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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adele's done it again!
I bought this book last Saturday at a book signing in my local library - well, I live in Dartmouth so I had to, didn't I?? I had the pleasure of meeting Adele, and as well as being a great author I can confirm that she is lovely! So friendly, natural and approachable. Anyway, I read 'Whatever it Takes' in four days and was riveted. I really enjoyed it - and having it set...
Published on 28 Jun 2012 by V Depledge

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm
The premise of the book sounded promising, unfortunately the characters in this book totally let the story down. Eloise is down right irritating with her perfect ways, plus her complete niavety; if I had a 'friend' like Sara she would have been history long before certain events occured.......... As for the 'twist' I guessed this half way through! I find it very hard to...
Published 15 months ago by JoJo


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adele's done it again!, 28 Jun 2012
By 
V Depledge "bookaholic" (Dartmouth) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Whatever It Takes (Paperback)
I bought this book last Saturday at a book signing in my local library - well, I live in Dartmouth so I had to, didn't I?? I had the pleasure of meeting Adele, and as well as being a great author I can confirm that she is lovely! So friendly, natural and approachable. Anyway, I read 'Whatever it Takes' in four days and was riveted. I really enjoyed it - and having it set in Dartmouth was an added bonus. Poor, kind-hearted Eloise - I really felt for her having a 'friend' like Sara. The ending was such a surprise - must confess I didn't see that one coming..! I really feel like I know all the Hamiltons quite well by now, and I rather miss them... As always, whenever I finish a good book I feel like I have lost a friend, so I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Adele's books which I haven't yet read. Bring it on...
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book not to be missed - buy it now!!, 15 July 2012
By 
S. Osborne "Susi Osborne" (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Whatever It Takes (Paperback)
I was actually lucky enough to meet Adele when she came to Northwich LitFest at the start of her tour for this book, so I was thrilled to be able to buy my copy on the very day of its release, which makes it even more special to me. I love books which deal with gritty situations in everyday life, and Whatever It Takes does exactly that, although I have to admit, I felt a tiny bit apprehensive when it came to reading about Margaret having Alzheimer's, having personally had the experience of caring for someone with the disease. However, I need not have been concerned, Adele wrote about the subject with great sensitivity and understanding and Margaret quickly became one of my favourite characters. I was especially glued to the section where she was with Poppy - it was about 2am, long past my bedtime, and I could not put the book down!
Adele really knows how to get inside her characters and paint a picture of them in the mind's eye of the reader. Sara's desperation to have a baby, Mark's unexpected problems to be faced, Margaret's Alzheimer's...and Eloise, striving so hard in the past to create perfection in all things, now having to work doubly hard simply to hold everything together. The characters really do arouse strong feelings in the reader, particularly Sara, for whom I started off feeling great sympathy...although, I have to say, it didn't last to the end of the book!
I really love the descriptions too - little phrases that catch my eye and make me want to go back and read them again. For instance, at the farewell party Sara looks enviously at Eloise as she 'darted around like a small fairy sprinkling magic dust on everyone she met', and 'people clustered around Eloise as though she carried an invisible, enchanted umbrella that might protect them from the big bad world.'
Okay, running out of space...fantastic book from a fantastic lady...buy it now!!!!!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this... Whatever It Takes!, 27 Jun 2012
By 
Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe" (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Whatever It Takes (Paperback)
Eloise and her family decide to make a big move from London, the city that Eloise lives and breathes every single day, to Dartmouth, where her husband grew up and where he desperately wants to be. She's nervous about the move, but knows it is the right thing for her family. It does mean leaving behind her best friend Sara who is going through some tough times personally, but Eloise has to do what is right for her. When the Hamilton's arrive in Dartmouth, Eloise and Mark are shocked to find out that his mother isn't as well as they had thought, and suddenly their lives are turned upside-down. Eloise begins to buckle under the responsibility of looking after everyone, but will she be able to help her family, Sara and Margaret to keep things going - whatever it takes?

I have to say I really did enjoy this book. I enjoyed how it started in London, showing Eloise at her most comfortable and happiest, and then moving throughout her first year in Dartmouth and showing how she starts to settle in and get used to a much quieter pace of life. I loved the way Parks wrote about Dartmouth, it sounds absolutely idyllic and beautiful, and I can see why even a city-lover like Eloise grows to love the place. Parks writes the beautiful views, lovely town and the people with such realism and warmth, it's easy to imagine it in your mind as you are reading. The characters too are all written fantastically, there aren't too many of them in the book but this allows the reader to get to know them well enough and really feel sorry for each of their individual plights. The book is divided into months as well, so we can easily follow the journey of these characters and see their growth and/or decline which makes it works so well.

