Title: The Summer Job
Author: Lizzy Dent
Published: April 13th 2021
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 2.5 stars
Birdy just got her dream job.
The problem is, it’s not hers.
Warning: this is not your typical rom com.
Have you ever imagined running away from your life?
Well Birdy Finch didn’t just imagine it. She did it. Which might’ve been an error.
And the life she’s run into? Her best friend, Heather’s.
The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather.
Actually there are a few other problems…
Can Birdy carry off a summer pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)?
And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked (but who thinks she’s someone else)?
Endorsed by Marian Keyes as ‘heartwarming and so much fun’ The Summer Job is the first contemporary fiction novel from young adult novelist Lizzy Dent. A story of failed dreams, new chances, love, friendship and escape, The Summer Job is a lively tale for fans of the chick lit genre.
When life gets too hard, the best thing to do is escape it all, right? That is the solution Birdy Finch has come up with to help repair her train wreck of a life. When an opportunity comes Birdy’s way to take up a position in Scotland working for a prestigious hotel, Birdy knows she must take it. The problem is the position belongs to her best friend Heather, so Birdy must impersonate Heather and make sure her friend doesn’t find out. It sounds like a plan that is destined to fail, but Birdy puts her all into this new role. Can Birdy fool everyone into thinking she is a wine expert? What happens when Birdy meets the man of her dreams? Will Birdy be able to explain who she really is and will Heather forgive her?
The Summer Job is penned by Lizzy Dent, an author who has a background in the hospitality industry and the television world, which we see glimmers of in the storyline of this novel. The Summer Job represents this experienced young adult novelist’s first venture into the world of contemporary fiction. The Summer Job is a sprightly tale, that will definitely appeal to those who enjoy youthful chick lit novels.
There is a strong British rom com feel to The Summer Job. In fact, I think this book would work really well on the big screen. I began to dream up a cast of celebrities as I made my way through this book. I would love to see the main setting base of the Scottish countryside transferred from the page to the screen in this instance. Dent does a great job depicting the lush and tranquil countryside of Scotland for her readers. It is obvious that the author has a first hand understanding and a full appreciation for this lovely destination. I enjoyed the landscape sequences in this novel and I could fully picture the luxury hotel where the lead gets her big break.
The Summer Job is a character journey based novel. The difficultly I found with this book was that the lead protagonist was a tricky character for me to like. I also struggled to appreciate the support cast. Unfortunately, I really felt my age with this one and I just couldn’t bridge the generation gap. I’m sure I would have found it easier to connect with Birdy if this book was available back when I was in my late teens or early twenties. Sadly, I failed to click with Birdy and I struggled to find any sympathy for her failures. Birdy continues to make mistake after mistake, some of which are pretty big morally. Birdy is a flawed lead. Taking over from her friend without this pal’s knowledge seemed to bother me a fair bit. Morally, I’m not sure Birdy made the right move, even though she was at rock bottom. When the love avenue is introduced, I think this where Birdy should have confessed and been more honest. I’m actually surprised she managed to get away with impersonating Heather for so long without detection or suspicion. Birdy must also pretend she is a wine expert and while I think this was meant to induce a few laughs, I found it ridiculous. I’m surprised the charade when on for so long! The food and wine references were put to the page well, which I think can be drawn from the author’s previous employment in the hospitality industry. This was a small plus for a novel that didn’t really work for me.
The easy style of storytelling, the quick pace and the lighthearted tone did help me progress with this title to the end, despite my strong desire to give up on this one. I think I should have taken a much closer read of the blurb before I requested Lizzy Dent’s novel to review, as The Summer Job is a book that just wasn’t matched very well to my reading tastes. There are oodles of four and five star reviews for this one across Goodreads and the book blogging world, so it may be worth looking into these if Lizzy Dent’s book sparks some interest.
The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent was published on 13th April 2021 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Summer Job, Lizzy Dent, visit here.
*I wish to thank Penguin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
The Summer Job is book #41 of the 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge