Hello, first review of the month, its March already! Is it only me or 2016 is kind of speeding away 🙂 On to the book review, today I have newly released, These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton. Published as an ebook by Simon & Schuster, today, 1st of March and will be out as paperback next month, April ’16. I wasn’t expecting this book and was pleasantly surprised when it came in the mail, by the way I love any and all of book mail, no discrimination as long as I get chunky, happy books. 🙂 So, I thank Sarah of Team BATC for sending me an advance copy of this absolutely gorgeous and captivating story.
A novel about love. Raw important love. Small, beautiful love. And what happens when the person you love cannot be yours… Perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Jane Green and David Nicholls.
Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.
Kate has always loved Charlie – they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn’t always follow the journey it should.
But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won’t it…?
Charlie and Kate sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-NG is what comes to my mind upon seeing the cover, the colors are pastel heaven in my eyes and the 2 birds on the tree branch, promise the magic of love and life in its 400+ pages. To be honest the pages are not just filled with Kate and Charlie’s love story, it is filled with life and a fair amount of magic sprinkled amongst its pages. Not actual glitter but you know what I mean (though glitter would have been great too, but that’s just me 😉
Here’s an image [below] of my copy which I Love, it’s so chunky, the pages luxurious and a pleasure to hold in my hands. Don’t panic, we bookworms tend to romanticize the books even before we start reading the story.
KateandCharlie’s love story starts when at Kate’s 5th birthday party Charlie whispers ‘I Love You’ to Kate and she stuffs his face in her birthday cake. Now that’s a great start to love, a party, face covered in sweet cake and love in the air. They remain friends despite the cake in the face. Fast forward to when Kate’s 18 and this time around she says I Love You. They go out for a while but break up when Charlie is away at university and Kate’s busy being a career woman. The first time distance and Becca separates the lovers. Yes Becca, Kate’s cousin, we will have a love-hate relationship with her throughout the story. The point being while Love for each other always burns in their hearts, KateandCharlie do not end up together. They remain friends as Kate and Becca end up marrying each other’s exes. Yes, enter Julian, Becca’s ex and Kate’s first husband. We will see parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, Chinese people and babies come and go while the cousins stay close to each other throughout the story.
The bond between Kate and Becca is interesting. They are each other’s everything – friends, enemies, adversaries, confidantes, companions, and support system, you name it and they have that. They have each other’s back and the occasional stab in the back too. When you have a close family, especially a family member closer to your own age there is a lot that person means to us and we to them. We may go through numerous romantic relationships, but we go through life’s good, bad and ugly parts much comfortably with our siblings, cousins. There is a bond, comfort which is unlike yet equally important as friendship that we share with our cousins. The Kate and Becca dynamic was a pleasure to read about. It was fun, frustrating and at times hair pulling and screaming too but it wouldn’t have been same without Becca. Kate understands the shortcomings of Becca, who is secretly envious of Kate and her bond with her parents, especially with her Father. Becca on the other hand has a compulsive need to keep Kate a constant in her life, come what may.
Enter, Kate’s father, he is a nice man and Kate transforms in the time she spent while he was in his last days. This is where the story gets emotionally overwhelming for me. Kate goes through a lifetime of emotions in just a few years. Kate wrestles with divorce, loss, love, friendship, finding the meaning of life and fulfillment of dreams, a full circle of emotions. This part of the story is filled with sadness, contemplation and a pure joy to read as she lives a decade of her life, a milestone we celebrate towards the end of the story. Right to the end, KateandCharlie keep missing being with each other romantically. Instead, they settle for an uncomplicated and easy friendship which they both hold too precious to lose by questioning the buried love and what ifs? The characters, be it Kate, Becca or Charlie went from being kids to having kids of their own and it felt like going through all those stages of youth, love, loss, babies, happiness, sadness and everything in between, with them.
At the start it felt like settling in – knowing the characters, getting comfortable with the lay of the land. Just when it felt like settling in the walls come crashing down leaving behind a thick smog of emotions, denial, and confusion. Death, divorce and loneliness after the death of relationships creeped up so suddenly that it felt exactly like a rug was pulled off from under you. The story put me in a funky mood, I am not even trying to sound all Reviewer like, but there is subtle self-contemplation in every part of it. Every life event of the characters, makes you go into a dream world in your head. At times it got overwhelming and I had to take a break from reading only to return after a few minutes and again loose myself completely in their lives.
Reading Kate and Charlie’s story was a delight and felt so luxurious emotionally. And Wow! The ending felt so natural and I was relieved, like everything fell in its rightful place with a satisfying sound of Click. I am so happily in love with this story. It is one of the treasured stories of this year in my book. If you are in the mood to read a story and loose yourselves completely in the lives of its characters and come out of it with happy tears and smiles, I suggest free up this weekend, grab a copy and enjoy KateandCharlie’s love story.
Buy a copy: For UK buying links click here
Reviewed by Bharti