Friday, 22 February 2013

Book review of 27: Six Friends, One Year by R J Heald

Happy Friday!
Yep, it's the end of the week again. It passed in a flash, didn't it?
Anyway, as promised, I have a fabulous book today for you to get your teeth into - 27: Six Friends, One Year by R J Heald.

Your 27th year is a turning point.
Kurt Cobain. Amy Winehouse. Janis Joplin.
They died at 27.

Six friends reunite in London. From the outside their lives are enviable; from the new father, to the rich entrepreneur to the carefree traveller. But underneath their facades they are starting to unravel. Dave is made redundant, Renee’s marriage is crumbling and Katie is forced to return home to her parents after six years abroad. In a world fuelled by social media and ravaged by recession, the friends must face up to the choices they must make to lead the lives they truly want to live.


R. J. Heald was a winner of the Next Big Author Competition in 2011 and short-listed for the Brit Writers Awards in 2010

"27" was a Quarter-Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in 2012

And here's what I thought of it.

A believable tale of a friends' reunion

I had seen this book tweeted about on Twitter for a few months and was so intrigued by it, I eventually asked the author if I could read it and review it. I was provided with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

27: Six Friends - One Year is the type of novel I would like to have written myself. If you liked One Day by David Nicholls, you will enjoy this.
We are taken through their initial meeting up again and shown how each character has progressed since leaving university. But don't be fooled. Life is never as simple as that. Those who appear successful may have other demons to contend with; those without courage find a deep-seated resolve when they most require it. What is clear is that the waters are muddied. Spanners are thrown in the proverbial works and the relationships between the friends become increasingly strained in some cases. Pedestals are there to be dismantled. Pretending to your friends in order not to lose face, is also a theme explored in the book, as well as hiding true feelings. I engaged with each of the characters and in particular applauded one who had a lot of guts in the end. Dave, though likeable, I found weak, although he went back up slightly in my estimation towards the end.
Although each character is 27, readers of any age would be able to relate to this (I'm 40 and left university a long time ago!) It reminded me slightly of when I met up with a group of friends 15 years after leaving university and we had to fill each other in on our lives - the good, the bad and the ugly.
I hadn't really envisaged a tragedy which occurred and thought it a better book for it. This is a novel full of dilemmas, which could happen to any of us and our friends. Very real, very believable and very refreshing. I will look out for more by this writer.

So there you go! For the record, I rated this 5 stars.

You can buy the book on Amazon:- (UK) & (US)
and it's also available in paperback -

Have a great weekend everyone and I'll see what I can conjure up for next week. Sooz
PS just for your info, authors soon to be featured on the blog include Nicky Wells and Alice Peterson! Yay!


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