1 May 2016

Book Review: The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Bell

"Abi's barely left her bed since Joseph, the love of her life, dumped her, saying they were incompatible. When Joseph leaves a box of her possessions on her doorstep, she finds a bucket list of ten things she never knew he wanted to do. What better way to win him back than by completing the list, and proving they're a perfect match? But there's just one problem - or rather, ten. 

Abi's not exactly the outdoorsy type, and she's absolutely terrified of heights - not ideal for a list that includes climbing a mountain, cycling around the Isle of Wight and, last but not least, abseiling down the tallest building in town ...Completing the list is going to need all Abi's courage - and a lot of help from her friends. But as she heals her broken heart one task at a time, the newly confident Abi might just have a surprise in store ... "

Rating: 4/5

You can buy the book now.

I have really enjoyed several books by Anna Bell in the past few years, so was pleased when her new publishers Zaffre contacted me and asked me if I'd like to review her brand new title The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart. Anna's writing always features such fantastic character, and I find her stories very easy to read, and enjoyable. The cover for this book is lovely, and certainly would have attracted me to read the book had I not been lucky enough to have been sent one. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and here's why I would recommend it.

The story focuses on Abi, who is trying to get over her recent break-up with boyfriend Joseph. She hadn't seen it coming at all, and is completely heart-broken. When he drops off a box of her belongings back at her flat, she finds Joseph's own bucket list, and comes up with the genius plan to complete the list herself, thereby showing Joseph what a match made in heaven they really are. The only problem is most of the thing aren't really Abi's cup of tea - climbing the Spinnaker tower, riding a bicycle, and abseiling... three things Abi couldn't hate more. But she's determined to complete the list and prove to Joseph they belong together. But is Abi about to find that the list is going to lead her down a different path altogether?!

I have to say I wasn't overly keen on the idea of the story at first - the idea of someone being so desperate to get their ex back that they'd make themselves incredibly unhappy doing so sat a bit weirdly with me, but as the story went on, I warmed to the idea and why Abi was doing it. I did like, however, that when her friends uncovered what she was doing that they weren't afraid to tell her it was a silly thing to do, but Abi was so wrapped up in the fug of trying to win Joseph back at any cost that she just couldn't see how truly crazy and nonsensical she was being!

In a way, I did admire Abi for having the courage to go through with the things on Joseph's bucket list, because I would have screwed it up and put it in the bin if it were me! She really threw herself in cycling, along with her new friend Ben who decides she needs some help with her riding ability, windsurfing, abseiling and all the other things. Certain tasks, like a day trip to Paris, make the list a little more appealing to Abi, but overall it really wasn't her. I really enjoyed the cycling part of this book, mainly because we got to see lots of the lovely Ben, one of my favourite characters in the book. He's so kind, encouraging and helpful I just wanted Abi to see him for what he was, and leave Joseph well behind in her past!

As well as the main story of the bucket list, there's a bit of extra drama thrown in at Abi's workplace, where things she has been working hard on for her new clients keep disappearing, and begin to threaten her job. This was a nice break from the main story, and allowed us to see more of Abi in a different light, and I very much enjoyed this part of the book. This is a really light-hearted feel good read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. There were great characters, some real laugh-out-loud moments, and I did love Abi by the end of the book, she was certainly unique and full of madcap ideas, and god love her for giving it all a go! Anna Bell's writing is wonderful to read, and already I'm looking forward to the next book from her, this is definitely a must-read for summer!

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