What's it about?
There's only so much sex, valium and red wine you can take to paper over the cracks...
Alice Lydia Jameson is the friend you wish you had. The girl who makes a party more fun, pulls a funny face to make you feel better, drinks wine out of a mug and makes you laugh while you're crying over an ex. Alice is totally happy, everything is amazing, and there is nothing at all to worry about... except, well: Her job was really great 10 years ago; The sexiest guy alive doesn't want her...because he's gay; Her credit card bills are mounting up... But maybe the biggest problem for Alice is that she has a secret. A secret so big she can't tell anyone...but how do you keep a secret like that when everything is starting to fall apart? And once it's out there, how do you ever begin to put yourself back together again?
I was immediately pulled into this book and into Alice's world, the chapters alternate between Alice in the present and Alice when she was younger, both leading up to what her secret was and I was gripped waiting to find out what it was, I stayed up late into the night because I just couldn't put the book down. I cried numerous times, so much so I even had to put the book down to compose myself (and rave to my friends!) for a few minutes, that's not something that happens to me often.
I loved the character of Alice, she's far from perfect, she has her issues and it was really interesting watching her figuring them out, both alone and with the help of a pschologist. The pschological aspect was also really ineteresting.
I could also relate to Alice as a fellow sufferer of anxiety so I admit, sometimes I was crying as much for myself as I was for her.
There were some shocks to the book I couldn't have guessed would happen and I really couldn't didn't know what would be revealed next.
This is a heartbreaking tear jerker that I'd recommend to anyone looking for soemthing to think about.
My thoughts on the cover
This is a really pretty cover, I really like the bracelet with the musical note on and the piano and the symbolism of the girl doing her dress up, it really fits into the title.
-I am a complete armchair psychologist – I LOVE anything from Oprah to Dr Phil, Dr Drew, Hoarders, I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant etc. and I read an awful lot of Albert Ellis.I must admit, I cried my eyes out during some particular scenes just reading the book, was it hard for you as the author to put your character through that?
-It was – I find writing dark parts hard and I come back to them over and over to layer in the emotion, and for this book, as I did that, it becomes darker and darker. At one particular scene ( I don’t want to give spoilers) I wrote it and it was flat and so I went over it again and again – till I thought I’d gone too far, but my friend read it and cried (she’s my crash test dummy). I cry all the time when I’m writing (and laugh).Alice becomes very depressed at a point in the book and during she also has, not that she'd admit it, anxiety attacks, did you draw from some personal experience for these sides of her personality?
-I don’t think Alice was depressed – she did have an emotional collapse, but even that only lasted for a couple of days. She was a very anxious person and I am the Anxiety Queen. As above I use a lot of Albert Ellis but I do it in reverse for my characters and I try to take them to the most horrible place.Alice doesn't just love music, it's a part of her, are you also a big fan of music?
-I love music, but am not musical like Alice. I do love to have songs that, for me, belong to the character and I spend a lot of time working out the songs that apply best to them and the story and I sometimes play them while I write.And lastly, are you a Bookaholic.
-Absolutely. I don’t even want to imagine a world without books.