Review: 'The Birthday That Changed Everything' by Debbie Johnson (2016)
She wanted a birthday surprise, just not the one she got…
The last thing Sally Summers expected from her husband on her special day was that he’d leave her for a Latvian lap dancer half her age. So with her world in tatters, Sally jets off to Turkey for some sun, sea and sanctuary.
The Blue Bay resort brings new friends and the perfect balm for Sally’s broken heart in gorgeous Dubliner James. He’s just the birthday present she needs. And when the chemistry between them continues to spark as the holiday ends, Sally wonders if this is more than just a summer fling.
But James has scars of his own and Sally isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage. This birthday might have changed everything, but what will the next one bring?
I think Debbie Johnson's 'The Birthday That Changed Everything', which will be released on January 28th, is one of the January 2016 book releases I have been most excited about. While the gorgeous cover and great title are already enough reasons for me to want to pick up this novel, I have developed quite a love for author Debbie Johnson over the past year or so and have been eagerly waiting for her next release. Last year I read 'Pippa's Cornish Dream' (click here to read my review) and 'Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper' (click here to read my review), which were both great reads, and I'm so excited to finally have a full-length novel by Debbie to get stuck in. I have to admit I had quite high hopes when I started this novel, but luckily the book even managed to exceed my expectations!
Sally Summers is about to celebrate her 40th birthday and if there's one thing she didn't expect to receive as a present, it's an e-mail from her husband Simon saying he's leaving her for a much younger Latvian lap-dancer. Instead of trying to come to terms with what is happening, Sally decides to book a two-week holiday to simply get away from it all for a bit. Together with her kids, lovely Ollie and foul-mouthed teenager Lucy, Sally is determined to have a good time at the Blue Bay Resort in Turkey. Luckily, they are soon taken in by a group of families who have been coming to the resort for years. sally can't deny the sparks between her and handsome single dad James, but is she ready for a holiday fling or perhaps even more, or is it too soon...?
It seems like author Debbie Johnson has been treating us to very entertaining novella's over the past two years, waiting to completely blow us away with her first full-length novel, and that's exactly what she has done with 'The Birthday That Changed Everything.' This book truly is a fabulous chick lit read and one that I am adding to my list of personal favourites straight away. Main character Sally has been left by her husband for a much younger woman and she decides she needs a holiday with her kids to forget about it all. A basic chick lit storyline which Debbie Johnson has managed to make her own with a brilliant collection of characters, a lovely setting and an incredibly fun and comfortable writing style. The first page of the book already made me laugh out loud and that didn't stop as I continued reading. I personally really love Debbie's writing style and can't get enough of it; I was quite sad when I had come to the end of the novel, and I already can't wait to pick up her next book.
As mentioned before, the book has a fantastic group of memorable characters at its core. Sally is a warm protagonist that's easy to love, just like her lovely son Ollie. Her foul-mouthed daughter Lucy takes a bit of time to get used to, but I have to admit her rude words cracked me up more than once. The group of people Sally meets in the resort all had their own individual stories to tell and really brought something else to the table, which was great. There are a few time jumps in the book which really gave the story that much more, and the setting made me feel just that bit warmer during these cold January days. Overall, 'The Birthday That Changed Everything' is a simply stunning, fun, and memorable romantic comedy that left me wanting more; I've got nothing but love for this novel and its amazing author!