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The Art of Letting Go

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For Lilah McCannon, life has taken a bit of a wrong turn. Engaged to a guy she is not in love with and stuck in a job with her tyrannical father as her boss, life has definitely not turned out the way she expected. At twenty-five years old, Lilah knows that she has a simple choice: live the life she has created or change it. Enrolling on a course at the local University, L For Lilah McCannon, life has taken a bit of a wrong turn. Engaged to a guy she is not in love with and stuck in a job with her tyrannical father as her boss, life has definitely not turned out the way she expected. At twenty-five years old, Lilah knows that she has a simple choice: live the life she has created or change it. Enrolling on a course at the local University, Lilah sets out with some clear rules to ensure her success at being a grown-up. No alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys, and no going home. But the last thing she anticipates is meeting Ben Chambers, the lead singer of a local band. With Ben, it’s instant, it’s hot, and it’s deep, but when Ben is offered the opportunity of a lifetime and it looks like his future lies on a different path to hers, Lilah has some heart-rending decisions to make. With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges. Will she ever make it up the library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? Most of all, will she be able to make the ultimate sacrifice and learn The Art of Letting Go?


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For Lilah McCannon, life has taken a bit of a wrong turn. Engaged to a guy she is not in love with and stuck in a job with her tyrannical father as her boss, life has definitely not turned out the way she expected. At twenty-five years old, Lilah knows that she has a simple choice: live the life she has created or change it. Enrolling on a course at the local University, L For Lilah McCannon, life has taken a bit of a wrong turn. Engaged to a guy she is not in love with and stuck in a job with her tyrannical father as her boss, life has definitely not turned out the way she expected. At twenty-five years old, Lilah knows that she has a simple choice: live the life she has created or change it. Enrolling on a course at the local University, Lilah sets out with some clear rules to ensure her success at being a grown-up. No alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys, and no going home. But the last thing she anticipates is meeting Ben Chambers, the lead singer of a local band. With Ben, it’s instant, it’s hot, and it’s deep, but when Ben is offered the opportunity of a lifetime and it looks like his future lies on a different path to hers, Lilah has some heart-rending decisions to make. With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges. Will she ever make it up the library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? Most of all, will she be able to make the ultimate sacrifice and learn The Art of Letting Go?

30 review for The Art of Letting Go

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maryam

    I fell in love with Lilah from the very beginning, her voice is so good and well developed. I fully agree with Anna when she said in her interview that her characters are crazy and loveable. She’s older than your average NA protagonaist, at 25. But she sounds younger than she really is. Impulsive at times, she is a fun, humorous person and you’ll love every second of the narration. Now, for the plot; I loved the fact that Lilah decided to enroll in a university because she wanted to turn her life I fell in love with Lilah from the very beginning, her voice is so good and well developed. I fully agree with Anna when she said in her interview that her characters are crazy and loveable. She’s older than your average NA protagonaist, at 25. But she sounds younger than she really is. Impulsive at times, she is a fun, humorous person and you’ll love every second of the narration. Now, for the plot; I loved the fact that Lilah decided to enroll in a university because she wanted to turn her life around and be all grown up than she already is. The twists and turns of college life are so beautifully explained that it had almost had me going, “OMG, this is so me.” at numerous points in the story. And then there are the friends, Meredith and Jayne. I absolutely adored Meredith, Jayne however makes few appearances and doesn’t really get much development time. And then there are the boys. John is Lilah’s ex-fiance is a guy you’d love to hate, at least I did. But I wish there were more scenes between him and Lilah. And then there is Ben, and boy oh boy, what a man. He’s everything you’d want a boy to be. All in all, The Art of Letting Go is a fun read that might become this year’s best read for me. I enjoy Brit-lit and have fun reading the slang and British humor. If you do too, this is the book for you.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Komal Chandwani

    It might be called The Art of Letting Go, but I cannot let go of this book. I've fallen in love with Ann Bloom's writing and her characters. This book is so much more than I expected it to be. It gives the readers a sense of realism. Lilah's journey is one that most people can connect with at some level. Her character develops steadily and that's what makes you fall in love. Lilah is not an already developed character. As the character grows, you grow alongside with them. Her life wasn't easy and It might be called The Art of Letting Go, but I cannot let go of this book. I've fallen in love with Ann Bloom's writing and her characters. This book is so much more than I expected it to be. It gives the readers a sense of realism. Lilah's journey is one that most people can connect with at some level. Her character develops steadily and that's what makes you fall in love. Lilah is not an already developed character. As the character grows, you grow alongside with them. Her life wasn't easy and Lilah has rules. But when those rules are broken it's actually party time for us. Ben. Oh goodness, where do I start with him? I am utterly smitten with Ben. Their journey is filled with ups and downs. But it's their strong bond that makes your heart beat go crazy. I have laughed, I have smiled and I have cried. This is the book that you DO want to give a shot to. You need this book on your kindle or perhaps a paperback. I love this book and cannot wait to read the next one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I am going to try to get through this review without gushing too much. "Try" being the operative word. I promise nothing. =) "I, Lilah McCannon, aged twenty-five, have just run away from home. I am trying not to think about it too much. Every time I do, I start to hyperventilate with that hitched breathing that precedes a full-scale panic attack." When this book begins, Lilah is in the midst of living a life she wants no part of. She is engaged to a perfectly nice (and boring) man. Her I am going to try to get through this review without gushing too much. "Try" being the operative word. I promise nothing. =) "I, Lilah McCannon, aged twenty-five, have just run away from home. I am trying not to think about it too much. Every time I do, I start to hyperventilate with that hitched breathing that precedes a full-scale panic attack." When this book begins, Lilah is in the midst of living a life she wants no part of. She is engaged to a perfectly nice (and boring) man. Her future has never been her own choice. She makes the decision to take back her life. At 25, she's going to head to college (university in the UK) and live according to four rules: 1. No alcohol. 2. No cigarettes. 3. No boys. 4. No going home. Needless to say, the rules are broken... at least the first three... within her first couple days at Roehampton University. What kind of story would there have been if they hadn't been broken? "If I am going to get through this and be a stronger, more grown-up person for it, then I need to not melt into a puddle every time he looks at me. I wonder if they still make chastity belts and if they do where I can get one." At her first event at university, Lilah meets Ben. He's tall and hot with dark hair and blue eyes. He's the lead singer of a band. Their attraction is immediate and despite the fact that she's with someone else, they wind up kissing. Quite a bit. Life gets interesting when she wakes up and learns that they live in the same flat. As they begin to build a friendship, their mutual attraction and sexual chemistry tempts them. I don't typically condone cheating in books, but the relationship between Lilah and John was strained and, well, I can't blame her for snogging Ben. I'd do the same if given the chance. ;) "I don't know how to be with you now." He tenses next to me, and I continue. "But I also don't know how to be without you." Lilah definitely didn't know who she was or what she wanted when she got to university. She was incredibly immature at the beginning of the book and I'm quite pleased with the way she grew during this book. Each experience, whether with Ben, her family or her friends, shaped her. She took initiative to make changes she found necessary for her growth. I applaud her for that. I still wanted to shake her for being so blind with regards to Ben; for not speaking up and saying what she wanted from him. Ben wasn't perfect, but he was pretty damn close. He was sweet, caring, thoughtful, real, sexy and honest. He's totally my new favorite book boyfriend. While the book was told solely from Lilah's perspective, I still feel like I connected with Ben just as much as I did with her. I understood the motivations for his actions and I could feel the strength of his feelings for Lilah, despite never once being in his head. "You and Ben are the only people who believe you are just friends. Everyone else knows that you are a minefield of hopeless sexual tension and lingering brooding looks." One of my favorite things about this book was the humor. I love British humor. This book is filled with it. It left me laughing out loud... and speaking British slang for days. The other two primary characters, Meredith and Tristan, were fantastic, complex characters as well. They were too cute together. The writing was beautiful and absolutely charming. I devoured this book. I also stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it because I couldn't even consider going to bed without finding out what happened to Lilah and Ben, two of my new favorite characters ever. "So why do you love me?" Ben asks as he nibbles along my ear and jaw, making me squirm and not at all in a bad way. "Because it's as easy as breathing and feels like the most natural thing in the world." Lilah and Ben's relationship wasn't easy, but it was natural. It was right and powerful. Their interactions left me swooning and smiling. (Yes, and more than a little teary-eyed at times.) When one of them was hurting, I hurt too. I connected deeply with these characters and they took me through a full range of emotions. I felt a personal connection to the characters because they reminded me more than a little bit of a relationship I had in college. That might explain some of the tears. ;) "I hope that Ben remembers all these perfect moments for the rest of his life. I know that I am going to remember them for all of mine." This book is all about the characters and the journey they travel – both separately and together. It's about the bumps and crossroads they run into along the way and the choices they have to make. I'm not going to spoil any of that for you. You want to experience it all for yourself. Anna Bloom does such a fantastic job of transporting the reader into Lilah and Ben's lives that it feels like you're living each day with them. Anna Bloom writes fantastic characters. I absolutely adored both Lilah and Ben – when I wasn't considering strangling Lilah for being so dense, that is. While they fell in love with each other, I fell in love with them. It's been a long time since I read a book with characters that left me with as much of a book hangover as this one did. It was literally days before I could even consider letting go of these characters. I still haven't given them up entirely. I can't wait for the next chapter in their story. I officially have a new favorite author for the auto-buy list. I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Trish at Between My Lines

