2014,  books and reading,  reviews,  Uncategorized

Written in the Stars by Ali Harris

(Yes, another book review. Yes, this is still meant to be a blog about more than books. I’m going to post something that isn’t about books eventually tomorrow. But my life lately seems to have revolved around doing boring run of the mill stuff and reading good books so why not blog about them and share the love?)

I received a free ARC of Written in the Stars by Ali Harris from NetGalley. It’s being published on 5th June.  I’ve read all of Ali’s previous books (Miracle on Regent Street, The First Last Kiss and A Vintage Christmas) – she’s another author that I first became aware of via book reviewing on my blog.  My review on Miracle on Regent Street is here and my review of The First Last Kiss is here.

Some background.  I finished reading and reviewing my previous book (Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon) right before leaving for sailing on Tuesday night and was wondering what to read next when my friend came to pick me up.  I’d just decided that Written in the Stars was next and was looking forward to starting it.  But as soon as I started thinking about Written in the Stars I got the Elton John/LeAnn Rimes song of the same name stuck in my head and then spent the entire time I was on the water singing that song and then making myself stop.  It wouldn’t have been so bad but I mostly had the line “is this god’s experiment/in which we have no say” stuck and as an atheist in an environment of some very christian people it’s not good.  I’ve got the same bloody song/line stuck in my head as I write this.

Here’s the synopsis:

One decision + two different paths = how many happy endings?
Have you ever wondered ‘What if…?’ What if you’d taken that other job, gone on a date with that sweet guy, moved to a different city? Would an alternative life path have led to a happier ending?
Now imagine if you could have taken both paths…
When Bea Bishop slips while walking down the aisle on her wedding day, she is momentarily knocked unconscious. And in a flash, her world splits and two separate parallel lives take her on two very different journeys. In one, Bea flees back down the aisle and out of the church. In the other, she glides blissfully towards Adam, her intended.
Each path will take her on a very different journey. And each will see her life change for better and for worse. But which story will lead to her happy-ever-after?

On Thursday I saw one of my friends and we were talking of books.  I said that I was liking Written in the Stars but I suspected that Miracle on Regent Street would remain my favourite Ali Harris book.  I’d not got very far with it at that point.  But now I’ve finished it I’m really not sure.  I definitely enjoyed it more than The First Last Kiss (I mean, I loved The First Last Kiss but that was a real tearjerker) but I couldn’t actually decide which I preferred most. All of the books are great but very different from each other and I’d definitely recommend them all. Just don’t ask me which is best. I’m too indecisive for that.

I really enjoyed the use of facebook statuses to start each section.  It gave a snapshot into what Bea was thinking/feeling/doing as it started and the use of the two versions of her name (Bea Bishop for the bits where she doesn’t get married and her married name Bea Hudson for the timeline in which she went through with the marriage to Adam).  I’d thought it might be difficult to follow the changing perspective of the same character but that made it really easy and really add to my view of who the character was.   If I was going to mention something I didn’t like about this book I’d just have to say the fact it ended.  Not because it had a bad ending – it had a perfect ending but I was really enjoying it and didn’t want it to finish.  In fact I read for much longer this afternoon than I meant to because I wanted to know what happened.  This resulted in my flapping around the house in a panic trying to get food and a change of clothes and out the house in a much shorter amount of time than I really needed. But I didn’t really mind that.

This is actually one of the hardest reviews I’ve written in a long time.  Because I don’t do spoilers in my reviews.  And everything I want to squee about and say I loved is pretty much a spoiler for something in the book.  So perhaps the best I can do is say this may well be my favourite fiction book of the year.  And I’m very much looking forward to reading more by Ali Harris in the future.

 

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