Let me start by saying that I wouldn’t categorize this book as a Romance, which I find to be pretty off-putting. When I think of romance, I picture a Danielle Steel drugstore paperback with little substance. Or one of Nicholas Sparks’ books that’s sure to put you to sleep mid-page. Or even one of those syrupy sweet Hallmark Christmas movies that has the same ending with different actors. No, I’d say this is more of a Rom-Com or Contemporary Fiction. It’s like A Series of Unfortunate Events meets something akin to a Sophie Kinsella book.
I read This Time Next Year in one evening and found the storyline and characters to be very relatable. By the end, I was rooting for Minnie to end up with Quinn and get the happily ever after she deserved. This is the story of love, elusive friendships, and the real-life events that plague even the best of us. Sophie Cousens shines in her very first novel.
Title: This Time Next Year
Author: Sophie Cousens
Rating: A Relatable Rom-Com
Page Count: 352
Minnie Cooper (yes, it’s an unfortunate name that plays into the whole story) is jinxed. Every year on her birthday something awful happens – a broken bone, a missed flight, getting locked in a bathroom at a club until the next morning. She was the second baby born in 1990 and missed out on a large chunk of change and the name she was supposed to have by mere minutes. The real New Year’s Baby – Quinn Hamilton – won 50 thousand pounds. stole her name, and all of her luck.
The story spans three decades in a non-linear timeline and details the encounters of Minnie and Quinn over the years. Minnie thinks their lives couldn’t be more different – he growing up wealthy, lucky, and privileged without a care in the world; she struggling, unlucky, and unhappy. But we quickly learn that money isn’t everything and behind the privileged facade, Quinn is struggling with bad luck and issues of his own.
There are triumphs and setbacks, family and friend drama. But in the end, at least the end of the novel, things do work out. And that’s true about real life as well – at the end of the story or even the chapter, good things do happen. Real people do get happily ever afters too. And, as This Time Next Year shows, life isn’t always perfect; it’s beautifully flawed and sometimes unfortunate, but things do tend to come together, which makes the struggles even more worth it.
So, where do you want to be this time next year?
This isn’t your syrupy sweet romance novel, not at all. If we’re sticking with the holiday theme, I’d liken this more to the movie Elf. Sure, the romance between Buddy and Jovie is there in the background, but it’s really much more than that. This is the perfect late December read if you’re looking for a little holiday sparkle.
If you liked this book, you might enjoy: My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella