Oh, where to start! Author Cari Scribner absolutely nailed it with her debut novel, A Girl Like You. In a series of diary-style chapters, this novel follows 50-something-year-old protagonist Jessica Gabriel as she navigates life post-divorce. Post-second divorce, actually.
Jessica is wildly relatable as a middle-aged mom looking for love after finding and losing it. Or, in her case, finding and losing love twice. From her candid humor and honest observations about the subtle mundanities of her day-to-day life to the toads aplenty wading in the dating waters, Jessica is a dry-humored hoot!
Our protagonist is freaking adorable with her penchant for spooky Halloween-themed leggings and a low-key Amazon addiction that may or may not be a desperate coping mechanism. And as for dating? There are weirdos, fetish hounds, cheaters, and catfish galore. And the sex! Dear lord, the sex. 🔥
And when I tell you this book made me cry— oooweee, I cried through about five chapters of this book. Granted, the chapters are on the short side, but the tears! You will know which chapters I’m talking about when you get to them. You will know. Cari knows how to get you feeling like Jessica is, in fact, your best friend (or you!) so that before you know it, you’ve formed a heartswelling bond with the character.
Just about the only thing that didn’t quite feel believable to me was how incredibly well-adjusted, forthcoming, and involved both of her adult children appeared to be in her life. Then again, this is all from a single, appropriately limited POV— so the appearance of familial harmony could be mommy goggles talking. Also it could be my general cynicism. It might be my own interpersonal baggage.
By the time you get to the end of Jessica’s story, her evolution from divorced woman to simply woman is complete, and the growth she’s cautiously unfurled becomes quite clear. The ending was bittersweet, hopeful, and utterly satisfying.
A Girl Like You features a laughably believable set of circumstances that’s painfully relatable for many of us suburban moms with teenage kids pushing (or adult children well within) their 20s. I don’t think there’s much more I can rave about without possibly giving away the end, but if your mood is right for a different type of contemporary romance with a generous hit of surprisingly sizzling heat, pick this up. This book is an enjoyable romp that reels you into Jessica’s slice of post-menopausal singledom— online dating disasters, sexual triumphs, and all.
Get A Girl Like You to enjoy on the beach, or bookmark it for the divorce-celebration gift basket you might one day be putting together for a friend. 😉
▴ pretttty graphic sex scenes— Ladies, the sex is wild. It won’t seem like it at first, but once you get to them, those scenes are HOT. 🌶
▴ divorce — the entire story kicks off because of this, so the theme is present throughout
▴ (highlight to see – it’s a potential spoiler👉) unexpected death
Thank you to author Cari Scribner for the gifted copy!
Where to find A Girl Like You
Publication Date: February 9, 2021 (Circuit Breaker Books)