Tuesday 20 January 2015

Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell

Hallie has a secret. She's in love. He's perfect for her in every way, but he's seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren't going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn't have long to live. Time is running out...
Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won't be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends - let alone anything more.
Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she's afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong.
THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she's about to be given new lungs. But whose?

Three Amazing Things About You was published in hardback by Headline Review on 15 January 2015, the paperback release will follow on 18 June 2015.

Jill Mansell has been writing novels since 1991, Three Amazing Things About You is book number twenty-six!  I've read all of her books, she's an author who never fails to deliver. I reviewed her last two books here on Random Things; Don't Want To Miss A Thing (February 2013) and The Unpredictable Consequences of Love (June 2014).

Hallie is living with Cystic Fibrosis. Living is not easy, she struggles to breathe, she needs a wheelchair and a constant supply of oxygen, she often has to bail out of socialising with friends and she knows that if she doesn't get a new pair of lungs soon that she probably won't be around for much longer.

Despite this, Hallie is an upbeat sort of girl. She dishes out advice via her website where she always asks people to let her know 'three amazing things about you'.  The story opens as Hallie is travelling to hospital. She's about to receive new lungs, she's scared but excited.

The story skips back a little and the reader is introduced to the two other women who lead this story alongside Hallie.  There's Flo; the bi-lingual graduate who works in a residential home, not because she can't find a job that she's qualified to do, but because she loves it there. Flo is the guardian of Jeremy the cat, much to the disgust of Lena who would like nothing better than for Jeremy to disappear. Lena is not impressed at all when her younger brother Zander and Flo start to get closer.

Tasha, or 'Bin Girl' as she becomes affectionately known as, and her new boyfriend Rory are head over heels in love. They are as different as chalk and cheese, with Rory climbing mountains and jumping out of planes whilst Tasha worries constantly about him.

Jill Mansell slowly unfurls the lives of these three women, she's created three adorable characters who are individual, warm and incredibly realistic. Alongside our main players, there is a cast of supporting characters who add depth and warmth to the story. I was especially taken by Rory's best friend Joe and one of Flo's 'old ladies', Margot.

Gradually, the lives of Hallie, Flo and Tasha will collide, and although it's clear to the reader that this will happen, the way that it does happen is unexpected, quite heart-breaking, but also pretty uplifting.

Three Amazing Things About You is three stories in one and although Hallie is desperately sick, this novel is in no way depressing or dark. Jill Mansell writes compassionately, with humour and warmth. Her characters are fabulous, the village setting is wonderful and the story, whilst dealing with a serious subject, is sure to delight her many fans.

For me, Jill Mansell's books are my literary version of cheese on toast, my go-to stories that never let me down - just like that oozy, delicious cheesy toast that always makes me feel better.

Huge thanks to Headline and Bookbridgr who sent my copy for review.

Jill Mansell lives with her family in Bristol. She used to work in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology but now writes full time. She watches far too much TV and would love to be one of those super-sporty types but basically can't be bothered. Nor can she cook - having once attempted to bake a cake fro the hospital's Christmas Fair, she was forced to watch while her co-workers played frisbee with it.

But she's good at Twitter!

Find out more about Jill Mansell and her writing at her website www.jillmansell.co.uk
Check out her official Facebook page
Follow her on Twitter @JillMansell

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