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The Birthday That Changed Everything

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,397 ratings  ·  99 reviews

She wanted a birthday surprise, just not the one she got…

The last thing Sally Summers expected from her husband on her special day was that he’d leave her for a Latvian lap dancer half her age. So with her world in tatters, Sally jets off to Turkey for some sun, sea and sanctuary.

The Blue Bay resort brings new friends and the perfect balm for Sally’s broken heart in gorgeo

Kindle Edition, 407 pages
Published January 28th 2016 by Harper
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4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,397 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Dec 19, 2015 added it
Decided to DNF this book as I don't think I'm going to enjoy the rest of it. Sadly this just wasn't for me. I found the sex references too gratuitous and did nothing to forward the narrative and, in my opinion, weren't funny and instead just crass.
The characters were just a bunch of over-exaggerated stereotypes: the 40 something woman who's been cheated on who then goes and re-invents herself, the hormonal young daughter, the handsome man who falls head over heels etc.
I hated the character of
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must buy, must read

What did Sally Summers get from her husband for her birthday after seventeen years of marriage? chocolates, flowers, A ring, maybe even a new dress? All wrong.

On Sally Summers special day she gets an email from her husband that he has to take a break and wont be coming home and wants Sally to tell the children. He has a nerve he wants Sally to pack his work shirts.

with all the help in the world about other issues, there are no style guides to help for the wife, like How To
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, 2016-releases

Lately, in a relatively short space of time, I've read two of Debbie Johnson's books, and I truly liked them, so when requesting "The Birthday that Changed Everything" and keeping everything crossed to be accepted, I knew that I can expect an entertaining, funny book. But reality has totally, absolutely exceeded my expectations and this book has just Blown. Me. Away.

"The Birthday that Changed Everything" is written purely for entertaining purposes, and believe me, I don't remember laughing so m
Shaz Goodwin
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have to start by saying I absolutely loved The Birthday That Changed Everything. Pure escapism but with a healthy dose of reality :)

You know when a character is just so right? That's Sally. I wanted to be her best friend. I wanted to meet her at the Blue Bay Hotel and laugh and cry with her as she finds out where she belongs. I don't think it will be just me who feels that way either.

In the beginning she's living under Simon's shadow and although unsure
Karen Mace
I received a copy of this via NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.

This was one of those books that had me giggling and shaking my head with annoyance in equal measures!!

As a fun, racy Summer read it is perfect and has all the ingredients of pure escapism that we often look for in reading a book. Sally Summer is approaching her 40th birthday, and while she's shopping online for her own birthday present from her Surgeon husband Simon, she gets an email from him telling her he's leavin
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put this down, for all the wrong reasons. I understood it to be a laugh out loud book. I don't think I managed one at all.

The daughter's character, Lucy, is far too unrealistic; foul mouthed and just blatantly disrespectful to all and sundry and the mother, Sally, is just a doormat used by her stupid husband and daughter.

The only characters I really liked were the son, Ollie, and Allie the friend.

The constant references to sex and body parts became tedious and very unfunny. I'm not a
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm really sad that there are no more Debbie Johnson's for me to read yet.

But Coming Home to the Comfort Food Cafe will be out in October.

Yet again, this book made me laugh through tears.

I think hubby is almost ready to have me certified because of the laughter coming from the silent reading corner.

Can't wait for the next one!
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
In a very cold January, this was just the book to brighten up my weekend. The birthday in question is Sally's 40th. While online choosing her own present from her husband Simon (tells you a lot about the husband already!) she gets an email from him telling her he's leaving her. It soon emerges that he has a 19 year old Latvian lapdancer on the side - only a few years older than their daughter. Reeling from the shock, she books a holiday and takes her children, Lucy and Ollie, off to Turkey. Ther ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Chick Lit Enthusiast
I want to start by thanking Netgalley and the publisher for a ARC for my honest review.

This will be a typical chick lit once it's in the market. I didn't really care for the characters in this book or how the author developed them, especially with the daughter in this book, the author must have had a very disturbed idea of what a 16 yr old is like and what a parent should accept as acceptable behavouir from them, this was way over the top and not acceptable in any fiction let alone non-fiction.
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmm, lots of cheating not really my cup of tea. Made the heroine a bit of a doormat. The daughter Lucy was vile too!!
Michelle Ryles
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: galleys-read
I've had this book on my TBR for quite some time and if I'd known how HILARIOUS it was going to be, I would have read it a lot sooner. I am guilty of judging a book by it's cover in this case as I took from all the pink that it was going to be a bit of no-brainer chick-lit. Don't get me wrong, I love the cover and it actually fits the story very well but I have to be in the mood for chick-lit, hence the delay in reading it. So before I dig myself into a very big hole, and Debbie Johnson pours sa ...more
Iqra M.
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
First and foremost, this is not my favourite book by Johnson.
However, with the horrible week that I had, reading it put me in a good mood.
I actually had a good laugh from start to finish.
To be frank, it wasn't that funny, but I laughed a lot at the cringy parts, mainly because of how awkward it is. Plus, the characters aren't realistic but then again, it's fiction.
Anything is possible, right?
Can't wait to read more of Debbie Johnson's works!
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I needed a break from thrillers and this was perfect. I was pleasantly surprised by how funny and cheeky it was, with a solid plot and happy ending.
Rachel Gilbey
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Birthday That Changed Everything is easily my favourite book so far by Debbie Johnson. I was laughing from the start, and the second the action went to Turkey, and the Blue Bay Resort, I felt as though I was part of the Blue Bay gang.

