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Those of you who have read my book reviews before know that I love nothing better than settling down with a good book. About 90% of my vast bookcase at home is occupied by thrillers but occasionally the murders and violence and tension become a little too much and I have to take a break for a while for fear of attacking the Fiancé in my sleep! It's times like these that I turn to the good old chick lit book. With the thrillers I can get fully caught up in the storyline and thrive on the suspense but I find it much harder to really get into a chick lit book. Don't get me wrong, I still, for the most part, enjoy reading them (and not having to think too much) but to really keep me interested it has to be better than 'average'. Unless I am picking up the next instalment by a favourite author, in which case I don't even bother to read the blurb on the back, I am generally drawn to books purely because of their cover. If the cover or title doesn't intrigue me then I don't pick it up to have a look, unless I have heard rave reviews about it. I bought this book (among others, I can never just buy one book!) with a voucher I had been given for Christmas a few years ago. I had selected my 'next instalment from my favourite author book' and still had some money to spend so spent half an hour wandering around the shop. 'Pictures of Lily' caught my eye, again, purely because of the cover. It was clear it was going to be a book about a relationship because the picture on the front was a silhouette of a man on one knee in front of a woman but it was the pretty pink and purple colouring and the glittery writing that drew me to it. *From the Back* 'Will you marry me?' I think of you, then. I think of you every day. But usually in the quietest part of the morning, or the darkest part of the night. Not when my boyfriend of two years has just proposed. I look up at Richard with his hopeful eyes. 'Lily?' he prompts. It's been ten years, but it feels like only yesterday that you left. How can I say yes to Richard with all my heart when most of it has always belonged to you? I take a deep breath and will myself to speak...Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn't have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can't forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart - and the heart of at least one of the men who love her. So from the description on the back it was clear that this was about 'the one that got away'. However, what I hadn't realised until I began to read was that the first half of the book was set 10 years ago when Lily was just 15/16. I found this helped the reader to engage with Lily and the story because rather than just starting with '10 years ago I met this man, he left bla bla bla' the reader got to see first hand how it all began. I don't want to go into too much detail about the story because I think the description above from the back of the book gives a clear enough idea and I don't want to spoil it should you choose to read it. But in short, 15 year old Lily is more than disgruntled by the fact that her serial dater mother has packed up her comfortable life in England and moved her to the other side of the world to set up home with a man she has only ever spoken to on the internet, in Adelaide Australia. Lily is forced to quickly adjust to her new way of life and takes a job at a Conservation Park to fill her days. It is there that she meets the handsome Ben and they quickly build a friendship because of their love of animals. Lily starts to feel for Ben in more than just a friendship way and hopes the 12 year age difference won't matter...... The second half of the book is set in present day, 10 years after Lily first moves to Adelaide. Now living in Sydney, her boyfriend Richard has just proposed to her. Caught on the spot and not wanting to offend him she says yes. But does she actually want to marry him? Can she ever really get over Ben and move on with her life? Well you'll have to read the book if you want to find out because I'm not going to tell you! The style of Toon's writing meant that the book was an easy read and I did get through the whole book in just a matter of days. However, I found it very predictable, not only with how it ended but with a few other storylines throughout the book, which meant that, for me, there was no real suspense of 'ooh I wonder how it's going to end!'