9 August 2010
Book Review: Kiss Heaven Goodbye by Tasmina Perry
When the four grow up in adults and begin in the world of work, is the dark secret going to affect their choices forever more? How will affect Sasha in her determination to be a successful model, and will it affect Alex's chances of being a global musician? How about money-driven Miles and his shy sister Grace? Will the consequences of that one secret night on Angel Cay ruin the rest of their lives? And just what price will the four have to pay?
Someone I have never yet managed to pick up a copy of any of Tasmina Perry's 5 novels, even though they actually look like the sort of thing I really enjoy to read - a proper blockbuster type novel. I really can't pinpoint why this is so when I was offered the chance to review her latest book, Kiss Heaven Goodbye, I jumped at the chance. The gorgeous cover screamed summer at me, and I was really excited to get stuck in and find out whether it would live up to my expectations. It's a huge chunk of a hardback book at well over 500 pages, but rest assured, it's definitely one you're going to want to make room in your suitcase for.
The book begins in the present day, introducing us to the rich and powerful Miles Ashford finding himself in trouble after many years over something that happened with his school friends. He brings up their names and then the book flies straight back to the 1980's when Miles, Grace, Alex and Sasha were all 18 year olds and eager to go off to University after one last special holiday to the private island of Angel Cay. I didn't expect this jump back nearly 30 years, so it was an intriguing way to start the book and I have to admit it really grabbed my attention right away.
In fact, the book doesn't come back to 2010 until right at the end, and instead goes through the lives of Miles, Grace, Alex and Sasha as they grow up, and find out how the secret of Angel Cay affects all four of them. The book skips between just months, sometimes a year or two before it picks up again but I really loved this because I didn't know what was going to be introduced at the start of each chapter when a new time period was introduced. The book chops and changes between the characters, but Perry is careful to keep all of the characters in the loop, even if it's a mention from the other characters which is really interesting.
I really loved the way it was written, the flashbacks were fun because the reader is kept the dark for 95% of the book as to what happened at Angel Cay and I liked the mystery element of it. The characters were all really well written as well, with 2 clear likeable ones (Alex and Grace) and 2 despicable ones (Miles and Sasha). They all exist in their own worlds in the book yet Perry finds ways to keep them in touch with each other and I loved how the characters were all linked like this. I really loathed Miles but at the same time, he was brilliant for the book and his storylines were fun to read! Sasha is completely ruthless, but I found her growing on me as the time went on. Grace was lovely, probably the most realistic character of the bunch, and her friendship with rockstar Alex was touchingly written, and very different to the brashness of the rest of the book.
The setting of the book moves around a bit too. It starts on the paradise island of Angel Cay, which I imagine looks something like the gorgeous cover of this book, moves back to England where the characters initially start living, then separates to Spain, America, and several other places along the way too. I would love to know if Perry was lucky enough to visit all these places as she describes them so well, I especially loved her descriptions of Spain with Grace, I was able to imagine the places so well.
If you can't tell already, I think this is a super summer read and would most definitely recommend it to fans of chick lit! After reading this book, I really don't know why I haven't read anything by Tasmina Perry before because she writes fantastic blockbusters which are extremely readable, with great characters and fantastic locations too. The beautiful cover will certainly attract attention, and don't let the size of the book put you off because it is fast-paced and keeps your attention for every single page. I loved how it kept my interest, the mystery element was quite exciting and the characters were brilliant enough to keep the story moving and the reader into the book. Definitely recommended!