Title: My Map of You
Author: Isabelle Broom
Date: April 21st, 2016
Source: from Publisher for a review
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Holly Wright has had a difficult few years. After her mother’s death, she’s become expert at keeping people at a distance – including her boyfriend, Rupert.
But when Holly receives an unexpected letter explaining that an aunt she never met has left her a house on the Greek island of Zakynthos, the walls she has built begin to crumble. Arriving on the island, Holly meets the handsome Aidan and slowly begins to uncover the truth about the secret which tore her family apart.
But is the island where Holly really belongs? Or will her real life catch up with her first?
It has been weeks since I first finished reading this book, and days sicne I finished it for the second time and still, I am trying to pull myself together and write the review that will make you see how much I love and appreciate this story.
I don’t have the recipe for the perfect novel (if I did, I’d become a best-selling novelist myself, or any kind of novelist in that matter), but I do know what kind of ingredients I like in my books.
And guess what?
This book has all of them.
I will try not to go into too many details because I don’t won’t for this review to have a lenght of a novella, but I will try to explain what I liked in the best way that I know.
Fist, and the best part of this book is the writer’s ability to describe the place in such a beautiful way.
Her writing style amazed me and the way she used words to express the beauty of Greece, landscape and all those little things that we see in our every-day life, was like she had the ability to transport us there, on those pages, or at least she awoked the desire of a reader to be there, in that story, and see the beauty for himself.
When Holly and Aiden were on the boat, looking at the stars, I wanted to be there with them, and see those stars with my own eyes, because I don’t believe the stars were ever that beautiful as they were in that moment.
Second, Broom described the chemistry between the two characters in very realistic and yet very passionate way. The tension was almost touchable and those swoon-worthy scenes were, in some way, compelling.
Third, the characters were gray. And when I say, I mean they are as gray as they can be. They have many flaws, they make mistakes that they are aware of, they do feel guilty, they do get lost, but they also have dozens of good qualities and everything boiled together in one pot make them realistic.
In one particular scene, our main character finds herself judging and deprecating the other character, but then it hits her she did even worse thing and the guilt washes over her and stops her from saying anything.
That is just one scene, but the book is full of similar situations that show us the nature of characters.
Also (really not key attribute but to me, personally, pretty important) Aiden, one of the main characters and love interest in some way, has ginger hair, which is so rare in books I read that I welcomed that little component whole-heartedly.
I feel like women’s fiction genre is full of dark macho men and every „diversity“ in that aspect I salute!
There’s one more thing I have to stress out: My Map of You is full od secondary characters that I couldn’t help but fall in love with (her boyfriend Rupert especially).
Fourth (and now we come to the hardest part of expressing my feelings), this book covers some really important issues, and one in particular that coused all the emotions to arouse and come over me.
I am not sure how much can I tell without spoiling the story, so I will say that this story doesn’t follow only our main character, but also her deceased mother who’s story we learn, in some parts from Holly herself, and in some parts together with Holly.
Fifth, the way the story is written is amusing. In third person focussing on Holly’s POV, we follow chronological approach with with the glimpse of past, but we also get to read letters that were written by Holly’s mother, aimed for Holly’s aunt.
Overall, My Map of You is the best book I have read this year and I know I will be coming back to it many times in my life.
It is a realistic story presented in a beautiful way.
This book is an example of how a great novel should be done and, in my opinion, it wouldn’t hurt for aspiring authors to check it out.
Stephen King once said that every good (or maybe great) book demands to be read twice: first time to satisfy your curiousity and to enjoy the story, and the second time to analyse everything and see what you missed the first time you read it.
Now, after finishing this book for the second time, I can give it nothing but pure five stars rating because it deserves all the stars (any when I say stars, I refer to those beautiful stars Holly and Aiden were looking at).