⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Review – Rachel Ryan’s Resolutions by Laura Starkey
Rachel Ryan is a copywriter at a marketing agency, finding no luck in love and still living with her best friend from University in a two-bed in London at 30. Rachel starts the story writing New Year’s Resolutions to improve herself and her life when she realises she dislikes how much copy she has to write about vegetables, how Anna is due to get engaged to her boyfriend of four years any day now and she will inevitably have to move out, and how all her exes have either been douches or dull as dishwater since her cheating ex-boyfriend Jack from University.
Everything changes when Jack starts working at the same company and they end up having to manage projects together, on top of the fact that she’s recently single and her most recent ex-boyfriend is stalking her, begging to get back together and not taking her no for an answer. With a fun group of people at her job and friends, we can see how Rachel attempts to complete her resolutions, but with added complications along the way.
I absolutely loved this novel. Rachel Ryan was a fun, fiery protagonist and her cast of friends were multi-faceted and well developed. While the way they were described or characterised at the start may have felt a little trope-y, Starkey truly fleshed them out into complex characters with flaws, individual goals and it made them more realistic and human. It made me want to be a part of her friend group, meet up at The Hope every Friday night and partake in their fun.
My favourite parts of the novel were Rachel’s animosity with Jack at work, which brings up old insecurities and that was really interesting to delve into and see how it all broke down back at university. I also loved her catch ups with Greg, which started out as the gay-best friend trope, but really developed it further into a meaningful, supportive friendship, with only a touch of flamboyance. I also really loved her friendship with Will, Anna’s boyfriend, and Tom, his roommate, because in every friendship group, there are always individual relationships that are different from the group dynamic and I was really pleased to see how Starkey showed those.
All in all, this book was a breath of fresh air in the contemporary rom-com genre. It took age-old tropes and situations, everything from enemies-to-lovers, fake relationships, the GBF, forced proximity and all, and spun them in new, funny and original ways. The main character had a strong personality to her but she still developed over the course of the book and you can see her developments through the resolution lists that preface chapters.
I would shout about this book from the rooftops and recommend it to all my friends who would love a substantial feel-good romcom with a strong female protagonist, a great and supportive friend group, three love interests and real character development.
I have to say a great big thank you to Jen from Embla Books Embla books for including me in this book tour and giving me a chance to read and promote this incredible book through NetGalley. This book was gifted, but the review is completely honest, I loved it just that much. I look forward to the rest of the blog tour leading up to the pub day and reading what everyone else has to say about it!