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I have read both Melanie Roses other books and have enjoyed them both so this book was on my list of ones to buy for quite some time. However, my friend was nice enough to buy it for my birthday for me so I was very pleased indeed to receive it as a gift and couldn't wait to get stuck into reading it!
Melanie Rose is an English author who lives in Surrey with her husband and four sons. She is also a trained nursery nurse and has worked as a play therapist on the children's ward at Royal Marsden hospital before she started writing full time.
Melanie Rose has two other books out and these are both also in the chick lit genre.
Jessica Taylor quite likes her life with just her and her little dog Frankie but, one day she is struck by lightning whilst out walking Frankie and suddenly her life changes in a way she never even dreamt could be possible! Waking up in hospital, she realises quite quickly that her body is in somebody else's - a woman named Lauren Richardson and with her body comes her family of husband and four children! But, when she goes back to sleep and wakes again, she is back to being Jessica. She soon works out that every time she sleeps she will wake up as the other and before long she is leading a life between the two women's bodies and lives. How will she go back to just being herself and what will happen to Lauren if she does - Jessica is soon starting to worry if she will ever get back to her own life as just Jessica?
Jessica Taylor is a great person to have as a main character as she is such a nice person and somebody that the readers will be able to relate to and also more importantly, like. She is a person who the reader will root for and I certainly did whilst I was reading the book as I liked how she tried to do what was best for the family of Laurens and how she started to make the family come together more because of the way she acted whilst she was in the body of Lauren.
I think that the author choosing to have Lauren as the other character was also a clever move as she is a polar opposite of Jessica and this made it more interesting as Jessica's personality came through and her family got more and more confused by the way she acts and is around them! Generally speaking, the way the reader hears about how Lauren is as herself, I was thinking that I definitely wouldn't like the person she is normally!
There are many other people involved in the storyline and I felt the author did a really good job at developing them each enough that they had a good input without them overpowering the main characters.
I was given my book from a friend for my birthday and I was really pleased as I had wanted to read it for ages. I know this book has a RRP of £6.99 but, you can purchase this book from many places for much less than that! However, I do believe the full price tag is worth it anyway.
I really enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons. I felt that first of all, the characters were interesting and enjoyable to read about and when you like the characters, it is really easy to get into the book quickly and just enjoy it. Secondly, the storyline was interesting. Yes, it is not necessarily a new concept and has been done many times before across films and books however, it was still a good read and one that had an interesting enough plot to keep me entertained and I was constantly wanting to find out what was going to happen and therefore I couldn't put it down.
Overall, this was definitely a book I would recommend and I am glad I have in my collection of ever growing books. If you have never read one of Melanie Rose's books then I would certainly say to give this a try and I am sure you will love it.
Jessica Taylor was happily walking her dogs and meeting a nice man when she was struck by lightning and life as she knew it changed beyond belief. When Jessica wakes up, she finds she is now Lauren, a mother of four and married to Grant, whether she likes or not. She's not sure if it's a dream, but when she goes to bed as Lauren, she wakes up as Jessica. She soon comes to realise that she is living both lives - she's Lauren when Jessica sleeps, and vice-versa. As she settles into the life of Lauren, Jessica starts finding out things about Lauren that she doesn't like, things that might tear her new family apart. Will she be able to keep up with living 2 lives, or is she going to ruin both without meaning to? Can Jessica convince anyone of her dilemma, or is the magic just for her?
Melanie Rose first published this book in 2005 under the title of 'Being Lauren' with a small independent publisher. It was so popular that Radio 4 listeners voted it one of their favourite reads. The book was then snapped up by publishers HarperCollins and re-released under the title of Could It Be Magic? in April this year, and has been a hit since. Melanie has already got her second book up on Amazon with the title of Coming Home, and judging by how much I loved this I shall be looking out for this!
When I first started reading this book, I got strong hints of Sophie Kinsella's book Remember Me? because of the idea of memory loss and having to adapt to a life totally different to what you expected. However, as the story went on, it took another path and went off in another direction which I wasn't expecting. It's not like anything else I've ever read, I would love to know where the author got the idea from because it's great and there are some shocking twists and turns along the way which left me totally surprised and hooked on reading more because I couldn't put it down!
I loved the character of Jessica straight away. The book begins just before the lightning strike so we aren't given all that much time to understand her or her life, but because of this, the author allows her life to develop throughout the book as both Jessica and Lauren, and its so interesting to see how the character adaps and changes as per whose body she is in. There is no worry about finding it hard to keep up with whose story you follow because it's blatantly clear, and the change from Lauren to Jessica and vice-versa is made crystal clear by the author. It's a strange one because although the narrator remains the same, the story changes frequently but its so fun to read, I loved it!
As there are really 2 stories, there are quite a few characters but again Rose has made them all so different you don't worry about keeping up at all. Jessica's "man" Dan is so lovely, just the kind of man you'd like to meet! Grant, Lauren's husband, on the other hand is horrible and it is brilliant reading the dynamic between he and Jessica (when she is Lauren of course). Lauren's 4 children are so well written as well, and Rose covers an important issue within this which I think is so well done, with real understanding of the problem and how it is dealt with. I was impressed with this, and felt that the author has really done her research and covered an difficult illness with tact and sincerity.
I found this book is extremely readable, and I struggled to put it down of an evening because I wanted to find out what was going to happen to Jessica/Lauren next! As I said before, there were some shocking bits throughout the book that I didn't expect at all, and for me they just made the book even better. The quality of writing here is so high, and I can see why HarperCollins snapped this author up when they read this outstanding debut. I loved every page, it is such an original idea and is a fabulous read. Highly recommended - chick lit at its best!
ISBN: 978-1847561053. Published by Avon in April 2009. The paperback has an RRP of £6.99.
Thank you for reading.