Saturday, 7 September 2013

A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler

A Year Without AutumnJenni Green's family holiday has finally arrived! Even though she has to deal with her annoying little brother, her slightly overbearing dad, and her pregnant mum, she gets to spend a week with her best friend, Autumn. But twelve-year-old Jenni's world turns upside down when she takes an old lift to visit Autumn and discovers that everything has changed: not only is her friend in a different apartment, but tragedy has struck Autumn's family, Jenni's mother has had her baby, and everyone is a year older. When Jenni realises that the lift caused her to skip a whole year, she tries to go back, but soon finds that fixing things won't be as easy as pressing a button.

This is the first Liz Kessler book that I've read because The Emily Windsnap Series never really appealed to me. And after reading this, I developed... some mixed opinions on this book and I think I need to explain why. A Year Without Autumn clearly stands out on the shelves of a bookshop. The cover is beautiful, the name is intriguing and filled me with curiosity, and after reading the blurb, I really wanted to read on to find out what "tragedy" has taken place. Jenni's character was particularly well wrote (if that makes any sense) and as this story was told from the eyes of her it was intended that you warm to her. You feel sorry for her as she has literally had her entire world turned upside down simply by not taking the stairs. Although she can see it and works out what is going on, nobody else does because for them life is happening and nothing has changed, because there wasn't anyone in the lift with her. 

One character that I was really disappointed with was Autumn. You gather from the first chapter or so that she is anything but the way she turns out to be and this is just my opinion but I found her arrogant, hotheaded and self centered. This was merely just at the beginning though, and as the story jumped back and forward in time, those parts of her personality only increased. Many of the characters, even the characters that you were supposed to like were rather dislikable and maybe it is just Kessler's writing style, but I really didn't like that part of it.

I read this book a year ago and although I can't remember how it ended, I know I wasn't satisfied with what the final result and thought it could have been a whole lot better if Kessler had explained the slightest things that were key to the story much more clearly. The book needed to be longer in order to get more detail into the parts that were crucial to the story but were shifted to the bottom of the pile almost and yet the parts that weren't as important needed to be shortened as those sections made the story drag. The plot was good, but it seemed in dire need of editing once again.
Holly x

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