BOOK REVIEW: Thirtynothing by Lisa Jewell
I read Lisa Jewell's second novel, Thirtynothing,when it was released in 2000. It's always stuck in my mind as one of the best chick lit books I've ever read and I've enjoyed all of her subsequent books. So when I found myself in a chick lit slump, I decided it was time to re-read it, to see if it was as good as I remembered...
It was. In fact, I could have written this review with just one word – perfect – but you might have felt a bit shortchanged, so I'll expand.
Dig (short for Digby) and Nadine have been best friends since primary school. They spend pretty much all their time together and do everything that couples do. Except, that is, have sex. For that, they each have had a succession of unsuitable partners. And this has never (or almost never) been a problem.
But when Dig wakes up on the morning of his 30th birthday in bed with a girl whose name he can't remember and who turns out to be just seventeen years old, he realises something's got to change. Nadine is having the same realisation. Because she's just finished with her latest boyfriend for making her a cup of tea in an ugly mug.
Discussing their relationship problems, Dig and Deen agree that it's about time they each find someone who is right for them and stop making such immature and inappropriate choices.
And then along comes Delilah Lillie, Dig's first love, who left him at 18 and broke his heart. Horrified that Delilah is back in Dig's life (when Dig was with Delilah, he didn't have time for his best friend), Nadine tracks down her own first love, Phil...
I don't want to give any more of the story away, so I'll just say that I love every single thing about this book. Every detail is perfect: from Nadine's covetable flat (which was one of the main things I remembered about this book) to Delilah's nervous wreck of a dog. I feel like I know Dig and Nadine and know enough about Phil to avoid him if I saw him in the street. (Even the tiniest detail - Phil's lemon underpants, Nadine's wallpaper - adds to the book.)
Jewell is also known for writing beautifully about London and she really does. She makes it sound like this magical, cool, inspiring, exciting place, full of possibility. Jewell's world isn't quite the real world - I lived in London for 8 years; it's really none of those things - but it's not too far-fetched either. It's the real world with a golden glow and it's a world I'd love to live in.
Even eight years after the first reading, Thirtynothing remains one of my favourite chick lit books of all time.
Like this? Try Vince & Joy by Lisa Jewell