SOURCE: Publisher Sent ARC
AUTHOR: Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson & Eleanor Wood
PUBLISHER: Macmillan Kids UK
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary
RATING: 4/5 Stars
When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn't that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he's the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn't match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn't as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognises him; Kaitlyn, who's losing her sight but won't admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn't be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.
And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.
What I Liked:
- These authors are all seriously talented. It's hard to put together a cohesive book with seven POVs, and I imagine it's actually even harder to have everyone agree on things and to do so cohesively. After all, the phrase 'too many cooks spoil the broth' exists for a reason. That being said, they did a wonderful job!
- I really liked the characters and their development, particularly personality-wise. Some characters went through a major epiphany (I'm looking at you Hugo) while others were much more subtle about it. But they definitely all changed and it was fun to read.
What I Disliked:
- Even though I felt that the characters developed well, the context and characters that surrounded their lives were a little bit vague. Each meeting is a year apart and a lot happens in a year, but I still came out of this story feeling that I didn't know them all that well. It was very much a novel of fleeting moments.
Despite the lack of connection to everyone (aside from Hugo, who was an awful human being but made me laugh and root for him like nothing else) I did enjoy this book a lot. They all had great personalities and watching them interact and 'take sides' in certain situations was a lot of fun. I just wish we could have got to know their lives outside of the meetings a little better and had a little more in the way of story. The narrator did a great job of bringing themes and threads together and played a huge part in making this work.