Friday 15 April 2016

Reviewed: The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Bell

TITLE: The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart
AUTHOR: Anna Bell
PUBLISHER: Zaffre Publishing

PUBLICATION DATE: March 10, 2016

Amazon - Goodreads

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 ..

Anna Bell’s The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart is the perfect read for a lazy day – snuggled up with smiles and laughs and giggles a plenty and if that’s somehow not enough, a dreamy hero to sweep you off your feet as well. Who knows – you might be inspired to write your own bucket list too? I was looking for a cosy, romantic and feel-good read and Anna Bell’s new novel was definitely a book I was drawn to – an irresistibly warm and engaging novel.

Abi is devastated when her boyfriend Joseph dumps her. She’d been expecting them to make plans for the future, or at the very least celebrate their anniversary, so for it to end so suddenly sends her into moping overload. But when she stumbles upon his “Things To Do Before I’m 40” list, she knows what she has to do: complete Joseph’s list for him, impressing him and winning him back in the process. It’s a mad but original idea – inspired by the author’s own experiences - and I really enjoyed seeing how it all played out.

A huge part of this book is about friendship. I loved Abi’s group of friends – Sian, Giles, Laura and Ben – how even though they were unsure about her list (why abseil when you’re terrified of heights?) and didn’t understand why she wanted to start and complete the list so quickly (they didn’t know her plan to win Joseph back), they still wholeheartedly supported her and I think it just showed how having your friends around you when you’re going through a bad break-up really truly helps. There was so much content fit into this book and everything just worked. I couldn’t put it down. It was so easy to root for Abi to find what she really wanted from life, but the supporting characters really lifted the tone of this book too.

The flow and pace to this book made it an effortless read. The bucket list aspect wasn’t formulaic like it could have been – it didn’t just follow the list with no depth and no development in between. Actually it was the complete opposite of that as we really get to see Abi’s character grow and change and from the moping, semi-desperate stage she’s in at the beginning of the book, it was refreshing and inspiring to see her slowly begin to pick up the pieces, despite her motives for doing so.

The thing I loved most about reading The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart is when I was nearing the end and on the inside, at least, shouting at the characters to work everything out because you want that happy ending. That moment where you’re sure you know how it’s going to end but it’s just not happening and you’ve become so invested in the story that you need it to happen. It’s always so satisfying when it does all work itself out and I adored how this book finished, despite mourning the end of the story!

Full of laugh-out-loud moments and one-liners, this was a really lovely book from beginning to end, an enticing and entertaining romantic comedy and a must-read if you’re looking for a pick-me-up.

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