Monday 13 February 2012

Monday Musings: Book Review of A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler

Jenni is looking forward to spending some time with her friend Autumn on holiday. The two girls go to school together, but that can't match up to the fabulous week they have once a year at Riverside Village! Except... Jenni steps in an old lift, and when she gets out, everything is different. Somehow, she's moved forward in time a year, and the vivacious Autumn and her crazy family have been scarred by a tragedy. Can she work out what happened, and is there any way she can go back and change the past?

I was struggling with this one a little as it has something of a slow start, but kept with it, and am really glad I did. Once the story gets going properly, Kessler provides us with a heart-warming, thought-provoking and really well plotted look at the way one event can have a ripple effect on other people and at the nature of friendship. I was particularly impressed by Kessler's character development, both of Jenny as she frantically tries to work out what's happened and if she can put it right, and of the other characters as we see them a year later, marked by the effects of the tragedy. I also found it to be particularly pacy after the aforementioned slow start and was completely gripped as I wanted to see what would happen next and whether Jenni could save the day. Given the target audience, by the way, I was expecting the answer to this question to be rather predictable, but as I reached the end I can honestly say that I wasn’t sure what would happen and was desperate to find out.

Strong recommendation as a really good read with significantly more depth than I was expecting. I’ll definitely be checking out Kessler in the future!

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