What I Love About Dublin is Amanda Laneley’s debut novel which is also a brand new release – it was released on 15th October 2016 – and has received nothing but fantastic reviews on other blogs and also on Goodreads.
After looking at the cover, it looked like one of those cheesy romance books that adult women like to read but you know that old saying ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’? Well… I decided that the saying was going to have to apply to this book.
Let’s suppose you are a heartbroken woman trying to get over the pain of a failed relationship. You’ve always wanted to see the world. What do you do? Perhaps you would do what Sara does: travel alone to Dublin and leave your worries behind. She wants to start from scratch, to forget about it all; to enjoy the lush green countryside, the Celtic music, the famous pubs. However, her life turns upside down when she finds herself living under the same roof as Daniel, a handsome yet stubborn Irishman.
Both Daniel and Sara have their reasons for not falling in love, but love has other plans.
As soon as you start this book, you are thrown straight into Sara moving to Dublin and we instantly see her interact with the secondary characters. Sara is from Chile and connects with Fran as soon as she meets her. They are all of a sudden speaking Spanish to each other and laughing about everyday things. They are friendship goals.
Laneley’s writing is good – especially when it comes to the descriptions of Dublin. I loved the scenes where Sara was in the local pub listening to the local band’s play. It sounded like such an amazing, laid back atmosphere and one that I wanted to be in myself!
“Lots of people think that love is giving flowers or chocolates, or taking walks in the moonlight, but for me that’s all just decoration. Love is much more profound and true than that; it’s being able to really take care of the other person.”
– Amanda Lanely, What I Love About Dublin
At first, I found the dialogue to be a bit flat for the fifty or so pages. There was dialogue when there shouldn’t have been dialogue, there should have been a description. Laneley soon got rid of this though and the dialogue improved throughout the rest of the story.
I was mesmerised by the characters of Sara and Daniel – in a good and a bad way. I am Daniel. I really am. I saw myself in him so much and I could see why he acted the way that he did. But I also see a lot of myself in Sara and I can also understand the way she acted. My heart was broken, then mended, then broken again, only to be mended and broken about three more times. This was a positive and negative. I felt after the third time Daniel and Sara had had a huge argument about trust, that was enough. I was bored of hearing about them say the same things to each other over and over again. But I was still eager for them to work out and just get together. I wanted to see them happy with each other (even though Fran kept meddling and trying to hook Sara up with Pierre! UMMMMM… HELLO?! NO! SARA IS MEANT FOR DANIEL!)
This was one of the biggest let downs for me and most of the reason why I gave it three out of five stars. The repetition of the arguments between Daniel and Sara became boring and the plot started to lose its pace and nearly lost me. But then, something would happen and I would be right back on track again. But it was just the repetition of the storyline, it really annoyed me at times.
However, that ending is everything you could ever want for a romance novel.
This is a very good debut novel from Amanda Laneley and even though there was a bit of repetition and the dialogue fell flat in the first part of the book, I do thoroughly recommend this book as it is full to the brim of feels and you can’t help but love Daniel – no matter how he is.
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review