Your Perfect Year by Charlotte Lucas
What would you do if someone gave you the recipe for a perfect year? That's just what happens to Jonathan Grief, a cynical, lonely 40ish book publisher. He finds a calendar on New Year's Day filled with an activity to do each day to make it the perfect year. The only problem is, it wasn't meant for him. When he can't find the owner, Jonathan decides to use the calendar as a sign that he needs to live according to its will, changing every routine and idea he has ever had!
As Jonathan learns to let go of expectations for his life, I found myself thinking about the impact doing the same would have on mine. Many of the prompts and questions in the calendar he finds are ones that I highlighted to add to my own!
Ultimately, this story is about redemption for yourself and for those who have hurt you in the past. It is still more of a lighter, contemporary novel, perfect for the beach, but in it there are heavy topics such as suicide, cancer, dementia, and alcoholism. There are dual storylines, but I don't want to give away too much of the story before you get the chance to read it for yourself. It's sweet with a bit of a predictable twist that doesn't really take away that much from the story. If you're a fan of Hallmark or Lifetime movies, I would say this written in the same style. You have a good idea of what the end will be but the means aren't always clear.
I do want to note that this book was originally written in German. Translated by Alison Layland, I found it was absolutely a breeze to read. If I hadn't have snagged it as an Amazon World Book Day free download to help celebrate international authors, I would never have known it was translated! (The book does take place in Germany, so that should have been a giveaway to anyone who didn't know this information before.).
I ended up giving Your Perfect Year 3 1/2 stars out of 5. Slow in parts, but easy read once you get into the story itself. Pick it up for your next vacation read or palate cleanser.
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