Grade: 2 stars
Goodreads appetizer: Ever since Cassandra was a little girl, she's had a remarkable psychic gift. Now a successful columnist for a weekly magazine, she predicts the future with uncanny precision. And thanks to her stunning co-worker Charlene—and the latest love of Charlene's life, hot television producer Jack—Cassandra's moving up ... to daytime TV!The trouble is, whenever Jack's around, the hapless seer's second sight goes dim—something that always seems to happen when a desirable single male is around. But despite a truly abysmal dating record, she believes Jack is the one for her ... though Charlene might strongly disagree. Is true love or outrageous catastrophe right around the corner? Cassandra doesn't have a clue. But it seems even being able to foretell the future can't protect her from what destiny has in store ... and sometimes fate won't allow you to look before you love.
Unfortunately the novel did not live up to my expectations, which considering that we are talking about chick lit weren't that high or unrealistic: I just wanted a cute, funny well-written story.
I Never Fancied Him Anyway didn't deliver. The characterisations are flat, the characters are shallow, 2D, clichéd, and because of the strict stereotypisation irritating. The protagonist Cassie is a lukewarm character: everybody loves her, she is described as pretty, and yet she doesn't have any character, substance. She is a washed up shadow of a character, even after 400something pages (written in the 1st person!) you don't feel like you know her. The hero/love interest isn't that much present in the novel, he has maybe 3-4 scenes tops. The supporting characters, Cassie's friends can be summed up in these few words: there is the rich-daddy's-girl-trust-fund-babe, the ecological-conscient-Amnesty-International-jeans-wearing-no-make-up-girl and the required gay-guy-friend. Each one of them is predictable and a dull stereotype.
The plot was fabricated and forced, no real twists or obstacles stood in the way of the H/H, and dragging out this suffering for no believable reason for 400pages was excruciating and irritating.
Claudia Carroll tries to make her novel and characters funny, but she tries too hard and thus makes it forced and unnatural.
Verdict: I really wanted to like and enjoy this novel, but I just couldn't and it was not for lack of trying. I'm not sure I will pick up another Claudia Carroll novel in the future. If you're looking for a funny, cute and entertaining chick lit, pick up anything by Melissa Nathan (The Nanny and The Learning Curve are especially wonderful!), or Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella or Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore, they are all better choices than I Never Fancied Him Anyway.