Somewhere Only We Know: review

Somewhere Only We Know - Erin LawlessSynopsis:

Boy meets girl…
Alex Bradley can’t help but feel that life is rather passing him by. And not just life – promotions, invitations, romance; the girl he loves only has eyes for his flatmate and his 9-5 job as the Immigration department skivvy is slowly numbing his soul. Until he meets Nadia.
Girl meets boy…
Nadia Osipova is running out of time. With no money, no lawyer and a totally fictitious boyfriend, she’s got one last summer and one last appeal before the British government deport her back to Russia.
Girl gets deported?
It’s going to be a bumpy ride, one she’s dragging her new friend Alex along for. As Nadia races through a list of all her favourite London adventures, for what may be the last time, Alex can’t help but start to see the city, and his life, through Nadia’s eyes.
From hazy summer days on the Common and heady nights in Soho’s basement bars, to twilight walks along the Southbank, will Alex realise what he’s got before it’s too late?

Somewhere Only We Know by Erin Lawless is a sweet, touching tale of friendship, love and identity in the 21st century.
First and foremost a ‘Boy Meets Girl’ story, the story also addresses issues surrounding immigration and citizenship, but manages to do so in a thoughtful, non-preachy way that encourages the reader to consider what life must be like for those who live here and contribute wholly to British society, yet can’t live without fear of being deported. Don’t think this novel is too heavy or depressing though (not that depressing means no good, of course)- the author mainly uses a light-hearted, upbeat tone throughout and it was really enjoyable to read.
The narrative flicks between Nadia and Alex’s point of view, and this way the reader gets to see what both characters are thinking about the same events. It is a great way to get into the mind of the character more.
Nadia seems like a really likeable, good-humoured character and much more likeable than Alex’s housemate’s girlfriend (and love of his life), Lila. The author is obviously trying to reinforce the idea that Nadia is a better fit for Alex and the more we learn about Lila, the less we like about her, so we’ll be rooting for Nadia and Alex to get together and live happily ever after!
I also really enjoyed reading about London. I find the city fascinating and as someone who has only ever visited London, never lived there, I like reading books set in our capital. A lot of the language was also uniquely British, and you could tell just from the way it was written that this author was British, not American or Australian or from any other English speaking country!
I really enjoyed this novel and the dry humour that Erin Lawless used throughout. I haven’t read her first novel, The Best Thing I Never Had, but a lot of people have commented that this is a much softer story. I would still like to read her debut though, as I really enjoyed Lawless’ writing. The ending also surprised me, and wasn’t necessarily what I expected or wanted, but I think it worked really well.
Rating: 4/5
Somewhere Only We Know (Kindle edition) is published in the UK on June 11th 2015.
** Many thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC in return for an honest review **


  1. I love books set in London too, my relations lived in the capital so I visited a lot as a child and there are so many recognisable landmarks I feel I have my bearings when books are set here. This does sound like a great book, particularly as it isn’t too preachy.

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