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The One Before The One - Katy Regan

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3 Reviews

Genre: Fiction / Author: Katy Regan / Paperback / 352 Pages / Book is published 2010-11-25 by Harper

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    3 Reviews
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      25.07.2011 07:20
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      A nice book.

      Caroline Steele knows she should be moving on, hell she was even the one who called her soon to be wedding off with teenage sweetheart Martin, but she feels that she has moved no further forwards, drowning herself in Pinot Grigio and even dressing up in her wedding dress at the weekends!

      Then, turning up unannounced, her younger sister Lexi (from her fathers second marriage) turns up on the doorstep asking if she can stay or a few weeks to sort her head out about college.

      What actually happens is a journey of self discovery for Caroline, and with the help of her seemingly very knowledgeable 16 year old sister, Caroline finds her life on the up, though she first has to sort out one little problem........her affair with married co worker Toby, will she survive?

      I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I love how vulnerable the main character seemed to be at the start, almost broken but being held together with the wine and the belief that her newest squeeze Toby, really actually loves her and is just waiting for the right time to leave her for Caroline.

      Caroline comes across as a neurotic OCD type, almost convincing the reader that all the problems she has is due to someone else, and not things that she has made for herself.

      As the book progresses it seems as though Caroline has real "light bulb" moments, that gives her a sense of self awareness, finally making her see the things that others have been seeing from the start.

      The character of Lexi is beautifully written and shows just how far apart Caroline is from her younger sibling, in fat showing the major differences that I actually feel from the younger generation, with her being so self assured that her life will go exactly as she has planned, but making Caroline not realise that inside this strong young woman is a frightened young girl who has got herself into a spot of bother and actually needs her steadfast older sister to help her.

      This is a reasonably light read, that flows just as you would expect but does offer a couple of little twists and turns to keep the story fresh.

      There are a few cringy moments, mostly involving the affair Caroline is having, and I loved how much I disliked Toby from the offset, with Caroline being completely oblivious to just how much of a sleaze bag he really is, the moment where she realises this fact is both fantastic and heart rendering, making this a crucial moment in the book, but even to the last moment you don't dare second guess what Caroline will do!

      Price wise this is available via www.amazon.co.uk for around the £4.00 mark.

      I really enjoyed this book and found it a bit heavier in content than the bog standard chick lit type of book, but still found it flowed beautifully with some really laugh out loud/cry subtly moments, recommended!

      Thanks for reading x

      ISBN 978-0-00-727738-4

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        24.05.2011 15:38
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        a great read

        Katy Regan is a new author to me. After reading this book I googled her and have found that she has released a book before this one called One Thing Led To Another. Now that I have finished The One before The One I cannot wait to go back and read her first book. I am not sure why I hadn't heard of her before as the book was a great read my only thing is I am not over keen on the cover of the book.

        Plot
        Meet Caroline who is our main character she has called of the wedding to her long term partner Martin and is ready to be free and enjoy life but has she made the right decision? A spanner is thrown in the works when her teenage sister Lexi arrives on her door step and announces that she is going to be staying with her for the whole of the summer! Unsure of how you look after a teenager Caroline tries her best to help her sister with her problems but having her around is making it hard to see Toby who is her married work colleague who she is currently sleeping with. Caroline realises with the help of her sister that she needs to make some decisions to get her life back on track but this only means a lot of changes need to be made which can only lead to some broken hearts.

        My Opinion


        When I first started to read this book I found it a little strange as my partner is called Martin and my sister is called Lexi so I felt like I was going warm to our main character Caroline from the start, oh how could I be so wrong! I found Caroline, hard to warm to at first especially as when we meet her and her fiancé Martin he seems so charming that you couldn't help but give her the cold shoulder a little at first for breaking his heart. As the book progressed I soon started to warm more to her character and started to enjoy reading about her journey in life. I really did enjoy reading the character of Martin he just seemed to good to be true! I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Caroline and her sister Lexi as where they had not been brought up together you found you was watching the relationship between the two grow. There was only one character in this book which I could not take to and found the more that the book went on I loathed him even more and that is the character of Toby. I found when we first met him to be smarmy and after that the feelings towards him grew worse!!

