Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon
** WHAT IT’S ABOUT? **
'Will you marry me?'
I think of you, then. I think of you every day. But usually in the quietest part of the morning, or the darkest part of the night. Not when my boyfriend of two years has just proposed. I look up at Richard with his hopeful eyes.
'Lily?' he prompts.
It's been ten years, but it feels like only yesterday that you left. How can I say yes to Richard with all my heart when most of it has always belonged to you? I take a deep breath and will myself to speak...
Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn't have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can't forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart - and the heart of at least one of the men who love her.
** WHAT I THOUGHT **
I have just finished this book and I am sat here with tears streaming down my face! I am a HUGE die-hard romantic and so this was the perfect book for me!
I’ve previously read Paige Toon’s ‘Chasing Daisy’ and so had high expectations for this book. Having read the back of the book, I was already hooked – the combination of that with Paige Toon’s name to it was all I needed to know to know this was going to a brilliant chick lit book that would keep me page turning for hours. Did it disappoint? The answer is a resounding NO!
The first 12 chapters are set 10 years ago when Lily first moves to Australia at the age of fifteen. Ever since a small child my favourite animal has been the Koala (and in fact my first ever stuffed animal was a Koala who still sits on my bed today!), and so I adored the first part of the book just for the heart-warming descriptions Lily gives of the Koalas and Kangaroos. These early years also deal with Lily learning to drive (something we can all relate to) and Paige captures perfectly the typical first crush. For me the line “I know I’ll relive this moment over and over again” is one that rings true from my own life.
As I read the book I could literally feel her heartbreak – I think that partly comes from being such a sucker for romance but also from the way it is written; every detail is perfect. All in all, these beginning chapters totally and utterly capture falling in love and heartbreak.
The remaining chapters of the book are based on her life 10 years on. Her heart has not forgotten her first love, and this is affecting her new life as she has never been able to give herself fully to anything else again. The part of the book where she is thinking about life without her boyfriend are extremely well written. From personal experience, Paige perfectly captures the pain that you feel about losing someone you love but just don’t love with all your heart. Yes, the book is predictable but this doesn’t take anything away from it and I constantly had to refrain myself from checking the last page as I was afraid there would be a twist resulting in an ending different from the one I wanted.
If you’re a helpless romantic, this book is perfect. It kept my heart racing as I lived Lily’s life with her!