Book Review: On The Other Side – Carrie Hope Fletcher

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“No, I won’t be hopeless. I am full of hope. I’m a HopeFUL. – Evie Snow”

Evie is 82 years old, so when she finds herself at a former home and is 27 again she’s more than a little surprised. The truth is that Evie has passed away in her sleep and she is in ‘heaven’s waiting room’, because her soul is restless, Evie has to make her peace the three ways before she can enter heaven. Evie soon knows what she has to do and that to do so she’s going to need the help of some of the people she loves most.

I’ve been a follower of Carrie’s youtube channel for quite a while now and also bought her first book All I Know Now, although I gave this to my sister as I felt a little old for it. So, knowing that this was going to be her first novel I was excited when I picked it up in my local Waterstones. I’m not usually someone who buys novels that mention love stories on the back BUT I was intrigued by what this novel would be like. I was definitely impressed, the novel made me think it would be quite fluffy but it wasn’t it dealt with heartbreak, expectation and doing what is right.

I loved the idea of her ‘own private heaven’, I’m very sceptical of books about heaven, because I don’t believe that it’s this one huge place, it just wouldn’t work. Carrie, however, has really thought this out. Her character goes back to the time that she was truly happy, her own personal heaven, which may surprise people in regards to who is there and who is not. She’s also taken care of the problem of ‘automatic heaven’, at one point in the novel we see what can happen when a person’s soul is restless and doesn’t deal with what it left behind. It also has a message for all of us, to try and make peace with the things we know are wrong in our lives.

I definitely had mixed feelings about the love in the plot line – but I think that’s personal preference. This is a love story, but it’s also much more than just a romantic love. I completely understand why the character did what she did BUT at one point I just wanted to shout no! That said, it was right for the ending of the novel, even if it did cause a bit of heartache for the reader. I would have liked to have known more about Evie’s life with her children and brother but can understand why they were pushed aside slightly in the novel, simply because of the main point of the plot.

The novel very much has Carrie’s voice to it. I could almost hear her reading it to me, it has her bubbly tone and optimistic outlook on life. There are also some parts (not character related) that seemed to have a Disney quality to them, such as the way that Evie has to settle her problems, this magical element just adds to the story. One thing to be mindful of this that the writing can come across a little young, although I wouldn’t say this was a bad thing. This is Carrie’s first novel and so I feel that she’s trying to determine her writing style, it’s still fab but I feel like it’s worth mentioning because for a first novel this is pretty incredible.

I gave this 4 stars! I really liked this novel and it pleasantly surprised me. I was slightly nervous when picking it up but it really is a charming novel that is well thought out and easy to fall in love with. I’ll definitely be picking up any of Carrie’s future novels because she clearly has a talent for writing as well as her many others!

 

 

 

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