A review: Unconventional – Maggie Harcourt

I’ve been really into fan-based reads at the moment, they’re great to escape too as they’re so relatable and real whilst at the same time being a bit of fun. It’s also really great to see these books existing; books about fans for fans of books. It’s a little trippy but it’s pretty damn cool as well.

Goodreads Synopsis

UCLexi Angelo has grown up helping her dad with his events business. She likes to stay behind the scenes, planning and organizing…until author Aidan Green – messy haired and annoyingly arrogant – arrives unannounced at the first event of the year. Then Lexi’s life is thrown into disarray.

In a flurry of late-night conversations, mixed messages and butterflies, Lexi discovers that some things can’t be planned. Things like falling in love…

 

This review, as ever, is spoiler-free!

I found this book an enjoyable little escape, I didn’t have many expectations heading into it, as I hadn’t heard much about it. I was just perusing our shelves at work and this one caught my eye. I love books about fans/fandom. They weren’t around when I was younger and being part of a fandom was usually something you were made fun of for. Now, here it is being celebrated, that excites me. That speaks to me inner fangirl who spent years flying under the radar for fear of laughter being directed at me.

Unconventional was a wonderful surprise, it was anything ground-breaking but it was fun and it was relatable. The story follows Lexi, who helps her Dad run conventions across the year, although this was a major part of the story and the relationship in particular with her Dad – I wouldn’t say I was bored whilst reading it, I would say it needed more context.
We are thrown into this somewhat strained relationship and we’re never given much else. Although it made sense the further you read, it just came across slightly lacklustre for me.

However! The smidgen of negativity aside, I loved pretty much all the other parts of the book. Lexi herself was a relatable MC, with problems just like the rest of us, with the frantic world of conventions thrown in. She was at her best when talking passionately about a book she adores. It’s akin to how we all feel about certain books – that adoration, that singular feeling even though hundreds or thousands of other people have read this book too.
Although (as we all can be) frustrating at times in her decisions and assumptions, I enjoyed reading from her POV and in this generation of books, it was somewhat refreshing to only read from one POV – you get a true sense of the character a lot quicker.

I have mixed thoughts about the romance in this; on one hand – it was set at a really good pace and you can see the feelings develop (sort of) over the time frame we’re given and I like that both the characters developed and that the attraction/romance wasn’t just instant. However, on the other hand – it was very superficial in some ways. The way they end up feeling towards one another isn’t really explored and I felt their emotions lacked depth because of it.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book, and the small flaws I found within it never really hindered that. The characters, in general, were well-developed and fleshed out and the setting of conventions was so much fun! It was great to see both the floor, where all the action was and snippets of all the behind-the-scenes mayhem.
I would recommend this book to fans, fandoms, and contemporary fans alike.

Have you read Unconventional? What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

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