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4.3 out of 5 stars27
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VINE VOICEon 2 December 2011
At this time of year you only have to walk into a bookshop to see the abundance of Christmas books that are released during the build up to Christmas and so what first struck me about One Minute to Midnight is that this is a book about New Year. New Year is a time that tends to be overshadowed by the excitement for Christmas something that's also apparent in the book industry. And so reading a book about New Year and the new beginning's that come along with it was a very welcome breath of fresh air.

First things first I have to say don't be fooled by this book's beautiful- but undeniably girly- cover. This isn't your typical chick-lit read. One Minute to Midnight is a realistic, hard-hitting, tug on your heartstrings novel that covers topics such as domestic violence, grief and death and is about a group of less than perfect friends and their complex relationships with one another.

Our leading lady is Nicole and straight away I found her fascinating to read about. She's smart, feisty and is a woman with a past. There are a lot of skeletons in Nic's closet and secrets that not only is she keeping from her husband Dom but us readers too. The book alternates from the present build up to New Year to the New Year's Eve's of Nicole's past beginning in 1990 when Nicole is thirteen and spends her first New Year's Eve with Julian Symonds unbeknownst to them starting a tradition and friendship that will see them through many New Years to come. With the book being told on the same day each year One Minute to Midnight had a certain One Day feel about it which I loved especially as it gives you the feeling that you really know these characters that you've watched them grow up.

I found the characters in this book to be so well developed. Every one of them felt so real and even the secondary characters stood out. They've all made mistakes, some that have hurt each other, but no matter what they done I couldn't not like any of them because Amy Silver has this way of making you understand her characters and their actions. Their mistakes, regrets and secrets are slowly revealed as the book goes on. Ultimately this is a book about the characters finding new beginnings, forgiveness and redemption themes that tie in perfectly with New Year.

Amy Silver writes like a dream and has the ability to make you both laugh and cry. The prose is so organic with some truly heart felt moments particularly between Nicole and her father, and her husband Dom. One Minute to Midnight is definitely a book that touches your heart and I can certainly see myself pulling this off the shelf for re-reads in the future. One Minute to Midnight is such a wonderful book that is so much more than just chick-lit. Definitely add this to your Winter reading piles this year, this is my first of Amy Silver's novels and it definitely won't be my last!
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on 29 November 2011
I am beginning to think the run up to Christmas can not begin without an Amy Silver book. I really had forgotten how much I love a good chick lit book and I was definitely in need of this one. What I love most about Amy Silver's books is that the characters and situations they are in are believable and real. It isn't all marshmallows around the fire with this author, oh no, she writes a book that hits you hard and leaves you breathless and near to tears in certain parts. Her books are about real people with real problems.

This story unravels over the period between Boxing Day and New Years Day, with reflections on past New Years events throughout Nicole's life. The reflections are really revealing, allowing you to judge Nicole's state of mind on the present lead up to New Year.

From the first few pages, you are convinced that Nicole is keeping secrets from us, which are unravelled like Christmas presents as the story progresses. Even though she is keeping secrets, you find yourself staying right by her side, hoping that everything will work itself out for her, as you find out why she is really in the situation she is. All the characters were believable and I felt like I had stepped into a book where I knew everyone from the start. I was the absent friend who only supported them via email as I couldn't be there physically. I was desperate for each of them to find true happiness, even though they had aired their imperfections. I came away loving Aidan, Julian and Karl,wishing they were in my life for real. The characters stay with you long after you finish reading the book.

The ending took me by surprise as it wasn't the one I was convinced it would be. However, I was rather pleased with how the story turned out and I imagine in the same situation I would have made similar choices to Nicole.

I did have a little bit of a awe struck moment, when the story mentioned the Highline in New York, which has fascinated me ever since I found out about it. Highline is an elevated park that used to be a rail line, which runs all around New York. It is definitely something I intend to visit, should I ever get the pleasure of visiting New York. Here is a video for you to see how fabulous it is yourself - [...]

I truly loved this book and will be keeping it as one of my permanent collection. I envisage myself reading it again and again in the future, as I move into the festive season. If you haven't read a book yet by Amy Silver then I would definitely recommend this one or All I Want For Christmas as I have really loved them both. Get your journey to Christmas off to a good start with an Amy Silver novel.
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on 30 November 2011
Really enjoyed this book, I could not put it down.

It starts on Boxing day 2011 with Nicola and her husband Dom. We then go back to New Years Eve 1990. This is where the story really starts to take shape. Nicola and her family are having a house party where things take a turn for the worse. The story jumps back to 2011 and then back to a couple of years after 1990. This the whole time is build the story up to where Nicola is in her life now. She has fallen out with her best friend Alex, her marriage is not in a very good way with Dom, Aiden the love of her life wants her to go work for him and she has to deal with the fact that her father has cancer.

The way this book is written between the years works so well and you just want to know what is going to hapen next. Highly recommended book.
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on 12 February 2012
It wouldn't be Christmas without a new book released by Amy Silver but unlike her previous book this one revolves around New Year's Eve, past and present.

Starting with her parents New Year's Eve party in 1990 when Nicole was 13, where she's excited because her crush Julian and his parents were guests to the present day where it is apparent that life is not exactly rosy.

