Currently Reading: Always With Love

Always With Love (Billy and Me #2)
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
First Published: June 6, 2016
Publisher: Penguin UK
Pages: 400 (Paperback)
Rating: 4.5/5

I’ve finally caught up with the rest of the “Billy and Me” series! I feel quite accomplished, mainly because they had been on my “to read” list for months (and the Christmas novella since last year). Giovanna Fletcher writes the most charming books – her stories are absolutely adorable!

“Always in Love” is the direct sequel to “Billy and Me,” and takes place right after “Christmas with Billy and Me.” Sophie and Billy finally fly out to Los Angeles to introduce Sophie to the Buskins in real life (and not over the phone or via Skype). Whilst in LA, Billy gets an opportunity to star in a movie and ends up taking it, ending his acting hiatus and causing Sophie to return to Rosefront Hill alone. So, this time around, Sophie needs to figure out a way to cope with being in a long-distance relationship with her high-profile celebrity boyfriend.

One of my favorite things about the way Fletcher writes about Sophie and Billy’s relationship is that she turns it into a real relationship, and not a Cinderella story. Sophie’s life has not suddenly turned around and made into a “happily ever after” now that she’s dating Billy – I feel she actually has more problems than she would if she was dating a regular guy. However, I felt that Sophie’s problems also stemmed from her self-confidence issues. While she isn’t quite as shy as she was during their first go at a relationship, being long-distance really pronounced their differences as individuals, which made Sophie doubt what she brought to Billy’s life… again. I liked that she finally figured herself out, but it was a bit worrying to see her fall back into old habits.

I loved that Sophie and Billy exchanged letters during their time apart – it was so cute and so very them. It was also quite funny how they could always depend on sending and receiving their letters, yet couldn’t figure out a Skype or phone schedule – I guess some things are better done the old fashioned way.

While I loved reading the book from Sophie’s point of view, I wish there was a companion book or even a chapter in Billy’s point of view. I loved seeing Sophie grow and learn from her experiences, and I wish I could have seen the same from Billy. I don’t feel as invested, or even as interested in Billy, but I want to learn more about him! I want to be more invested in him as a character – I want to see why Sophie swoons after him. I want to know what it was like living in LA with just his family again, and how staying in this long-distance relationship affected him. I just want to learn more about Billy!

Speaking of Buskins, we finally got to meet Billy’s family… and I’m not impressed. I’m actually rather annoyed at his family – they remind me of another celebrity family who I abhor. But I did love Billy’s younger sister Lauren, and I loved that she became a featured character. Like seriously LOVED her character. I hope we get to see more of Sophie and Lauren’s relationship if Giovanna Fletcher decides to add to this series!

I did not, however, appreciate the fact that Fletcher added in a “boys can’t be friends with girls” situation – that was seriously annoying. I saw that coming a mile away, and was really annoyed the entire time. While I can understand Sophie may have needed it, I just never understand the need for that plot device. Seriously – why can’t boys and girls just be friends in books? I don’t really remember reading a book where a girl and a guy are both straight and JUST friends – they always end up with each other or end their friendship in the end. As a girl with quite a few guy friends, I just want to say that I highly dislike it when this plot device is used.

I also didn’t love the ending – it felt a bit abrupt and forced. Sure, it was cute, but I didn’t love it. Maybe it’s because I just didn’t get as invested in Billy as I did in Sophie, but something about it just felt rushed rather than organic. But I hope we see more of Sophie and Billy in the future!

To Buy or Not to Buy: If you enjoyed “Billy and Me” because you enjoyed seeing Billy and Sophie together, I’d recommend borrowing this one from the library or from a friend before purchasing it. But if you’re a bit insane like me and have a need to collect all the books from a series, then buy it.

Extras: I don’t really have anything else to add to this… I feel like I’ve rambled on enough already? Oh! But in the book, Sophie’s new little sister, Charlotte, asks for a “dippy egg,” and now I’m dying for one. And if you didn’t know what a dippy egg is (like me), here’s a lovely recipe of what Charlotte had for that breakfast.