The Thirty List by Eva Woods, published July 2015 by Mills & Boon.
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!