Review: If You Don't Know Me By Now by A. L. Michael

Friday 26 June 2015
Title: If You Don't Know Me By Now
Author: A. L. Michael
Publisher: Carina UK
Publication Date: 2nd July 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Imogen has come to London to make it as a writer. At least, that was the plan. Finding herself in a dead-end job serving coffee to hipsters was not on her to-do list. And even if gorgeous colleague Declan does give her more of a buzz than a triple-shot cappuccino, Imogen can feel her dreams evaporating faster than the steam from an extra-hot latte.

Until her anonymous tell-all blog about London’s rudest customers goes viral – and suddenly, Imogen realises that landing the worst job in the world might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to her! As long as she can keep her identity to herself...

If You Don't Know Me By Now was my first A. L. Michael read but it definitely will not be my last. You can sometimes judge a book simply on how quickly you took to the main character, and I have to say that I loved Imogen Cypriani from almost the minute we met. Imogen moved to London with that dream many people have on their way to the capital; to land that dream job, and live that amazing life. Well, as with most major cities the reality is often quite different for those that live there which is why she finds herself in an interview for coffee chain BeanTown.

A. L. Michael has got to have worked in the service industry before because the things she comes out with and the stories Imogen tells are just so true to life that you know they are happening in coffee shops around the world right now! I think being a barista is probably one of the hardest dealing with the public jobs, and Imogen had the patience of a saint (for the most part) and I loved that she took her frustrations out in the form of a blog as opposed to on the customers themselves. She somehow managed to remain quite professional. Imogen sets up a blog Twisted Barista Tales whereby she relays tales of annoying customers, stupid things they say or ask etc and it is so good that you just know it would be a huge success in real life.

Of course there's a romance element in the story and this was one of my favourite parts because of how natural the whole thing felt between Imogen and Declan, who works at another BeanTown store but keeps visiting Imogen's because his manager forgets to order supplies (and keeps 'forgetting' as the weeks go on). A friendship forms between the two at first, and their scenes together are brilliant. Along the way there's a lot of humorous moments but also some quite serious ones too as Imogen starts to learn a lot about herself, and she really blossoms over the course of the story thanks in part to her cousin Demi who is almost Imogen's opposite and who allows Imogen to make some realisations and then changes in her own life. I actually related to Imogen a lot in this book, which is why her journey in the story was so enjoyable for me. She's such a likeable character and one that I would really like to read about again in the future.

If You Don't Know Me By Now is such a brilliant book, one that I very highly recommend that people download to their Kindles straightaway. The cover is brilliant as well (but then this is a Carina book so that's a given). Get it downloaded!


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