. When it ended the way I thought it would I was not at all surprised but I did, in any event, find myself feeling pleased for Lily. I think because the book had started 10 years in the past when Lily was just a lovestruck teenager, helped the reader to engage with Lily because it almost felt like we had grown up with her. The only fault I can find with this book, which thankfully only occurs for the first few chapters is Toon's explanations of the differences between English words and Australian words. At some points I found myself thinking 'ok, I get it, you've been to Australia!' which were distracting me from reading the story. I spent a year travelling Australia about 10 years ago so I am already aware that Australians call trainers 'sneakers' and flip flops 'thongs' etc so I didn't need it constantly explained to me but perhaps if you've never been you wouldn't know this and it might have proved helpful. I don't believe this had any benefit to the storyline however and seemed a bit pointless, almost like she was 'filling space'. In any event, I have not read any of Paige Toon's other novels so cannot compare either the story or the style of writing to those but I would, most probably, read another book from her after reading this. Despite the predictability of the story and the Australian explanations mentioned above, I did find it an enjoyable read. A perfect holiday book. This book is available from Amazon from 1p (+ postage) if you're happy with it being second hand. Otherwise you can pick it up new from £1.54. There is also a Kindle edition available for £4.99. Thanks for reading (This Review is also published on Ciao)
After finishing my last book which was a crime fiction, I decided to revert back to a bit of chick lit and made a start on a book that I had bought off my friend. I actually had another of this authors that I hadn't even made a start on yet but, felt this seemed more of an interesting storyline from the blurb on the back. The author: Paige Toon grew up in Australia, America and the UK due to her dad's career as a racing driver. Now living in the UK, she is married and has two children. She has written a total of 5 books with a 6th on its way. Plot: Lily is fairly happy with her boyfriend Richard and should be happy to accept his proposal of marriage but, even though she says yes, there are doubts in her mind because deep down she is still in love with Ben, the guy she met ten years ago when she was just sixteen. Even though he moved away and she grew up, she never forgot him and she wonders if it is right to say yes and marry Richard when her heart still belongs to Ben. She doesn't even know where he lives and he may be married to somebody else but, is it really just all a fantasy or can true love really exist? Characters: I really liked Lily as a character as she was a fairly confident young woman when we meet her aged just fifteen and she also loves animals too which is an easy way for me to take to somebody! I did feel the author kept her interesting and I liked the way the author also created situations where the character could be true to her morals. Overall I thought the main character was interesting and enjoyable to read about and generally I found her easy to relate. Lily's boyfriend Richard is of course another main character and I thought he came across as a really nice guy although there were a couple of occasions where he didn't seem to understand Lily all that well and I felt this was of course a good play on the authors part as of course there has to be occasions where the main character has doubts about the person she is with for the storyline to work! Ben is our last main character and Lily's first love. I liked how he was written in and how he was written to have good intentions as when he and Lily first meet he, being older, has to be aware of his feelings for Lily and I felt that the author thought this out well as a big age gap when you are young is looked down upon but, once both parties are older it is not frowned upon as much. I felt all characters, including side-line one were well written and created. Price: This book I only paid £1 for as my friend was selling a load of books and so I bought this one off of her. The usual retail price is £6.99 so I got a really good bargain! You can however, usually pick one up for slightly less than this on various sites so it is worth having a look around. Overall opinion: This was the first book I read from this author and I was so pleased with how much I enjoyed it, I went out and bought the latest brand new book from the same author and read it pretty much straight away. I liked how easy it was for me to relate to the main character and that she was a very likable person. I thought the two other main characters were engaging and interesting too and I also thought that the interactions between them were written well. The book flowed very well and there were never any parts that dragged or I felt could have been left out so this also made the book more enjoyable. Overall I definitely enjoyed this book and now I have read this and her new book, I know I will probably enjoy her other that I have owned for ages and just not gotten around to reading, so I plan to take that on holiday with me and of course I will also be buying any more of her new books when they come out. Definitely an author I will read again and a book I recommend.
