The Story of Us by Ellen Faith

"You know how some people say they do all their thinking on the toilet - gross I know - but they do, well, I do my thinking in the shower and the longer I'm in there, the madder I get with Walker."



The blurb

Alexandra Jones has a pretty peachy life. A gorgeous, stinking rich fiancé, her sleazy boss is retiring which means an imminent promotion in a job she loves, and she gets her best friends Jimmy Choos when she dies, although she would prefer her best friend to stick around as long as possible. Obviously. 

But when a blast from the past turns up on her doorstep just as her world turns upside down, she decides to take her best friend, Rosie, up on her offer of a 10 day break in San Francisco. Whilst Rosie works on a fashion shoot and Alexandra becomes well acquainted with the photographer's brother, it becomes clear that this trip is one that will change their lives forever. 

Becca's thoughts

Expected publication - January 31st 2014

First of all, I just want to say a MAHOOSIVE thank you to the brilliant author, Ellen Faith, for providing me with an ARC of The Story of Us. This is the first book that I have genuinely, really, thoroughly enjoyed for a long time, and I honestly cannot recommend it enough.

Right now, Ellen's cover for The Story of Us is still being worked on so you won't be able to see it just yet. I will say I have been allowed a sneaky glimpse of it and it is to die for. Absolutely stunning, and if the blurb doesn't sell the story to you (I highly doubt that it won't), then the cover is going to bowl you over. IT-IS-GORGEOUS. I cannot wait to share it with you when Ellen's cover reveal takes place, so that's definitely something to look forward too!

So, the story begins with Alexandra (Lexi) and Walker, her fiancé.With their wedding on hold, work coming first and Lexi planning to finally get the promotion she's been waiting for, things aren't running too smoothly. Barely spending enough time together, Lexi feels their relationship is on rocky ground and cannot believe her eyes when she opens her front door to find Luke - her first love with the deepest blue eyes who moved away to France when they were only 17 - standing on her doorstep.

From there on, things begin to get worse for poor old Lexi. Her dream promotion is snatched away from her only to be given to someone else, after working with the company for six long years. She quits her job by punching one of her slimy, leering colleagues in the face and leaves. Soon after that, she comes face to face with how much an ass-hole her fiancé really is, and swiftly escapes from him too. With no where to go and no job, Lexi turns to her best-friend Rosie and stays at her place. When Rosie suggests that Lexi should join her on a ten-day trip to San Francisco for work purposes, Lexi throws caution to the wind and thinks, "What the hell?". The girls jet off to San Francisco and the story truly unfolds.

Whilst in San Francisco, Lexi comes to terms with all that has happened in such a short amount of time. She visits the famous landmarks, eats in diners and meets the gorgeous Ryan - brother of Rosie's photographer friend. As the world continues to spin and the days pass by, Lexi starts to forget what it is she actually ran from and feels her life beginning to make sense once again. With her best-friend by her side, Lexi embarks on an adventure into the big wide world on her own, and beautifully, she really begins to live.

When reading a book, I love it when I can perfectly picture the scenes and settings in my head. The Story of Us is mainly based in San Francisco and Ellen transports you to the world that Lexi and Rosie are about to explore. Including the famous landmarks like The Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the city is spread out before you and it's so exciting to read as Lexi takes in her new surroundings. Not only does Ellen vividly place her own image of San Francisco in your mind, she paints everything so clearly - this includes her characters homes, the cafes/diners and her characters themselves - it's hard not to fall completely head over heels in love with this story.

