Well this is the first Mansell book I have loved. I think the reason why though is that we follow three separate couples/groups and then we get to see how in the world they all connect up with each other at the end. I maybe cried a bit too when I got to certain parts. I will say that I didn’t buy the character of Flo getting along with her boyfriend’s sister towards the end of the book. She (Lena) I found to be terrible. I don’t know if I could have been so forgiving due to an accident that I still feel was Lena’s fault. Either way though, I liked how the story moved months and then months again. We definitely get a sense of time passing and people growing up.
“Three Amazing Things About You” follows Hallie, Tasha, and Flo. These three women are thinly connected and until almost the end of the book, you don’t understand why Mansell told the story the way she does.
Hallie has cystic fibrosis and knows that due to her condition that she does not have long to live. Her condition causes her to miss out on things that she yearns for like the ability to travel all over the world and just to walk without getting winded. What I really did like about Hallie though, is that she has her own blog where she gives out advice to her followers/readers. Due to Hallie’s age though, I have to say that this whole thing with a 20 year old person giving out sage advice rung hollow for me. I have to call Dawson Creek levels of shennigans here. My friends and I say that all the time to each other when we read a book or watch a movie with a character who is young and dying and is full of wisdom about everything around them. Did I get a kick out of Hallie’s column? Yes. Did I find it believable? Not a bit. I also found her responses to some readers to be harsh too.
Tasha is single and I am going to say it, picky as anything regarding what guy she will date. I am too though, so I actually cheered her for this. Out of the women we follow, I have to say that Tasha was my favorite. Tasha ends up having a fun meet-cute with a guy named Rory. She doesn’t think she will see him again, but luckily for her, Rory can’t get her out of his mind and arranges to see her again. These two quickly start throwing around the “L” word and both know they have found the one they want to be with. However, these two are complete opposites. Tasha likes to be safe and worries a lot about Rory who drives a motorcycle, rock climbs, and seems to be a total adrenaline junkie. Both Tasha and Rory’s best friends think the couple is doomed though since they don’t have a lot in common. There was a couple of moments there that I thought I knew where Mansell was going with Tasha and Rory, but glad to be proven wrong.
Flo is a carer at a retirement home. She ended up working for an elderly woman who of course lavished all of her love on her cat (yep, catlady). When the woman dies, she leaves the cat to Flo with the condition that Flo can leave in her flat as long as the cat lives. This of course ticks off the great niece and great nephew (brother and sister Zander and Lena). Flo though finds herself becoming more attracted to Zander even though Lena does her best to break them up.
There are a few secondary characters heads we get into while reading. We get to see Rory’s and Zander’s POV a few times throughout the story. I wish Mansell had included them more too since a lot comes up because of these two men. We also get Hallie’s doctor, Luke’s, POV as well. We actually get more of Luke which I thought was a shame since I think the women and men in this book all meet because of one character, and I wish we get more insight into that person.
We also get some secondary characters like Hallie’s best friend, Tasha’s best friend, etc. that don’t come off very well while I was reading. I think it was because we had whole things revealed about them that you get told about later. It would have been nice if that was included while reading instead of being told, why yes, I have been doing X this whole time.
The writing was pretty good. The plot I will leave out since it will spoil you on the ending. The flow for this one was a lot better than previous Mansell books though. I think telling this in three separate stories works for this book. Usually Mansell has a huge cast of characters you are supposed to follow who all know each other, are lying about something, or are sneaking around. It’s too much to be believed at times.
The setting of this book with the small villages and other locations (Hallie’s home, Flo’s flat, etc.) were very well done. I could picture each place perfectly in my head.
The ending really ties everything up. I was glad that Mansell actually wrote what I would consider a more mature chick-lit. You still get the romance side of things, but we also get to see something realistic and you get to see how one person’s of HEA could be someone else’s tragedy.