Review: The Two of Us by Andy Jones

Friday 20 February 2015
Title: The Two of Us
Author: Andy Jones
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 12th February 2015
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9781471142444
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Falling in love is the easy part. What matters most is what happens next...

Fisher and Ivy have been an item for a whole nineteen days. And they just know they are meant to be together. The fact that they know little else about each other is a minor detail. Over the course of twelve months, in which their lives will change forever, Fisher and Ivy discover that falling in love is one thing, but staying there is an entirely different story.

The Two of Us is a charming, honest and heart-breaking novel about life, love, and the importance of taking neither one for granted.

One Day, Us and The Rosie Project are the three main books The Two of Us is being compared to, none of which I have read, nor have I ever felt compelled to. When I was contacted about reviewing The Two of Us though, my interest was certainly piqued, and it arrived with a rather professional looking envelope with a letter inside about how much Simon & Schuster love the book, it's certainly being hyped up by S&S and whilst it is easy to understand why, I'm perhaps not as crazy about this book as other people have been. That said, I did really enjoy it.

The story is a little bit slow in the beginning, had it not been for Fisher I might not have carried on, but he is written in such a believable way that I found it impossible not to like him with his witty observations and I found his thoughts and emotions incredibly realistic. Fisher is a man, but he almost has to become one again over the course of this novel. Getting only Fisher's point of view meant at times it was easy to see Ivy as a little selfish, but a lot of the time we don't actually know what she's thinking, only what Fisher himself thinks she thinks (if that makes sense) and at times it would have been nice to hear her side of things. Perhaps I might have found her less annoying had that been the case.

It also took me a long time to really believe in this couple, after the lovey dovey opening, the couple are hit with somewhat of a bombshell. It seems a shame to spoil it as others have, but it's a pretty big one and it starts off a number of huge events for the couple over the course of the book. Whilst it's nothing all that original, it's what Andy Jones then does with the story, whether with the twists he brings to the novel or the actions of his characters, that was the turning point in this book for me, and I became fully invested in the lives of the characters. The rather slow beginning was totally worth it for what was delivered in the second half.

One of my favourite characters was El. El is Fisher's best friend, and he has Huntington's disease. I think El was more of a favourite than Fisher and Ivy if I'm honest. He was written in a very believable way, bringing such humour and laughter to the book despite the fact that he was dying, but there were also some incredibly emotional moments as well. When we first met El I thought 'oh here we go, I can totally see what's going to happen here', yet I was only half right and I'm glad I wasn't fully right as it I just don't think it would have fit these characters. In the end it was a very touching ending. All the way through it was one of those where you wish some miracle cure will be found. The friendship between El and Fisher was one of my favourite parts of the book.

Despite the low rating I did enjoy The Two of Us, and would recommend that others pick it up. Andy Jones is a wonderful writer, and I would definitely read another of his books in the future. What's interesting is this book appeals to both men and women, I don't really know what genre I would put it under if somebody asked me, probably because I have never read a book like this before (and because I read a book because I might enjoy it, not because of who it's aimed at). Readers will take different things from the book, depending on their age, gender and experience in life so far, and it's definitely a book that many a book club could spend an hour or two discussing.


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