Updated: Sep 26
Title: This Time Next Year Author: Sophie Coustens Published: 1st August 2020 Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Start Date: 7th September 2022 Finish Date: 9th September 2022
The instant New York Times bestseller adored by readers around the world! Curl up with the refreshingly romantic and unputdownable rom-com which has everyone falling head over heels.
Get ready to fall for this year's most extraordinary love story. Quinn and Minnie are born on New Year's Eve, in the same hospital, one minute apart. Their lives may begin together, but their worlds couldn't be more different.
Thirty years later they find themselves together again in the same place, at the same time. What if fate is trying to bring them together? Maybe it's time to take a chance on love.
Although this is essentially a romance novel there’s much more to it which makes it a more interesting read. Minnie and Quinn are born a minute apart on New Years Eve/Day in 1989/90. Their respective mothers Connie Cooper and Tara Hamilton are so different both in personality and background, as Tara exudes a wealthy background. The story takes us through various New Years Eve and Day events until Quinn and Minnie truly find each other.
The strongest element of the book is the characterisation which is very good. There are a lot of very likeable characters such as Minnie, Quinn and Minnie’s best friend Leila, some who are a bit quirky and colourful, some are a bit selfish or slightly negative so there’s a really good cross section of people and they all feel real. There is a good injection of humour some of which is a bit snarky, some is of the pun variety and there are plenty of fun, feel good moments. Tara suffers from anxiety which can from time to time almost cripple her and this is very well conveyed and it shows the impact that it has on Quinn but also how much he cares and tries to be supportive which is heartwarming. The book shows the importance of family bonds and friendship - even very unlikely friendships between Tara and Connie which becomes extremely important to both of them but especially Tara. It helps to lessen the effects of her anxiety and I think this is a positive message about reaching out to people. The conclusion of the book is fun but lovely.
My only reservations are the flitting about from different New Years Eve celebrations which feels a bit disjointed although I could see the point the author is making about how Minnie and Quinn keep passing through each other’s lives prior to 2019/20. There’s a good contrast between the differing experiences of the pair of them as Quinn’s tended to be more expensive than Minnie paired down celebrations. Minnie’s references to her bad luck which is a label she is given from birth becomes a bit wearing and I much prefer Quinn’s make your own luck approach! However, neither of these reservations spoil what is a good book.
I found this book to be delightful and was engaged throughout my reading. I loved how Minnie and Quinn came to be part of each other's lives (the story of their births was great) and how they seemed to constantly be in a loop around each other growing up. Though I gave this 5 stars, I have to say that I think that there was a missed opportunity to explore Quinn more. I think the book focused mainly on Minnie. I wish towards the end that Cousens had shown us Quinn's POV so we could see how he was handling things on his end. His storyline was tragic in so many ways and I felt for the character a lot.
I did like Minnie and felt for her. This book realistically looks at how hard it is to set up a business. We get to see though how Minnie has not done well in the past which definitely sets up why she seems to walk around with a chip on her shoulder. Quinn though rich also has his own share of problems too. You initially think he's just a spoiled rich guy until Cousens gives you more of his backstory. I do like the fact that the two characters in essence circle each other and then start to become something more. I also get why Quinn is hesitant.
The secondary characters were great in this one. The two mothers definitely shaped up the story a lot and you get to see why Quinn's mother still thinks about Minnie's mother. Minne's best friend was great though and I thought that Cousens did a very good job of handling the evolving friendship and changes that they both needed to make.
The writing was really good. I had a handle on who was "speaking" and the time periods. The flow worked too. It was a bit clunky at first, but once you get going in the book everything makes sense and the different chapters and POVs flow into each other. The book takes place in the UK, India, and I forget where else over the course of about 30 plus years. We get to see Tara and Quinn's birth and the different things that have happened to them as children, pre-teens, teens, and then adults.
As I already said, I wish that Sophie Cousens had showed us more of Quinn towards the end. The ending was lovely though and I would love to read another book by Cousens in the future.