August 2016, Sphere, 384 pages, Ebook, Review copy from Sainsbury's Entertainment eBooks
Summary from Sainsbury's Entertainment
When life as you know it changes, will it define you, destroy you or make you stronger?
Best friends Isla and Sophie made each other a promise a long time ago: to never let life pass them by. Years later, Isla is in love, living abroad and fulfilling her dreams. But for Sophie, things haven't turned out the way she was expecting and she hasn't achieved any of the things she and Isla talked about.
And then, in one sudden moment, life irrevocably changes for both women.
Isla and Sophie have hard decisions to make but above all else they must face up to the uncertainty that lies ahead. It's only when they realise that this is easier together, two friends standing side by side, that each woman can embrace whatever the future holds for them.
Isla life changes dramatically but her friend Sophie is there for her most of the way. As I started reading this book the story felt familiar. In less than 3 chapters I realised I'd read it before! I adored it the first time round, and I was more than happy to reread it. My poor memory means while nothing in the book was a surprise, I couldn't remember exact details, so I had great fun exploring Isla's new life as she discovers she has a degenerative illness. All the emotions she goes through, her decision to do/not do certain things makes a huge difference on her overall outlook on life.
It's not just about Isla being sick. She and Sophie have what some call a bucket list, and Sophie helps Isla tick items off hers. Isla helps Sophie through the breakdown and breakup with Liam, who is despicable in what he does. I felt so sorry for Sophie, and as awful as Isla's diagnosis was, her best friend being sick helped give Sophie a reason to keep going while life was rubbish. She has to play cupid when Isla pushes away someone who cares for her, and I'm glad she meddled as it's what Isla needed, even though she didn't think she did.
Despite everything there is a fair amount of humour and good cheer as the two friends help each other out. They both make new friends and experience more of life in unexpected places. Their friendship strengthens through both their hardships, and I doubt they will stop being friends once the book ends. Who wouldn't like a chocolate cookery course? (At least I think that's what Sophie goes on - I'm adding this comment after I've read it and can't remember!) I'd love a sequel, but until then I will stick wih rereading it.
Find out more on Vanessa's website.