Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Before I saw You by Emily Houghton Blog Tour

 I'd like to think of myself as a hopeless romantic. When it comes to reading books, the romance genre has and always will be my favourite. 

You just can't beat that heartwarming feeling that those types of novels provide you with.

Emily Houghton done a fantastic job of tugging at my hear strings with her latest novel Before I Saw You. If you're a fan of Me Before You then you are in for a treat with this story.

before-i-saw-you


Alice and Alfie are strangers. But they sleep next to each other every night.

Alfie Mack has been in hospital for months recovering from an accident. A new face on the ward is about as exciting as life gets for him right now, so when someone moves into the bed next to him he's eager to make friends. But it quickly becomes clear that seeing his neighbour's face won't happen any time soon.

Alice Gunnersley has been badly burned and can't even look at herself yet, let alone allow anyone else to see her. She keeps the curtain around her bed firmly closed, but it doesn't stop Alfie trying to get to know her. And gradually, as he slowly brings Alice out of her shell, might there even be potential for more?

Straight away what really made me fall in love with this story, wasn't the actual romance side of it, in actual fact it was the dialogue, the conversations between the characters.

It instantly put a smile on my face and quickly made me laugh.

Both our main characters, Alice and Alfie find themselves in a recovery unit, the Moira Gladstone Ward at St Francis Hospital for rehabilitation to be precise.

Alfie has been there for a while. Having lost his leg in a horrific car accident, he's the bringer of positivity despite suffering not only from his injuries but from losing his friends who tragically died when he survived.

Alice is new on the ward. After been badly burnt, she is yet to even look at herself and at this point is selectively mute and chooses to have the curtains around her bed firmly closed, keeping prying eyes away and leaving her alone (how she's always lived her life).

"Our scars are simply marks of our stories."

An emotional rollercoaster from start to finish for them and for me as the reader.

There was a clever contrast between this unlikely pair but as the story progressed they seemed to bring the best (and the worst) out in each other.

In fact that was what the whole ward was like.

Optimism vs realism.

Could there be a balance between the two?

It all just came across as down-to-earth, like it was something that could happen in real life. 

Although primarily advertised as a romance I felt that this story was so much more than that. The depth and detail given to Alice and Alfie, It gave me as the reader the opportunity to really understand them, what they'd experienced/were experiencing to make them the way the were.

There was a focus on friendship and wellbeing too, written with great care and attention.

Supporting characters played a huge role in this story as well.

I had a real soft spot for Alfie's mum. She reminded me of my Nan with all of her baking and the need to care for everyone.

And the banter between the pages really gave the story an extra layer. 

They felt like one big dysfunctional family. It was like an episode of a soap but without all of the unnecessary drama.

Even though I was fairly certain that I'd be getting a happy ending - we all need one of those every once in a while - I didn't know just what kind of journey we'd be taken on to get there. 

"I don't have to see you to know that you make me feel things."

What I took from it all was that it's ok to feel sad, to not be ok but it's much better to be those things surrounded by the ones we love rather than cut off from the world, unable to communicate our worries and fears. 

Despite a sad under current to the tale, I'm happy to report that with each chapter read I was made to feel ever so slightly more buoyant, reassured and by the end I was left smiling and satisfied. This is a book that was a true pleasure to read.

I'd describe Before I Saw You as beautifully heartbreaking. An impressive debut and I cannot wait to see what Emily writes next.

I really think you should join the rest of the blog tour check out the post below for where to go:

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before-i-saw-you-blog-tour


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