Ten Years is heartwarming, touching and emotional rollercoaster contemporary romance about second chance to life and happiness with enemies to lovers trope.
Ten Years by Pernille Hughes
Publication Date : August 18, 2022
Publisher : One More Chapter
Read Date : August 23, 2022
Genre : Romance / Contemporary
Pages : 384
Tea for this book : Peppermint + Menthol + Indian Masala Chai
Disclaimer – Many thanks to publisher for eARC via NetGalley.
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They’re perfect for each other
They just don’t know it yet
Becca and Charlie have known each other for years – ever since they met at university.
And for every one of those years, they’ve bickered, argued, offended, mocked and generally rubbed each other up the wrong way.
Until now. Until Ally’s bucket list. The death of their loved one should mean Becca and Charlie can go their separate ways and not look back. But completing the list is something neither Charlie nor Becca can walk away from.
And sometimes, those who bring out the worst in you, also bring out the very best…
Over the course of ten years, Becca and Charlie’s paths collide as they deal with grief, love and life after Ally.
Ten Years is heartwarming, touching and emotive contemporary romance that revolves around Becca (Ally’s best friend) and Charlie (Ally’s fiance) who cannot stand each other, even at the funeral of Ally whom they loved most and connected them. They both are struggling with loss and grief and when after one year they receive email from Ally (not anything paranormal, she scheduled that) asking them to fulfill her dying wish by completing 5 items on her bucket list, they agree to keep aside their hatred for Ally and meet once a year to complete the task that begins their long Ten Years of relationship that help them to deal with loss, grief and moving on in life.
The writing is beautiful, gripping, and emotive with third person narrative from Becca and Charlie’s perspectives. As title suggest the story takes place in duration of ten years from Ally’s death in 2012 to 2022, with yearly chapters highlighting important events in both characters’ life along with their meets for the bucket list. There are intermittent past, a memory telling about Charlie and Ally’s relationship, Becca’s life, Becca’s relationship with both Ally and Charlie. It added more depth to story making us familiar with characters and understand their relationships and life better.
The plot is emotional rollercoaster dealing with serious subject of death, loss, grief, and struggle of small actors with layers of abandonment issues, loyalty, and second chance to life and happines.
Characters are heart of the story. Both characters are realistic, relatable, flawed and complex. As there is long duration of time we see the characters grow with every year. It was amazing to see how they turned from childish, bickering, and struggling individuals to wise, understanding, and successful adults (bickering still stays).
I loved Becca in first half of the book. It was easy to root for her. Abandonment from her parents since she was kid, her loneliness after Ally’s death, her struggle in acting career and not getting a decent role is touching and heartbreaking. I admired her tenacious iron will and self-deprecating nature. It amazed me every time she made a joke of her fall and weird roles she has to play to pay the bills, it was both tragic and often humorous.
But she is not all kind and lovely, she is one angry and snarky woman who wouldn’t shy from being blunt and honest which is also understandable. All the angst and frustrations has to come out in some way and poor Charlie took the bitter burnt of it. It’s still a mystery if it was because she has feelings for Charlie but feels guilty as he was her best friend’ fiance but in my opinion, she wasn’t exactly aware of her feelings or knew she liked him until they completed almost all items on bucket list.
I really felt happy when she finally got the success she deserved but at the same time she really annoyed me in the second half. After knowing her, I agreed with Charlie, she feared being hurt and abandoned if she let anyone in her life. She kept pushing away happiness in her life and was kind of comfortable with misery. I really wanted to shake her when she didn’t give Charlie a chance and gave whole list of excuses to keep him away and said some bitter and nasty things. I liked when she finally gave herself time to accept where she is wrong.
Charlie at first wasn’t all charming except in looks. I didn’t understand why he didn’t like Becca, was always riled by her and felt eager to demean and fight with her. Becca was right about him from the beginning, he didn’t understand the struggle, he got everything in life easily, and he was indecisive person who was happy to go along with his partner or lover’s decisions or will flip a coin if he get many options. The only struggle he knew was his parents’ divorce and as story progressed I could see how it fanned his indecisive nature.
Even though I liked Becca for most of story, I found Charlie most interesting and loved his development. He grew on me as story progressed. Young Charlie was flirt, Charlie after Ally’s death was lost and was eager to move on in life, and Charlie after another failed relationship was wise, decent and changed person who saw his flaws and worked on making things right. And this Charlie, I could see isn’t indecisive but he has a tendency of dating or loving women who are controlling. It was amazing when he could recognize this and see why he found Becca different, loved her company, and how being with her he actually could be himself not molding into what someone else wanted. I also liked how he was realistic and reasonable about moving on in life, making Becca see she isn’t doing anything wrong by loving him and it’s not betrayal to Ally.
Author perfectly balanced serious subject of grieving process with fun and light moments. I loved the way Becca and Charlie completed the bucket list. I enjoy every moment of them together putting aside their differences and remembering Ally and their love for her. Wierd roles Becca got gave many laugh out loud moments. That wedding scene was epic.
Romance is slow burn with second chance arc and lots of banter. I wouldn’t even call this a romance as we see actual romance in second half of the story. Even with all the complexity that came with lots of switch from enemies to friends to back to enemies and then to lovers, I cheered for both characters and wished them happiness, even when Becca annoyed me with her dilemma.
Climax is filled with cliche, predictability and at the same time taking unexpected curve that kind of dragged the story but also was important for character development. I get why Becca was agry but at the same time I didn’t like her considering her feelings fake and not giving Charlie and happiness a chance. I don’t blame Charlie for what he did after that. I don’t exactly get how that last conversation changed Becca’s mind, at the same time I was glad her head was working in right direction. I liked the lovely, satisfying, feel-good ending with a little unexpected surprise.
Why 4 Stars-
Like I said, I wasn’t happy with Becca’s dilemma in third part and how much drama and scene she created after knowing the real reason behind bucket list. Some part of the story was a bit dragging.
Overall, Ten Years is touching, emotive, and beautifully written contemporary about second chance to life and happiness with enemies to lovers trope.
I definitely recommend this if you like,
Story dealing with loss and grief
Story takes place for long duration of time
Layer of abondonment issues
Second chance to life and happiness
Slowburn clean romance
Enemies to lovers trope
Realistic and realatble characters
Amazing character developement
Lots of banter and fun moments
Goodreads | Storygraph | Amazon.in | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk
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