Saturday, September 3, 2011

Skipping A Beat: A Review

Sarah Pekkanen - Skipping A Beat

When Was It Released?: 4th August 2011
Where Did I Get It From?: Bought it
Who Published It?:  Washington Square Press 

Do you believe that “Project Runway, chocolate and margaritas. And suddenly all is right with the world”? Well I know those sure help and that’s exactly the mantra that Julia and Isabelle follow in Skipping A Beat. That and Breyer’s chocolate ice cream can help ease all problems. In my opinion great words of advice and one of the lighter sides of Sarah Pekkanen’s most recent novel Skipping A Beat. On a more serious note, Sarah Pekkanen asks the not so simple question, what would you do if your husband told you he wanted to give all his money away to charity after dieing for four minutes?

Julia and Michael met in high school, fell in love and now live in a multi million dollar in Washington. Life has not always been so easy for them, however, as they have both had difficult childhoods. With Julia’s father a compulsive gambler and Michael’s mother abandoning him when he was younger. Now from the outset their lives look perfecr. Julia is a successful event planner while Micheal has launched a multi million dollar company. One day their lives change, when Michael stands up during a company meeting and crashes to the floor. Michael died for four minutes before he was revived, yet what happened during those minutes changes him forever. Michael decides that he now wants to give all the money he has to charity. Julia has no claim on the money after signing a pre nuptial agreement before they married. Should she now walk away from the man she once loved but who has turned into a stranger? Or should she go along with her husbands plans and his promise of a poorer but happier life?

I have been hearing so many great things about Skipping A Beat ever since it was released and thought it was about time I got my hands on a copy to find out exactly why everyone was raving about this novel. Let me tell you it defiantly lived up to the hype surrounding it. I fell in love with Skipping A Beat and devoured it in just over a day (fast work for myself). I enjoyed the way the past and the present are weaved together to tell the whole story without forgetting what is happening at the time. I also enjoyed the refreshingly original storyline. There are so many novels which focus around millionaires but they never seem to look at what happens if they were to no longer have the luxuries and life that come with the money. The story made me question many times what I would have done in Julia’s position and what is more important in life, love or money? With this unique storyline came a character in Julia, who you instantly cared about from the beginning of the story right through until long after you have finished the novel. I found it very easy to connect with Julia’s character feeling her emotions along with her. With Julia and Michaels life starting off with them struggling I think many people will be able to relate to this, granted not many of us turn into millionaires but you will still be able to connect with Julia throughout her life, as her character is portrayed as so real. Along with the character of Julia I also fell in love with her supporting cast, especially Isabelle. Isabelle was very relatable also, and even though she is a woman who has been wealthy her whole life she has had troubles in her past, which mean that she appears more real. I particularly enjoyed the many elements of Isabelle and Julia’s friendship which are present in most of out relationships with our closest friends. I also enjoyed the way in which Sarah Pekkanen used the reference to open when talking about Julia’s feelings, this gave deeper understanding to Julia’s emotions and her character as a whole.

The only criticism I have would be that throughout the story I felt that the characters of Julia and Michael were much older than their age. They were written as if they were in their forties or fifties at times, which would have been fine except for we are told that they are in their thirties.

I thoroughly enjoyed Skipping A Beat and would recommend this to just about anyone. I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster throughout the novel, taken on ups and downs with moments of humour and moments of pain. I found myself crying at the end of this novel, which is very rare for me, which goes to show just how much this novel gripped me. Have some tissues ready your going to need them!

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