All change please by Danielle West

Summary (goodreads): Abbreviated version: In modern day London, the lives of three close friends are instantly set off course when their mutual friend, Laura, is suddenly killed. The three friends – Ophelia, Elise and Kat – find that their current lives are far worse than they could ever fathom. In the light of Laura’s tragic death, do any or all of the women decide to grab life by the horns and do something about how their own existences have exactly lived up to expectations? In a peculiar sort of way, Laura’s death not only shakes the three to their foundations, but it also wakes them out of their own personal slumbers.

Review: I saw this book advertised on another blog, looking for people to review it. I had read so many YA novels and fantasy stuff that I thought it might be nice to read something completely different and All change please sounded interesting enough. Unfortunately, this book didn’t work for me. I found it very hard to relate to the characters, they are just so completely different from myself. Apart from being Americans in London, which is a very different perspective than being European in London, they smoke, drink, get depressed over nothing and have no real drive to live. I tend to dislike people who wallow in self-pity when I meet them, so I kind of felt the same for those three. Even though I knew it was about death and finding your purpose in life, I had hoped it might be a humourous read, something light. Or maybe something completely dark and tragic. But it was neither, so it took me ages (almost a month) to actually finish it.

I don’t know if this book never got checked properly before being published, but there are quite a number of spelling mistakes and typos in there. The first chapter is even missing the end – I didn’t know if that was supposed to be that way, but it actually ruined the whole experience. Because I couldn’t finish the first chapter, I felt like the rest of the chapters were also missing something. I kept wondering if that was really all or if there should be more to it. It is a shame, because otherwise I might have enjoyed it more.

Since I currently live in London myself, I was looking forward to a London setting. I recognized a few places, which always makes me happy, but I guess I’m just too much of an optimist to share their opinion about London transportation – the tube is really not too bad and in the past month I NEVER got stuck in a tunnel. It’s all about perspective. Americans tend to complain about the tube and find British people rude. For me, that just doesn’t apply.

It seems that in the end, this book is just not right for me. I am glad to have finished it and that it has some sort of happy ending – even though the whole book could be seen more as a collection of short episodes instead of a real story. I had simply hoped for more. I am sorry to only be able to give a 2 out of 5, considering I volunteered to read the book and looking forward to it. I didn’t know that this book was written on a blackberry before, I found out about halfway through and I thought – well, it shows. Sadly.



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