Book Review – Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

by Maryse on July 12, 2014 · 18 comments

in My Book Reviews

Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City #1)
<— Yes it is a “smart” romance but so much more than that. It’s smart (for so many reasons, aside from the highly intelligent, yet totally goofy heroine). The writing is delightfully witty, the characters are silly-sweet, the life they lead, quirky yet believable (well… except for *that* crazy thing that happened, but I totally loved it, and how it was described. LOL!!!), and you’ll be grinning the whole way through. Grinning, except when you’re scowling through a few of those “OH NO HE DIDN’T!!” moments, which just makes this love story that much better.

It came highly recommended by many of our fellow readers, and when I met Penny at Book Bash, her sweet, totally down-to-earth yet super-funny personality had me anxious to get home and pick up her book once and for all. After all, if she was this entertaining in real life, what would her books be like??!

Jai: It’s 1am and I just finished Neanderthal Seeks Human after buying it this afternoon. I could not put it down!! You are so lucky that this author has more books out. :-D

Jen: I finished Neanderthal Seeks Human a couple of weeks ago and all in all I just loved it – it really hit all my rom-com needs, that’s for sure (especially after all the angst/dark reads I’ve been leaning towards lately)! There were a few parts I didn’t like but for the most part it more than served its purpose for me :P

Cheryl: Hilarious change from angst-filled stories.

Sabrina: I started Neanderthal Seeks Human after seeing if recommended on your blog the other week. Although i didnt find it overly funny the story line was FANTASTIC! I read it so quick and went straight onto the next book in the series. These sure got me out of my reading funk. These are the perfect mix of funny, hot, sexy, unique and add a teeny bit of angst and they are perfection!

Agreed Sabrina!!! I didn’t find myself laughing out loud hysterically or anything, but I was grinning non-stop, and I just felt good, happy, reading this, ya know? A little bit of “bad/sad” backstory,

I closed my hand around his not wanting him to finish the sentence. It was a horrible story. I wanted to say that it wasn’t his fault, but I felt like the statement would come across as pandering and patronizing.

Instead, I said, “I understand why you blame yourself.”

He blinked at me then narrowed his gaze a fraction as though trying to see me better. This time, both his eyes and his smile were sad. “Do you blame me?”

A little bit of “fun friendship” sweetness, a little bit of pining super-crush, a little bit of angst and insecurity (’cause crushing on someone is not all fun and games)…

I didn’t understand anything about this guy.

One minute he was pretending to date me, the next minute he was turning down my very obvious advances, and now he was fabricating trips in hopes that I wouldn’t bother him.

… and a whole lot of potential romance. It’s just one of those… contemporary romance stories chock-full of everything I love. Plain ol’ wonderfulness!

And I asked one of my reading buddies if she wanted to read along with me, after Book Bash, because we both seemed to be in the mood for exactly this.

Tina: Are you reading Penny Reid’s book? I am and I’m enjoying it. I’m only 14% on tho. Just started it.

Maryse: Yep!! Oh it gets better. I actually prefer the 2nd half. Got into it much more once I hit the 50% mark. Now at 85% almost done. Very good, very sweet. She’s a good writer!!

Tina: I love her educated humor. An intelligent read.

Maryse: LOL! Yessss. I knew it would be… I wish i hadn’t waited so long to jump in, considering the awesome recommendations I kept getting for it. I just have to be in the mood for comedy romance…

Tina: …it’s perfect timing.

Tina: I’m thinking Quinn isn’t all he’s perceived as being at this stage. Like he’s a *spoiler*

Maryse: *zips lips* ;)

Tina: Figured you would…

Tina: I’m curious about his sisters place. Why??

Maryse: Well…. she’s pretty particular about the kind of “guy” she’s going to date in her future. And well… he….? Fill in the blanks.

Tina: Is a cross dresser?

Maryse: LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

Tina: Is really a woman??

Maryse: hahahahahahahhahahahahah!!!!!!

Tina: Farg. Back to reading.

Maryse: Let’s go a little more “conventional hero” story these days… what are they usually?

Tina: *spoiler*?

Maryse: Oh no. Close… try again.

Tina: *spoiler*?

Maryse: And… what usually happens when men are *spoiler*?

Tina: *spoiler*?

Maryse: YES!!!!!!!!!!! *ding ding ding*

Tina: I love *spoiler*. Especially *spoiler* ones.

:P LOL! Sorry, not that what we were saying is *that* much of a spoiler, but it is part of the “guessing” game at least when it comes to Janie. Actually that was one of our only complaints in regards to the story was how oblivious she seemed to be at times for some very obvious things (especially considering how intelligent she is),

“You are incredibly talented, and you’re one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.”

I interrupted him. “Yes, that sounds like a real problem. I see your point.”

“But you are completely blind to the obvious.”

Tee hee!! See? Even “Sir Handsome McSexypants” says so. ;) But hey! *shrug* We went with it, and it was fun! ;)

So what’s it about?

Janie, an incredibly intelligent twenty-something woman loses her boyfriend (he was an a$$, albeit a sweet one at times) *sigh*. She also loses her home, and her job, all on the same day. Let’s just say her life was completely entwined with her ex-boyfriend’s, and once they were over, her life as she knew it was over, too. This set Janie on a path of independence. No more ANYTHING when it came to men, that might affect her life once they were over. She found herself moving into her best friend’s apartment, looking for a new job, and setting a new life course. She wasn’t that devastated that she lost her long-term boyfriend, and in fact, began reflecting on the reason behind her reluctance (and therefore inability) to become attached to anyone.

