Monday, 12 August 2019

If Only by Melanie Murphy

If Only
by Melanie Murphy

Summary: Erin is about to turn thirty and her life is definitely not where she thought it would be. She hates her job, she's jealous of her perfect flatmate - and she has just called off her wedding.
 
A trip home to Ireland to celebrate her birthday with her beloved grandmother is exactly what Erin needs, and she's spent days preparing herself to break the news about her broken engagement. 
What she's not prepared for is the gift she receives: a secret family heirloom that will change everything. 
Could this be the answer Erin has been looking for - the key to the happy life she's always dreamed of? Only time will tell...
This book totally surprised me. Honestly, I went into it not sure if I would love it -- it's not my typical genre of preference and I think I did judge it by the cover quite a lot (the cover does not do the book justice at all and feels a bit mismatched). But, I wanted to read it because Melanie Murphy is bloody fabulous and I loved her writing in her non-fiction book.

My point is, I loved this. It surpassed my expectations, definitely.

It was the perfect balance of all of the things. It had sweet bits, but no sickly sweet. It had magic, but it wasn't over the top. It had darker, more serious parts about eating disorders and mental health and grief but it did it in a way that felt respectful and realistic without it casting a shadow over the whole book.

Most of all, I just loved the characters. I loved that all of them were flawed and realistic and I loved that friendships were such a big part of the book, Erin and Reid's friendship totally had my heart. Her granny cracked me up too, she was lovely and reminds me a lot of my own granny.

Erin was a great main character. She was so easy to relate to and I loved that, I loved that she didn't have the perfect life, even in the end. I loved she was a representation of achievable happiness, because plenty of us have moments where we feel like our lives aren't what we expected or like we're not where we should be based on some arbitrary timeline (I think that's why this genre usually isn't for me, the endings are often happy to a fault which isn't my thing).

The only thing that comes to mind that I don't like is that I don't have access to Erin's necklace, because that would definitely come in handy.

Anyway, I'd rate the book 4 stars out of 5 and I'm really looking forward to whatever Melanie writes next.

Later.

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