I started reading this series…at least ten years ago. Jen Allen was publishing her writing on fictionpress.org and was one of a group of writers who were plagiarised. They banded together, dumped fictionpress and created a secure livejournal community where they polished off and republished their stories.
Plagiarism Haven closed its doors in 2015 but I followed Jen to her personal live journal where she further refined her stories. I’ve continued to follow her creatively through Facebook and Instagram – jumping at any chance to read the latest version of her stories and be reunited with my old friends. Then, during the chaos of COVID-19, Jen self-published the Chasing Mathesons books through Amazon. Rejoice – now I can pick up the Mathesons anytime I’ve feeling down and delight in their quirky and heart-warming antics.
Ok, my love note to Jen – who I’ve never met in person but have claimed a friend via the internet – is over. On to the review.
Visions of You is the first in the romantic comedy trilogy featuring the Matheson family finding love. Our weird and wonderful protagonist, Maggie Leonard, has the perfect man – cute, funny, good looking and absolutely smitten with her – there’s only one problem…he only exists in her dreams.
That is…until David Matheson walks into her coffee shop and Maggie’s dreams come true…literally.
Visions of You has fun, fast and quirky dialogue – Maggie, David and her best friend Deb, have the kind of high-speed quippy conversations that fans of Gilmore Girls will die for. They’re weird, which makes them cool, (somewhat) self-assured and stumbling their way through life in a hilariously upbeat way.
Maggie is the fast talking, wonderfully awkward, imperfect girl we all want to be. She’s the more realistic manic pixie girl – fast talking, uncoordinated, flawed and fiercely loyal. She has suffered through a tragic childhood and come up singing (literally!) and watching her find love feels like watching Fate hand her a golden ticket.
The road to happiness is not without its challenges – Maggie and Dave have an enormous hurdle to cross in order to find their happily ever after. But as every vision of her perfect man is fulfilled by David, Maggie finds herself head over heels and deeply in love.
Content warning: domestic violence, abuse, hospitalisation
What I like: Let’s be real? I like this entire story. I made fan art for this series. Don’t judge me – I’m an OG fan.
What I didn’t like: I got nothing. It’s hard to pick apart something that I’ve watched grow for so long. Not only does this story make me nostalgic, but I’ve seen Jen nurture it from idea to physical printed book.
Conclusion: Please read this book and dive into the entire series. I love this book so much and I don’t think it is even my favourite book in the series. This book is the pick me up you didn’t know you needed. It’s a shoulder bump from a friend, or a snuggle from a pet. It gives me the warm and fuzzies.