But when her super-secret *stalk-him-and-watch-him-behind-the-bushes” “Mr. McHotpants” crush…

Quinn. His name is Quinn. I must remember to call him Quinn, not Sir Handsome McHotpants.

…suddenly takes an interest in her (and/or her newfound joblessness),

“Why did they downsize you? It seems like you would make an incredible accountant.”

and tells her about a job opening at the company he works for…her life is set off-course yet again. For the better? Well, I’ll let you take that journey with her. Let’s just say there are a few fun twists and turns and secrets that are revealed. And while this one is complete, I still have a few questions overall.  Perhaps the next books in the series set things straight? ;)

Great writing, sweet story, nice lovable characters, funny AND a bit sad at times. Just enough of everything and not too much of anything. If you’re in the mood for a good lighthearted read (with plenty of feeling in it), I recommend this one!

4 stars!

P.S. Here is the Knitting in the City Series Reading Order

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa from PFMTBB July 12, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Maryse, NSH was Penny’s first book and each of the books that follow keep getting better than the one before. I implore you to continue reading her work where you will meet Elizabeth and Freaking Nico in Friends Without Benefits, Sandra and swoonworthy Alex in Love Hacked and get another dose of Janie and Quinn in Neanderthal Marries Human. They do not disappoint!

Jennifer July 12, 2014 at 5:42 PM

I LOVED this book and this series. Each book gets better than the last and the couples are unique to each story. I also loved that Janie is a different type of heroine. She is smart but oblivious which might be from how she was written to be a bit on the autistic spectrum (I found this out later after I author stalked). Love love love this series, and seriously keep reading. Get to Love Hacked it is one of the best so far.

Jai July 12, 2014 at 5:57 PM

YAY!! You read it! I knew you would love it! The sequel to this one is even better (Neanderthal Marries Human). I was both laughing and crying. But the 3rd book in this series is still my favorite mostly because the hero in Love Hacked is the most amazing sexy reclusive guy I’ve ever read and I can’t wait for the 4th book!!! Beauty and the Mustache!! haha! I agree with Jennifer that the series just gets better and better.
Your conversation with Tina (about Quinn and *spoiler*) is hilarious!! Of course I know what you’re talking about. haha!

Sara July 12, 2014 at 6:03 PM

This is isn’t related to your book review or anything (sorry!) but I just finished How To Kill A Rockstar. And I have a huuugggeee book hangover. What would you recommend reading after it? ;)

Kat July 12, 2014 at 6:17 PM

OMG! MARYSE!!!
YAYAY!!
I am so glad you read this book :-D !!!
I love this series so much! And I love that you love it too! If I ever met Penny in real life I would totally make a fool of myself. Her books are so smart and she comes across as so sweet on her facebook page but also a little weird? lol! I can’t wait to see what you think of the sequel I liked it better than book one because there were more sexy times and the door was alot more open :-D

Donna L July 12, 2014 at 6:20 PM

OMG I loved this book – I’m currently reading 1.5. I met Penny at Book Bash. What a delightful writer!

Maryse July 12, 2014 at 8:53 PM

You guys make me excited to continue this series!! :D

Maryse July 12, 2014 at 8:53 PM

Sara!! So hard to suggest anything after THAT one that hasn’t already been read, but… hrmm… have you read “Thoughtless” by S.C. Stephens yet?

Amy July 12, 2014 at 10:11 PM

I am so adding this one to my palate-cleansing list. How could I not after seeing all of that excitement?? ;)

Oh my, Thoughtless…that was the “gateway” book to my angst addiction. If How to Kill a Rockstar is up there with Thoughtless then I’ll be starting that one soon! What TBR list? *hides list*

Karen July 12, 2014 at 10:44 PM

I have to add my voice to the rest, this series just keeps getting better. I think this is because Neanderthal Seeks Human was debut novel. I can’t imagine this being someone’s very first book. I loved Neanderthal Seeks Human when it came out, but it is not my favorite. The sequel for Janie and Quinn was even better than the first book.
I think Love Hacked is my favorite so far, but I’m really looking forward to Kat and Dan’s book, which the author has said will be the last in the series.

JAIME COLLINS July 12, 2014 at 11:00 PM

Yay!! I’m so glad you finally read NSH. You definitely need to read the rest of the series. I also highly recommend reading Penny’s first foray into NA in the Breakaway Anthology, her short story/novella Bunsen Burner Bingo that will be continued in a full novel next year!! :)

laura July 13, 2014 at 7:11 AM

Basically at this point reading all the above comments it’s reader peer pressure, BUT you really should keep reading. Penny’s books keep getting better and better.

Alicia July 13, 2014 at 10:11 AM

I definitely agree that each book gets better and better! I love Penny’s writing and each story is hilarious. Can’t wait for the next one!

Dawn July 13, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Yay. So glad to see one of the Knitting in the City books!

I really liked Quinn but my favorite of the guys has been Nico (Friends Without Benefits)- so keep reading- you’ll find one of the books that you really really love- and the rest are super-fun reads along the way… and the Neanderthal Marries Human is so sweet- it makes you laugh and cry and laugh and cry…

Cheryl July 13, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Think I’m going to start Neanderthal Seeks Human today. Was waiting for the sequel to come out before starting it.

Just finished True Love series by Harper Bentley. Really good sports theme story(baseball); just what I was looking for. :)

Sara July 13, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Actually, it’s okay I found something! BUT, I have to say this : How To Kill A Rockstar is the BEST rockstar book ever written. Not even Thoughtless can beat it.

Amy July 13, 2014 at 7:30 PM

I just checked, and I already have How to Kill a Rockstar on my Kindle app!! *happy dance*

Lauren July 13, 2014 at 8:09 PM

I finished this morning and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the others in the series!!

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