If you don’t know already, I’m a sucker for contemporary chick-lit/romance novels. Alexandra Potter’s ‘Do You Come Here Often’ is actually one of my favourite books to read.
I’ve been trying to get my hands on Going La La for quite some time, seeing as it was her second novel and was released in 2001 first. There are several instances that won’t make sense anymore- like the fact she sat by her phone so he would call- not her cell phone, no the landline.
Our heroine, Frankie lives in London with her boyfriend, Hugh and two cats, Fred and Ginger. She works at a magazine as a writer and is very content with her life. A little bill in Hugh’s jacket suggests that he bought a ridiculously expensive ring at Tiffany’s just days ahead of her birthday.
So, even when she’s laid off from work, she still thinks she has something to look forward to. Until she gets to her birthday- her 29th, at the bowling centre with Hugh, and his friend Adam (who she can’t stand) and his 21-year-old super annoying girlfriend. Her birthday turns out to be a disaster – with Adam proposing to his girlfriend- and “dear” old Hugh actually telling Frankie that he wants space.
She runs home, packs up, books ticket to her old flatmate/best friend’s house to Los Angeles. What begins then is a lot of adventures, a sexy American photographer (Reilly), a weird neighbour, and a lot of drinking. Reilly turns out to be this classic romantic hero for our protagonist.
As Alexandra’s actual, legit fan- I wasn’t too thrilled with this one. Though at one point, all I wanted to do was read this book and do nothing else. But, while that usually starts much earlier when I’m reading her books- this time it was somewhere when I was halfway through.
But, what this book did offer was an honest reveal of how relationships really end. Hugh dumped Frankie to pursue meaningless one night stands, only to realize he just wants to be in a stable loving relationship. I don’t understand why people do this- break away from a good, healthy relationship- and completely mess up the other’s head, and only to come begging back after a cold, silent time.
Hugh didn’t feel the need to call back Frankie to even find out if she’s okay, or where she is. The minute she left the apartment, he didn’t bother. And when she did call from LA to speak to him- all he could care was about the girl in his bed! And then he shows up in Las Vegas with a ring and a whole plan of what they’re going to do- assuming she’s going to go through with it?! I would have been super angry if she went back to the asshat. But, thank god she didn’t.
Reilly’s character is first introduced when Frankie’s at the airport in London drinking her sorrows in bodyweight vodka. I wish she’d talked more about him than just in the scenes he was present in- and his physical features. I feel like Hugh’s character was explained more in detail than Reilly’s was.
All her novels have a theme of magic and mystic to them- this one, unfortunately, didn’t. Maybe that was the substance lacking from the book. She’s much more witty, engaging and humorous in her other novels- that I kept looking for it in this one. I did have a few LOL moments where I actually fell off the bed laughing- but those weren’t as many as there were in the others.
All in all, give it a read- but not the first one I’d recommend if you’d never read Alexandra Potter before. I’d recommend ‘Do you Come here Often’ That’s my favourite one.