We Were on a Break by Lindsey Kelk

In brief: Liv and Adam’s dream holiday – the one that was meant to end in a proposal – didn’t quite end as planned. So when a tired and jetlagged Adam mentions he wants a break, Liv takes to heart – a relationship break. Over a short period of time, the separated pair get into all sorts of issues but will they find their way back to each other?

The good: It’s fun, funny and a lovely book to sit down and get lost in.

The not-so-good: The last bit happened just a little bit too quickly.

Why I chose it: Thanks to Harper Collins for the ARC – I’ve now just bought a stack of Lindsey’s books I haven’t read!

Year: 2016

Pages: 404

Publisher: Harper Collins

Setting: Small village England (with a touch of Mexico)

My rating: 9 out of 10

I’d been checking out Lindsey Kelk’s books (there’s a nice double pack available at Dymocks at the moment) when I got a message to say that her newest novel, We Were on a Break, was in the post. Yay! I couldn’t wait to read this, a new standalone novel about an accidental breakup. It was pretty much under my noses seconds after the postie had delivered it. This book is a truly funny romantic comedy of missed opportunities, misinterpreted moments and zany characters. I loved it!

The story is about Liv and Adam, who are on holiday at the start of the book. Adam has organised a romantic last night dinner to propose and Liv knows that the proposal has to happen soon because Adam’s brother told her best friend. But then Liv wears blister inducing shoes, Adam misreads Google maps and then gets cold feet…so no dinner, no proposal. Both are tired and annoyed, which sparks an inflight argument. When Adam states he wants a break of unspecified nature, Liv takes it to mean a break break from the relationship. Then Adam thinks that’s what she wants and the comedy of errors gets underway. What’s the etiquette for a break that might be temporary? Can you text your partner? Are you allowed to say partner? Is a Facebook like OK? Trying Tinder? Thinking sexy thoughts about your client? Both Adam and Liv are mixed up but not able to talk to each other.

Unluckily for Liv, the break happens just as her life changes dramatically. It’s not every day that your father retires and declares you’re the head vet in front of the entire village while you’re wearing a loaned dress stuffed with tissue boobs. Or when your friend and vet nurse teaches you Tinder out of the back of work. Liv doesn’t know what she wants down to the fine detail, but she knows she doesn’t want this. Her journey is one of self-discovery, gain of emotional intelligence and having the bravery to say it all.

Adam, all round nice guy who wears a chip on his shoulder (frequently made larger by his brother, app creator gazillionaire) about not finishing law school, might have it easier. But probably not. He’s lost without Liv and convinced it’s all his fault. In his misery, glamazon Jane (co-owner of the bar he’s building) could be something. Or not. Does he take the leap? Is this a test?

I loved the misinterpretations in We Were on a Break (like when Liv spots Jane and Adam in the pub and gets stuck trying to escape through the toilet window). It never feels forced or corny, but like a situation you could possibly find yourself in. (Who wouldn’t ditch Jane’s keys into the bush?) I think the fun and spontaneity is helped by some crazily fun supporting characters. David, Liv’s vet nurse, is just hilarious. He’s always got a wisecrack or a completely crazy solution to everything, but has a heart too. Abi, Liv’s best friend, is cynical and naughty, but deep down will do anything for her friends. Even Cass, who is somewhat of the odd one out being a new mum, has glimpses of wildness. For Adam, brother Chris is a total tool, but a sort-of lovable one. Nothing is too much for Chris, from a Ferris wheel at a christening to making sure Adam behaves himself. The characters really make this book an absolute riot.

I loved this story so much that I instantly went out and bought some of the Lindsey Kelk books I don’t already own. This is a great holiday read (whether you be in summer or winter) – just be prepared for strangers to look at you oddly while you wipe away tears of laughter.

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