On seeing the title of this book I immediately thought of the Christina Perri song (which I mainly knew from So You Think You Can Dance), and interestingly…. it’s referenced in this book (the song, not SYTYCD) in a pre-chapter quote.
I read and reviewed Holly Seddon’s debut novel, Try Not To Breathe last year and rated it 4-stars (a very good rating from me). On discovering this book I chuckled to myself over her fetish for titles featuring warnings though and wondered what the next book might be called…
Seddon offered up a flawed lead (or two, kinda) in her first book and does the same this time around, with (non-identical) twins Sarah and Robin whose lives we follow in the present and the past.
I’ve struggled with the superlatives I need to describe this novel… one, I must confess, I went into without great enthusiasm. But almost immediately I was drawn into the eccentric world of reclusive author Mimi, her son Frank and their interloper, Alice.
As it happens, the promo material says it all: captivating, infectious and irresistible. So the only word I can think to add (and one which most certainly comes to mind when considering this novel) is ‘delightful’.
Flawed narrators or lead characters are becoming a bit of a thing. It’s risky as there’s a fine line to balance between a character having the odd foible or two and being thoroughly unlikable and turning readers away.
Fortunately Holly Seddon’s hard-drinking Alex in Try Not to Breathe falls into the former. She’s brutally honest about her shortcomings and because we’re very much inside her head we get to know her intimately and it’s difficult not to like her.