Lexi is a fantastic character and reminded me of myself on so many occasions. Her first person POV and dialogue is hilarious and given her circumstances, she still manages to draw a load of laughter from you. I loved her from the moment she was introduced and right the way through until the very end. I have to admit, when I saw the words The End staring at me from my Kindle, I died a tiny bit inside. I became so engrossed in Lexi's fictional problems it was kinda like I was right there with her. I cheered her on, felt sad for her and even wanted to bear-hug her when things began to look up. Her life is what makes this story. From the moment she punched her work colleague in the face, I was sold. She finds herself in so many stupid situations and I just had to sit back and laugh. The things she says, her sarcastic comments, everything about her is just awesome. I also admire a girl who slobs about, watches Bridget Jones and stuffs her face with junk food. This also reminds me of myself. She's a down-to-earth, completely genuine woman and I just adored her. From the way she handles herself to the invisible vulnerability that she hides. She cries over romantic movies and loves her kitty, Mr Beefy. Ellen sets up her main characters life to be one of a constant roller-coaster ride and I loved it!

As well as Lexi, you also get to meet her best-friend, Rosie. As youngsters, there were four of them in their tight-knit friendship group; Lexi, Rosie, Luke and Jason. They spent every day practically joined at the hip. This image is still true! As the story progresses, their friendship strengthens as Rosie helps Lexi through her toughest times. The girly banter that Ellen creates between these two is absolutely hilarious and you just know they're going to be friends forever. Rosie came across in my mind as a live-wire with a banging sense of humour and a loyalty to her girl that no man could ever match. Rosie knows everything about Lexi and vice versa, and it's endearing to watch as they take the leap to San Francisco, side by side. I really loved how close Ellen made the two women and I admit, I'd love a best friend like Rosie in my life! Rosie is also kinda' like Lexi's advice guru who has to talk sense into her from time to time and I just loved how the story constantly seemed upbeat and action-packed when Rosie was involved.

Ellen creates her male characters superbly. I have to say, I really, really took a dislike to Lexi's fiancé, Walker. Urgh, seriously, what a total a**hole. I couldn't of hated him any more if I tried. A cocky demeanour is usually something that I love in a fictional man, but Walker's was just a complete turn-off. His arrogance, his attitude towards Lexi and his loyalty towards his stuck-up mother pissed me right off. That's another thing. His mum. OH-MYGOD. I know she's fictional and it's not a real story etc but I could have happily slapped that woman upside the head in Lexi's defence. Some of the things she says to Lexi had me seething and I just couldn't understand how Walker could stand there and watch. Walker was just an absolute jerk. I hated him, and I'm glad Lexi felt the same way in the end. Ellen created him perfectly to fit his part. If her goal was to make me want to straight up punch him, then goal achieved.

Luke didn't really have any effect of me. The friendship between them was cute but I was all for Ryan. Lexi tells us that Luke was her first love and that she felt like the world was coming to an end when he hopped on the plane at 17 and left her. Frankly, best thing to happen to her because it means Ryan had some room to snuggle into the picture. I loved this guy. So, so much.Ryan is first described as looking uncomfortable and bored, with brown floppy hair. Ellen had me at brown floppy hair. The minute she introduced him I knew there'd be a spark between him and Lexi. I ADORED watching Lexi losing herself in the city and finding out what she really wanted.

The whole story was an absolute pleasure to read and I would gladly read this again and again. It's an escape into another world, and Lexi's world was perfect for me. From the settings to the characters, to the hilarious situations that Lexi finds herself in, I could not put this down. I even stayed up until 3 am to finish a chapter because I was that lost too it. It was relaxed, funny, highly entertaining and I'd recommend this to all of my girly friends because it is just the perfect chick-lit/romance read. It will have you laughing, sighing and then laughing all over again. Not only was it an adventure for Lexi, it was an adventure for me too. I felt like I was sightseeing in San Francisco right behind her, camera at the ready. I swear, Ellen has given me such a treat by letting me read her first novel, and I want to be first up on the list to read any more that she creates. This girls gonna be famous one day, and if she doesn't turn out to be famous, then she can come and live with me and knock out her fantastic stories for me on a daily basis. I'll provide the tea of course ;)

Ellen, thank you so, so much for the opportunity to read The Story of Us.
What an absolute DELIGHT.

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