Tuesday 17 September 2013

A Heart Bent Out of Shape by Emylia Hall

For Hadley Dunn, life so far has been uneventful - no great loves, no searing losses. But that's before she decides to spend a year studying in the glittering Swiss city of Lausanne, a place that feels alive with promise. Here Hadley meets Kristina, a beautiful but elusive Danish girl, and the two quickly form the strongest of bonds. Yet one November night, as the first snows of winter arrive, tragedy strikes. 

Hadley, left reeling and guilt-stricken, beings to lean on the only other person to whom she feels close, her American Literature professor Joel Wilson. But as the pair try to uncover the truth of what happened that night, their tentative friendship heads into forbidden territory. And before long a line is irrevocably crossed, everything changes, and two already complicated lives take an even more dangerous course...


Hadley has led quite a closeted, safe life going to the local university and living at home. But then an opportunity comes up for her to spend a year in Lausanne and she decides to go for it. It is here that she meets Kristina and her life becomes not so uneventful after all.

What a beautifully written story this was, Emylia Hall writes in such a way that I was completely sucked into the Swiss world of Lausanne. I really felt like I was there with Hadley, the descriptions were so perfect and at times I had to remind myself that it wasn't actually snowing outside! I now have a really strong desire to go to Lausanne.

I really liked Hadley. I felt like I could relate to her with her leading a safe life and then wanting something different and just going for it and taking a chance. I liked how she seemed to find her way in Lausanne quite quickly and made friends with some unique characters. I particularly liked her scenes with Hugo, an old man that befriends her; as he was such a kind and caring character towards Hadley. I felt quite sorry for him at times. I also liked the scenes with her professor Joel, who sounded incredibly handsome. I would love a Joel Wilson in my life!

I think the only criticism I have for this is that it was a little too slow paced. I think the real action and suspense happened right towards the very end, and it could have perhaps happened sooner. What surprised me in a good way though was that I thought I had guessed the plot quite early on and was a little disappointed thinking that I had, but I had been fooled and it had me racing on to finish it towards the end!

So despite the slow pace, I still did enjoy reading this and getting transported to Lausanne every time I opened the pages. Emylia's writing also made this novel for me and I now must read her novel The Book of Summers, which how I missed I don't know!


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