Only the Lonely was partially a cover read… I mean, look at it!! But I also thought the concept of this story was super intriguing, & I believe I told Rachel that I couldn’t not review this. The book wasn’t quite what I was expecting, & made me uncomfortable at times, but the story was definitely an interesting one.
I was sent this book to review as part of a blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
⚠️ Parental death, discussions of abortion & other scenes related
to pregnancy that some readers may find very upsetting.
There is also an uncomfortable race comment at 17% of the way through ⚠️
After Tiffany is orphaned on the night of her 18th birthday, she discovers, as the sole heir to her parents’ estate, she has inherited a frozen embryo from when her parents did IVF to have her. Feeling lost, alone and longing for a sense of family, Tiffany can’t bring herself to destroy or donate the embryo. Instead, she decides to be impregnated with her biological twin.
A legal battle ensues over whether the embryo is a person or property and the ethics of whether it is acceptable to give birth to your own sibling.
Set in Australia, this contemporary fiction novel is full of emotion, dilemmas and unexpected friendships, as Tiffany forges a new life without her parents.
So you’ll be able to tell from the synopsis that this story is very unique – it’s also a bit strange & in places it was definitely an uncomfortable read. To be honest, I’m completely torn about my feelings on this book; at times there were (negative) comments from the protagonist about abortion that I really didn’t like, & there was a race comment at 17% that I didn’t like (shown below), however the story was interesting & I kept reading because I wanted to see where it went
” ‘You’re so lucky to have such brown skin Sunani. I had to spend hours last night sake tanning’, Sarah said, showing off her slightly orange tinged skin.
‘Me too, I just use a darker shade’ Sunani joked, grinning widely. The girls laughed.”
There is also another race “joke” included, which says something about Romans & Greeks.
The book starts with the death of our protagonist’s parents, which was genuinely really horrible to read about; Nicholson did a really good job with the grief scenes & I found the court scenes very interesting as well. However, the majority of the book focused on Tiffany’s grief & the process of dealing with her parents’ death, as well as Tiffany’s feelings toward the driver of the car that crashed into her parents’ car, despite the fact that the synopsis indicates that the story is focused on Tiffany’s journey with the frozen embryo belonging to her parents.
Following Tiffany’s emotions through the process of grief was a difficult read & was written very well; I’ve never experienced severe grief, but I genuinely believe the author portrayed it very well – so well that I wonder if she’s lost her parents herself. I found myself quite liking Tiffany, & I felt sorry for her… until one of her friends accidentally fell pregnant. This will spoil some of the story for you, but I have to mention it – when Tiffany’s friend decides she wants an abortion, Tiffany’s reaction was horrible. At 44% Tiffany says that abortion is killing a child, & that isn’t something I agree with so it really upset me. I almost stopped reading the book at that point, however, I hoped that the opinion of Tiffany did not match the author’s & that it was only included to give an idea of Tiffany’s perspective on pregnancy. I feel that the author would’ve made Tiffany’s friend change her mind on the abortion if she herself hated abortion.
As for the writing in this book; again, I’m torn. At times the book flowed incredibly well & the writing was done well… but at other times, the writing did become a little robotic at times. Nevertheless, I was very interested in the book so tried to ignore it. I liked how rounded the characters were though – Nicholson can definitely create individuals well & I especially though that Kayla, who was a teenager, was written super well. I also… appreciated (?) the relationships that Tiffany builds toward the end of the book – I thought it was really bold for the author to change the people in Tiffany’s life so dramatically, & it just added to the unique-ness of the story.
My main issue with this story, other than the race comments & the negative abortion views, was the fact that it took a very long time for the plot to actually happen; there was a lot of pointless plot details that weren’t relevant to the embryo & the embryo was the reason I wanted to read the book. We don’t even see Tiffany give birth, & it’s only in the last quarter of the book that the plot actually focuses on the embryo & that was very frustrating. The ending was also really weird – in my reading notes I wrote that it felt like Nicholson had written the book during an exam & ran out of time so just tied up the scene she was writing & stuck THE END on the bottom of it. It just didn’t make sense & came out of nowhere.
It may seem like this review was super negative, however this was a three star review for me, which generally means I enjoyed a book but had some issues with themes or language, etc. used within it. Nicholson has definitely written an interesting story, & the idea was great, but some of the execution could have been better. If you’ve got hard skin & can cope with the comments I’ve detailed, then I definitely think this book is for you if you like pregnancy related stories with some subtle science fiction included.
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com
Joanne Nicholson is an Australian author who enjoys boating, exercising, reading, writing, music and spending quality time with family and friends.
Joanne’s career began in advertising and marketing. After a hiatus to raise her four children, she owned an indoor play centre, worked in property management and bookkeeping. Joanne gave these up to focus on her passion for writing.
She has published the contemporary women’s fiction novels: ‘Intuition’, ‘In Another Life’ and ‘Positive’, as well as a YA novel ‘Music Score’ and several short stories. Her latest novel is ‘Only the Lonely’.
You can find her website here.
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