Mmm, it tastes delicious!
Of course you’re better looking than Jon Hamm.
Newly engaged Natalie Butterworth is an easy-going girl. She’ll do anything for a quiet life and if telling a few teensy white lies keeps her friends and family happy, then so what? It’s not like they’ll ever discover what she’s really thinking…
Until one night, thanks to a pub hypnotist, Natalie’s most private thoughts begin to bubble up and pop out of her mouth. Things get very messy indeed, especially when some sticky home truths offend her fiancé.
Natalie must track down the hypnotist before the wedding is officially cancelled. So along with bad influence bestie Meg, Natalie finds herself in the Yorkshire Parish of Little Trooley - a small village bursting with big secrets, nosy old folk and intriguing Wellington-wearing men.
When the girls get stranded in the village with no means of escape and no way to break the hypnotist's spell, Natalie is forced to face the truths she has been avoiding her whole life..."
One thing I hate doing is reviewing things by people I know in some way, such as reading through friend's essays as I tend to be bad at telling them what's bad about it. So when I heard that Novelicious editor Kirsty was releasing her first novel as an eBook this month, I was both excited to read it and a bit nervous about reading something by someone that I know. There's always that worry that it wouldn't be great and I would have to write a negative review and upset her, or be too gushy in a positive review and leave people thinking that I'm not impartial or fair, which couldn't be further from the truth. So I decided to read this and pretend it was just a random book I purchased off Amazon, trying not to think of the author and just appreciating the story and how it was written. Now I have the pleasure of being able to write a genuinely honest review about how good this book is, because it truly is (see what I did there?!).
The story is about a young woman, Natalie Butterworth, who is engaged to be married to her fiancé Olly. He's a bit of a clean freak and a perfectionist, but he thinks Natalie is almost perfect so that's good enough for her. When she accompanies her best friend Meg on a special hypnotist's night at the local pub, she doesn't bank on being hypnotised herself without actually knowing it. The only problem is that she tells the truth to every question asked of her now... including whether Olly is good in bed or not... eek. Natalie is desperate to find the hyptonist before her big day in a few weeks before she can do anymore damage to the relationships in her life. She finds herself in the small village of Little Trooley, meeting pub landlord Riley and a whole host of interesting characters but no hypnotist. Is Natalie deemed to forever be truthful, and will she make it up the aisle for her truthful vows?!
When I first read the blurb for this novel, I thought it sounded like a really fun idea and wondered how the truthful nature of Natalie would bring a lot of humour to the book. Natalie was a fantastic character from the beginning, and I found her so likeable which is so important when the whole story focuses around a character like this. You have to like her because of some of her actions throughout the book, and I found that I did. Her fiancé Olly was a horrible man and I longed for Natalie to realise she was worth more than that, and I think the things she went through were a real journey for her character. Meg, Natalie's best friend, is a great character and really funny, a good antithesis to the more serious Natalie, and I thought the friendship between the pair seemed really genuine.
I loved how the idea of Natalie only being able to tell the truth opened up lots of new avenues for the book to be able to go down for the book. A few times I started cringing thinking 'please don't ask Natalie that!' but of course they did and it certainly made me laugh out loud a few times! I think it's probably everyone's worst nightmare that they have to tell the truth - I think we tell white lies to protect ourselves as much as other people sometimes! Natalie realised how damaging the truth can be in the book, whether it's with Olly or her mum and sister Dionne (who was absolutely hilarious), and her desperation to be able to lie again is quite reflective of her character, but I enjoyed how she changed and became stronger. The pace of the book felt just right too, with lots happening and I have to say I really enjoyed the scenes in the village of Little Trooley, it sounds picturesque, especially in the snow!
This really is a wonderful debut novel from Kirsty Greenwood that certainly deserves to be a success. I found the characters of Yours Truly to be so realistic and likeable, and I felt that I was really invested in the story of Natalie and co, and wanted desperately for them all to have happy endings. I thought the twist of truth telling was fabulous, and I was constantly wondering whether Natalie's hypnotist would reappear again or not, I loved that tension. Greenwood's writing style was very easy to read, told in the first person from Natalie's point of view which was perfect for this book as we get Natalie's stream of conscience all the time, and really feel for her situation. It's a book about lies, truth and becoming yourself, and I really did love it - I'll be looking out for future books from Kirsty, and I'm sure you'll all love it too.
You can buy Yours Truly as an eBook now.