The Year of Taking Chances by Lucy Diamond

There should be some kind of warning given the day your life changes forever. A tingle in the air, a whisper on the breeze, a gentle celestial nudge to treasure what you've got before it's too late. 

Title - The Year of Taking Chances
Author - Lucy Diamond
Publication Date - 15th December 2014 (Kindle Edition)
1st January 2015 (Paperback)
Publisher - Pan
Format - Paperback (Provided via publisher)
Pages - 454

The blurb

It's New Year's Eve, and Gemma and Spencer Bailey are throwing a house party. There's music, dancing, champagne and all their best friends under one roof. It's going to be a night to remember. 

Also at the party is Caitlin, who has returned to the village to pack up her much-missed mum's house and to figure out what to do with her life; and Saffron, a PR executive who's keeping a secret which no amount of spin can change. The three women bond over Gemma's dodgy cocktails and fortune cookies, and vow to make this year their best one yet. 

But as the following months unfold, Gemma, Saffron and Caitlin find themselves tested to their limits by shocking new developments. Family, love, work, home - all the things they've taken for granted - are thrown into disarray. Under pressure, they are each forced to rethink their lives and start over. But dare they take a chance on something new? 

Becca's thoughts

Firstly, I'd like to say a massive, very heartfelt thank you to Lucy's wonderful publishers Pan, for providing me with a stunning paperback copy of The Year of Taking Chances, in exchange for an honest review. I'd also like to say thank you to Lucy Diamond, for just generally being fantastic and for yet again whisking me away to the world of her characters.

I began 2015 with Lucy's book, and what better way to see in another 365 days than with a trusty book by your side? As soon as I opened that first page and began to read, I knew almost immediately that I liked it. You'll probably think that's ridiculous, but after just a hint of Lucy's writing style, I was hooked. And I think that's amazing, isn't it? It only takes a couple of Lucy's words to reel me in. I can't deny that the title played a big part in me wanting to begin a brand new year with this promising title. The Year of Taking Chances... When I read the title I thought, "This is what I want to start my 2015 with. A story that's going to make me want to take chances, make the most of my life, and count my blessings." When I turned the final page, I had this urge to squeeze the book incredibly tight and thank whoever put me here for everything that I've got. It had me thinking of all the chances that I've been given to spend time with family and friends, of how I have such a gorgeous life yet very rarely take that life into consideration. It was one of those books that really put things into perspective for me, and I love those books! They change the way you look at everyday things, change the way you think and feel. They are amaaazing. 

In The Year of Taking Chances, Lucy whisks us away to the Suffolk village of Larkmead. Gemma is the first character that we are introduced to, and she's in the throes of preparing for a New Year's Eve party. With her handsome husband Spencer, and her two children, Darcey and Will, it would appear to any onlookers that Gemma is the woman who has got it all. Nice home, lovely family... 

The second character that we're introduced to is Caitlin Fraser, and compared to Gemma's current excitement at preparing for the party, Caitlin isn't looking forward to the night ahead, spent alone in the home of her dead mother Jane. Caitlin is in also in Lockmead to sort out and sell her late mother's cottage, although as she sifts and sorts through Jane's belongings, she begins to notice things. Just slight things, that don't really add up. 

Lucy introduces Saffron to us last, but by no means is she least! Saffron has rented Baker's Cottage beside Gemma's home for the weekend, in a bid to escape her dreary life back in London, and to get away from Max. She has a secret, though, and that's one of the main reasons why she's there.

In true fantastic Lucy Diamond fashion, these three women somehow come to meet at Gemma's New Year's Eve party, and that, my friends, is where this beautiful story truly begins. Three women, cracking open fortune cookies, with absolutely no idea of what lies ahead... 

The way Lucy intertwined Gemma, Caitlin and Saffron's lives was magical. Each woman was gorgeously put together, each with their own unique characteristics and, of course, life problems, whether that be family, love, careers or health-wise. The three of them felt so real to me, so down-to-earth and genuine, and I couldn't wait to dive back into their story at every given chance. I loved reading about their lives, learning about what had happened to them before I dropped in and began to watch everything unfold, 

If you were to ask me to choose who my favourite character was, I really don't think that I'd be able to choose. Each woman was fantastic in her own attractive way. Gemma, because of how well she handled her family and how hard she worked. Caitlin, because of her pure adoration for her parents, despite the truth that comes out. And Saffron, because of how strong she became when she would have preferred to back down. There were tons of other engaging characters too, who may not have been essential to the plot, but who made me smile repeatedly and held my attention whenever they arrived. 

This whole book, centred around life and taking chances, was the perfect book to start the brand new 2015 with. It was positive, at times bumpy, uplifting, and filled to the brim with hope and dreams! Although each of the three women come face to face with problems that they never saw coming, Gemma, Caitlin and Saffron storm their way through and come out the other end happier and more alive than ever. It's about realising how lucky you truly are, and making the most of the here and now. Because, in all fairness, this is your life, and it's up to you to make the most of it, isn't it? 

Becca's Books is rating The Year of Taking Chances by Lucy Diamond with FIVE SCRUMMY CUPCAKES! I can't think of a more fitting way to bring in my 2015. Thank you to Pan, and to Lucy Diamond. This story was absolutely brilliant, and there's a place in my heart for Gemma, Caitlin and Saffron.

1 comment :

  1. Aww Becca! I blame you! You always make me want to read books you review! :)
    @Vanilla Reads