Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Love Me for me - Jenny Hale

About the book...
Sometimes you find perfect where you least expect it...

Libby Potter has just lost the perfect job, the perfect apartment and the perfect boyfriend. Moving back to the same home town that she couldn’t wait to escape when she was younger was definitely not on her to- do list. Especially as it means running into the man whose heart she broke when she left.

Pete Bennett can still walk into a room and make Libby’s world stop with just the sound of his voice – even ten years on. Only now, she is the last person in the world that he wants to see.

As everyone else welcomes Libby home with open arms, she realises she’s missed that special closeness that comes from lifelong friendship. And, as Libby tries to make amends with Pete, she begins to wonder whether she made the right choice in leaving all those years ago. When an amazing career opportunity gives her the chance to leave again, Libby will have to decide what her version of perfect is... and where she really belongs. 

About the author...

When she graduated college, one of Jenny's friends said "Look out for this one; she's going to be an author one day". Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn't until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to her.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can't. Whilst she didn't start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children and hundreds of thousands of words later, Jenny finished her first novel.

Coming Home for Christmas went on to be a Kindle hit on both sides of the Atlantic - reaching the top 20 in the UK. Love Me for Me is Jenny's second novel.

My thoughts...
I was offered an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest opinion by Jenny's publishers Bookouture which I'm more than happy to give.

Where to start? The cover is just beautiful, I'd buy it without reading any blurb based on that image alone! It evokes happy feelings of summer, love and perfection - it didn't prepare me for the gut wrenching heartache I felt at times. This book was amazing, Jenny took me on an emotional roller coaster that was both exhilarating and stomach dropping at the same time.

Libby left her home town of White Stone for New York, destined for bigger things, burning her bridges by the scathing comments she made to everyone before she left.  She appeared to have made the right choice she found the perfect job, home and fiancé and was living the dream until restructuring saw her lose her job and with it her home and fiancé.  We begin the tale with Libby back in her home town feeling more than a little sorry for herself, determined to get her life back on track and head back to New York at the first possible opportunity.

This was an enjoyable, easy read that had so many elements I was sucked right in.  I could so easily have lived In White Stone, Jenny's descriptions are so visual.  Libby was a character who I changed my opinions of many times.  I felt pity to begin with, then I thought she was a stuck up cow who deserved everything she had coming to her, then I was rooting for her, wanting her to see what was around her, to express her feelings, to talk to those she cared about and find her happy ever after.

This story is a classic tale of past hurts influencing judgements, of living our life through someone else's dreams and allowing them to form our opinions.  The edges were so blurred that it was difficult at first to see whether Libby's choices were really her own or just that she thought they were her own.  Libby had deep opinions of White Stone and the community she used to live in and she struggled emotionally when she found herself remembering life growing up there.

I had many tear welling moments as Libby had to confront her past, the memories of happy times growing up clearly hurting her. This story does come full circle - the past chipping away at the hard coating she had put around her heart - relationships, friendships, love, contentment & enlightenment all play a big part in awakening Libby from the state she'd been living in.  Relationships are analysed and new ones forged, but most of all Libby starts putting others first, considering their feelings not her own!

This book will teach you so many things about life. The grass isn't always greener, success and high achievement don't necessarily make happiness and sometimes you have to take a step back to see what is under your nose. If you put someone else's feelings first and give without expecting anything in return you may find you receive all you've been looking for.

What a journey! I can't recommend this book enough - it's a book that will keep you guessing right up until the final pages - a book that isn't all hearts and flowers yet has left me feeling happy and content, perfect! 

I gave this book 5/5 stars

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