Wednesday 19 July 2023

When We're Thirty by Casey Dembowski | Book Review

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When We're Thirty by Casey Dembowski
My rating: 4/5
Publication date: 21st April 2021

Hannah Abbott is stuck in a dead-end relationship and at a job she loves but that barely pays the bills. The four walls of her tiny New York City apartment have never seemed so small. She’s barely toasted her thirtieth birthday when her old college friend Will knocks on her door with an unexpected proposal. 

Will Thorne never forgot the marriage pact he made with Hannah, but he also never imagined he’d be the one to initiate it. One ex-fiancĂ©e and an almost-career-ending mistake later, however, he finds himself outside Hannah’s door, on bended knee, to collect on their graduation-night pinky promise.With both of their futures at stake, Hannah and Will take a leap of faith. 

Now, all they have to do is convince their friends and family that they’re madly in love. As long as they follow the list of rules they’ve drafted, everything should go smoothly. Except Will has never been good with rules, and Hannah can’t stop overthinking the sleeping arrangements. Turning thirty has never been so promising.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this.

Hannah Abbott is a music journalist working at a magazine. She and her best friend Kate have the closest bond but her relationship with boyfriend Brian isn't the one. 

Soon after her thirtieth birthday, Will Thorne, an old friend of Hannah and Kate's from college, turns up at Hannah's doorstep brandishing an engagement ring and asking Hannah to marry him. Way back in college, they had a pact. If neither of them were married at thirty, they'd get married. This is a pact that I think everyone is familiar with but this novel puts a wonderful spin on it. 

Hannah could do with his health benefits for her bad knee following a car accident, and Will needs to appear like he has his life together to his high-powered family of fellow lawyers, especially following his recent heartbreak.

Firstly, I loved every character. They were all so well developed and I felt immersed in their world. All their problems felt real. It wasn't an easy ride. I love a bit of forced proximity/fake dating where you know they'll end up together and the path runs smoothly, but this isn't the way for Hannah and Will. The turns in the plot were perfect and that scene where Hannah is interviewing Leonard Nulty, the lead singer of her favourite band, broke my heart a little following the recent disbanding of my own favourite! Highly recommend.

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