Do you have storylines that you enjoy every time, even tough they might be cliched? For me one of those storylines is unexpected pregnancy after a one-night-stand or very short relationship. I can’t even tell you why I enjoy that so much, just that I have never been disappointed in a story with this element. Sophia Money-Coutts’ second novel What Happens Now? is no exception.
School teacher Lil gets dumped by her boyfriend of eight years. To get over the break up, she hops on a dating app and meets a guy, Max, in a pub for her first date in ages. They get to know one another a bit, bonding over their mutual first date after a relationship ending and they spend the night together. In the morning Lil wakes up in Max’ flat alone. He left her note.
Lil enjoyed their time together, but Max ghosts her. A bit later she finds out that she is pregnant and she wants to keep the baby. It’s not how she pictured it, but Lil is ready to do this. Just as she is contemplating how to tell Max, the guy who ghosted her, there are stories all over the news of the son of a Lord who went missing after a mountain climbing adventure in South Asia. He is called Max too and Max, her date, also mentioned his job having to do with climbing. They couldn’t be same, could they?
Lil is a great protagonist that you can root for. She wants to the right thing for herself and her baby. Helping her along the pregnancy is her best friend Jess and Jess’ brother Clem, two artists living together. Her mum and stepdad are also there for Lil. I loved how Money-Coutts portrayed the relationships between Lil and her loved ones. The family and friendship dynamics are very healthy and realistic.
Max is a complex character and while there are definitely infuriating moments with him, I genuinely enjoyed his character and his relationship with Lil. They have a great will-the-won’t-they dynamic going on and you can only root for them, until you can’t anymore. And then you do again. At least that’s how it went for me.
Another great aspect for me was Lil’s job. She teaches at a private school in London and you can tell how much she loves her job and how she enjoys teaching the kids. I’ve never been a teacher, but I have worked as an au pair, so the scene where Lil looses a kid on the tube resonates with me a lot. Fortunately that never happend to me, but it was a fear of mine every time I took the kids on public transport, never mind taking a whole class of them.
Money-Coutts’ writing style is as fantastic as it was in her debut The Plus One. It is engaging, witty, hilarious and keeps you at the edge of your seat. I couldn’t put the book down. I wanted to know what happens to Lil, Max and their baby. For me, What Happens Now? is Sophia Money-Coutts best book to date. There wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like, even when Max behaved like a total ass – and that happend.
All in all, I would highly recommend this book, especially if you enjoy romantic comedies with great characters and good storytelling. Have you read What Happens Now? yet? If so, what did you think? What cliches do you enjoy every time? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.