Author: Maggie Harcourt
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Publication Date: 1st February 2017
About the book:
Lexi Angelo has grown up helping her dad with his events business. She likes to stay behind the scenes, planning and organizing…until author Aidan Green – messy haired and annoyingly arrogant – arrives unannounced at the first event of the year. Then Lexi’s life is thrown into disarray.
In a flurry of late-night conversations, mixed messages and butterflies, Lexi discovers that some things can’t be planned. Things like falling in love…
What I Thought:
This was the first book I picked up at part of my SundayYAthon reading list and I sure wasn’t disappointed. Coincidently it was the same day Maggie Harcourt tweeted this.
— Maggie Harcourt (@maggieharcourt) April 14, 2017
Perfect timing right! Unconventional tells the story of Lexi; Lexi is the daughter of Max Angelo, owner of Angelo Events, who specialise in organising fan conventions for all things books, TV and film. The story follows Lexi and her friends across one convention season beginning in April and running through to October. For me this worked really well, the book focuses primarily on the conventions across the months, so it was a great way to cover a significant period of time without glossing over everything by trying to cover too much in too few pages.
I finished reading this last weekend and it’s taken me the week to try and put my thoughts on this into coherent sentences and I’m still not really there but I’m trying to make this review something more than I love it go buy it!
Lexi is the star of the book, still a college student she’s also her dad’s right hand woman, and in control of operations for this season’s conventions. I found Lexi so easy to identify with, from her genuine love of books, to the pressure of trying to juggle too many things at once, not wanting to let anyone down, but still be frustrated with other people not realising that they’re not the only ones making demands of your time. I also loved her complete fangirling over Piecekeepers again it was something I could completely identify with. For me she was just a really likeable main character which always helps a book – I could easily read another 400 pages about the next part of Lexi’s life.
Aiden again was wonderful and identifiable with on a different level, making an awful first impression on Lexi, she’s horrified when she discovers he’s the author of the book she’s been fangirling. Aiden is struggling with his sudden fame, and the public appearances he’s now expected to make. To cope with this he has a public persona he puts on for his readings, signings and panel appearances – This is something I totally get.
There’s a huge cast of other characters in the book, from Lexi’s dad and his fiance, to Sam and her other friends on the convention ops team, to her mum. What I really loved to read was the diverseness of this book, it was great to see, especially the way Maggie didn’t make a big thing of it, it just was. I think it’s great to see people of different nationalities, religions and sexuality just be, I enjoyed the fact that everything was just treated as normal, which is how I think it should be in life – Lexi’s mum’s girlfriend was just introduced as the person on the other end of the phone, she was just a part of Lexi’s life without it being a big deal.
I’m not going to speak to much about the plot, I did love how the book developed throughout the months, and there was one section I particularly loved – I won’t name it here but feel free to try to guess in the comments. I’ve not been to a convention, unless the UK Radiological Congress for work counts, so I really can’t comment on how accurate any of it was, but regardless, the way Maggie has written this made it feel completely real to me, and has definitely convinced me that I need to attend a convention when funds and timing allow!
I also loved the little extras at the end of the book – the sample of Piecekeepers, which if it ever becomes a real book I will be first in line for, and the pineapple facts definitely made me smile.
Would I recommend it?
Without a doubt. This is one of my favourite books of the year so far. I loved Lexi and Aidan and I want to go to a convention more than ever! The best news is it’s already out so you don’t even have to wait to pick it up! I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the book which I posted to my blog when I finished reading it.
Sometimes, the things that are worth fighting for, the things that matter, are the things that could hurt us the most. But they hurt because they make us FEEL.
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