I can’t believe it’s been just over a month since I last posted a blog post! I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately, and when I haven’t been out taking photos or socialising with family & friends, I haven’t really felt like blogging. However, a few weeks ago the press officer at Michael J Books reached out to me to participate in the blog tour for The Lock In by Phoebe Luckhurst, and I couldn’t resist! A laugh-out-loud comedy that centres on a group of 20-somethings stuck in one room sounded just like the kind of book I’d love! Today I’ll be sharing my thoughts for this brilliant novel!
Ellen and Alexa have survived hangovers, dodgy landlords and most of their twenties together.
But can they survive this?
One Saturday morning, while nursing The Hangover from Hell, a flooded kitchen leads best mates Ellen and Alexa, and hapless housemate Jack, into their attic to turn off the water supply.
But when Ben – Alexa’s date from the night before – walks in, the door slams, the handle breaks and all four of them are trapped.
Cue The Worst morning-after-the-night before.
As the hours tick by, Ellen nurses her sore head and watches as her best friend falls for this handsome stranger.
Only for a horrifying realisation to hit. She is sure she knows Ben from somewhere.
Frantically searching her memories, Ellen tries to piece together exactly how they’ve met before.
When a distant memory finally comes to her, she desperately wonders: could Ben really be who she thinks he is . . .
And more importantly, what on earth is she going to do about it . . .
Welcome to The Lock In.
This is a hilarious story of housemates and hangovers and friendship and dating as four twenty-somethings discover what The Worst morning-after-the-night-before really looks like . . .
Fans of Dolly Alderton, Beth O’Leary and Mhairi McFarlane will LOVE this oh-so relatable tale of love, landlords and what can happen behind locked doors.
We’ve all been stuck inside our homes at some point during the past year and a half. But imagine if you were trapped in one room, with no toilet, no food or drinks, and no connection to the outside world. Sounds unbearable, doesn’t it? Well, that’s exactly what happens to Ellen, Alexa, Jack and Ben, the protagonists of Phoebe Luckhurst’s debut novel The Lock In.
After an unexpected flood in their kitchen, flatmates Ellen, Alexa and Jack – plus Alexa’s date Ben – venture into the attic in order to see if there’s some sort of button that would stop the water from running. Unfortunately, when Ben closes the door behind him the handle falls off, leaving the quartet stuck in the attic, with no idea when – or how – they’ll escape. The Lock In follows Ellen, Alexa, Jack and Ben as they figure out ways to get out of the attic and pass the time.
Phoebe Luckhurst has created a novel that twenty-somethings are bound to enjoy. The characters and situations are relatable – flatsharing is something that most youngsters have experienced at some point, and a lot of us have tried our hand at internet dating. Plus, the days of MSN is something that the majority of Luckhurst’s readers can reminisce about. I like how Phoebe includes anecdotes from the characters’ lives outside of the attic: it made them seem more fleshed out. I really got to know all the characters and their good and bad sides. Elias, the landlord, was a particularly unlikeable character – he’s the epitome of a horrible landlord and I can’t think of anything positive to say about him. On the other hand, I loved Ellen, Alexa, Jack and Ben: although that’s not to say they didn’t have any faults.
The group themselves have great dynamics, especially Ellen and Alexa. The two women have been besties since they met at university over a decade ago (they both attended university in York, which is where I studied myself!). Jack is a bit of a third wheel: he’s quite shy and only moved into the flat 8 months before the events of the book. However, by the end of The Lock In it feels like Jack is truly part of the group. Likewise with Ben, who’s only been on a few dates with Alexa and didn’t meet Ellen and Jack until the flood.
There’s plenty of humour throughout The Lock In, for example when Ellen has to pee in a box and the characters shout out of the window. Inevitably, there’s also some tension. About halfway through the book, Ellen finds out that Ben grew up in Gillingham just like her, and they shared a lot of mutual friends. It also turns out that Ben’s MSN username was the exact same as the guy who ghosted Ellen as a teenager. Things suddenly get awkward as Ellen is insistent that she spoke to Ben all those years ago, while Ben claims that he didn’t ever have an ‘MSN girlfriend’. [spoiler alert] Later on, it’s revealed that it was in fact Ben’s younger brother who was using that account.
Despite being over 350 pages, The Lock In is a surprisingly quick read, and I whizzed through it in a few hours. I was glued to the page right from the beginning, eager to find out how the quartet will get out of the attic. While they try shouting from the window in order to alert the neighbours, Jack is the only one with Internet connection and decides to tweet about the situation (without telling any of the others). He doesn’t expect the tweet to get any attention, but it goes viral and reaches celebrities and journalists – and luckily the fire brigade too, who are able to break down the front door and clear up the water in the kitchen.
The Lock In is a delightful book that really puts friendship to the test. It would work really well as a TV show. The Lock In is so entertaining and hilarious, and I’d love to see how Alexa and Ben’s relationship pans out.
So there’s my review of The Lock In by Phoebe Luckhurst! What books have you been reading recently?