    The Art of Letting Go is exactly the type of NA book that I love. It’s not over dramatic; there is no over the top story line such as half your family being killed and the other half suffering some awful trauma. None of that crazy stuff that so many NA books are full of. Instead it’s fun story about going to college and starting again. My Recap : Lilah aged twenty-five realises she hates her life, her fiancée and her job. So at the drop of a hat, she packs it all in, packs up her bags and enrols i The Art of Letting Go is exactly the type of NA book that I love. It’s not over dramatic; there is no over the top story line such as half your family being killed and the other half suffering some awful trauma. None of that crazy stuff that so many NA books are full of. Instead it’s fun story about going to college and starting again. My Recap : Lilah aged twenty-five realises she hates her life, her fiancée and her job. So at the drop of a hat, she packs it all in, packs up her bags and enrols in university. This book follows her first year at college and the many ups and downs along the way. She gives herself 4 rules; no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. That’s going to work, right? My Thoughts : If I could find one word to sum this book up, it would be fun. Crazy, light-hearted fun with loveable characters. Lilah is impulsive, a little bit crazy (in a good way!) and ready to start living her life. I was really impressed with her running away from her life and starting again in college until I found it was only 3 miles down the road. That made me laugh, maybe she wasn’t as impulsive as I though. In college, Lilah lives in a bubble. She blocks out her family, her previous job, her fiancée and even though she is older than her fellow students, she throws herself headfirst in to college life. And manages to throw back a vodka or ten at the same time. She likes to party, no doubt about that and at times I wondered was it excessive but in reality was nothing more than most of us have managed to cram in from time to time. Lila is older than most NA characters at 25 but she feels younger at times. By going back to college and hanging around with a younger set, she paradoxically grows up more than she ever managed in her grown up job. She tackles her studies with a certain lack of dedication and for all those who have been known to procrastinate about studying; you will recognise those studying detours that are far more important in the moment. Such as the toast test, where you spend hours experimenting how long it takes to make the perfect slice of toast. So yes, I loved Lilah and her sense of humour and fun. So she needs a strong male mc to match up to her and I don’t mean John her clueless fiancée. Fear not, we have the lovely Ben who is more than capable of stepping up to the plate. Ben is a musician (always a good starting point!); hotter than hot and even better, he is a good guy. Perfect! Their romance has its rocky points but I’m always cheering for them. And there is the swooniest date ever to be enjoyed – I’ll give you a hint (champagne, baguettes, brie, strawberries, chocolate, a park in springtime bloom) – nice. If my husband is reading, feel free to take notes Tom! Set in London, this book has a very English feel to it and is fun of ‘British humour and charm’. That is a quote from the book synopsis but I have to use it as it’s true and really captures the essence of the book. A huge highlight of the book is the strength of the friendships. I feel it really captured how quickly college friendships are made and how quickly your new friends become your rock to cling to in good times and in bad. If I have any criticism of the book, it is Lilah’s parents. They seem to go hot and cold and it felt hard for me to believe that Lilah can go from ignoring her mother to pouring her heart out to her. That part just didn’t really sit right with me. The book is counting down towards an event and as you get closer to the date, it feels like a ticking clock and I was anxiously flipping pages hoping and hoping for where I wanted this story to go. Did it go there, sorry, spoiler free zone! I will say it has me screaming for book 2 ASAP. Who should read The Art of Letting Go? Highly recommended for all those who enjoy NA books that are heavy on fun and low on the over-the-top-drama. If you enjoyed books like Bridget Jones Diary then I think you would really enjoy this one as well.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    A lot can happen in the course of a year and Anna Bloom’s THE ART OF LETTING GO shows us exactly what happens when a twenty-five year old decides to enroll at university for the first time and gives up the life she’s settled for. Narration is first person and Lilah is an engaging narrator. You’ll easily fall in love with her and want to be her friend. THE ART OF LETTING GO is written in a form of a diary, but doesn’t read like one. Bloom has a talent for combining humor and sarcasm throughout the A lot can happen in the course of a year and Anna Bloom’s THE ART OF LETTING GO shows us exactly what happens when a twenty-five year old decides to enroll at university for the first time and gives up the life she’s settled for. Narration is first person and Lilah is an engaging narrator. You’ll easily fall in love with her and want to be her friend. THE ART OF LETTING GO is written in a form of a diary, but doesn’t read like one. Bloom has a talent for combining humor and sarcasm throughout the narrative. THE ART OF LETTING GO is everything I’ve been wanting in a New Adult novel. Often times, New Adult authors get lost in the amount of required bedroom action and forget that New Adult is about finding yourself. Sure, sex is part of that, but there’s so much more from your first rented apartment to navigating adulthood and paying bills. Here Bloom gives us Lilah who is stumbling through life and we can associate with her mistakes. How many of us have put a limit on the amount of drinking we’re planning to do or going out with that cute guy when we’ve sworn off men? There’s a piece of Lilah in everyone of us and that's what makes her so lovable. At times, Lilah does come off younger than her twenty-five years, but she was forced to grow up too quickly. University gives her the chance to let her hair down, try new things, and be the girl she lost along the way. We have good character development and I feel like I got to know each person Lilah comes into contact with personally. There’s one exception and that’s Lilah’s ex-fiancé, John. I wish we had more scenes with him and what made him the toad he appears to be. Lilah becomes close friends with two university girls: Meredith and Jayne. I liked Meredith and she was the voice of reason when Lilah’s life became complicated. We don’t spend much time with Jayne, but she’s part of the group outings. Of course we have to have a yummy hero and oh boy, is Ben everything you want him to be! I won’t go into detail regarding him because I don’t want to spoil how great he is. We have a few secondary characters who also play a role including Lilah’s twin brother, Tristan. I’m glad our first introduction to him was via Lilah’s thoughts and I really enjoyed the process of getting to know him. What I loved about THE ART OF LETTING GO ? Bloom captures the university culture perfectly and it brought back memories of when I did my postgrad degree in Glasgow. If you’ve ever lived in a residence hall or spent hours toiling away at the library, you’ll quickly remember your life as a student. Overall, I just freaking adored this book! I haven’t laughed so much in long time and it’s one of my favorites of the year. If I can take a moment to discuss the use of spelling: it is British. Bloom does use a lot of Britishims, but nothing that will turn off readers. Also there are a few situations in which US readers might not find believable. For example, there’s talk of Lilah and friends going to a bar on campus and while most US universities are dry campuses there are a few with on-campus bars. The whole notion of a bar on campus was a foreign concept to me until I attended Glasgow University. Anna Bloom’s THE ART OF LETTING GO is a brilliant debut and a must read for any fan of Bridget Jones or New Adult. I can’t wait to get Ben’s narrative on spending Christmas with Lilah. Anna Bloom is an author to watch. This review and more are posted at Literary, etc.

  6. 4 out of 5

    nick (the infinite limits of love)

    Anna Bloom's The Art of Letting Go was a book that I was looking forward to read it because not only is it set in England, but it also has a protagonist who was in her mid-twenties heading back to college. I thought that that would make for an interesting story and I was excited because it sounded promising. While the main character Lilah might have been in her mid-twenties, she had the maturity level of a 12 year old. She was a difficult main character and I truly wish she had more of a backbon Anna Bloom's The Art of Letting Go was a book that I was looking forward to read it because not only is it set in England, but it also has a protagonist who was in her mid-twenties heading back to college. I thought that that would make for an interesting story and I was excited because it sounded promising. While the main character Lilah might have been in her mid-twenties, she had the maturity level of a 12 year old. She was a difficult main character and I truly wish she had more of a backbone. Her constant jealousy fits whenever a girl approached her love interest and constant blushing/giggling when she would be with the love interest frustrated me. One particular scene that just showed how immature she was was when she gets a terrible haircut and then refuses to go to classes or outside her room to even eat. I just never understood that. You can wear a cap or cool-looking hats if you want to hide your haircut. You don't just skip classes for almost a week. That just seemed very childish to me. She also made a promise to herself to steer away from romance and focus on her studies, but of course she broke that promise within a few hours. I'm not saying she shouldn't have been interested in boys, but I wished she was more focused on academics as well. While the romance was sweet at times, it could also get really cheesy. There was this one scene when the love interest, Ben, who is in a band, started singing "Hey there Delilah" by Plain White T's. I don't know, I just thought that scene was so cheesy I actually laughed. In the end, I just couldn't make it through the entire book because the book was full of scenes like that. The book does have an insanely high rating on Goodreads, so I suppose it didn't work for me because of my personal preferences.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tee loves Kyle Jacobson

