book club

Smooth Book Club: How Not To Fall In Love, Actually

By Sangeeta Kocharekar February 28, 2017

For our third Smooth Book Club, we picked How Not To Fall In Love, Actually

Our book-loving Smooth team all read romantic comedy How Not To Fall In Love Actually (Simon and Schuster) by Catherine Bennetto for this month's instalment of the Smooth Book Club.


We sat down to discuss the romantic comedy novel, and here's what we thought.

"I really enjoyed this book and found it easy to read, and quite addictive! Right from the start you identify with the main character, Emma, and are taken on an emotional roller coaster with her. It is a typical rom-com with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and moments where you  genuinely feel sad or furious on Emma’s behalf. You desperately want everything to work out for her and even though the story line is extremely predictable, you will find yourself letting out a sigh of relief at the end when like every good rom com, she finally gets her happily ever after."

- Zoe 

"With a title inspired by one of my favourite movies, I was sure that I was going to love this book. Unfortunately, I’m not quite sure it totally lived up to its namesake… Don’t get me wrong, I found it entertaining and wanted to find out what happened to Emma and her surprise baby. But as someone who was once 27 and living in London, I couldn’t really relate to the main character or anything happening in her life. She was way too mature. And I mean, who can afford to put away £1,000s whilst living in London at 27? I sure couldn’t.

"I also found the plot went from insanely unrealistic to way too neat and tidy at times. She conveniently inherits an amazing house but just so happens to live next to a geriatric voyeur. Hmm. However, I WAS a big fan of Joe… And I’m glad that it all ended on a happy note!"

- Amy

"I thought this would be a book I would really enjoy - I do love a good rom-com after all - but this one didn't quite hit the mark for me unfortunately.

"Within only a few chapters our leading lady has had so much happen to her it's ridiculous! Halfway through the book more has happened to this girl than has happened to me in five years (maybe not true but you get the picture). 

"A lot of the things that happened were a little too 'convenient' to be actually believable in my opinion and the background characters weren't very strongly developed (some were plain annoying) - both of which let the book down in my eyes. 

"I'd maybe recommend this book to someone who is going through a breakup, because surely your situation can't be as bad as our lead's!"

- Marni

"I was really looking forward to reading How Not To Fall In Love Actually; the chaos behind the story really intrigued me. I loved that the protagonist was a 27-year-old woman who was sort of stumbling through life, trying to land on her feet. There were elements in the story that I felt I could relate to, which is always a big plus to me, but there were times where I didn't feel like the events or dialogue seemed realistic. Being a 27-year-old, at times I found myself thinking, "I'm not sure people really speak like that..." It took away from the immersive experience of reading a book.

That being said, I still felt for Emma and loved seeing her experience come full circle. It was nice to be able to follow along on her, er, eventful journey. And I think I kind of have a crush on Joe, just quietly."

- Steph