Leah's Reviews > Could It Be Magic?

Could It Be Magic? by Melanie Rose
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's review
Oct 09, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-read-2010

When Jessica Taylor is struck by lightning one afternoon whilst walking her dog, she has no idea how dramatically her life is going to change! Lucky to survive, Jessica wakes up in a hospital bed – but as someone else. Apparently she’s now Lauren Richardson, wife and mother of four young children. No one will believe her story – she can hardly believe it herself. Later that night, Jessica wakes up again – as herself. She quickly works out that when Lauren sleeps, she wakes up as Jessica. But when Lauren is awake, she must sleep – whatever the time of day. Needless to say, it plays havoc with her work and her blossoming relationship with Dan Brennan, the handsome stranger who saved her on the Downs that fateful day. Jessica has no idea what has happened to her and whether she can get back to life as she knows it. Meanwhile, she must quickly get the hang of looking after four demanding children, an even more demanding husband and also learn all about the woman in whose designer shoes she now stands. But as she digs deeper into Lauren’s life, she unearths some secrets, secrets which may tear the family apart...

Could It Be Magic? is the debut novel from Melanie Rose, which was originally published under the title of Being Lauren. It must have obviously have been a popular read as in 2009 it was re-published under a new title, with a new cover by AVON, an imprint of HarperCollins. I must admit, I’d never heard of the book before, until Chloe reviewed it and it immediately grabbed my attention. It’s billed as a perfect read for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Cecelia Ahern and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. It took me a while, but I finally managed to pick the book up for the bargain price of a euro and it’s the best euro I think I’ve ever spent (and that includes buying a Wispa – chocolate heaven as far as I’m concerned!).

As soon as I started Could It Be Magic? I was a bit worried it was going to be a carbon copy of the fabulous Kinsella novel Remember Me?. They both have the same elements of memory loss (albeit the memory loss happened for different reasons), and both books have the female character learning to get used to an entirely different life. But Could It Be Magic? is about so much more than that as lead character Jessica, after being struck by lightning, finds herself in another woman, Lauren’s, body. As it turns out, when Jessica is asleep, she awakens as Lauren and when Lauren is asleep, she becomes herself, Jessica, again. Not only does Jessica have to contend with being a completely different woman, but it turns out that Lauren has a husband and four children, so Jessica (as Lauren) has to be a mother and wife without knowing who the people are that purport to be her family. Honestly, it might sound complicated but it’s really not. The only complication is that Jessica has to divide her time between being herself and being Lauren equally so that her own, real life with a job, dog and prospective boyfriend, doesn’t end up going completely down the pan.

I mean, isn’t that just one of the best plot lines for a story you’ve ever heard about? It’s such a fascinating avenue for Melanie Rose to go down and for a first novel it’s even more fantastic. I absolutely adored every page of the book, and it was easy to flip between Jessica being Jessica and Jessica being Lauren, it all flowed so nicely that I just wanted to keep reading and keep reading and keep reading to see how it was all going to pan out. I thought both stories, as the book is essentially, two stories merged into one, were equally as interesting as Jessica frantically tries to keep both lives on the go, without arousing the suspicion that everything isn’t exactly as it seems. The book zig-zagged into all sorts of directions as the pages wore on and I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough as both of Jessica’s worlds threatened to collapse in on themselves.

You would think that with essentially two different stories there would be tons of characters to keep up with, but it’s really not that difficult as they all have their own quirks and foibles. I warmed to Jessica immediately and she has raced up into my top 10 female characters ever. She just takes everything in her stride and I totally admired how she threw herself into being Lauren. Jessica’s personality stays pretty much the same throughout, which again, was another plus point. We don’t really know too much about the ‘real’ Lauren, but from what we do learn, I didn’t really know what to make of her. One of my favourite characters was Dan, who Jessica meets before her lightning strike. He was such a likeable character and I could see why Jessica fell for him! As for Lauren’s husband and children, I can’t say I liked Grant, the husband, very much, he seemed very smarmy but I adored Lauren’s four children. Teddy in particular was really lovely.

Melanie Rose deals with some difficult topics throughout the book, topics you might not expect from the beautiful orange cover, but all the subjects covered are handled sensibly and with great care. Could It Be Magic? is told entirely from Jessica’s point of view, switching between herself and Lauren, which made the book very easy to get in to. My main worry about the book was how it would end. It’s a completely unique storyline and the ending was either going to make or break the book. Thankfully, and much to my relief, I though the ending was very satisfactory. There’s no feel that the book was rushed to a conclusion and there was no convoluted explanation about what happened, all there was was a fantastic ending that had me in tears. Could It Be Magic? will appeal to many, many people and if you haven’t already read it, then I really do think you should pick this book up. Despite how cringe-worthy this may sound, it is a magical novel.

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Reading Progress

October 9, 2010 – Shelved
October 13, 2010 – Started Reading
October 14, 2010 –
page 247
October 14, 2010 –
page 343
October 14, 2010 – Shelved as: books-read-2010
October 14, 2010 – Finished Reading

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