Eloise is a bit of a people-pleaser shall we say, always eager to help out and do the best for people, even if it isn't necessarily in her best interests to do so. I found her a tad annoying at times, that she couldn't stand up to her old friend Sara in particular, especially when it was called for, but other than that, I really liked her and thought she is the perfect leading lady for the book. Her friend Sara on the hand, is a character I think we're meant to sympathise with because of her troubles, but I just couldn't stand her and the more the book went on, the more I really disliked her - she's just a horrible person! Eloise's husband Mark is a well written male character dealing with some shock revelations, and I think Parks writes his turmoil so well. Margaret, Mark's mother is a lovely old lady battling a horrible illness, and at times its hard to read her decline, but Parks does it so well.

Parks covers some really serious issues in the book, from Alzheimer's, to infidelity and infertility, and I found the issues were all woven so well into the plot, and were hard-hitting to read about. Parks has clearly done her research around them, and writes them in such a way you understand entirely what is going on even if you don't have much knowledge of the subject itself. The story handles these topics perfectly, and although it felt like the whole book was a bit depressing at times (hence knocking one star off the rating), it was a powerful book that really does encourage you to think about your own life and to be grateful for what you have. While I guessed some of the plot lines, there were others, particularly the ending, which I didn't see coming at all, and with hindsight there were clues there, but I didn't expect what happened to occur at all, and full marks to Parks for keeping that from us! A really beautifully written novel, and one I would recommend.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous -as ever!, 13 July 2012
This review is from: Whatever It Takes (Paperback)
Another fab book by Adele Parks! I bought it a couple of days before I went on holiday and had to restrain myself from starting to read it too soon otherwise I'd have finished it before I even stepped on the plane. I have read all of her books and they just keep getting better and better. Buy this book - you won't regret it!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm, 14 Jun 2013
This review is from: Whatever It Takes (Paperback)
The premise of the book sounded promising, unfortunately the characters in this book totally let the story down. Eloise is down right irritating with her perfect ways, plus her complete niavety; if I had a 'friend' like Sara she would have been history long before certain events occured.......... As for the 'twist' I guessed this half way through! I find it very hard to relate to any of the characters, annoyingly middle class where money, it seems, is never an issue.
The one good point of the book was seeing the dementia through Margaret's eyes, those parts were very touching. That is why this got 2 stars and not 1.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!!! Couldn't put it down!, 12 July 2012
This review is from: Whatever It Takes (Kindle Edition)
Yet another brilliant read by Adele Parks! I was hooked from the first page! Very well written and the beauty of Dartmouth, it was a happy place to be "lost" Like Oliver Twist once said "can we have some more..." Please, please, please... ;D
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!!!!!!!, 9 July 2012
This review is from: Whatever It Takes (Hardcover)
This is one of those cases when 5 stars is not enough. This book is worht at least 10 stars out of 5 and it's Adele's best so far!!! It got me hooked. Glad I bought it, would definitely recommend it, fantastic story, fantastic read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stick with it, it's a great story, but slow to draw you in., 28 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Whatever It Takes (Kindle Edition)
Having read all of Adele Park's previous books and loved them, I found this one to be quite disappointing at first, and not up to the usual standard. However I persevered with it and found that I couldn't put it down! I have told all of my friends that they should read it as it is so good. It has a twist at the end that made me want to read certain parts of it again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not convinced, 28 July 2013
By 
M. Gurney - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Whatever It Takes (Kindle Edition)
I have liked Adele's work in the past but found this book predictable and the characters rather annoying. The only saving grace was Margaret and her plight against dementia - the character was interesting and the subject matter touching. As for Eloise and Sara - best friends - really?? Eloise's perfection and Sara's jealousy got boring even before reaching half way and I found it difficult to care about either one of them. An easy, mindless read - not funny or poignant in any other way apart from Margaret's illness.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant enough but not up to Park's usual standard..., 15 April 2013
This review is from: Whatever It Takes (Paperback)
Having read most of the authors previous novels, I couldn't wait to get started on this latest one but am left at the end feeling really disappointed. It's not up to her usual standard. I didn't particularly like either of the main females - Eloise was too "wet lettuce" for me and Sara much too brusque. I also guessed what was going to happen halfway through so never had that "Gosh - I never saw that coming!" moment that I so enjoyed in Parks earlier novels - I am actually really surprised to see so many other reviewers saying that they did not see what was coming! I thought it was so obvious! Getting towards the end I found it hard to read as a result and struggled not to skim read it.

It's a pleasant enough read (perfect for a beach or long haul flight) and it won't stop me racing out to read her next novel but doesn't compare to the early novels such as Playing Away or Game Over...
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Whatever It Takes
Whatever It Takes by Adele Parks
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