Are you looking for a fun, light weekend read? A book that loves books as much as you do? While you were reading might be just what you’re looking for. Thanks to Simon and Schuster (Australia) publishing for giving me an advanced copy of this one to read!
What’s it about?
While you were reading is a contemporary romance novel by Ali Berg and Michelle Klaus. The book follows Beatrix Babbage (‘Bea’) as she seeks to start over in a new city after accidentally ruining her friends wedding. Bea dreams of living life to the fullest, meeting new people and landing the dream job. But it doesn’t take too long for her to realise, not all things in life go to plan.
With only her books, barista and cleaning lady to keep her company it’s not long before Bea finds herself feeling very lonely in the city. Her job makes her miserable and she hasn’t had the romantic adventure she was hoping for.
When Bea stumbles across an annotated novel in a second-hand bookstore the scribbles seem to be there just for her. Bea becomes determined to find the author of these notes, and in her quest to find out who wrote them discovers more than she could have imagined.
What I liked the most?
As a Melbournian myself I really enjoyed reading a book that is set in my city! The places Bea visits, the cafés and bookstores she talks about are described perfectly and Berg and Klaus have done such a great job distilling the feeling of Melbourne into this book.
As a book lover I really enjoyed all the literary references in this book! As one who has recently started a book blog I related to Bea’s feeling of joy when you discover someone who loves books as much as you do. If you’re reading this blog I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about! This book read like chatting to a friend you’ve known for ages, it was comfortable and fun.
The characters were unique and quirky, and just really enjoyable. At different stages in the book you see some characters motivations be more revealed and that’s always fun to watch.
What I liked least?
As a romance novels go this one was at times a little predictable, but I felt like the story managed to go a bit deeper than just being about girl-meets-guy-they-fall-madly-in-love so I think some of the predictability in plot was made up for by that.
There was a lot of name-dropping in the book which I’ve already mentioned (of places and books). I suppose this might annoy some readers, but I found it showed how much the authors love the city of Melbourne and this story.
Bea as a character is flawed, but wonderfully so. No one is perfect so I think the best characters aren’t either. I found her antics entertaining.
Should you read this book?
If you love all things books While You Were Reading is going to be a lot of fun for you! For young adult fiction lovers I think this book has a lot to offer. The popular culture references and tone of writing reminded me a little bit of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.
The romance storyline in this book is sweet, and had some really unique elements to it. I really enjoyed this book as a light fun read. I actually laughed out loud in some parts of this book, which I rarely do!
Going away on holiday? This book would make a great vacation read!
While you were reading by Ali Berg and Michelle Klaus is available to the purchase from 1st July 2019! Add it to your TBR (To be read) list!
About the author?
I don’t always do this segment on my reviews, but I thought I would today because I was super excited! Have you heard of ‘Books on the Rail’? No? Well! let me tell you about it.
As well as being superstars for writing this awesome book, Ali Berg and Michelle Klaus are also the founders of ‘Books on the Rail’. A Melbourne based organisation that formed to help commuters rediscover the humble novel and peel their eyes away from their iPhones. The initiative gets ‘book ninjas’ to leave books on trams, buses and trams which are then available for people to read! How cool is that?!
Have you ever spotted on of these books on your commute? I have! I read a few on my commute to and from uni. Whenever I spy one of these well-loved paperbacks on a bus, train or tram it brings a smile to my face! To find out more about this awesome movement, check out their website here.
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It sounds like an interesting read.
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Thanks Margaret, it was a fun read 😊