Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Pictures Of Lily By Paige Toon Book Review

Paige Toon is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. I'd not read any of her books previously until Five Years From Now which was released recently and if you read my blog often, you'll know how I felt about that book. In short, it was brilliant but heartbreaking and I still think about it! Since then every book I've read has had a lot to live up to but I was really keen to read more of Paige's books. The one that stood out to me when placing a little book order a few weeks ago was Pictures of Lily, and it didn't take long for me to get stuck in and get lost in another amazing story of Paige's.
Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon
Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn't have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can't forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart - and the heart of at least one of the men who love her.

My review

As soon as I started on the first page, I could tell this was a book I'd read quickly, There is just something about Paige's writing that has me gripped from start to end and I can't bare to tear myself away until I'm done. The first thing I loved about this book, out of many, many things was that pretty quickly you think you know where the story is going and then it gets flipped on it's head. We start with Lily and her mum moving from England to Australia to move in with her mum's new boyfriend Michael and his son Josh. I instantly thought, Josh is going to be the guy she falls in love with. It actually doesn't end up like that though and I'm so pleased about it. They have a bit of a rocky relationship but at times even as they get older there is a bit of will they, won't they? Ultimately they end up with a sort brother/sister relationship even after Michael and Lily's mum separate. Though this was written before Five Years From Now, that's the avenue that book goes down so I'm really glad this went down a different route.

Not long after that we are introduced to Ben, the man who is 12 years older than Lily, someone she really shouldn't be with, but despite that the chemistry is palpable. Paige has this way with her writing that makes you feel as if you're there with them, it just feels real and despite Ben and Lily never actually kissing the whole time of their initial 'relationship' the chemistry between them is electric and it makes you will for them to be together right from the start. Of course there wouldn't be a story if all things went smoothly and because of the age difference and the fact Ben is moving away and getting married, Lily has to come to terms with the fact they can't be together. This threw me back to how I felt when reading Five Years From Now, when the two characters also had the realisation that it just couldn't work, and it was just as heartbreaking in this book too. I felt her devastation and just hoped that later on in life they could work their way back to one another.

Something I really enjoyed about this book is how it was split into sections. We get so much backstory with Lily's move to Australia, getting to know Ben and then her utter despair at him leaving in the first half. Then in the second half we catch up with Lily 10 years later at a completely different stage of her life, we're then introduced to Lily's new fiance Richard and straight away you get the sense that Lily has never truly moved on from Ben. To make things even more difficult, Ben then shows up, divorced and just as in love as he was 10 years ago, so Lily has a very difficult choice to make. I definitely felt bad for Richard at times but I just always knew how I wanted the book to end. Whilst we don't see loads of Lily and Richard's relationship, to me it always felt that Ben was the one she should be with. It seemed like fate but that doesn't mean it was an easy decision. I won't spoil it for you in case you haven't read it but I really liked the way Paige wrote the ending, it certainly wasn't clear cut between Ben and Richard and for a while I really couldn't work out how it would end for Lily and if she'd be with either of them. Regardless of the ending though, the whole book was special, it made me smile, cry and just want to go back to the start and read it all over again. One final thing is that I also really like that the book starts with a marriage proposal and ends with one too, it felt like I'd been on a real journey with Lily and I'm happy with how everything was wrapped up. 

If you love a romantic book like me then I really recommend Pictures of Lily. It will make you feel such a range of emotions and you won't want to put it down.

Have you read any of Paige's books? Let me know if you have any recommendations!


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