Hello to Victoria Cooke and the birthday blog blitz for her novel, The Secret to Falling in Love. Happy Book Birthday Victoria.
Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta’s and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.
That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!
Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.
If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…
I have reviewed the book below but first, Victoria has shared an extract from the novel. I hope yo enjoy.
***** beginning of extract*****
Here, main character, Mel, is reflecting on her grandmother’s romantic encounter with her grandad. This memory helps plant the idea of a technology detox in Mel’s mind.
I stumbled across a picture of me and my grandma. My throat ached as a lump formed. She’d died just two months ago, and I’d missed her ever since. She was my rock who I could talk to about anything; she knew me better than anyone else on the planet. I lifted my glass.
‘To you, Gran – I hope you’re raising hell up there.’ The last time I’d spoken to her, she’d told me to stop worrying about finding a man.
‘You’re not going to find anyone in there,’ she’d scolded, pointing to my laptop. ‘Do you think that’s how I met Grandad?’
I didn’t reply. Gran’s questions were usually rhetorical, which you discovered if you tried to answer.
‘No, I put on my make-up; made sure my best dress was darned, washed and pressed; and I went out and smiled at boys. It was easy to catch an eye or two.’ I’d chuckled at the time. Of course, things were different these days, but I enjoyed her stories so played along. ‘Grandad asked me if I wanted a drink. But I said a firm no.’
‘No?’ I’d queried, wondering if she’d not been attracted to him at first, if she was trying to tell me to just settle for someone.
‘That’s right. I said no. He was the most handsome man in the club. If I’d have let him buy me a drink, he’d have thought I was an easy catch, and he’d have lost interest soon enough.’
‘Ah, you played hard to get?’
‘Damn right I did. He practically begged me to court him.’ She’d chuckled.
I wiped away a small tear that had accompanied the memory.
***** end of extract*****
My verdict on The Secret to Falling in Love:
It is accurate to say that Melissa is #obsessed with social media.
Instead of noticing the life around her, she finds that she is constantly glued to her phone whilst posting status updates about her great life.
Her challenge is to go tech free for a whole month.
When she is forced to look at her proper offline life, Mel knows she needs to make some changes.
During her technology ban, she meets two lovely men without the use on online apps.
She believes there could be hope but which one does she choose?
This book made me so nostalgic for my childhood where if you wanted to talk to a friend, you called them on a landline phone or walked around to their house and knocked on the door. It made me realise how reliant on technology I have actually become, not to mention how grateful I am to grow up without the scrutiny of online social media.
This book has really made me think about the amount of times a day I pull my phone out and check apps, messages and e-mails. Some offline days are needed I think.
Sometimes, I think ignorance to what is going on can be bliss.
Mel is a great wonderful character. She’s friendly, relatable and above all, likeable. I loved her.
Gemma and Amanda were also great characters. I didn’t think much of Mel’s boss though.
I am very much team Scott when it comes to the men but I recommend reading and making up your own mind.
Victoria’s style of writing is like sitting down with a close friend, a drink and chatting the night away and having the best time. I read this in one sitting and was so engrossed. I didn’t want it to end and I would love to know what happens next.
The Secret to Falling in Love was witty, romantic and thought provoking. Fans of Sophie Kinsella and Bridget Jones would love this book.
Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education.
She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling.
Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man.
Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.