Rating: 3 stars
When Nichole discovers that her husband, Jake, has been unfaithful, the illusion of her perfect life is indelibly shattered. While juggling her young son, a new job, and volunteer work, Nichole meets Rocco, who is the opposite of Jake in nearly every way. Though blunt-spoken and rough around the edges, Rocco proves to be a dedicated father and thoughtful friend. But just as their relationship begins to blossom, Jake wagers everything on winning Nichole back—including their son Owen’s happiness. Somehow, Nichole must find the courage to defy her fears and follow her heart, with far-reaching consequences for them all.
Leanne has quietly ignored her husband’s cheating for decades, but is jolted into action by the echo of Nichole’s all-too-familiar crisis. While volunteering as a teacher of English as a second language, Leanne meets Nikolai, a charming, talented baker from Ukraine. Resolved to avoid the heartache and complications of romantic entanglements, Leanne nonetheless finds it difficult to resist Nikolai’s effusive overtures—until an unexpected tragedy tests the very fabric of her commitments.
An inspiring novel of friendship, reinvention, and hope, A Girl’s Guide to Moving On affirms the ability of every woman to forge a new path, believe in love, and fearlessly find happiness.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The plot wasn’t too complicated and the story was a breeze to get through. I enjoyed reading about Nichole and Leanne moving on from their previous marriages, doing the best they could on their own.
I also enjoyed reading A Girl’s Guide to Moving On because of the characters. I found I really enjoyed Nichole and Rocco as a couple, Rocco’s relationship with his daughter Kaylene, Shawntelle and Leanne.
What I enjoyed about Nichole and Rocco as a couple was their conversations. I found myself laughing almost every time they were talking to each other and I could see how their relationship continued to bloom.
I also enjoyed the relationship between Rocco and his daughter Kaylene. I honestly expected Kaylene to be a typical cliché teenager, always doing everything against her father’s wishes. Instead, Kaylene and Rocco’s relationship throughout the book is a respectful one. They had their moments when they weren’t completely okay with each other, but those moments were few and far between that they were hardly noticeable. These moments occurred when it came to Kaylene’s fashion choices so usually Nichole had to step in, but they weren’t overblown and drawn out and actually brought Kaylene and Rocco closer together.
I also enjoyed Shawntelle and Leanne as characters. I found Shawntelle’s character to be very enduring because I found her to be the type of friend Nichole needed. Shawntelle is blunt and straight to the point where she says whatever is on her mind, not caring what others think of her. She really made me smile while reading this book because you could tell how much she cares about Nichole. I also enjoyed Leanne as a character, both with regards to her relationship with Nichole and everyone else in the story. My heart really went out to her while reading this book because she’s very selfless, yet was put in situations that hurt her relationship with Nikolai.
To be honest though, Leanne’s relationship with Nikolai was one of many things I didn’t enjoy while reading this book. I liked Nikolai as a character because I could tell he really cared about Leanne, but he got jealous too easily of Leanne’s ex-husband Sean. Every time Leanne was kind to Sean in any way, Nikolai usually flipped out about it because he wasn’t completely okay with Leanne still having some love in her heart for her former husband even though she was married to him for most of her life. To the point where their relationship felt too unreal to me. I know Nikolai loves Leanne, but he got jealous of her former husband every time she interacted with him and it always resulted in their relationship falling apart. But then he’d always come back conveniently right when she needed him, apologizing for his behavior and telling her how much he loves her. And I know relationships aren’t perfect and people make mistakes. But I always felt like their relationship fell apart the moment Sean was mentioned, which bothered me. It made it hard for me to see both of them together and believe they were meant to be.
Another aspect of A Girl’s Guide to Moving On I didn’t enjoy was how easily manipulated Nichole and Leanne were by their former husbands. I get they both still cared about their ex-husbands despite everything they put them through, but I found it to be too much sometimes. Especially because it resulted in their new relationships falling apart, despite how much Nichole and Leanne cared about their new boyfriends. This aspect of the novel bothered me a lot because it showed they weren’t ready to be in another relationship, yet they both got themselves romantically involved with another person anyway, as if that was the only way they’d be able to physically move on from their failed marriages.
I was also bothered when reading A Girl’s Guide to Moving On because it lacked a lot of plot and character development. Yes, the plot wasn’t overly complicated which made it enjoyable to read. But, I felt as if the conflicts in the story were too easily resolved with very little actually being done to resolve them. One example is the moment Jake threatens Nichole’s relationship with Rocco and her being able to have their son Owen. She makes the mistake of doing something that hurts her relationship and calls one of her sisters to find out what to do. But the solution to this conflict was a simple one that she could’ve done in the first place and that would’ve saved her a lot of heartache. It made me emotionally sad to see her character in this situation, but I felt like she could’ve avoided a lot of the pain she inflicted on herself. And that really bothered me because there were a lot of moments in this book that I felt certain situations could’ve been avoided.
There also wasn’t a lot of character development too. Both Jake and Sean learned from their mistakes so I saw some character development from them but I didn’t feel like Nichole and Leanne changed all that much in the story. Yes, Nichole and Leanne both stood up to their ex-husbands a couple of times in the story, but they were still being manipulated by them until Rocco and Nikolai intervened.
But I found A Girl’s Guide to Moving On overall to be a simple and enjoyable read. I enjoyed a lot of aspects about the book and would’ve loved to have given it a higher rating. Unfortunately, there were too many things with this story that were lacking, but I still enjoyed reading it nonetheless and hope others have enjoyed it too.