We’re almost starting a new month and, as promised (as well as the usual Wrap-up and TBR), I wanted to share reviews of my most recent reads. I’ve already shared my thoughts on Out of Love by Hazel Hayes, The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon and Madam by Phoebe Wynne. Following on from the gothic tale, I retreated back into my comfort zone – picking up a light contemporary novel in the form of The Lonely Fajita.
I’ve heard plenty of people rave about Mann and this book so, before I even started reading, I was excited. Luckily, the book lived up to the high praise and proved to be one of the best books I’ve read in ages.
Lonely fajita: a person who is suddenly and unwillingly single.
It’s Elissa’s birthday, but her boyfriend doesn’t seem to care much – and she’s accidentally scheduled herself a cervical smear instead of birthday drinks.
Then there’s her borderline-psychotic boss, the fact she’s not making but losing money at her internship, and her sinking feeling she might not really be in love.
At least you can’t be lonely if you’re not alone. Right?
But Elissa’s just-good-enough existence is about to change, with single life, redundancy and homelessness all on the horizon. Signing up to live with an elderly person in return for free bed and board suddenly looks like her best option.
Elissa has no idea that Annie will turn out to be a woman of secrets and swearwords, and that living with her is about to shake up everything Elissa thought her twenties should be…
The Lonely Fajita was an absolute joy to read. In it, Elissa is navigating her twenties alongside becoming recently jobless, homeless and basically boyfriendless. Elissa is amusing and likeable and, as someone who is hurtling through my twenties, I couldn’t help but relate to her character.
Her boyfriend was awful. There, I said it. I love a good romance but this really wasn’t it, as her boyfriend was pretty rude and basically escaped the relationship and the narrative as soon as he could. I would’ve liked a bit more insight into the relationship and it breaking down, as it kind of just felt like he was there and then he wasn’t,
Saying that, what the book lacked in romance it made up for with the various friendships in the book. I loved Suki and Maggie and how realistic their friendships were (I’m learning, much like these characters, that you see friends few and far between in your twenties but it is just as wonderful as always every time). I think it made up for the problematic men in this book, as a collection of brilliant women manage to steal the show.
I think the introduction of Annie really livened up the book. I did enjoy reading about Elissa but she truly sparkles alongside the witty, wonderful Annie. She didn’t take any messing around so, in that and many other ways, I’m sure she’ll remind anyone that picks this book up of an older person they know. Although it was in order for her to find somewhere to live, I love that Mann has her character doing something as selfless as providing company and care for an older person. You don’t see scenarios like this much at all in books, but it serves as a reminder — if you can — to give your older relatives or friends a bit of love and attention.
I really enjoyed this book but I do feel like it could’ve been fleshed out a bit more. There was a bit of mystery around H but I would’ve loved a bit more insight into this as it kind of felt resolved and rushed at the end. I also think her relationship and job could’ve been fleshed out a bit more, as we see them both deteriorate but you almost forget about both things as the narrative rolls on.
Regardless, The Lonely Fajita was a joy to read. At times, I’m quick to think of the bad things about being single but books like this remind me that there is so much more to life. It was a gorgeous, funny book littered with wonderful women and fantastic friendships. It was the first book I’ve picked up by this author but I’m sure it won’t be the last.
You can buy this book here.