If you love “Pride and Prejudice”, this book is for you! If you love cute, clean, friends-to-lovers, contemporary rom-com, this book is for you! If you are anxious or insecure, always go for the safe choice, and never feel like you’re the main character in your own story… this book is for you!
This is the first novel I read from Kasey Stockton, but I will most definitely read more. Her characters made me see things that need improving in my life. How often does that happen when you read a romance novel? Almost never! I go into romances to turn off my brain, but this time I was pleasantly surprised with life lessons I can’t get out of my head! This is a must-read!
Keep in mind that, though this is not a modern retelling of “Pride and Prejudice”, I feel that if you haven’t read the novel, or at least seen the movie, you can’t really enjoy it. There are too many references to “Pride and Prejudice” in it, and you will definitely feel lost if you are not an Austen reader.
I’m Not Charlotte Lucas: Summary
Charlotte “Charlie” Lucas is 26 and lives in her parents’ attic. She has a successful career in banking and has always made the safe choice around her career, finances and boyfriends. She is passionate about “Pride and Prejudice” and watches it incessantly, but, most of all, she is obsessed with her fictional namesake. She feels doomed to follow her fate and end up married to a Mr. Collins just to stop being an old maid.
When her good neighbour Vera wants to set her up on a blind date with her grandson, Liam, she hesitates. She relents on going on the date only because she finds out he is heartbroken and wants to spare his feelings – his ex will be at the gala function they need to attend, along with her new boyfriend. She can’t just abandon someone in need like that.
Little did she know, Liam is actually gorgeous, his ex is a famous celebrity, now dating an even more famous movie star. Also, the gala they attend is riddled with paparazzi. For an insecure person like Charlie, all this is a nightmare.
I’m Not Charlotte Lucas: Thoughts
This book made me think a lot about how we put ourselves in a box, how we don’t dare and don’t try things because we assume a bad outcome. We assume a comfortable identity and don’t step up to our potential.
Charlotte Lucas in “Pride and Prejudice” was practical and, presumably, did the absolute best with what she had. Keeping in mind the times she was living in, we shouldn’t get to judge her.
However, these times are different. There are no real limitations to what any 26-year-old can accomplish now, regardless of her background, but especially if she has a good education. The sky is the limit, really!
Yet, despite that fact, how many of us really dare to try to live our dreams? How many actually see themselves as the sidekick and not the heroes in our own stories? How many choose safe over risk?
This book came as a reminder to just stop living a predictable life. Just stop putting yourself in a box, surrounding yourself with “can’t”, “not meant for x” and “what would people say?”. Do you really want your life to be like that of “Pride and Prejudice” Charlotte Lucas? It may not have been a very bad life. It certainly was comfortable. But is it really your dream?
Similarly, the Charlotte in this novel is really a walking reminder of how not to act and she knows it. She judges herself too, yet she can’t act differently. She just can’t stop doing things for other people so that everyone will like her. Actually following her own desires scares her. Her fear of criticism is bigger than her desire to succeed. Insecurities and the need for validation are high with Charlie and, as her good neighbour tells her: sadly, “no one can fix those but ourselves”.
Luckily for her, Charlie Lucas is shaken to her senses by different events. She learns to step out of comfort. Her story really is more than just about romance. It is a lot more about gaining confidence in her strengths and stopping letting her insecurities get the best of her. I identified so much of her inner voice with my thoughts, it was scary! So when everything turned up fine, I was relieved – and I rarely identify with characters so much!
This was a great read! For a cute romance, it delivered so, so much more! I hope it will surprise you as well!
P.S.: The romance in itself is just perfect! A surprisingly tense friends-to-lovers – just wonderful!
✨✨✨You can find the book on Goodreads here:✨✨✨