Monday, 6 July 2015

Book Review - If You Don't Know Me By Now by A. L. Michael - Blog Tour

Amazon UK
Title: If You Don't Know Me By Now
Author: A. L. Michael
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Carina
Publication Date: 2nd July 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Imogen has come to London to make it as a writer. At least, that was the plan. Finding herself in a dead-end job serving coffee to hipsters was not on her to-do list. And even if gorgeous colleague Declan does give her more of a buzz than a triple-shot cappuccino, Imogen can feel her dreams evaporating faster than the steam from an extra-hot latte.

Until her anonymous tell-all blog about London’s rudest customers goes viral – and suddenly, Imogen realises that landing the worst job in the world might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to her! As long as she can keep her identity to herself…

Have you ever been into a coffee shop, especially one of those big global brand name chains, and then looked down your nose at your barista, or changed your order many times, or just generally what whatever reason been less than polite, then this book will make you feel incredibly guilty. 

As Imogen has just moved to London, hoping to become a writer, and the only job she can get is at a coffee shop. What she hadn't counted on was how angry and upset the customers were going to make her feel the whole time, and thus with a little prompt from Declan, a barista from another branch, who may fancy Imogen without fully admitting it, she starts an anonymous blog, discussing her most annoying customers. 

From this blog she then gets offered to write it for The Type, and a chance to be mentored by her idol Tabby (From A.L. Michael's previous book The Last Word), and the blog and her writing go viral, so long as she stays as a barista full of rage. 

If Imogen's blog was real, I would have happily subscribed to it. All the posts that she writes are hilarious, but I can see the truth of them. They are all instances with customers and personality types that you will have witnessed somewhere in your life (especially in London). The marginally racist customer expressing surprise that there is an English speaker working in a coffee shop, the parents which try to get their young non talking baby to express a preference in the order, the rude and obnoxious people that reckon they are always right. There are mentions of all the annoying members of the public you may encounter in your day to day life in the hospitality industry. 

The blog is fantastic, but so is Imogen's story generally. I loved her "casual" relationship with Declan, her friendships with Emmanuel and Tabby. Her family only has a small part to play, but from what we see of Costas he is your typical Greek dad, and the mentions of the extended family, well think "Big Greek Family" and you will be in the right sort of ball park. 

This book shows that it is possible to move to London, to follow your heart and to achieve your dreams, even if it doesn't all come about the way you expect.  I absolutely loved If You Don't Know Me By Now, and would love to hear more from Imogen's character in the future. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Carina for the review copy of this book. This was my honest review.

Thank you to A.L. Michael for allowing my to be part of her blog tour. It was an absolute pleasure to read this book. 

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