The first book I read by Gemma Burgess, The Dating Detox, had me laughing until the end. I was looking forward to her second novel, A Girl Like You, and was hoping for more of the edgy chick lit, anti-romance story. And I was not disappointed. A Girl Like You opens up with a prelude, something that I know is often advised against, but completely works for this story. Why does Abigail have a black eye and is bawling on the floor of her shower- in Hong Kong? Who is the man that comes to save her? The prelude stuck with my while I read the story, and I commend Burgess on opening with a bang. As the story moves along, Abigail is newly single, coming out of a long term relationship, and in desperate need of dating advice. At 27, she is just now going to embark on her first first date. New flatmate Robert, the friend of her sister’s fiancée, is just the guy to help her. Robert teaches Abby how to date like a bastardette, going on several casual dates and thoroughly enjoying her newfound freedom. The supporting cast around Abigail is going through their own troubles, and their stories coincide perfectly with Abigail’s dilemmas.
I thought A Girl Like You deserves five big stars. Burgess writes with humor, wit, crass, and honesty about surviving singledom. I laughed my way throughout the chapters, yet connected with all the characters, not just Abigail. I didn’t find anything about the story real cliché either, which I thought was fantastic. I hate when I start a book knowing exactly what the characters are going to think, feel, and how they will act. This novel is chick lit, but very modern, very open, and very real. I think a lot of readers will be able to connect with the characters, if not Abigail’s then one of her friends. There is something for everybody with this story, and I highly encourage everyone to get a copy. A Girl Like You is my first favorite read of 2011![Rating: 5]