NOTE: Before you read this review, please be aware that my mum is reviewing this book. I have not read it myself. However, if anyone has any questions I will get her to reply to them etc. I just wanted to make it clear that this is not my review as this type of book is not something I would typically pick up and enjoy (I’d find it way too annoying), so I felt it would be more honest to have someone who genuinely enjoys her writing give the book a review. I have edited it slightly, though my edits in no way change what is being said. This also accounts for the lack of a star rating, as it wouldn’t fit in with my own anyway.
Genre: Romance, Chick Lit
Publication Date: January 28th 2016 by Headline Review
Format: Hardcover sent to me for review by Headline Review via Bookbridgr
On the morning of Lily’s twenty-fifth birthday, it’s time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.
Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum’s life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie’s attentions.
Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily’s friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again…
I read the latest Jill Mansell novel eagerly and with ease. Having read all of Jill’s previous novels I knew exactly what to expect and wasn’t disappointed.
The main characters are introduced in the first few pages and follow the pattern of those in previous novels : sweet, pretty girl meets handsome, young guy who is made out to be reckless and overconfident but who you know will turn out to be her perfect Mr. Right. (Please don’t tell me this is a spoiler when it’s the basic plot of every single chick lit / romance novel ever written). Other characters are introduced along the way; the usual mix of the ‘too good to be true’ and the ‘blindingly obviously bad’. The location is idyllic; a quaint little countryside village that is the typical romantic setting. The humour, though not funny enough to make you laugh out loud, is gentle and amusing and will make you smile. All intertwine to create an enjoyable journey for the reader.
On the minus side, there is nothing to set this apart from any of Jill Mansell’s previous novels. It follows the same pattern and has the same predictable outcome. On the plus side though, the story flows well and the characters develop in a way that can’t help but make you like them, even if you do end up wanting to shout, “why don’t you just talk to one another!”. There’s nothing dark or sinister to give you nightmares and the characters are generally likeable. The twists and turns, although expected, are entertaining. The plot is simple, yet enjoyable.
To sum it up, “You And Me, Always” is sweet, fluffy and utterly predictable but enjoyable nonetheless. A perfect summer read.