You, Again – Nick Spalding
Nick Spalding is guaranteed to make me laugh out loud in every book he writes, and this one is no exception. Nick identifies contemporary issues and crafts situations around them with his own unique and humorous style. You, Again is a story of Joel and Amy travelling on holiday to the Maldives for the first time since their honeymoon, only this time with two different partners.
Joel and Amy were realtors and once a high-flying successful couple, complementing each other perfectly and revelling in the winning reputation. Following a botched booking and lost sale of a high-end customer, Amy lost her job and blamed Joel for his negligence and failure to support her. Consequently, their marriage ended, and now they are with two new partners, but still profoundly scarred and angry with each other.
As Joel and Amy both tell the story, we discover Joel and his girlfriend Cara in the airport, ready to check-in for their flight to the Maldives, when they spot Amy with her new partner Ray. Surely, they can’t be taking the same flight. Surely, they can’t be going to the same resort. Surely, they can’t be staying in adjacent water bungalows? Joel ponders, “This is the real world, and coincidences don’t just keep piling up on top of one another.” He is right. In the real world, that wouldn’t happen, and adults that they are also wouldn’t act the way they did. I was disappointed that the storyline was so artificial and convenient to enable the comedic moments. The scenes can be quite outlandish, but if that is enough to satisfy then you will be rewarded with funny sketches and enjoyable slapstick humour.
The characters have little depth and, in many ways, are unlikeable. They make the most half-baked decisions that had me shaking my head, so my experience consisted of throwing my head back laughing or shaking my head in disbelief. I’m probably going to get whiplash. There is a formula to Nick’s novels, and you pretty much know the ending before you open a page – he brings struggles, disaster, comedy and a reaffirming life message. I knew exactly how this story would end and who the underhanded villain was.
Criticism of this book aside, I will always read Nick Spalding and lift one of his books when I want something simple, light-hearted and funny. My rating for the book is 3.5 stars, and I want to thank Amazon Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ARC in return for an honest review.