Monday, 16 November 2020

All About Us by Tom Ellen Book Review*

I received a copy to review but all opinions are my own*
It's not often you find a romance written by a man, or at least I don't seem to find them all that often, so I was really intrigued by All About Us by Tom Ellen. I've really been after some festive romances to read recently after quite a few thrillers in a row so this came along at the exact right time!
All About Us by Tom Ellen book cover
'If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a different life? Ben usually loves the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it's missing its usual magic. And then his old friend Alice gets back in touch. Ben's always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can't help but wonder: what if he'd done things differently all those years ago? He never imagined he might get to find out...but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter's night, he's astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind. Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time round, will he finally have the courage to follow his heart?'

My Review

Like you don't often find romances written by men, you often don't find the main character is male and the only narrative, but that's something I really do enjoy so that's the first thing I loved about All About Us. I often find in books like this I'm desperate to hear both points of view and it's only in a few books like One Day In December that we get given that so I was really happy that straight away this was already different to most.

Whilst I know not everyone is as big a fan of romantic fiction as I am, it also has the magical fairytale element to it aswell which adds a totally different spin. We first meet Ben in a bit of a crisis. His marriage to Daphne is on the rocks, he's not long ago lost his mum and he's in need of a career change but he doesn't know what that should be. He's lost and wondering how different life would have been if he'd gone down a different path 15 years ago. On this very night, a charming man sells him a watch. The next morning he wakes up and the date is 5th December 2005. The day he first kissed Daphne, saying goodbye to Alice. Could this be his chance to change everything? Or will he realise he'd made the right choice all along?

I loved the time travel aspect of this and I love how each day he got to go back too showed us so much of Ben and why he's become the person he is today and the moments where it all started to go wrong. Whilst I really enjoyed finding out more about Ben and Daphne's relationship, I particularly loved the day he got to travel back and see his mum again and spend one last day with her. He really took it all in second time round and had conversations with her he'd never had before. It was really poignant and I definitely found myself getting a little emotional.

The book is quite fast paced so I personally found it so easy to keep saying 'just one more chapter' and because of that I finished it in a day! I found it such an easy read and for a debut novel aswell, I think it's just brilliant. I loved the majority of the characters and really could relate at times to Ben and Daphne and I understood that feeling of what if? What if I'd just done one thing differently, where would I be now? What if one particular event didn't happen? It showed though that whilst we might all have moments like that, the grass isn't always greener on the other side. However it also showed that it's never too late to start again. Want a career change? Go for it! Want to re-connect with lost friends? Do it! You only get one life.

All About Us made me feel every possible emotion and by the end I was just so happy I'd read it. It's a beautiful romance and I loved the ending but I enjoyed so many of the interactions throughout the book - the friendships and the mother/son relationship. Whilst the time travel aspect wouldn't be something I'd usually look for in a book, it worked absolutely perfectly in this. I think it would make an excellent film actually!

If you're looking for a book to start getting you in the festive spirit, All About Us is the one for you. Full of powerful memories yet hilarious moments, it's got something for everyone.

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Kelly~Diane said...

This sounds like a book I would enjoy. The fact that you were able to finish it in a day means that it is a fun easy read. Great review!

Beautylymin said...

It sunds like it'd be a nice, easy read for over the festive period, snuggled on the couch with chocolate! x


Sarah Trademark said...

This sounds like a good book, I have been looking for a new book to read xx

Hannah said...

This sounds like such a lovely read, especially for this time of year. I love a fast paced book that keeps you reading, so I may have to check this one out xx

Hannah |

jennyinneverland said...

I love the sound of this! The premise sounds like the perfect Christmas film don’t you think? I think a male perspective in a romance is great because it’s something a bit different xxx

beautyqueenuk said...

I’m definitely a more thriller killer genre fan, but I do love a good happy ending in a book too x

Julia said...

The story is intriguing! And starts off with a question many of us have probably asked ourselves about various decisions and directions we've taken over the course of our lives. Seems like a fast read too! Thank you for this review, which makes me want to read it! :)

Julia x
Last Post: Christmas Home Decor Shopping Guide! 🎄

Sarah said...

This sounds like it would be an interesting read. I agree that you don't see many romance novels written by men, so it's actually kind of refreshing to find one. I will have to add this one to my TBR.

Heather Nixon said...

Not for me but it sounds sweet x

Alice Anne said...

Oh this totally sounds like my kinda thing! I need some new books to read too xx

Little Miss Mel said...

This sounds like a really great book and definitely like something I’d enjoy.

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