Saturday, 30 January 2016

Book Review - The Birthday That Changed Everything by Debbie Johnson

Amazon UK
Title: The Birthday That Changed Everything
Author: Debbie Johnson
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source:  Publisher supplied ARC
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: 28th January 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

She wanted a birthday surprise, just not the one she got…

The last thing Sally Summers expected from her husband on her special day was that he’d leave her for a Latvian lap dancer half her age. So with her world in tatters, Sally jets off to Turkey for some sun, sea and sanctuary.

The Blue Bay resort brings new friends and the perfect balm for Sally’s broken heart in gorgeous Dubliner James. He’s just the birthday present she needs. And when the chemistry between them continues to spark as the holiday ends, Sally wonders if this is more than just a summer fling.

But James has scars of his own and Sally isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage. This birthday might have changed everything, but what will the next one bring?

The Birthday That Changed Everything is easily my favourite book so far by Debbie Johnson. I was laughing from the start, and the second the action went to Turkey, and the Blue Bay Resort, I felt as though I was part of the Blue Bay gang. 

I'm sure like me you will have made friends with people when you are on holiday. Because you are free-er and more relaxed, and due to knowing you may not see these people again, you will perhaps share more with these holiday friends, and a deep friendship can occur. In the instances where you decide to go back on holiday with the same people, or perhaps just back to the same hotel as the previous year, you will be remembered, and you will pick up conversations where you left off etc... It feels like you have a home and a family away from home. 

And this is exactly what The Birthday That Changed Everything featured, as Sally and her family kept returning to the Blue Bay Resort. The story was told in parts, and with the exception of the first part, they were all based, on her annual holidays to this hotel in Turkey.  This was a great way to pass the time, and to focus on what should be the fun parts of a person's life, and how they have changed and developed each year. 

Sally's  daughter, Lucy,  is an tonic, she is loud and foul mouthed, has no respect for her mother, and after her father left them for a Latvian lap dancer, not much older than Lucy, has nothing good to say about her father either. 

Sally's son Ollie, is a sweet teenage boy, who can be extremely sensitive at times. He also  develops an unusual taste in reading material for a teenage boy, as the book proceeds. 

Sally is heartbroken from Simon leaving her, but on that first trip to The Blue Bay, she meets James, who is gorgeous and who she fights clear feelings for. She also makes a whole group of friends, including Allie, who helped rescue her on the first day of the holiday, when there was an issue with her case (very memorable scenes that were hilarious). 

I would love to say that at times Sally acted more like a teenager than Lucy, but realistically she is a middle aged woman, on holiday, with cheap booze, and I am sure you have all seen how people relish 2 weeks of freedom away from work and normal real life pressures. Sally enjoys letting off steam, and that has some fabulous consequences. 

I loved reading about the Blue Bay friends, as well as spending time in the wonderful hotel, which I would like to stay at myself. The Birthday That Changed Everything would be a perfect poolside book, or will easily brighten up a cold winters day, and whisk you away to the sun. 

Thank you so much to Felicity Denham at Harper for this review copy. This is my honest opinion. 

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