    The Art Of Letting Go is one of the funniest craziest books I have ever read! Lord I laughed and I screamed and I yelled at my kindle because I was so invested in this story and the characters. Man what a wild ride this story was. I mean the main character was older she was 25 years old and she had a life but it was life she did not want. She had a fiance but she did not love him she just agreed to marry him out of comfort. So as I am reading this story and I am seeing where this is going I star The Art Of Letting Go is one of the funniest craziest books I have ever read! Lord I laughed and I screamed and I yelled at my kindle because I was so invested in this story and the characters. Man what a wild ride this story was. I mean the main character was older she was 25 years old and she had a life but it was life she did not want. She had a fiance but she did not love him she just agreed to marry him out of comfort. So as I am reading this story and I am seeing where this is going I start to get nervous because at 25 years old when you make a life change it can either make you or break you depending on what the outcome of the decision. So when Lilah decides she has had enough of her life and she is going to pack up and go to Uni I was a little afraid for her because I did not think she could pull it off but holy hell what she does go through is one crazy ride. I mean imagine starting Uni at the age of 25 uh you are a little older than the college age kids and you have to decide if you are going to fit in with the in crowd or you are just going to sit back and live in your own world. So Lilah starts Uni and she goes through all these changes and challenges and some where along the line she falls in love with a great guy but she has been heart before and she has problems trusting men in general. But when Lilah meets Ben he sparks something in her that she wants to explore but is to nervous to explore. Will she let her old self go and move on or will she stay sheltered?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    The Art of Letting Go is such a fun book and I did truly enjoy it. It is written in diary format, with entries from the protagonist, Delilah "Lilah,", chronicling her life during her first year at University, telling the tale of how she found the love of her life, Ben, and all the drama surrounding it. Lilah is quite the character. She is funny, likes to hang out and do a bit of the typical college partying with her friends, but her fears and insecurities keep her from committing to Ben complete The Art of Letting Go is such a fun book and I did truly enjoy it. It is written in diary format, with entries from the protagonist, Delilah "Lilah,", chronicling her life during her first year at University, telling the tale of how she found the love of her life, Ben, and all the drama surrounding it. Lilah is quite the character. She is funny, likes to hang out and do a bit of the typical college partying with her friends, but her fears and insecurities keep her from committing to Ben completely. Ben is a total hottie, is in a band, and he is completely crazy about Lilah. They have a lot of fun together and the chemistry between them is electric, so there is quite a bit of "snogging" going on. There are some really steamy scenes, some funny times, and some serious ones. As Ben prepares to leave for the United States with his band, Lilah's anxieties increase. Lilah has a moment when the light bulb comes on and she truly realizes what letting go really means, and what it doesn't, and is determined to find Ben and tell him so, but she just may be too late. The Art of Letting Go is a delightful novel that is filled with British humor, romance, great characters and secondary characters, and lots of fun. I really enjoyed this novel and I am really looking forward to what happens next.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Today I am sharing with you the first honest to God New Adult Romance that I can get behind and say that if you don't read this book/series you will miss out on an incredibly witty, romantic, steamy love story that puts most other romances in this category to shame. Candace is always sending me emails saying "I think you'll like this one" as she gets me and my tastes. She is never wrong. She sent me this one and I said no because October has been the month from hell. But then I read an excerpt s Today I am sharing with you the first honest to God New Adult Romance that I can get behind and say that if you don't read this book/series you will miss out on an incredibly witty, romantic, steamy love story that puts most other romances in this category to shame. Candace is always sending me emails saying "I think you'll like this one" as she gets me and my tastes. She is never wrong. She sent me this one and I said no because October has been the month from hell. But then I read an excerpt somewhere and I was hooked. So I asked to join the tour, because sometimes, you just know a book is meant for you. The Art of Letting Go was meant for me. I hope you love it as much as I do! Lilah is such a fun character! She is funny, unaware of her finer qualities, very aware of her faults and seems to know quite a bit about Taylor Swift songs. She has just quit her job at the bank making gobs of money to become a student at the University and she finds herself living with teenagers at the age of 25. She believes she might have made a mistake until she meets Ben, the lead singer of the band playing at the "Fresher's Ball." After having broken some of her "rules" Lilah thinks: "My life could be lived to a Taylor Swift album right now. If my life was ever made into a movie that is all there would be: Taylor Swift belting away in the background a song for every day that I sit here on my bed....She would croon about all sorts of teenage love and angst." (loc.1196) Lilah keeps a journal so we can read about her escapades and feelings. She's stubborn. She is noble. But she also gets in her own way. She tries to do the right thing but it's really hard to say if she is doing the right thing. She definitely shows character growth, especially at the very end. She has proven that she can act like a grown up in some ways. She is laugh out loud hysterically funny. And April 14, because she writes in a journal and it is a journal entry, made me cry. I hope that Lilah has grown up enough to follow that question mark! Ben, oh Ben! Who doesn't love a man who cooks for you, loves your "squidgy bits", fireman carries you home after you've had too much to drink, and sings "Hey there Delilah" to you since that is your name?" Ben gets Lilah. He loves her soul deep never caring about running down her face, night after makeup or that she can't cook. He doesn't care that at 25 she's still not a grown up. Ben love Lilah, all the ugly parts and the beautiful parts and the inbetween parts. And he doesn't cheat on her, or ever give up on her. He does this one thing, this one grand gesture, it is so amazing and any man that would do that for me, he would have my heart for as long as he wanted. It has nothing to do with singing to her, which he does. Nothing to do with romantic dates, which he does well. It is the most caring thing I have ever seen a man do. He's also funny and dishes it right back to Lilah. They are a perfect match. Lilah makes great friends with Meredith in her dorm and she becomes friends again with her twin brother whom she has shared a flat with for years but has never really liked. These two characters serves as sounding boards for her and support when she needs it. She even has parents to whom she isn't speaking for most of the book as her father has disowned her for leaving the job at the bank he got her and going to Uni. So why do you ask am I so besotted with this book? First Lilah, she's someone that I understand. She isn't sure of herself. She's not stick thin and beautiful and just doesn't know it. That is not her. Also she isn't a genius. No, if she's going to pass Uni, she's going to have to do a lot better than she's done this year. She's spent most of the year stalking, ogling, and obsessing over Ben. And then there was the drinking. I don't think you have it all figured out at 25. But I love that she followed her instincts to leave a job she hated and tried something new. And it led her to something amazing-Ben and new friends. And I love that she didn't knuckle under to pressure to go back to the job she hated when her father threatened to take the flat away that she and Tristan shared. I loved her sense of humor, her honesty at least with herself and her compassion. Yes, there was sex. Lots and lots, but it happens off the page, never described and it isn't needed for the story to work. That's why it's good. There is a real story here, not just sex with some words written around it. There are parents involved, both Lilah's and Ben's. The main characters are not broken individuals. No, they are pretty much everyday people who might have some insecurities, but nothing like what I think most NA has in it. There are no tragic pasts. The drama is pretty low key. What more can you ask for? It is truly a compelling novel and I need the next book in the series right now! The ending leaves you with a small, smidge of hope. But one book was not enough of Lilah and Ben so I am glad there will be more! Thanks to the author for a copy of the novel for review purposes!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    3.5 Stars I’m generally not a fan of the New Adult genre. In my reading experience, it basically means it’s a Young Adult book with Adult sex scenes (sometimes Very Adult, graphic sex scenes that are quickly skimmed over). There’s almost always a manwhore who changes his ways for the one, who just so happens to be very innocent. They’re usually freshmen in college who are still teenagers and not really dealing with anything a new adult would be. So I was pleasantly surprised that The Art of Letti 3.5 Stars I’m generally not a fan of the New Adult genre. In my reading experience, it basically means it’s a Young Adult book with Adult sex scenes (sometimes Very Adult, graphic sex scenes that are quickly skimmed over). There’s almost always a manwhore who changes his ways for the one, who just so happens to be very innocent. They’re usually freshmen in college who are still teenagers and not really dealing with anything a new adult would be. So I was pleasantly surprised that The Art of Letting Go focuses on a couple in their mid-twenties, facing real “what am I doing with my life??” questions. Losing one’s virginity is not a main plot point and there are no graphic scenes at all. Lilah, our main character, is twenty-five when she decides to leave her cushy bank job and her fiancé and start over at university. I felt like Lilah was a blend between Bridget Jones (the movie, I haven’t read the books so I’m not sure how similar they are) and a Sophie Kinsella character. Which means that she tries very hard to try to do better. Sometimes she succeeds, but mostly she wakes up with a hangover. While I found that she was funny and relatable a good deal of the time, I was bothered by how much drinking she did. She and her friends all sound a little like alcoholics. Then there’s Ben. I read The Saving of Benjamin Chambers, the prequel from Ben’s POV, before reading this book. While I really liked Ben, I was a little put off by his new stalkerish purpose in life. I was expecting him to be a psycho, possessive boyfriend in this book and he really wasn’t. Even though he’s been in this relationship about 9 months longer than Lilah has been, he doesn’t ever push her. He’s just there – cooking her breakfast, walking her to the library from class, hanging out, playing his guitar. Even though it started out a little bit like “insta-love”, they really do earn their relationship. I liked the secondary characters, their roommates and Lilah’s twin brother, Tristan. I was a little skeeved out by 25 year old Tristan going out with 18 year old Meredith, but they ended up being a pretty stable couple that I liked. I would’ve liked to have seen Ben’s band mates more, though. Overall, I really enjoyed The Art of Letting Go. It was funny and sweet and probably the best New Adult book I’ve read. I would have given it 4 stars, except for a couple of issues. The plot involved a lot of getting drunk, having sex, repeat (though it wasn’t graphic scenes, so props for that). And maybe it’s a British thing, but I found the lack of contractions to be a little distracting and made the dialogue oddly formal. I would recommend this book to fans of NA or Contemporary Romance. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with Ben and Lilah next in The Art of Keeping Faith, which comes out in the spring. See my review at: http://stephaniesbookreviews.wordpres...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karla Mae (Reads and Thoughts)

