Diversity, Fiction, Humor, Illness, Loved-it, Romance

A Romance With A Lead Spoonie – My Heart Has Melted, Someone Catch It Please Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

So I am hilariously late with this review, and the reason is so relevant to this book I can’t even 😂 I’m late to post it mostly for spoonie reasons! And it’s ironic because… This is sort of a spoonie book – well, the main character is a spoonie, and it’s wonderful rep. It’s why I could relate to it so much and instantly clicked with it! But that’s not all. The book was funny, cute and just heart-warming as well. Maybe I should just start reading more romance, you know? I absolutely loved Get A Life, Chloe Brown, and there are just so many reasons, but I can’t seem to imagine putting them all into words, cause this book just made me FEEL so many things, and those things are always hard to voice. But I’ll try to tell you why I loved it!

The Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen by Juliet Ashton

Check out on Goodreads
★★★★★ 5 stars
How I read this:
free review copy from Libro.fm

Chloe Brown is a spoonie, and up to this point, she’s lived quite a sheltered (and admittedly finacially easy) life with her big family. But something happens and it makes her realize that life may just pass straight in front of her eyes if she doesn’t start living it. So Chloe does the best thing she can think of – she makes a list to fix it.

The list entails moving out and challenging herself to do things she’s always been afraid to do. But Chloe doesn’t know yet that the list isn’t quite final and that there may just be space on it for… a whole person. That person is the superintendant of her building, Red. Chloe would never believe it, because she dislikes Red. He just makes her so uncomfortable, always catches her in all the worst situations and has clearly assumed the worst about her – as is evident from the way he acts around her. And it’s true – Red does hate her. Or, at least that’s what he thinks. But fate might prove them both wrong…

Okay, This Is A Biased Reason, But… Chloe Is Basically Me?

It was hard not to like Get A Life, Chloe Brown – and I’m biased here, but Chloe is just so much like me it’s almost unbelievable! (Is that a legit reason to like a book? I’ll go with yes!)

me reading books

A pencil drawing of curly me sitting on a beanbag with my nose deep in a book with hearts on it,
hearts over my head and other books at my sides

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book where I could see myself so clearly on the page. It’s… super weird! But totally in a good way?

At some point, I even started writing the similarities down, cause I thought my blog readers just wouldn’t believe me. So since both me and Chloe absolutely love and live by lists, here’s a list of things that we had in common:

  • Chloe is curly, and people in media almost never are! It’s even referred to as beautiful (it never ever is in any sort of media! *Naturally* curly is always embarrassing or shameful in media!!! Unless it’s artificially curly, but don’t get me started on that cause I’ll never stop)
  • Chloe loves cats
  • she’s a spoonie
  • she works from home
  • I mean, I know I already mentioned lists… but lists are life for me, and they’re absolutely life for Chloe too.
  • she gives socks for birthdays 😂 (I have long ago learned that only me and Chloe think that’s a good present, but please give me socks if you’re ever unsure 😂 best present in the world.)
  • Chloe is shy but masks it with sternness or frankness (if you ever meet me in real life and think I’m weird… THIS.)
  • Chloe is anxious and blurts out absolute nonsense when flustered – then has to deal with the fallout afterwards. I can not tell you how many times this has happened to me!
  • she makes amazing eggs. That’s literally my signature dish. (The one and only.)
  • she even has no sense of direction! Rarely are characters written with such fine detail, and I can’t believe she matched me even in this!
  • people abandon Chloe often. This has happened to me quite a lot, and often not even through their own fault (let’s just say a lot of people I knew moved out to other countries. It’s sad!)

I feel like I could go on – there are just so many things. Of course, there are differences too – Chloe lives in Britain and she is Black. She comes from a well-off family. She was not raised by a single parent. She’s plump (meanwhile, I am often grilled about being underweight.) Chloe has fibro, and my spooniness is of a different kind. But those are about THE ONLY differences there are between us. And while reading this, I was incredibly invested because I don’t often get to read a book where I can relate to a character so much!

But it’s not just that. Her love interest is just so MUCH like my boyfriend. Okay, my boyfriend isn’t a soft and squishy baddie-looking guy. He is just plain old soft and squishy 😂 but character-wise, he thinks and acts so much like Red. This made the story even more enjoyable. You can’t fail to relate to a book when you basically see yourself and your life on the page. This rarely happens to me.

Seeing yourself on a page of a romance novel doesn't happen often... especially if you're a bit of a #spoonie. That's precisely why @avalinahsbooks loved Get A Life, Chloe Brown: Click To Tweet

The Spoonie Situation Is Presented So Sensitively

I’ve already mentioned that Chloe is a spoonie, but I must talk about it more because I really loved the spoonie rep. I’m not as ill as Chloe, but I have my challenges and I’m far from being normal. I know very well what it’s like when no one believes you or understands how you could be utterly exhausted by just spending some time around people or eating the wrong kind of food. Or how people will take offence (actual offence!) at you for not going out to do some physical activity with them. Most people don’t understand self-protection, be it physical or emotional. I vibed with this book very much over these points, and I feel like Chloe’s situation is portrayed really well. It’s written sensitively, realistically and with heart.

