Friday, August 30, 2013

Book Review: Wish You Were Here

By Becky Gulc

When you look at the cover for Wish You Were Here, it’s perhaps no surprise that it was an easy decision to take this book on my recent holiday with me…it oozes that holiday feeling without even going anywhere! Here is the synopsis:

‘Sun, Sea and Secrets...A week on the sunny Greek island of Kethos is just what Alice Archer needs, even if she has to put up with her difficult sister. Stella’s tantrums and diva-like demands are a fair price to pay for crystal-clear waters, blue skies and white clifftop villas.

When Alice meets Milo, a handsome gardener at the Villa Argenti, for the first time she suddenly feels beautiful, alluring and confident. But is it just holiday magic or will the irresistible pull between Alice and Milo survive against all odds?’ (Synopsis courtesy of Victoria Connelly's website.)

The synopsis also appealed to me as I thought the character going on holiday and having their own adventure would sit nicely with me when I was sunbathing, making me feel I did more on my holiday than I actually did!

I really did love this book and I read it within a day. My Mum also read the book within a day which is unlike her and shows how much she got into it too! Alice is such a lovely character to spend time with; a selfless woman who loves her dad and is thankfully nothing like her self-absorbed sister Stella. Milo is also a great character, a genuine loveable male lead. It was a book where you almost felt you were falling in love a bit yourself as the characters do so. To feel that emotive is testament to Victoria’s writing skills and character development.

The ‘holiday magic’ referred to in the synopsis relates to a wish Alice makes on a statue of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love and beauty. Essentially Alice’s wish comes true and this leads to a whole host of bizarre, but sometimes welcome, situations for Alice as the book progresses. The question is, "should you be careful what you wish for?" Despite the synopsis, I still wasn’t expecting the ‘magic’ to be as surreal and frequently referenced as it was in places, but once I got used to it, I did enjoy it and I thought it brought something extra to the story and it was key for plot development. It kept me hooked to find out whether Alice was ever going to find a way out of the predicament she found herself in or whether she’d have to live with it.

I felt truly transported to ‘Kethos’ in this book and had a clear image of the island in my mind through Victoria’s writing. I grew to completely understand why Milo loved the island so much and I was keen for him (and his sister) not to be pulled away from the island by events and the tension that evolves surrounding this, which added to my intrigue.

I also enjoyed the fact that Stella, as a character, was consistently dislikeable throughout the novel rather than redeeming herself, as I think that added to how happy I was with the ending. Overall, I think this a great summer read, but if you take this on your holidays make sure you pack plenty of books as you’ll be all consumed by this one and get through it quickly!

Thanks to Avon Romance for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Victoria Connelly:

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