Monday 29 September 2014

Review ~ Everything Changes But You by Jennifer Joyce.

Title: Everything Changes But You.
Author: Jennifer Joyce.
Genre: Chick Lit.
Publication Date: September 16, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

Ally Richmond is dreading turning thirty and bidding farewell to her youth. And when her husband says he wants to start a family, she begins to panic.

Is this all that life has to offer from now on? Popping out babies and growing old gracefully? She wants a life crammed with glamour and spontaneous adventure, not one full of dirty nappies and night feeds.

When Ally makes a silly birthday wish for a new, exciting life, her wish is granted.

But when Ally is presented with the freedom and opportunities she craves, she soon realises this new life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and that there really is no place like home.

I love films like Freaky Friday and 13 Going on 30 and so the concept of Everything Changes But You really appealed to me. Add to that the beautiful cover to this book and I was sold before I’d even picked it up. What followed was a story I absolutely loved. Jennifer’s writing style was refreshing to read – the book was fast-paced but well-developed too, with a mixture of fun, wit and humour with a heart-warming and emotional feel to it too. I was so heavily invested in Ally’s story that it felt way more tense than most romantic comedies do – purely because I was so eager for this book to turn out the way I hoped that I could not stop reading until I got to the end. Everything Changes But You was brilliant.

This book is the perfect representation of be careful what you wish for. Ally is dreading her approaching thirtieth birthday. Her husband Gavin is wanting them to start a family too and all this just makes Ally feel so old. Why does life have to slow down when you’re thirty? Why can’t she be more like her annoyingly beautiful and equally irritating work colleague Kelly? To be young and carefree… When Ally then wakes up the next morning, she soon discovers that Ally is actually no more. She’s Alana – a party animal who thinks nothing of stepping over her family and friends, although she doesn’t seem to have many of them left… and where’s Gavin? I can’t spoil the plot, even though I feel like I could chat about this book all day. But Everything Changes But You was great fun to read and packed with entertaining characters that brought the story to life.

I really connected with Ally’s character straight away. Everyone at some time has hoped their life could be working out differently and it was so easy to warm to her when everything spiralled out of control. I was rooting for her all the way and I just wanted to dive into the story and bring Gavin back to her and make everything perfect – though that would have probably have been more for my benefit than hers because I was so desperate for a happy ending, even though I knew not to bank on that given some of the unpredictability found in this book. Other characters I really liked were Francine and Jason but actually Kelly was the character that stood out for me the most, especially when Ally had become Alana. Kelly was interesting and her life felt more complex than it had looked originally. I was fascinated by the way her story developed and taken by surprise too but I did love how although both their lives had changed, Jennifer didn’t write it in an over-exaggerated style where they were two completely different people, hard to believe and a little cringeworthy to read.

Everything Changes But You is a difficult book to review because there’s so much you can’t say about it without spoiling the plot. So all I can really do is go on about how much I adored this book because I really, really did. It has everything I love to see in a romantic comedy but the writing was fresh and vivid and didn’t leave me able to guess what was going to happen on the next page. I loved the ending – it completely embodied everything I loved about Jennifer’s writing throughout the whole book. Her charming writing and the way this book always made me smile, even when I was anxiously screaming on the inside (maybe out loud too…) for everything to work out the way I wanted it to, has ensured Jennifer has a massive fan in me now, though maybe I’ll be a little more careful when making a birthday wish this year…

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. When she isn’t disappearing into her own fictional worlds, she can be found waffling on her blog and reviewing books for Novelicious’ Alternative Thursday. Everything Changes But You is her second novel.

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  1. After seeing this review I really want to read the book, so I'm going to hop over to amazon now :)


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