When Hannah meets Sonny, she’s irresistibly drawn to him: he’s sexy and confident, but only in town on holiday. That’s fine with Hannah – she doesn’t do long-term relationships. And luckily for her, neither does Sonny.
But as summer hots up and their chemistry shows no signs of cooling, they start to question their reasons for shutting each other out.
Are they both too broken to find love? And if they tear down the walls between them, will they still like what’s on the other side?
The Minute I Saw You by Paige Toon is a heartfelt romantic comedy about falling in love and all the complexities that come with it.
This is another enjoyable romantic comedy from Paige; The Minute I Saw You feels like the literary equivalent of a warm hug. There are definitely moments of darkness and heaviness in this story, particularly around sexual abuse and the characters using sex to mask deeper issues. But at its core, this novel follows a budding romance between two people who could not be more perfect for each other.
Additionally, the supporting characters are just as engaging as Hannah and Sonny. They add an added layer of humour and joy to the story.
“His lips lift up into a half-smile and he throws me a sideways look. He makes very little eye contact when he’s low, I’ve noticed, so when it does come, it sparks a small jolt inside my ribcage.”
This is the second Paige Toon novel I’ve read, and there’s certainly an escapist feel to her writing. The stories are heartfelt but also light and welcoming, inviting to all audiences. Whilst this book is undeniably for adults — it’s very sexy — I can see the readership being as young as twenty.
Dialogue is one of the strengths of this novel — it’s realistic and relatable, and captures each character’s voice with ease.
The storyline itself feels fairly predictable. The plot follows the boy-meets-girl premise but also includes the boy-has-issues-he-needs-to-work-through-before-they-can-be-together narrative device. It’s not entirely original, but Paige has woven a story together with characters that feel unique and refreshing, and a delight to get to know.
“After a while he asks if I’d mind him putting his headphones on and listening to music. I start to flick through my magazine, but it’s hard to concentrate. I feel as though a chasm has opened up between us.”
Setting is another strong element to this story, taking us through the idyllic English countryside where everyone runs into each other on the street, and time spent together feels quaint and cosy.
The Minute I Saw You uncovers some intense emotional trauma for both of the main characters, but Paige manages this with sensitivity and compassion. Each twist to the story is intricately woven into the chapters, and will please readers.
Whilst sometimes the storylines felt a little far-fetched at times — particularly Hannah’s backstory — there is enough reliability in this story for a reader to immerse themselves in.
“My eyes widen and his do too. He retreats slightly to put more distance between us, but it only makes me want to close the gap. It takes an immense amount of willpower to hold back.”
Filled to the brim with romance, angst and characters you can’t help but love, The Minute I Saw You is contemporary fiction recommended for romance fans.
Thank you to the publisher for mailing me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Minute I Saw You
Penguin Random House