Book Reviews

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens: ARC Book Review

This is a spoiler-free review.

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

Expected publication October 15th, 2020 by Arrow.

My rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

When Minnie meets Quinn at a NYE party, it’s clear that they’ve got nothing in common – except for the strange fact of their being born in the same place at the same time on New Year’s Eve. A crazy coincidence, but not a reason to pursue a friendship, and definitely not an excuse for Quinn to hope for something more.

He is a privileged party boy who believes the world is his for the taking. She is a hard-working realist, whose lack of confidence tends to hold her back.

Opposites don’t really attract…it’s not like this is a rom-com, right?

The clock strikes midnight, their moment passes, and another year begins. But if Quinn and Minnie are from different worlds, why do they keep bumping into each other? And why is it that each frustrating interaction somehow seems to push their lives in the right direction? Could it be that instead of clashing, their different outlooks might complement each other?

Perhaps now is the time for them to finally come together…

Thank you to the publisher, Random House UK, Cornerstone/Arrow, and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own.

This Time Next Year tells the story of Minnie and Quinn, two New Year’s Eve babies, whose very different lives have seemingly revolved around each other (without making contact) since the instant they were born (mere seconds apart in adjacent hospital rooms). When they finally do meet on the eve of their 30th birthday, sparks fly; but is their instant attraction and shared history enough to finally bring them together? Only time will tell…

As a huuuge fan of romance novels, I was very excited to pick up this book. Maybe I’m just primed for grand romantic gestures and confessions happening on the eve of a new year from all the wonderful romcoms that have perfected the trope (see: When Harry Met Sally), but the premise of this novel just sounded like the ultimate romantic tale.

And in a lot of ways this story achieved just that. This Time Next Year read like a short and sweet romantic comedy. I could picture the movie playing out in my head while reading this book. 📽🎬🍿

Nevertheless, there were a few aspects of this novel that gave left me with a bittersweet aftertaste. Particularly, I personally found it a little hard to get behind these two leads falling in love. I guess I just found them lacking the level of chemistry I tend to expect in a romance novel.

Maybe it’s just because I’m ~old~ now, but it seems the more I read (and the older I get) the less and less I find the emotionally unavailable male love interest to be that attractive. I do think Quinn improved in the end, and was therefore a worthy partner for Minnie. But it took SUCH A LONG TIME to get there, and I just wasn’t super into that. 🤷🏻‍♀️

I also found the timeline jump near the middle of the book disjointed and hard to follow. It really pulled me out of the novel, unfortunately, and after that it took me a while to get fully engaged in the story again.

Despite my critics though, I found the almost meeting between the two protagonists and just missing each other over the many years (and many New Year’s Eves) trope very romantic and well executed. 🥺 And overall I thought this book was a mostly fun, lighthearted read.

What tropes do you looove to see in romance novels?

Let me know!

Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.


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