**We were gifted a copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own**
Last month saw the release of The First Time I Saw You by Emma Cooper Author of The Songs of Us* and I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC copy by the lovely Alara at Headline, thank you to them for giving me the chance to read and review this new release. On to today’s post though as I share my thoughts on this newly released title with my full review….
About The Book
Six-foot-two Irish man who answers to the name Samuel McLaughlin.
Has weak shins and enjoys show tunes.
If found, please return to Sophie Williams.
Before Sophie met Samuel she saw the world in grey.
Before Samuel met Sophie, he never believed in love at first sight.
When they first meet, something tells them they are meant to be.
But fate has other ideas.
Now they have lost each other and can’t see a way back.
But they’ve already changed each other’s lives in more ways
than they ever expected…
Sophie has her focus firmly set on her career and nothing can make her deviate away from her goals. Each and every day she carefully applies her make up and tailored business suits to provide the armour needed to hide away the girl she used to be from the world, creating the hardened image she wants to portray. She is happy in her own company, but a chance meeting with a charming Irish man during a work trip could be about to change all that as he literally crashes into her world.
Samuel doesn’t believe in love at first sight, that is until he spots a beautiful damsel in distress beneath a green umbrella unaware her heel is stuck between the cracks in the pavement. With his superhero mode fully engaged he finds himself crossing the road to come to her aid, only to be greeted by an (accidental) kick to the shins. Immediately Samuel knows he can’t let this stranger just walk away, but is this the start of something special?
This is such a wonderfully complex and multi-layered story that squeezed every last drop of emotion from me, in a good way! The story itself is told using the alternating perspectives of the main character’s Sophie and Samuel which is a format I really enjoy as it makes for a fast paced read, which proved to be the case with this book.
I started reading this book expecting the typical ‘circumstances keep them apart’ lovers troupe, but this story has taken that idea turned it on it’s head and given it a good old shake! Instead it’s a story of heartbreak, missed opportunities, challenges, family dynamics and relationships that’s funny and heart wrenching in equal measure – completely unique. It lurches from a chance meeting to a series of complicated circumstances that had me shouting and holding my head in my hands, all the while unable to predict where the story would end, a real roller coaster of a read.
The relationship building and development in this book was some of the best I have seen. Not only do we get a fully rounded insight into the lead characters, but this book offers a host of strong, individually portrayed supporting characters that bring so much to the story. I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of Samuel’s parents, the McLaughlin’s, whose relationship is one I’m sure many can relate to, that of the long (suffering) married couple! Their interactions between themselves and with other character’s throughout brought some often much needed lightness to the story thanks to their Irish humour!
This is truly one of the best books I have read in a while and I have had to be really careful whilst penning my review not to give any spoilers, despite the fact I could write lots about the story line! The easy writing style and gripping story line had me hooked early on taking me along for the ride through all the twists and turns alongside the characters. I quickly found myself becoming emotionally invested in the characters and their lives with my heart aching and rejoicing alongside them throughout the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this book, despite feeling like an emotional wreck at the end! It was one of those reads that I wanted to zoom through, whilst wanting to take my time so I didn’t finish it – the sign of an amazing book for me. The First Time I Saw You is a complex, romance with real depth that will challenge your thoughts and emotions. Highly recommended.
About The Author
Emma Cooper is a former teaching assistant, who lives in Shropshire, with her partner and four children. Her spare time consists of writing novels, drinking wine and watching box-sets with her partner of twenty-four years, who still makes her smile every day.
Her debut, The Songs of Us was snapped up in multiple pre-empts and auctions and is now being translated into seven different languages.
Emma has always wanted to be a writer – ever since her childhood, she’s been inventing characters (her favourite being her imaginary friend ‘Boot’) and is thrilled that she now gets to use this imagination to bring to life all of her creations.
The Songs of Us was inspired by Emma’s love of music and her ability to almost always embarrass herself, and her children, in the most mundane of situations. She was so fascinated by the idea of combining the two, that she began to write Melody’s story. Working full-time with a large family meant that Emma had to steal snippets of ‘spare’ time from her already chaotic and disorganised life; the majority of her novel was written during her lunchtime in a tiny school office. She never expected to fall so deeply in love with the King family and is overwhelmed that others feel the same.
She has three loves in life: reading, writing and her family…oh, and music, cheese, pizza, films – Maths is not one of her talents.