Jennifer Crusie – "Anyone But You"

1 May

GENRE: Romance / Contemporary
PUBLISHED: HQN Books, 1995 (2006)

The back blurb:
“Part basset, part beagle, all Cupid …
For Nina Askew, turning forty means freedom – from the ex-husband, freedom from their stuffy suburban home, freedom to focus on what
she wants for a change. And what she wants is something her ex always vetoed – a puppy. A bouncy, adorable puppy. Instead she gets … Fred.
Overweight, middle-aged, a bit smelly and obviously depressed, Fed is light-years from perky. But he does manage to put Nina in the path of Alex Moore, her gorgeous, younger-by-a-decade neighbor.
Alex seems perfect – he’s a sexy, seemingly sane, surprisingly single E:R: doctor – but the age gap convinces Nina that anyone but Alex would be better relationship material. But with every silver-haired stiff she dates, the more she suspects it’s the young dog-loving doc she wants to sit and stay!”

I got this novel last year (December?). I read it then but didn’t get around to write about it. So today, I saw it and since I don’t think it’s a sacrifice to read a Jennifer-Crusie novel, I read it again.

The good …
– I liked how Alex was totally nuts about Nina
– I liked that the age difference was the other way round (older woman – younger man)
– I liked the humour
– I liked Fred
– a HEA without kids

Here’s how Nina sums up her thoughts about a relationship with Alex:

If she started dating him – or, dear God, sleeping with him – she swallowed at the thought – people would say she was in her second childhood. People would look at them on the street and wonder what he saw in her. Guy would sneer. Her mother would roll her eyes. His friends would make jokes about Oedipus Alex. She’d be obsessing over thinning pubic hair, and he’d be playing air guitar. (p.70)

The quote is a good example for what I like about Crusie’s writing. The last sentence especially cracks me up every time I read it.

The quote sums up what’s keeping them apart. It’s Nina’s perspective and her conflict. Alex has no such problem. As he says to his brother, if he’s going to hint any more that he’s interested in Nina he would be “going to be one of those guys who goes ‘heh, heh, heh,’ after every sentence” (p. 198).

Nina and Alex naturally get together but some things are not really resolved and/or are set in motion from this problem which in turn lead to Alex’s conflict and …

The not as good:
– there’s a really big and silly misunderstanding near the end. You can see it coming very early, but for me it still didn’t work. This was really a case where I thought “Talk. You’re adults.” Just listening to the other would have done it.
– the story lost some of its flow near the ending. I thought the later parts a bit heavy-handed and slow.

In any case, Anyone But You was fun to read, silly misunderstanding or not.

Would I recommend this novel? Yes.

Would I read this novel again? Already did, so yes.

Grade: 4 / 5


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