The Thirty List by Eva Woods, published July 2015 by Mills & Boon.
Read: December 2017
Get It Now: Wordery | Amazon
Goodreads Synopsis: Everyone has one. That list. The things you were supposed to do before you turn thirty… Of course, sometimes real life doesn’t work out like that. And at thirty, Rachel has slid down every ladder she ever climbed.
Jobless, broke, and ditched by her husband, she has to move in with grumpy Patrick and his four year old son, who’ve got problems of their own. So to cheer themselves up, Rachel and Patrick decide to revisit their ‘lists’. Soon they are learning to tango, abseiling, trying stand-up comedy and more. But as Rachel gets closer to Patrick, she wonders if their relationship is too good to be true. And what will happen when they finish their lists?
The Book Review
Books like The Thirty List are ones I read when I was a teen and had ran out of more age-appropriate reading material. While I always enjoyed these reads (mostly because I inhaled any literature I could get my hands on), they never fully resonated with me, until now. Approaching 28, I have a new-found appreciation for books that feature protagonists of my age… or close to it.
I haven’t made a list of the things I’d like to do by the time I’m 30 (yet), but it is something I’ve thought of. I guess I’m doing the anti-establishment thing of refusing to believe my life has to follow a certain path or structure by the time I’m 30 or else I’m forever deemed a failure. I haven’t got the marriage, house, or babies ticked off yet (and I’m not even sure that last one is on my life list at all tbh), but the career? At least I’ve got that one in the bag.
The Thirty List has a great cast of characters, an honest and at times fun story line, and a nicely paced plot that saw me get through a 400+ page contemporary in what felt like no time at all. As is common in “chick-lit” or “women’s fiction”, certain aspects of the book were reasonably predictable, and a couple of elements were just slightly unbelievable, but it’s definitely not the most fairy-tale-esque adult fiction I’ve read (which is a good thing, I’m so done with the Happy Ever After, it-all-works-out-fine-in-the-end, cookie cutter stories, thanks!).
Woods is a published thriller novelist under her official name, Claire McGowan, with The Thirty List marking her first foray into romantic/women’s fiction, which is very hard to believe – the execution of the story was great, our main character was easy to relate to, and Woods writes with a certain charm and humour that is addictive. I definitely want to pick up more of her books.
Have you read The Thirty List? Or other books by Eva Woods? Let me know in the comments!
This sounds just like the books I read as a teen too. We obviously did the same thing, no more age-appropriate teen fiction to read (because YA wasn’t a thing yet)? Turn to chick lit which seemed like it was everywhere. It was how I discovered authors like Sophie Kinsella I think. Anyway, this book might ring a bit more true for me as I am now on the other side of 25 and a lot of my friends can’t stop talking about how they’re dreading approaching that age. I think this book sounds pretty fun and it does kind of make me want to write a ‘thirty list’ marriage and kids won’t be on it but maybe owning a house will.
YA definitely wasn’t a thing when I was a teen, I’m not making that up, right??
Chick-lit was my salvation. The only thing I remember being remotely YA-like was the later Princess Diaries books, and others by Meg Cabot.
It was definitely one of the more enjoyable “chick lits” I’ve read over the past few years.
And branch out a little with that list! Include things that push you out of your comfort bubble, places you want to travel to, new things you want to try. If I make a “thirty list”, I’m going to focus on fitting in the things I never make time for, not the things society tells me I need to have by that age, or God forbid there’s “something wrong with me”! R xx
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