Friday, 11 October 2013

Book review - What It Takes by Terry Tyler

Hello everyone
hope you're all looking forward to the weekend. As you probably know, I've read all of Terry Tyler's books and loved all of them, so was keen to read the new one ASAP.
So without further ado, feast your eyes!

A tale of three sisters...

Karen Kavanagh has spent her life feeling like the runt of the family.

Her two elder sisters, domestic goddess Ava and salon owner Saskia, are mini versions of their mother, a gorgeous Danish beauty. Karen has inherited her father's droopy, dull brown hair and long nose - pitted against two Scandinavian sauna babes, she feels like Cinderella in reverse.

Danny Alvarez doesn’t see her like that. He thinks she’s wonderful.
Lots of women want Danny, but Danny just wants Karen.
He pursues her with the devotion of a stalker - but she pushes him away. Then she realises what she’s done…

Set in Norfolk, Terry Tyler's sixth novel, "What It Takes", is a story of insecurity, jealousy, sibling rivalry, love and loss, and the games people play in the search for love - because if you love someone with all your heart you’ll do what it takes to make them yours…

As a fan of Terry Tyler's books generally, I was looking forward to this newest offering. For those, who like myself, have read all of her books, What It Takes harks back in style to Nobody's Fault (my personal favourite) and You Wish (which just won some award recently). Stalking is once again revisited although in a completely different way. I enjoyed the depiction of several of the characters, including Lois, who I could totally see on her council estate, rigging the benefits system with aplomb. The names given to her children and grandchildren made me giggle, too, as they are the kind of names expected of mothers who get pregnant at 15. Lois and her clan were exactly what you'd expect from that sector of society. What was rather more unusual was Danny's part in their lives. The novel is told partly by the narrator and partly in the first person by several of the principal characters. Apart from Danny, a sweetheart, we have the three sisters; Ava, Saskia and Karen. One sister feels overshadowed by the others and always has done - a modern day Cinderella in reverse. If she only had a chip on her shoulder, it would make the others' lives much easier, but she's not that straightforward, and a drama queen, as well as being more than a tad unreasonable.
Karen's best friend, Sam, seems too good to be true, but everyone needs a Sam.
Overall, I found that What It Takes was more descriptive than some of the previous novels and I felt that this was particularly well done - showing a maturity in the author's writing. It was also clear that the author knew Cromer and the surrounding area very well and managed to paint a good picture of a part of the country I've never visited, but could now easily imagine.
Terry Tyler's books always feature red herrings, twists and turns and What It Takes is no different. I did guess some of the twists, but I reckon that's because my mind is now thinking along the same lines as the author's! That said, there were still several twists that I didn't get and the extent of some of them was surprising
A big 4 out of 5 from me.

You can catch up with Terry on Twitter @terrytyler4
What It Takes can be bought via Amazon - UK
US and .com -
Her blog -

Baby permitting, I might manage another blog post for Monday - bookshelves is the theme!


  1. I loved this book too - it's definitely my favourite of Terry's. I thought the use of different viewpoints to narrate the story and build up the tension was particularly well done, and I was still thinking about the characters long after I'd finished the book. Terry's in a league of her own with books like this - another pleaser!

  2. Actually, that was meant to say 'another please!' but pleaser works just as well ;)