2016

These Days of Ours – Juliet Ashton

Unknown

Paperback: 416 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster (7th April 2016)

Book Description:

A novel about love. Raw important love. Small, beautiful love. And what happens when the person you love cannot be yours… Perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Jane Green and David Nicholls.

Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.

Kate has always loved Charlie – they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn’t always follow the journey it should.

But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won’t it…?

My Review:

Wow!! I have never read anything by Juliet Ashton before but was given a “hot off the press” proof copy of this book at the Spring Blogger Event. The plan was to read it as a reward for writing the next 1,000 words of my dissertation….oops. I couldn’t resist. And I’m pleased I didn’t.

The format of the book is that each chapter opens with an invitation to a different event – a 5th birthday party, a wedding, a funeral, Christmas dinner etc. and we follow Kate through her life attending these events, right up to her 40th birthday. Her cousin Becca is also her best friend and we learn that Kate falls in love with a boy called Charlie at the age of 5 and later loses her virginity to him at a 16th birthday party. Of course, life isn’t as simple as that – and the book would be pretty boring if that were the end of it! The book is full of twists and turns and there are a few things I “predicted” which didn’t happen and a few “I didn’t see that coming” moments.

My feelings towards Kate remained the same throughout the book – I liked her, a lot, although I still don’t know who I would cast to play her in a film. This book would make a GREAT film. Becca was the character I changed my feelings towards the most – I liked her, I hated her, I felt sorry for her, I laughed at her and – in the end – I was happy for her.

The chapters do often end on a cliff hanger and then the next chapter starts 2 or 3 or 5 years on from it and the story of “what happened” comes out eventually over that chapter – it’s almost as if each chapter tells the story of the previous event and not the event you are invited to?  (does that make sense?) Anyway, I loved it and it made me not put it down! I read for 5 solid hours and then had to read the last chapter then next morning.

I can’t really say too much without giving the plot away but there were some really touching moments in the book and bits of it made me cry. For me, “the taxi” scene was the bit that made me cry the most! (Note: I cry at books, I don’t cry much in real life about real things…!)

Please, do read this book. It’s fab. Not a “light fluffy” read- it does make you think – but it is easy to pick up and get into very easily.

On a personal note, I think this book is better read as a physical book as I had to keep flicking back to the previous chapter’s invitation to see how much time had lapsed in between and that’s difficult to do on a kindle.

Funnily enough, I seem to have now misplaced my copy – coincidentally, my mum came over on the day it went missing. I think I raved about it so much she “borrowed” it!

Happy Easter everyone, I hope you’re reading something nice to accompany the chocolate.

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