It Had to Be You
by Keris Stainton
“I’m in the park. the sun is shining and i feel warm and safe and happy. I see someone in the distance, walking towards me, but the sun’s in my eyes and I can’t tell who it is. I know though. I know without even seeing him.”
Bea has been dreaming about a guy for most of her life; a reoccurring scene in a park with a boy she has never met. After years of having this dream and moving to London, she stumbles upon him. The boy of her dreams. Or so she thinks. It turns out that dreaming about a boy and actually being with him may be very different things. This novel is a comedic and fun read about the expectations of romance and the actualities of how difficult relationships can be. Bea is a fun and life-like protagonist that every rom-com lover can surely relate to. The story is well told with elements of awkwardness turned hilarious, and a good message sewn throughout.
The cast of characters is a dynamic and fun group of young people, living in an apartment together. Each member has a very unique personality and they all seem to mesh well. It was clear that while Bea was the protagonist of the story, the other characters had their own lives with their own challenges, making the story more realistic than some contemporary reads. The apartment had Bea (a hopeless and awkward romantic), Henry (best friend/landlord/goof), Freya (an eccentric and funny lesbian), and Adam and Celine (an argumentative couple). Each character was relatable and fun to read about, Stainton could definitely take each of the characters and create their own books.
The setting was London, England and it perfectly backdropped the romantic feel of Bea and the novel itself. This was a book I wanted to jump right into and felt like I related to. This book, threaded through with a story of dreams, decorated with cute guys and an adorable book store, felt like my very own dream.