Friday, March 11, 2016

Book Review: The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart

By Becky Gulc

‘Abi's barely left her bed since Joseph, the love of her life, dumped her, saying they were incompatible.

When Joseph leaves a box of her possessions on her doorstep, she finds a bucket list of ten things she never knew he wanted to do. What better way to win him back than by completing the list, and proving they're a perfect match?

But there's just one problem - or rather, ten. Abi's not exactly the outdoorsy type, and she's absolutely terrified of heights - not ideal for a list that includes climbing a mountain, cycling around the Isle of Wight and, last but not least, abseiling down the tallest building in town . . .

Completing the list is going to need all Abi's courage - and a lot of help from her friends. But as she heals her broken heart one task at a time, the newly confident Abi might just have a surprise in store...’ (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK.)

I’ve been a fan of Anna’s Novelicious column for a long time and have been lucky enough to review two of her ‘Don’t tell the…’ novels for this blog, both of which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. So I was pleased to be invited to review Anna’s latest novel and excited to read a new stand-alone novel from this author who is likened to Lindsey Kelk and Jane Costello (not bad, eh...and I’d agree).

The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart is another great book from Anna, full of the charm, wit and cultural references (contemporary and childhood) I’ve come to love in her stories. Abi is a lovely leading character, she’s very much in love with Joseph, good at her job, and I really felt for her when Joseph decides to end their relationship just when Abi is wanting to plan a nice weekend away to celebrate their first anniversary.

Rather than being all doom and gloom though, this bucket list of Joseph’s quickly emerges and sets the novel up for some great adventures. I thought the accounts of Abi’s inability to let go of Joseph were something most of us can relate to...not wanting to be stalker-like but wanting to be noticed again by that person, make them see what they’re missing! Well, with the help of social media, some of the things on the list are definitely going to get Abi noticed! But bearing in mind Abi isn’t really an outdoorsy person, not particularly ‘cultural’, will she be able to get through this list? And more importantly, will it help win Joseph back?

Abi’s new-found single status and pursuit of this bucket list brings her into contact with a range of new people and places, I loved seeing how these new friendships evolved, as well as how existing friendships continued. I found the book to be very funny in places and Abi certainly finds herself in some tricky situations that had me both cringing and laughing (cycling round the Isle of Wight when hungover, anyone?). She might not really want to do these tasks but her sheer determination to fulfill the list and the support of her new-found friends will surely see her through.

In terms of Joseph, we don’t really get to know much about him before the break-up, which worked well in terms of not swaying me to have a particular opinion as to whether Abi should or shouldn’t want to get back with this person, but slowly and through the introduction of other characters I had a definite opinion by the time I was getting towards the end of the novel about what I’d like to happen and I wasn’t disappointed.

This was a book I got into straight away and I sailed through it as I was engrossed in Abi’s adventures. If I’m being picky I would maybe have liked to see even more covered during the actual adventures, e.g. I thought there was scope for more to be covered during the Isle of Wight cycle ride rather than mostly being about the beginning and end of it, I’d have happily read a longer novel as I was enjoying it so much.

I’m already looking forward to the next novel by Anna Bell.

Thanks to Zaffre for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Anna Bell:

1 comment:

Janine said...

Awesome review. This book sounds like it will be fun to read.