2016 Book #36 – The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

51vl1T1gaGL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Year We Turned Forty
Author: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
Date finished: 4/19/16
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Pages in book: 319
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Author/publisher NOTE: I received this book for free from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future.
Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he’s getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.
Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.
Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she’s recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.
But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…

My rating: 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I actually won a free copy of the ARC by entering a contest on their Facebook site and was so excited to read it! Also, this book will count towards my “PopSugar 2016 Checklist” reading challenge, marking off the “a book with a blue cover” since this book has a blue cover. This book was about three best friends: Gabriela, Claire, and Jessie. In some way or another their lives all change on their fortieth birthday that affects them for the next ten years. We next meet them in Las Vegas on their fiftieth birthday when they are offered the chance to travel back in time and relive their fortieth year, thereby possibly changing things for the better by doing things differently this time around.
Things don’t go quite as they expected though. Gabriela, who always wished she had a baby, has trouble conceiving. Claire repairs her relationship with her daughter but comes close to losing her again. And Jessie has managed to hold onto her husband Grant but only by keeping a huge secret from him, and how long can she really expect to keep him in the dark? The three friends journey through their fortieth year (for the second time) hoping that the mistakes their making this time somehow turn out better for them than the mistakes they made the first time. It almost reminds me (very loosely) of when you’re taking a multiple choice test and you have the option of a, b, c, or d and you have no idea which one it is. So the first time you guess a and get it wrong so the next time you guess b and hope its right but have no way of knowing. Gabriela, Claire, and Jessie had no way of knowing how their actions would affect not only themselves this time but all the loved ones that surrounded them as well.
Overall I really enjoyed this book a lot. I thought the plot line was immensely creative. It was heart-wrenching to see the characters struggle through the challenges in their relived lives but at the same time it allows the reader to connect more with the characters and their emotions. The ending was heart-warming and moving and I didn’t want to put the book down until I found out what happened. I also thought that this book dealt well with a variety of relationship issues, including husband and wife and parent and child in many different forms. I loved one of Jessie’s “lessons” from her relived life, that you should learn to love and appreciate what you have instead of always looking for the next thing that will help you be happy. I think that is an important thought since many people are continually trying to buy the next released phone or the next gaming system or the next whatever to gain some sort of happiness. But happiness is something that comes from being content in who you are and what you have and who is in your life. An important concept for people to think on nowadays.

The bottom line: I really liked this book, this one was definitely a tear-jerker and hit me hard in the feels. Definitely have a couple tissues handy. This was such a moving book though and was such a creative plot idea. Great book and a definite must read for summer!!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page