Throughout the years Nicole and Julian have come to be best friends and always make New Year's resolutions with each other but it's apparent from the present day resolutions that a lot of things have gone wrong since that first New Year's Eve party.

What happened to make her relationship strained with her husband Dom? Why has she fallen out with her best friend Alex from uni? What has happened to Julian? And what exactly did Julian's cousin Aidan do to break Nicole's heart? In the lead up from Boxing Day 2011 to her New Year's trip to New York with Dom, we find out excactly what has happened in the intervening years. Can bridges be rebuilt? You'll just have to read it and find out for yourself...

This book was one that I was looking forward to reading and on the whole it didn't disappoint although I was a little surprised at the ending. It's also thought provoking showing you that all actions we make will have an impact on someone, whether it's ourself or others around us.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 December 2012
I really liked this book, which uses New Year's Eve throughout Nicole's life as an anchoring device (much as the same day was used in One Day over a number of years). Since she was a teenager, Nicole's best friend has been Julian and they have always celebrated New Year's Eve together, often with Nicole's gorgeous friend Alex and Julian's cousin Adrian. While their stories unfold in alternate chapters, we also learn about Nicole's current situation: in a marriage that's having issues and faced with a career crisis. I got completely caught up in the story and I honestly didn't know until the ending how it would come together.

This is a lightweight chicklit story but the characters have more depth and the story is more intelligent than many others in the genre. There are times when I didn't agree with Nicole's choices but I still felt sympathetic towards her. I also liked the exotic locations that made occasional appearances: Capetown, New York, Paris. If you want an easy but engrossing read that will make you smile and make you cry, this is the one. It did remind me of One Day, and I think readers who liked that book will also like this one.
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on 30 December 2011
After all this year's Christmas-themed books, One Minute to Midnight, was just thing I needed to get me thinking about the New Year. This book is set between Boxing Day 2011 and New Year's Day 2012 interlinked by chapters focusing on previous New Year's Eves, starting with 1990. Amy Silver delivers well with the fabulously unique way of telling each characters backstory.

This isn't just any old chick lit; it covers an estranged father-daughter relationship, the fear of being stuck in a safe relationship and not knowing which the right direction to go in is, death and the closest of friendship bonds imaginable. Alongside this there is a vast array of wonderful characters who you'll adore.

When you turn the last page, you'll be satisfied, yet left wanting more. This book will make you think about the choices you've made and those you'll make in the New Year, and it might make you realise that the good guy can't always win.....!
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on 20 January 2012
One Minute to Midnight it Amy Silver's third book. It tells the story of Nicole and her various New Years.

I found the way the story evolved interesting, Every other chapter was set in 2011, while the rest detailed New Years from Nicole's past from when she was a teenager to now. This meant the story unravelled slowly leaving me plenty of opportunity to guess what had happened between the intervening years before finally finding out for sure.

I enjoyed the way the story was told and thought the characters were all well developed and interesting to read. There were a lot of different topics explored throughout the story which nakes this a slightly heavier read a lot of chick-lit books and perhaps the cover suggests, but it's written well and is enjoyable to read.
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on 6 January 2012
I have read all of Amy Silver's books and liked this the most.It is a story about following your heart and eventually trusting your instincts come what may. To me it was like a mid thirties crisis, where the past has to be confronted to enable life to move on. The main character Nicole has many issues from her past to come to terms with and the story shows how she eventually finds her way.

The main characters are very likeable. They are flawed which makes them more realistic and face trials and tribulations encountered in life. Nicole is married to Dom and she is unable to love him like he loves her. She is quite a deep character, who you know is not telling anyone the full story (including the reader). Julian who Nicole meets in her early teens and she loves him (as a friend). Julian is a constant throughout most of her life and they share their dreams (resolutions every New year)and look out for each other. Aidan is Julian's relative and on/off lover of Nicole (pre marriage)and cause of much of Nicole's soul searching. There are peripheral characters who all add to the story and conclusion including Nicole's father-who I despised, her mum and former friend Alex with whom Nicole has secret email conversations!!!

I enjoyed how the story switches between the past and present, because this enabled all the back story to be told and the reasons for Nicole's present day predicament. It is quite an intense read and the characters all deal with some heavy issues, but they are all realistic and dealt with well by the author. I was torn most of the way through the book wondering which way Nicole would choose to go and I was surprised by the ending, but pleasantly so. Well worth a read.
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on 19 January 2012
Loved it!!! One of the best books I've read in ages. Did find it a bit confusing as it jumps around from past to present but I would def recommend it for beach reading or when you are curled up at the weekend on the sofa type of book. I loved the characters and Amy Silver makes them come to life. I could empathise with the Nic totally and I loved the realtionship she had with Julian. Every girl needs a Julian in their life!! The ending leaves you crying out for more chapters!! Write a sequel please Amy!!!
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on 29 July 2012
I had previously read & enjoyed one of Amy Silver's books so thought I'd give this a go.

It was a brilliant read very cleverly written in parallel times of different years. From early on I was gripped and had to keep reading to find out what happened; In the end I couldn't put it down & ended up reading half the book in a day.

A really good book with a roller-coaster of emotions!

I thoroughly recommend it

One Minute to Midnight
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