The Visa by Lizzie O'Hagan | Book Review and Blog Blast

The Visa by Lizzie O'Hagan
Published: 3rd March 2022 by Headline
Other works: What Are Friends For?
Rating: 3.5 stars

I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way affects my review.


The agreement was to get married . . . not to fall in love.

In this sweeping romantic comedy, affairs are to be expected, and falling in love is betrayal... This topsy-turvy romcom is perfect for fans of Josie Silver, Beth O'Leary and Mhairi McFarlane.

For a commitment-phobe who's never taken a girl on a third date, Jack finds getting married to his old friend Maya pretty easy. He's a New Zealander in need of a visa to stay in the country, and she doesn't believe in marriage anyway. Simple.

Maya and Jack live in wedded, sex-less bliss, until one day Jack starts to get serious with someone else...

Suddenly Maya finds herself falling into a role she never thought she'd be: a wife - and a scorned one at that - who is falling uncontrollably, undeniably, and entirely inconveniently....

... in love with her own husband.


Warning - potential spoilers!

What a perfect book for the love-filled month of February! This book definitely took me on a rollercoaster of emotions, and while I definitely got frustrated at both Maya and Jack at times, I rooted for their happily-ever-after throughout.

The dual narrative structure of this was just what I needed to really gain an insight into both Jack and Maya's lives, and it was great to be able to watch them fall in love at their own pace with the other. The back and forth and O'Hagan's writing style in general kept me hooked and I sped through this to know how the book ended.

As much as it was a love story between Maya and Jack, I liked how interconnected they were, to their respective best friends who bring everyone together by being a couple. It felt like taking a peek into a friendship group and helped me feel very involved in the story.

Both protagonists had their own obstacles to overcome while also dealing with their feelings for each other, and while it may have been frustrating to read at times, I appreciated that these weren't resolved straight away in order to make way for the romance plot, but rather that these took precedence for Maya and Jack to deal with their issues before they felt they could be in a happy, healthy relationship.

I haven't read many, if any, books with this marriage-for-convenience trope, but it's made me want to seek them out! It really read like a rom-com film, and I think this would be great if adapted onto the big screen.

The slow-burn romance between the two, and the fact that they never get together before things initially end for them, made the final reunion so much more satisfying! It really made me feel that they connected as two beings who come to love one another instead of the typical passion-filled affairs. 

I will definitely be looking out for whatever Lizzie writes next, and I hope you give The Visa a chance!


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