20 October 2010

Book Review: Down to Earth by Melanie Rose

Michaela Anderson isn't really a risk taker, but when her company organises a charity parachute jump, she can't really refuse. When she gets up in the skies, she doesn't want to jump but after everyone else seems to safely make it down, Michaela decides to take the plunge. But as she plummets back to Earth, a huge gust of wind takes Michaela by surprise. She lands with a bump and is a bit unsure why everything around her seems to have changed. The airfield has disappeared and there's no sign of her colleagues anywhere, or Matt, her instructor. More oddly, when Michaela makes contact with Matt and her boyfriend, it seems she has been missing for over 6 years and everyone thought she was dead. Just what happened to  Michaela when she made that jump, and where have the past 6 years been? Is it magical forces at work or something more sinister?

This is the third novel by author Melanie Rose, and I was so excited to read this one because of how much I have enjoyed her previous 2 books. Usually, magical type stories are not my thing, I prefer to read something rooted a little more in the real world, but there is something utterly charming about Rose's books that I just cannot put down. The cover follows suit with her previous 2 novels, and once again I love it - the green is certainly different and stands out, and makes the book seem the something different that the book itself is. Melanie's first book Could It Be Magic? focussed on the changed life of a woman struck by lightning, her second was Coming Home about a woman who loses her memory after being caught in a storm so this one about a missing 6 years seems to fit the form of Rose's books quite well!

The book starts with a prologue that takes  place at the time of the jump. We meet a few of Michaela's colleagues and the jump instructor Matt in this scene, but the jump comes pretty quickly so not too  much detail is given away. I actually liked this because it adds to the mystery element of what happened to Michaela, and we can suspect some of the characters because we just don't know anything about them. Michaela is a very likeable character, although her denial of the new time period she's emerged into is a tad annoying. It's weird because I understood why you would be in denial about it, but at the same time I found it quite annoying! However, it didn't bother me enough to skip parts or anything, it was more of a niggle than a huge problem!

The development of the story is very interesting and I loved how Rose dictates the pace of the story through her character. Michaela's acceptance of her situation moves along quite nicely and allows for more plot development in terms of her building up relationships with the other characters in the book. The best relationship to read about was that of Michaela, her boyfriend from her life before Calum and his daughter Abbey. Obviously Michaela feels like she only saw the pair of them earlier that morning, yet Calum and Abbey have had 6 years to come to terms with Michaela's disappearance, and the way this pans out makes for great reading. Rose gets into the emotion of these characters amazingly well, you can feel for each of them and how they are dealing with their difficult circumstances. Michaela and Abbey's relationship in particular was very touching, and I loved seeing it develop as the book goes on.

I really couldn't guess how it was all going to end for Michaela in the book and whether there would be a definite ending to it or if it would left up in the air a little bit. Even when I had read the end, I actually went back and re-read it just so I could make sure I had understood it clearly enough and it turned out I had. There is a science bit in the middle of the book which is quite hard going if you don't pay attention and really concentrate on it! I found it was a little bit too heavy actually, a lot of the scientific jargon was just too much for me and I ended glossing over it and trying to get the general gist of it. This is really the only negative thing about the book though, and I still got the rest of the book okay by glossing over this bit. I appreciate the research that Rose must have put into this though, it must have been pretty heavy!

Overall, this is a superb book and one I would highly recommend, especially if you are a fan of more magical tales such as Melanie Roses' previous books, Cecelia Ahern or even Sophie Kinsella. The writing is great - the style flows really well and I enjoyed it being written from the first person perspective as we can really get into Michaela's head and try to puzzle out her story along with her. It's very emotive, you really do feel for these characters, and the pace is just right so that your attention is kept, the secrets are revealed slowly as the book pans out, and by the end you really do care about what happened to Michaela. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to see what else Melanie Rose is going to bring us!

Rating: 5/5


  1. I loved this book, it was a good escape read.

  2. Great review, l loved this book. Melanie is such a great writer!