Book Review: First Day of My Life by Lisa Williamson

“Then I straighten up, my heart beating so hard I think my chest might burst, and head towards the door.

Towards Frankie.

Towards my best friend.

Towards the person whose heart I’m pretty sure I’m about to break whether I like it or not.”

Click here for the book information on Goodreads.

First Day of My Life starts on GCSE results day. Jojo is missing. a baby has been stolen. Frankie is determined to find out what is going on, but she needs her ex-boyfriend Ram to help her. It is a complex story and it’s hard to review without spoilers, so excuse me in advance if this review is just me flailing and fangirling about how much I loved it.

I had the absolute joy of watching my pal Steph finish reading this book when we had a “work date” one day and she was waiting for me to finish up. She passed it straight my way and told me I would love it. She wasn’t wrong. I picked it up on the train to work one day. Stopped for a coffee because I was early and had reading to do. Arrived at the office disappointed I had to put it down. Then promptly threw up (not the book’s fault), was sent home, and finished reading it on the train. This book blew me away.

First Day of My Life is told from the perspectives of Frankie, Jojo and Ram. Unlike most multiple perspective books I’ve read, this isn’t told in alternating chapters but in three distinct chunks, each telling their part of the story. I loved this because it meant I could really immerse myself in each character’s story as I read. The voices are all distinctive, and the stories are too. They follow on chronologically with a little overlap and referring back to shared history. I loved it, and would definitely read more books in this style.

It is definitely an emotional read, I think parts of it moreso because I had a baby, so I could definitely empathise with the mothers in this book. Although there were a number of times I wanted to shush Jojo’s mother, and some of the parents in this book make terrible choices; I could understand them, but they also infuriated me. It’s a book that hit me hard in the mum feels.

One of the biggest themes for me was hurting the people you love without meaning to; that and the need to listen to what people are saying, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Frankie and Jojo’s friendship goes through some big things, but I loved seeing them try hard to treat each other with kindness, as well as seeing them decide that their friendship was something worth working on and fighting for. I adored Ram so much; the scene with him and the police was a big emotional moment for me. I felt for him so much. It was interesting to get the teenage boy’s perspective on the events in this book and see how he processed the big emotions he is feeling.

First Day of My Life is just brilliant. I was absolutely blown away. It’s so clever, so well written. I loved the three perspectives and how the character’s lives overlapped. I was on the edge of my seat the whole book. I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone. You won’t regret picking it up!

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