Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Book Review: Skip to the End by Molly James

By Becky Gulc

‘Three kisses. Two break ups. One happy ending...

Amy Daniels has a pretty nice life. Her career is on the up, she loves her friends, and she's about to buy her very own flat. On a good day, Amy could be described as a catch - so why is she perpetually single?

The trouble is, Amy can see something no one else can: the end. As soon as she kisses someone, she knows, in intimate, vivid detail, how their relationship will end. A screaming argument in the middle of the supermarket over milk. An explicit email sent to the wrong address. A hasty escape through a bathroom window on the second date. At the altar - runaway-bride style. There seems to be no end to the unhappy endings.

After years of trying, and failing, to change a pre-written future, Amy has given up. But then she drunkenly kisses three men at her best friend's wedding and sees three possible endings: two painful, one perfect. The problem is, Amy can't really remember who she kissed, and worse, what ending belongs to which person - the only thing she knows for certain is that she's determined to find out...’ (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK.)

Molly James is a pseudonym for Belinda Jones, a fantastic writer who always provides fantastic escapist novels where you really feel like you’ve visited a country you may never have been! I Love Capri, The Travelling Tea Shop, Winter Wonderland, to name but a few of my favourites. So when I saw that she was writing as Molly James I was intrigued to what a new pen name would mean for her writing and what direction Skip to the End may take.

So normally I wouldn’t be drawn to a novel where it’s clear there is going to be some magic going on; some make believe. I always wonder if I will feel as immersed as I would if I can empathise and believe in the reality of what’s happening in a novel. However, I’m so glad I read this novel and it’s one of my favourites of the year so far!

One of the things I liked the most is that Amy and her close set of friends are extremely likeable, relatable, and real, and I just wanted to be in their friendship group! These friends are like family, they’re so tight-knit. Amy is a fabulous main character and I wanted so much happiness for her and just loved the ‘magic’ powers she had of seeing how any relationship would end after that first kiss! At her friend Charlotte’s wedding, Amy kisses three people and has three premonitions, and one of these is a very good one indeed! The only problem is, she can’t remember who she kissed! The predicament provides a lot of fun, as there are three very different people behind these kisses. The discovery phase is so funny at times, and sometimes moving, and is paced well. There are some tender and heartbreaking moments too, in relation to Amy’s mother living with dementia.

I thought this was a lovely, original, enjoyable read where I felt cosy inside at the end. I would love to read something with these characters again, magic or not! 

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