First SentenceMy friends broke into my flat.
It’s Fran’s thirtieth birthday and things are good . . .
She’s bluffed her way into a Very Posh Job and her outlandishly handsome and talented boyfriend Michael is escorting her to the Ritz with a bulge the shape of a ring box in his pocket.
But something has gone wrong. Very wrong. By the end of the evening Fran is howling in bed with a bottle of cheap brandy and one of Michael’s old socks.
In her quest to figure out why her life has suddenly gone down the pan, Fran comes up with a failsafe plan: live like a badger, stalk a stranger called Nellie and cancel her beloved Gin Thursdays in favour of drinking gin every night. But then Fran’s friends force a very different plan on her and it’s nowhere near as fun. How could eight dates possibly make her feel better?
But eventually she agrees. And so begins the greatest love story of all time . . .
It feels like yonks ago I read and fell in love with this book, looking at my Goodreads page, I suppose a month ago is a fair while, but hey that’s why I take notes and I do remember how much I absolutely adored this book, to the point that I told off Ms. Lucy on Twitter for making me actually cry and I couldn’t read anything else for three whole days afterwards and I told a random lady in Tesco to buy it because it’s really really good (as well as many other people). *ahem* Yes.
Lucy’s writing style pulls you in from the very first page when Fran is telling us about how and why her friends broke into her flat, only to be disgusted by the state they find her in, and demanding that she go on this “Eight Date Plan” while on her 3 month break from her boyfriend Michael. She has this fantastically hilarious way of wording things, and it’s such a British sense of humour. So often I’d burst out laughing at something or other ((and yes, I’ve stolen ‘back rug’)) and I’d get the “what are you laughing at?” look from my other half.
“Walking out of the building and into the cold, hard afternoon sun, I caught sight of Michael’s bottom. I’d not realized I was a bottom sort of girl until that moment but Michael’s was exquisite. Small, manly and firm, with just a hint of muscle. I wanted to cup it gently. And then firmly. And maybe give it a soft slap just to be sure.”
My only major criticism of the writing style itself was the overuse of exclamation marks. Whilst they did add a lot more excitement to the text, often they added a little too much.
Fran is just so absolutely mental and Bridget Jones-like with her clumsy, drunken, lovesick stalking ways. She has low self esteem yet loves her life and when she suspects her currently ex-boyfriend of dumping her on her birthday to date a posh, gorgeous girl called Nellie Daniels she gets a little crazy. Whilst it could all have been fixed by a simple text, it did make for a hilarious read and things wouldn’t have worked out quite the way they did. And that was a pretty freaking epic ending. I’m also completely in love with the side characters. Dave the Glaswegian cameraman who always seems to have a cigarette in his mouth and there for Fran through thick and thin. Barmy Stefania the nutty European, exact origin unknown. Duke Ellington the evil cat. And the dates! My word, they’re so hilarious! Though it isn’t all hilarity. Fran’s mother has been dealing with an alcohol problem for years and there are some very heartfelt dealings with that problem as she tried to get her mum to go to Alcoholics Anonymous. They all give the story a kick of life and it wouldn’t have been quite the same without them.
Should you read this book? Hell to the yes. There is a lot of swearing and a teeny tiny bit of sex but it’s not too adult in my honest opinion. I thoroughly believe that it’s too brilliant to miss. Often, I find chick lit has a lot of trouble with predictability but here I just didn’t see any of the twists coming and.. Kay, finished gushing. If you have a secret penchant for chick lit while nobody’s looking or a great stonking love of it, give The Greatest Love Story of All Time a go! I love it so much and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.