Friday, 26 December 2014

Guest Book Review: Carrie Elks - Fix You

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

You've found the one, but what if life has other plans?

London, 31st December 1999
At a party to toast the new millennium, Hanna meets Richard. He is a gorgeous, wealthy New Yorker. She is a self-assured, beautiful Londoner with no interest in clean-cut American men. They are from different worlds and have nothing in common... except for their instant - and mutual - attraction to one another.As the clocks chime midnight it is a new year and the beginning of a wonderful romance.

New York, 12th May 2012
Hanna, the girl who broke Richard's heart, walks into his Wall Street office - and back into his life - to reveal an explosive secret.

He was sure they were meant to be together forever, but she broke his heart so completely the last time, can he find a way to let her mend the pieces?

Amazon link: Kindle

Fix You by Carrie Elks is a terrific novel following the course of love between Hannah and Richard which never runs smooth and has plenty of ups and downs along the way going from friends to strangers to lovers and back again. This book has a strong and impactful opening with Hanna revealing a secret that she has kept from Richard for quite a while. One which changes their lives forever.  We then jump back in time to 1999 to when Hanna at just 17 first locks eyes with Richard at a New Year’s Eve party thrown by his stepmother where Hanna is filling in as a waitress. From the start it is clear there is that magic spark between the pair and they can’t seem to resist each other despite Hanna’s sharp and witty retorts to everything Richard says.

Throughout the novel after maybe every second chapter we jump forward in time right up to 2012. In other books I have read this is very annoying but I found in Fix You this worked really well and helped move the book on and we can see how the relationship between the two main characters ebbed and flowed, how at some points they were together and at other points they were torn apart. This book really felt reminiscent of One Day by David Nicholls. OK so the plot didn’t totally mirror the story of Emma and Dexter but there were quite a few striking similarities which made me think in the beginning why I am reading this but I am glad I kept going  as soon I was totally engrossed in the story and finished this book within a day. One Day is more of a ‘literary read’ where as Fix You is fun and entertaining.

Covering such a long period, (over 13 years) the author referenced lots of  things which we now take for granted or which went on to be globally popular such as mobile phones, social media and the group The Strokes. It was strange to read about these things as they are so commonplace nowadays but it all helped to highlight where Hannah and Richard were in the world and at what point their relationship was at. There are clear differences between the pair Richard comes from a wealthy family and has attended college in America, he wants to set up his own business but the traumatic events of September 11th change all that and he is forced to take over the family business. Hanna is younger and comes from a family where her dad left when she was very young and she was raised by her mother Dina. Hanna doesn’t seem to want to follow convention or the rules she is sharp, witty and straight talking. She becomes a music journalist and experiences new relationships away from Richard as she grows and matures and experiences life to the full. But at the same there is always that allure drawing her back to Richard and his family. Their connection can never be broken.

There is so much detail in this novel about relationships, families and life events that it is impossible to go into too much detail without ruining the story. Hanna and Richard certainly evolve as characters, I thought at times Hanna was just pure selfish and even a coward. She always seemed to run away from things when the going got tough when she should have just gathered her strength and courage and faced up to the reality of the situation. Richard really was a sweetheart - a man any woman would love to have for a partner. I felt his angst at some of the things Hanna put him through but admired the fact he always put the women in his life first. Of course Hanna and Richard made me shout and scream why in God’s name they couldn’t just get together and stay together? There were so many crossed wires, confusion and mistiming but that’s what kept me turning the pages. All this led to a clear message keep trying until you achieve your heart’s desire.

I do think the cover for Fix You is misleading this is not a light easy rom com and in my opinion not really a Christmas novel so there is no need for the snowflakes. Also there were too many sex scenes thrown in randomly just to spice things up a bit and they really didn’t add anything to the story. Even the ending was way too stretched out (the epilogue even had a chapter or two which was really not needed) and it could have wrapped up a little sooner but don’t let these minor quibbles of mine put you off. This was a well written story of the trials and tribulations of love in which you will happily invest a couple of hours of your time and come away feeling satisfied that you have read an excellent novel.

I'd like to thank Alison at Corvus for sending us a copy of this eBook for Emma to review.

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