Thursday 18 November 2021

Review: Walking on Sunshine by Giovanna Fletcher

After Mike loses Pia, his partner of seventeen years, their best friends Vicky and Zaza try to help pick up the pieces.

But though Pia's gone, she left a plan. A list of loving instructions to help Mike and her friends come to terms with their loss.

And they're each going to need it . . .

Just-engaged Zaza fears committing any further.
Exhausted mother and wife Vicky has lost sight of herself.
While Mike just feels all the colour has gone from his life.

When the list sends them trekking to Peru, where high mountains and sweltering rainforests push them to the brink, all they have to guide them is their faith in Pia and in themselves.

But will they learn that anything is possible when you're walking on sunshine?

Review: I really loved the idea behind this one, the premise of three friends going off on an exciting adventure together is definitely something that draws me to a book and I loved the trip when our three friends finally got there, however I just felt like it took so long to get there that we didn't have a great deal of time to explored grow and learn with them. I did enjoy getting to know Vicky, Zaza and Mike but I felt like I got to know their home lives and personal lives more when they were at home as opposed to together on their trips. 

Mike is a great character and I really liked that we had a male protagonist in a romcom. We get chapters from each of their perspectives and Mike's chapters were great to read, being a bit of a break from the norm of only getting to hear the female's perspective in this kind of book. Zaza is a complex character, she has lived her life a certain way up until this point and is having trouble changing that. At points I did find her difficult to like but I did understand her motivations behind her actions and behind her selfishness occasionally. 

I feel like I got to know Vicky the best and really feel like we got most insight into her life pre and post babies as well as pre and post friend Pia. Her part of the audiobook is narrated by the author and so perhaps that's why I felt like I got to know her the best, because she was narrated the exact way she was written but I just think she is the most well-rounded of the three characters that we hear narration from. 

The audiobook as a whole wasn't the best I've listened to. Vicky's chapters and Mike's chapters were a lot quieter than Zaza's chapters and so I had to keep adjusting my volume as I was listening which isn't ideal when you're in Friday afternoon rush hour traffic on the M1! I did love that Vicky's chapters were narrated by the author though, I think that this was a great choice and really brought the book to life. I also like that we had three different narrators for the characters, that's always helpful when an audiobook features multiple narratives!

Once we got to Peru I feel like our journey was quite truncated and the characters didn't get the chance to grow like they could have. I loved the reasons behind their need for growth. Despite the fact that loosing a friend/partner is a sad way to begin a story, I thought it made for a great jumping off point for our three characters and I like their motivation for change throughout the book. Overall this was definitely a mixed bag for me and I don't think it was just the audiobook narration that let it down but the pacing overall that just fell short. It was a great premise and Vicky was a wonderful character but you'll have to decide for yourself whether you want to read it or not. 

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