Review: The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent (2021)

The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent


Have you ever imagined running away from your life?

Well Birdy Finch didn’t just imagine it. She did it. Which might’ve been an error. And the life she’s run into? Her best friend, Heather’s.

The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems…

Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)?

And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked (but who thinks she’s someone else)

The Summer Job is a fresh, fun, feel-good romcom for fans of The Flatshare, Bridget Jones and Bridesmaids.


I got a proof copy of this from Penguin Viking via my friend @bkslovelythings, who always looks after me and makes sure I get treats when I need cheering up! Thank you, Jo, as always! It took me longer than I wanted to get around to reading The Summer Job, but perhaps I can claim I was waiting for the sun to finally put in an appearance!

There has been a lot of love for this book on Twitter, and I can see why. This is a fizzing, funny, surprising novel that carries you along with its sheer zest and enthusiasm. The premise is the stuff of Hollywood comedies – a classic identity switch with hilarious consequences – but the way the story progresses is quirky and unexpected. Birdy is a great character, lost and drifting but with a fabulous sense of humour and a great line in swearing – it is easy to empathise with her, even when some of her more unlikeable character traits come to the fore. She is perfectly pitched as the adult who struggles to adult, and, as we learn about her childhood, we gain even more sympathy with her, though the hints of her traumatic past are subtle and never over-done.

James, the chef at the hotel who becomes the inevitable love interest, is the first fictional character I have properly fancied in quite a long time! He’s slightly awkward and gorgeous and kind and could whip you up a cordon bleu meal – what’s not to love?! I was rooting for these crazy kids all the way. And although, this being a romantic comedy, we know where we’re going to end up, Dent still manages to throw in plenty of speed bumps and surprises before we get to the end of this fun-filled ride.

I have mentioned before that I don’t read a lot of love stories, but this one really made me smile (and occasionally snort with laughter in a very unattractive way), and I can’t think of a better read for a sunny day on a (local) beach or out in the garden. Grab your sunglasses and settle down with Birdy this summer – you won’t regret it!

The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent is out now from Penguin and is available to purchase here


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