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This is a love story. Boy meets girl and girl falls for boy - that much is true. But when Sienna meets Nick it's not the way it happens in love stories. It's because of a squirrel on water skis... She sees Nick's dangerous brown eyes and thinks, Don't. Fall. Into. Them. Who will be there to catch Siena when she falls? She is so fragile. She has so many secrets, and he is not that serious. Funny and sad, this is the story of two people destined never to come together in the great love affair they crave more than anything else.
I adore debut novels, there's something about the unknown and the anticipation of a brand new story experience that really excites me, and I'm always really keen to read them as soon as they arrive through my letterbox! This book was certainly one that caught my eye, not least because of the absolutely beautiful cover it has! It's a subtle light blue with pretty white detailing, but it's just so different from any other cover on my shelf that I loved it. Also, the title really draws you in and if you're a soppy soul (like me!), then it's the perfect book for you to snuggle up with in the evenings, or whenever you have 5 spare minutes. I loved every page of this book and didn't want it to end, and here's why!
It's simply the love story between two characters, Sienna and Nick. They are strangers who meet by chance on a London train, realise they are colleagues and proceed to love each other from afar for the next few years, without admitting it to each other. But behind their feelings are a few other secrets too... Sienna has more going on a home with her Dad than she cares to reveal to anyone, and Nick is too stubborn to tell Sienna he loves her so keeps heading into relationship after relationship, no matter how much it's killing Sienna inside. He just wants her to let him in, and let him help her. Will they be able to ever admit to each other how they? This is pretty much the crux of the storyline, and while it's simple, it's very effective and gives plenty of scope for the characters to develop, and I was completely sucked in from the first page.
Sienna is such a loveable character, and I loved her from the beginning. She's a young character, yet she's hiding a really serious secret from everyone who knows her. I don't want to say too much about her dad and what's going on there because it's best to read it as you progress in the book, but it was so beautifully written by Thompson. You can tell she has put so much research into it because it's written with real compassion and feeling, and I ended up so attached to both Sienna and her father in the end. The relationship between them is written so beautifully, it makes for very touching reading, and I love how it slowly unfolds. Sienna also has another important relationship in the book, with a man called Pete and again, this story was incredibly touching, and really showcases what a lovely person Sienna is, and perhaps how judgmental and cruel we cna be to those less fortunate than ourselves.
Nick is a different kettle of fish altogether. He's a lovely male character, and to be honest it's nice to read a male character in chick lit that isn't a pig, a cheat, a liar or just a complete pleb really! Nick is blatantly in love with Sienna, I'm not sure how she doesn't wise up to that fact throughout the book, but the little things he does for her as his best friend is really sweet, and he's brilliant when Sienna comes up against some hard times. I was willing him on to tell her throughout the book how he feels, but the wrong moves he makes along the way had me cringing and wanting him to wake up to what a mistake he was making! However, together he and Sienna are the perfect characters to read about, and I really was consumed by their love story, and their will they, won't they ending.
It's set in London, and I felt Thompson writes the setting really well. She brings to life the place of work of Nick and Sienna, the house where Sienna lives with her dad, and even the parks that Sienna meets up with Pete in, with her vibrant writing. The characters feel so realistic that they almost feel like real people by the end of the book, and you don't want to leave them behind! From the extremely touching and emotional side of the book, to the funny moments which had me smiling along, I loved everything about this book. I was up until about 1.30am finishing this, because one I hit 3/4 of the way through, I couldn't stop and by the end, the tears were flowing, I'm not ashamed to admit! But I think the best thing of all is that this could be true. So many times, we don't want to/can't admit we love someone from afar and I'm sure a lot of people will be able to relate to Sienna or Nick! This is a stunning debut from Jessica Thompson, one which really pull at your heart-strings, and leave you wanting more. Brilliant.
ISBN: 978-1444734218. Published by Coronet on February 2nd 2012. Pages: 448. RRP: £6.99. Also available as an eBook.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitchloe.blogspot.com
Thank you for reading.