Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Review: The Best Thing I Never Had by Erin Lawless

Publisher: HarperImpulse
Format: eBook
Released: December 5th, 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Amazon summary:

Five years ago at university they had been seven friends that laughed hard and loved harder. Nicky and Miles were the couple that were always meant to be… Leigha and Adam, not so much… So when Adam and Harriet grew close during endless days in the library, they did the one thing that changed everything – they kept a secret. And when it came out, it all fell apart. When the day comes for bridesmaids to be chosen and best men to fulfil drunken promises, Nicky and Miles’ wedding isn’t just a wedding, it’s a reunion – loaded with past hurts, past regrets, past loves…


The Best Thing I Never Had is an adult novel about a group of friends in their twenties. It's split into two parts, part one being at university when they're around twenty and part two set in their mid-twenties at one of their weddings. It's a great book, compelling and addictive, and I guarantee you'll have trouble putting it down. By the end of it I felt like these were my own friends, and I was a little sad to let them all go. Still, as this book shows, nothing lasts forever...

At university, Harriet, Leigha, Nicky, Sukie, Miles, Johnny and Adam were inseperable. They spent far too much time together and practically lived on each other's doorsteps. The girls were best friends, as were the boys, and they truly thought nothing would ever ruin that. Until something did. Harriet and Miles become close and they keep a secret, which in turn splits the group down the middle and causes irreparable rifts. Nothing is the same after that, and the later part of the book is a painstakingly honest account of what happens when this group of friends - now older and, hopefully wiser - all meet up again for the first time in years.

This book is about friendship, the kind that's all-consuming and takes over your life. It's about relationships and what happens when they change, but mostly it's about secrets and how they can affect everyone and everything. I was completely engrossed in this book from start to finish, and I couldn't wait to get to the end and find out exactly what had happened. I'll admit I was a bit disappointed with the big finish, mainly because I was expecting something more, something huge that had the power to affect these people's lives so devastatingly. I think I would have liked the book even more had there been more to it in the end, but that's only a minor quibble. The rest of the book is fantastic, utterly gripping and painfully realistic.

Erin Lawless has written a brilliant book about friendships during the most important time of our young lives, a time when everything seems like the beginning of something amazing or the end of the world as we know it. She's explored what happens when something goes wrong in a tight-knit group of people, the consequences and ramifications of one bad decision. It's quite a heartbreaking story when you look at it, though it has its hopeful moments too. It makes you think, that's for sure. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Erin Lawless writes next, and I'm sure I won't be the only person forming an orderly queue to get a copy!

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