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Catherine Dolton, Independent Usborne Organiser

August Book Club Review - Unconventional

11th August 2017

Ideal for any fans of a rom-com, Unconventional is the perfect book to take on your holidays this summer.

For Lexi Angelo, conventions are all she knows. Accompanied by her faithful clipboard, and a series of ever growing lists, her life is an ordered event that she is in full (well almost) control of. That is until she meets author, Aidan Green, and her carefully planned world is suddenly thrown into disarray.

If you're looking for a character that you can truly relate to, then Lexi is definitely your girl. From her relationship with her best friend, Sam, to the multiple verbal malfunctions that she has across the novel, she is a girl that everyone has either been, met, or been friends with at some stage in their life. And although Lexi experiences the standard teenage dilemmas of love, friendship and family, this novel is far from contrived. There is a real sense of character growth throughout, but also a message that life isn't perfect, and true love doesn't have to be a fairytale - somehow far more believable to us than your standard teen romance.

Structually, the novel is divided into months, and takes us from April until October. It feels a bit like a David Nicholls novel, showing us the change in relationships over a passage of time, but also the power of what remains unsaid to alter the course of a life. Whilst the novel is told over months, not years, we are still left vulnerable to the division of place and time, and the impact that this has over the relationship between Lexi and Aidan.

We loved the modern epistolary element to the novel with the emails between Lexi and Aidan, and it was refreshing to see a relationship built upon witty banter, rather than mindless flirtation. Lexi's intelligence and conversation seems to be precisely what makes her attractive to Aidan, and we think that this is a great message for teenage girls worldwide. Aidan loves Lexi for all her quirks, terrible phrasing, and cringeworthy responses, and that is exactly why we love their relationship.

If you read one book this summer make sure it's this one. We are big, big fans.

Here's what our Organisers thought about it:

'I just couldn't put it down and was snatching all sorts of little bits of time to read just a little bit more. All that teenage angst and some fabulous characters. Sam just cracks me up!' Heidi Thomas

'I found it such an easy read, the characters were so relatable. It drew you into the story and made you want to keep reading. I loved it from start to finish. Got a little sad when I realised a few days after finishing that I had finished it haha.' Jessica Heyes

'This is my kind of book. I think I must be young at heart as I relate too well with these teenagers! Haha. Still reading it as I'm a slow reader and busy doing Mummy things. But what a great story. It's made me imagine running my own conventions!' Emily Archer-Doran

'I loved it. Really easy to read and loved the characters. I would love to read Hadyn 's book if it ever gets written.' Tes Maribecca Wells

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