Confession: sometimes I’m a really bad blogger. I’ve reviewed books in the past where I’ve read them the day before my review was supposed to go up, and I’ve struggled through them. This was especially the case if I didn’t get into a book as much as I’d hoped and it can feel like a real slog.
Today, I’m on the blog tour for Days of Wonder by Keith Stuart and I must admit, I did the same thing: I left it until a couple of days ago to start reading. I’ve been in such a huge reading slump recently and I really had to motivate myself to start reading. I literally finished the book about 30 minutes before I wrote this review.
The good thing, though? I LOVED IT.
Tom, single father to Hannah, is the manager of a tiny local theatre. On the same day each year, he and its colourful cast of part-time actors have staged a fantastical production just for his little girl, a moment of magic to make her childhood unforgettable.
But there is another reason behind these annual shows: the very first production followed Hannah’s diagnosis with a heart condition that will end her life early. And now, with Hannah a funny, tough girl of fifteen, that time is coming.
With the theatre under threat of closure, Hannah and Tom have more than one fight on their hands to stop the stories ending. But maybe, just maybe, one final day of wonder might just save them both.
Last year, I read A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart and it instantly became one of the best books I’d read that year. It was heartfelt, funny, raw, and made me feel every emotion I could possibly feel. So when I was asked to join the blog tour for Stuart’s second book, Days of Wonder, I couldn’t wait to get my copy!
OK, as I said above, I didn’t start reading it until the last minute. But when I did start reading it, I finished it within 48 hours. I stayed up until almost 1am because I couldn’t put it down. It’s one of those books where you get to a point where you want to go to bed and stop reading, but then something else happens, and then something else, and you find yourself still reading 50 pages later.
I loved how the book is split into two perspectives – Hannah, and her dad Tom. It gave a great insight into the minds of these two characters and how differently they react to Hannah’s situation.
When I read the synopsis, I hoped the whole book wouldn’t be filled with doom and gloom – but I knew that in A Boy Made of Blocks, Stuart did a great job of making the optimism shine through in any situation, no matter how rough. Days of Wonder, luckily, was the same.
The book really teaches you to be thankful for everything you have, no matter what is thrown your way. Hannah knows that one day she might die, whether it’s next week, next year, or in 5 years’ time. And meanwhile, Tom knows that he’ll lose his daughter long before her time should be up – which I can imagine would be any parent’s nightmare.
Even though this seems pretty bleak, especially being combined with the possible closure of the theatre that Tom has managed for 10 years, there were so many moments that made me laugh out loud. A book really has to be special to make me do that. (I’m usually an emotionless robot.)
Oh, and to top it all off, this book also has great mental health and LGBT representation. How could it be more perfect?!
I have absolutely nothing negative to say about Days of Wonder. If you want a book that makes you laugh, cry, tugs on your heartstrings, and makes you learn to see the positives even when everything seems bleak, read this book. I know you’ll love it.
Thank you to Little, Brown Book Group and Clara Diaz for sending me a review copy of Days of Wonder. The book comes out on June 7th in hardback, so don’t miss it! Click here to read about the book on Goodreads, or click here* to buy it on Amazon.
See some of the other bloggers taking part in the tour today, and for more of the action, follow the #DaysofWonder hashtag on Twitter!
*Note: Affiliate link used – click here for details. 🙂