To be honest, I have never heard of Paige Toon before. It was quite a funny experience on how I was introduced to the works of Paige Toon. I just happened to stumble upon a tweet of one blogger named Emma Louise talking about one of her favorite authors, namely Nicholas Sparks. And as a fan of his novels, I didn’t hesitate to join in the conversation and Emma immediately recommended Paige Toon, her favorite UK romance author. Hence, trusting her word, I looked up Paige Toon’s works in The Book Depository and ordered some of her books. So, I started with Lucy in the Sky.
Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:
It’s been nine years since Lucy left Australia. Nine years since she’s seen her best friend Molly, and Sam, the one-time love of her life. Now her two friends are getting married. To each other. And Lucy is on her way to Sydney for their wedding.
Life for Lucy has moved on. She’s happily settled with James, her gorgeous lawyer boyfriend, with their flat in London and her glamorous job in PR. Surely there’s no reason to expect this two-week holiday in the sun will be anything out of the ordinary?
But just before take-off, Lucy receives a text from James’ mobile. She can’t resist taking a look… and, in one push of a button, her world comes crashing down…
If you’ll notice, the book I ordered is the latest edition released by the publisher with the redesigned cover. While I adore the old cover, I like the new one better as it is more attractive and neater to look at. I guess the publisher changed the covers of Paige Toon’s previous books in order to match the new cover design of her latest chick-lit novel, The Longest Holiday.
Moving on, I seldom pay too much attention to book descriptions printed at the back cover of books (in some cases, the jacket cover if it’s in hardcover). But here, I find myself at awe with this book’s premise. The plot description doesn’t reveal too many details that would give away the whole content or plotline of the story. It provides a right amount of intrigue and mystery which would push readers to pick up the book and read it. And as I begin reading, I realize that the premise somehow serves as the introduction to the main story. Cool, isn’t it?
I rarely find books with this kind of strategic premise. The curiosity is there and I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to find out what this “text message” would be. Readers will find Lucy on her way to Australia to attend her childhood friends’ wedding and then she suddenly receives this disturbing message. Yes, surely her world comes crushing down. Was the message merely sent at the wrong place and wrong time or did someone send it to her intentionally? Either way, the message undeniably haunts her all the way to Australia and the uneasiness she feels definitely affects her mood. Anyone who’s in Lucy’s position would want to find out if the message is true or not. Despite the assurance of James that the message is fake, doubt still lingers in Lucy’s mind.
One of the things I enjoy reading this book is the realistic characterization of the characters. Paige Toon does not limit herself to just a handful of characters, but to as many characters as she could. Lucy might have been the center of the plot, but other characters also play a significant role in the story. All of them have distinct characteristics and personalities and I find myself admiring some while hating some. I couldn’t imagine the characters being close to my age and having to experience those things. Perhaps it’s a common thing in today’s generation and culture, but coming from a conservative family, it would’ve been a culture shock for me. LOL.
Paige Toon’s writing style makes it easier for me to empathize with Lucy and understand what she’s going through. As confused as she is with herself with regards to her feelings, her peers aren’t always that much helpful, which makes it even more confusing. I’m amazed by how Paige Toon manages to portray a convincing character, showing the image that this person is trying to convey of himself, when it’s the opposite of what this person really is deep inside. I also have my doubts right at the beginning, but I often change my mind when everything becomes better. I guess this is a perfect situation of a saying about following your gut feeling. At the end of the story, I’m glad to witness Lucy deciding what she thinks is best for her. I love how she weighs in the options and eventually coming up with a good decision. I, on the other hand, have been distantly rooting and supporting her from outside the book. I just love how everything turns out as I close the book.
Overall, Lucy in the Sky is a fun book. It’s a light read and will certainly keep readers entertained throughout the span of the story. Paige Toon succeeds in narrating the story with emotions, as well as in describing the wonderful, picturesque views of some places in London and Australia. Is the grass really greener on the other side? After reading this book, my answer to this question is that at the end of the day, it actually depends on the person you’re with. For a debut novel, Lucy in the Sky does not disappoint. I couldn’t actually put the book down. This will certainly not be my last Paige Toon book to read (of course, since I’ve already bought her other books). I’m off to her next book!