26 April 2015

Book Review: The Two of Us by Andy Jones

"Falling in love is the easy part. What matters most is what happens next...

Fisher and Ivy have been an item for a whole nineteen days. And they just know they are meant to be together. The fact that they know little else about each other is a minor detail. Over the course of twelve months, in which their lives will change forever, Fisher and Ivy discover that falling in love is one thing, but staying there is an entirely different story.

The Two of Us is a charming, honest and heart-breaking novel about life, love, and the importance of taking neither one for granted."

Rating: 4/5

You can buy The Two of Us as a paperback or an eBook now.

I was sent a new debut novel to read recently, and it was by a male author called Andy Jones. I don't read many books by male authors, mainly because they don't tend to write very much in the genres that I read, so I was excited to read this hyped debut novel. I wasn't massively keen on the cover, I found it quite bland and uninspiring, but luckily the book didn't follow suit. I really enjoyed the love story between Fisher and Ivy, but was curious to find out if they would end up with their happy ever after.

 It's hard to review this novel without giving too much away, but that's what I am going to do. Therefore I won't talk much about the plot because it's one of those books that you want to find out about as you read along. I very much enjoyed finding out about how Ivy and Fisher handled the obstacles that were thrown at them during the first few days and weeks of their fledgling relationship, and exactly how they came to tackle them.

I found Ivy a bit of a strange character, and struggled to warm to her. She's older than Fisher and it is clear that that is a bit of an issue for her, although it doesn't seem to be so much for Fisher. She was quite strange with Fisher considering their relationship. She seemed quite stand-offish, quite hard to warm to and I was left wondering what Fisher saw in her at times. Fisher, however, seemed like a lovely man. He was clearly head over heels in love with Ivy, even though he seemed reluctant to tell her that throughout the book, and I think he handled all the things that were thrown at him really well. The book is told entirely through his eyes, we get to experience everything with him, and perhaps that's why he was my favourite over Ivy, but I still really warmed to him and liked him as a person.

One of the touching side plots of this book involved Fisher and his friend El, who was suffering from Huntington's disease. Andy Jones isn't afraid to get very realistic with this storyline, showing how the disease has robbed a healthy man of his ability to do pretty much anything on his own, how he has to drink from a plastic beaker like a toddler, and how he ultimately wants to die and escape his prison of a life. This was a very shocking part of the book, very moving and emotional, yet ultimately I enjoyed reading it, even though it was very clear that Fisher deeply struggled with the shocking decline of his dear friend.

While the start of the book seems to be quite light-hearted, and a fun looking at diving into a relationship head first without perhaps thinking of the consequences, it takes a far more serious turn towards the last part of the book. I was shocked with the twists and turns of the tale, left quite upset and moved by what I was reading, and it was definitely interesting reading this storyline from a male perspective as well. This was a well written, enjoyable book that really moved me from the beginning. There's a lot of emotion in this book - humour, grief, happiness, love and much more, and I feel Andy Jones does a lot of justice to his storylines through his writing and handles delicate issues gently and with respect. I look forward to reading more from this author, a very strong book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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