Birdy Finch always finds herself in hot water, jobs, relationships, family. But she finally thinks she's cracked it when she takes up a job in the Scottish Highlands, although they do think she is someone else... I can't go that badly can it?
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of the book everyone is calling the "feel-good" book of the summer and I cannot thank Penguin enough! As this was Lizzy's debut I used her book as the Yuki Tsunoda prompt for my #F1ReadingChallenge prompt 'a debut novel' and coincidentally, she worked for Alpha Tauri! If you want to get involved in my reading challenge there are further details on my Instagram highlights or my pinned tweet on Twitter!
Initially, we are prompted to dislike Birdy, she is an unorganised mess who cannot do a single thing right by her own expectations, or ours, she often leads herself down self-destructive avenues so it is easy to see why some readers dislike her. However, I loved her. She was the perfect balance of hilariously unfortunate and willing to dig herself out of her self-dug holes. She is identifiable in a lot of our own characteristics and I think that's why I related to her so much, we can often feel like we're not always heading in the right direction but 'The Summer Job' sends a beautiful message of things working out in the end even if they do not seem to be. Birdy is the ideal main character to create a discussion on how not to go about things but her ability to self-reflect is what really sets her apart, the resolution shows realistic character development that leaves the reader satisfied.
When you get into the depths of the story you are under the impression that this will be a typical rom-com, but once things take a downward turn for Birdy even more of the plot is revealed. This add on to the plot could have easily have felt like a writing device to lengthen the book, but Dent expertly intwines it into the narrative so you are wondering about it, it isn't out of the blue and answers the questions left open-ended. Whilst this additional aspect of the plot did deepen the narrative I would have been happy without it, the story that follows Birdy up to Scotland is in itself, hilarious. Everything felt realistic, the progression of her downward spiral has it's ups and downs without dramatised events you only see in the movies.
As with any rom-com, the focus sits with the love interest of the main character, and James was the perfect partner to Birdy. The connection between them was written with passion and felt natural, Dent has the ability to write fiction that you could be witnessing in front of your eyes. 'The Summer Job' is a wonderfully funny and heartfelt piece of writing, it is definitely something anyone can enjoy, although give Birdy a chance, she will grow on you.