I have been on such a chic-lit buzz lately! I avoided it for ages as I had a “been there, done that” attitude toward it but my eyes have been opened to many great books in this genre lately and I wanted to start sharing them with you.
A Season of Hopes and Dreams by Lynsey James focuses on Cleo, a down-on-her-luck girl whose dreams of becoming a dancer were dashed when her leg was crushed in a car accident. But this summer, Cleo vows things are going to change and is spurred on by invitation from her childhood bully to their high-school reunion.
Cleo is one of the most wonderful characters I have met in the literary world this year. She so loveable and I was rooting for her from the start. OK, this story was a bit predictable so it was easy to cheer on someone I already knew would have a positive outcome. But the fact that she was so relatable still meant that I invested a lot of emotion in her – I was inspired! In the opening of the book, Cleo receives a rejection letter for a dance school she has applied to for a trainee teacher role. Similar memories came flooding back to me and I immediately thought, “I am with you on this journey, Cleo – whether you are fictional or not.”
Although a light-hearted read, there are many underlying, more serious issues, which the author touches on. But don’t worry, they won’t drag down on you. James’ wonderful writing style slips everything in nicely at an easy flow, meaning you won’t be burdened by thoughts on the meaning of life.
It was the overall positivity that James injects which made me fall in love with the story. Have you ever had a book come into your life just when you need it? Well, that happened to me here. I had tears in my eyes after reading: “Where did those big dreams go? Where did I go?” I was feeling lost before meeting Cleo and, while I still am a bit, I now have the motivation to restart my life and put more energy into the things I am passionate about. Thank you, Lynsey James, for that helping hand.
This is easily one of the most inspiring books you will read this year. Read it to enjoy a well-written book and blissfully pass some time away, but also read it as a helping hand in accepting yourself and daring to dream again.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.