Allison Pearson’s newest novel, I Think I Love You, was highly anticipated following her widely successful best selling novel, I Don’t Know How She Does It. I for one was very excited to read it. It was on the front doorstep of our new apartment when we arrived. After much delay from a major move and work, I picked up the copy and dove right in…
Except that my dive into Pearson’s new book was like diving into mud. I got stuck almost immediately. I Think I Love You is about 13-year-old Welsh girl, Petra, in the 1970s who is madly in love with the singer and celebrity David Cassidy, and dreams about becoming his wife. The story also follows a newly graduated writer, Bill, who ghost writes letters from David Cassidy for a fan magazine. He desperately keeps his job a secret from his girlfriend. Petra and Bill eventually cross paths at a Cassidy concert.
With the exception of the second part of the book, which catches up with Petra and Bill some 25 years later, the story felt like it was a teen novel. I was very disappointed. It took a very long time for me to get through the book and then another good long time to sit down and write a review.
Pearson’s first book, I Don’t Know How She Does It, was a witty and fast-paced story that kept me engaged from the first word to the last. I Think I Love You did the opposite. If I hadn’t been given a copy to read and review, I would have not finished it.
I applaud Pearson for trying her hand at a different style of writing from her first novel but I hope she writes another book going back to a technique that worked for her the first time. Pearson did a great job of capturing the essence of the '70s and clearly relies on her own memories of the era. She also includes an interview she did with David Cassidy at the end of the book, which gives interesting insight into the story development and which I thought was more fascinating than the story itself.
I can’t tell you not to read I Think I Love You but I don’t necessarily recommend it. I do however recommend I Don’t Know How She Does It.