The Split by Laura Kay Review by Jasmin Webb

4 min read

Ratings 5 stars

The Split is centered around Ally’s journey after her girlfriend Emily dumps her for her new girlfriend Sara without warning. Ally is completely shattered and at 29 she moves back up north to move in with her father and start all over. She is so hell bent on getting Emily back that her and old school friend Jeremy start hitching plans to both win their exes back, whilst trying so hard to get their lives on track.

To begin with let me just state this was the funniest book I think I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, at one point I was bent over doubled in agony from the amount I was laughing!!! Laura Kay manages to write in a way that she had me laughing on one sentence and close to tears the next. It’s a skill I wish more authors had! It was my first time reading a novel by Laura Kay but it won’t be the last that’s for sure.

I loved that this book is centered around a same sex couple and the community in general. Books are so often trying to fit a certain stereotype readers are expected to want but I honestly loved being able to read about gay/lesbian/bisexual relationships as an accepted and normal part of life, relationships that reflect mine. I went into the book expecting it to be the whole boy meets girl, boy dumps girl, girl heart broken and girl finds boy to rescue her. I couldn’t of been further from the reality of this novel.

Our leading lady and protagonist Ally is a character I think can reflect so many different people. She’s heart broken understandably. But she is down to earth! She loves cake, her cat, Emily and her best friend Jeremy. She’s 29 and doesn’t even slightly have her stuff together, girl welcome to my world! This novel although hilarious is clearly a coming of age story. We all do it, give up little parts of ourselves for relationships, it seems Ally gave away more than she had. Following her journey of self discovery we get to read the real struggles real people have when they have to start again. I was rooting for Ally throughout, although it’s a romantic comedy so it’s obviously going a certain way, it didn’t matter, I loved it anyway!

Ally’s inner thoughts are some of the funniest thoughts I’ve ever come against. This is furthered when Jeremy insists they do a half marathon together. Now I loved their relationship, almost siblings like. I would love to go drinking with them both, I also think I’m a little in love with Ally. Some funny one liners out of context , “don’t be silly everyone is gay now a days”, “great just what the sierrans need a disco,” “yeah you could teach, but primary school you’re more on their level”. I honestly have not laughed that much at well anything in a long time!

Jeremy struggles with mental illness is a great addition to the story. Neither him nor Ally have their lives together. But it’s interesting how the book explores male mental illness. I feel that the way Laura Kay writes about Jeremy’s struggles is done with an honesty that reads well also. It wasn’t needed to add anything further to the book yet I couldn’t imagine it without it. Showing how people’s outwards appearances aren’t always a true reflection of their feelings.

As a whole the dynamic between both Jeremy and Ally is fantastic. When they decide to do a half marathon this leads them to discovering more of our characters in the book and also filled me with belly aching laughter!
This is a story about love and loss. But I feel it’s more about learning to love and respect yourself first. I liked this break from the mold of a standard romance novel and I think that’s why I was so invested in each character. Its written well and very easy to get hooked in!

Would I recommend this book?

YES, I already have! This is one of those books where if you are feeling a bit down once you are a few chapters in you will have laughed more than you would in an average year. This is my favourite book in this genre of 2021 thus far. The characters are believable, the plot is obvious but I like that and it’s so funny. I absolutely loved this book and it won’t be the last Laura Kay book I read. Easy 5 stars.

Thank you to the publisher Quercus, Laura Kay and Girly Book Club for hardback ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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