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2.0 out of 5 starsToo contrived
Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2018
After a choppy beginning, this novel settles down to a predictable pattern. Absolutely no surprises thrown in with the attempted tear-jerky moments. So contrived, I wanted to scream! The author’s last few efforts have left me unfulfilled.
This is a new author for me...and not my usual fiction genre. It was unrealistic and charming; just what I needed at the time! Sometimes fairytales are just the thing. Essie is a lovely protagonist around whom the story evolves. A round robin letter meant as a joke among friends gets sent to all of Essie's contacts. The letter minced no words about people in her life. What a disaster! Having to move from her partner's home, losing her job, and losing face after the letter goes viral, Essie is forced into a new life. It's a fun ride, and Ms. Mansell has created some wonderful characters to carry the story along. I wish I knew Zillah! If you're looking for a escape for a few pleasant hours, you couldn't do better than This Could Change Everything.
What a giggle! What fun. Who doesn't need a "Happy Ever After-Fairytale read" where every lid finds its pot. I nearly didn't buy the book then I thought why not. I love Jill Mansell's stories. Maybe she thought why don't I write something sweet and fluffy, jolly and light. A real dish of comfort food. Who of us isn't tired of the violence and bad news stories of each and every day?
Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2018
I expected a light airy-fairy funny book but this was so much more. It was funny and overall happy but the author was able to touch on serious, real human emotions and situations. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from this author!
3.0 out of 5 starsEven though it wasn’t great, it was pure comfort food
Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2020
I have never been disappointed in one of her books so bought this for a long plane ride. Yes, I know her books are all a bit predictable like a Hallmark movie and that’s the reason I love them. But this one just didn’t capture my attention and was a bit bored by it.
I haven't read jill Mansell in a while and when this came up on my recommended I thought yup ok lets see .. and I'm so glad I did.. the book had me laughing out loud in places and I just loved the characters.. warning if you have cooking, cleaning or things to do DO NOT read this book... get yourself to a beach or a nice armchair, and enjoy..
Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2018
Lovely book with interesting characters. Zillah , the main character was loads of fun with her zest for life and her mission to grant small wishes for hospice patients. Enjoyed getting to know all the people in the square. Enjoyable read reminiscent of Maeve Binchy books.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2018
Have you ever watched hyperlink cinema, a film with multiple interrelated storylines? This Could Change Everything is exactly like that, a book where characters occupy independent stories, but are connected via common links or a character. The author weaves these stories, as if she is creating a perfect basket of emotional turmoil, kindness and love. The star of this memorable set of characters is most definitely Zillah, and one of the most important themes of this book starts with her. It’s the concept of paying it forward. Doing a good deed and not expecting anything in return for it, but instead expecting the benefactor of the deed to do something kind for someone else in return and so on. Her need to help others is probably driven by a feeling of guilt she has about her own sometimes selfish choices in life. All of that seems unimportant in comparison to all the people she is helping in the here and now. Including a young woman called Essie, who doesn’t recognise the abusive traits in her boyfriend, a young thief who needs a push in the right direction or a young man who can’t see the forest for all the trees. It’s a read I know I will be recommending, especially to readers who seek a little respite from the stark reality of life, and who need to believe in love and the nicer side of humanity. Mansell knows how to present the messier side of relationships, which includes the mistakes and the wrong paths we take, but ultimately brings the threads together to create a smorgasbord of hope. This book is a chocolate button in a world full of carrot slices, a little bit of sugar in a bitter tasting environment. It reminds us of the fact we control our own destinies and that we should all make the time for small acts of kindness.
Oh, I just don't know where to start with my love of this book! It's such a beautiful story.
Essie finds herself without a home, job and a boyfriend after an error of judgment. In her route to find a job and a place to live, she meets Zillah, an elderly do-gooding lady, who becomes her landlady. Essie meets Conor, also living with Zillah, a guy who's love life is bland but his heart his huge. She gets a job around the corner from her new digs, and meets Lucas, her new boss. And along the way she has her girlfriend Scarlett.
It's such a beautiful, heartwarming story. The characters are well rounded, and there's a good amount of humour thrown in.
It's my first Jill Mansell book and I'm looking forward to reading more.
I’m afraid I found this all terribly messy and confused. Too many characters, too many storylines, and with nothing to actually bind the whole thing together. I can see what Mansell was trying to do, but she didn’t pull it off in my opinion.
It’s been years since I read a Jill Mansell book, and after this I’m wondering what I used to like so much about them. Has her style changed? Is this just an example of a bad day at the office? Or is it me — have I simply outgrown this particular brand of chick lit?
I accept that the genre is meant to be frivolous and fun — some light escapism for the beach or a duvet day. This, however, fell so far short of expectations, I struggled to finish it (although I did, in order to give an honest review). I found some of the characters grating, others too clichéd, and I found it impossible to care what happened to any of them.
Plus, I despaired of the way the narrative kept going off on little tangents — the majority of them pointless and uninteresting distractions. If Mansell herself couldn’t decide on the main thrust of the plot, what hope for the poor reader?
I hate to appear mean, especially when I’ve genuinely enjoyed so many other novels by the same author, but I can’t rate this more than 2.5 stars (generously rounded up to 3).
Thanks for reading my review. I hope you found it helpful. You can find more candid book reviews on my Amazon profile page.
Her books never fail to make me feel good about myself and this one does not disappoint!!
If you like slow burn romance with multiple twists and turns then this is the book for you. I love how you know from the beginning who you want to get together and yet Jill makes it seem impossible until the last few pages.
Jill Mansell's books are an instant pick up for me and I cant name one of her books that i didn't enjoy.
5.0 out of 5 starsUnputdownable. Fabulous story of how life goes on
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 26, 2018
Within the first few sentences I was hooked into the life of Zillah, then Essie and Scarlett and the unfortunate event that changed everything. The story showed how even when you think the worst has happened a new more exciting life is just around the corner. I would have liked to live in the same house as Zillah, what a fabulous character she was. You are taken through a roller coaster ride of the ups and downs of all the characters lives. The square, the pub, the photography, everything was just so real. I found the book unputdownable. Five big stars from me.