Review: 'If We Lived Here' by Lindsey J. Palmer (2015)
After three years of dating and trading nights at their respective New York City apartments, Emma Feit and Nick O'Hare are moving in together. Or they will be, as soon as they find the right place. For two happily-in-love professionals--Nick's a teacher, Emma tutors college-bound teens--with good credit and stellar references, how hard can it be? As it turns out, very--in ways that are completely unexpected.
Suddenly Emma is filled with questions about cohabiting, about giving up her freedom--not to mention about who's going to clean the toilet. And while her best friend plans a dream wedding to her wealthy fiancé, and her older brother settles into suburban bliss, Emma must figure out what home means to her--and how on earth to get there.
I don't know what it is exactly but as soon as I first laid eyes on the book cover of Lindsey J. Palmer's 'If We Lived Here', which was first released in March 2015, I knew this was a book I wanted to read. Maybe it's just the cute house key chain or the pretty home in the background, but luckily the blurb also sounded interesting and I was curious to check out Lindsey J. Palmer's work. I managed to get a review copy of the book through NetGalley (thanks to the publisher!), and while it took me a bit of time to finally sit down with the book, I was excited to give 'If We Lived Here' a chance!
After having been together for roughly three years, thirty-somethings Emma Feit and Nick O'Hare are ready for the next step: finding a new place and moving in together. However, the search for the perfect New York apartment, within a particular budget, isn't the easiest task, especially not when you're doing it next to a full-time job. While Nick is a primary school teacher, Emma tutors high school students who are in the middle of their college application process, which already demands a lot of her time. However, Emma is determined to find that amazing apartment for her and Nick, even when doubt comes around the corner and both of them start to wonder whether this is really what they want.
Lindsey J. Palmer's 'If We Lived Here' is a contemporary story focusing on a topic many readers will be able to relate to: moving in together, and both the positive and negative experiences that come with it. Emma and Nick are ready to take the next step in their relationship, but while they are both excited to find their own perfect apartment and start building their lives together, the decision also comes with uncertainty and fear; will this really work, is this the person I really want to be with? The author has certainly managed to give a realistic portrayal of a modern-day relationship, and I liked both Emma and Nick and found myself rooting for them to make it work together. The author's writing style flowed easily and was comfortable to read, even though I wouldn't have minded a bit more dialogue.
While I liked the basic plotline of this novel and the characters, I couldn't help but feel as if not much was really going on to keep my attention. The story is told from both Emma's and Nick's perspective, but it seemed like it didn't really have a purpose. I would personally have loved more focus on Emma's best friend's wedding or Emma's job helping high school students with their college applications (which would make a great novel in itself, I think); something else next to the search for their new home. On the whole, though, I thought 'If We Lived Here' was an honest, well-written and realistic contemporary women's fiction read that was definitely promising and entertaining at times; it just didn't completely live up to my own expectations of the novel.