Cover Image: Freckles

Freckles

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Member Reviews

I didn’t read a single thing about the actual plot, because I didn’t want to ruin anything and wanted to see where it went as I was reading. 

The story followed the main character Allegra, who is a bit of an outsider. She was raised by her father and wants desperately to know what happened to her mother. She’s a bit of a loner and a stickler for routine, so all of these things are explored within the book as she tries to work out who her ‘5 people’ are, that ultimately make her who she is. 

The book was thoughtful and poignant, showing that sometimes, you’re closest people who care about you most are not who you expect. It dealt with some tough subjects and I really enjoyed it.

4 stars from me!
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"If the five people who you spend the most time with make you who you are, then who are your people? That's what Allegra questions in Freckles. She moved away from her Pops and her  friends to a small town near Dublin, with pretentious Ferrari drivers parking without paying so she has to ticket them, after she finds her landlord cheating on her husband in Allegra's bed, and with a secret which brought her here that might just consume her.

This was a fascinating look into building close circles of support. Allegra, a 25-year-old parking warden, is in the midst of a transitional period in her life, finds herself with only one person out of the five that she should have. Since she left her friends behind, they've moved on, and she hasn't  made any new ones in Dublin. Even old friends from school who she would aspire to be like, such as Instagram Influencer Daisy, don't turn out to be who she hopes. This story is an amazing look into how the power of one sentence can impact your life forever."
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I’ve been a fan of Cecelia Ahern for over ten years. Over that time, my taste in books has grown and changed and her writing style has matured too. But, while not quite a whimsical as her earlier stories, there’s always something comfortingly familiar about her writing, and she still finds a way to show the hope and love in the mundane and everyday.

Having said that, I did struggle a little to absorb myself in Freckles. And, I think this is mainly because of the protoganist – Allegra, AKA Freckles. Allegra is an awkward, complex character.

“Human interaction is often like a dance I can’t catch the rhythm to.”

She’s lonely, with the only constant presence in her life being her father, Pops. She moved away from her small coastal town in her early twenties to the big city of Dublin to pursue her dream of joining the Garda. But, she’s fallen short, and she’s working as a traffic warden instead.

While not her first choice, Allegra is proud of what she does. She’s a stickler for the rules, and sees her job as integral to ensuring that city life runs smoothly. She’s a creature of habit and routine and, while that’s what makes her who she is, it meant I found some of the earlier scenes quite tedious. It did feel a little like a day in the life of a parking warden, and I was struggling to understand what really made the protagonist tick.

But, in a way, that’s the beauty of Ahern’s writing here. She hasn’t created an instantly loveable character in Allegra – but maybe she’s better for it. She’s a complicated character, she has more layers to show as the story goes on, and she doesn’t have it all figured out.

When a disgruntled driver tears up her parking ticket and tells her “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”, it’s a catalyst for Allegra. Who are her five people? Does she even have five close friends or family members? It forces her to take stock, and our quirky parking warden starts trying to change her life in some of the most unexpected of ways.

So, this book did have a slow start but at some point I realised I was completely swept away with Allegra’s story. This is a light “chick lit” tale but it also explores some deeper issues of loneliness, family and relationships. The ending caught me by surprise, and I even shed a few tears. It’s not her best, but this author hasn’t lost her magic.
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A gorgeous story that will set you thinking. Are we truly the average of the five people we spend the most time with? When Allegra hears this claim for the first time it puts her into a tailspin. Who are her five people? What does this say about her? How can she change this, for the better. While worrying so much about making herself a better person, Allegra fails to realise that she also counts as several someone's five. A journey of discovery as much for the reader as for our heroine, this is a delight of a book that delivers more than a great way to pass the time.
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I found this book a little tricky and slow to get into. I usually love Cecelia Ahern but something held me back on this one. It may have been the strange writing style, no marking the dialogue, or that Allegra was a hard character to like for quite a while. It did grow on me, as I understood her and her loneliness, her unusual upbringing and her want the most fit in more. It took a while to finish but was worth sticking with.
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Took a few chapters to get into and a couple more for me to warm to Freckles but when I did, I started to really feel sympathy towards her.
She’s a very complex and interesting character and the characters that surrounded her were well written and appealing.
I lived the Dublin setting and Freckles job of being a traffic warden was very original.
A heartwarming story with a bit of bitterness, and a little twist. 
Loved it!
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In the world of social media, everyone has more perfect lives than Freckles…or do they? 
Allegra is an intriguing character, complicated and damaged. When she’s told that her five closest contacts make her what she is, she realises that she doesn’t have any friends…but she’s wrong. 
Beautifully written, I could see the people, the city, the countryside clearly, and I enjoyed it all very much.
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This book follows Allegra as she navigates a particuarly tricky few months of her life. I liked the theme of the 5 closest people, but found the remainder of the book relatively slow paced and the introduction of a 'youtuber' really felt like a millennial check list tick.

I enjoyed the general lighthearted writing style, but feel the storyline maybe just wasn't for me. 

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the opportunity to read and review Freckles.
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Allegra was brought up by her rather eccentric father when her mother abandoned her at birth. She dreamed of joining the police but when she failed the interview she decided to be the next best thing- a traffic warden .She is punctilious at her job- which needless to say does not really endear her to many. A yellow Ferrari is one she seems to constantly book. After a confrontation he tells her she is the sum of the five people closest to her & he dreads to think who they are! Allegra is definitely on the spectrum- & being prone to obsessions Allegra tries to find out who her 'five' are.