Paige Toon is one of my favourite authors. I have read all of her books and have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. While I am waiting patiently for Paige Toon's new book Baby Be Mine to be released I decided to re-read one of her books so I picked up Pictures Of Lily. Plot 'Will you marry me?' I think of you, then. I think of you every day. But usually in the quietest part of the morning,or the darkest part of the night. Not when my boyfriend of two years has just proposed. I look up at Richard with his hopeful eyes. 'Lily?' he prompts. It's been ten years, but it feels like only yesterday that you left. How can I say yes to Richard with all my heart when most of it has always belonged to you? I take a deep breath and will myself to speak... Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn't have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can't forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart - and the heart of at least one of the men who love her. My Opinion The first thing which always sticks out for me with all Paige Toon books are the front covers. They are eye-catching and glitzy and you know by looking at the book before reading the author that it is a Paige Toon novel. Having said this the new book that is being released looks like it has a different style to the cover. I love that with both Paige Toon and Christina Jones books that although these are stand alone books, characters from the other novels pop up from time to time in the other novels and I like this as it brings a little bit of familiarity to the book. Pictures of Lily is split into two. The first part of the book we meet a young 15 year old Lily who has just moved to Australia and is finding it hard to settle into her new life. The second part of the book skips to the present day when Lily is 25 and her life has changed somewhat. I did find the story got off to an incredible fast pace which I fell into straight from the first page, and it had me turning the pages so quickly that before I knew it I was half way through the book and starting the second part of the book. I did find it came to an obvious stop when we switch to the second part of the book and it did take a few pages to pick up the pace again. The structure of this novel suits the book well as we get to know our main character Lily from a young age so by the time we read the second part of the book where she has become a woman we feel as if we know all about her. As with the main characters of all of the Paige Toon books you can not help but warm to these characters straight away. There are a real mix of characters in this book and they all work well together. It is the first book I think I have read where I have enjoyed each and every character. Through Lily we see many different emotions and I did find towards the end of the book I did have a tear in my eye! This book is a real page turner as you can tell as I have read this in under a day! If you are looking for a real feel good read that is not predictable and will keep you gripped all the way through then this is the book for you. Review also on my book blog http://reabookreview.blogspot.com
I have just finished reading this book by Paige Toon and I have to say I was a little disappointed! I did enjoy the book, but after reading one of her other books 'Chasing Daisy', which was fantastic, one of the best books I have read, I did have high expectations for Pictures of Lily. I usually read a book within a few days, but this one I have been picking up now and again over the last few weeks, because it just didn't keep me gripped like a book should! I knew the ending right from the start, it is very predictable, but if you love a good romantic story, then this is the book for you. The book starts off with Lily as a 16 year old and I just could not warm to her at first at all, it didn't seem to be written as a 16 year old girl, she sounded so much older, the character just wasn't believable to me at first. Lily has just moved to Australia with her mum, and lives with her mums new boyfriend Michael and his son Josh. She is not happy with the move, she is missing her friends and family back in the UK and to take her mind of things Michael gets Lily a job in a conservation park where he works, which I found really interesting reading about all the animals, and it was clear Paige Toon had really done her research on the koalas and kangaroos' etc. Lily ends up falling for a man who works at the conservation park who is 12 years older than her. She knows she shouldn't have fallen for him as she is so young, but in her head she feels so much older. The second half of the book is 10 years later, when she has a new life with her boyfriend Richard who has just proposed to her, but her heart is still aching for the man she fell in love with 10 years ago. Richards friends, Lucy, Nathan, Molly and Sam are all characters that pop up in her other books, Lucy in the sky, and Jonny be good, and I like how she always mentions different characters from her other books, as I always miss them when I have finished a book! It was nice to hear Luis mentioned, one of the characters from chasing daisy! I also loved Lily's relationship with Josh, I thought they would have made a nice couple! I also loved the friendship she had with her work colleges Nicola and Mel, I wish I had some friends like them at work! Lily also has a love of photography, and start to take pictures in the first half of the book, but after losing the man she loved she stops taking pictures, as he was the only one who encouraged her. Ten years later she decides she regrets not taking up a career in photography and decides to pursue it again, which is wear the title of the book comes from. I was disappointed there weren't more twists and turns in this story, as it was all so predictable. There wasn't enough to keep me interested and wanting to read the next chapter to find out what happened next, because it was so easy to guess! I did really warm to Lily in the second half of the book, and felt like I really got to know her properly, and I really did feel for her and Richard towards the end of the book. This story was very romantic towards the end, but did drag on a little, with not much of a storyline. I would recommend it for a lazy day at the beach, but I personally was getting really bored of it, and I hate not to finish a book, so I kept picking it up every few days and finished it after about 3 weeks! In the end I am glad I finished it, it was the ending I had hoped for, and predicted! But if you like stories which have more twist and keep you gripped I would recommend her other book Chasing Daisy, it was brilliant, and just made this one really disappointing for me!
