This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Liv, Mia, Fraser, Norm, Melody and Anna were the best of friends – inseparable, young and free, with their lives stretching ahead of them. But then it was all tragically taken away on a holiday in Ibiza when Liv died. Nearly two years later, and the group are still coming to terms with Liv’s death. When Norm finds a list written by Liv, of twenty things to do before she turned thirty, the friends decide to carry out each item on the list in Liv’s memory before her birthday. But as another item is ticked off the list, uncomfortable questions and secrets are shared, and the friends are forced to confront the possibility of letting go and living their lives.
How We Met tackles a subject that most books in the genre don’t. There is a lot of deep seated grief from Liv’s death, but it is handled in a way that’s not overly morose. In fact there is a lot of humour in this book, particularly from Fraser, which left a reminder that it’s okay to laugh still, even when life throws you a difficult hand. Liv’s death is evidently very sad for her friends, and from the information gleaned in the book about Liv, it seemed that she was a friendly, happy person with it all to play for: someone you’d want in your life.
Mia and Fraser are the main characters of How We Met; Liv was Mia’s best friend and Fraser was her boyfriend. They carry the burden of Liv’s death heavily and a secret that still troubles them. Both are brilliantly described, Fraser especially, who seems to be suffering the most from his girlfriend’s death. Yet through his sadness and behaviour that verges on self-destructive, he just needs his friends, like Mia. Single mum Mia is trying to cope with Liv’s death, bring up her son, Billy and deal with his unreliable father, Eduardo. Mia is funny and kind, instantly likeable as she tries to hold everything together. Completing the group are Norm and Melody, University sweethearts currently experiencing a few problems and Anna, who was a lot harder to take to. But they are all there, as friends, and willing to help their absent friend with her list.
The idea of Liv’s list is a great premise with the potential for a lot of laughs (which it provided plentifully) like Salsa dancing and the homemade porn video. The friendship they share is the linchpin of the novel; although they aren’t having an easy time, you get the feeling that they can get through it.
How We Met is a poignant and funny novel about loss, love, having faith in friendship and learning to live again.
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