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I was given this book for my birthday in January by my mother, who had listened to it on audio tape and decided that it would be something that I'd enjoy. I'd previously read one book by the author (All I Want Is You), which I didn't like all that much so I hoped this one would be much better!
Having been fired from the latest in a string of failed jobs, Hope decides that she'll spend some time abroad. Things don't quite go to plan and an unfortunate event means that she instead spends the summer in the very place she vowed never to return to. It's time for Hope to finally confront the past she's been running from and she's not at all looking forward to it.
Hope is the main character and the narrative is told from her viewpoint in the first person. I really liked Hope as a character and found myself rooting for her from early on, which is understandable when you start reading the book and are immersed in the aftermath of her situation. As a large part of the plot centres on her getting to grips with the past that's been tormenting her, the first person narration is so much stronger than a third person equivalent and we're literally going on the journey with her. I liked the way that the past and present are often entwined to reinforce this feeling. Of the supporting characters, I also really liked Hope's friends, Julie and Adam. The friendship between the three is strong and often touching.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. The characters are really likeable and compliment each other well. Alongside the main theme of Hope's past sits a subplot with another supporting character, Logan, and the dramas relating to Julie and Adam's personal and professional lives. Quite a lot actually happens for saying the plot only spans one summer and I found myself forgetting that this was indeed the time span, despite the title! Reading back my description, I've made the book sound quite deep and heavy but those parts are well interspersed with more light-hearted parts to break the mood up and for me, that's well handled by the author.