Hope you’re all doing well! I recently read Someone I Used To Know, the latest novel by author Paige Toon, and as I loved it so much, I thought I’d share my review with you. Read on to find out why you should add this amazing book to your TBR list!
So much can change in half a lifetime…
At fifteen, George is the foster brother Leah never asked for. As the angry, troubled boy struggles to come to terms with his circumstances, Leah finds herself getting drawn closer to him.
Theo’s wealthy family have mysteriously pulled him out of boarding school and he’s now enrolled at the local state school with Leah and George. When their worlds collide that summer, the three teenagers form a bond they believe will be unbreakable. But life doesn’t always go to plan…
Shocking news brings Leah back to Yorkshire, baby daughter in tow. But Emilie’s father Theo isn’t with them, and George has unexpectedly returned. After half a lifetime, have they healed the scars of their pasts? Will coming back home set their hearts in a different direction?
Someone I Used To Know is the first book I’ve read by Paige Toon, and I loved it right from the start. I was drawn to it due its pretty cover and the fact that literally every blogger was praising it. Oh, and not to mention there were signed copies available on Coles Books.
Someone I Used To Know may seem like your typical contemporary romance novel at first, but it’s honestly so much more than that. It’s a story of loss, moving on, second chances, love, family and parenting. One of the main issues that Paige Toon deals with in Someone I Used To Know is the foster care system, something I think deserves so much more attention. It’s clear that Paige Toon has done a lot of research about foster care, and is able to give readers a realistic insight into the system. While being fostered can open up fantastic opportunities for kids, it can also be really tough for them, especially if they’re separated from siblings. It’s also challenging when kids move on, either to uni or another home, or back with their birth parents, etc.
At the heart of Someone I Used To Know is a love triangle, between the protagonist Leah and two boys from her childhood, George and Theo. George was fostered by Leah’s parents as a teen, but suddenly left when his younger sister was adopted and had to move to Devon. Leah starts dating their friend Theo, who had problems of his own and was unexpectedly sent to boarding school in Italy. Eventually, Leah and Theo get married and have a daughter called Emilie. [Spoiler alert] Unfortunately, Theo dies in a tragic accident, and when George reappears in Leah’s life years later, it’s obvious that the feelings they had for each other as teenagers never went away.
Leah is a brilliant character. She’s really appreciative of what her parents do for the foster kids and doesn’t ever complain, even though she did feel like they sometimes didn’t pay enough attention to her. Leah is also very mature and doesn’t act on her feelings towards George whilst he’s living at her house as she knows it’s wrong. Theo and George are also likeable characters, and I could empathise with them, as are Leah’s parents and the other children they looked after.
It’s also worth mentioning the setting. Much of the book takes place in Yorkshire, which is one of the most beautiful places in England. Leah’s parents own a farm where they raise alpacas, and use them as a sort of therapy to help the fostered kids cope with their situations. With Yorkshire and Devon as its two settings, Someone I Used To Know is distinct from Paige Toon’s other books, which see characters jetting off to exotic locations like LA, Australia and Thailand.
All in all, Someone I Used To Know is an uplifting and thought-provoking book. I wasn’t expecting to love it so much, but I did, and I can’t wait to see what else Paige Toon has to offer. Lucy in the Sky, If You Could Go Anywhere and Johnny Be Good are just a few of the books that have caught my eye, and I may or may not have ordered copies already!
Have you read Someone I Used To Know or anything by Paige Toon? What’s the best book you’ve read recently?