After reading Maggie Harcourt’s debut novel, I was keen to read more by her. The first novel, about friendship, was really relatable and heartwarming, and Maggie’s talent at writing friendships and writing fun fiction is prominent in her debut, and is still here in Unconventional. On no reflection of Maggie is my rating for Unconventional. It’s my own fault that I didn’t realise it was a romance novel until I started reading it. Personally, I’m not big on romance, so this would never be a favourite of mine.
What I did like about this book was the conventions. Being an independent author, and an all round self-confessed geek, I love conventions. I love trading at them, I love visiting them, and I love the atmosphere. I love seeing people dressed up, people enjoying life, and people joining together to enjoy what they enjoy and be themselves. Maggie captures this perfectly, and it’s great to see a team of hard working people running these conventions across the UK. And, as mentioned previously, the friendships are great and fun, and you can truly imagine those friendships are actually very real. Many people would relate to this.
Maggie’s writing is also very good. A few times I laughed, other times I smiled. It is relevant and current, and it really works.
But like I say, I didn’t particularly enjoy the romance. I never do enjoy novels that rely on romance all the way through. I find them boring – quick to say that this novel never left me feeling bored – so I don’t tend to actively read romance novels, and in this case, I found that Lexi and Aidan barely knew each other. But Lexi is convinced he knows her. Maybe it’s because she’s so young, so she gets carried away. However, saying all of this, the novel wasn’t all lovey dovey, and the parts I mostly enjoyed were the convention scenes and the stories around it, and ones that didn’t rely so heavily on Lexi and Aidan.
I think the biggest theme of this novel is fun. And I’m glad Maggie Harcourt has kept that theme running throughout. If you like fun, romance novels, then this is probably for you. Not quite for me, but enjoyable nonetheless.