Lucy married just the sort of man you might expect: a university graduate who runs his own business. Unfortunately he turned out to have serious dependency issues.
Joseph is shaking off the memory of his last date, a girl who ticked all the right boxes and also drove him up the wall.
On an average Saturday morning in a butcher’s shop in North London, Lucy and Joseph meet on opposite sides of the counter. She is a teacher and mother of two, with a past she is trying to forget; he is an aspiring DJ with a wide-open future that maybe needs to start becoming more focused. Lucy and Joseph are opposites in almost all ways. Can something life-changing grow from uncommon ground?
Just Like You is a modern and humorous love story but not your typical romantic comedy and as well as there being a mismatched couple some controversial issues are addressed. It is quite dialogue heavy but the writing is good and it didn’t feel stilted. The overall pace is fairly slow, however the storyline is engaging with some clever banter and lovely humorous moments. We mainly focus on Joseph’s and Lucy’s relationship and their interactions and the narrative shifts between these two main characters. This works well because you see a balanced view of the relationship from both perspectives.
The characters are strong and well written and the side characters also add additional humour and interest. I enjoyed seeing the relationship between Joseph and Lucy develop, they have very little in common and because of this there is always a feeling it will fade away. It was a struggle for them, particularly in terms of their age difference and race, but also their different political backgrounds, class and cultural divisions. It was a joy to see them overcome these obstacles and to do what felt right for them. They obviously felt comfortable in each other’s presence and wanted their relationship to work. The romance was very sweet, however I found myself wanting a bit more chemistry and passion between them.
The Brexit campaign and discussions surrounding it featured highly, which I found a bit tedious. I tend to glaze over where politics are concerned, but I can see this was to get across how politics can divide people with their differing opinions. That aside Just Like You is an entertaining and very readable book which is not too heavy considering the topics discussed. It is good to see a relationship with age, race and cultural differences gently and sensitively explored.
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK
Publication Date (UK): 15 April 2021
Page Count: 320
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