2021 Book Reviews · Blog Tours · Favourite Books

Blog Tour for The Last Act of Adam Campbell by Andy Jones

The Last Act of Adam Campbell: Fall in love with this heart-warming, life-affirming novel by [Jones, Andy]

‘A year can go quickly. Particularly when it’s your last.

Adam had a good life: a job he enjoyed, a nice house, a loving partner and a bright six-year-old daughter. Then he cheated on his partner. Then she kicked him out of their home. And then he was given approximately twelve months to live.

Despite the devastating news, Adam is determined to turn his life around before it finally runs out. Help comes in the form of an ex-junky, a cantankerous train driver, a nun experiencing a crisis of faith, and a teenager intent on losing her virginity – all living on borrowed time, all desperate to feel alive before their time is up’

When Andy first told me about this book I didn’t need any information, I was all in and ready to get reading straight away. I don’t need to know details when it comes to Andy’s books because for me he is one of my auto-authors, as in, no matter what the blurb tells me, I am reading his books. Going in knowing nothing was a good idea, because had I known what I was about to read I would have prepared myself, I would have tried to protect my heart. Instead as I write this… I am a broken mess, my heart was shattered, yet somehow it was also put back together.

Adam Campbell is dying, he has cancer. His marriage had broken down due to his infidelity, but because of his situation, Heather, his ex wife, has allowed him to move back home (into the spare room) to live with his young daughter and herself, so he can make the most of his remaining days. He wants to cherish every second he has left with Mabel, doing the school run, carving pumpkins for Halloween and making costumes for the Christmas play, all the things he didn’t do before.

Adam reluctantly agrees to join a support group, run by Dr Sam. Dr Sam has a mixed bag of characters who meet weekly and support one another with their sad prognosis, he quotes Shakespeare to them which becomes a huge theme throughout the book.  Everyone within the group comes from different backgrounds but every one of them has one thing in common, death. Tragedy strikes very early on though, Dr Sam on his way to the group is knocked off his bike and he dies, leaving the group wondering what happens next, is their any point in the group continuing if he isn’t their to guide them?

Without Dr Sam the group decides to continue alone, they do so in a church hall and it is within these sessions they decide to put on a play, a play that will highlight all of the deaths in Shakespeare, any money they make will go towards a hospice. This gives each of them a target, a sense of purpose that they didn’t quite have before, a focus. Something else to think about rather than dwelling on what is to come.

The book is essentially all about Adam Campbell, but each member of the group becomes just as important as Adam, each getting the chance to tell their story… the past, the present and what they expect and hope of the future. We learn their fears and their hopes, we become just as invested as their stories as we do Adams.

I have very purposefully been quite vague about a lot of the plot of the book, something I very rarely do in my reviews, I normally like to bleat on like a mad woman (without ever giving spoilers) but by telling too much, there is a hell of a lot I could ruin. This is an incredibly special book that should be read without knowing too much and it is important I tell you only so much and let you read and learn from this as I have.

One thing that is important in this book is recognising that it does not matter who you are, where you come from, whether you lived your life lawfully, criminally, freely, with caution, filled with love or having never loved… we all die, it is the one thing in life that is truly inevitable. And no one, when they are told they are dying, is out there jumping from planes and taking extreme risks to feel as though they have truly lived before they die. Mostly they just want their remaining time surrounded by those they love, they all have this in common, they all want to fill their very last days with love, no matter who they are. And it is within this group, those that haven’t been shown love as a child or those that hadn’t found love as an adult, or even a teenager that hasn’t even had the chance to even consider falling in love, find love. They find love and friendship and new family members from a group of people all going through the same thing, their inevitable early deaths.

I really liked Adam, even with mistakes he has made that would normally paint him as a ‘bad guy’, he was incredibly likable and a brilliant main character to journey with. I think when you become a parent your biggest fear instantly becomes dying too soon, dying before you get the chance to see your babies grow and live and become who they are supposed to be. So all those moments he wants to spend with Mabel, all the mundane everyday things he wants to do, they are utterly believable and utterly heartbreaking too. You count down those moments along with him, you feel his sorrow every time he thinks it will be his last.

As well as Adam I loved Laura, Tom, Vernon, Erin, Raymond, Pat and Erin. I loved each of their stories, the fact we got to learn about each of them and that we got to see what each of them gain from the group. I had a real soft spot for Tom, something I imagine everyone who reads this book will agree too, it is impossible not to love him. I refuse to tell you about any of them because by doing so, I really will ruin the story. They deserve to tell you their stories themselves.

I know as soon as you associate a story with Cancer you presume it is all doom and gloom, but Andy has perfectly crafted a well balanced story of sadness and laughter. Every time I started to well up, I would find myself laughing out loud. The Last Act of Adam Campbell is an absolute must read, it will break you apart over and over but consistently put you back together. It is thought-provoking and uplifting, it makes you realise that to live your life like it is your last doesn’t mean to fill your days doing outrageous things, it is to live your life with love and kindness and love those around you like it is your last.

This is Andy’s best book to date, it is on a whole other level compared with his past books, it truly is. The Last Act of Adam Campbell is impossible to put down and is one of those books that will stay with you for life! Absolutely beautiful, a truly wonderful story that is nothing short of an honor to read. It is has imprinted on my heart and I will be forcing it into the hand of anyone and everyone I can. Equally heartwarming and gut-wrenching. Utterly outstanding!

The Last Act of Adam Campbell is currently available in eBook and will be in paperback on May 28th. I urge you all to grab a copy!

Andy Jones

In one form or another, Andy has always been a writer. At school, he passed notes in class and scribbled rude words on lampposts. At University, he wrote a PhD in biochemistry and forged tickets to various balls. And as an advertising copywriter, has written commercials for everything from baby food to booze. But it wasn’t until he was well into his thirties that Andy started writing fiction. If he could write a letter to his younger self, it would urge him to stop messing about and get on with it. 
Andy lives in London with his wife and two little girls. Chances are, he’s writing something.

Follow Andy on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram where he posts as andyjonesauthor

To follow the rest of the blog tour and find out what all the other reviewers thought, you can find each review below.

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