Life isn’t easy for single mother Ally Hughes. Teaching at Brown, her class load is huge and her boss is a menace. At home, she contends with a critical mother, a falling-down house, and a daughter who never misses a beat. Between taking care of the people she loves, teaching full time, and making ends meet, Ally doesn't have time for a man. She doesn’t date. She’s not into flings. But then she meets Jake, an eager student, young in years but old in soul, who challenges his favorite professor to open up her life, and her heart, to love. It doesn't work. In fact, his urging backfires.
Ten years later, Ally's still single. Jake reappears and surprises her in a brand-new role: He's dating Ally's now-grown daughter. In this hilarious, heartrending tale, Ally is finally forced to concede (not only to herself) that an independent, "liberated" woman can still make room in her life for love.
Shopaholic, meet your match!
As you can probably tell if you read this blog often, I am mostly a YA and classics kinda girl. However, the title of Alex Hughes Has Sex Sometimes immediately drew me to the book (I mean honestly, who could resist?) and I wasn't disappointed. We meet Alex Hughes, a college professor at the end of a term. Student Jake walks in and as in every feel-good chicklit book, we immediately know the role he'll play.
Or at leas the one Ally will spend one weekend with, because he's far too young for him to fall in love with her and for her to consider anything else, right? What I loved is that Ally reads like a Becky Bloomwood. She's witty, awkward, endearing and completely clueless about everything in her life. As a reader, you immediately are drawn to Ally who seems to have made all the wrong decisions. (don't we all feel like that sometimes?) Yet, she is a nice person and she is trying to do the best for everyone: her mother, her daughter and the hot, mostly naked, guy in her house for that weekend. Especially when that mostly-naked guy returns not so naked and on the arm of her daughter ten years later.
Meshing two different stories
As the plot summary makes clear, Jules Moulin juggles two stories throughout the book. Yes, they are very closely related, but there is a gap of ten years in between and the Alex Hughes of the weekend fling is a very different character than the Alex Hughes that welcomes her daughter's boyfriend. As a writer, Jules Moulin is able to combine these two stories seamlessly. I often get annoyed when we jump from one perspective/time period to another with each chapter, but in this book it just works. While the weekend of Alex and Jake is unravelling, so are the reasons as to why Jake suddenly showed up at Alex's house. It's enjoyable to read because the pacing is done flawlessly and as a reader you get sucked deeper into both stories with each chapter.
The only thing I think that might have kinda suffered from meshing two stories together is the overall ending of the book. The story from ten years ago gets a nice ending that completely makes sense within the book, but the present story doesn't. The ending feels incredibly rushed, with so many serious problems (including some between Alex and her daughter) rushed through. The book is short and the writing is amazing so I wish the end was really more fleshed out for the reader - I don't need a quick fairytale ending, I want it to be real.
As I talked about in my BookTube-A-Thon videos, I started reading Alex Hughes Has Sex Sometimes during that week just to get a feel for the book. I only wanted to read 10 pages. I almost finished the complete book immediately and that's the best way to describe Alex Hughes Has Sex Sometimes: it's impossible to put down. However, it is not flawless and the ending really should have been longer in my opinion, so it's not a five star book - but it's pretty damn close.