Saturday, 20 February 2016

Book Review - What Doesn't Kill You by Laura E James

Amazon UK
Title: What Doesn't Kill You
Author: Laura E James
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Choc Lit
Publication Date: 26th November 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger – but how strong can one person be? 
Griff Hendry knows what it is to be strong. After a turbulent past, he’s dedicated himself to saving lives, working as a coastguard along the breath-taking shores of Dorset. It's Griff's belief that everyone is worth saving – which is why he can't forgive his father, Logan, for what he did. 
Griff's future is plunged into uncertainty when his wife, Evie, tells him she wants a separation. The revelation is a shock and leads Griff to question what Evie could possibly be hiding – and she isn't the only one holding back. Griff's troubled stepdaughter, Tess, also harbours a dark secret. 
As the truth is uncovered, Griff is forced to accept that perhaps he's never understood what real strength is. 

From Dark Choc Lit - compelling, emotional, hard-hitting novels. Not your typical romance story.

What Doesn't Kill You is the first book to have been published under Choc Lit's new imprint Dark Choc Lit, for books that are darker and more hard hitting than their usual titles. I knew the idea appealed to me, but it wasn't until I started reading, that I started to truly understand what was meant by darker. 

For What Doesn't Kill You includes a lot of tough to talk about, and read about topics within its story. With topics including assisted suicide, self harm, abusive relationships, questions about sexuality you may be forgiven for thinking its not going to be a good story, or enjoyable. 

However everything connects in such a way, and with the way the story is told, through the eyes of Tess, Griff and Evie, all with incredibly different views on life, it is a compelling book, that draws you in, so that you want to know all about the characters and the issues they are dealing with. 

I don't feel that I can explain the story and do it justice, as its so good, with many different facets to it, I'm not sure I can show it off to the best of its abilities. What I will say is there is a broken romance at the heart of it, between Griff and Evie, for Evie has been pushing Griff away, due to a secret that she is harbouring. Tess is Griff's step daughter, and its clear she has had an awful past, and struggles to express herself some of the time. Dylan is Evie and Griff's son, who is a cute toddler, and they all love their dog Ozzy. Logan is Griff's father, who is disabled, and Evie is Logan's main carer, and its running her ragged. 

Logan was one of my favourite characters, and I could only feel great compassion for him, and although at lot of his feelings could be regarded as controversial, as he tries to make various people understand his point of view, I couldn't help but agree with him... there are definitely worse things than death. 

This was the first book that I had read by Laura E James, and was incredibly impressed by the writing. Not only was the storytelling very good, but the compassionate way she deals with these hard subjects is thought provoking. 

What Doesn't Kill You is a fabulous book, and one I am delighted that I had the opportunity to experience. 

Thank you to Choc Lit and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 


  1. Thank you so much, Rachel. I'm absolutely delighted you enjoyed WDKY :-)

  2. Oooh, Rachel. I have this and have been desperate to get to but edits got in the way. Reading your review, I'm now even more desperate. It's on my start tonight list! Thanks for sharing. Well done, Laura! Yay! :) xx


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