The No-Show Review: Definitely Not What It Seems

July 28, 2022 by Jenna | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

The No-Show Review: Definitely Not What It SeemsThe No-Show by Beth O'Leary
Published by Quercus on April 5, 2022
Source: Audiobook, Purchased
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
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Three women. Three dates. One missing man...
8.52. Siobhan's been looking forward to her breakfast date with Joseph. She was surprised when he suggested it - she normally sees him late at night in her hotel room. Breakfast with Joseph on Valentine's Day surely means something ... so where is he?
14.43. Miranda's hoping that a Valentine's Day lunch with Carter will be the perfect way to celebrate her new job. It's a fresh start and a sign that her grown-up life is finally falling into place: she's been dating Carter for five months now and things are getting serious. But why hasn't he shown up?
18.30. Joseph Carter agreed to be Jane's fake boyfriend at a colleague's engagement party. They've not known each other long but their friendship is fast becoming the brightest part of her new life in Winchester. Joseph promised to save Jane tonight. But he's not here...
Meet Joseph Carter. That is, if you can find him.
The No-Show is the brilliantly funny, heart-breaking and joyful new novel from Beth O'Leary about dating, and waiting, and the ways love can find us. An utterly extraordinary tearjerker of a book, this is O'Leary's most ambitious novel yet.

Somehow I missed the memo that Beth O’Leary had come out with a new book a little while ago. I enjoyed The Flatshare (but was really weirded out by the concept) and also highly enjoyed The Road Trip, so I was really excited to check out The No-Show. (I’m keen to eventually pick up The Switch too – don’t you worry). And I absolutely thought that The No-Show is my favourite of O’Leary’s books so far.

I was a bit skeptical about The No-Show to start because the novel is about three women who all get stood up by the same man, Joseph Carter. On Valentine’s Day! I’m not really one for books that involve cheating but the three women, Siobhan, Miranda and Jane all sounded like they had really interesting stories. Also the fact that Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) narrates Siobhan’s perspective kinda sealed the deal for me. Siobhan is a successful life coach who travels back and forth between London and Dublin and has once-a-month casual hook ups with Joseph. Miranda is a “tree architect” who feels most comfortable up in a tree in the middle of the night – she’s been dating Joseph for the past five months when we meet her. And Jane is a volunteer at a charity shop in Winchester and is in a two-person book club with Joseph who she meets at a bakery/cafe. The two of them are just friends but perhaps… also something more?

I thought the storytelling and the writing in this novel were really clever. I can’t really say much without giving things away but I highly enjoyed how Beth O’Leary weaved all three of the women’s stories together into one novel that remains about them, rather than about Joseph who appears in all of the chapters. Even though The No-Show is sort of marketed as a rom-com, it’s really so much more than that. It tackles serious themes and it’s a good that can make you hurt, laugh and cry. I thought it was an absolute page-turner and I devoured the whole audiobook in one day. Getting to work out the mystery of what happened to Joseph on Valentine’s Day and how each of the women’s lives connect was extremely captivating and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole reading experience even though I wasn’t sure that I would.

I have to say that I really loved all of the main characters of the story. I loved Siobhan and her spunkiness, Miranda and her no-nonsense attitude, and Jane and all of her self-doubt and sweetness. Jane was my favourite because I connected with her the most but I absolutely relished in being able to read about Siobhan and Miranda’s stories, because the writing made me feel like I was a part of them. I even loved Joseph, who I was determined not to like in the first half of the novel, but he absolutely grew on me and now takes up a huge space in my heart.

The No-Show is Beth O’Leary at her finest. If you’re looking for a novel that has a bit of everything, a brilliantly told story, and a fantastic ensemble of characters, I’d highly recommend this one. I listened to the audiobook and thought all of the narrators were absolutely wonderful too.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Jenna is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves to indulge in great books and great food. She is a doctor (of philosophy) and can usually be found fangirling about something, devouring delicious food, or taking a nap. You can find her on Twitter @readwithjenna and on Instagram @readingwithjenna.

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