever. There was still small things that caught me off guard which was a nice surprise but if your looking for a book with a lot of anticipation then maybe romance isn’t the genre. I did read this in one sitting though, so it was certainly very gripping and kept me wanting to read from beginning to end without wanting to put it down.
Intrigue = 8/10
Logic: It was really believable. Especially the kids. I thought their reactions to everything that was going on was absolute perfection. Same goes for Izzy and Sam’s actions…really all the characters I guess. Everyone’s actions were all super believable.
Logic = 9/10
Enjoyment: If you couldn’t tell…I adored this. It was amazing. Like I have said over and over again now just thinking about this book makes my heart scream happy things. I recommend this so much! I will be insisting all my friends buy it when it comes out. If you love a cute romance that makes you melt and swoon this is it.
Enjoyment = 9/10
Relationships: Obviously, I really shipped Izzy and Sam. I loved seeing them grow and change over the years. It was irritating in the most perfect way as you could tell how amazing they would be but something always kept happening and they always just kept missing each other and things just never aligned for them. They were the kind of couple that seemed unlikely but then also seemed so perfect because they just balance each other out brilliantly.
Relationships = 9/10
Overall Score = 81/90 or 9/10
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
That’s all for today’s review folks. I will keep this short and just leave you with todat’s Questions. I will see you tomorrow for a post that I am super excited for so get excited too guys!! See you tomorrow ❤