Pictures of Lily: by Paige Toon / Book Review


Pictures of Lily:  Paige Toon

First, let me say that I absolutely adore Paige Toon.  This is probably my third or fourth book I've read from her.  


While, I am writing this and hope to not give any spoilers, 
I have to say that this was a good book, yet there was a huge disconnect for me.  I didn't like at all where the story landed.  To me, it was very well written, but I was extremely uncomfortable with the storyline.  It just seemed really inappropriate and I had hoped that she would take it in a different direction.  That didn't happen.

Pictures of Lily centers around a girl, named Lily, who at the tender age of 15 going on 16 is uprooted from her "comfort zone" of London and moved miles away to a different continent.  Lily's mum has being having an internet liason with an Australian, Michael and so she uproots Lily and takes her all the way to Australia to live with Michael and his son.

Lily, who is at that age when hormones are going crazy anyway, is decidedly unhappy.  Lily's mom is seems is a serial "dater", she's the loves them and leaves them type.  It appears that Lily's mom has left a trail of men in her past.  So, it's no wonder why Lily is a little more than agitated at having her whole life turned upside down for what she feels is just a fleeting romance in her mom's eyes.  She just waits until the moment her mom decides to leave again.

The whole first part of the book is about Lily's time as a 15/16 year old girl just having moved to Australia.  Michael is a caretaker of a "wild life conservatory" and Lily finds that she's fallen in love with the wild life and animals at Michael's job.  So, Lily spends her whole summer working at the conservatory with Michael.

Lily's time at the conservatory is precious to her, and she falls in love with not only the animals, but she also finds that she has some talent as an amateur photographer.  However, the summer that will be the best summer of her life, will also be the summer filled with painful memories.  You know how there's always "the one that got away", well during this summer Lily will meet and lose that "special someone"

Fast Forward:  10 years or so....

That 15 year old girl who moved to Australia is long gone.  Now we meet the grown-up Lily.  Lily, whno had once found a passion and love for the animal wildlife of Australia and a love of photography finds that she's now working as a receptionist for a Magazine company, but still is in Australia, never left to head back to England.

When we reconnect with Lily, she's living with Richard who soon proposes marriage.  Richard's proposal throws Lily back into the past that she tries all at once to forget, but can't seem to let go of.  She can't get past her first love, the "one who got away".  While, she accepts Richard's proposal, her heart can't seem to fully commit.  

Then a blast from her past comes back and everything is turned upside down and the lingering questions that Lily has been struggling with now engulf her even more.  Lily must decide what it is she truly wants out of life, the life she's created for herself or the life she left years ago...

I have to say, that while this was an excellently written book, it just was disturbing in some ways and I felt that had Ms. Toon taken it somewhere else, it would have made more sense to me....  That being said that's just my opinion.  I have to rate it a 4 Stars, because like I said it is a good story, it's just that I felt that it was carried in a totally wrong direction, but WHO AM I... LOL I mean, that's just me.  I don't have 1/10 of Paige Toon's talent, I'm merely a reader.  

Please do not let this deter you from picking this book up, becaue it truly is a good book, it's just have you ever read a book and the ending just made you MAD?  Like WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT?  NO, it's not supposed to end like that!  That's what I felt when I read this!  

I hope that if Ms. Toon reads this she won't put me on some black list of reviewers, because I truly do have the utmost respect for her as an author, and I hope she can forgive me for wishing it would have gone a different way..... 

Have you ever read a book that just made you so mad and you just felt as if an injustice had been done to the characters?  I felt that Lily needed to learn a lesson, not indulge in whimsy....  But, that's me....  Ok....  I'm going to stop talking now and publish this...

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**  I was in no way compensated for this review.  I read this on Scrib'd, but it's also available for $1.99 currently (10/2/2014) on Amazon Kindle!  I'm sure that price won't last long!!


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