ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Love, Masks & Social Distancing by Caroline Carter

Today I’m sharing my thoughts about Love, Masks & Social Distancing by Caroline Carter. My thanks to the author for the review copy of the book.

When Sam moved to London in the name of love, she never expected her heart to get dumped in the Thames like a bit of old trash. In addition to being single, broke, and homeless, an embarrassing workplace meltdown leaves the broken-hearted twenty-three-year-old newly unemployed. Bloody brilliant. Deep down Sam knows that she’s the only one to blame. She always imagined she’d meet the perfect guy and live a fairytale life, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that in this reality, she’s the pumpkin not the princess. When a new job opportunity arises in Brighton, Sam decides this is her second chance. A new apartment, cool friends—perhaps even a chance at true love. But as the wise women say, the best way to make God laugh is to tell Her your plans. Just as Sam is settling into her sparkly new life, a news report out of China announces the appearance of a strange and deadly virus. Suddenly, being single and broke in London doesn’t seem so bad at all…

Love, Masks, and Social Distancing (I think you can guess what it’s about from the title) is set in the crazy year that was 2020 amid the global pandemic that shocked us all. I know some people think it’s too close to read about yet but I actually enjoyed following the main character through her own personal lockdown experiences.

We meet Sam Duffy at the end of 2019, dumped by her boyfriend and about to find herself with no job, no money and no home. Having travelled to London from her home country of New Zealand with her boyfriend, she’s suddenly all alone in a foreign country. Life starts to turn itself around when she gets a new job and a flatshare in Brighton and she starts to have fun in a vibrant city just before the first Covid lockdown.

I raced through this book in an afternoon. It’s a really easy and quick read, particularly as it’s all told through Sam’s journal, letters, emails and messages. I wasn’t sure this style would work for me but I found it quite engaging overall. Sam is a likeable protagonist and it was nice to watch her start to find her feet in Brighton, meet new people (even with social distancing) and maybe even get herself a new romance. I particularly liked the way she went about the latter.

If you want a light, fun and extremely current read then Love, Masks, and Social Distancing could be for you. I would say it’s aimed at a younger audience then me but nevertheless I enjoyed following Sam in her new lockdown life.

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