The Best Thing I Never Had is the new novel from author, Erin Lawless. It’s published by Harper Impulse and was released in March. We are delighted to welcome Erin to Novel Kicks today as part of her blog tour for her new book and we ask the question, who’s side are you on?
I’m asked quite a lot: #TeamHarriet or #TeamLeigha?
Most people find it quite straight forward. “Team Harriet!” they cry. “Who would ever be on Team Leigha??” My editor at Harper is, I answer with a smile. “But Leigha is such a BITCH!” they answer, appalled. Indeed she is, but then again, Harriet is a selfish idiot whose actions cause a hell of a lot of drama, so why should she be championed over her brittle best friend? #TeamDemi, I usually say, avoiding the question entirely – he’s the only halfway decent character in the whole book!
One of my all-time favourite reviews of Best Thing states that “when a writer can make you feel sorry for the novel’s antagonist, she has great talent”. The novel’s antagonist is undoubtedly Leigha, but that’s not the same as saying she’s “the bad guy”. Leigha hurts, and is hurt in return. A brittle, nervy over-achiever from a broken home, an erstwhile ugly ducking who has been suffering under the weight of unrequited love for as long as she can remember – the now gorgeous, popular Leigha seems from the outside to have everything she wants. Unfortunately, the only thing she ever wanted was something she could never have. And she’s just coming to terms with it all when the same scenario hits her again – bam! She’s left reeling and lashing out. Leigha’s no monster; she’s someone who deserves your pity.by
Five years ago they’d been seven friends at university that laughed hard and loved harder. Nicky and Miles, the couple that were always meant to be… Leigha and Adam, maybe not. So when Harriet and Adam grew close, during those endless days in the library and too many seminars they (well, Adam) hadn’t prepared for, they did the one thing that changed everything. They kept a secret. And when it came out, it all fell apart. When the day comes for bridesmaids to be chosen and best men to fulfil drunken promises, Nicky and Miles’ wedding isn’t just a wedding, it’s a reunion – loaded with past hurts, past regrets, past loves. (Warning, the review contains a small amount of spoilers.)
This begins with a prologue set in 2012. Nicky is about to get married and wonders whether she’s made the right decision to ask her three ex Uni housemates to be her bridesmaids.
The majority of the book then flashes back to 2006. Seven friends who are all in their final year at university, the story does flick between them all at the beginning as each of the characters are established but once that settles, I found myself getting completely involved in the story, deciding who I liked and didn’t. Although it is told from the point of view of seven people, Erin’s writing makes it easy to follow as everything flows well. It’s not long before everything becomes a little complicated Continue reading →by
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