Finding Felix by Jo Platt
Published by: Canelo
Publication date: August 6, 2017
Genre: Women’s Fiction, RomCom
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A family wedding. A fake boyfriend. A recipe for disaster! A funny, feel-good romantic comedy from bestseller Jo Platt.
Singleton Dot Riley’s grandmother, Nanny Flo, is on her deathbed, surrounded by family and distraught at the thought of Dot being all alone in the world. Desperate to make Flo’s final moments happy ones, Dot invents a boyfriend – plumping in panic for her childhood friend, Felix, a firm favourite of Flo, but whom Dot hasn’t actually seen for 15 years.
But when Flo makes an unexpected recovery a few weeks before a family wedding, Dot is faced with a dilemma. Should she tell her frail grandmother that she lied and risk causing heartache and a relapse? Or should she find Felix and take him to the wedding?
Dot opts for finding Felix. But it’s not long before she discovers that finding him is the easy bit: liking him is the real challenge.
An uplifting romantic comedy about finding something you didn’t even know you were looking for. Finding Felix is perfect for fans of Anna Bell, Tracy Bloom and Debbie Viggiano.
I read this book right after I’ve watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix. And surprisingly, this book was somehow similar to that movie in terms of the “fake boyfriend” thing.
The story started with some family drama. Dot’s grandmother, Nanny Flo, was on her deathbed and only wishes one thing; and that was for her to find the person who she will be spending with for the rest of her life. Nanny Flo and her parents were worried that she will be alone after the terrible breakup she had with her ex, Alistair.
So, to assure her grandmother, Dot told a lie that became an eventful search for her childhood best friend, Felix, to ask him to be her fake boyfriend because it turned out, Nanny Flo is not going anywhere anytime soon.
After fifteen years of having no contact at all, it seems that the reunion between Dot and Felix didn’t quite went well as expected. I understand why Felix distanced himself and at first, gave Dot the cold shoulder. Putting myself on his own shoes, I would surely felt terrible too because Dot was only able to remember Felix when she needs something and on a rush to solve her supposedly small lie.
Having said that, Dot, obviously desperate to convince Felix in their little charade, truly cares for Nanny Flo’s well-being. She knew that there’s nothing good that comes out from lying and yet, she did exactly what she knew would make her grandmother better.
With the situation they’re being in, Felix and Dot was able to rekindle the friendship they once had while Dot was able to discover old feelings she never knew she had for Felix. After all, there’s still some good that happen to her little lie, right?
I like how breezy, light and funny the story was. Since I read Jo Platt’s You Are Loved the first time, I instantly fell in love with her writing and mash up details of humorous scenes she has incorporated especially with her main characters.
Though Dot was a delightful heroin, she truly didn’t stand out for me nor Felix. I wish there were more dialogue between them than Dot and her mother’s incessant phone calls who check on her and Felix all the time, or the fun-filled drama she had with her best friend, Kate. And since the story was obviously not focused on romance alone, I genuinely love how the author put a spotlight on friendship and self-acceptance which was the best takeaway I have in this story.
Still, I enjoyed this book and would still recommend it to everyone who would like to have an escape from reading heavy thriller or mind-boggling fantasy.
Thank you to NetGalley, Canelo and Jo Platt for providing me an eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review!Kate leaned back in her chair and, putting her feet up on the small conference table at which we were sitting, looked at me disapprovingly over the top of her large purple-framed glasses. ‘So what you’re telling me,’ she said, pausing to sip her mid-morning coffee, ‘is that you told a big – nay, huge – fib two months ago and now your chickens have come home to roost.’
It was a perfect summing-up of the situation.
‘You have to remember that the circumstances were exceptional,’ I said defensively. ‘She was on her deathbed.’
Kate shook her head, her short red curls joining in and echoing her disapproval. ‘She was on her bed, Dot,’ she corrected. ‘It wasn’t her deathbed, because Nanny Flo is not dead.’
