Guest Review and Commentary by Eva Pugzlyte
Vivienne Summers got dumped by her fiancé, Rob, thrice, yet she prefers to look at it as being “on a break” and is certain he will return to her with the wedding ring and she can finally start living the perfect life as Rob’s wife. Clearly Viv doesn’t make the same mistake twice. She makes it thrice, just to be sure. As much as I wanted to shake her – because, Hello! Girl, you are you blind or stupid or both? This guy is clearly no good and you deserve so much better than this! – I couldn’t help but feel an embarrassing solidarity with her, because even though I’ve never even been close to the altar, I’ve been there. My girlfriends have been there and most likely you’ve been there, too. Oh you’re a “strong independent woman who don’t need no man”? You’ve so been there and don’t even try to deny it.
So there is Viv, in her crappy “temporary” (whatever you want to tell yourself) apartment, so deep in denial that it’s about to cross the core–mantle boundary of the planet. After all he just needs time to realise he can’t live without her and then he’ll be back. In fact she will show up at their mutual friends’ wedding looking fabulous and show him what he’s missing. (Oh boy…) And then he calls and tells her he’ll be with someone and for a moment I was really sure she had seen him for the bastard he is (even if we’re only on page 55 of 339), but instead she decides to bring a date, too (I can’t watch this…).
Enter Max Kelly, a six-foot-two, scruffy, dark curly-haired, poetry writing, motorbike riding, guitar playing, Irish painter, who happens to be Vivienne’s best friend. (Viv, is he single? Why is he single? Can I have his number? Oh my God, what happened to your hair?!) Five minutes with Max and it’s already plainly obvious he’s in love with her and mercilessly friend-zoned. (Oh please. Yeah sure, Viv, he’s not friend-zoned. And Guantanamo Bay is an all-inclusive holiday resort.)
Let’s skip to the wedding and Rob’s someone, an urban goddess shrouded in class and sophistication. (I understand you need a drink, Viv, but I really don’t think that’s a good idea. Oh that’s definitely a bad idea… Max, do something!)
The next several chapters are spent anaesthetising the previous chapters with vodka, champagne or a near lethal combination of both, breaking every glass in the flat and crying herself in to a stupor, achingly familiar to that time I spent a Saturday in bed with a bottle of wine and half a rainforest worth of tissues bemoaning a guy who dumped me via text message (Wait. What? I admit nothing.) In my mind I unconsciously start singing All by myself…
In the meantime she starts a website about heartbreak (because there seem to be a lot of brokenhearted people on the internet), while trying to keep her own head as well as that of her dim-witted assistant above water as they both are at danger of losing their jobs. And worst of all everyone around her seems to find sex or love or even worse…both. Even her nana! Is there anything worse than lovesick people all around you when you feel like your heart has been dug out of your chest cavity with a spoon? And then she picks up her last stuff at her ex’s house, her ex-house, which has been re-decorated by his now fiancée and she’s fighting with her best girlfriend (Here, Viv, you definitely need this drink more than I do.) and the hurt is so great she would do anything, anything, to not feel it even if it’s for a span of 30 seconds and Max is there like a gorgeous, rogue,Irish morphine patch and she surrenders to it (I don’t blame you, Viv. I resent you slightly, but I don’t blame you) and for a little while she can breathe again, but then Rob returns from their “break” and he’s on one knee and he’s holding a diamond ring, her diamond ring (Don’t you even think about it, Viv! Do you hear me?!) and it’s all she ever thought she wanted, but why does it feel so out of place in her flat and her life all of a sudden? And where is Max?
A girlfriend gave me this book saying she loved it because it felt so familiar (She has definitely been there). I took it with a smile, yet expecting it to be the thirteenth chick-flick in a baker’s dozen and I ended up pleasantly surprised, because Viv isn’t perfect (Sorry, Viv, I love you but you’re a mess). Viv is you. She is your best friend. She is your colleague. She’s the random girl you’re sharing an elevator with. You laugh with her, you cry with her, you root for her, you scold her. You have imaginary arguments with her in your head and then you make up with her. She’s the voice in your head. She is the worst of you and the best. She’s iconic. And that’s what makes this book so enjoyable.
Oh and Max is a sweater made out of sexy boyfriend material. (Yes, he’s yours, Viv. Let a girl dream… Get another bottle of wine, will you? Night’s young.)
About the Author
Emma Garcia has completed an MA in Creative Writing at Roehampton University and has published three children’s books (Boxer books). NEVER GOOGLE HEARTBREAK is her first adult novel loosely based around her own experiences of being in her thirties and single in London, of being dumped, getting over it, falling in love and getting married. She has worked as a waitress, technical assistant, chambermaid, sandwich designer, product manager, illustrator and teacher, and spent a long time travelling and working in Asia.
She lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and is currently working on the second book in the series, OMG BABY.
About the Book
Top tips to get over a broken heart
Don’t embarrass yourself in front of your ex
Avoid sleeping with your best friend
No drunken dialling!
… And never, ever Google heartbreak
After her ex-fiancé Rob breaks off their engagement for the third time, Viv knows she needs help to get over it. And, as she searches through tales of heartbreak online, inspiration strikes – she needs to set up her own website! A one-stop shop for the broken-hearted.
However, the advice she begins getting on it doesn’t seem to be helping her win Rob back. On the contrary, it seems to be pointing her in the direction of her best friend and partner-in-crime Max.
But where is Max when Viv needs him most? Will Rob ever see the error of his ways?
And, ultimately, is there a search engine powerful enough to stop us getting our hearts broken… or to stop us breaking anyone else’s?
About the Reviewer
Thinker. Dreamer. Independent. Observer. Night owl. Frank. Stubborn. Easygoing on the surface, but shy underneath. Prone to sarcastic remarks. Ticklish. Lover of arts. Foodie. Would never exchange the feel of paper under her fingertips for an e-reader. Often talks in references. Could eat her weight in licorice. Secretly suspects her house is trying to kill her and shall deny every accusation of klutzery on her behalf. Is known to on occasion name inanimate objects and oftentimes can’t decide whether she loves something because it’s beautiful, or whether it’s beautiful because she loves it.