The Art Of Letting Go is definitely a book that deserves a place on your kindle and deserves your utmost time to devour everything inside of it. Anna has put blood, sweat and tears into this book to make it what it is – and it’s a book that is just so refreshing to read, so different from other books that I have read. Firstly it is set in diary entries, dated and timed too. This gives the book a sense of realism and Anna’s writing style is spot on for a diary and that you feel that you shouldn’t be reading it, but you can’t stop yourself. It’s invasive, but you couldn’t give two hoots, you just have to keep on reading about Lilah’s life. She develops all the characters and you feel towards all of them, want to be a part of their little gang and wish you were back at university, experiencing everything all over again.
We have all had a diary once in our life and this helps Lilah deal with everything happening in her life – from leaving her job, going to university, falling in love and going through all the things that happen in the book. It’s a great way to learn about everyone in the book. Secondly, Anna is spot on with her writing style. She uses sarcasm and humour perfectly, she knows how to make you swoon in Ben and Tristan scenes, you will cry, you will laugh, you will get annoyed and it’s a journey of overcoming obstacles and things put in Lilah and all the characters ways. How they overcome their first year of university. And that ending. Dear god Anna, give me Year Two now please!
Anna writes real life. Its not all rainbows and fairy dust, oh no. You will have distractions and roadblocks in the way, you have characters with insecurities and trials and tribulations but one of many real things in the book? The friendship. You can see how real their bond is. How real their love is for each other.
The Art of Letting Go is just that. Lilah is fed up of working for her father and after a cigarette break, she decides to just not return to work and instead, go to university. Lilah is bonkers. At 25, she doesn’t want to end up like her mother, so on a whim, she walks away from her job and signs up to university. She makes rules that, of course, are broken within the first couple of hours but you can’t help but love this girl. Crazy as she is, you gobble up all of her diary entries, wanting to know more about her days at university, more of her crazy ass lifestyle and more about the swoon-worthy Ben Chambers. Oh yes.
At points I wanted to smack her around the head and shout at her to tell Ben her feeling for him. You can see from her entries that she does care for him, throughout all the dilemmas in her way, but its hard for Lilah to let go, to admit her feelings for him until, really, its kind of too late and time is running out. You do root for Lilah and Ben, you see how perfectly they fit together and how Lilah, as the book title says, is in the art of letting go, and at the end of the book, it’s a tiny cliff-hanger but one where you want to know it’s going where you want it to. Know that Lilah has manned up and realized she’s about to let someone SO important to her go. She lives by Taylor Swift songs and even if you don’t know all of them, you can guess why they are important to that certain scene and why Lilah thinks that song sums up that entry. She really is a brilliant character and one that you must read about!
Ben. Ben, Ben, Ben. He plays guitar and sings…in a band people! He has dark hair, amazing blue eyes and freckles. He’s gorgeous, but hates the attention; he can be cocky, has a trademark smirk and he is instantly drawn to Lilah. Well, he had been searching for her for the past nine months, after spotting her one Christmas at a Do he was playing at. Ben is sweet and lovely and really wants to be with Lilah, despite the roadblock, shall we say, in the way of them actually getting together – but he’d wait a life time for her. He will do absolutely anything to be with her, be around her and just have Lilah in his life. You can see how much he likes her, fancies her. Everything that Lilah is writing down, you can see that although she doesn’t see it, we, as the reader can see the way Ben acts with Lilah.
So something happens that makes you think “Oh Benjamin” But you trust him, because of how much he loves Lilah, even if she can’t see it and won’t let him explain. Even through her entries, you know he’s telling the truth about that night. Why would he be saying all these things to Lilah and wanting to spend all his time with her, if he was lying about that night?
Your heart breaks for him too. Lilah can’t trust him and doesn’t really want anything to do with him and he tries his damn hardest to get through to her, to see her, to make it right. He literally spends his time trying to get her to open her door. He will sit and wait, he will do whatever he can to make it up to her, to get back to how they were. But Lilah is stubborn and doesn’t let him.
Then his band has the chance to go to America to record an album, and you can actually see Ben, although he probably wants to go, he doesn’t want to leave Lilah. Those two just hotfooted around that and I wanted to shake them both and tell each other their feelings (Okay, so Ben is more open about his) and Lilah to say no, but then I was proud of her for not saying anything too because this is a big deal for Ben and his band. I was torn. I wanted Ben to stay, but I wanted him to chase his dream and make it big.
I adored the secondary characters – Meredith and of course, Tristan the arse. Meredith, despite being a few years younger than Lilah, is such a brilliant friend. Her and Lilah are just so great together and cause mischief but there are some tender and heart-breaking moments between the two and you just know that cements it for them – they have a bond that can’t be broken now. And Tristan. He’s Lilah’s twin brother and an arse, yet he really isn’t. He’s a beauty, and I really enjoyed the scenes with him. He too, is there for Lilah, he becomes close with Ben and he falls for the lovely Meredith. Their relationship is the cutest and despite the age gap, they are so right for each other.
I cannot tell you enough times to get your arse to Amazon, 1-click and open that book file asap. GET READING right now and fall in love along the way with the characters and with Anna – she is one author to look out for! FOR SURE!
Once you start it, you won’t be able to put it down….I sure as heck couldn’t!
By Zoe Pope