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Ten Birthdays: An emotional, uplifting book about love, loss and hope Paperback – April 20, 2017
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This was an ok read. On one hand the set up with each chapter being Poppy's birthday worked great but it had it's limitations in that I feel like we never really got to know Poppy very well. By the end, I felt that I knew Poppy's mother best of all the characters and it doesn't seem like it should be that way. Mark, Freya, Poppy's dad and stepmother were also rather superficial characters too but again, I think that's attributable to the set up.
The settings were well done and this book was certainly a pleasant way to spend a couple of evenings but I think I'll go back to the Jessica Daniels series now that they finally available again in the US.
Kerry Wilkinson is a new author to me. I scored a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley based on the premise and the beautiful cover, and I'm so glad they approved my request!
This blurb promised I would find an emotional, uplifting book about love, loss, and hope and it definitely delivered just that.
Poppy Kinsey’s 16th birthday falls on the anniversary of her mother’s death. While most kids are excited to eat birthday cake and open presents, Poppy would rather avoid the day altogether. She doesn’t want a party, and she definitely doesn’t want visitors over celebrating. This birthday turns out to be very special though. Her father reveals that her mom has left her 10 letters, one of which she will open on each of her next 10 birthdays. Each year Poppy opens a letter, and her mother’s heart and wisdom pours from her words to guide Poppy through the challenges in life. From these letters, Poppy learns of her mother’s past and most importantly how to live life to the fullest.
I read this book in two days! This is one of those books that sticks with you, and I won’t forget it anytime soon. It's a ten-chapter book, with each chapter covering one of Poppy’s birthdays and the events leading up to and after her opening her mom’s birthday letter. What's so special about this story is her mom’s letters always seems to address exactly what's going on in Poppy’s life; whether that’s mediocre grades at school, lack of motivation, self-esteem issues, friend problems, or love problems.
The character development is also rich. I really felt I was in Poppy's shoes, feeling her struggles as she navigates her teenage and young adult years. Poppy has two best friends Mark and Feya, who stole my heart but also frustrated me to no end. Both have a different but substantial impact on Poppy’s life through these 10 years.
This is a heartfelt story that runs the gambit of emotions from high highs to low lows. The sad parts aren’t necessarily tearjerkers, but they definitely pulled my heart strings. This is set in England, and the author is clearly British, so some words may be confusing to readers unfamiliar with UK colloquialisms, such as the loo, aka restroom. I can’t compare this story to anything else I've ever read, but the book’s blurb does indicate it may appeal to fans of Cecelia Ahern and S.D. Robertson. I recommend this for readers over the age of 14.