Book Review: It Had to Be You by Ellie Adams

Ellie Adams It Had To Be You cover

It Had to Be You by Ellie Adams
Release Date:
28th August 2014
Publisher: Corgi
Buy: Paperback  Kindle
5 star


The worst break-up ever . . . Could be the best thing that has ever happened to her

Lizzy Spellman has been dumped. At a party.While wearing a Henry VIII costume. By the man she thought was The One. Someone even filmed it, so now she’s a massive YouTube hit sensation too.

Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, she meets the rudest, most cynical man in the world, and gets a new mission in life. To prove him wrong.

Love does exist, and she’s going to find it . . .


Lizzy Spellman is about to celebrate the six month anniversary with her boyfriend Justin and she just knows that he’s going to ask her something important. Everyone’s been telling her so. Despite what her mother says, Lizzy doesn’t really think that Justin’s going to propose, not just yet, anyway. She’s thinking more along the lines of him asking her to move in with him…
However, disaster strikes at a 30th Birthday party when an astonished Justin reveals that he has no intention of marrying Lizzy. He was actually going to ask her if she wanted to go on a mini-break. If this isn’t humiliating enough, the pair come to blows on stage whilst singing karaoke, in front of everyone, whilst Lizzy is dressed as Henry VIII. (It was a fancy dress party in case you’re wondering…) Upset and humiliated, Lizzy has an out of body experience and completely loses her rag which involves her headbutting Justin. Oh yes, and the whole exchange is filmed by the audience and promptly put up on YouTube, causing Lizzy to then become known as ‘Headbutt Girl’ as the video goes viral.

Supported by her best friends Nic and Poppet, Lizzy tries to come to terms with the humiliation and get on with her life and concentrate on her job working in PR. However, when she is given the task of promoting a new project (the ‘Happy Halo’…) she ends up coming into contact with Elliot Anderson, who is an editor at the Financial Times and an economics correspondent for ITV News at Ten. Lizzy has no idea who Elliot is, but one thing she does know is that he is extremely grumpy (although she also learns he was third on Heat’s ‘Hottest Gingers’ list)
Lizzy keeps encountering this infuriating man and even finds herself feeling sorry for him when his break up to hot fashion designer Amber de la Haye becomes public knowledge. However it would seem Lizzy’s sympathy is wasted on Elliot, he hates talking about his relationship, he appears to hate Lizzy and he also hates animal print…
However, the more Lizzy and Elliot get to know one another, the more they decide that the other’s actually not so bad after all. Lizzy starts to develop feelings for Elliot, but she can never allow herself to act on them, can she? After all, this is the man who was engaged to the gorgeous Amber de la Hay and is unwilling to talk about their spilt. Maybe he still has feelings for her? What really happened between them? Lizzy finds herself stumped with so many questions, perhaps the most pressing of all being is a tomato really a fruit??
When I spotted It Had to Be You on Netgalley I clicked that ‘Request’ button as fast as lightening. I loved the synopsis and the cover, but Ellie Adams was an author I hadn’t yet discovered. Excited at the possibility of discovering yet another fantastic author I was delighted to be approved (thanks lovely publishers!) but when I found out that Ellie Adams was actually a pen name for the AMAZING Jo Carnegie my excitement reached dangerously high levels. I love Jo Carnegie. Her Churchminster series of books are amongst some of my favourites so I couldn’t wait to discover her work as Ellie Adams too.
I’m pleased to say I definitely wasn’t disappointed as It Had to Be You is chick lit at its very best. I really enjoyed this book and I loved so many things about it. Lizzy was the ideal lead character, her friendship with Nic and Poppet was both hilarious and adorable, her mother was legendary (‘picky bits’) and her relationship with Elliot was superbly formed as they went from hate to love. In fact I found Elliot quite infuriating myself to start off with, he came across as plain rude at times, but like Lizzy you will grow to love him and his quirky ways.
There is such a fantastic cast of characters in It Had to Be You, and ultimately that is one of my favourite things about the story. Nic and Poppet are amazingly funny and the kind of best friends any girl would be lucky to have, you’ll love to hate Lizzy’s ungrateful boss Antonia and you’ll be rooting for the feisty, adorable Lizzy all the way (warning: you might also end up falling a bit in love with Elliot…)
I am a huge fan of Jo Carnegie’s writing and I can understand why she chose a different pen name for It Had to Be You as it’s very, very different from her previous novels. However, she retains that witty, laugh-inducing tone and this novel was an absolute pleasure to read. You can’t help but whizz through it, laugh (very loudly and very often) and nod your head in recognition.
Another make-or-break for me is how novels end. I don’t want an abrupt end that leaves me asking ‘whaaa?’ and I completely loved the ending of It Had to Be You. It left me warm, content and with a great big goofy smile on my face.

The campaign for more from Ellie Adams starts here…

I received a digital copy of It Had to Be You from Netgalley. I would like to send a huge thank you to publishers, Random House UK, Corgi, for approving me to read this fantastic title.



Ellie Adams is happiest when surrounded by crisps, dips, wine and her friends. She is a journalist and dog lover who lives in London. It Had To Be You was inspired by a life-long love of redheaded men.

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