Friday, September 12, 2014

NOTHING SPECIAL by Jay Northcote

Pages: 184
Date: 21/08/2014
Grade: 4+
Details: Received from Dreamspinner Press

The blurb:

“Noah thinks he’s nothing special. Average height, a bit on the skinny side, and cute but rather geeky, he’s relentlessly ordinary. He certainly doesn’t expect to be noticed by Sol, the gorgeous dark-haired stranger Noah sees on his commute home most days. But when Noah’s friend, Dom, persuades Noah to take a huge risk in a bid to get Sol’s attention, things turn out better than Noah dared to hope. Noah and Sol start dating, and much to Noah’s surprise, his feelings seem to be reciprocated.

But Noah’s insecurities make him doubt Sol. He doesn’t believe he’s interesting enough or sexy enough to hold Sol’s attention, and as Sol tries to get closer, Noah’s instinct is to pull away to protect himself. If their relationship is going to survive, Sol needs to convince Noah that he sees Noah very differently than Noah sees himself. Because to Sol, Noah is something very special indeed.”

My thoughts:

This is a cosy read. The author draws you in and before you know it you’re at home in Noah and Sol’s world. The two young men feel natural and real from the moment they are introduced. They are recognizable which makes it very easy to become invested in their developing relationship. Noah and Sol are the sort of men you would love to be friends with. The fact that they are also very hot together is a very nice bonus.

 It is also an easy read. The story doesn’t tackle deep or shocking issues, what angst there is, is small scale, recognisable and not at all protracted. Reading Nothing Special is like wrapping yourself in a woolly blanket on a cold night or like an open fire in winter. It is pure comfort.

I have endless admiration for an author who tells her stories so well that the ordinary becomes special. Jay Northcote’s words paint a captivating picture. In fact, I found it impossible to put the book down once Noah and Sol got together. I had to keep going until I could be sure they were going to be happy.

And all of that made this a delightful reading experience. Of course there are times when I want my books to challenge me or push at my comfort levels. But there are at least as many occasions when I just want to lose myself in a story, get captured by the romance and enjoy the beauty of it all. Nothing Special is the book for such moments. It delivers a well written, easy to read and utterly charming story. For me it meant a few hours of pure reading bliss. And it also means I’ve found myself an author to add to my ‘comfort read’ list.

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