Thank You very much to the publisher – Trapeze for the review copy.
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release date: 13 06 2019
Price*: Kindle £6.99 (GBP)/ Hardback £12.99 (GBP)
Kindle $8.48 (USD)/ Hardback $15.78 (USD)
Pages: ~ 336
My rating: 9/10
You can get this book here:
What I learned from this book: Fighting mental health issues is a lifelong journey.
Description of the book: Lizzie James is happy. She has a steady office job (with a steady stream of snacks), has had the same best friend since school, and she sees her family every Thursday night for take-away and trashy TV. Lizzie likes her uncomplicated life.
Then a letter arrives one day from her first love, Roman. A letter dated the day he disappeared, 12 years before. As Lizzie uncovers the secrets of the letter, she discovers what really happened the year her life fell apart – and all avenues lead back to Roman. Lizzie James thought she was happy, or somewhere close to happy, anyway. Now she’s not so sure.
How this book made me feel: I read this book during a very difficult time in my life, where I had lots of stress and anxiety. This book hit me quite hard and made me cry on several occasions. The cover looks breezy, maybe a bit mysterious, but this book is packed with difficult and important topics.
The protagonist in this book is Lizzie, a young woman who is dealing with mental health issues every single day. Her life changes, after she receives a letter from her childhood friend/sweetheart Roman. He was her best friend/boyfriend during her teenage years, who helped her to go through many difficult situations. But one day, he just disappeared. Now Lizzie, with the help of her best friend, trying to find Roman to find out, why he left her when she needed him the most.
This novel has very complex characters, and I really liked the way the author developed them throughout the pages. I liked Lizzie a lot, she is very strong, even though she doesn’t realise it sometimes. She is willing to go out of her comfort zones on multiple occasions, in order to find Roman. I really enjoyed the multiple timelines in this novel as well, we not only follow the search but also have an amazing insight into Lizzie’s past.
The author played with the narrative very smartly and creatively. The narrative is always changing, and every chapter ends with a cliffhanger. That made this book a true page-turner. All I wanted was for Lizzie to find Roman, and all the “near misses” were driving me insane! 😀 This novel is told from a single perspective, and it was enough for me, I was enjoying Lizzie’s journey thoroughly. The topics discussed in this book are very deep and serious, such as mental health issues, alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce and it’s effects on children, bullying, exclusion and many more.
I loved the writing style and construction of this book. It has not only plain text, but also online conversations between Lizzie and Roman, that are very refreshing and makes this book more playful. The chapters have a very decent length and it didn’t drag to me. I really liked the ending of this book, it rounded up the story very well.
So, to conclude, it is a very layered and complex novel, but at the same time, it is filled with playfulness, funny situations and strength. I really enjoyed the wide variety of characters and the topics discussed in this book. This book made me laugh and cry, and I hope you will read it and enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂
Thank You for Your time! ❤
About the author: Lia Louis is a writer from Hertfordshire where she lives with her partner and three young children. In 2015, she won ELLE magazine’s annual talent competition with her contemporary love letter, #RelationshipGoals. Lia’s fascination with letters doesn’t stop with her writing: she also has a varied collection of old letters which are a source of inspiration to her. SOMEWHERE CLOSE TO HAPPY is her first novel.
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