        What really kept me on my toes with this book was the suspense as right until the last few chapters I was still not quite sure how it would end. I kept wondering would there be a happy ending and I think it was this which kept the pages turning for me.

        I found that this book had a mixture of content to it. There was a few bits of humour put in which was a nice touch and made it a little light hearted after reading about some slightly deeper parts when it came to Lexi so the humour was a nice touch to still keep the book an enjoyable read.

        I would defiantly recommend this book and as I mentioned before I will now be keeping a look out for her previous book and I suggest you all do the same to! I think this is going to be an Author to keep your eyes peeled for in the future.

        **Also posted on my Blog http://reabookreview.blogspot.com/ **

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          17.01.2011 13:25
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          Another good read from Katy Regan

          Caroline was pretty sure she had made the right decision when she ended her engagement, and comes out of the relationship she has been in since she was at school. She knows she has hurt her ex but realised that to be happy, she had to be free to do what she wants. However, Caroline's plans are scuppered when her 17 year old half sister Lexi turns up on her doorstep and announces that she has come to stay for the summer. Caroline doesn't know what to do with a 17 year old, and so tries her best to make it work with Lexi despite the upheaval in her own life. She knows she has to make some decisions about the direction of her life, and whether her on/off relationship with married lover Toby will last, whether she will ever find happiness with Mr Right despite her family's less than successful rate with relationships, and whether a 17 year old has anything to teach her about living?

          This is Katy Regan's second book, and I was really excited to read it because I loved her first novel, One Thing Led to Another, a book based on Katy's own experience of having a baby with her best friend. This one has been delayed a couple of times, but finally has hit the shelves, and a great read it is too. I have to say I am really not a fan of the cover, I don't think it's particularly attractive to look at or fresh and modern, but of course you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover are you?! Either way, I hoped the story inside would be as good as Regan's previous offering and sat down hoping to devour it, and luckily I did just that.

          Caroline is our leading lady of the book, and I think she was a really well written character that I definitely warmed to as the book goes on. We join the book when she has left her fiance and that could actually make her quite dislikeable but it didn't for me, I could see her reasons for doing so were valid for her and therefore I couldn't feel too badly towards her! She's quite funny in her own way, always making lists of things that she has to do and never quite achieving them, running a phantom book club so she can meet her married lover for sex, and she isn't too keen on her much younger half sister landing on her doorstep for the summer, in tow with all the problems (and more) teenagers bring with them. I loved how Caroline deals with these things, and it makes her a very likeable character in my eyes.

          The other main character we see in the book is Lexi, Caroline's sister. Regan really taps in the psyche of a 17 year old girl for the parts with Lexi in, and I feel she develops and explores the relationship between the two sisters very well indeed. I loved how the two weren't awfully close at the beginning of the book, mainly because there is a big age gap between the two and they didn't grow up together, but things become better for them as the book goes on and several things happen to bring them closer together. It was really nice to read actually, and made a real change for me. Another character we see a lot of is Caroline's married lover Toby. I disliked him from the start and think Caroline was a little blind about him because as a reader I could see where it was all going and I wanted to be able to warn her off, but Regan does a pretty good job of sewing up that story nicely as the book goes on.

          The pacing of the book was just right. Caroline clearly is in a bit of an emotional quandry when the book begins and lots of elements are explored for her in order to bring out her character and allow for good story development. I very much liked the new relationships that come about during the book, but Regan makes them quite loose so you just don't know if they are all going to end up okay when the book ends, but I did like that. There are quite a few dramatic bits throughout the book, mainly involving Lexi that I really liked reading about, they spiced up the book somewhat, and made it an interesting read and not just one about a girl on a crusade to change her life. The characters were all believable and likeable, I found it kept me wanting to read on because I really enjoyed what I was reading and didn't want to stop. I would definitely recommend this book as a great read that manages to be quite funny yet emotional at the same time, and with a great cast of characters that you want to keep reading about. Really enjoyable!

          ISBN: 978-0007277384. Published by Harper in November 2010. Pages: 352. RRP: £6.99.

          Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitreviews.com

          Thank you for reading.

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