    I always find myself excited when I get to read books that are set in countries other than the states and I was surprised and excited to know that The Art Of Letting Go was set in London. I love the English feel and the whole British humor that accompanied the whole story. The Art of Letting Go’s story was not over dramatic as typical of any NA story. There are no crazy, traumatic and awful stuffs, angst is not that present. It was all about going to college and starting life again independently I always find myself excited when I get to read books that are set in countries other than the states and I was surprised and excited to know that The Art Of Letting Go was set in London. I love the English feel and the whole British humor that accompanied the whole story. The Art of Letting Go’s story was not over dramatic as typical of any NA story. There are no crazy, traumatic and awful stuffs, angst is not that present. It was all about going to college and starting life again independently but it was sure filled with crazy drinking, foolish decisions and awful actions. Lilah McCannon, aged twenty-five have just ran-away from home. This is one crazy book! It follows the freshman life of Lilah McCannon at the University – with all its ups and downs and other extraordinary happening. I’m pretty sure you guys know who Bridget Jones is right? Well, Lilah could be the long lost sister of Bridget Jones with all her personal and guy dilemmas and continuous self talk. Lilah was an okay character. Her will and humor was greatly mixed but it was also unavoidable to feel a bit frustrated with her – she’s twenty-five year old yet most of the time she acts so immature – drowning her in liquor and clearly not wanted to make up her mind. But her humor gets me most of the time – especially her daily Taylor Swift Life Soundtrack. I like her honesty with her journal inputs (February 18th so far was my favorite). She’s older than the typical NA character and even though I find it a bit awkward that she was hanging out with eighteen year old students, it doesn’t feels all as awkward at all as the story progress. It seems like she grows up and learned more with younger people surrounding her. Ben is the guy who’s a great match for Lilah. He’s a musician and an overall good guy. I couldn’t say anything about his dedication with Lilah but I find myself craving more of a background from him. I wanted to hear his side of the story from the first moment he met Lilah. Lilah and Ben has a very rocky start plus there is a lot and endless back and forth between these two but you know there is this feel that you wanted them to nd up with one another. The ending was pretty suited for the two but it was not the kind of ending that I was hoping for – yes I expected it to end that way but I was hoping it would go to the path my mind was thinking. In all, it was a good read. If you want to enjoy endless amount of British Humor pick this one up. Will definitely look forward for Lila’s upcoming year at the Uni. *Full Blog Tour deets posted at Reads and Thoughts.* *Copy kindly provided for review.*

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Ang

    Originally posted at Fathomless Reveries Thank you to Anna Bloom for the review copy! This is no way affected my views on the novel. Coming across this book was amazing. I loved the synopsis, and the cover was really super cute and adorable. I felt like I could totally relate with the blurb because I’m also about to enter the university and all that, but when I started to read it, I’m disappointed with how I cannot be really connected with the characters that much. I don’t really know why, but yea Originally posted at Fathomless Reveries Thank you to Anna Bloom for the review copy! This is no way affected my views on the novel. Coming across this book was amazing. I loved the synopsis, and the cover was really super cute and adorable. I felt like I could totally relate with the blurb because I’m also about to enter the university and all that, but when I started to read it, I’m disappointed with how I cannot be really connected with the characters that much. I don’t really know why, but yeah. I love Lilah’s fun and sarcastic way of narrating things. It really made the mood light, and fun. It makes you laugh, and it was as if you were just telling stories with your friend. Lilah is 26 years old, but she acts like a teenager. Seeing her grow so much during her stay in the Uni was really amazing. She’s far from being a perfect person. She’s insecure and has a lot of negative traits. Being with her while she realizes a lot of lessons in life has made me feel like I should be doing something to change myself for the better also. I love how Ben handles Lilah, and gives her space as much as she needs to. He’s not the possessive, jealous guy at all, which was really cool. It may have started out with instalove, but this love he has for Lilah was truly sweet and genuine. The romance between Lilah and Ben was not easy, but it was just right and perfect for the two of them. There were a lot of things that they encountered in their relationship, but they helped each other grow with the choices they make, together or individually. The Art of Letting Go is humorous, light, easy-to-read with no over-the-top drama that is recommended to those who love NA and British humor. I’m curious to know what’s going to happen next to Lilah and Ben in The Art of Keeping Faith.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty & Erin Muir

    I bought this on a recommendation from my friend Kelli. We have similar taste in books and we are forever recommending books to each other. This is just one in the long list of recommendations I’ve had and I’ve finally gotten around to reading it after buying it quite a while ago. The story is all about Lilah McCannon. Lilah is the narrator throughout and her voice comes to us in a diarised format. Lilah is a bit lost in life. Stuck in a job she hates and a relationship she isn’t invested in she I bought this on a recommendation from my friend Kelli. We have similar taste in books and we are forever recommending books to each other. This is just one in the long list of recommendations I’ve had and I’ve finally gotten around to reading it after buying it quite a while ago. The story is all about Lilah McCannon. Lilah is the narrator throughout and her voice comes to us in a diarised format. Lilah is a bit lost in life. Stuck in a job she hates and a relationship she isn’t invested in she decides to take matters into her own hands and run away from home, well to the local Uni. I really liked the sound of the blurb. I’m close in age to Lilah and I also went straight into work skipping uni so I felt I could relate to her on that front (although I love my job – on occasion – and my boyfriend!). I didn’t realise until I started reading the book that it was written like a diary. I wasn’t sure what to think but read on as Lilah’s dry sense of humour and very down to earth, tell it like it is voice drew me right in. The story follows Lilah through her first year at university and has so many emotional ups and downs I was wrung out by the end of it. I was sucked right into the story and compelled to turn page after page after page. Lilah meets hunky guitar player Ben on her first night of Uni and spends a lot of time making lusty eyes before finally getting together with them. I loved when the pair were together because they seemed to fit so well and their chemistry was evident even though the story is only told from one POV. I read this in 2 sittings. It’s quite long but as I said it hooks you from start to finish. I wasn’t going to go ahead and buy the next one in the series straight away as I’m supposed to be watching how much I’m spending BUT this is left on such a cliff hanger I had to buy it straight away.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura Nelson (Tangents and Tissues)

    *****5 star-read***** Lilah McCannon is at a crossroads in her life. Continue on her current path and sleepwalk through her life accommodating others or take the plunge and start living her life for herself! It’s a brave decision to leave a secure job at twenty-five and enrol in university, but it’s the first step in Lilah finding out what she really wants from life. The Art of Letting Go is told through Lilah’s journal and is full of heartfelt emotion and her witty, at times sarcastic, humour. Th *****5 star-read***** Lilah McCannon is at a crossroads in her life. Continue on her current path and sleepwalk through her life accommodating others or take the plunge and start living her life for herself! It’s a brave decision to leave a secure job at twenty-five and enrol in university, but it’s the first step in Lilah finding out what she really wants from life. The Art of Letting Go is told through Lilah’s journal and is full of heartfelt emotion and her witty, at times sarcastic, humour. The author had an uncanny ability to bring this story vividly to life for me, and I found the fact it was set in the UK refreshing. I could definitely envisage myself having a small sherry with Lilah lol! “He is my favourite book.” What Lilah doesn’t expect on this journey is to fall head over heels in love with a fellow mature student, Ben Chambers. Tall, dark and blue-eyed Ben just also happens to be the lead singer in local band, Sound Box, who are on the cusp of great things. Loving him might mean learning the greatest lesson of them all; the art of letting go. “Be brave with me, Lilah.” I could kick myself that I haven’t come across this hidden gem before. To say I loved it is an understatement. To make me snort/giggle, smile, get angry and cry all in one book is a winner for me!! And Ben, oh jeez, he is such a gentleman in the way he treats Lilah. Is he perfect? No, but the way he treasures her and atones for his mistakes make him a noteworthy BBF in my eyes. There is this one scene where he sings a specific song to her, and, I jest not, my ovaries literally exploded. Now someone get me book 2 stat so my world can tilt back on its axis! Note: Copy kindly received from author in exchange for honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    books are love

