Monday 20 January 2014

Review: The State We're in by Adele Parks

What are the odds that the stranger sitting next to you on a plane is destined to change your life? Especially when they appear to be your opposite in every way.

She's a life-long optimist, looking for her soul mate in every man she meets; he's a resolute cynic - cruel experience has taught him never to put his faith in anyone.

People can surprise you. In the time it takes to fly from London to Chicago, each finds something in the other that they didn't even realise they needed.

Their pasts are such that they can never make one another happy and it's when they get off the plane, that their true journey begins...

Review: I will admit that I found this book a little difficult to get into at first, but when I did I literally couldn't stop. I actually ended up listening to this on audiobook. I knew that I liked the narrator of this particular audiobook, having listened to her on several other occasions reading some of my favourite books and I was intrigued by this title. I have a few Adele Parks sitting on my shelf, as yet unread, but this one seemed to draw me in more than the others. 

The story is told from multiple narratives. We have Jo, Dean, Eddie and Jo's mum. I found this a little confusing at first which was strange because I love a book from more than one point of view, but once I worked out who each character was and how they related to one another, I was away! This book had some serious funny moments when it was Dean or Jo's turn to narrate. The really great thing was that they sometimes went over an event that had already happened form both points of view and sometimes that change in view was used to move the story forwards. 

I loved the character of Jo, I thought she was so optimistic and became so outgoing and forward, whereas at the beginning of the book, she seemed a little self absorbed and introverted. She believes in love and I think that is admirable in this day and age. Dean, as well, has a character change ove the course of the book. He too is pretty self absorbed to begin with, and a little stuck p. once this exterior melts however, we see someone who is keen to do the right thing and is just as optimistic as Jo can be. The other two storylines kind of tie everything together and so I don't have any particularly strong feelings about these extra characters. 

The book is part set in London, part in Chicago which I found really interesting because there aren't too many books set here, and whilst it isn't my favourite place in the world, it was good being able to pinpoint landmarks the characters were going to. The main settings are a an and a hospital aside fom these cities and that leave plenty of room for all sorts of things to happen, which the do! The storyline was partly your typical storyline of boy meets girl but with all sorts of twists and turns along the way that will keep you guessing. Although I guessed how this book would end, it was by no means predictable and definitely didn't spoil it for me. 

Overall I really enjoyed this books and found myself makin excuses to listen to this, listening for four hours straight at one point! You will laugh, you may cry, but on the whole it is an extremely heart-warming tale that delivers a generous dose of optimism for today's cynical society that we live in. I will definitely be catching up on my other Adele Parks titles very soon! 

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