‘Well of course I know now that it wasn’t her deathbed!’ I exclaimed. ‘But at the time I thought it was, and I didn’t want her going to her grave miserable about my single status. She was distraught.’ I was aware of a rising tension in my voice. Kate’s undoubted ability to mercilessly cut through the crap and get to the essence of a problem was a quality which made our day-to-day professional partnership, and our two-woman graphic design company, a success. But the approach grated whenever she applied it to my personal problems – which she invariably did.
‘You’re thirty-six,’ she continued, apparently unmoved. ‘Lots of people are single or unmarried at thirty-six. And it’s not like you’re permanently on the shelf. You were in a long-term relationship until less than a year ago.’ She took another sip of coffee. ‘As you know, I didn’t meet Fred till I was thirty-five. And we didn’t get married until August 2015, by which time we’d been together…’ her eyes flicked up and to the right as she performed the mental calculation, ‘two years and seven months and I was thirty-eight. So I hardly think temporarily single at thirty-six is any big deal these days.’
‘You’re so right,’ I said tonelessly. ‘If only I could have provided Nanny Flo with a pie chart showing UK sexual and marital relationships by age, I’m sure that would have calmed her down just as quickly as pretending that I had a boyfriend.’
‘You’re upset,’ said Kate. ‘I can tell.’
‘I’m just cross with myself,’ I said miserably, picking up my own mug of coffee and blowing on it.
‘But what I don’t understand…’ she continued.
I braced myself.
‘… is why Nanny Flo still thinks you’re going out with Philip…’
‘… eight weeks later.’
I sighed and put down my coffee. ‘She’s never once mentioned him and neither has anyone else. She was in hospital, intermittently delirious for a couple of weeks, and it was touch and go whether she’d make it. And then when she came out, he didn’t come up again. You know how relieved I was when she began to recover.’
Kate nodded sympathetically. ‘I do.’
‘Well, that was my only focus,’ I said. ‘So I just forgot about the Felix thing – and it seemed like everyone else did too.’
‘Even your mother?’ asked Kate with undisguised scepticism. ‘I find that hard to believe. She’d usually be scouting out wedding venues for you by now, wouldn’t she?’
‘With hindsight I can see that that was suspiciously out of character,’ I agreed. ‘But at the time she was totally wrapped up in Nanny Flo, wasn’t she? Of course, I now know that she didn’t ask me about it because she’d promised not to pry. She feels guilty because she thinks she scared Alistair off,’ I added.
Kate raised her eyebrows. ‘You don’t think that, do you?’
‘Well, the fact that she described every single one of our holiday destinations as the perfect place for a honeymoon didn’t help,’ I sighed. ‘But no. Alistair and I just wanted different things. I wanted us to stay together – he didn’t. Can’t really blame Mum for that, can I?’ I smiled ruefully. ‘Anyway, she was determined not to ask anything about Felix, so it was all left to drift.’
‘Like a room-clearing fart,’ Kate said, shaking her head.
‘I had other things on my mind.’
She looked at me but said nothing.
‘And OK, so maybe there was a little bit of not wanting to think about it involved,’ I admitted.
‘Head buried in the sand,’ she said. ‘Typical Dot.’
I frowned but didn’t feel able to challenge the statement. I knew she had a point. My tendency to refuse to confront personal challenges and consider their consequences until my nose was pressed up against them was undeniable. In my defence, it was an approach that on the whole seemed to work reasonably well. It cut down considerably on the amount of time spent worrying and stressing about things, and, nine times out of ten, a last-minute fix was just as good as a lengthy, considered and, in my opinion, tortured approach.
However, like it or not, I had to admit that this was not one of those times. This was definitely the one in ten.
About The Author:
Jo Platt was born in Liverpool in 1968 and, via the extremely winding route of rural Wiltshire, London, Seattle and St Albans, she is now happily settled in Bristol with her husband and two daughters. She studied English at King’s College London before going on to work in the City for ten years.
In 2000 she escaped into motherhood and part-time employment, first as an assistant teacher in a Seattle pre-school and then was a Bristol-based secretary to her husband.
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