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Everybody loves Jessica.
And you will too.
This book is so well blended that it’s difficult to decide if it’s character, plot or descriptive driven. As the teaser suggests, it should be character-driven because we fall in love with our heroine, Jess. It’s impossible not to. She’s down-to-earth, authentic and fallible—and that makes her very relatable. She’s clearly drawn from the cloth of the author, they say write what and who you know, and who better to delve into than yourself?
This leads us to the plot, the only part of the story that involves an element of fiction. Interwoven with life, culture and in-country politics, the pace is fast and tight. We feel the tension that Jess is feeling with every new explosion and event. The plot is excellent and ties everything together well by the end of the book. The premise; Jessica makes a list—and it leads her on a wonderful, exciting, erotic, friend-making journey across Europe. That’s until we get as far as Turkey, where things get hairy. We meet the people she meets, and it’s easy to lose yourself in the story until hours have passed without you realising.
By far, my favourite element of the book is the description. I’m a sucker for a travelogue. Take me somewhere, anywhere—our backyard as long as it’s well described, and I’m in heaven. You use your eyes for reading—but with this book, you can release all of your senses as you read about the gorgeous colourful places. We get good and the bad, the beautiful, the seedy and war-torn.
This is a stand-alone prequel to Covid Blues and Two’s, the author’s debut novel (if this comes first, isn’t this the debut?). Anyway, they can be read in any order and are a must-read for anybody that has never travelled Europe. Or for those who have and want to re-live it through somebody else’s experience.
Settle down, buckle in and enjoy.
Born in South Shields, Tyne & Weir, Katherine Black lives on the tip of the beautiful British Lake District. She lives with her partner, father-in-law and 4 dysfunctional but co-mingling pets. She is mother, grandmother and secret keeper of all. She is Best Book Editors’ principal editor.