311 pages ~ ★★★☆☆ ~ Netgalley eARC
Elizabeth Neep’s debut novel The Spare Bedroom the story of an ultimate encounter with an ex; when Jess decided to travel to Sydney for a fresh start she didn’t expect a lot of the things that happened; she didn’t expect the ‘spare room’ booked to actually be in a shared bed. She didn’t expect to bump into her university boyfriend after being caught in heavy rain and she didn’t expect to end up moving into his spare bedroom. Jess is very keen that Sam doesn’t realise she’s that she’s got nowhere to stay and no job lined up so lies that the apartment she’s rented isn’t quite ready yet and she’s starting her dream job in just two weeks. Excited to unexpectedly see an old friend, Sam offers Jess his spareroom with assurances that his housemate will be completely fine with it.
As Sam’s housemate turns out to be his fiance and the wedding just a few weeks away, Jess has to face facts that maybe she isn’t as over Sam as she thought she was and starts imagining her fresh start in Sydney could turn into a fresh start with him.
Mainly set in August – October 2020 it was almost strange to read a book set just a few short months into the future and be able to think in reality maybe Jess wouldn’t have been able to travel to Australia or Sam wouldn’t have been able to just walk over to her in a shop – none of this is a detriment to the book, I think it just highlighted just how unexpected our current lives of social distances were.
Overall this was quite a light-hearted read, here were quite a few funny moments and several cringey moments where I really wanted to shout at Jess to stop what she was doing; it really this centres around Jess working out what she wants to do with her life, separating her own dreams from ones that other people have told her she should work towards. An enjoyable read that’s got me thinking about all differences between my life now and what I’ve imagined it would be when I graduated.
The Spare Bedroom is released today and you can currently pick this up on Kindle for just 99p! Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy this in exchange for an honest review.