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Not as tasty as the real stuff!
The Chocolate Run - Dorothy Koomson
Member Name: owensmum
The Chocolate Run - Dorothy Koomson
Advantages: Good story, warm characters
Disadvantages: Not her best book - but still good
The Chocolate Run is the 2nd novel by Dorothy Koomson. She is best known for her novel 'My Best Friends Girl' which was listed in the Richard & Judy Summer Reading selection. The book I am reviewing was re released in February 2008 on the back of her success. I have previously read, enjoyed and reviewed 'My Best Friends Girl' which led me to read 'The Chocolate Run'.
My expectations for this book were lower, primarily because it had been released prior to 'My Best Friends Girl' and had not been as successful. Although this book lacked the emotion and deep drama of the other novel I did still find it an enjoyable read.
~ ~The Story~ ~
Amber Salpone likes to eat chocolate and so I identified with her character immediately. She also likes to categorise the people in her life as types of chocolate. Although chocolate and various references to the chocolate run are made throughout the book this is secondary to the main story. It does however provide a theme which runs right through the book.
Amber works for a film festival company in Leeds and lives alone. Her best friend is Jen. Jen goes out with Matt whom Amber dislikes but endures for the sake of her best friend. Matt's best friend is Greg. The four of them spend a lot of their time together and Amber develops a friendship with Greg. When the friendship inevitably becomes more they decide to keep it under wraps initially. The story then centres around their growing relationship, the problems they encounter and its effect on their other relationships. When eventually it becomes public it is not the only secret to be revealed. The friends find out that they actually knew very little about each other.
~ ~The Characters~ ~
As I stated earlier I identified with Ambers character immediately. However this ran much deeper than her love of chocolate. Amber is a very complicated character who finds it hard to commit and struggles with her relationships after suffering the aftermath of her parents bad marriage and separation.
Greg is a playboy and has had a string of short relationships and so Amber is very unsure of his commitment to their relationship. I liked him as a person and wanted him to be everything that she wanted and for the relationship to work out.
Jen & Matt were pretty central to the story but I didn't warm to them in any way. This made it easier to dislike them towards the end of the book when the secrets were revealed.
Ambers work colleagues as well as members of her family also feature quite heavily in the book and I liked them all, each with their own well constructed character traits.
~ ~My Opinion~ ~
This was not in the same league as 'My Best Friends Girl'. However I enjoyed this book for different reasons. It is clear it is written by the same author as the writing style is similar but this book has more humour. Although I was not gripped to every page and itching to find the time to read it continually, it was still enjoyable and at no point did I find it boring or lacking in interest. It is basically a story about relationships and how they effect you emotionally. At the end of the book is a dictionary type definition of 'The Chocolate Run' which tied together a lot of the elements of the story and finished it off perfectly.
I would definitely recommend the book and will be continuing to look out for the authors other titles.
ISBN : 978-0-7515-3968-4
Published by Sphere
Available to buy on Amazon from as little as £1.47
Summary: Not as good as 'My Best Friends Girl' but still a decent read