*Introduction* Picture this. I'm sat down on the Eurostar waiting for my two hour journey to commence so I pull out the book that I'm reading which is Paige Toon's Pictures of Lily. I'm approximately half way through when I'm reading something that I actually remember. The book has only got a chunk of the novel missing and a chunk repeated. I was gutted as I was well over half way through and ready to finish it off with my two hours of sitting on the train that I had ahead. I contacted the publishers immediately and I was thrilled when another copy came through the post the following morning so I continue my reading. *About the Author* Paige Toon grew up in Australia, America and England. For over seven years, Paige worked at Heat Magazine as Reviews Editor. She is married and has a son, born in September 2007. She lives in north London. *A Brief Outline of the Storyline* Lily moved to Australia with her mum when she was 16 years old. Unexpectedly, she fell in love with someone that she shouldn't have: a man 12 years older than her and engaged to be married. He leaves for England leaving Lily broken hearted and with the feeling that she'll never fall in love again. 10 years later, Lily is living in Sydney and engaged to her boyfriend of two years. When someone from her past appears in her life again will she be able to continue with her new life or will ghosts of the past prove that she hasn't really moved on? Whose heart will she break other than her own? *My Opinion* The first part of the book was my favourite. Paige has the ability to set the scene well and introduce the main character of Lily. I thought the first 100 or so pages that set the scene and described the relationship between Lily and her mother and the motivations between why they had left England were detailed but necessarily so. It helped you to understand and love the young, independent teenager in Lily. It was my connection with her character that kept me wanting to read more and more of the book. I flicked to the pages eagerly, reading about the chemistry she had with the forbidden love interest. The characters that Paige Toon creates are fantastic in particular the main character Lily. I was so drawn into her character that when she felt distraught and heartbroken, I also felt a little like that. The way that Paige Toon describes her loves and passions of both people and hobbies as being so real that you feel it these emotions. I was also quite fond of the secretaries that Lily worked with, her two doting sisters, Michael (the reason that she was in Australia anyway), Josh and the characters of both her forbidden love and fiancé. All of them seemed so real, that you could imagine them being real people and connect them to people in your own life. Pictures of Lily is in Australia, when her mum feel in love with a man over the internet and decided to uproot hers and Lily's lives to the other side of the world. I have never been to Australia but some of the descriptions especially that of Mount Lofty, made me feel like I had been. Paige Toon nails chic lit and Pictures of Lily is a fantastic read which demonstrates this. Pictures of Lily had a nice but not overly exciting plot. The great characters and chemistry between them is what stands out the most. I think what made it more interesting was the fact that the prologue started in the present day, switched to 16 year old Lily to start and then comes straight back to the moment in the prologue when we leave the heartbroken teenager. What I really enjoyed about reading Pictures of Lily is the easiness of reading it. Somehow, Paige has a way of making her words flow effortlessness. So much so that you finish one chapter and immediately want to start reading the next followed by the next. As you can imagine, I was extremely frustrated when I found chapters of this book missing replaced by chapters that were repeated but the second that I received my new copy through the post, it took me two hours at the most to finish the second half of the book. At no point throughout this book was I bored or wanting the scene to move on. I thought that each event had the perfect amount of detail and none were dragged out too long, a mistake that I find a lot of authors make all too often. The pace of the book was fast and keeps you going through chapter after chapter, forcing you not to put the book down even for a minute. What you get from Paige Toon's Pictures of Lily is an unpredictable end which keeps your interest up throughout. I love this book and if you choose to read it I am sure you will too. *Other Recommendations* I think that if you enjoy a good chic lit book then Pictures of Lily will definitely be right up your street. And my recommendations if you liked or like the sound of this book are: - Johnny Be Good by Paige Toon - Lucy in the Sky by Paige Toon - I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk *Overall* I have now read three of Paige Toon's chic lit books and she has failed to let me down yet. Lucy in the Sky was good, Johnny Be Good was better and Pictures of Lily I think is her best yet. This book had it all: great characters, romance and lots of twists and turns throughout. I will warn you ahead that if you pick up this book, be prepared not to put it down until you've finished it. The perfect holiday read. You can buy this book from www.amazon.co.uk for £4.18. Paperback: 432 pages Publisher: Pocket Books (8 July 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 1847393918 ISBN-13: 978-1847393913
** WHAT IT'S ABOUT? ** 'Will you marry me?' I think of you, then. I think of you every day. But usually in the quietest part of the morning, or the darkest part of the night. Not when my boyfriend of two years has just proposed. I look up at Richard with his hopeful eyes. 'Lily?' he prompts. It's been ten years, but it feels like only yesterday that you left. How can I say yes to Richard with all my heart when most of it has always belonged to you? I take a deep breath and will myself to speak... Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn't have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can't forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart - and the heart of at least one of the men who love her. ** WHAT I THOUGHT ** I have just finished this book and I am sat here with tears streaming down my face! I am a HUGE die-hard romantic and so this was the perfect book for me! I've previously read Paige Toon's 'Chasing Daisy' and so had high expectations for this book. Having read the back of the book, I was already hooked - the combination of that with Paige Toon's name to it was all I needed to know to know this was going to a brilliant chick lit book that would keep me page turning for hours. Did it disappoint? The answer is a resounding NO! The first 12 chapters are set 10 years ago when Lily first moves to Australia at the age of fifteen. Ever since a small child my favourite animal has been the Koala (and in fact my first ever stuffed animal was a Koala who still sits on my bed today!), and so I adored the first part of the book just for the heart-warming descriptions Lily gives of the Koalas and Kangaroos. These early years also deal with Lily learning to drive (something we can all relate to) and Paige captures perfectly the typical first crush. For me the line "I know I'll relive this moment over and over again" is one that rings true from my own life. As I read the book I could literally feel her heartbreak - I think that partly comes from being such a sucker for romance but also from the way it is written; every detail is perfect. All in all, these beginning chapters totally and utterly capture falling in love and heartbreak. The remaining chapters of the book are based on her life 10 years on. Her heart has not forgotten her first love, and this is affecting her new life as she has never been able to give herself fully to anything else again. The part of the book where she is thinking about life without her boyfriend are extremely well written. From personal experience, Paige perfectly captures the pain that you feel about hurting someone you love but just don't love with all your heart. Yes, the book is predictable but this doesn't take anything away from it and I constantly had to refrain myself from checking the last page as I was afraid there would be a twist resulting in an ending different from the one I wanted. If you're a helpless romantic, this book is perfect. It kept my heart racing as I lived Lily's life with her!
I have read all of Paige Toon's previous books, so Pictures of Lily was on my wish list. The first half of the book starts of with the prologue where the main character Lily's boyfriend Richard proposes to her. After the prologue the first half of the book goes back to ten years before when Lily is sixteen. Lily moves to Australia with her mother to live with a man her mother met on the internet called Michael. Michael get Lily a summer job where he works atn an animal sanctuary. There she meets and bonds with fellow co-worker Ben who is twenty-eight. Lily falls in love with Ben and then discovers that he has a fiancee who lives in London and he is moving to England to get married. After Lily finds out that Ben also has feelings for her, she tells him how she feels, but her tells her that he is much too old for her and leaves her heartbroken. The book then moves onto the second half where ten years later at twenty-six Lily is now in a relationship with Richard who proposes to her. Even after ten years Lily still hasn't got over Ben and a chance encounter brings them back together. Lily then has to choose between her life with Richard or the life that she could have with Ben. Like all Paige's previous books, Pictures of Lily has a lot of humour. Other character's from her other three books are mentioned or feature in Pictures of Lily. Luis Castro from Chasing Daisy and Johnny Jefferson from Johnny Be Good are mentioned in the first part of the book. Nathan and Lucy who met in Lucy In The Sky, are friends of Richard and Lily in the second part. Pictures of Lily is 432 pages and includes a sample chapter of her previous book Chasing Daisy.
Aww! I have just finished reading a brilliant book - for the second time! The book in question is by British author Paige Toon; Pictures of Lily. The book was released in the United Kingdom in 2010 and so is very recent. The book is currently selling from Amazon for a price of £4.12. The plot: Meet Lily. When she was sixteen years old, she moved from the Uk to Australia with her mother. Whilst she was there, she worked at a conservation park where she met Ben (who was 12 years older than her) who she fell in love with. Although, because of the age difference, they couldn't do nothing about it. Fast forward ten years and Lily's boyfriend Richard is asking her to marry him. But has she got over her first love? Should she just move on and forget him? Read Pictures of Lily to find out. I loved the story. It was so refreshing to read a chick-lit book that had a different beginning rather than the usual 'my fiance's cheated on me, I'm going to go off and travel the world alone...blah blah blah'. This story started off in the past and I really liked that. I liked the effect of starting the story in the past as it gives the reader a really good insight in the characters and why they are like they are. I really enjoyed the 'ten years ago' part of the book as I found it really interesting. When I started reading the 'now' bit, I kept wanting to go back to the past, but as I got into the 'now' bit, I really enjoyed it. The book is very well written. I like how the book is fast paced. The sentences are short and simple - there is nothing complicated about the book at all. It makes great 'easy reading' and would make a perfect holiday read as it is a great book to read whilst chilling out. I found the book to be really funny and witty; It's right up my street. There are some really laugh out loud kind of things in this book and I like how the character's thoughts are written out - you feel that you are really getting to know the character. I really like the characters in this book. I really warmed to the main character Lily and could connect with her. I also really liked the character Ben as he just came across as being the perfect guy. I found it to be really clever how this book was linked to Paige Toon's other books and characters. For example, her first book is called 'Lucy In The Sky' and is about Lucy who goes to Australia to see her friend. This book is about Lucy's friend Lily and her life in Australia. They even talk about the famous band (from the book 'Johnny Be Good'. A really clever effect, I thought. The book is very busy - there is so much going on; you hear about Lily's past, Lily's love life, Lily's career, Lily's family and Lily's present. It makes a highly interesting and entertaining read that I was absolutely gutted when I finished reading the book, as it was the kind of book which I could have kept on reading and reading. I have certainly read my fair share of romantic comedy books and so I can say that I have got used to their formats. So, I did have an inkling as to what was going to happen in the end. However, it was the little unexpected twists that made the story for me. Australia features a lot in this book, as the story is set there. Australia has always been a country on my 'to visit' list and so reading this book has made me want to visit there even more. I learnt a lot about Australia from this book - about the wildlife as well as their way of life which I found interesting as well as being educational (for me anyway!). One thing which I was impressed with was how much the author knew her stuff. She really made the story interesting and believable. Her descriptive writing was fabulous - I really felt as though I was there. I was really addicted to this book. I just could not put it down. I think that if I had had the time, I would have read this book in one whole sitting - that's how good it was. I love Paige Toon as an author. She really knows her readers ; writing about the kind of things she knows they want to read. I really like her style of writing ; She makes the plot come alive , I really felt as though I was in Australia myself , witnessing what was going on. Paige Toon is different compared to a lot of other chick-lit writers , as her books are always fun , funny and not predictable