The Best Thing I Never Had by Erin Lawless

February 26, 2014 Book Reviews 11 ★★★★

The Best Thing I Never Had by Erin LawlessThe Best Thing I Never Had by Erin Lawless
Published by Harper Impulse on Dec 5th 2013
Format: eArc
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads

If you’re a fan of Mhairi McFarlane’s You Had Me at Hello or David Nicholls’ One Day, then you will love our new acquisition from contemporary romance author Erin Lawless!

Miles and Nicky are getting married. Unfortunately, their wedding party is a tangle of ex-housemates, ex-friends and ex-lovers. So this wedding isn’t just a wedding, it’s a reunion. Can anything be salvaged from the past? And what really happened between them all, back at university?

Find out in this wonderful contemporary romance.

This is meant as the highest of compliments when I say this…THIS BOOK DROVE ME INSANE! Oh my gawd, the emotions, the angst, the irritation! It was freaking awesome! I love a book that has such fab character development and puts you right there in the scene and you feel every moment of the journey! THE BEST THING I NEVER HAD put me right back there, right back to those undergrad days when the politics and power struggles of my group seemed like the biggest drama ever and that fear of putting a foot wrong in case the self-appointed queen bee voted you off the island.

The Best Thing I Never Had follows a group of friends through their college years and beyond. Nicky and Miles, the couple who’ve survived Uni are now in their late twenties and getting married. Harriet, Adam, Leigha, Johnny and Sukie are about to be reunited for the first time in years since the over-exaggerated flirtation between Adam and Leigha petered out and Adam and Harriet find their friendship takes a turn towards love. Keeping it a secret that eventually is spilled, Harriet finds herself frozen out as Leigha gathers her troops of Johnny and Sukie and feeling vulnerable pushes Adam away when she needs him most. Now as they all come together and slap smiles on their faces, can this group of frenemies find their way back to being friends?

The book starts in 2012 then flashbacks to 2006 before ending up 2012 again. I loved the dynamics between the characters and how their relationships with each other developed. At its core, this book’s strength is definitely its examination of female friendship and the fragility of connections when communication is pushed to one side. My favourite character was Harriet, I was rooting for her to stand up for herself and let her happiness come first. It was frustrating to watch how she bowed to the pressure of Leigha and her demands but it proved to me that people behave the way they are allowed to behave and Leigha was never challenged. Leigha was hateful but I couldn’t hate her, I recognised a lot of Leigha in a friend I had to let go. She behaved in a similar way and because I never stood up to her our friendship is lost. I can’t say it’s a bad thing because I couldn’t remain in that situation but I wonder if we had both been honest with our feelings would things be different.

This book was packed with so much emotion and was so realistic and true to student life whether you were the wild party girl or the library mouse, you will recognise the characters and experiences with such vividness it will take you back to that unique time of your life and if you’re going through it, perhaps give you the courage to make the changes and tackle those hard conversations before it’s too late. This book drew me in and despite being wary about the multiple POV’s I quickly got a handle on each character and found each of their stories and reasons for their behaviour compelling.

Full of emotion, fresh and funny writing and a cast of believable and oh so recognisable characters, THE BEST THING I NEVER HAD was absorbing, wonderful and an utter pleasure to read.

Danielle

11 Responses to “The Best Thing I Never Had by Erin Lawless”

    • Danielle

      It was so much fun but packed a lot of emotion into it. I was surprised because I thought it would be light chick lit but it was so cool!

    • Danielle

      Lol it’s a fun trip down memory lane for sure, even more so because you realise you don’t have to stay there! 😉

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