How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You
T. M. Franklin
How to Get Anisley Bishop to Fall in Love with You
T. M. Franklin
– SUMMARY –
1. Join the Drama Club
2. Do Your Research
3. Provide Something She Needs
4. Make Her Feel Secure and Important
5. Pay Attention!
6. Be a Good Friend
7. Be More Attractive
8. Be Complimentary, But Not Obsequious
9. Establish Rapport
10. Be Encouraging and Supportive
11. Give Her Space
12. Admit When You’re Wrong and Apologize
13. Find the Perfect Birthday Gift
14. Tell Her How You Feel
Seventeen-year-old Oliver Wendell Holmes (Yes, his parents are just that peculiar, but his brother’s name is Sherlock, so it could have been worse) knows that he’s different. He’s quirky, awkward, and he’s okay with that. Oliver also likes making lists—meticulous procedures for achieving his goals, step-by-step. Whether it’s “How to Get an A in Chemistry” or “How to Get Accepted to MIT,” he has a process, and it’s worked for him so far. He doesn’t even care that the popular kids mock him. Oliver’s got his eye on the prize.
So when he decides it’s time to declare his feelings for Ainsley Bishop, the girl of his dreams, it’s only natural for him to make a list—a point-by-point strategy to win her heart. He knows it will take a grand gesture for her to see all he has to offer, and her approaching birthday provides the ideal opportunity for Oliver to put his plan into action.
Finding the perfect gift is a challenge Oliver meets with his usual dogged determination. He’ll need to watch her carefully for clues to pinpoint exactly what he should give her. And along the way, he might just learn that what Ainsley really needs is not quite what he expected.
– REVIEW –
Oliver Wendell Holmes has a plan. Actually, charming young Oliver has many plans and lists in his ever-present “To Do” notebook. The first and foremost list outlines his master plan to get the object of his affection, Ainsley Bishop, to fall in love with him. It’s a pretty daunting task for the intelligent, slightly eccentric seventeen year old, but the methodical Oliver has confidence in his strategy and faith in his methodology — for example — Item Two of said “To Do” List:
2. Do Your Research
Preparation is the key to success, so go to those with experience for advice. Be methodical. Now is the time to gather information, so don’t rule anything out. (p.21)
Okay. Let’s acknowledge this fact upfront: Oliver has a pretty extraordinary thought process for a teenager, and while impressive, it’s tempered with humility, generosity and a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor. You have to love this kid’s diligence and attitude. Oliver’s not afraid to put himself out there, and he does it in the best light possible, with a sense of humor, goodwill and all in the name of love. Oliver’s head and heart are in the right place and ultimately, he knows what’s important in life:
“Every person is important in the grand scheme of things” (p. 254)
Such solid values to emulate, young or old, Oliver has benefitted from the act of listening — a theme repeated throughout Franklin’s story.
Told in chapters that follow Oliver’s list, author T. M. Franklin takes the reader step-by-step with Oliver as he soldiers on in his quest for Ainsley’s affections. Accompanied by his trusted friend, Viney, and supported by his loving family, as well as his wise mentor, Hank, we follow Oliver through the rocks and shoals of adolescent life and love. Our hearts squeeze in tender sympathy every time Oliver’s voice cracks when he speaks to Ainsley:
“Hi.” Of course my voice cracked. I tried again, deeper. “Hi.” Little better. Almost manly. (p.106)
Oliver’s thought processes and inner dialogue capture the reader’s heart. His musings are delightful, full of humorous observations and sometimes wise and sober admissions. Our hero encounters situations that confront most young adults — issues regarding body image, self worth, bullying and raging hormones — to mention a few. And in addressing these issues, the author subtly weaves in examples of positive resolutions using her characters voices and actions.
Franklin wisely sets the tone for each chapter by offering truths in the form of an often humorous subtitle. For example list Item 7, titled “Be More Attractive”, the subtitle —
You may not be Brad Pitt, but at least put forth some effort. And while you’re at it, try to show her your lovable qualities. (p.151)
How delicious is it that the stalwart Oliver, in the name of love, allows Ainsley to cut his hair in a salon named “Curl Up and Dye”? This story abounds with such priceless scenarios. We suffer along with Oliver, whether at the aforementioned salon, or during a precious and tender conversation between father and son on how one woos one’s lady. And we cheer our hero on as he, for the most part, courageously takes the high road, reinforcing Franklin’s themes of believing in one’s self, pursuing one’s dreams and the value of doing the right thing.
Make no mistake — this may be a humorous fictional story about the woes of adolescent life and love, (and it IS, at most times, laugh out loud funny) but through Oliver’s thoughts and her characters’ behaviors, T. M. Franklin has masterfully incorporated some very good advice and food for thought for her readers — be they young or old. Beautifully crafted, even her ancillary characters are fully formed (Oliver’s younger brother, Sherlock is a gem) and they abound in wisdom offered with a gentle and often humorous touch. A great, witty and satisfying read, gift this book to a young adult, a best friend, or to yourself — its truths are universal. How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You is pure gold.
* I was gifted a copy of How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You from TWCS in exchange for an honest review *
– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –