Leah's Reviews > Lifesaving for Beginners

Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty
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Aug 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: books-read-2012, for-review

Ciara Geraghty’s is an author who never writes the same book twice. You know how some authors have a unique writing style that you just KNOW by reading it? Like Paige Toon or Sophie Kinsella. How all their books all have that unique imprint? Ciara Geraghty just does not have that. Not one of her four novels are similar to the others. Which, it has to be said, is strange. Authors are meant to have writing styles, aren’t they? I’ve never known an author write such wide-ranging and different stories. I absolutely adored Saving Grace, haven’t yet read Becoming Scarlett, couldn’t really get to grips with Finding Mr Flood and so when I got a copy of her newest novel Lifesaving For Beginners I just had no idea what kind of book I would get. Would I really enjoy it like I had Saving Grace or would I struggle with it like I did Finding Mr Flood? I’m quite pleased to report that I thoroughly enjoyed Lifesaving For Beginners.

Lifesaving For Beginners tells the story of two very different people. First there’s Kat Kavanagh who doesn’t really know what the truth is any more. She’s keeping so many secrets, so many things the people around her don’t know, that it’s hard to keep up. After surviving a horrific car crash that killed another lady, she’s struggling. Struggling to do anything. She can’t write and she can’t understand why her boyfriend Thomas keeps going on about how miraculous it was that she escaped unharmed from the accident and she hates it. Then there’s Milo McIntyre, who lost his mother in the same crash Kat survived. He loves his life. He has his lifesaving classes, he has Damo, his best friend forever. Until his life changes and he no longer has his mam and he has to learn to survive without her. These two people don’t know each other, but when Milo’s sister Faith learns a secret about the McIntyre’s past, Kat and Milo find themselves meeting, as everyone must learn to deal with these new truths.

I really, really enjoyed Lifesaving For Beginners. My proof copy of the novel states that it is ‘so good you won’t want to put it down’ and boy, is that the understatement of the year. The novel is down from both Kat and Milo’s perspectives and the chapters alternate so we get a chapter from Kat, in Dublin, and a chapter from Milo, in Brighton. They’re two very different people who are more connected than they might ever imagine (though not in the way I thought, as I was quickly proven wrong) and the contrast between the two is both startling yet amazing. I can’t say whose perspective I preferred. Both were good in very different ways. Kat spent a lot of time trying to justify her life as it was now – sans her boyfriend and sans her writing since the accident, as she tries to get her best friend Minnie and brother Ed to spend as much time with her as they can as she seems to hate being alone. Then there’s the sweet and adorable Milo. Who is most definitely a tonic. I loved how this nine-year-old (almost ten!) boy looked after his older sister Faith after their mother died. How he very much wanted to become a lifesaver when he was older and just how important those classes are to him.

The novel was just spectacular. If this is Geraghty’s new writing style and this will continue into her next novels, I’ll be really pleased because I really became involved in the lives of Kat and Milo. This is the novel that can cement Geraghty’s place among the Chick Lit elite – as long as she gets the right publicity because her past two novels have sort of passed everyone by and Lifesaving For Beginners is a novel that needs to be seen and needs to be read. It not only has a beautiful, simplistic cover, but it also has a beautiful inside too, with two characters who you really feel you know. I wanted to go to Brighton to see Milo and then hop on an aeroplane to meet Ed, Kat’s brother, who was just so cool. Milo is one of my favourite child characters ever. He’s one of the wisest youngsters ever and I just found him so refreshing. It’s so lovely to get a non-tainted perspective on the world. Inevitably, as you become older the world doesn’t seem as simple as it once did but Milo’s view of the world just proved how innocent (yet switched on) kids can be. I really do recommend you pick up this book. Yes, it’s entirely different to Geraghty’s previous three, but it’s easily on par with Saving Grace, easily.
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Reading Progress

August 15, 2012 – Shelved
September 17, 2012 – Started Reading
September 17, 2012 –
page 45
8.04%
September 22, 2012 –
page 560
100.0%
September 26, 2012 – Shelved as: books-read-2012
September 26, 2012 – Shelved as: for-review
September 26, 2012 – Finished Reading

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