7 May 2009

Book Review: Before I Forget by Melissa Hill

Abby Ryan is quite happy with life, but all that changes when she's hit by falling debris when she's walking under a ladder on her way to work.

When she awakes, she finds out that her memory is damaged, and that she has lost much of her long-term memory. She's devastated, but also slightly in denial. So Abby sets about creating some new, fantastic memories with the help of her family and close friends, ones that she hopes she will be able to hold onto despite her declining health.

On her amazing adventures, Abby bumps into someone who soon becomes a close friend. But is she willing to let him into her life and let him become something more?

Melissa Hill always tries something different with her books, and explores areas that other authors in the genre probably wouldn't go down the route of. This books explores the aftermath of someone having an accident that will change the rest of their lives, and not only them but the people surrounding that person too. However, this book is a little different from other material the author has written in that it is focussed on one character and her life unlike other books which have chosen to focus on a group of characters, linked by some event or other. In another change from the norm, there isn't really a mystery element to this book, but still I was hooked and loved every page.

The lead character of Abby is very important, not only because she is the focus of the story, but because the audience has to like her and empathise with her, otherwise the book just wouldn't work. However, this wasn't a problem because of Hill's skill with writing and creating a character that just comes to life on the pages and into the minds of her readers. Abby was just a normal girl whose life took a shocking turn, and her accident was something that could easily happen to just you or me. This made it all the more believable and consequently I found myself getting involved in the story very quickly and in Abby's life as well. Abby's reaction to her situation is also very believable and I could see myself reacting the same way.

The reaction of Abby's family was also very important and played an integral part in the story. Finn was a great character who also reacted well to the whole scenario of Abby, and I instantly warmed to him. The rest of her family were also likeable, and that is why I like Melissa Hill's book so much. They are always completely focussed on the characters as well as the storyline and it always works so seamlessly to create a wonderful story and it makes her books so readable. The progression is good and doesn't move too quickly, instead choosing to focus on the events that Abby's family take her on and her visits with her therapist too. Hill has clearly done her research certain things in the book, such as the medical issues that Abby faces, and also New York too as this features largely in the book too.

This isn't my favourite book of Melissa Hill's as it doesn't have the major twists and turns that her other books do, but it still a great read and one her fans will definitely enjoy. She once again writes an excellent story that draws you in and keeps you hooked until the last page is turned. It doesn't get too heavy with medical jargon, but of course there is some in there because of the nature of the story. Hill manages to make it make sense though, and its all explained so you fully understand what each of these characters are going through. Although Abby is the main character, I really did love Finn because of his support and his own little storyline as well that was quite touching. As I said, its different from some of her other stuff, but its great and a very enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend it to her fans, but also to anyone who just loves a really good book.

Rating: 5/5

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