Book Review: All About Us by Tom Ellen

Title: All About Us
Author:
Tom Ellen
Release Date:
October 13, 2020
Genre:
Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis

If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a different life?

Ben’s always loved the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old friend Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?

He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

Review

Ben is awful and he knows it. His marriage is heading for a train wreck and he’s just not sure how to stop it. He doesn’t know how to open up about his problems or even where to start fixing them. Then the night before Christmas after fighting with Daphne he grabs a drink at a bar and meets a stranger who insists on giving him a broken watch after talking about regrets. Suddenly Ben wakes up back in college on the day he and Daphne met and their life together started. But now that he knows how it all ends up, will he still make the same choices?

I was unsure of this book going into it. A miserable guy who hates his life and wonders if he picked the wrong girl gets to go back and redo it? Uhm what about her?! She’s stuck with this awful guy and she’s not questioning it. I ended up being pleasantly surprised though. It wasn’t the typical do-over I expected, but more of a highs and lows of his relationship. Seeing things with fresh eyes. It never got dull and I actually ended up reading a majority of it in one sitting. 

While Ben might have been a self-deprecating Debbie Downer, his girlfriend/wife Daphne was kind, fun and spontaneous. I loved being able to see their relationship in full. All of his major life moments happening around Christmas was just the star in the tree. We also get to see why Ben is the way he is, from his upbringing to his daddy issues, and more importantly he gets to see things from a different perspective. It wasn’t this instant change but a gradual realization.

The only thing I did not like about this book was how the other woman was painted as a bit of a villain. We see this a lot in books but honestly I think this book would have been just as if not more powerful if the other prospective love interest had been a wonderful person as well. Someone doesn’t have to be awful to not be right for you.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “where is the Christmas in this?” But if I told you I would majorly spoil the book. I didn’t see it at first either beyond everything being close or on Christmas, but it was one of my favorite parts of this book. Guess you’ll just have to read it for yourself to find out! 

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