I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.All About Us by Tom Ellen
Published by HQ on August 20, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Holiday, Romantic Comedy, Time Travel, Coming of Age, Family Life, General, Contemporary
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
A chance encounter leads to the journey of a lifetime in this powerful and emotional love story, perfect for fans of One Day, Me Before You and In Five Years.
‘Magical and beautiful’ Josie Silver, author of One Day in December
If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a different life?
Ben’s always loved the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old friend Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?
He never imagines he might get to find out... but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.
Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?
All About Us is a captivating novel of heartbreak and loss, friendship and hope – and how the choices we make throughout our lives will shape our destiny.
‘I LOVED it’ Holly Bourne
‘All of the feels. Gorgeous!’ Clare Pooley
‘Achingly romantic’ Miranda Dickinson
‘Prepare to fall head over heels in love’ HELLO!
‘A heart-warming story of ‘what if’’ Laura Jane Williams
‘Tugged ALL my heartstrings’ Cressida McLaughlin
‘An outstanding story – I loved it!’ Roxie Cooper
‘Magical, compelling and thought-provoking’ C.J. Skuse
‘So captivating I couldn’t put it down. A gorgeous story’ Emma Cooper
‘Clever, funny and romantic. I hope the Netflix adaptation comes soon!’ Melinda Salisbury
‘Funny, warm and touching’ Suzy K Quinn
‘Oh my gosh, it’s wonderful! I cried so much!’ Polly Crosby
‘Phenomenal. I absolutely loved this book’ Breakfast at Shelby’s
All About Us is the kind of story that you would want to read on a rainy day, the raindrops dropping onto a tin roof, hypnotising you and carrying you away into the story. It’s not typically a genre that I often read but you know what people say about change. Tom Ellen has created a story that comes straight from the heart – It’s as addictive as chocolate. I want to shout out loud about how good this magical tale really is. He has that perfect formula for making a novel stand out in an oversaturated market and makes it more than memorable.
We make decisions when we are young, would you change it if you really could? Our decisions are what shapes us, makes the person we are. It’s human nature to make mistakes but is it a step too far to try and change them? I’m not sure I would, I’d probably just end up making bigger ones. Life is dragging Ben down, university was fifteen years ago, and he has become the stereotypical jaded bloke. He’s unhappy with how his career has gone, his marriage has changed, and he doesn’t know what direction to move in. I think as a person of a certain age, we can appreciate feeling like that at some point in our lives, right?
All About Us sets the scene – it’s Christmas 2020 and a last-minute drink with his best mate leads to a stranger with a watch. A stranger, a watch and some very intrusive questions. Ben is in a rut with wife, Daphne. He reminisces and wonders what life would have been like if he had got with his friend, Alice. Enter the stranger with a broken watch that is stuck at one minute to midnight.
You start to wonder about the bad decisions you’ve made in life, don’t you? Or the wrong turnings you might have taken and whether you could go back and change things – Would you?
Tom Ellen captures the desperation and the desolation that can often be felt in marriage and life in general after a long period of time. Routines become ingrained and completed without thought and things end up being taken for granted whether we intend it to or not. The compulsively written narrative puts you in the midst of the story. The author created a vivid connection between the protagonist, Ben, his dilemma and the reader, without it being taken as arrogant.
All About Us is a modern-day retelling of A Christmas Carol by Dickens. I completely fell in love with the characters and loved that it was told from a thirty-something viewpoint. It was moving, beautiful and completely heart-wrenching.
ABOUT TOM ELLEN
Tom is an author and journalist from London, England. He is the co-writer of three critically acclaimed Young Adult novels: LOBSTERS (which was shortlisted for The Bookseller’s inaugural YA Book Prize), NEVER EVERS and FRESHERS. His solo adult debut novel is the romantic comedy ALL ABOUT US (HQ/HarperCollins, published October 2020). His books have been widely translated and are published in 20 countries. He is a regular contributor to Viz magazine, and has also written for Cosmopolitan, Empire, Evening Standard Magazine, The Daily Mash, Glamour, NME, ESPN, ShortList, Time Out London, Vice, Stylist and many more.