09 Oct #TheLastLaugh by Tracy Bloom Blog Tour Review
Hey amigos! It’s been such a LOOOONG time since the last time I blogged. I am terribly sorry for going completely MIA for so long, but no need to worry. This Chick is doing great, was watching what my ‘tribe’ is doing on the social media, just needed to take a break as life’s been so busy. Anyway, I’m slowly getting back to blogging (GOD I MISSED IT!) and want to thank you all for sticking up with me despite being very quiet in the last months (GOD I MISSED YOU ALL!). So, today I’m taking part in the Tracy Bloom’s blog tour for her latest book, THE LAST LAUGH (which is OUT TODAY) and massive thanks to one of my dearest friends in the book industry, Kim Nash for the chance to be part of it and being that kick in the butt to bring back This Chick to blogging. To Tracy, HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY & have a brilliant day! And as for you guys, I have more blog tours lined up so stay tuned. Cheerio sweethearts!
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Last Laugh by Tracy Bloom
Published b yBookouture
Published on 23.2.2018
‘I’ve googled it, how to die,’ Jenny says to Maureen. ‘It was full of climbing this mountain, swimming that sea, becoming a marathon runner and raising millions for charity.’
‘Sounds like bloody hard work. You can make it more fun than that surely?’
Jenny discovers her days are numbered at the same time she discovers her husband is having an affair…
Frankly, her life was tough enough already. Two tricky teenagers, her mother’s constant complaints, friends who aren’t up to the job and a career which has been spiralling downwards since she won ‘Sunseeker Tour Rep of the Season’ twenty years ago.
And now this: a cheating husband and a death sentence.
Enough is enough. Jenny vows to keep both catastrophes a secret. She takes her life – and death – into her own hands and decides to live as she did when she was happiest… in 1996. She plans a spectacular 1990s themed party in place of a wake that she herself will attend. But will she be able to keep her secrets for long enough to have the party of a lifetime?
From No. 1 bestseller Tracy Bloom, The Last Laugh is both hilarious and heartbreaking, a book about how to find happiness and live your life as though every day is your last. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and The Kicking the Bucket List.
Well, this book was certainly not what I expected. I haven’t read any of Tracy’s books yet however I do have a couple at home as they were recommended by friends who know I like rom coms. So, naturally I expected a comedy of some sort, maybe with a bit of romance and loads of laughs too. The ‘chick lit-ish’ cover fooled me too. But nope…this is definitely not a comedy, fluffy, or LOL read. Which doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s just really caught me off guard.
Now, I decided to read this book even before I read the blurb, which to some it might seem like a stupid idea but it’s something I do once in a while but just for authors I was recommended to read. And Tracy Bloom is definitely an author whose writing style is totally up my alley and I’m most definitely planning on bumping her books up in my TBR pile.
But back to The Last Laugh now.. It is definitely not a comedy but a bitter-sweet story about a woman in her mid 40s who’s just received the most awful news of having cancer. Now I know a lot of people avoid books with the C-word in it (and who knows, I might be one of them as I get very emotional while reading them) so consider yourself warned. However, what I can tell you is that it’s an interesting take on someone who’s struggling and I’d most definitely recommend you read it despite maybe avoiding this subject in books. Jenny is a 45 year old woman who was once adventurous, full of life and dreams, used to work as tour rep in Corfu and throw wild parties at the beach. Fast forward 20 years, she’s working in an old people’s home (nothing bad just a huge change), she’s got two kids (one of them struggling with anxiety, the other a loud teenager) and is married to Mark but their relationship is not what it used to be. And one would say she still has a normal life however it all shatters when she’s diagnosed with cancer and given max of two more years. On top of that, the very same day she receives the awful news, she catches her husband cheating on her. So, she’s got her plate full, that’s obvious but the way she handles these situations was more than fascinating to me.
Realizing she might not have much time left she decides to stand up for herself, re-creating the happy, care-free 1996 Jenny. In her own words, 1996 was the year she was the happiest, enjoying Spice Girls concerts, the sunny beaches in Corfu and the moments she fell in love with Mark. I have to say I found it a bit strange and I have mixed feelings about her fixation on the past. I totally understand that each of us creates memories and when life gets shit and out of our control we tend to visit a more familiar ground…so we turn to memories. But Jenny…oh boy she goes a lot further and this made me feel so sad at times. Of course I had sympathy and understanding for her illness, and even though she did an amazing job in hiding it from all of her friends and family I could feel she’s deeply suffering. I am not much of a person who likes to dwell on the past, yet Jenny seemed so fixated on it, comparing her life now with the one she had when she was 25. I honestly wanted to gently shake her off a bit and tell her to focus on the future and the time she has. I don’t know, again this could be me.
While the story was interesting and kept me turning the pages I have to say I have mixed feelings about Jenny as a character. The book does open with a scene in Corfu where she meets Mark, however I didn’t feel much of the romance. I just couldn’t see them as a couple, didn’t feel even their fights as strongly. I also didn’t understand why she’d keep her diagnose a secret… but this could be me. But I found it not very convincing, on the one hand she’s madly in love with this man on the other hand she doesn’t want him with her at the Doctors? I don’t know… it just doesn’t seem OK to me.
However, there was a lot I liked in this book. I do like how Jenny acts bravely despite the bad news, how she cares about her friends and family. But I absolutely loved how she transforms from this silent woman and ‘victim’ in her family to a woman who stands up to her mother, brother and husband. Overall, if you’re fans of drama, I do think you will enjoy it. And as for me, I definitely will be reading more of Tracy’s books.
About Tracy Bloom
Tracy started writing when her cruel, heartless husband ripped her away from her dream job shopping for rollercoasters for the UK’s leading theme parks, to live in America with a brand new baby and no mates. In a cunning plan to avoid domestic duties and people who didn’t understand her Derbyshire accent, she wrote her romantic comedy, NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY. This debut novel went on to be successfully published internationally and became a #1 Best Seller.