You guys don’t know how excited I am to be on this blog tour. I’ve been a massive Anna Bell fan since I started her Don’t Tell books many years ago, and I’ve been inhaling all her books since. Note To Self was one of my most anticipated reads for that reason, so thanks to the publisher for sending me an early copy and allowing me to participate.
Edie has just turned 35 when she receives an unexpected email from her 18-year-old self. It brings back memories of a summer she wants to forget and her first love, Joel. But as the emails continue to arrive, Edie decides to follow their advice and winds up heading back to the place where it all happened.
Anna Bell can never go wrong in my opinion, and this book was another hit. I sat and read it in a single day, and I already want to go back and reread. You have amazing characters, great friendships and some powerful family dynamics. This book will make you laugh and cry in equal measure, and you’ll enjoy every second of it.
I’ll start with talking about our heroine, Edie. She’s a 35-year-old woman who is stuck in a rut. She’s been working at the family business for years and rarely steps out of her comfort zone. In the past, she spent a lot of time with her Dad, but his new girlfriend has led to some distance. So when this email comes out of the blue, she’s completely lost. She was so different and happy at 18, but the emails bring back bad memories too. Edie’s Mum died that summer, and she still blames herself for what happened.
The emails wind up being what she needed, and as she eagerly awaits each one, she tries out every challenge. It winds up leading her to step out of her comfort zone and make new friends as well as catch up with old ones. It was so lovely to see as each of these relationships is so different but it gives you hope that if you feel stuck, you don’t have to be lost forever.
I mentioned that Edie lost her Mum, and grief is a big part of this novel. Her Dad wound up turning to alcohol back when it happened, so trigger warnings for both losses of a loved one and alcoholism. It makes for a sad read in places, but also makes it feel real. Something that Edie gets involved with during this book is a reading scheme where she reads to a young girl who has recently lost her mum, so there are some very powerful moments there. But it also gives you some suggestions on how to deal with grief and shows you can move past it. It might never fade completely, but you can feel at least somewhat better.
I’m sure the thing you all want to know about in this book is the romance, and that was very cute. For the majority of the book, both Joel and Edie are with other people, but there’s no cheating involved. In fact, there was even a funny line where Edie apologises for not cheating at one point. I won’t say to who or why but it made me giggle. The relationship is obviously complicated a lot of the time, but they have plenty of good banter, and you’re definitely rooting for them throughout.
I should probably add that this novel is told in a few different ways. You have the present time and the emails, but you also get a few chapters set back when this was all occurring. It starts from the beginning of the summer job, so you see firsthand what happened and how. The flashbacks don’t exactly line up with the emails, so you see the stuff happen and then it’s mentioned later, which I actually preferred. It balanced the story a little better and also adds intrigue, as you know what the email will talk about. You just don’t know what’s going to be said.
Note to Self was such a fun book. Anna Bell knows how to tell a story that will completely suck you in from start to finish, and this book is another great example of that. So make sure you grab a copy of this book this summer. You’re going to love it.
Title: Note To Self
Author: Anna Bell
Age Range: Adult
Release Date: 23/6/22