Book review: Girl Meets Boy – Ali Smith

This book is an easy read. By easy I mean there is no drama, no soul-searching, no difficult conversations with mothers or other relatives, no meddling ex-girlfriends and no heartbreak. It’s practically a gay fairy tale, only with less of a storyline.


Andrea is twenty one and has just moved in with her older sister Imogen. Imogen has a nice house, a well-paid job and a lean physique due to daily exercise. The only thing rebellious about Imogen is her motorbike named Rebel. Andrea knows that Imogen wants her to live an equally sensible life but she can’t. Instead she goes shopping instead of going to work, only to quit work altogether when she meets Robin.


Robin went to school with Imogen, but where Imogen became sensible, Robin became an activist. Robin and Andrea fall in love forcing Imogen to change her view of the world. How this occurs I can only imagine. The chapter between Imogen the bigot and Imogen the broadminded appears to have been missed. What wasn’t missed are the fascinating details the author puts into this book, from Ovid’s story of Iphis and Ianthe, to the statistics spray-painted onto Marks & Spencers. This is a beautifully written book and, like all fairy tales, ends happily ever after.