Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes by Jules Moulin

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Reviewed by Bel

When a buttoned-up professor and her unbuttoned daughter fall for the same irresistible man, a delightful, subversive comedy begins. . . .

Life isn’t easy for single mother Ally Hughes. Teaching at Brown, her class load is huge and her boss is a menace. At home, she contends with a critical mother, a falling-down house, and a daughter who never misses a beat. Between taking care of the people she loves, teaching full time, and making ends meet, Ally doesn't have time for a man. She doesn’t date. She’s not into flings. But then she meets Jake, an eager student, young in years but old in soul, who challenges his favorite professor to open up her life, and her heart, to love. It doesn't work. In fact, his urging backfires.

Ten years later, Ally's still single. Jake reappears and surprises her in a brand-new role: He's dating Ally's now-grown daughter. In this hilarious, heartrending tale, Ally is finally forced to concede (not only to herself) that an independent, "liberated" woman can still make room in her life for love.

Who doesn't think this title is cheeky? I do. That's what got my attention and I knew I just had to meet this Ally.

Ally recollects her life as a harried single mother attempting to make a good life for her and her daughter, Lizzie and that of her current life where Lizzie is an adult. Ally is lovable right off the bat. She’s smart, sweet and so oblivious. She's fiercely determined to succeed on her own career-wise and parenting-wise. She just doesn’t get it when one of her students is hitting on her. Ally has never put herself first so when Jake makes his advances, she’s stunned and doesn’t know how to react. Jake, oh Jake! He’s so freaking charming and sensitive, it’s amazing how patient he is with Ally’s quirkiness and discomfort. They spend a weekend together where he tries to show her what she's been missing and she tries to accept and become comfortable with her sexuality. Once the weekend is over, it’s back to reality where Ally returns to putting her daughter first in all things and Jake disappears from her life.

Sometimes good things do come back to those who wait because Jake shows up out of the blue years later and knocks the wind out of Ally. Their one weekend is a treasured memory to her and he has never forgotten it either. However, he returns at a pivotal time in her life where she's now a mother to a grown-up Lizzie who's making her own decisions. Ally's having a hard time letting go and trusting her. Not that it's necessarily an issue of trust, it's just that she has to get used to the idea of Lizzie as an independent woman who can take care of herself. Then there also exists a little problem: that of Lizzie who may have a wee bit of a crush on Jake. (By the way, Lizzie also offers up her own fascinating pov.) Slight complications aside, it’s funny to see Ally’s reaction and unease towards Jake because lord knows, I’d sooooo be that way, too!

Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes has to be one of my favourite reads this year. It’s funny, honest and charming. And Ally is just too downright adorable! There are so many laugh-out-loud moments including a very ridiculous role-playing scenario that had me in hysterics! I was shaking so hard and failing miserably at suppressing my laughter because I was trying to not wake my sleeping husband beside me. I’ve re-read that scene a few more times since and I still laugh aloud. Congrats to Jules Moulin on her debut. It’s absolutely fantastic!

~ Bel

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