    This was wonderful. The story was told in a dear diary format where Lilah's thoughts are coming as she is putting them in her journal. I love her self discovery and how she realizes what it means to let go. Let go of self doubt, insecurities, anger, disappointment but one that is the hardest for us all is the one we love so that they can have a future. Here this reminds me of the phrase if you love someone set them free if they are yours they will come back if not they never were. This is what L This was wonderful. The story was told in a dear diary format where Lilah's thoughts are coming as she is putting them in her journal. I love her self discovery and how she realizes what it means to let go. Let go of self doubt, insecurities, anger, disappointment but one that is the hardest for us all is the one we love so that they can have a future. Here this reminds me of the phrase if you love someone set them free if they are yours they will come back if not they never were. This is what Lilah what must with Ben and it is hard to watch. this is the story of Lilah and Ben and how they come together. How they find love and support in each other. How they buoy each other up and give each other the strength to do what they feel is impossible. Ben is a patient and understanding guy. He loves Lilah with everything he is. Lilah helps Ben see the world in a unexpected way. She shows him that it is okay to be just be. They have many fumbles along the way and many douh moments but it is so tender and sweet to see. Like the trip to the area where Lilah's favorite book goes. How Ben remembers everything about her and what she says. Lilah's willingness to let Ben go so he can have a better future. the year that is written about is filled with love, misadventures, self discovery and fun. This is a wonderfully touching book and one that will have you rooting for these two great characters.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    *I was given this book in exchange for an honest review* I enjoyed this book a lot and like the main character Lilah, have pop songs in my head are an ongoing soundtrack to my life. I did find the book was a tad too long with lots of to-ing and fro-ing that wasn't necessarily needed. I did have frustrations with Lilah but I suppose that was the point- It was nice she was flawed and I could understand her logic even though it drove me crazy. Ben seemed perfect. Definitely too perfect to be true. T *I was given this book in exchange for an honest review* I enjoyed this book a lot and like the main character Lilah, have pop songs in my head are an ongoing soundtrack to my life. I did find the book was a tad too long with lots of to-ing and fro-ing that wasn't necessarily needed. I did have frustrations with Lilah but I suppose that was the point- It was nice she was flawed and I could understand her logic even though it drove me crazy. Ben seemed perfect. Definitely too perfect to be true. Throughout the whole book he didn't make one misstep which made him a bit boring as he had no real depth. His sole purpose was to love Lilah and nothing else. As I said before, the book was a bit long for me but towards the end, I did really get into it and I'm now on to book two. Would definitely recommend as it's nice to read some British NA for a change. I liked being able to read about areas that I knew.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Livingstone

    I received an ARC from the author for an honest review. This is the first time I have read any of this authors work, and my word, it will not be the last. This story is written in a fascinating format as a diary. Lilah lives her live as her parents want, with a fiancée to boot. She decides to live for herself, and stubbornly enrols in university where she is to share a dorm with five others. One of whom is Ben, who is the lead singer and guitar player for a band. They have met before, but Lilah d I received an ARC from the author for an honest review. This is the first time I have read any of this authors work, and my word, it will not be the last. This story is written in a fascinating format as a diary. Lilah lives her live as her parents want, with a fiancée to boot. She decides to live for herself, and stubbornly enrols in university where she is to share a dorm with five others. One of whom is Ben, who is the lead singer and guitar player for a band. They have met before, but Lilah does not remember! When the band gets an opportunity to go to the US, Lilah is left wondering if it is to late. This book ends in a cliffy, and I cannot wait to find out if these two ever have a HEA. I really enjoyed this book, and Anna has done a great job in reeling the reader in with all the angst, emotion, humour, and love in this fascinating storyline. Well done Anna!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I really enjoyed this, it reminded me a lot of Adrian Mole as it is all Journal entries. That was one of my first loves so it started off promising. I found Lilah relate-able and Ben totally swoon-worthy and the only thing i didn't like as much was the length of the book, but that is just personal preference. It certainly didn't detract from the enjoyment of the story. I really enjoyed this, it reminded me a lot of Adrian Mole as it is all Journal entries. That was one of my first loves so it started off promising. I found Lilah relate-able and Ben totally swoon-worthy and the only thing i didn't like as much was the length of the book, but that is just personal preference. It certainly didn't detract from the enjoyment of the story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sharryn

    Wow, my heart is in my throat and I'm having trouble breathing. A very emotional read. Wow, my heart is in my throat and I'm having trouble breathing. A very emotional read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Z. Elizabeth

    I would firstly like to thank Anna for sending me an advanced copy – well in advance (with my name written over it – woop woop) – of her book The Art Of Letting Go. You cannot understand my excitement when she sent it to me and my little acknowledgement! I have been wanting to read this book for months now, and when it arrived in my mailbox, I quickly finished my last book and got into the story of Ben and Lilah pretty much from the get go. (As all my followers should know…this book was all I co I would firstly like to thank Anna for sending me an advanced copy – well in advance (with my name written over it – woop woop) – of her book The Art Of Letting Go. You cannot understand my excitement when she sent it to me and my little acknowledgement! I have been wanting to read this book for months now, and when it arrived in my mailbox, I quickly finished my last book and got into the story of Ben and Lilah pretty much from the get go. (As all my followers should know…this book was all I could talk about for days…okay it still is…) The Art Of Letting Go is definitely a book that deserves a place on your kindle and deserves your utmost time to devour everything inside of it. Anna has put blood, sweat and tears into this book to make it what it is – and it’s a book that is just so refreshing to read, so different from other books that I have read. Firstly it is set in diary entries, dated and timed too. This gives the book a sense of realism and Anna’s writing style is spot on for a dairy and that you feel that you shouldn’t be reading it, but you can’t stop yourself. It’s invasive, but you couldn’t give two hoots, you just have to keep on reading about Lilah’s life. She develops all the characters and you feel towards all of them, want to be a part of their little gang and wish you were back at university, experiencing everything all over again. We have all had a diary once in our life and this helps Lilah deal with everything happening in her life – from leaving her job, going to university, falling in love and going through all the things that happen in the book. It’s a great way to learn about everyone in the book. Secondly, Anna is spot on with her writing style. She uses sarcasm and humour perfectly, she knows how to make you swoon in Ben and Tristan scenes, you will cry, you will laugh, you will get annoyed and it’s a journey of overcoming obstacles and things put in Lilah and all the characters ways. How they overcome their first year of university. And that ending. Dear god Anna, give me Year Two now please! Anna writes real life. Its not all rainbows and fairy dust, oh no. You will have distractions and roadblocks in the way, you have characters with insecurities and trials and tribulations but one of many real things in the book? The friendship. Yes. I am so close to my university friends despite leaving last year and I can see how real their bond is. How real their love is for each other. The Art of Letting Go is just that. Lilah is fed up of working for her father and after a cigarette break, she decides to just not return to work and instead, go to university. Lilah is bonkers, like I pure, bloody love her! At 25, she doesn’t want to end up like her mother, so on a whim, she walks away from her job and signs up to university. She makes rules that, of course, are broken within the first couple of hours but you can’t help but love this girl. Crazy as she is, you gobble up all of her diary entries, wanting to know more about her days at university, more of her crazy ass lifestyle and more about the swoon-worthy Ben Chambers. Oh yessss. At points I wanted to smack her around the head and shout at her to tell Ben her feeling for him. You can see from her entries that she does care for him, throughout all the dilemmas in her way, but its hard for Lilah to let go, to admit her feelings for him until, really, its kind of too late and time is running out. You do root for Lilah and Ben, you see how perfectly they fit together and how Lilah, as the book title says, is in the art of letting go, and at the end of the book, it’s a tiny cliff-hanger but one where you want to know it’s going where you want it to. Know that Lilah has manned the fuck up and realized she’s about to let someone SO important to her go. She lives by Taylor Swift songs and even if you don’t know all of them, you can guess why they are important to that certain scene and why Lilah thinks that song sums up that entry. She really is a brilliant character and one that you must read about! I do have to say, Anna warned me I would either start drinking or smoking throughout reading the book…I have to say, a lot of wine was consumed throughout the duration of this book (seeing as I don’t smoke). I am warning you now hahah. Ben. Ben, Ben, Ben. MY darling Ben. He plays guitar and sings…in a band people! UHH weakness. He has dark hair, amazing blue eyes and freckles. How sexy is that?! He’s gorgeous, but hates the attention, he can be cocky and his smirk *sigh* and he is instantly drawn to Lilah. Well, he had been searching for her for the past nine months, after spotting her one Christmas at a Do he was playing at. Ben is sweet and lovely and really wants to be with Lilah, despite the roadblock, shall we say, in the way of the actual getting together – but he’d wait a life time for her. He will do absolutely anything to be with her, be around her and just have Lilah in his life. You can see how much he likes her, fancies her. Everything that Lilah is writing down, you can see that although she doesn’t see it, we, as the reader can see the way Ben acts with Lilah. So something happens that makes you think “Oh Benjamin” But you trust him, because of how much he loves Lilah, even if she can’t see it and won’t let him explain. Even through her entries, you know he’s telling the truth about that night. Why would he be saying all these things to Lilah and wanting to spend all his time with her, if he was lying about that night? Nope, I believe my Ben! Your heart breaks for him too. Lilah can’t trust him and doesn’t really want anything to do with him and he tries his damn hardest to get through to her, to see her, to make it right. He literally spends his time trying to get her to open her door. He will sit and wait, he will do whatever he can to make it up to her, to get back to how they were. But Lilah is stubborn and doesn’t let him. Uhh and then his band has the chance to go to America to record an album, and you can actually see Ben, although he probably wants to go, he doesn’t want to leave Lilah. Those two just hotfooted around that and I wanted to shake them both and tell each other their feelings (Okay, so Ben is more open about his) and Lilah to say no, but then I was proud of her for not saying anything too because this is a big deal for Ben and his band. I was torn. I wanted Ben to stay, but I wanted him to chase his dream and make it big. There are sooooo many amazing scenes…okay, the whole book is just amazing but there is one scene that I go on and on about to Anna – on text and twitter – but I can’t tell you want it is…my god, I want to shout it from the rooftop but I cant. BUT it proves just how freaking sweet and perfect my Benjamin is and my heart hurt and burst for him and Lilah. Dear god, that scene. Can I also swoon over Ben singing ‘Hey There Delilah’ (That song was on repeat a hell of a lot) and Taylor Swift. PLEASE be real Ben, I need you in my life. I adored the secondary characters – Meredith and of course, Tristan the arse. Meredith, despite being a few years younger than Lilah, is such a brilliant friend. Her and Lilah are just so great together and cause mischief but there are some tender and heart-breaking moments between the two and you just know that cements it for them – they have a bond that can’t be broken now. And Tristan. He’s Lilah’s twin brother and an arse, yet he really isn’t. He’s a beauty, and I really enjoyed the scenes with him. He too, is there for Lilah, he becomes close with Ben and he falls for the lovely Meredith. Their relationship is the cutest and despite the age gap, they are so right for each other. I cannot tell you enough times to get your arse to Amazon, 1-click and open that book file asap. You want British humour and sarcasm? You want a wacky but fun heroine, you want a guitar-playing, sexy and loveable BRITISH hero and a hell of a lot in-between? Did you say yes? Well what the hell are you waiting for, The Art Of Letting Go is for you and its available at your becking call. GET READING right now and fall in love along the way with the characters and with Anna – she is one author to look out for! FOR SURE! Once you start it, you won’t be able to put it down….I sure as hell couldn’t!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Guia

    Ebook provided by the author in exchange for an honest review I have mixed feelings about The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom. I wanted to really like it but it did not pull me in as I expected. Let me tell you why. Rating: 2 out of 5 stars Okay, so the first thing that I thought when I finished the book was “That’s it?” It was sort of a long-ish book by NA standards but I felt as if nothing much happened in the course of the story. The Art of Letting Go tells the story of Delilah “Lilah” McCanno Ebook provided by the author in exchange for an honest review I have mixed feelings about The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom. I wanted to really like it but it did not pull me in as I expected. Let me tell you why. Rating: 2 out of 5 stars Okay, so the first thing that I thought when I finished the book was “That’s it?” It was sort of a long-ish book by NA standards but I felt as if nothing much happened in the course of the story. The Art of Letting Go tells the story of Delilah “Lilah” McCannon and how she struggled to find herself and discover what she really wants to do with her life. She’s twenty-five years old, engaged to a man she doesn’t love, working a job she doesn’t want, and basically living a life that she’s not sure she’s meant to have. She’s on the fast track to nowhere. Sure, from an observer’s point of view, she’s got an idyllic life but it all feels hollow to Lilah. She’s tired of her life so she decides to take back what little control she does have and quits her job. Even more impulsively, she runs away and decides to go to Uni. Once there, she gave herself four rules to follow. 1. No alcohol 2. No cigarettes 3. No boys 4. No going home I guess it’s safe to say that these rules didn’t last very long. It’s actually pretty funny to see Lilah’s VAIN attempt to keep those rules, because damn, that girl can’t exercise self-control to save her life. What really made Uni life for Lilah complicated was Rule #3. And cue angsty romance plot device. On the year’s Fresher’s Ball, Lilah finds herself attracted to the hot lead singer of the band playing. And whaddya know? He has been interested in Lilah even before they met at Uni. It turns out that Ben Chambers, hot lead singer extraordinaire, first met Lilah during an office party from Lilah’s old job. As attracted they are to each other, Lilah tries to put some distance between her and Ben. Not only is it against her rules, but she’s also about to be married. Remember how I told you how Lilah sucks at self-control? Well, her attempt to distance herself from Ben? Didn’t happen. Nope. That’s one of the things that I didn’t like about the book. After a few chapters, I got tired of the whole back and forth she’s got going with Ben. I mean, it went on and on and on for around 80% of the book. I honestly just wanted Lilah to get over herself. It’s either she wants him or she doesn’t. She’s as fickle as the weather. Add that to the fact that Lilah’s got the maturity of a hormonal teenager. She’s twenty-five, for goodness’ sakes. She’s bullheaded and kind of annoying but at the same time, I can’t help but relate to her. I can identify with Lilah in a lot of ways and I guess that’s one of her redeeming qualities as a character. As difficult as she is, Lilah is the embodiment of many young adults out there. She trying to figure out what she really wants to do with her life at the same time juggling all the responsibilities and expectations thrust upon her. So as much as I want to give up on Lilah, I was also curious to know how she handles everything eventually. She loses. She learns. She loves. And what a very complicated love it was. Just as she was finally beginning to figure out stuff between her and Ben, fate throws a wrench in their happily ever after… well, maybe not a wrench. I think a whole toolbox would be more accurate. It took her a while but Lilah found a way to let go. It’s just that, Lilah realizes something… “I have learnt the art of letting go. But I have let go of the wrong thing.” If that wasn’t maturity then I don’t know what is. In the course of the book, we witness how Lilah matures in the span of a year. She grows into herself and it was a transformation. I know she’s already 25-26 years old in this book but The Art of Letting Go felt a lot like Lilah’s coming of age story. She comes a long way from the girl we first meet. She ultimately figures out what she’s doing wrong in life and takes a more active role in setting her course straight. I just thought it didn’t have to take THAT long. That’s the reason why I gave this book a relatively low rating. Sure, I like the characters well enough. The story, even though it was a bit hackneyed, was still interesting. But the flow? It was too slow. It actually took me a few days to read this because I keep putting it down. The story plodded along and I kept waiting for something exciting to happen. Every time the story picks up and gains a bit of momentum, it just fizzles out fairly quickly. It was kind of frustrating to be honest. Every chapter is much the same as the one before it and the next. It was tedious. Lilah describes it better than I do: “Oh, yes, that’s right. I have been on a complete mental breakdown that has involved stalking, obsessing, crying, being drunk, being sober, being drunk again, and generally acting like I have the mental maturity of a sixteen-year-old.” That’s basically what happens over and over the book. I guess part of the reason why it went too slow is the way it was written. The Art of Letting Go felt a lot like reading Lilah’s diary. It was an ALMOST day-to-day account of her life from September to June. I commend the author for putting that much thought on everything that Lilah and her friends were up to. I just don’t think it worked though. There were a lot of downtimes that the book could’ve done away with. So, bottomline is, even though I could have learned to like the story, the pacing and the storytelling still leaves something to be desired. *************** Check out this review and many more at - Between the Pages Book Blog - Like Between the Pages Book Blog on Facebook - Follow Between the Pages Book Blog on Twitter

