#1 – 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?
#1.5 – Benjamin Chambers needs saving, he just does not know it yet. Bored of his life of repetitive gigs with a band going nowhere fast and one-night stands with girls who are only interested in his role as a lead singer, something has got to change. It’s just what do you do when the only life you know involves messing around with guitars and attempting to run away from any female attention that comes your way. Ben has a New Year’s resolution and one that he is determined to keep: quit the band and get a life of his own. Little does Ben realise that on his last night with his band, Sound Box, he is going to meet a girl who will turn everything he knows upside down. As Ben sets himself the challenge to find ‘The Girl’ again, he may be about to learn that in an effort to rescue her, he himself will be the one to be saved.
#2 – Benjamin Chambers found the girl, won the girl, and then lost the girl all in two months. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t that girl. The one that had already got away once.
Left to his own devices, wallowing in self-pity, drinking whiskey and killing ballads on his guitar Ben is looking forward to the worst Christmas in history. That is until an unexpected offer of help arrives. Given the best Christmas gift he could ever wish for, the chance to spend one more day with the girl that got away. Ben knows he just has one day to convince Lilah that they are meant to be together, before he has to make some big decisions about his own future. Just one day to set right the mistakes that he has made, but will it be enough? Ben may end up finding out that The Art of Forgiveness isn’t something you can teach, it is something that you have to earn.
I’ve decided to do one big review for the three books instead of one for each. I’ve been friends with Anna for a couple of months now and I can honestly say that I’m a fool for not reading her books sooner. These were the last three ones that I read in 2013 and I certainly went out with a dramatic bang!
The Art Of Letting Go is book #1 and focuses on Lilah’s point of view. At first, Lilah seemed to be very dull and lifeless but she’s engaged – she should be happy and loving life, but she’s not. She’s working for her Father and sooner rather than later, she’s packed her bags and headed off to the local University where she randomly chooses to study History. Slowly, we start to see the real Lilah once she meets Ben and before we know it, she’s a bright and funny young woman again. Lilah is the type of woman who likes to please just about everyone and I hoped that she wouldn’t become a doormat which her University friends would take advantage of. The ending was beautiful and quite emotional and I started reading the second book straight away.
The Saving Of Benjamin Chambers is book #1.5 which to me was a little confusing at first. Ben tells us the story of how he met Anna 9 months before they both attended the same University and how he set himself on a mission to find out who she was. Soon enough, we’re brought up to present day, only this time – it’s through Ben’s eyes. The novella had an enjoyable pace to it and it was interesting to see how Anna managed to portray the narrative from a male’s point of view.
The Art Of Forgiving is book #2 and once again, it’s a novella from Ben’s point of view. I have to be honest when reviewing so I will be – I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the other two. It was all about Ben trying to win Lilah back which was brilliantly written but it didn’t have the same hook and drive as the other two books.