Dec 19, 2010

Review: Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon

Title: Pictures of Lily
Author: Paige Toon
Publication Year: 2010
Genre: Chick lit

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.

My two cents: Chick lit is not really my cup of tea. If I be honest, this is the first time I ever finished a chick lit novel. People say not to judge a book by its cover but I picked up this book initially because I was attracted to its cover. It is just so beautiful I couldn't bring myself to put it down. I was delighted when I read the synopsis. I've always liked stories where the main characters are not supposed to love someone but they do anyway.

I've never read any of Paige Toon's previous writings, so I don't really know about her usual style. But this book is divided into two parts. For the first half of the book, it is about 16-year-old Lily who just arrived from London, England in Adelaide, Australia with her mom. There, staying with the man her mum met on the Internet, Michael and his son, Josh, she ended up accompanying Michael to the conservation park where he worked. It was at this conservation she first met Ben, who was 12 years older. As soon as Ben was introduced, I knew that he was the one Lily referred to in the prologue. Right after Ben left, the story moves to 10 years later where 26-year-old Lily was now living in Sydney and had a boyfriend of two years, Richard. Soon after Richard proposed to marry her, she was reunited with Ben who was now working in Sydney Zoo.

Lily's emotions are well described and though I never fell for an older guy when I was 16, I could totally feel the pain Lily had to go through and it was easy to understand why she was still hooked on Ben. If I have to be honest, I cannot help but feel that the second half of the book is quite rushed. I didn't get enough time to form my opinion on Richard before Ben was brought back into the picture. Surprisingly, I find Richard to be likable. But, I can't connect with him as much as I do with Ben. But then again, maybe this is purposely done.

The story follows not only the main character's life in two different cities but it also provides the readers with vivid description of the settings. The beauty of Adelaide is well described and I couldn't help but wish to be on the ferry Lily took everyday to commute in Sydney.

All in all, a pretty good read. An easy one too. It isn't hard to get into the story just as soon as the novel starts. I'm glad my first chick lit read was a pleasant one. The story is just as beautiful as the cover.

My verdict: 3.5/5

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