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on 19 September 2016
Rachel Wiltshire seems to have a perfect life….a good looking boyfriend, a close circle of friends, a loving boyfriend, academic success and a place on a degree course which will enable her to pursue the career of her dreams.
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

4 people found this helpful
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on 24 March 2017
This story is so well written, it was like a beautiful woven shawl. One that comforts you. through sad times and warms you when you are cold. All of life was in this book . Lovely 💟
5 people found this helpful
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on 12 February 2016
I tend to be able to read any genre of book and after reading Soloman Northup's "twelve years a slave", i wanted to read something a little more easy going and it generally was just that. An easy read that you can spend an hour or two reading each day. An easy book to pick through.
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.
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on 25 April 2017
I liked the plotline of this book - it was a bit different from the usual girlie books and was a good length so it didn't feel dragged out. We used this as a book club book and we all agreed how much we enjoyed it.
3 people found this helpful
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on 14 August 2014
I picked this book up on a bit of a whim, intrigued by the central premise of a woman who wakes up from an accident only to discover that the last five years of her life seem to have played out in a different way to what she remembers, starting with the moment when her (male) best friend survived the accident that she remembers killing him.

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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on 21 July 2014
Review: This Book was not what I expected at all. I was thinking the alternate lives Rachel lived would be split like a bit from here, a bit from there and eventually they would both come together but I really didn't think she would be aware of the two lives she was living-what an interesting twist of this traditional kind of storyline! This book comes with a warning though-the ending will break you!

I have to admit, I thought this book got off to a bit of a slow start. That's not entirely true, the very start of this book is action packed, this is where everything happens that's going to lead into the rest of the book, but I felt from that point onwards, nothing really happened apart from Rachel continuously hitting her head and getting into scrapes becaus of it. Towards the end though, this really picks up and I did find myself doing the classic 'shout at the book' move as this drew to a close!

I thought Rachel was a bit of a weak person, the character was written really well, this has nothing to do with that, but I feel her personality was just to be a kind of follower and not necessarily a leader striving to make the most out of life. When she is faced with the dilemma of having her life she Thoth she knew completely disappear I don't think she tries particularly hard to get people to believe her, she just accepts that she won't. The supporting cast are interesting but again, none of them particularly strong characters. The men in her life seem to lead her to the truth in this novel, something with k find a little bit male-centric and the whole idea coming from a particarchical society, but I still liked these characters nevertheless.

I think you can definitely tell that this is a debut novel, there are a few plot holes in the middle, but the idea behind it is superb and the ending and beginning are action-packed. This isn't your classic women's fiction and I really like that that as the case. Once things began to hot up towards the end of the novel, I couldn't put this book down and so for that reason it's definitely something I would recommend you read!
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on 25 June 2015
I've recently purchased my kindle and I was looking for a few books to load on to it for my holiday. Whilst browsing I came across Fractured and read the free sample. I was completely drawn in so I bought it and continued to read it, I couldn't put it down! It was so different to anything I had read before, every opportunity I had, I picked it up just to read another few pages, I couldn't predict the end and I just had to keep going to find out what happened. Some endings can be flat and leave you feeling disappointed, not this one it was brilliant. I do get emotionally involved when reading but this is the first book that has had me in floods of tears.
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!
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on 23 January 2015
I'm giving this book two stars which is being overly generous, I will give myself five stars for struggling through it. I've never read such codswallop in my life, it took me ages to work out who was who and who was dead or alive. A bit of juvenile writing to put it mildly. Who was Rachel's boyfriend? It started off as Matt then went on to Jimmy. Was Rachel on hospital all the time after her second accident, who knows because I certainly don't. As for going to look at the marvellous flat she was supposed to live in, the tenant there didn't know her although some of her belongings where in the flat. Next we go to the magazine she worked on, followed by the place she had worked at next, no-one knew her not even Joe although she knew all about his wife's illness. Unless Rachel's looks had changed as well as what she could and couldn't remember surely they would have recognised her unless of course they had swapped lives too. Her memory came and went, first she could remember and then she couldn't. Just as it seemed she was getting back to normal, whatever that was, it all changed tack again and she was back to 'who am I?' A little more time could have been spent on the final pages where her father was watching by her bedside whilst Rachel was on a life support machine, I must admit that came as a shock to suddenly be catapulted into the room where she lay dying. The nurse was talking to her father asking if they has said their final goodbyes, didn't Danni Atkins know that even when unconscious a patient can hear, that is the last sensory mechanism to go, not guess work on my part but as a result of my training as a nurse. Her father should have been taken into a separate room and spoken to out of Rachel's hearing and asked then if the final goodbyes had been said. It is very unusual for a relative to be present when a ventilator is switched off so next time you want to include medical matters Danni, make sure of your facts. All the readers who gave five stars are easily pleased. Fractured has certainly put me off reading any more Danni Atkins books. If she wants to write chick-lit books read a few of Jill Mansell or Katie Fford books, study them well and then try writing a bit of chick-lit, but please don't get in such a jumble.
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on 11 April 2014
I liked the writers easy prose, which kept the story moving along.
It had an interesting story and plot. Which ensured the reader was engrossed until the end.
I thought the book was a little short, it could have been a longer read, where the possibilities of the situation could have been explored in more depth, and the relationships between the characters ...there was plenty of scope for this, and would have made the book even more enjoyable
The other critique was one of anachronism. The book was set in the present day, yet some of the attitudes, especially expressed by Jimmy and Tony harkened back at least twenty years, or more. Also, the idea that a couple who have been in a relationship for seven years and engaged would live in separate flats in the same town, and not live together, or be allowed to sleep together in the family home was probably the most fantastical belief of the whole book! Whilst the plot was delightfully based on a "fantasy", please keep the details of time and place real..it adds to the contrast.
The ending was excellent, well written and satisfying. I would like to read more by this author, but hope she develops a deeper insight into her characters to enhance the story.,
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on 1 September 2015
Fractured is a brilliant book with an interesting plot enveloped in a smooth and fine writing, especially considering it's Atkin's very debut. Although the end is somewhat predictable the story itself and the vibe of the book is quite romantic with a slightly bitter tang to the plot as well. Racheal's and Jimmy's characters are believable and affable, which as a reader prompted me to root for their happy ending. The price I paid for the book was £2 (brand new, although on sale). which in my humble opinion was an absolute bargain. The book arrived undamaged and well packed. Definitely worth the read. Although be aware that 'Then and Always' is the same book but with a different (US) title.
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