The Little Things by Jay Northcote: Quick Review

little-thingssynopsisThere are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter, Evie, is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.

Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.

Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?

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Okay, so, first we have Joel; he’s sharing custody with his best friend of their three-year old daughter Evie. Even though he’s young, he’s already well established, he has a career as a teacher, a nice home for his daughter and he’s dating a slightly younger man named Dan. Even though I knew he wouldn’t end up with Dan; I liked the amicable way they ended. It wasn’t bitter and Dan didn’t turn out to be a petty, angry ex that caused problems or anything. He cared a great deal for Joel and Evie both; he was just in a different place in his life than Joel. Where Joel had to grow up quickly and had responsibilities, Dan was still 19, didn’t have kids and wanted to do kid stuff like party and stay out all night having fun….and be with other guys…It wasn’t a big deal, they weren’t exclusive and it wasn’t talked about; but it was sad when they ended because you could tell they really cared for each other. I liked that; well, not that they broke up of course, but that it was mature and amicable.

Then, as we gather from the blurb, Joel’s bestfriend and Evie’s mummy, passes away. I really like how it was perceived by Evie, a three-year old. Death is so hard to explain to a child and while I’ve had to do it myself with my own kids and their Grandma, I used Heaven and Angels and all that as explination; it kind of bothered me that Joel was all …. “She’s dead”….. I mean, she’s three, even if you don’t believe in Heaven and angels and all that, make it a little less blunt for a kid….. I mean, everyone does things differently and I understand that, but I was like… wow… okay….
Still, the way Evie handled it was spot on and I was glad for it.

Okay, so now we get to meet Liam. We run into him a couple times without anything happens; Liam is sweet and understanding, he’s honest and sincere, he was there for Joel when he needed him all of the three times they’d bumped into each other. But the last time, since Joel said he’d broken up with Dan, they agree to meet and hang out. It was slow going because of course Joel has Evie and a fulltime job, but they made it work.

I also didn’t like Joel’s mini freak out that hurt Liam; it was completely unnecessary and random; like, he used the whole thing with Dan and losing Claire, but in the end, he was the one that ended things with Dan and he felt good about it, so why was he so sad about it and freaked out when it came to Liam. I was glad Liam didn’t rush right back into things with him, I’d have wanted to lay more ground rules and be like hey dude, if you mess up again, I won’t be so forgiving….. But, Liam was too understanding for that lol.
Anyway, overall, I really enjoyed this story, I really enjoy Jay’s books and this one was no different; it was sad and sweet and heartbreaking and hopeful. I would definitely recommend it!
4 pieces of eye candy from me!

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