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Received via NetGalley.
When Solène’s ex-husband tells her that he cannot take their daughter, Isabelle, to a concert and meet and greet for world-famous boyband August Moon, none of them realise that Solène acting as chaperone instead will be the start of something big. Meeting Hayes Campbell, a member of August Moon, will put Solène’s life on an unexpected path, but will it last?
I’m going to be honest and say that this novel was not entirely for me. However, that does not mean that other people won’t really enjoy it, and neither does it mean that there were no elements to the novel that I liked.
I found the relationship between Solène and Hayes more challenging than I expected. I had anticipated a more relaxing read with a hot relationship, but I struggled with their age gap and how different their lives are.
That said, I was given a lot to think about, such as why an older woman dating a younger guy has more stigma attached than the reverse situation. Additionally, both Hayes and Solène are consenting adults, so I questioned my own reservations about their relationship, especially as Solène thinks about how much she allows her fear of other’s opinions to hold her back.
Despite being unsure of the relationship, Lee creates complex characters and her exploration of Hayes and Solène as characters was thought-provoking.
As she approaches her 40th birthday, Solène reflects on growing older and how she is perceived as a woman. I found this particularly interesting and thinking about how we view women as they age made me stop and think about our society and its double-standards.
As a world-famous musician, Hayes has a lot to deal with and it was interesting to view things from his perspective and to see the price of fame. Lee explores the highs and lows that fame can bring and I liked the depiction of band dynamics and what life can be like on tour.
Whilst Solène worries about how others perceive her, Hayes struggles with people assuming they know him. Tied with the exploration of social media, Lee highlights that what we perceive of someone is not necessarily who they are and that people have a lot more to them. Lee shows the power that social media gives to people to express their opinions, but then we see how these impact those on the receiving end. This is an important issue to highlight today, and I am pleased the book looked at this aspect of fame.
As I thought about and continued to read the novel, I did find myself becoming more invested in the characters and their story.
Whilst I found this to be a challenging read for me, I ended up thinking about the narrative a lot. Since reading it, I still reconsider my ideas and feel that I was impacted by the book.
The ending of the novel was definitely emotional, and although it was not unexpected to me, I was surprised by how much it pulled at my heartstrings.
Maybe this novel was not the one for me overall, but I am glad I read it because it gave me a lot to think about and I definitely feel the impact of the narrative. If The Idea of You sounds appeals to you, definitely give it a read.
The Idea of You is available as an ebook now and will be released in paperback in the UK on 8th July.