Well, hello there! Welcome to my stop on the A Season of Hopes and Dreams by Lynsey James Blog Tour hosted by Neverland Blog Tours. I’m so happy to be telling you all what I thought of A Season of Hopes and Dreams by Lynsey James.
A Season of Hopes and Dreams by Lynsey James
Publication Date: 11th September 2017
Publisher: HQ Digital UK
It’s been a difficult year for Cleo Jones. The car accident that crushed her leg didn’t just destroy the village baker’s dreams of becoming a dancer, but crushed her confidence too. And recovering from that has been harder than healing from any number of broken bones… But this summer is going to be different. Life is turning around for Cleo! Maybe it’s the invitation from her childhood bully to their high-school reunion that’s shocked her out of a ten-year slump. Or joining Carb Counters and finally starting to shed the weight she’d piled on during her recovery – or maybe it’s catching the eye of her gorgeous personal trainer! Whatever the answer, this is going to be a summer she never forgets… watch out world, Cleo Jones is finally fighting back!
Has it really been nearly a year since Lynsey’s last book? Where has the time gone? *has mild freak out* It’s also slightly freaking me out that I was chatting to Lynsey about the idea of this book, and now its actually here! It exists! With a beautiful cover! Whilst I know that I haven’t been blogging that much recently *guilty face* I couldn’t resist saying yes to Neverland Blog Tours when they came-a-knocking.
The Season of Hopes and Dreams tells the story of Cleo, a young woman who has had a tough few years, never mind a year. When she was young, a car accident broke her leg, shattering her dreams of being a dancer as well as her self-esteem. After being turned down for yet another dance teacher job, Cleo finds an old “bucket list” she wrote when she was younger, detailing all the things she would like to do. Finding this list spurs Cleo on to make an updated one, and to take steps to make her life better. Some of the items waiting to be ticked off the bucket list are “something that scares her”, “fall in love” “learn a language”… and more. With her best friend Emma by her side, and a potential love interest in the hunky Scott Robinson, Cleopatra is coming at ya!
I’ll be honest, when I heard about The Season of Hopes and Dreams, I was expecting an easy-going, light-hearted story about a girl creating a bucket list, and her finding ways to tick them off. Well, I was very surprised to see that the book dealt with some serious topics such as mental health, bulling and eating disorders. In view of this, a content warning at the beginning of the story should be considered in a revised version of the book. Some readers may have experienced related issues in the past, and may find some of the scenes upsetting, particularly if they are in recovery.
I thought Cleo was such a sweet character and I could relate to her battle with low self esteem. What I liked how Cleo’s character is that she found the strength within herself to take small steps to fix her life, and I thought the overall message of the book was encouraging and supportive. I would have liked the novel to be a bit longer, as I felt more could have been done with the bucket list storyline. For example, going on holiday was an item on the bucket list, and I think even a day out at the seaside (perhaps Luna Bay? hehe) would have been great scenes to read. I also would have also liked some flashbacks to when Cleo was younger, to get an idea of what her life was like before the accident.
Turning to the other characters now, I personally felt that the character of Amanda, Cleo’s high school bully, was forgiven too easily. Her motivations for bullying Cleo didn’t exactly warrant the level of bullying she inflicted. Whilst I would have LOVED some epic revenge scenes, I can see why these weren’t included when you consider the overall tone of the novel. Even though the love interest Scott was very cute, I feel like we didn’t get to know him that much, and I would have liked more ~tension~ and “wanting” between them before their romance started. Give me some lingering glances over the treadmill, some “accidental” meetings – I want some “will they, won’t they!”
I say it all the time, but The Season of Hopes and Dreams is yet another classic Lynsey James book! I feel like Lynsey has such a distinct writing style that it is becoming instantly recognizable to me. She has this way of grabbing you into the story and making you care about the characters, and share their ups and downs. Lynsey’s novels are perfect for those days you just want to curl up with a book and forget about the world for an hour or two.
I rated A Season of Hopes and Dreams by Lynsey James 4/5 stars on GoodReads. Whilst my initial impression of this novel was that it would be light-hearted and a quick read, I was surprised to read a story containing sensitive and heavy topics such as eating disorders and mental health. I applaud Lynsey for approaching these topics in her novels, as I am sure there will be readers of this book who may have gone through something like this in their own lives. My little eye has spied that a sequel has popped up on Amazon, so it looks like we haven’t seen the last of Cleo Jones just yet…
In celebration of the Blog Tour, Lynsey James is kindly giving away 3 copies of the book. Please note that this is a tour-wide giveaway. It is open internationally.
Thank you very much to Lynsey James for providing me with a copy of the novel, and to Neverland Blog Tours for letting me take part in the blog tour! To find out more about Lynsey, you can follow her on Twitter. She was once quoted on Buzzfeed, don’t cha know?