I'm sure like me you will have made friends with people when you are on holiday. Because you are free-er and more relaxed, and due to knowing you may not see these people again, you will perhaps share more with these holiday friends, and a deep friendship can o
Suze Lavender
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sally's husband leaves her for a 19-year-old Latvian lap dancer shortly before her fortieth birthday. Because she wants to do something nice for herself Sally books a holiday. Together with her two teenage children she's going to enjoy the sun in Turkey. Blue Bay resort is a wonderful place with even better company. Soon Sally has a bunch of new friends. She's now part of a group of people who are meeting each other every year. One of them is James, he's gorgeous and he's single. They have a con ...more
Kate’s Book Spot
Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. The first thing to catch my eye was the beautiful cover and then when I read the description I just couldn’t resist.

What a fab opening paragraph! A book that can put a smile on my face just a few words into the storyline is definitely going places.

Sally’s life had pretty much crashed down around her. She still had her kids, Lucy and Ollie but they weren’t easy to handle at all, especially Lucy whose words
Another great novel by Debbie Johnson.

Sally is 39 years old, buying her own birthday present from her husband, when she gets an email from him saying he needs some space, it's not her it's him, oh and can she iron five work shirts for him? Of course, it's the age old story of middle-aged husband 'falling in love' with a girl half his age!

As revenge/ comfort Sally takes her two teenage children, Lucy the foul-mouthed Goth and Ollie the six foot nerd to Turkey for a two week holiday. I couldn't wo
Jane Linfoot
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I've been looking at that gorgeous cover for months with my tongue hanging out, so I was very happy to finally get my hands on this book. And I'm delighted to say it delivered even more than I'd hoped for. It might be worth saying I'm already a huge fan of Debbie Johnson's writing. Her prose is deft and witty, and frankly no-one else has me falling off the sofa LOLing one moment, then reaching for the tissues the next, in the way Ms J does. Like her other books, I couldn't put The Birthday ...more
Ann Cooper
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd give this amazing book ten stars, if I could! It's a while since I became so immersed in a story. Even when I was trying to get on with other things, it was there, at the back of my mind. It has everything: One liners, love, sex, tension, sun, sea and even rock & roll (well, karaoke anyway!).

It is incredibly funny, incredibly sad and keeps you guessing to the very end! I loved the idea of focussing on a group of people who meet once a year on holiday in Turkey. The main storyline follows
Grass monster
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed this fun, funny, laugh out loud read. You just could not help but get swept away with the story of Sally Summers.
Sally recieves an e-mail from her husband Simon saying he is leaving her for a younger woman who just happens to be a lap dancer. Sally then along with daughter Lucy and son Ollie she books a holiday to the Blue Bay Resort in Turkey to take some time out and celebrate her 40th birthday. They soon meet up with a group of people who have been coming to the resort for ye
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2016, net-galley
I loved every page of this book- it was full of laughs and a few tears. It really mixed your emotions. I was indignant on Sally's behalf when her husband sent an email saying that he was leaving her but asking her to pack a bag of the things he needed!

She books a holiday to Turkey and we get to meet a really rich cast of characters who all join up every year. A mix up with her case provides hilarious moments. She has her two teenage children along with her and her daughter particularly is very c
Jan 29, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Attracted by the cover (don't judge a book....??) I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway - but I need to look more closely next time! I can do 'chick-lit' for an easy, relaxing read but was put off in this case by the bad language, which was deemed necessary to enhance the character of the daughter, and the explicit sex scenes, which the entire relationship between the main characters seemed to be based on. It was predictable and the story hinged on a group of characters who came together each year ...more
Karen Whittard
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I really looked forward to this book. But I started reading it and I just got so Angry at it. Yes all children have the stage where they go through adolescence and they arnt sweet and lovely anymore but the daughter in this book is a brat! I wanted to chuck her into the swimming pool. The humour in this book was so in your face that I found it really cringe worthy and not very funny at all. I couldn't warm to the characters at all. Disappointed!!
Catherinehaine Haines
The book was an ok read although the story line was quite predictable.
The daughter was quite obnoxious at the beginning of the book but I suppose the author was showing extremes of characters to make the book entertaining. Needless to say by the finale ,daughter Lucy is a changed person for the better.
Quite a sweet ending and some of it was funny, just a bit too predictable .
Samantha Tonge
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you go on holiday this year, make sure you pack this book along with your suncream and cossie! A riotous, fast-paced read with saucy scenes, laugh out loud humour and poignant moments. And one very hot book hero! What more could a gal want to enjoy on the beach?!
Natasha Ellis
It was like a bad episode of Benidorm.
Salina Bennett
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Couldn't put it down

I loved this book from the first page. I found the characters so relatable and was cheering sal on from the off set. I loved Lucy's fiery personality and we all want and need a James in our lives.
Perfect to get stuck into while laying on a beach somewhere.....
Joanne Clark
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So disappointing. Disgusting language, horrible annoying characters, and graphic TMI sex. Frankly, if the editor had removed all of the f-bombs, this 407 page book would be a short story. I kept hoping it would get better but it didn’t. Is this the same author who wrote the “Comfort Food Cafe” books??? Perhaps it was her evil twin.

All I can say is ew, ew, EW!!!!
susan williams
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good summer read

I really enjoyed reading this book. First book I've read from this author and I'm definitely a fan of Debbie Johnson now. Great summer reading. Light read not to deep
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