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Love is a Thief (2013)

When Kate splits from boyfriend Gabriel, she resigns herself to the fact that she might be the girl who doesn't get the happy ever after and may be alone for the rest of her days. So she asks herself some important questions: What didn't I do because I fell in love? What would I be happy to do for the rest of my life if love never showed up again? And in a fit of madness, or brilliance, she prints the idea in the magazine she is working for and is inundated with responses. So she endeavours to help these women, and her nearest and dearest, take back their Love-Stolen Dreams. What an amazing premise! The idea that when we are in relationships we sacrifice important parts of ourselves and our dreams and become lesser versions of ourselves. This is the most original concept I have read in a book in a long time and never has a book been so powerfully thought-provoking; you really can't help but reconsider your own life. The writing style is very natural, with a wonderful blend of poignancy, inspiration and wit, although not hugely romantic. There is a great blend of characters, although I had some issues with Kate's parents. While I liked the general development of the plot there were a few moments of weakness for me. However, none of this takes away from the power and inspiration of the novel. I am sure it will encourage many readers to go after their own love-stolen dreams and never has a book seemed more likely to actually empower its readers. (JC)

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