Title: The No-Show
Author: Beth O’Leary
Release Date: April 12th, 2022
Genre: Adult Fiction – Contemporary – Romance
My rating in stars:
My rating in words:
I loved it!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth.
These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: They’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up–Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.
Once they’ve each forgiven him for standing them up, they let him back into their lives and are in serious danger of falling in love with a man who seems to have not just one or two but three women on the go….
Is there more to him than meets the eye? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken?
Three women who seemingly have nothing in common find that they’re involved with the same man in this smart new rom-com by Beth O’Leary, bestselling author of The Flatshare.
MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):
“I don’t want you to be perfect. Why would I want that? I want you. I want all the parts of you, the broken ones, the ones you’ve kept hidden away.”
I need to be honest – though this book was on my highly anticipated list (due to the fact that it’s a Beth O’Leary novel and I LOVE her books), I was still VERY hesitant to pick it up. You see, while the premise sounded intriguing – three women, all stood up by the same man on Valentine’s Day – I wasn’t sure if it was the right book for me. Because this didn’t sound like a romance to me. How could it be a romance if the main male protagonist is seeing three different women at the same time? How could I ever like a book when the so-called hero already sounds so very unlikeable? How could this have the happy ending I love and need in my romance books?
That said, I did want to give it a try (like I said, it’s Beth O’Leary), and after I read a few reviews that all said similar things – this is not a rom-com in any way, but give it a try anyway because you might be surprised – I decided to just go for it. And no, it’s definitely NOT a rom-com, but there is romance. And yes, though I started off despising Joseph Carter quite a lot, I quickly learned there was more to him than meets the eye and by the end of the book I loved him. And that ending? It felt satisfying to me and both deeply emotional yet hopeful and uplifting at the same time.
So I wanted to write my own short review about this – so I can maybe convince someone else who has been in doubts about giving The No-Show a try anyway. Because it may not be a fluffy rom-com, but it is quite brilliant and definitely worth the read.
I can’t go into detail about the plot. This is one story where it’s best to go in blind and just let the plot take you on the rollercoaster ride it’s meant to do. It may not always be easy. There will be times when you want to shake all of these characters to get their acts together, and none more so than Joseph Carter himself. Especially if you’re going into this thinking it’s a rom-com, you will end up disappointed. But if you go into this just being open to whatever is coming, you may end up experiencing a wonderful bookish journey.
What I can quickly delve into is the wonderful character development. Siobhan, Miranda and Jane are all such wonderfully developed characters and I grew to care so much for each and every one of them. They were all so well fleshed out, each with their own history, issues and struggles and inner thoughts. We get the story from all three of their POV’s and there was never a chapter where I was bored or wanted to skip ahead to the another POV. Each one of them also had their own crew of friends and family around them and it was fun to see them all interact – Siobhan with her two close friends, Miranda with her co-workers and sisters, and Jane with the other people at the charity shop. I was invested in every single one of their stories, development and relationships.
Which brings me to Joseph Carter. Though the story is more about the three women than it is about Joseph, he still felt like such an integral part. And I thought he was written perfectly. He’s a sweet and very charming, nerdy man and so it’s easy to see why each of these women fall for him. And yet there’s a constant mystery surrounding him. He’s very closed off and you can tell he’s hiding things and is never fully himself, never fully open with the women in his life. It’s an enigma that will have you turning into a detective looking for clues while reading the book. It’s what will make you unable to put the book down, because you’ll need to find out what’s going on.
Also, I just wanted to say that I listened to this on audiobook and I really enjoyed the experience. It’s a cast of three narrators and each one of them had a really distinct voice that seemed to perfectly embody the character. One of the narrators is Evanna Lynch and though I didn’t think I could ever see her as anyone other than Luna Lovegood, she really became Siobhan for me during this read. So if you like audiobooks, I highly recommend trying this one.
Overall, I can only recommend this story. It may not be a rom-com, but what it IS is an emotionally beautiful and well-crafted story about love, friendship and moving forward. The storytelling is amazing, and the plot is unpredictable and poignant. Highly recommend!