Title: I Never Fancied Him Anyway
Author: Claudia Carroll
Review Summary: My first foray into chick-flick romance novels, this turned out to be just what I was in the mood for. Light, but not too cheesy with believable characters; an interesting twist on the typical chick-flick; and of course a happy ending.
After reading the rather depressing classic, The House of Mirth, I needed something light and I Never Fancied Him Anyway was just the thing. Set in Dublin, I Never Fancied Him Anyway follows Cassandra as she tries to avoid falling for her best friend’s crush although her never-before-wrong psychic abilities tell her he’s the one. Complicating matters, she is offered a position as a talk show psychic working for her crush. This situation is made even more awkward when Cassandra realizes that her psychic powers take a vacation whenever her crush is around!
Although the situation has much potential for horribly embarrassing situations, there aren’t too many cringe worthy moments. I was glad, because being embarrassed for the protagonist is not a sensation I enjoy. The protagonist’s psychic powers were quite well done. They were never over-the-top or hokey and they obeyed believable rules. They weren’t just a plot device to stir up her love life; they were really a part of who she was. The ethical dilemmas she faces trying to decide what predictions to share added a little something which helped differentiate this book from all the other chick-flick plots out there.
The characters were by far my favorite part of this book. While some of them could be viewed as stereotypes (a spoiled rich girl, an environmentalist and feminist angry best friend), I would say that the author used stereotypes as a scaffold to which more depth was added. Every character had a unique voice, even bit characters who just wrote letters to our protagonist’s advice column. And each of these unique voices felt very real, perhaps in part because of pop culture references sprinkled throughout the dialog.
As an American, I also derived a certain enjoyment from the Dubliner accents and the clearly European words used throughout. Like the protagonist’s psychic abilities, it just added a little something to make this book stand out for me. It also helped that this book was precisely what I was in the mood for when I read it, so I would particularly recommend it if you’re also in the mood for a light, fun read.