- 371 pages
- Easy romantic comedy
- Developed characters
- Takes place in Channel Islands
- Love triangle
- Low “spice” factor
If you love a good romantic comedy as much as I do, Just Haven’t Met You Yet might have come across your Goodreads recommendations, and with good reason. Sophie Cousen’s latest novel, following her bestseller, This Time Next Year, is a romance following the story of Laura Le Quesne as the 20-something lifestyle reporter from London jets off to the Channel Islands off of the coast of France, specifically Jersey. She is tasked with writing a feel-good love story following the nature of how her parent’s met—yet, she learns not everything her mother told her is true. As Laura follows the story of her own parents, she is determined to have a meet cute of her own. Will it be the attractive man she switches her luggage with at the airport? Or has she begun developing feelings for the surly cab-driver she’s commissioned to help her track down suitcase man and the locations of her parent’s footsteps?
Just Haven’t Met You Yet is one of the slower rom-com novels that I’ve read. Cousens takes the first 100 pages of the novel to set the tone of Laura’s silly romantic notions and her unreliability as a narrator. In fact, at points, it seems that any of the other characters—from Laura’s own friends to the cab driver, Ted—are more reliable than our own heroine. Her friends are constantly reminding her that her true love fantasy doesn’t exist. It isn’t until she begins to unravel the love story of her own parents that she begins to admit this might be the case. Even when faced with the truth, Laura still clings to the need to fall in love with one of the men she has met on Jersey in her three-day span of writing the story. While it’s not clear why she feels so obsessed with finding a partner on the island, the novel closely follows her feelings as she realizes that the person she thought she wanted isn’t what she wanted at all.
As the story comes to fruition (in the last 100 pages), it’s easy to believe that Laura might actually pick herself—which is of course, what most females want to read—a feel good story where the character picks herself over a man. Yet, this is a romance and it wouldn’t be a rom-com without an unrealistic jump into a relationship full of red flags—and this is exactly what Laura does…twice. Just as the reader begins to trust Laura and her realizations, she once again makes a predictable decision, and magically decides she has feelings for the cab driver.
As the reader, this was a tough one for me. On one hand, Cousens is an excellent writer that takes the time to develop her characters, from the main heroine to both male leads, to even the friends that are only accessible by phone during this trip. The author gives each character realistic flaws, which most readers would value in a rom-com. The characters are hilarious, relatable, and imperfect, which is the seemingly perfect combination. Yet, in a way, each character in the “romance” aspect of this story felt a bit forced to me. At any point, it’s completely absurd for a woman to meet not one, but two men she could see herself marrying on a trip to a small island, and yet she does. Then, she falls for both of these men, where she even points out that she may love one of the male leads—in the timespan of less than a week. While I did find the history of the island and the story of Laura’s parents to be interesting, I truly think this book would have been better off had the story been simplified. I’d like to have seen Laura trust herself and her intuition.
Regardless of the reader’s opinion, there’s quite a bit to unpack in this novel. Between the main character’s parents love story, the suitcase man situation, the taxi driver love triangle aspect, the family she never knew she had, the influence of the “Tiger Woman,” and the history of an island that isn’t commonly written about, there is certainly enough to keep any reader entertained. If you haven’t read Just Haven’t Met You Yet, pick up a copy and let me know what your thoughts were. Would you recommend a love story where the characters develop over the span of three days?