Book Review | It Had to be You – Keris Stainton | #Gifted

Title: It Had to be You
Author: Keris Stainton
Publication date: 6th December 2017
My rating: 
Goodreads rating: 3.61
Pages: 222
Genre: Chick-Lit, Romance, Women’s Fiction

I was sent a #gifted e-arc of this book from the publishers Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own and are not influenced by receiving a copy of this book in any way.

I would like to thank Bookouture, NetGalley, and of course the author Keris Stainton for sending me a copy of this book.


Twenty-five-year-old Bea is a hopeless romantic – with a hopeless love life. She’s been single ever since her awful ex broke her heart, and the only thing she gets up to in bed is watching rom coms on her laptop.

When Bea meets Dan, who is basically the man of her dreams, she knows she can’t let him get away. They might not have fireworks, but not everyone can be fighting and (loudly) making up every night, like Bea’s housemates.

But Bea can’t shift the feeling that something just isn’t right. As time goes on, Dan seems less like Mr Right, and more like Mr Couldn’t-Be-More-Wrong… Will Bea be brave enough to change her dreams – and dare to ask for more?

Overall opinion of the book:

In all honesty, this wasn’t my favourite Chick-Lit, and I didn’t fully enjoy the content until over halfway through the book. The latter end of the book I did enjoy however. Overall the book fell slightly flat as I struggled to relate to the main character Bea. Being of a similar age I thought, “yes! Finally a book that’s going to rep my age group“, but I felt Bea’s character acted a lot younger than 25. Her character seems worlds apart to the reality of being in your mid 20’s, as she seemed to reflect a character who would typically be between 18-20. I understand that everyone’s life experiences vary greatly, but for her age she definitely did seem a little too naive and immature.

As the synopses explains, Bea’s recurring dreams of her “perfect boyfriend” come into fruition. *Slight spoiler* Readers later discover that Bea moved to London in order to find this man she’s been dreaming of *spoiler ends*. It was a little too cliche for me and as a result I struggled to become fully invested in the plot. I have previously read books with a similar premise, such as Dream a Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher so I’m not opposed to the plot idea, I just think it may have worked a little better if it was approached in a slightly more realistic way. As the novel progresses, so does Bae’s character and I enjoyed seeing her grow and mature. She became quite endearing and her conversations with Dan and her friends flowed well and were natural.

It Had to Be You, discusses many different types of relationships, emphasising that some are not positive and in fact toxic. The book also emphasises the importance of not judging other people’s relationships. Every relationship is different and what may work for some couples may not for others. Just because a relationship may seem flawed to others and not perfect on the outside, doesn’t meant it’s the same behind closed doors.

My favourite part of the book was Bea’s relationship with her flatmates. Stainton has written these parts so well and the friendships seem so genuine and lovely. They’re definitely the kind of flatmates I’d like to love with if I went to university or lived in London when I was younger! I particularly liked Bea’s friend Freya, she was honest and at times hilarious. She’s a lesbian, and it was great to see LGBT+ rep in this book. Bea’s friendship with Henry was also endearing and he seems like a genuine and kind character.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, this was an enjoyable read but unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. This doesn’t mean you won’t love it however. The characters were interesting and I enjoyed seeing Bea grow and mature as the novel progressed but I do think of her age was between 18-20 then this would have suited the content in then novel a little better.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, you can do so here:



Book Depository


Have you read this book? If so, what were your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below! 😊

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Cover and synopses


Keris Stainton


11 thoughts on “Book Review | It Had to be You – Keris Stainton | #Gifted

  1. bookloverkate says:

    Such a shame you didn’t enjoy this more! This sounds like it would have been right up my street too. I have one other of Keris’ books on my Kindle, hopefully that’s better 🤞🏻

    Liked by 1 person

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