The #spoonie situation in Get A Life, Chloe Brown by @TaliaHibbert is written so sensitively, realistically and with a lot of heart. This wonderful 5 star romance is recommended to all spoonies out there: Click To Tweet

But There Are Other Sensitive Themes

Chloe being a spoonie isn’t the only thing this book did so well! It has a very important topic – PTSD after emotional abuse and domestic violence – and the victim of that is the man. In this society we tend to not talk about this much – yes, women are more often the punching bag, and yes, women tend to be more frail, but men also get abused in relationships, and physically as well as emotionally. And nobody ever believes that could be a thing. Or why the man couldn’t simply defend himself or walk away. It is a sore, but necessary subject, and it was handled beautifully in this book.

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by @TaliaHibbert deals with tough topics – living with #ChronicIllness, recovering after emotional abuse and domestic violence – and these topics are handled so well. ★★★★★ 5 stars: Click To Tweet

The Romance

Typical of me to read a romance book and not actually talk about the romance much! It was actually very sweet. The romance takes a while to kick in, and I loved this slow burn story. The characters both have to get over their fears and hurts, but their very real desire drives them. And yes, Get A Life, Chloe Brown is a very sensual story – it isn’t all just emotions and confessions. There is definitely some passion, and it is quite openly written. I normally shy away from those things in books, but it didn’t fluster me too much in this one. On the contrary, it made their feelings more understandable and relatable. And I think there is another very important thing that the sexual tension accomplishes here – disabled people are often desexualized in our society. But it is in no way true for a lot of them. The book stresses it deeply that being disabled does not make Chloe less sexy or passionate, and it doesn’t make her partner want her less – it just makes him have to be more considerate of her needs, moods and the way she feels at a given time.

But it is just like me to start talking about the romance in the book and skirt around the subject. I am shy! Yes, the romance was brilliant. It was so sweet, Red is an absolute dream, soft and adorable, and you’ll probably swoon over them both. Their flirting was sweet, the first moments of doubt and anxiety over the other person’s feeling were also very sincere. I really enjoyed the romance. And it’s super hard to make me enjoy enemies to lovers!

Overall...

This was an amazing book, and I can say the same about the audiobook format. The narration was great, the mood was kept brilliantly, and the story drew me in. Very recommended! If you read one romance story this year, make it Get A Life, Chloe Brown. Oh, and there’s one thing I forgot to mention – you’ll laugh your socks off! This book didn’t just make me smile, it made me guffaw. It is such a good mood romance!

A sweet, touching, and yet very funny story about how two unlikely people fall in love – if you read one romance story this year, make it Get A Life, Chloe Brown by @TaliaHibbert: Click To Tweet

Triggers

I may struggle to remember all, but I’ll try. Triggers include abandonment by friends and lover, not believing a person’s illness was a real thing (doctors included), domestic violence and emotional abuse. There are open sex scenes. One of the characters suffers from imposter syndrome and it is mentioned.

I thank the publisher and Libro.fm for giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange to my honest review. This has not affected my opinion.

Have you read any good books with spoonie rep?
And maybe you have other recommendations of romance stories about spoonies?

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Evelina AvalinahsBooksTammy @ Books, Bones & BuffyGayathriTessa ~NarratessDB's @ DB's Guide to the Galaxy Recent comment authors

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Sarah
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The scene with the tree and the cat…LOVE. this book was so perfect!!

Elise
Guest

Wow it’s such a great feeling when you see yourself reflected in a character! Glad you enjoyed this one 🙂

Sumedha
Guest

Your review was super fun to read, and it’s great that you finally found a character who is basically you. I really liked reading the book as well 🙂

Darina
Guest

Ah it’s so refreshing to find a main character you can relate to and connect with! Sounds like Chloe is a really fun character yet there were also some serious themes which were well discussed in the book. Also, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to give socks as gifts! 😀

TheReadingHobbit
Guest

Oh this sounds like such a good book. Great review, I’m definitely checking it out 🙂

DB's @ DB's Guide to the Galaxy
Guest

I’ve seen this book around but it hasn’t really been high on my list until this review! I like that Chloe’s a spoonie! She has curly hair and loves cats! Chloe sounds like such a fun character – one that you really want to be friends with.

Tessa ~Narratess
Guest

Adding this to my TBR because spoonie rep!

If you haven’t read Brace Yourself by S E Smart, you might want to check it out. The woman has a flurry of chronic illnesses, including IBS and EDS. It’s also a romance with humor set in the UK. Hope you’ll like it

Gayathri
Guest

Ok you convinced me. I am getting this.. Soon-ish.. Curly, book loving, list lover who embarrasses herself? Perfect!

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy
Guest

This sounds adorable, and I have to confess I had never heard the term “spoonie” before (I had to google it!). I love that you found so many things about yourself in the main character. That’s so cool and unusual!