15 March 2014
eBook Review: The Best Thing I Never Had by Erin Lawless
Nicky and Miles were the couple that were always meant to be… Leigha and Adam, not so much…
So when Adam and Harriet grew close during endless days in the library, they did the one thing that changed everything – they kept a secret. And when it came out, it all fell apart.
When the day comes for bridesmaids to be chosen and best men to fulfil drunken promises, Nicky and Miles’ wedding isn’t just a wedding, it’s a reunion – loaded with past hurts, past regrets, past loves…
The Best Thing I Never Had is in turns funny and sad, but always honest, about friendship in all its forms and the practicality of second chances."
You can buy The Best Thing I Never Had as an eBook now or pre-order as a paperback.
Sometimes, you see a book being raved about on Twitter and other book reviews sites and think that yo're missing out on something. This was the case with Erin Lawless' debut eBook publihsed by Harper Impulse. I had lots of bloggers I respect raving about it, so I thought I had better aet around to reading it on my Kindle as soon as I could. Well, I'll be honest. I started it back in January but gave up because I found it such hard work. I decided to come back to a few weeks ago to give it another go, but although I finished it this time round, I feel I really had to work at it and it wasn't an enjoyable read at all - I wonder what's wrong with me that I didn't find it anywhere near as amazing as other reviewers have made it out to be?! What am I missing?!
The book follows the friendship a group of people during their University days. In the present day, Miles and Nicky are getting married, and are determined to get the gang back together for the wedding, despite the past strifes that happened at University. There's Leigha and Adam, Harriet, Suki and Johnny. They all had a big fallout at University, and it's stayed with all of them ever since. Nicky and Miles are determined that everyone will be at their wedding, and hopefully be able to talk through the past betrayals and secrets that destroyed their friendships all those years ago. But are things in the past best left there...?
As you can see, there is quite a few characters within the story, and here lies my main issue with the book. It dived straight into the story, with a quick modern day update of what Nicky and Miles are up to, then it flies back to 2006, during the group's University days and we're suddenly introduced to all these other characters. Honestly, I had no idea who was who, who liked who and who I was meant to like and who I wasn't. It was far too confusing, and that's why I gave up. There are authors I've read who can manage a big cast list of characters, but for me, Lawless is definitely not one of them. She went in far too quickly, instead of giving her reader time to get to know these people. By the end of the book, the only ones I can really say I liked were Harriet and Nicky. That's it. The rest either didn't pique my attention because there were too many others or I just immensely disliked them.
That's another problem I had with the book. I didn't like the people in it. Because I didn't care about them, I didn't care about their story or what was going to happen at the end. Even Harriet and Adam, the big supposed love story of the book - I wasn't hoping for their happy ever after at the end as I usually am when I'm reading. None of these people were nice people! Harriet and Adam's friends in particular were just awful. Leigha is one of the most selfish, awful people I have EVER read in any book, EVER. Suki isn't much better, completely self-absorbed and nasty. Johnny, bless him, was a bit of a wet rag and I do wish he could have grown a bit of a backbone.Miles and Nicky were a bit beige for me, I kept forgetting they were there because they didn't really do anything. Finally, there's Harriet and Adam, who I enjoyed reading about but I didn't like the way they kept their relationship hidden - why?
As the book moves from the group's University days to the present day, I found myself not caring a great deal about what was going to happen next. As the wedding approached, I expected to feel a bit excited at getting the group back together again but I didn't. I was reading simply to finish this very long-winded book. Sadly, this was not for me at all. I really cannot fathom why other people have raved about this. I was expecting so much and was left disappointed by what I had read. Too many characters, too many unlikeable characters at that and a long-winded story didn't add to something I can recommend at all. I've had a few tweets from others saying they gave up on it too so I know it's not just me, but it still leaves me wondering if I missed something here. Either way, not a book for me.