Firstly, huge thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Random House UK , Cornerstone
Publication Date: 01/07/2020
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction | Romance
When disaster strikes, adventure calls…GoodReads
Charlotte had a plan. The perfect country wedding, followed by a month-long honeymoon in Japan – but when her fiancé starts having second thoughts, she knows there’s no choice but to call off the wedding.
Charlotte isn’t sure she knows how to be single, but she is going to try, starting with taking that trip of a lifetime – alone.
Will she find herself in the hills of Mount Fuji, or in the karaoke bars of Tokyo?
And will she be ready for romance by the time the cherry blossom flowers?
The beautiful cover with sakura and Mount Fuji caught my attention, and when I read that this novel was pretty much my dream (the travelling Japan for a month bit, not the marriage being called off bit!) I was dying to get stuck in.
I liked Charlotte as the protagonist of the novel and felt that her reactions to her relationship breaking up, and making the decision to still go on her honeymoon, believable. I enjoyed how enthusiastic she was about experiencing as much as she could in Japan, and as a tourist she was really relatable too. I also really liked the relationship she had with her siblings, especially her younger brother Benny. Due to the plot of the novel, Charlotte is the only character you’re really able to form a bond with as most other characters only make fleeting appearances. Despite her being a good protagonist, I think she could have been more developed as there were a few instances where her actions and thoughts felt repetitive.
There were many moments in the novel where I got excited reading about Charlotte’s adventures, especially at the beginning in Tokyo, as I have done a lot of that myself so it was lovely to experience these things again through the eyes of someone experiencing it for the first time. It’s because of this that I think people who have been to Japan may connect with this book more as they are able to reflect on their own experiences and project onto Charlotte as, at times, it feels more like an informational travel book rather than a novel. That isn’t to say that other people won’t enjoy the novel, as I think Charlotte could make anyone excited by the prospect of travelling anywhere.
Additionally, I found the use of flashbacks to be quite unnecessary and felt that it disrupted the pacing of the novel at times. Whilst it was nice to learn more about Charlotte and her past, I feel it didn’t add a whole lot to her current story as it had already been explained well already. I did enjoy the use of social media and emails through the novel, they were nice little reminders that there is a world outside of her travelling which gives you another dose of reality whilst reading this novel and also how her adventures were personal but were also helping her take steps towards achieving her dream job.
Overall, I think due to my own experiences I am a little biased. The novel was a nice read that had me reminiscing a lot on my own travels to Japan and gave me several new places that I want to discover myself when I next visit.