If Only by Melanie Murphy

This book is still available for request as of 2/6/2019

This is not the kind of book you’d expect when you see the cover. It is a little more brutal than that. I would not say that is the reason it was not the book for me, because it was the main reason I liked it at all. It does not go the way you expect it to.

Erin is stuck in a rut. She hates her daily life, the choices she has made and is being bolstered emotionally by her best friend and financially by her father. Now all of this, as well as her attitude does not endear herself to the reader. She is meant to be a conflicting protagonist who learns her lesson through a magical gift. I liked every instance of the ‘If Only’s and the lessons she learns( the explanations of which are a crucial part of the book). I had a problem with some of the repetitive instances which bothered me and I am not used to disliking the main character as much as I did. The highlight of the story is the friendship and the ruminations regarding it but a couple of things I thought should have been left the way they were initially only because that would have strengthened the author’s narrative.

The language took some getting used to but was an interesting addition since I have read very few Irish based tales(in comparison to certain other parts of the world), and although I was not comfortable with the tone of a lot of the conversations, I understand its place in the narrative. I recommend this book to those who are looking for a ‘different’ take on the contemplation of how the choices we make changes our daily life and/or the people we are.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.

Link to purchase: Book Depository (Affiliate link)



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