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shelly Celli

    Great read I'll be honest, when I start a book that's more of a journal, I usually give it a try and end up throwing it back. This one caught my attention and didn't let go. Lilah and Ben have a rough relationship, but you can feel the pull between them. I cannot wait to read the next book to see what happens now that Lilah has finally woke up. Great read I'll be honest, when I start a book that's more of a journal, I usually give it a try and end up throwing it back. This one caught my attention and didn't let go. Lilah and Ben have a rough relationship, but you can feel the pull between them. I cannot wait to read the next book to see what happens now that Lilah has finally woke up.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    3.5/5-so many feelings! I haven't really read much NA, generally not being much interested in their plot lines but something about the British setting at uni really spoke to me. And it sounded really cute and funny so I was excited to be a part of this tour. Having now read this book, I have to separate my feelings into two categories: the one that really loved the book and the other that conflicts with me as a person and reader. We'll start with the latter to explain why *I* don't unreservedly l 3.5/5-so many feelings! I haven't really read much NA, generally not being much interested in their plot lines but something about the British setting at uni really spoke to me. And it sounded really cute and funny so I was excited to be a part of this tour. Having now read this book, I have to separate my feelings into two categories: the one that really loved the book and the other that conflicts with me as a person and reader. We'll start with the latter to explain why *I* don't unreservedly love the book. Did you notice how this book is set in England? Are you very familiar with some of the cultural differences between Brits and Americans? For example, attitudes toward alcohol? Personally I'm a teetotaler because I loathe the taste of alcohol, not because I have strong feelings about temperance. But man do these characters drink a lot! I feel like there was more drinking than studying in this book. My understanding in general is that Brits (and Europeans) have a more relaxed, less uptight attitude toward alcohol, which would explain why it's treated so casually when I was cringing. Also the two main characters smoke, something I find absolutely disgusting (I consider myself very lucky to live in a state that no longer allows cigarette smoking in restaurants as the smell makes me gag). My friend was in London this summer and said her husband, who is also very sensitive to secondhand smoke, hated being around so many smokers. So that's another cultural difference there that affected my reading of the book. The other part I didn't like so much is just my preference for comedy of which there is a lot but there is also a lot of back and forth on Lilah's part. I just wanted her to pull it together and get with hot musician Ben. Instead she angsts so much and I just wanted to jump in the book and boss her around (gosh I'm bossy!) When they were together, the book just sizzled. So I'm not really a reader who's good at the tension between the main couple-I just want them together. But I know a lot of readers love that and you'll get some good moments here. Something that left me pleasantly surprised was the romance, in fact. I anticipated some seriously steamy scenes as that is my understanding of what NA promises but it's actually pretty tame. There's off the charts chemistry but it's not as graphic as I expected, which I think is all to the good. The couple spend rather a lot of time talking and getting to know each other as they are in each other's lives through the whole year of uni. As for the characters...Lilah was very brave. She starts the book at a lucrative but unfulfilling job, giving it up to return to uni much to her father's dismay. By making that decision, she shakes up her whole family, forging new relationships with her parents and twin Tristan, making new friendships, pursuing a course in history, and of course meeting musician Ben who believes so strongly in the pair. I also love that he can cook and his sensitivity to his family but his most attractive quality is really his belief in their relationship-he thinks they can go the distance. Lilah's most relatable quality, to me, was her fondness for Taylor Swift songs-I'll confess sometimes Taylor is the soundtrack to my life though I don't have near the love life of either woman. The plot has a lot going on as we cover an up and down year in the life of Lilah told through journal entries. I found it compulsively readable and sped through it in the course of just one day. I feel like it's a bit like Bridget Jones' Diary though I never read all of that book-something about the British humor and romantic adventures. Overall: A very British story about love, finding yourself, and learning to let go-super fun and readable; especially recommended for New Adult fans and those who don't necessarily want a steamy story.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    Does anyone really write a journal in such a way? The way that Lilah wrote her journal was like she recorded every single thing that happened to her throughout the day. Don't get me wrong. I love writing and reading vivid descriptions of day-to-day experiences. Yet it occurred to me as if Lilah wasn't just narrating what happened to her during the day but as if it was happening right at that moment. Is it confusing? Well, read the book so you'd understand. Though I really don't have an issue wit Does anyone really write a journal in such a way? The way that Lilah wrote her journal was like she recorded every single thing that happened to her throughout the day. Don't get me wrong. I love writing and reading vivid descriptions of day-to-day experiences. Yet it occurred to me as if Lilah wasn't just narrating what happened to her during the day but as if it was happening right at that moment. Is it confusing? Well, read the book so you'd understand. Though I really don't have an issue with that. It just felt weird to me somehow. Maybe it won't to you so you'll see. What can I say? Lilah was probably the most annoying female main character I can think of right now. She's 25 years-old yet she had the mind of a freaking teenager. No, seriously. I was tempted to stop reading a lot of times because she was annoying. She was self-centered, impulsive, and just really stupid. I swear I want to take her out from the book and slap her just so she'll wake up from her dreamland. I admired her for standing up against her family and for starting a life of her own. She was brave to start at Uni even though she's older than the others. I thought she was going to be this renewed mature lady but I was wrong, very wrong. All along I thought that her getting out of her parents is about growing up. How can she let her roommate who in fact was an 18-year-old girl get lost in the wild like that? I know college is supposed to be the time to be young, wild and free but can't she be a little more mature and act as a good friend to her? I was absolutely irritated by Lilah's uncontrollable consumption of alcohol. It would be fine if she can handle herself but she cannot. And to think that she kept on doing it. WHY CAN'T SHE BE MATURE??? Not just that. She made some terrible decisions because as I have told you, she was selfish, impulsive and very much of an immature person. Yet she kept on trying so I had to give it to her. That's why I still have faith on her. Now, I would sound like I hate this book. Totally not. Despite the negativity of Lilah, there comes Ben. I absolutely know that it was love at first sight for Ben but I don't care. He definitely is one of the sweetest out there. There were times when I just want to hug him because I believe he didn't deserve to be treated like that. No words necessary anymore. Ben is such a sweetheart with an angelic voice. So what made me like this? As much as I was irritated at Lilah, this was fun to read. I enjoyed it more than I should. I kept on laughing because the minor characters were great. My favorite's her twin brother, Tristan. The minor characters and Ben, the humor and the writing kept me sane throughout the novel. They balanced out anything that made me dislike Lilah. The story of learning how to let go caught me in the first place. But the idea of letting go that I had and what was in the novel were different. It wasn't exactly how I thought it would be executed. I felt that it was somehow lacking the realities that go with it. Something happened so Lilah let Ben go. It wasn't because she needed to let him go but because she JUST wanted to. Very impulsive I can say. And that totally didn't feel right to me. Especially when she was that immature in some ways. The title seemed to give it off. I knew even before I read this what the ending for Lilah and Ben will be. It was pretty obvious to me and even the title for the sequel. It just gave off everything. But I don't care. I still did enjoy reading this one. Must I say that them being together was fun to read about. The Art of Letting Go is a sweet romance filled with music and alcohol. I know, might be the best combination to some. A story of love, hope, loss and the ultimate lesson of letting go. Originally posted at The Bookish Confections

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christina (Christina's Book Corner)

    Summary When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action. Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up. As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a loca Summary When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action. Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up. As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep. With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be. With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go read from october 5- October 8 5 out of 5 stars Review- This book is about Lilah chamber she is 26 and she is going to college she is trying to get away from her parents and her fiancé who she accidentally agreed to . when she gets to uni she meets Meredith I love her she is such a great friend to Liliah . She has to go get a dress for the party she has to go home and there is her twin brother tristen at a party she meets someone who ends up being her next door neighbor Ben Chambers he is in a band and they end up snogging against a tree .Lilah is hung over and if freaked out when she sees Ben making breakfast she doesn't like Ben she thinks he's a player . Ben askes Lilah out and she agrees they go out she really likes Ben but she is still attached to John she breaks up with him and finds Ben with Barbie she is so angry and sad she doesn't talk to him for a long time so on Christmas she makes food for everyone and he's there he tells her that the band is planing to go to america and askes her if he should go and she tells him to go. what Lila you love him well they start going out then they break up then they go out again officially I really loved this book it make me cry and laugh I think Anna's writing was really great and I love all the main characters. Lilah knows Ben is going she also finds out that he saw her at a Christmas party wow before they came to uni he gives her a ring and it matches her necklace "Meradith " gave to her on her birthday he gave it to Meradith to give to Lilah this book made me cry at the end when she finally realized he shouldn't go he was gone and left her a iPod I cried amazing book. Favorite quotes He looks like an artistic type . She sighs into her teacup. Good grief, is this eighty-odd-year-old woman lusting after my boyfriend ? I bet he is good at Sex she says completely straight faced . I spurt my mouthful of tea all over the place . “I love you, Ben Chambers.” “I love you, Lilah McCannon.” Can you learn the art of letting go ?

  26. 4 out of 5

    J.R.

