Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty Readalong, Week 1

Time for another readalong, thanks to Hachette and hosted by Bree at All the Books I Can Read. In the first week of the readalong, we are discussing pages 1 to 149. Due to a shocking schedule this week (I literally have about 1 hour to myself in the next 72!) I thought I would post my thoughts here and join the discussion when I can.

So, onto the book (caution for plot spoilers):

Details: 443 pages, paperback, published by Hodder and Stoughton. Available now in Australia.

Lifesaving for Beginners is Ciara Geraghty’s fourth book. Her first, Saving Grace, is one of my favourite Irish chick lit books. (You can also read my reviews of Becoming Scarlett
and Finding Mr Flood by clicking on the hyperlinks). All her books all deal with serious topics in addition to being a lot of fun. I think that Lifesaving for Beginners is somewhat of a departure from the traditional chick lit format. Why? It starts with an accident on the motorway that changes a lot of lives – not really for the better. Then we have two characters telling their stories through the first person – Milo, a young boy who lost his mother in the accident, and Kat, who by a miracle survived.

I like the way that Geraghty writes Milo’s voice. He really does sound like a young boy, but the voice isn’t condescending or childish. Perhaps that’s because Milo has a number of issues to deal with that are distinctly grown up. Like his Mam dying, the arrival of a new half brother or sister, being brought up by his sister Faith (who it turns out isn’t biologically related to him) and everything changing crazily. I warmed to Milo instantly and found his adventures with Damo fun to read.

Kat is a mystery. I’m not finding her all that likeable at the moment. Is that because she pretty much poked and prodded her relationship until it broke down? She seems to have some good things going (such as being the mysterious Killian Kobain, highly successful author of the Declan Darker crime novels) but is also determined to break them down. It’s like she feels she doesn’t deserve happiness.

This then brings me to the mystery. I think it’s quite obvious what’s going to happen and how these characters are going to link up. The first hint (the letter) was pretty subtle, but the next conversation between Kat and Thomas (now ex-boyfriend) about motherhood is pretty blatant. I hope that there’s more to the mystery that I haven’t guessed!

I think the highlight for me so far has been the supporting characters. Brona, Kat’s agent, seems like fun (I think you’d have to be to meet your writer and swap suitcases anonymously in London bookshops). Ed, Kat’s brother, is also sweet – and has a good logic for why Kat should make food for him! The book for me is more about storyline that any gripping prose or quotable quotes, but that’s okay. Sometimes it’s nice to get caught up in the story rather than wondering about symbolism and definitions of words.

I hope to find out more about Kat’s parents in the next section as well as seeing if my prediction about Faith’s mother is true.

We’ll be back next week to discuss pages 150 through to 296.

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