Good. I need more friends.

I think we’ve all been there, honestly. There’s one point in most people’s lives where they develop this kind of silly obsession with the idea of finding a relationship. For many of us, this desire to find a boyfriend or a girlfriend or really just…anyone we’d like to kiss is kind of a right of passage. For me, personally, it was fueled by an overabundance of media that told me relationships were the one thing in life we ought to shoot for, that they would make me happy.

But that’s not all there is to life.

When exactly did I discover that…?

Ironically, my coming to the realization that finding love wasn’t the number one goal to make within my life came from meeting the love of my life. But, I think it’s worth noting that self-actualization can be sparked from anywhere. And recognizing the inherently flawed outlook that if we just find that one person we’ll be happy sets the stage for finding happiness through more than just a relationship.

There are other friendships to consider and personal goals to hold high within ourselves. And, if we happen to have someone alongside us to partake in our journeys, that’s great. But the journey isn’t in finding that one.

As much as a number of people who reviewed this book cited their distaste for it as directly resulting from the main character’s obsession with finding a boyfriend, I can’t help but think it’s a shame that so many had that as their reasoning for leaving the book behind. And, don’t get me wrong, I hate that idea as much as the next person. And, if this had been the whole focus of the novel I would have been right there with them.

But, I think it’s worth noting that this really isn’t the core message of the novel.

“But I liked getting lost with you.”
Getting lost wasn’t the part of tonight that I liked the most, though. It was the feeling of being found.

Gosh, now don’t get me wrong. This book isn’t perfect. I certainly don’t see myself purchasing it or reading the whole thing again. And the title does a huge disservice to the truths I think Kristy Boyce actually wanted to impart. Hot British Boyfriend really isn’t about the boyfriend. Nor is it about the search for love or the end romance. What this book’s really about is finding yourself and realizing your purpose.

And while I don’t love Ellie’s purpose, I do love that she was able to embrace herself in order to find it.

So, this is a teen rom-com. Obviously, our main character Ellie finds a boy in the end. But the important thing to recognize is that he’s not all that she finds. In fact, the titular moment in this novel comes from the moments that Ellie is able to recognize the truths of what she needs. And no, that’s not a boyfriend. Instead, it’s a friendship, companions who help her be her true self. It’s having more than one person to turn to in moments of turmoil. It’s having a plan for her future.

I don’t love this book, but I love its message enough to say that we need more books like this.

You are awesome as you are, with or without a boy in your life.

Hot British Boyfriend is not perfect, but it does a few things right. I do think that the message could have been driven home a little better and I don’t care for how boring I found the moments of Ellie’s self-actualization outside of her relationships. But, I loved that she was able to develop some pretty fantastic friendships.

I also appreciate the fact that I was able to laugh while reading this.

On the diversity front, I’ll say that a fair attempt was made? I didn’t particularly care for the fact that the Indian culture was represented by Chicken Tikka Masala–but, this was included in the part where the rich white family was eating the food, so maybe it was an unfinished commentary? Still, Boyce had an Indian character who could have existed as a foil to the rich white boy’s vision of Indian food…so, missed opportunity?

Eh, I don’t feel great about that one, to be honest.

Overall, there are some good things in this book that made it worth reading. And I’m happy that I did.

I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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