Thursday, 1 March 2012

You're the One That I Don't Want by Alexandra Potter

This fluffy chick-lit novel made a nice change of pace after all the serious stuff I've been reading lately, and I actually finished it in one sitting last night. 

You're the One That I Don't Want follows Lucy, a British girl who, aged eighteen, spent time in Venice at art college where she met the love of her life, an American boy called Nate. They would wander the streets of Venice, gazing into each other's eyes, spending lazy days in bed and generally being perfect together. When they heard about a local legend that lovers who kiss under the Bridge of Sighs at sunset can never be parted, they couldn't wait to get smooching. 

Fast forward ten years, and Nate is living back in America where he has long since married someone else. Lucy abandoned her dreams to be an artist, tried to mend her broken heart with a string of unsatisfactory boyfriends, and moved to New York, where she is working in a small struggling art gallery. Poor Lucy has never been able to forget her lost love though, and no other man has ever measured up to her ideal of him. When, by  strange coincidence, they meet again after all these years and Lucy learns that Nate has separated from his wife, the old attraction between them seems just as strong - in fact it's almost as if the universe wants them to be together. But are things really the same between Lucy and Nate and is he still her perfect man?

This is another chick-lit title which is following the trend of adding magic and superstition to add a bit of extra interest to the plot. I'm not usually a fan of this device and find it takes away from the realism of the story, but this was such a cheesy book anyway that it didn't really make a lot of difference. Not that I'm complaining - you expect a bit of cheese with a book like this, and You're the One That I Don't Want followed most of the conventions of the genre. We had the scatterbrained heroine, the kooky flatmate who's into crystals and hippy stuff, the capable and hard-to-live-up-to older sister and a couple of fairly stereotypical heroes for our heroine to choose from. The Italian sections and one of the subplots reminded me a little of the film Only You, and I did wonder if Alexandra Potter might have watched it too

The ending of this novel is such a total cheese-fest, I actually groaned aloud when I read it! Despite the cringey bits though, I still enjoyed my evening with Lucy and Nate; there are lots of funny sections and Lucy is such an endearing character it's not too difficult to switch off your cynicism filters and go with the flow. Three stars. 


  1. I've quite enjoyed her other books and I think I have a few of them to read including this one. Good light-hearted stuff :)

  2. Yes, this was fun - I'd certainly try more of hers if I'm in the mood :-)