    I kind of sort of truly adore the way Anna wrote this book in a diary type of way. Aside from the fact that I can actually hear Anna's British accent throughout the story (and it's completely adorable), we're updated by date or time, sometimes both, as to how much time has passed between scenes. Example: 14th September Dear Diary. Ugh! That's rubbish and sounds like something a thirteen year old would write. Dear Journal? Nope, that's crap, too. Oh, who gives a shit what it is called? It's no I kind of sort of truly adore the way Anna wrote this book in a diary type of way. Aside from the fact that I can actually hear Anna's British accent throughout the story (and it's completely adorable), we're updated by date or time, sometimes both, as to how much time has passed between scenes. Example: 14th September Dear Diary. Ugh! That's rubbish and sounds like something a thirteen year old would write. Dear Journal? Nope, that's crap, too. Oh, who gives a shit what it is called? It's not even a posh leather-bound volume. It's a spiral pad. A jotter. I, Lilah McCannon, aged twenty-five, have just run away from home. I am trying not to think about it too much. Every time I do, I start to hyperventilate with that hitched breathing that precedes a full-scale panic attack. To say I love her style of writing is an understatement. Train of thought writing is not an easy task, despite what people might think. You've either got it, or you don't. You cannot force it. Anna has it. And I love it. Watching Lilah leave to go "grow up" for lack of a better phrase, just made my heart so happy. This chick lays it all out - she drinks a lot (check), she's sarcastic (check) and makes lists to live by that she of course, does NOT live by (check). I have written some very strict University rules that I plan to stick to: 1. No Alcohol 2. No cigarettes 3. No Boys 4. No Going Home Right, Lilah. Right. *winks* And Ben. Don't get me started on Ben. "Besides," he says with a twinkle of blues. " When I do have sex with you, I'd rather you were a little more sober." I might have a thing for him. JS. But one of my very favorite lines (among others) from this book had to be Anna's. . . "You have no idea of the things you do to me. That night, after Fez, I would have happily given you every bit of myself." I link my fingers between the buttons on his shirt. He leans back in. "Then why didn't you?" "Because I don't want you to be the other guy." See what I'm saying? Other things I simply love about this story: Lilah calls herself a dick. Several times. The way she joins a gym, finds her own groove and then "breaks up" with said gym. The relationship that morphs between Lilah & her brother. The subtle things that Lilah learns, other than just things that have to do with her education, as she makes her way through "Uni". And the ending - I cannot with this ending. I was a bawling, anxious mess at the end of this one. Anna is lucky she wrote more for me to love, including a BENJAMIN POV Novella (that's out TODAY) that I'm grabbing ASAP. I'm pretty sure this is a pre-quel type story and I cannot wait to gobble it up. http://jrrichardsonfics.wordpress.com...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Lilah is 25 and isn't happy with her life. She has a job she doesn't enjoy, a fiancé she doesn't love and a difficult relationship with her family. In the beginning of the book Lilah decides to change her life, enrolling in a History course in a University and she sets a few University rules for herself: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys, and no going home. A few of these rules are immediately broken after maki Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Lilah is 25 and isn't happy with her life. She has a job she doesn't enjoy, a fiancé she doesn't love and a difficult relationship with her family. In the beginning of the book Lilah decides to change her life, enrolling in a History course in a University and she sets a few University rules for herself: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys, and no going home. A few of these rules are immediately broken after making friends with her roomates and meeting Ben at her first University party. Ben is the singer of the band playing in the party and there is an instant connection between him and Lilah. The book follows Lilah's life as she attempts to grow up and change her life. What I liked: 1.The plot and the idea of changing your life, and doing what you want instead of what your family expects of you. 2.The humour, at times I found myself smiling or laughing at something that Lilah said or did. 3.Ben and Lilah. The instant chemistry didn't feel like it was something forced or that wouldn't happen in real life, it felt natural and my favourite scenes are of Ben and Lilah together, they really make a good couple and I loved reading the romantic scenes. 4.Ben, Ben, Ben. I really liked this character, he was honest and wasn't afraid to go after what he wanted. Why I didn't rate it more than 3.5 stars: 1.The style in which the story was told; with all the journal entries I felt like the story didn't flow as well as it could have if it was told in a different way. The different dates felt like an interruption and I also didn't like it when something started being told in the present and then she had to go back in time to explain what had happened. 2.I would have liked to have read more about John (the fiancé), as I felt like I didn't know his story or anything about their relationship. 3.Throughout the book I felt like Lilah was immature for her age, she lets herself be treated like a child by her family, and she kept making the same mistakes, although I liked that sometimes she would read her journal entries and would see what she did wrong and admit her mistakes, I just hoped she would learn a little bit more from them! If you like to read about relationships, university life, love, and friendships I recommend this book! Keep in mind that when this book ends you will want to immediately read the next one!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Ricketts (Donnie Darko Girl)

    I received a copy of this book for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl. There's something about Lilah! She's hilarious, full of life, and also adorably clueless as hell. In The Art of Letting Go, Lilah finds herself heading towards thirty years old stuck in a job she hates, engaged to a man she doesn't want to marry, and living under her father's thumb. And then along comes Ben. Lilah has made drastic changes by the time she meets Ben - she's walked away from her j I received a copy of this book for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl. There's something about Lilah! She's hilarious, full of life, and also adorably clueless as hell. In The Art of Letting Go, Lilah finds herself heading towards thirty years old stuck in a job she hates, engaged to a man she doesn't want to marry, and living under her father's thumb. And then along comes Ben. Lilah has made drastic changes by the time she meets Ben - she's walked away from her job, is enrolled in college as a history major, and is living in a tiny dorm room. Meeting him changes everything, especially when he's revealed to be her roommate. She's swept off her feet, and I was, too! Ben is charming, authentic, musically talented, and a great cook. Tall dark and handsome is exactly how I like them. They face several obstacles they must overcome in order to be together, and one of the biggest is when Ben's band is given the opportunity to go to the U.S. to record an album, Lilah finds out he won't be coming back to the university next year. The question she wrestles with is if she should continue seeing Ben and be happy in the moment while knowing their paths are heading in different directions or does she try to protect herself and end things now? I loved how the characters reacted in surprising and unexpected ways. This made the book all the more special to me. The title, The Art of Letting Go, could not be more perfect for the story being told. I felt Lilah's emotions so strongly that I laughed and cried along with her. I wanted nothing more than to have a drink with her and give her a hug on her bad days and celebrate with her on her good days. My only issue with the book, which is a completely minor one, is that many times contractions weren't used. It disrupted the flow of the dialogue for me at times but didn't disrupt the story itself. I just felt it's more realistic for a character to say "it's" rather than "it is" for example. The Art of Letting Go is the first book in a series that you'd be crazy to miss! I have a strong feeling you're going to love Lilah and Ben as much as I do, not to mention their friends.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Frances

    4.25 stars Lilah is unhappy--with her career, her fiance, life in general. She's at a point on her life where she wants more. More of what? She doesn't really know but she does know that she can't continue the path her life has been set on lately so she packs some of her belongings and enrolls in college leaving her old life behind. She is determined to make the most of her new life with a newly written set of rules and everything! Lilah, Lilah, Lilah! She was a breath of fresh air and then some! 4.25 stars Lilah is unhappy--with her career, her fiance, life in general. She's at a point on her life where she wants more. More of what? She doesn't really know but she does know that she can't continue the path her life has been set on lately so she packs some of her belongings and enrolls in college leaving her old life behind. She is determined to make the most of her new life with a newly written set of rules and everything! Lilah, Lilah, Lilah! She was a breath of fresh air and then some! I'll admit that when I started reading I thought that I wouldn't be able to get into the story since the writing was very British, but Anna Bloom made it easy to lose myself in the story by writing such a quirky, fun and unique leading lady in Lilah. She was as funny as she was neurotic. Her whiplash-inducing thoughts got on my nerves, but her vulnerability and her determination to improve herself and make something of her life was admirable. I loved her tenacity and her outrageous behavior. She felt real and what made it even more of a treat to get to know her was that she felt real. As the story progressed I got to see different sides of Lilah. Her emotions were intense and all over the place, especially once she met Ben. He managed to bring the best and worst out of Lilah, but it was through the addition of those traits that the author managed to keep me engaged in the story. I loved how Lilah's connection to Ben grew and strengthened with every moment they shared. I would have loved to experience those interactions first-hand instead of having Lilah recounting them, but their connection came across regardless so in the end I could easily overlook it. In The Art of Letting Go, we got to see how deeply Lilah and Ben are affected by each other. Lilah dealt with some of her issues, made some new friends that help her along the way and reconnected with her twin brother. Her overall growth could be seen by the way she ultimately opened herself up to what had developed between her and Ben. All in all, a great read. I can't wait to see what's in store for Lilah as she starts her second year at Uni!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    The Uni Files: The Art of Letting Go is a novel written in a diary format by the main character Lilah McCannon. Lilah has grown disillusioned by her job in the City and her engagement to a man who she truly doesn’t love and after a confrontation with her boss (who also happens to be her father), she leaves work and drives her car, not knowing where she is going. She stumbles upon an Open Day at a local University and decides on the spot to enrol as a “mature” student at the grand old age of 25. The Uni Files: The Art of Letting Go is a novel written in a diary format by the main character Lilah McCannon. Lilah has grown disillusioned by her job in the City and her engagement to a man who she truly doesn’t love and after a confrontation with her boss (who also happens to be her father), she leaves work and drives her car, not knowing where she is going. She stumbles upon an Open Day at a local University and decides on the spot to enrol as a “mature” student at the grand old age of 25. Lilah starts University with a strict set of rules for herself which include no alcohol and certainly no men. It takes all of one day for Lilah to break all of her resolutions and the rest of the book details the tumultuous university year that follows including Lilah’s obsession/relationship with the wonderfully talented musician Benjamin Chambers. The book deals not only with Lilah’s relationship with Ben but also her complicated family relationships including that with her twin brother Tristan. The friendships that Lilah is involved with are well-written and believable especially her close friendship with Meredith who begins to date Tristan. This is a wonderful read full of sarcastic humour and heart-stopping emotions. Lilah is a perfectly imperfect heroine who is flawed but at the same time makes the reader care so much about her that you become quite frustrated at her self-destructive behaviour at times, especially in regard to Ben. It also has a fantastic soundtrack (mainly Taylor Swift) who Lilah hears in her head at pivotal moments usually involving Ben. This is a fantastic debut and I loved how quickly involved I became in the story and enjoyed how it showed that sometimes in life the biggest obstacle that can be in your way is yourself which is certainly the case for Lilah. This is a beautifully written, well-observed book that will make you laugh and make you cry but in a wonderfully bittersweet way and I for one can’t wait to read the next chapter in Ben and Lilah’s story. I absolutely adored it

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