Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Review: Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon

Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon

Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group:Young Adult --> Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster AUS
Release Date: 4th January 2011 (AUS)
Format: Paperback, 432 pages
ISBN-13: 9781847393913
RRP: $22.99 AUD
Source: Thank you to the publisher, who provided this book for an honest review.
Cover love? It's very cute and dazzly, but screams chick-lit rom-com. The book is more mature than the cover suggests.

'Will you marry me?'
I think of you, then. I think of you every day. But usually in the quietest part of the morning, or the darkest part of the night. Not when my boyfriend of two years has just proposed. I look up at Richard with his hopeful eyes.
'Lily?' he prompts. It's been ten years, but it feels like only yesterday that you left. How can I say yes to Richard with all my heart when most of it has always belonged to you? I take a deep breath and will myself to speak...

Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn't have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can't forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart - and the heart of at least one of the men who love her.


The book begins with a prologue, which you’ve just read above, and then cuts to a twelve-chapter long flashback of Lily’s life at 16, when her mother moves her from the UK to South Australia for her mother’s newest man. And in Australia, Lily falls in love with “someone she really shouldn't have fallen in love with”. When we cut back to the modern day, Lily is being asked the big question. But can she find it in her heart to forget her one true love?

I quickly got absorbed into Lily’s world, and through Paige Toon’s writing, I felt Lily the changes that Lily went through as she began to fall in love. My heart broke when things didn’t work out between them, and their bittersweet tale is one to remember. Despite the guy being wrong for her, what they had between them was real, and I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the novel.

There were only a few main characters in this novel, because at it's heart, it is about Lily's decision. That being said, I loved the way Paige Toon used dialogue to bring the peripheral characters to life, because her descriptions were very realistic. I thought that the setting of the book, which is in Australia, is very well done and highly believable, considering that her previous books were mainly set in America. Lily is also authentically English.

In ten years, Lily weaves herself a very tangled web. Richard is successful, sweet, and a loving boyfriend…but Lily can’t forget the man she loved first.  This is a bittersweet tale about a girl who gave up on her dreams and her instincts about love, begging the question: is it ever too late? Emotional, heartbreaking and utterly honest, Pictures of Lily is a clean but mature novel for those looking for a good romantic contemporary read.


Pictures of Lily at Simon & Schuster | Paige Toon's Website | Goodreads