Title: The Little Things
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 266 Pages
At a Glance: Overall, the book is really good, and even though it deals with loss, it isn’t totally dark. It has many light and hopeful moments as well as teary ones. It keeps a good balance between light and heavy.
Reviewed By: Ky
Blurb: Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make you appreciate what you have.
There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter Evie is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.
Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.
Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?
**Please note that although this edition has been re-edited for publication, there is no new or additional content.
Review: The Little Things is one of Jay Northcote’s first books. If you read any review that’s out there, you will find out pretty easily that this isn’t your typical romance. For one thing, the second MC, Liam, doesn’t really get in the story until after half of it is over, and, for another, the MC that is in the story, Joel, is involved with someone else—Dan—for most of it.
It was refreshing, in a way, that the relationship Joel was in before he met Liam wasn’t a toxic one. It was between two people who cared a lot about each other but just happened to be together at a time when their lives weren’t compatible. They didn’t want the same things out of a relationship, so they had to do the right thing and end things, no matter how much they still wanted to make it work. Their breakup scene is one of the most emotional and tender scenes I’ve read. It was truly beautiful and for a minute there, I was rooting for Joel to make things work with Dan.
Even though the romance has a place in the story, it isn’t the main event. What I haven’t mentioned yet is that this story has another important character in it: Joel’s sweet little daughter, Evie. She was really present in the story, and it was apparent that she came first in her dad’s life, as she should be. She was only three years old, and the author did an excellent job in creating her character and making her talk and act her age.
The Little Things finds Joel and Evie in a very difficult phase of their lives. Claire, Evie’s mom and Joel’s best friend, was in a fatal car crash, and they had to deal with grief, rearrange their lives, and find a new rhythm. Evie is really small, so she doesn’t quite understand what’s happening, and the innocence with which she asks questions and handle things is sobering. I liked the way that Joel was totally honest with Evie about what had happened to her mom, even if I found it a bit weird how much he used the word “dead”. At times he was brutally honest with her in an effort to make her understand the finality of the situation.
I was okay with Liam not being an essential part of most of the story; I had read some reviews and knew what to expect, so it didn’t bother me. What I wasn’t okay with was the fact that Joel introduced his boyfriends to Evie before he was sure that it would be something long-lasting. He was with Dan for a few months, but they were pretty casual, and still Evie knew him and that he was her dad’s boyfriend. Then, a little over a month after they broke up, Joel introduced her to Liam. They were barely together for two weeks, and Liam was sleeping over, and again, Evie knew that he was someone special to her dad. Sorry, I’m not okay with that. I think that it’s bad for kids so young to have so much change in their lives and to meet one significant other of their parent’s after the next. I believe that Joel should have waited to be sure it was something permanent, or at least serious enough to last for a while, before he introduced Evie to anyone. But that’s just me.
Overall, the book is really good, and even though it deals with loss, it isn’t totally dark. It has many light and hopeful moments as well as teary ones. It keeps a good balance between light and heavy. I don’t really know who to recommend this book to, because it’s so different from Northcote’s other books. Just, if you’re okay with books dealing with grief, and don’t have a problem with romance taking second place to something else, then give this one a try.
You can buy The Little Things here:
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