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Have you ever been in the situation where you wanted to wish yourself back to a point in your life that was full of hope, before it all went pear-shaped?
Jenny Colgan is a popular writer from a town called Prestwick in the south west of Scotland. This book is also known as "The Boy I Loved Before" in America so don't be confused and think it is a different novel.
She has written quite a few other novels and you can get snippets of them at her website on www.jennycolgan.co.uk.
Flora is 32 and a little bit bored with her life and the direction it has taken. Although she has a good job as an accountant and practically lives with her boyfriend Olly, she just wants something different.
Everything changes at her best friend Tashy's wedding when she realises that Olly is about to ask her to marry her and panics. Believing an old wives tale from her childhood she makes a wish as her friend and new husband cut their wedding cake and passes out.
The next morning she is confused to find herself in her old room at her parent's house and is even more shocked to see that her wish to turn back the clock and be 16 again has come true. Not only has she returned to that age but her parents are younger too and she suddenly realises that things could be a bit awkward as they are all still in the present time, but a month before the wedding and everyone else is the same age as they were.
She has many things she wants to change, her job, her man and she wants to try and persuade her father to stop cheating on her mother and stay together. Seeking out Tashy and with the help of Clelland, who broke her heart the first time round, she tries to change her future and work out whether or not she actually wants to return to her former life or make a new one from scratch.
There is a very special relationship between best friends, especially if they have stood the test of time since childhood and this shows through well between Flora and Tashy. They are able to confide in almost anything and that special bond is still there despite the age difference after the wish comes true.
Clelland was Flora's first love and she thought she would never love again when he left her for University far from home. Her reaction to seeing him with another woman at the wedding sets her heart fluttering again and suddenly Olly looks like second best in comparison.
Olly is the steady, kind, good type of bloke that every girl wants, or do they? Although he is dependable, Flora wants more excitement and the thought of a death do they part life with him scares her too much.
This is another chick-lit where you don't have to think too hard about the plot or the outcome. You just have to sit back, read and enjoy the humour, heartache and the wonder of whether it will turn out as you think.
What I loved the most about this book is the way all Flora's friends in her new life know all about her, even though she doesn't have a clue who they are, with the exception of Clelland's much younger brother, Justin who is now the same age as her. Of course he doesn't know who she is and when he develops an interest in her, Clelland shows his jealousy. Her openness and unusual knowledge of adult life keeps her younger friends wondering what has changed her.
One of my favourite moments in the book is when she is off to a Darius concert with her new best friend at school, Constanzia. The reactions of a 32 year old woman inside a teenagers body are hilarious as she realises she would never want to do this and gives up her chance of being sung to in favour of Stanzi to give her some well needed street cred.
If you're looking for a light read this summer, then I would say that this could be the book for you to take down to the beach and imagine that you are able to turn back time. After all, what time would you return to if you wanted to change your life?
***Price and Availability***
The price on the back of the paperback is £6.99 but it is available for less at Tesco or DVD.co.uk who both sell it for £5.24.
As soon as I move into the house my new hobby will be reading books starting with this one as it was free with cosmo a few issues back and I am keen to get into reading it a good review which has inspired me to get into reading!!
missy0303 26.05.2006 14:55
i hadn't realised Jenny colgan was from Prestwick......not that far from me! x
Kazzay 25.05.2006 12:31
That sounds like a good book, bit like all the films you see along the same lines. I will have a read of it. Kaz x