I could write all day about what a joy #SomewhereCloseToHappy was to read, but here instead is a snapshot of what was going through my mind when I read this stunning debut.
‘Lizzie James is happy.
She has a steady office job (with a steady stream of snacks), has had the same best friend since school, and she sees her family every Thursday night for take-away and trashy TV. Lizzie likes her uncomplicated life.
Then a letter arrives one day from her first love, Roman. A letter dated the day he disappeared, 12 years before. As Lizzie uncovers the secrets of the letter, she discovers what really happened the year her life fell apart – and all avenues lead back to Roman.
Lizzie James thought she was happy, or somewhere close to happy, anyway. Now she’s not so sure.’
Lia’s talent for storytelling is so fresh and attractive. She really draws you right into the centre of the tale, and her knack for creating a variety of characters that entrance you into a state of mind that makes you just want to keep on reading, is brilliant. Bravo Lia, bravo.
I loved Lizzie. There really is a part of her in all of us. She is so memorable, and I adored her outlook on life and her need to follow both her gut and her heart to find closure for the past. The to-ing and fro-ing of Lizzie’s life from then to now, added a structure to the story that was perfect, as it gave you a sense of who she is as a person and how Roman inevitably shaped her life, even if she didn’t realise it at the time.
This is a tale that is packed to the brim with humour, but not so much that it takes away the importance of issues raised within the novel, as there are some tender moments too. Following Lizzie on her quest to uncover what really did happen to her first love was exhilarating and I found myself cheering her on, albeit quietly in the background sometimes as I was a little concerned about what she just might discover.
I quite simply devoured Somewhere Close to Happy, and for me there are some hidden gems in it that really helped me fall in love with it. Even just the simple moments of watching Lizzie and Roman imagining what there future will be when they were young, was beautiful – just the two of them and their beloved ‘Sea-Fog’. Those times made me desperate to understand why Roman disappeared and where he is now. I needed closure myself.
‘Bittersweet’ is the perfect word to describe this mesmerising tale, and when you read it yourself, then you will completely understand. Somewhere Close to Happy is available to pre-order now, and lands in shops this Thursday, so do yourself a favour and add it to your reading list.
Thank you to Alex at Orion for inviting me onto the Blog Tour. Lia has reminded me why I love this genre so much and how powerful us women really are.
There are some excellent bloggers on the tour, so why not check them out too?