31 Days of Wonder by Tom Winter
Published by Corsair Books
Released 10th August 2017
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Alice is stuck in an internship she loathes and a body she is forever trying to change.
Ben, also in his early twenties, is still trying to find his place in the world.
By chance they meet one day in a London park.
Ben spots Alice sitting on a bench and feels compelled to speak to her. To his surprise, their connection is instant. But before numbers are exchanged, Alice is whisked off by her demanding boss.
20 minutes later
Alone in her office toilets, Alice looks at herself in the mirror and desperately searches for the beauty Ben could see in her.
Meanwhile, having misunderstood a parting remark, Ben is already planning a trip to Glasgow where he believes Alice lives, not realising that they actually live barely ten miles apart.
Over the next 31 days, Alice and Ben will discover that even if they never manage to find each other again, they have sparked a change in each other that will last a lifetime. In 31 Days of Wonder, Tom Winter shows us the magic of chance encounters and how one brief moment on a Thursday afternoon can change the rest of your life.
Recently I’ve been reading a lot of YA and as much as I love the genre I fancied reading something different, so PRESTO! I started 31 Days of Wonder which I found out about via the lovely guys at Corsair Books, so thank you to them. I wanted to go into this book not knowing much as I wanted to be surprised and I can tell you now I was very pleased with what I read.
Alice and Ben are two misfits. Alice is stuck in an internship that she hates and is constantly having body worries. Ben, suffering from mental health issues is still trying to find his place in the world. One day, Ben spots Alice sitting on a bench and feels instantly compelled to talk to her. The connection between them is instant but before things can get going Alice is whisked off by her demanding boss. Over the next 31 days Alice and Ben discover that even if they don’t find each other again, they have set changes in motion that will last a lifetime.
I’ll admit that I was certainly surprised by 31 Days of Wonder. It definitely wasn’t what I thought it would be about and that was something I loved. Books that turn out different to what you thought are always my favourites. When I first started reading this book I thought I knew where it was going to go..turns out my first instinct was wrong. Mind you, the story is a little bit slow to start with when you first start reading and I was worried this would put me off. However, once you get further into it it does kick off and after that I was hooked.
Alice and Ben were two characters that I feel could be relatable to a lot of people. They both felt so real and I love when a character starts to feel real to you. Alice is a wallflower and is constantly mocked, teased and ridiculed for her appearance. I felt sorry for her throughout most of the book, although there were times when I thought she was being pretty stupid. Some parts of the story where she was being bullied by her parents and colleagues really got to me. I saw a lot of Alice in me – I used to be overweight and was bullied when I was younger, so I instantly felt a connection to her as a character. I also really enjoyed watching her confidence grow and at the end you could tell she was a changed woman. Her character development was spot on. Ben is someone who is still trying to find his place in the world. Having lost his parents at a young age he’s been brought up by his grandparents and suffers from mental health problems. At first, I found it hard to figure Ben out but as the story goes on you find out more about his background. It’s revealed slowly but you do get a bigger picture of him towards the end. I found Ben to be quite a sweet character who just wanted to find out who he was.
A few topics were dealt with in 31 Days of Wonder such as mental health, family, love, body image and growing up. All of which were dealt with in a respectable way. So kudos to Tom Winter for that. Also, the way the story was written with the alternating third person view was great. I enjoyed being in the minds of both Alice and Ben and I think that was one of the reasons why I fell for them both so quickly.
31 Days of Wonder was a really enjoyable read. It’s a story of finding direction, love and a place in the world. You could even say it was somewhat magical. I am certainly looking forward to reading more of Tom Winter’s work in the future.
Tom Winter has always made his living from words, firstly in publishing, and later in advertising and public relations. His debut novel Lost & Found was published in five languages. He lives in Berlin, with a potted plant and a variety of noisy neighbours.