Monday, 30 October 2017

Blog Tour Review: The Note by Zoe Folbigg

The Note by Zoe Folbigg
Published: 2nd November 2017 (Paperback)
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Pages: 304
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
Rating: 3/5

One very ordinary day, Maya Flowers sees a new commuter board her train to London,
and suddenly the day isn’t ordinary at all. Maya knows immediately and irrevocably,
that he is The One.
But the beautiful man on the train always has his head in a book and never seems to
notice Maya sitting just down the carriage from him every day. Eventually, though,
inspired by a very wise friend, Maya plucks up the courage to give the stranger a note
asking him out for a drink. Afterall, what’s the worst that can happen?
And so begins a story of sliding doors, missed opportunities and finding happiness
where you least expect it.

The Note is the debut semi-autobiographical novel from magazine journalist Zoé Folbigg and tells the tale of Maya Flowers and what happens when she meets “The One”. Being a hopeless romantic myself the premise of this book is one which intrigued me greatly, but sadly left me a little disappointed.
Maya a daily commuter to London one day sees a new face on her train and is instantly drawn to him and convinces herself that he’s the one, he however seems to have no idea of Maya’s existence, instead spending his commute with his head buried into a book or the Metro paper. After months of agonising over what to do about her huge crush Maya is inspired by friends Nena and Velma to take a chance and see what happens, so she writes a brief note, just three sentences long and hands it to the handsome stranger one day.
The majority of the first half of this book is taken up by the will they / won’t they storyline as Maya struggles with her feelings and tries to invent ways to accidently put herself in the path of “Train Man.” I did struggle with this part of the book as it felt a long time before anything really happened and we had far too much back story of Maya and her fashion advertising job.  I also felt confused at the very beginning of the book as were introduced briefly to some characters which weren’t really necessary to the story. There are also a number of flashbacks to previous events in Maya’s life but again they didn’t seem to add anything to the story.
I didn’t feel a connection to main character Maya or even “Train Man” I think this is due to the lack of emotions portrayed in the book. It has a third person narrative so felt like reading a report of events with plenty of description but no real feelings described. We know exactly what Maya did and where she did it but we never really find out what she felt about everything that happens.
My favourite character in the book was the old lady at Maya’s Spanish class Velma. I loved her vibrant character, her love of life and her devotion to her boys and late husband. I wish she’d featured a bit more in the book as I found her storyline a lot more interesting than what was happening at Maya’s workplace.
I wanted to really love this book as the basic plotline is one which I was excited about, sadly I don’t think this is the most successful novel as I did struggle with the first half of the book. I do however think this would make a brilliant screenplay as it would be a very watchable movie, far better than Sliding Doors which it is similar to in concept.
I’d like to thank the publishers Aria for sending me a copy to review and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

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