Love at Second Sight – Cathy Hopkins
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2nd August 2012
Edition: UK paperback, review copy
Other Titles by this Author: Mates, Dates series; Truth, Dare, Kiss or Promise series; Cinnamon Girl series; Zodiac Girls series; Million Dollar Mates series
Can once in a lifetime happen twice?
Jo has never been lucky in love, and as the boy she likes has a queue of girls after him, it doesn’t look like things are going to change. But when she’s dragged along to see a clairvoyant by her two coupled-up best friends, Jo’s told that in a past life, she experienced true love and to be happy in this life, she needs to find her soulmate again in the present day.jo doesn’t believe a word of it, but then a series of events begin to change her mind. With three boys in her life, she wonders how is she ever to recognise The One? Will looking back to the past help shape her future? And does true love really happen time after time?
This was my very first Cathy Hopkins novel and I’m telling you now, it won’t be my last! I really, really enjoyed it.
There is an infectious warmth about Love at Second Sight that drew me on the very first page and didn’t let me go until a while after the last. I think that had a lot to do with the characters more so than any stylistic feature or the plot. Our protagonist, Jo, is fabulous. She’s smart ad logical, loves Steampunk and Pre-Raphaelite art and most importantly, she’s a normal teenage girl. She’s unsure of what she wants, of how to deal with her world changing, how to deal with worn in grief and how exactly to find her soulmate.
Not only is Jo fantastic, but the cast of secondary characters surrounding her and supporting her quest to find Howard are well-rounded and individual, but they are far from perfect and are in no way stereotypical. But I find that even with excellent characters, sometimes the dialogue stops them from coming properly alive. Cathy Hopkins definitely doesn’t have this issue. Dialogue isn’t generally something I take stylistic notice of, it’s just there, but in Love at Second Sight I was struck with just how authentic and relatable it is. Hopkins captures what it’s like to be a normal teenager living in London, with the landmarks of our capital without many of the obvious stops. I’m a little in awe of Cathy Hopkins at the moment.
I love when something pops up in a young adult novel that you don't often see in this genre so when I heard that past lives, in a non-paranormal romance fashion, was the driving force behind Jo’s story, I was very intrigued. Psychics and clairvoyants discovering your past lives in a reading is fascinating to me and I’d love to have a chance to see if I have one and then try to prove or disprove as far as possible as Jo, Effy and Tash did. I love that their research wasn’t founded in the mystical and supernatural, but in history and personal accounts. It made me want to explore my own family history and try and find out if maybe I have a soulmate from another life...
I loved Love at Second Sight and I hope to read much more from Cathy Hopkins in the future. It’s a good job she’s got such a long backlist really!