A Season of Hopes and Dreams by Lynsey James ** Blog Tour Review & Extract**
I'm delighted to be featuring Lynsey James' novel, A Season of Hopes and Dreams on Books, Life and Everything today. I'm lucky enough to have a short extract to give you a flavour of the story and there's also a chance to win an e-copy of the book in an International Giveaway. Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post.
The story I’m about to tell you starts with the clatter of a letterbox.
My letterbox, to be precise.
I spring up from the sofa as soon as I hear it. Today will be the day, I say to myself, the day that everything finally falls into place. I race down the hall to the front door, almost slipping on the wooden floor, and gather up the post waiting for me on the doormat. I excitedly flick past all the boring stuff like gas and phone bills, until I reach the letter I’m looking for. In the top right hand corner are the words Little Stars Dance Studio.
Yes, yes, yes!
I slide my finger under the flap, but pause before opening it. This could be the moment that my biggest dream is about to come true and I’m not sure if I’m ready. Are you ever really ready for the big moments in your life?
I close my eyes for a second and visualise the words I want to see: we’d like to invite you for an interview. Those eight words will bring me a step closer to teaching dance, like I’ve always wanted to do. It’s the umpteenth trainee position that I’ve applied for, but I have a good feeling about this one. It’ll let me study for my teaching qualification while building up my experience and earning money. It’s my dream job.
There’s only one way to find out what the letter says. I rip it open and unfurl it, my insides jumping with anticipation. I have a good feeling about this letter and although I’ve had the same feeling with so many others, I’m hopeful that this time will be different.
Except it isn’t.
I found Lynsey James' Silver Bells Christmas Pantomime to be an enjoyable read last year so I was more than happy to join this blog tour. I was glad I did as there are so many issues in there, woven into the background of the story. Eating disorders, binge eating, body dysmorphia, bullying, mother- daughter relationships and lost dreams and ambitions are all in the mix. It is not the light, frothy romance it might appear to be on the surface.
It is easy to empathise with Cleo, the main character who has had her life's ambition to be a dancer shattered after a road accident. Throughout the book she develops and changes always in the shadow of her past. It is interesting to see the dynamic between Cleo and her mother who saw her go through the worse of her eating disorder. I would have liked to find out more about this and to have seen her mother's point of view occasionally. The story however is centred very firmly on Cleo who is such a warm, relatable character.
In short: a light hearted romance with darker undertones.
About the Author
Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She's an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she's sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)
A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.
When Lynsey's not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she's daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they're meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…
Book Links: Amazon UK
Thanks to Lynsey James, her publishers at HQ Digital and Jenny at Neverland Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the Tour.
You can win an e-copy of the Book (3 winners) - just follow the link below and good luck!