Sunday, 10 September 2017

Book Review - A Season of Hopes and Dreams by Lynsey James

Amazon UK
Title: A Season of Hopes and Dreams
Author: Lynsey James
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 11th September
Rating: 5 Stars

A season of second chances…
It’s been a difficult year for Cleo Jones. The car accident that crushed her leg didn’t just destroy the village baker’s dreams of becoming a dancer, but crushed her confidence too. And recovering from that has been harder than healing from any number of broken bones…

But this season is going to be different. Life is turning around for Cleo! Maybe it’s the invitation from her childhood bully to their high-school reunion that’s shocked her out of a ten-year slump. Or joining Carb Counters and finally starting to shed the weight she’d piled on during her recovery – or maybe it’s catching the eye of her gorgeous personal trainer!

Whatever the answer, this is going to be a feeling she never forgets… watch out world, Cleo Jones is finally fighting back!

Initially as I started this book, I had feelings of deja vu about the broader storylines, in that I felt that I had read very similar things before, even if it was perhaps two books crossing over. However as I started getting into the story, I realised just how wrong I was. Yes losing weight, bucket lists and high school reunions have featured in a variety of books recently, but it is Cleo's story that made me love this book and forget those misgivings before very long. 

Well Cleo's story and the fact that the gorgeous male character happened to be named after a character from my favourite soap, Scott Robinson, although having Jason Donovan and Cleopatra music running through my head while reading this could be classed as off putting. 

Cleo had a horrible accident when she was a teenager that shattered her dreams, and lead to her having issues with food as a result of comfort eating. Her life after the accident at school was terrible, and now 10 years on, she is still suffering with her self esteem. 

Yet finding an old bucket list, and deciding to create a new one, and try to achieve items on it, are parts of the triggers for Cleo to start turning her life around.  She has a fantastic best friend in Emma, who even accompanies her to Carb Counters meetings, and encourages Cleo every step of the way. 

Cleo and Scot's initial meeting in the gym is memorable as are some of their subsequent meetings. For a gym trainer, he is a lovely guy and thankfully seems interested in Cleo despite some of her embarrassing moments. 

Cleo is just really inspiring. Once I learnt her back story, I just became more impressed by what she was achieving. I loved various scenes when she stands up to her old high school bully, and also the various Carb Counters meetings, or anytime Cleo was in the gym, and her interactions with Scot. 

There is a more serious topic underlying the book, but it is touched on in ways that are sensitive, and that give you a good insight as to how people with the issue are thinking, as well as how their loved ones are affected. 

This is another cracking book from Lynsey James, and one I am delighted to have read. After those initial unfounded doubts, I was hooked on a wonderful story, with a great voice to it. I just love this authors writing and always look forward to reading new books by her. 

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Digital for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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