2013 Book Reviews

The Art of Letting Go (The Uni Files) by Anna Bloom

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I’m really excited to be a part of this blog tour as I’ve fallen madly in love with this book and (dreamy sigh) Ben. I’m going to attempt to put into words just how much I love this book. I really hope I can do it justice.

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‘One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could what would you do to stop it?

When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.

Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.

As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.

With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be.

With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?’

For about 10 minutes after reading this all I could manage was “wow” whilst crying hysterically, I really needed a slap, to be told “it’s not real”. I was so drawn into this book, I felt as if I had lived and felt every feeling Delilah felt.

This book made me fall in love HARD, then broke my heart into pieces, I’m still not sure I can recover to be honest. It’s actually taken me a few days to even talk about it or write a review because I was still “feeling” the book. (Don’t be surprised I’m a nut job, we have all known for some time now).

Delilah is twenty-five and working with her father in a bank. She’s been pushed into living a life she doesn’t want. Engaged to be married to John who she isn’t remotely in love with, but is being pushed into it by her parents. Delilah also happens to live with her twin brother Tristan, who she really does not get on with.

Delilah one day just has enough and ups and leaves work to then run away from home. Grabbing only some essentials (lots of books) she sets of to get a new job. Instead she finds herself enrolling at University doing a History Degree.

Being the one of the oldest students Delilah isn’t overly confident when surrounded by young, slim and gorgeous eighteen year olds. She soon meets Meredith, one of her room-mates. They form a really lovely friendship and become very close.

Lilah (Delilah) decides to attend the Freshers ball and gets absolutely steaming drunk and using a wall to stop her from falling over she catches sight of the lead singer of the band playing. She is so drunk she is struggling to see and only using the one eye, she fears he may think she is winking at him. She heads off to get some fresh air and finds her way blocked by a pair of twinkling blue eyes, this my friends is Ben. The lead singer of the band.

Outside after a drunk snog and a feel-up against a tree, he offers to get her home safe. When she protests he throws her over his shoulder and that’s all she can remember. But is soon in for a shock when she finds Ben standing in her kitchen….. That’s right his another of her room-mates.

What then entails is Ben trying everything in his power to get Lilah to be his girlfriend (after spotting her a year ago at another party, his not giving up) and Lilah absolutely refusing. They are inseparable and Lilah is really quite rude to him but cannot hide her feelings much longer. Refusing to sleep with him while she is still engaged because she never wants Ben to be the “other man” she eventually plucks up the courage to finish things with John. Which results in Lilah and Ben spending every night together but her refusing to be in a relationship with him.

You see Ben is leaving in a year, his band have a huge opportunity to be in America, so Lilah hasn’t got it in her to fall in love then loose him and she will not be the reason he turns down this amazing opportunity.

Ben is never anything but absolutely honest and makes it quite clear where he would rather be, but is happy to do whatever Lilah wants just to be able to be with her. Even if his time is limited. His not even bothered when she admits she has a fiancée, instead he tells her he will win her in the end. Ben is absolutely the stuff dreams are made of, his kind, loving, romantic, sweet and a utter gentleman.

Lilah is an absolute brilliant character. The story is told in the form of her diary, so she is really REALLY honest. She comes across as a crazy stalker who is without a doubt obsessed with Ben. She may think she hides it well, but everyone knows she loves him even Ben. The fact that she practically knew every tiny detail about him and got crazy jealous of girl breathing near him made her very endearing. At times she acted like a teenager, which made me like her more. Unable to deal with her feelings for Ben she often hit the bottle and made a complete arse of herself.

Not only do we watch Lilah and Ben’s relationship develop, we see Lilah and Tristan becoming really brilliant friends and he says one thing to her that really made me well up (read it and see if you can guess!). I also loved Tristan and Meredith’s story which we hear about through Lilah. It’s incredibly good writing to make us care just as much about their relationship as we do Ben and Lilah’s

Knowing that you are about to loose your absolute best friend because you are too stubborn to ask him to stay, allowing yourself to fall in love to know that your heart will ultimately be ripped from your chest. That’s why this story was so gripping, was she going to ask him to stay? Would Ben leave her behind knowing that neither of them really want that?

Their love story was utterly compelling and I was swept up along with them. I went through every possible emotion whilst reading and was eventually left with a heart I’m not sure will mend again. (I NEED ANOTHER BOOK LIKE I NEED A LUNG!).

Heart-achingly good, stunning and a love story you will feel you have actually lived yourself.

For a debut this is incredible and so beautifully written. Anna Bloom has got a lifelong fan in me, she also has the key to Ben. Who will be mine.

The links for the book are here:

http://amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FEX0OB8

About the Author:
Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer who writes about life as it happens. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni Files series she also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.
Find the author: Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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