Thursday, 10 April 2014

How We Met by Katy Regan - Review

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A contemporary story of love, friendship and grief, told with Katy's inimitable laugh-out-loud humour, poignancy and heart.

There are some people you can’t imagine life without.

Liv Jenkins had been meticulously planning her ultimate to-do list – from the outrageous to sensible – of everything she longed to do before her dreaded thirtieth birthday, but when tragedy struck she never got the chance…

Two years later, Liv’s five closest friends have come together on the anniversary of her death and have made a pact: they will complete Liv’s to-do list in tribute to her memory.

Over the next year, before what would’ve been Liv’s thirtieth birthday, her friends set out to complete the tasks. But along the way deeply buried secrets, silent guilt, unrequited love and years of lies, rise to the surface rocking their friendships.

When they reach the end of Liv’s list the final task shakes the group to their core and they realise that they must face their futures and the consequences of their pasts, and with Liv’s help, live the lives they have always dreamed of.

It is with the saddest of feelings I have to make a confession... I don't really like Katy Regan books. This is my second Regan book after The One Before The One and if my memory serves me correctly, I took a considerable 3 month long gap before finishing it. Thankfully for this book it was finished in 3 days so that is a definitive improvement.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with these books, I guess it means there's just things that aren't right. For starters, it begins in a 3rd person view, past tense which most books are in so that cool, then next thing I know, it's in 3rd person present tense which threw me for a loop. Perhaps I'm a creature of habit.

The story, despite what the blurb may lead you to believe is actually all about Fraser and Mia with Liv being thrown in, maybe as a reminder to the reader that she's dead and that this group of friends may not actually be friends without her.
Okay, so a character by character assassination read through:

  • Liv - well she's dead so a lot of her is seen with saint goggles, sadly we'll never know what she was really like and she may have been the most interesting of the lot
  • Mia- has a child with Eduardo whilst being in love with Fraser and hating her child for a good portion of the book. Now I'm 19 and have never been a mother so it's not my place to judge how anyone reacts to motherhood, especially as he was born at such a difficult time of Mia's life. I liked watching Mia fall in love with her child and realise that he's kind of cool. I liked her relationship with Mrs Durham, the older lady she helped look after on Tuesday, it was very nice to see them help each other get over their grief and for Mrs Durham to start to enjoy life again. Overall, I generally liked Mia's story line as she seemed to have mild depression at the beginning of the book and got better over time
  • Fraser - Did I mention that this whole book was a love story between Fraser and Mia because it was and that annoyed me; not in a "that's disrespectful to Liv" kind of way, but in a you are adults, you need to stop acting like you're still nineteen. Fraser's story line was a lot of self loathing and feeling sorry for himself. Which i guess was good because I certainly didn't feel sorry for him. Fraser's story starts with him having a (at the time) one night stand with the bartender from his local pub, he's too weak to resist her advances and then they get into a sort of pseudo relationship, in that she's 100% in and he's 100% convincing himself that he's all in all whilst pining over Mia and being a bit sad that girlfriend died. I don't know if you can tell, but I think Fraser was kind of a prat.
  • Melody - I actually liked Melody, I too can be very anal about things so I understand her personality. I felt so sorry for her during the break up of her and Norm's relationship because it seemed like she was most likely to be getting a bum deal because the friend that lives closest to her is Mia who has a baby which is exactly what MElody wants, and everyone else lives in London and I hope she's okay
  • Norm - hmmm, very odd character, despite being Fraser's best friend, I'm still not entirely sure of his character. However, I do believe that if a couple is no longer happy, they shouldn't have to be together, he seemed nice enough though i guess.
  • Anna - I felt really sorry for her because she felt like the absolute edge of the group and that impacted a lot of her decisions and my stomach nearly dropped when I thought that she too liked Fraser mostly because I don't see the appeal but also because it would make the dynamics of the group even worse. I felt terrible for her having to go through her Buddhist karma crap on her own
Overall, this was not a book I enjoyed, but I can see why others might, if I had to recommend it to anyone, perhaps single mothers that may have a familiarity with Mia's character.
Rating: 3 stars ***

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