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Fractured Paperback – 7 Nov 2013
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'This debut novel was a massive eBook hit, snapped up by a top publisher. I'm expecting great things in the future from this author' The Sun.
'I was captivated the entire time and then completely blown away, left reeling afterward' Chick Lit Central.
'As I turned the last page I found myself broken as it was time to say goodbye to a book that warmed my heart and intrigued my mind' The Love of a Good Book.
'Compelling and truly beautiful. It's a love story that will stay with you forever' Victoria Loves Books.
'Gripping, romantic and heartbreaking ... a magical love story' She Loves To Read.
'Definitely makes the list of my top reads of 2013' Cosmo Chick Lit.
About the Author
Dani Atkins lives with her family in a small village in Hertfordshire with two elderly cats and one very excitable border collie. FRACTURED is her first novel and Dani is currently writing her second, high-concept love story, due to be published in 2014.
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However, one night Rachel’s life as she knows it comes crashing down around her and nothing from that moment onwards will ever be the same again. Five years later Rachel has to return home for the wedding of her best friend and prepares to face her demons that have been with her ever since that tragic night 5 years previously.
This was an amazing read which both intrigued and gripped me from start to finish. Cleverly written this is a book that will be loved by fans of Dani Atkins’ previous books and also those who love Tasmina Perry, Jodi Picoult, Lisa Jewell, Andy Jones and Vanessa Greene
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS BOOK ‘FRACTURED’ WAS PUBLISHED IN THE UNITED STATES AS ‘THEN AND ALWAYS’
I found the plot a little confusing at first until i just came to the self realization that she must be trapped behind lives or living one part of her two lives in a dream state. I couldn't wait to get to the end to find out what was behind it all but i was a little disappointing that you never really get to find out, you just have to accept that one half of her lives was her old one, which she can only remember parts of and her second part (her new perfect one) is the one that she has settled her. Even though the two main characters spend half the book looking for the reason for everything happening, nothing comes of it. I was a little disappointed in this. But non the less, please read it and make your mind up, i might be totally wrong!
A good read either way.
I work full time so it usually takes me a couple of months to read a book, this one had me hooked from start to finish and I read it within a week! My holiday is next week so I'm being good and keeping my next Dani Atkins read for my first day by the pool and trying not to get started before I go!
Ideas of memory loss and parallel lives have been played with in countless books and films, but it’s an idea that always captures my imagination and that can potentially make for a great story. For the first few pages of this book, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. The author’s writing style didn’t feel very polished, some of the characters felt a bit two-dimensional, and there were even a few typos (which I can just about go with in a self-published work, but I’m pretty sure this has now been professionally published).
However, I pushed through, and within the space of the first chapter, I was hooked. There was just something about the plot, the narrative and the heroine that swept me in. I liked Rachel and wanted her to be happy, I adored Jimmy and wanted him to truly not be dead, and I was desperate to find out what was really going on.
I don’t usually read contemporary romance, and underneath the temporal weirdness, this is basically a standard “chick-lit” tale of a woman trying to succeed in life and love. The central love story was sweet and touching, as was the main character’s relationships with her friends and family, in both versions of her life. The worst aspect was Matt, Rachel’s fiancé in the “good” life. The author made him needlessly unpleasant, making the sort of love triangle that developed a bit too one-sided.
Clearly, however, the big attraction was the mystery. Rather like in Ashes to Ashes/Life on Mars, you’re constantly left guessing about what’s really going in. Has something magical occurred and allowed the heroine to genuinely swap lives? Is the life where her friend is dead “reality” and she’s just dreaming the other life from a coma? Or is the life where her friend’s alive real, and she has some sort of mental illness that’s leaving her with imaginary memories. There are clues that seem to suggest all three of these possibilities, and right up until the end, I was unsure what to believe and enjoyed the uncertainity.
My one complaint about how this section was handled was the way in which “good life” Rachel was constantly visiting places she remembered from her “bad life.” Each time, the outcome was the same – there was no evidence of her living/working/spending time there, but she knew lots of details about the place. Each time, this was treated as a shocking revelation, when it was quite clear from the start that whatever else was going on, the two lives were clearly not existing in parallel within the same space and time, so these trips felt a bit pointless to me.
I can’t say too much about the ending without spoiling things, but let’s just say it’s emotional, it’s not what I would have predicted, and while it’s not quite the way I’d have liked it to end, I think it was a brave route for the author to go down.
Overall, this is definitely worth a read when you want something basically light and fun, but with a bit more bite and a twistier plot than your average chick-lit.
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