like a lot other books. Pictures Of Lily is so addictive , I just could not stop reading it and couldn't turn the pages quickly enough. Another thing I like about this book is how the events move quickly enough that the reader does not get bored (which is good , as I am the kind of person who gets bored really easily), yet not so fast that the reader cannot keep up with what it's happening. I like the fact that the book is so easy to read. Although , of course you obviously do have to keep up with the plot , otherwise you won't know what is happening , although it is the kind of book that you can read to while relaxing as it doesn't require that much thinking. I have loved Paige Toon ever since I read her first ever book (Lucy In The Sky) when it was first released back in 2007. I decided there and then, after only reading her first book, that she was one of my favourite authors, and three books later she still is. I haven't got around to reading her most recent book yet (Baby Be Mine!) and I really can't wait for her next book which is due out in the summer of 2012. All I can say is that if you love chick-lit, then you will love this author. If you like romance, then you will certainly like this book! I would definitely recommend this book! Thanks for reading! November 2011 Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x
Paige Toon seems to have taken the chick lit world by storm in the last couple of years, and no wonder, her books are immensely readable and once you start there really is no putting them down! 'Pictures of Lily' is Paige's fourth book and has been very eagerly awaited by her fans, not least because she has been promising updates on our favourite characters from her other books. The eponymous Lily is a twenty-six year old temp who lives and works in Sydney, Australia. The book begins with Lily being proposed to by her boyfriend Richard. Lily loves Richard and is happy living with him. She should be thrilled to be marrying him but she has never got over losing her first love at the age of sixteen. Can she marry Richard when she knows that part of her heart will never be his? 'Pictures of Lily' is set in Adelaide and Sydney. I enjoyed the way that Paige used landmarks and the beautiful Australian scenery as a backdrop to the story. Her descriptions of the conservation park which Lily works in and of the animals there are very memorable. One of the aspects of 'Pictures of Lily' which I really liked was the way that Paige takes us back ten years for almost half the book to when Lily is sixteen and falls in love with someone that she realty shouldn't have fallen in love with. Paige does a wonderful job of writing as a 16 year old, conveying all the teenage angst, whilst still ensuring that the reader knows that the love she feels isn't just a teenage crush. It's the real thing and will never leave Lily. Paige also manages to deal with the large age difference between Lily and her love very well. The relationship between them never seems wrong. The reader knows that despite the age difference, the two characters really are made for each other. Something that I admire about Paige as a writer is the way that she sees all the sides to her characters. There is no simple answer to what Lily should do; she does love Richard and he is a good person, while Lily herself is not perfect in the way that she deals with the situation. In writing this book Paige certainly fulfilled her promise of bringing back previous characters. Lily's boyfriend Richard cameoed in Paige's first book, 'Lucy In The Sky', as Nathan's flatmate in London. He's still friends with the old gang, so fans of 'Lucy In The Sky' get an update on what Molly, Sam, Lucy and Nathan have been up to! There are also brief mentions of Johnny Jefferson ('Johnny Be Good') and Luis and Daisy ('Chasing Daisy'). I recommend Paige Toon far and wide, and this book is certainly no exception. Readers will be able to relate to the characters but the situations and Australian backdrop give added interest that really keep the reader hooked. I can think of no better way to spend an afternoon than curled up reading this! 'Pictures of Lily' is published by Pocket Books. It's RRP is £6.99, but Amazon currently sell it for £4.19. It's 432 pages long.
