Behaving Like Adults

Behaving Like Adults

3.8 12
by Anna Maxted
     
 

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Meet Holly, the sunny twenty-nine-year-old owner of Girl Meets Boy, a dating service for those who are "beautiful inside and out." Though she's a successful matchmaker, she hasn't quite fulfilled her own relationship dreams (her ex-fiancé, Nick, seems unlikely to progress from his job as Mr. Elephant, children's party entertainer). So when her friends dare her

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Overview

Meet Holly, the sunny twenty-nine-year-old owner of Girl Meets Boy, a dating service for those who are "beautiful inside and out." Though she's a successful matchmaker, she hasn't quite fulfilled her own relationship dreams (her ex-fiancé, Nick, seems unlikely to progress from his job as Mr. Elephant, children's party entertainer). So when her friends dare her to pick a man off the top of the pile, she's game.

But in one awful evening, the seemingly perfect Stuart turns out to be a complete cad, and Holly's belief in the goodness of humanity takes a hit. What does it mean for her business and her romantic future if she can no longer trust her ability to read people? Holly's friends and colleagues are drawn into the complicated drama of her life, while Holly learns her most important lesson: to trust herself.

Rueful and hilarious, Behaving Like Adults is a must-read novel of men and women growing up -- in spite of themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The heroine of Maxted's third comic confessional (after Running in Heels) is 29-year-old Holly, the incurably optimistic founder of a London dating agency called Girl Meets Boy. The agency is a hit, but, natch, Holly has her own boy troubles: her ex-fiance, Nick, takes his time moving out, and in the meantime infuriates her with his resolutely boyish sensibility (he makes his living dressing up as Mr. Elephant at children's parties). Holly sets herself up with Stuart, a promising applicant at her agency who turns out to be very different from what she imagined: he rapes her on their first date. The experience leaves her so numb and confused that she's not even sure it was rape, and comes up with heartbreaking rationalizations ("Well, here's the truth-I'm so ashamed I'm almost too embarrassed to say-but while he pinned me down, I held my stomach in. See? That proves it. If a woman is being you know, she wouldn't hold in her stomach"). She becomes depressed, makes bad business decisions, fights with her sister Claudia and bewildered friend Rachel and makes the bizarre choice to see Stuart again. Worst of all, she can't trust anyone anymore. Holly's road back to happiness is a long one, not helped by Stuart suing her for defamation when she eventually goes public with the facts. Maxted takes Holly's ordeal seriously, but her attempts to keep a light tone come off awkwardly. To Maxted's credit, Holly never becomes pitiful or self-dramatizing, but the author sometimes errs on the side of glibness, making this an oddly breezy read punctuated by jarring moments of anguish. (May) Forecast: Maxted's name, a bright pink jacket and coy flap copy will sell the book, but readers looking for beach fare may be taken aback by the dark plot. 5-city author tour. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Holly is a charming British twentysomething who runs her own upstart dating agency, Girl Meets Boy. Although she has broken up with fianc Nick-who, except for lack of maturity and direction, seems utterly darling-they still cohabit in the London house they own (Holly has been too busy to give him the boot). Yet all is going fairly well until Holly decides to test out her own service by dating one of her clients, who, it turns out, is more of a sexual predator than a dashing date. Soon after, Nick moves out, and Holly's life starts to splinter. Devastated, she struggles to keep Girl Meets Boy afloat and keep her friends and family from committing her while trying to live like someone who hasn't been assaulted by life's blows. Maxted's light writing style makes her story engagingly believable but does not belie the depth and range of her sympathetically flawed characters, who are both charming and witty in the face of disaster. Although Maxted's fiction (Getting Over It; Running in Heels) is gaining readers, her pop-culture standing is well below what it should be. Hopefully, the third time is a charm. Highly recommended.-Rachel Collins, "Library Journal" Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Setting: London. Character: hip young woman. Conflict: boyfriend trouble. Sound familiar? Still, this latest Brit-chick-lit saga gets a serious spin from the popular Maxted. Á la her previous outings (Running in Heels, 2001, etc.), blending a smart, chatty narrative with a weighty problem--a parent’s death one time, anorexia another--Maxted here tackles date rape. Holly, 29, has a house in London, a diabetic cat, and a new business (a dating service for young hipsters called Girl Meets Boy) that seems to be headed toward grand success. Of course, there’s one problem: ex-fiancé Nick won’t move out. Having split because Nick just won’t grow up (he’s charming, kind, and funny and works as Mr. Elephant at children’s birthday parties), Holly is hoping he’ll get the hint when she goes on a date with Stuart, a Girl Meets Boy client. But things go terribly wrong and Stuart rapes Holly on her kitchen floor just as Nick arrives home. But was it rape? Holly, traumatized, decides it didn’t seem like rape (no gun or dark alley, and, for heaven’s sake, Stuart drives a Mercedes), and so it must have been bad sex. Nick moves out, but Holly’s denial creates a host of problems: depression, anger, fear. So Holly walks around her own house with a kitchen knife and gets a panic attack at the thought of grocery shopping. Her friends--outlandish aristocrat Rachel (who, Holly suspects, is having an affair with her sister’s husband), theatrical Nige (who works for Holly while awaiting stardom), baby sister Claudia--can’t understand why Holly is letting her business (and friendships and whole worldview) fall apart. When Holly finally blows the whistle on Stuart, she begins to heal, but not before Stuart sues fordefamation of character and Nick (who was still stuck on Holly) breaks it off for good. Never fear: a happy ending is in sight, but Maxted makes her characters work for it. The heavy subject aside: a funny, breezy read. Agent: Deborah Schneider/Gelfman Schneider Agency

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061844881
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
222,925
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Anna Maxted is a freelance writer and the author of the smash international bestsellers Getting Over It, Running in Heels, and Behaving Like Adults. She lives in London with her husband, author Phil Robinson, and their son.

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