By all accounts, Parker Welles is living a charmed life. A trust fund kid, she’s the author of a wildly-successful childrens book series – the profits of which are donated to charity. She’s also got an adorable son, good friends, and a nice little life in small-town Rhode Island.
It’s so easy to love Kristan Higgins. Her characters are people you want to have dinner with and the small towns that she builds are little pieces of New England heaven. In Somebody to Love, Higgins revisits both characters and locale, which gives the whole thing a high school homecoming feel (assuming, of course, that you liked high school). The genius of it is that, instead of creating a sequel for one book, Higgins has managed to combine the people of one book (Parker Welles is Lucy Mirabelli’s best friend from The Next Best Thing) with the location of another (Gideons Cove, Maine, is the home of Maggie and Malone in Catch of the Day), thus establishing that, yes, Higgins’ novels are all in the same universe. If the pattern holds true, that also means that I’m not completely crazy for hoping to see one of the O’Neill boys from Just One of the Guys starring as the hero of his own novel one day.
(What can I say? Lucky and Jack were both intriguing. A prequel about either of them would be incredible.)
Though the reader doesn’t have to have read either of the original books to understand Somebody to Love, there are a couple of seemingly throwaway lines that instead turn into delicious inside jokes if you’ve gone in having read Catch of the Day. And since The Next Best Thing has, in my opinion, the best “Law and Order twist” of all of Higgins’ novels, you should probably pick that one up, either before or after Somebody to Love, as well.