When Lily moved to Australia with her mother aged 16, the last thing she expected was to fall in love with someone, but fall in love she does. It doesn't help, though, that the man she falls in love with not only has a girlfriend in England, but is also twelve years older than her. When he departs for England to join his girlfriend Lily is heartbroken and finds that, even 10 years later, she still can't forget him. So when her boyfriend of two years, Richard, proposes, she's quite literally gobsmacked before eventually accepting despite the fact she can't forget the man who broke her heart a decade ago. So what's Lily going to do when her past comes back to haunt her and she realises that she will have to break the heart of one of the men who loves her? If you haven't read any of my Paige Toon reviews then you won't know just how much I love her books. Until now; I love Paige Toon's books. Lucy In The Sky was fantastic, Johnny Be Good was even better and Chasing Daisy was stunning. I've read them all multiple times and I still marvel at how well written they are and how much I love them. I also love going back and connecting the dots because all of Paige's characters re-appear in her later books and it's so good figuring out who we've already met in previous books. I've been waiting for a new Paige Toon book since, you know, July last year when I read Chasing Daisy. Even more so when I heard about Pictures of Lily, I loved the sound of it and was so happy to receive a copy earlier this week. And, because I have no self control, I started it almost immediately. Pictures of Lily is done a bit differently to Paige's previous three books. There's the standard prologue, which is set in the present day, in which Lily's boyfriend Richard proposes and whilst Lily ponders the question, we head back to 10 years ago when Lily first moves to Australia. Then for the next 175 pages we learn about Lily's life as a 16-year-old. What it was like to move to Australia and be wrenched away from everything she's ever known just so her mum could be with a man she met on the Internet, how she ends up accompanying her mum's boyfriend Michael to the animal sanctuary where he works and ends up loving it and then, falling in love with someone, Ben, who is twelve years her senior, has a girlfriend and is moving to England to be with said fiancee. I thought it was a stunning opening to the book. I was immediately sucked into Lily's 16-year-old self and I was hooked. We then move back to the present day which follows immediately from the Prologue where Lily is being proposed to by Richard (at a wedding, no less). After reading all about what happened to Lily when she was younger, it was easy to see why she was so hesitant and it was equally as easy to see why she was still hooked on Ben. I worried that maybe I would just see it as a teenage crush and that Lily should have gotten over it years ago but it wasn't like that at all. Paige writes the first 175 pages so well that it would be far too mean to just brush off Lily's love for Ben because it just comes across so real and all consuming. I must admit, I did find the present day part of the book a little bit slow. After the fast pace of the first 175 pages, it all seemed to slow down a little. That's not a criticism at all, though, and I eagerly awaited the arrival of someone from Lily's past because for me, it couldn't come soon enough! Much like Lucy, Meg and Daisy before her, I absolutely loved Lily. I adored her 16-year-old self and could have read an entire book about her at that age. She doesn't have an easy time of it at 16 and she handled it well. To then still be pining over Ben after a decade made for sad reading. It was clear that he had really helped her when she first moved to Australia despite the fact it all took place in such a short amount of time. Like Lucy, Meg and Daisy, Lily is warm and funny and just as down to Earth as the others. I have to say I liked Ben from the off. He's a huge part of Lily's new life in Australia, as I said, everything that takes place within the first period of the book made complete and total sense to me. Surprisingly I liked Richard, Lily's boyfriend 'now'. He was nice, and was good to Lily. But obviously, I always preferred Ben. There are other characters who make appearances but no one regular enough to be honest. Although I did like Michael and Josh, Lily's mums boyfriend (and the reason for their move to Australia) and his son. Paige Toon is an incredible writer. Her writing flows so easily and is such a pleasure to read. I knew that once I began reading Pictures of Lily I would have to finish it on the same day and I did. I managed to finish it in about 5 hours, it was that readable. As I said, the thing Paige does best is bringing back her characters from her earlier books and they're all mentioned here; Lily is friends with Lucy and Nathan, she sees Luis on the telly ("snogging his gorgeous girlfriend") and she had posters on the wall of Fence (the band Johnny Jefferson was part of until he went solo) as a 16-year-old. Even Richard, Lily's boyfriend, appeared in an earlier book, causing me to speed over to my bookshelf to check I was right (I was!). It always makes me smile when I hear from previous characters and to know their life is going well. Pictures of Lily is definitely another hit from Paige and I wholly recommend it. It's just as good as her previous three books and having read Pictures of Lily, it means the countdown is on for her sequel to Johnny Be Good which is going to be her next book!