Elizabeth Neep returns to the blog with a ‘trading places’ story that is so much more with
The New Me
Told from the perspective of Marley: an out of work struggling actress with plenty of struggles. Her best friend Anna is simply the opposite: a career that is thriving, a wedding to plan and the world as her oyster: and Marley wonders what it would be like. What would happen if people “thought’ she was Anna, and things were moving forward with everything she wants? It’s not a solid thought until she’s asked, by Anna, to preview a wedding venue that she’s unable to get to. From the moment she entered, Marley felt out of place – so adopting her best friend’s personality and traits and allowing people to think that SHE is Anna brings her a whole new perspective on things.
Suddenly she’s no longer the retiscent and quiet Marley, struggling with her parents’ wishes for her to have more, struggling as a single in a paired-off world. And the wedding planner – he’s just GORGEOUS and there are sparks. But – how long will she keep up this ruse?
To be honest, there wasn’t a ton to recommend Anna as a friend (she was pretty terrible) and Marley’s decision to ‘be’ her was immature at best and didn’t consider the consequences. But to see the world when people instantly thought “other’ of you simply by the force of an adopted personality and approach was telling – for Marley and the reader. Where this book proved impossible for me to put down was in the character of Marley – and her clear ‘fish out of water’ emotions when, posing as Anna, she got all that she thought she wanted. And just how (or when) she’d come clean and tell people that she wasn’t Anna – but Marley – as time wore on and her windows of opportunity closed.
This is where Neep excels in her storytelling – giving us characters that we wouldn’t necessarily approve of choices they make, and still we want to know what happens to them as we’ve seen (and understood) their reasoning in their choices. While I really could say that the romance, the other secondary characters and even many of the opportunities for Marley to come clean weren’t the focus here – the overriding muddiness and complexity of Marley – flaws and all, made her worth the read and an enjoyable one. Neep can create a character and let you into all of their emotions and feelings, see how they make choices and decide to rectify (or not) the bad ones, and have you cheering them along the way.
Title: The New Me
Author: Elizabeth Neep
Genre: British, Contemporary Romantic Comedy, Friendship, Second Chance, Setting: Britain
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 27 May, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 54 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
What if you meet the love of your life, but he thinks you’re someone else?
Anna and Marley are best friends. So when Anna rings Marley, panicking because she has to miss a tour of an exclusive wedding venue, Marley agrees to go in her friend’s place.
After being totally ignored by the glamorous receptionist who can tell she doesn’t belong there, Marley meets handsome hotel manager Cameron. He assumes she’s Anna and instead of admitting that she’s not the blushing bride, but the unlucky-in-love single friend, Marley plays along to see what it’s like to be Anna for a day.
After all, Marley is unemployed, single and was woken up that morning by her flatmate playing the bagpipes. Anna has a high-flying career and is planning the perfect wedding. Why wouldn’t Marley want to be her?
Only she wasn’t counting on Cameron being so smart and funny. Or this spark between them that she can’t ignore. She hasn’t felt this way about a guy in forever. But he thinks she’s somebody better.
Marley needs a way out of this mix-up to get her shot at true love. But her fictional fiancé is now standing in her way and it’s harder than she thought to stop living someone else’s life…
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.