On Our Own Terms Adelaide Hipwell
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I like second chance romance and rock band romance so this was a no brainer, and I expected to enjoy it. And I did, but it didn’t quite have that magic spark I was hoping for that makes a five star read for me. Its a well deserved Four though and a story I was drawn into.
One of the things I really liked was that Harriet wasn’t some poor downtrodden waitress/bar tender/shopworker living in squalid conditions etc. waiting to be rescued by the Hero, (they have their place of course but sometimes its good to read about other types). Nope, she was incredibly clever, and had made millions through the sale of her apps technology. Money doesn’t bring happiness though and poor Harriet was devastated, gutted, had all her confidence sapped when her long time boyfriend and business partner is caught cheating…She leaves Australia and goes to stay for a while in LA with her sister and family, the adorable twins, lovely husband and Bitch Face and Sour Puss the pets. Their next door neighbour is none other than grown up teen boy band sensation Ned.
I loved Ned, he was such a gorgeous man, very natural and down to earth. He was tired of all the promo stuff they went through, tired of the hype and the pressure that led to one of the band members to attempt suicide and his feelings of guilt for not doing more. The guys from 4G are still close friends though, and we see all of them here in this book, see them grown up, pursuing other things but those teen pressures still affect them all. Ned’s attracted to Harriet instantly ( I LOVED their meeting where one of the twins was…well, read it!!), but oddly though they are both successful people they each think they’re not good enough for the other – its that old thing that haunts many of us, confidence, do we have what’s needed, can that special someone really want to be with us, when they are surrounded by people more successful, more intelligent, more handsome/beautiful, thinner/better body….nearly everyone has hang-ups about themselves somewhere, and sometimes they play on our minds too much.
They spend more and more time together, we see more of Harriet’s and her sister’s friends and the rest of 4G, and its a fun read. Usual spats with the media – they so annoy me the way they haunt celebrities, intrude on their privacy, but sadly those images sell and that’s why people suffer – why do people want to see private pictures, believe all the lies….? Still, it provides some great plots for the book, and adds that touch of realism that I so need. I really liked Ned and Harriet, thought they were perfect for each other, but they seemed to have not only their own inner voices to overcome but outside pressures too.
Its a story I really enjoyed, and I loved the way the band used their celebrity and the things that had happened to them to support a much needed cause. I spoke about realism earlier – that part felt very genuine, and sadly I can imagine just that happening today. I feel for some of the young celebrities around, surrounded by those who just want to make money from them and aren’t at all concerned about them as people, about their welfare or health. This part of the plot was all too real but Adelaide turns it to the good in the end.
Overall there’s a fabulous blend of romance and humour here with some wonderful one liners and snark, and I really want to read more from Adelaide. Its an excellent start for her writing career with this first novel.
Stars: Four, a terrific first book.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
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