Lockdown on London Lane (Goodreads Link)
Author : Beth Reekles
Published By : Wattpad Books
Year Published : 2022
Genre / Tags : Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Formats : Paperback, eBook, Audio
# of Pages : 352
For the inhabitants of London Lane, a simple slip of paper underneath each of their doors is about to change their lives in a hundred different ways.
URGENT!!! Due to the current situation, building management has decided to impose a seven-day quarantine on all apartment buildings on London Lane.
With nowhere else to go . . .
Ethan and Charlotte wonder whether absence really does make the heart grow fonder when they end up on either side of a locked door.
A fierce debate over pineapple on pizza ignites a series of revelations about Zach and Serena’s four-year relationship.
Liv realizes rolling with the punches is sometimes much harder than it looks after her bridesmaids’ party goes off the rails, leaving the group at each other’s throats.
Isla and Danny’s new romance is put to the test as they jump ten steps ahead on the relationship timeline.
And Imogen and Nate’s one-night stand is about to get six do-overs they never really asked for—not awkward at all.
Through make ups, breakups, love-ins, and blowouts, friendships are tested as everyone scrambles to make it through the week unscathed. Amidst all the drama, one thing remains constant: life is full of surprises.
I like to know as little about a book as possible before reading it. This can be difficult to achieve, as one often doesn’t know whether a book is even worth reading or not without hearing revealing things about it. Nonetheless, I tried to know very little about Lockdown on London Lane before starting it on a whim.
My initial assumption was that it would be a romance about a couple stuck in the same apartment building during a strictly enforced lockdown and the story would consist of their blossoming relationship.
This ended up being partially correct- but this book is about a lot of things, with a lot of characters, and even multiple points-of-view and smaller storylines. It’s ambitious, what Reekles attempts here. But in summary, this is contemporary romance wedged into a distressing and challenging time. The mix-and-match makes for more of a women’s fiction or contemporary fiction vibe than a standard romance. But the mood is generally light and uplifting, bubbly even, especially by book’s end.
I think the nature of this story will become more intriguing to some people in decades to come. I imagine someone from 2098 picking up this book and wondering what Hello Fresh and Patreon are. There are numerous little references to the here and now, but this book isn’t trying to be timeless so that’s OK. I usually don’t like references to social media or companies but these refs are pretty essential to the story- these services are how London Lane’s characters manage to communicate and get by during a strange and isolating time.
This book is sectioned off into eight days, with small chapters that flit back and forth between five different perspectives. The effect is a quick-moving read, easy and enjoyable if you’re at all interested in the premise.
What took a hit to my overall star rating is that I only felt very invested in two out of the five on-going plot lines. The two were very good and comprised many pages, but it was unfortunate to feel that way about only two.
The first of the two were Imogen & Nate’s story- they’re made to live together (somewhat against their wishes) and get to know each other despite being almost-strangers who would have departed were it not for the pandemic. It’s a whimsical set-up. I loved the unconventional dynamic between these two characters. Imogen is a sassy free spirit and Nate is a more serious-minded neat freak. Their opposites attract storyline was so refreshing compared to the all too common bad boy/good girl type of romance. I could read a whole book about them and would probably have enjoyed it more.
The other plot line I enjoyed was Ethan’s- he’s just a likable character and his storyline does a surprisingly good job of developing his girlfriend, Charlotte, despite her absence from the main cast. Flashbacks and backstories go far in adding depth to the characterization.
There is a lot that goes on in all of the smaller stories- some characters react well under the stress of lockdown while others struggle. The relationship dynamics are all over the place. One character is anxiously re-assessing their relationship with their significant other, another has a secret crush on someone they’re made to live with during that week. The idea of having multiple couples and characters is novel but I ended up feeling like there were too many cooks in the kitchen, each vying for relevance. But I can say the tonal consistency is good. If you liked the first half of this book, you’ll like the second half. While most would consider this a good thing, for me it’s not. I like bigger surprises, in whatever form they take, to make a book more noteworthy.
In summary, Lockdown on London Lane is a cozy contemporary encapsulating a unique time and offers distinctive voices to its characters. The quality of writing is solid enough and up-to par with its peers, actually exceeding what I expected since I’ve heard very hit-or-miss things about Wattpad in general. Easily recommendable if you’re grabbed by the first few pages or have some interest in the premise in general.
Why you should try it – If you try the first few pages and like it, you’ll probably be into the long haul since this is a very consistent book in terms of mood and writing style. If you’re looking for a contemporary romance stuffed with characters and following numerous sub-stories.
Why you might not like it – Writing a romantic contemporary about and amidst the pandemic is a choice, one that is almost alluringly strange in my opinion. I don’t think this book would change you’re mind if you’re already turned off by the premise.
Overall Rating : 6.5/10
Thanks for reading my review of Lockdown on London Lane! I have several other reviews in my drafts just waiting to be edited and worked on and set to publish sometime. But more importantly, if you’re reading this, how are you? It’s been a long time since I’ve been active and would love to hear from anyone still out there book blogging. I’ve finally resumed reading again after a long time away from this hobby. I’m looking forward to going through my reader and seeing who else is still active. I hope you’re doing well in these frigid months and practicing self care. Wishing good vibes to everyone~ Kitty