Friday, 18 March 2016

The Night That Changed Everything by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice

Review by Libby Mayfield

When it comes to romance novels, I know a thing or two. I've read probably more than my fair share - something I'm not too ashamed to admit - and I know that almost unanimously they follow a similar structure, with an irrefutable happy ending. It's reassuring, and with some authors you can guess the plot's twists and turns and still feel satisfied with it, but every so often it's nice to see a twist on the usual style.
Laura and Jimmy chose to write the novel with the first person alternating between both halves of the relationship, and although on paper this might seem like a neat trick to use, even after a second thought you'll realise that it has its flaws. Granted, there are moments when both sides of the story are conveyed better for this technique, but I spent the majority of the book flicking to the start of the chapter to see which character was supposed to be talking - the voices were too similar to be easily identified.

When the couple's problem came around - I'm giving no spoilers away; it's a romance book so there's bound to be a problem - I couldn't help thinking that the whole situation was an unnecessary overreaction. Even when the characters themselves seemed to realise this, it didn't resolve matters, and despite having a promising start and a strong close, the bulk of the novel seemed to lose its way somewhat among a string of loosely held up problems. In fact, it was the end of the book that saved this entirely - there were even moments part way through when I was confident the ending would have to be a good one, else I'd no idea how it had ended up being published. Ultimately, it is worth holding out for.
In general, the book ticks all the guilty-pleasure boxes that need ticking, and although at times the pace is a little slow, it has just about has enough willpower to keep you going on till the end, and there are times when it's easy to become lost in the plot. More detail to some of the scenes would also go a long way. There are some unavoidable holes regards the voices and weaker moments of plot, but the ending is one that'll leave you satisfied - and, if you're like me, possibly move you to tears.

Libby's review - 3 stars
Publisher - Corgi/Transworld
Genre - adult chicklit/romcom

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