2022 Reviews · contemporary fiction · new release

New Release Book Review: Fancy Meeting You Here by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus

Title: Fancy Meeting You Here

Author: Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus

Published: November 30th 2021

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Pages: 328

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 3 stars

Sometimes the man of your dreams is standing right in front of you… only ten years in the past. A charming and unconventional love story about trying to rewrite history. Evie Berry is a thirty-year-old wannabe screenwriter who spends her days managing a London cinema bar and making the podcast Pasta La Vista with her best friend Ben. She’s also obsessed with Hugo Hearst. Have you heard of him? Of course you have. He’s only one of the most influential and not to mention swoon-worthy bestselling writers of his generation.

When Evie’s not hooking up with her on-again, off-again booty call ‘Ever-Ready Freddy’ (and sometimes even when she is), she fantasises about what might have been if she’d met Hugo years ago, when he was just a struggling writer.

After Evie interviews a psychic to the stars on her podcast, her life is catapulted ten years into the past. But the grass isn’t quite as green as she remembers . . .

Fancy Meeting You Here is a hilarious and heartwarming new book from the bestselling authors of the global hits The Book Ninja and While You Were Reading – a love story about reliving your early twenties and testing out that old saying: be careful what you wish for.


A sprightly contemporary romance novel for fans of time warps, Fancy Meeting You Here is the third release from the combined efforts of co-authors Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus. Fun, light heated, easy and smooth going, Fancy Meeting You Here is a book for the summer season.

Popular writing duo Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus introduce Evie Berry, the thirty-something lead character of their latest release, Fancy Meeting You Here. Evie has ambitions to become a screenwriter, but in the meantime she passes her time by working at a cinema bar in London. Evie’s best friend is Ben and they have a podcast together called Pasta La Vista. Evie is also preoccupied with thoughts of Hugo Hearst, a well-known writer who Evie has quite a long standing crush on. While Evie busies herself with her casual boyfriend Freddy, she continues to dream about what life would be like if she had shacked up with Hugo Hearst in the early stages of his career. When Evie conducts an interview with a celebrity psychic as part of her podcast series, she is suddenly sent back into the past. Evie’s dreams are about to come true, but will she be happy with results?

A cheery novel with a unique and contemplative life twist, Fancy Meeting You Here is the latest offering from the writers who penned global hits The Book Ninja and While You Were Reading. This new story from The Book Ninja franchise affords the reader an opportunity to take a time capsule back into the past with character Evie as she relives her twenties again.

I’ve had the pleasure of reading the previous two book releases from Melbourne based writing partners Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus. These two authors have amassed quite a cult following since they published their first novel, The Book Ninja. With such a bright cover and an interesting front cover statement suggesting that this story promises to deliver a love story that rewrites history, I was soon taken in. After a great premise and introduction, I had high hopes for this one. However, as I made my way through this book, I did find it a touch predictable and the time travel aspect didn’t completely win me over. I found some elements in this novel worked for me, while other areas did not. I enjoyed the podcast and the relationships that the lead character holds with wider cast. However, I did find myself skimming this one as I wasn’t entirely convinced by the storyline crux. Others may find Fancy Meeting You Here to be fresh, funny and original but I did struggle to completely connect.

Evie Berry is the main protagonist of Fancy Meeting You Here. Evie is a character who represents the modern-day woman. Evie is hopeful, enterprising, regretful and pensive. I did feel there was some space between Evie and the reader, which did slow down my connection to this head character. The open dialogue exchanges between Evie and the featured character set were in tune with the direction of this tale, issuing the audience with some laughs and claps. The plot and romance aspects were playful, which keeps up the entertainment value. However, the umbrella message about wishful thinking is what defines this novel.

Fancy Meeting You Here is about change, self-power, belief, faith, chances and accomplishments. If you are looking for a slightly different romance or contemporary fiction read, Fancy Meeting You Here may be the book for you.   

Fancy Meeting You Here by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus was published on 30th November 2021 by Allen & Unwin. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Fancy Meeting You Here Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus, visit here.

*Thanks extended to Allen & Unwin for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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