Having read Celia Ahearn's books in the past I was expecting to be more engaged with this more than I was. I was close  to abandoning this because I was becoming so irritated & bored with Allegra. Somehow she won me over & I read it to the end. Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book.
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Wow. What a book. 
Now to be fair I found it very slow going to start with, I had no idea where it was going and whether I wanted to continue but my goodness I am so glad I did. I fell in love with freckles and her story and the idea of your 5
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Books by Cecilia Ahern always give me food for thought and this story was no different. I liked the main character Allegra and was invested in her journey. She follows the rules and thrives on structure. The characters were well developed and I especially liked the idea of the 5 people closest to you being your main influencers. This is a book that will stay with you long after you put it down. My only small gripe was the lack of speech marks! Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.
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I found this book to be a bit of a slog but the characters were developing and interesting enough to keep me going.

The last few chapters are absolutely wonderful and now I'm thinking all about who are my 5 and I'm off to tell them how much I appreciate them.
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I found this really slow I’m afraid. I was surprised as I had enjoyed the author’s previous books. My friend has enjoyed her copy, but sadly it wasn’t for me.
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It took me a little while to get into this book but I am so glad I did.The main character Allegra (Freckles) develops beautifully throughout the story leading to a heartwarming end.
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I enjoyed reading about Allegra Bird aka Freckles. This is a story about isolation and loneliness and how one young woman has her life transformed by the kindness of others and by acknowledging her own worth. It’s sad, funny and at times uplifting. Allegra is a traffic warden very set in her ways and her daily routine. She encounters Tristan on her rounds and from that point on, her life begins to take a turn for the better. 

I recommend it to fans of Cecelia Ahern and to anyone who enjoys a lighthearted, feel good read.

My thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the opportunity to read and review Freckles.
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I've never read a Cecelia Ahern book before, but this was delightful, following Allegra on her own journey of discovery, working out who she was, and where she belonged.  Gentle, funny and quite emotional at times. I'll definitely read more by this author.
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Thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publishers for a copy of Freckles in return for an honest review. 

In this book we follow Allegra Bird as she goes through life as a traffic warden, who is trying to meet their mother and is dealing with the day to day throws of life, friendship and whether she knows who she is. 

The beginning of this book was great as you come to know Allegra as she goes through boarding school and how she gets her nickname Freckles. 

The middle of this book, I will be honest I almost gave up, as it was for me very mundane, however, I came to realise that this was Allegra. She is a woman who likes to have routine and stability, she isn't great at interacting with people and picking up on social aspects. So eventually I came to find it charming and a really deep dive into her character. Tristan aka Rooster, was a great character also as he is the polar opposite of Allegra, so much so that they help balance each other out. Tristan is surrounded by yes people whilst Allegra because of the above, is very forward and says it how it is. There interactions, really made this book. 

I loved the ending of this book, everything was so heart warming and just lovely. I won't say much more, because I don't want to ruin it. But I do feel like everything ended how it should have. 

I have never read a Ahern book before, but will definitely be trying one again in the future.
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Thank you so much for granting me this ARC! 

I enjoyed this book a lot, it was different for me abs I felt for the characters in his novel. The story was gripping and every time I put it down I was left wanting more! 

Some parts of this did fall a little short for me but overall a fab read!
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Thank you to @Cecelia_Ahern and @HarperCollinsUK for this advanced copy of Freckles in return for an honest review.

Description 🔖

Allegra Bird (Freckles) hasn’t had a conventional upbringing and when she reaches her early twenties, she decides to make the bold step and move from her small town to Dublin. Failing to get her dream job she settles for becoming a parking warden and when on her patrol, a stranger tells her that she is the average of the five people she spends the most time with.

This hits a chord with Allegra; who were the five who made her who she is today and who are the five who will shape who she becomes?

General Thoughts 🤔

This book turned out to be nothing like I expected which is a bit odd because I don’t know what I expected. What I do know is that I really enjoyed it. It was a story about being human and vulnerable and putting yourself into situations that involve risk and bravery.

Freckles was a slow burner but I felt it was right for the story. The story is about Allegra and her journey to find herself and her five and that isn’t something that can be packed into two chapters. I thought that her story was uplifting and heart warming but also heart breaking at the same time.

Characters 👭👬👫

Allegra is obviously the main character and I liked her straight away; awkwardness and all. No matter what other people told her or how they judged her, she continued on her mission with her head held high (most of the time). She was understandably troubled and I don’t think I would have been as brave as her if in her shoes so I had the upmost respect for her.

There are lots of other characters in the story that either help or hinder Allegra but my favourite one was Tristan. I love books where there are characters that don’t turn out to be anything like how you expect them to be. Tristan was that for me. From an outsiders perspective, he seemed to be arrogant and ignorant but once the layers started to peel back, it became clear that he was just as vulnerable as Allegra.

Writing Style ✍️

Freckles is written completely from Allegra’s perspective and in her voice. I loved her voice. The back and forth of her internal monologues was fantastically written and made me giggle at even the moments when she wasn’t her happiest.

I enjoyed that that story was hinged on the “five people” phrase and at times dictated Allegra’s actions before coming full circle and concluding the story with the five people theme. It was a lovely way to conclude.

Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️

I really enjoyed Freckles and loved her character. There are certainly things that happened to her that I can relate to in my own life and therefore empathise with her. I laughed and felt sad during the course of reading this book so it was a little bit of an emotional rollercoaster, but I’m glad that I went on the ride.
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I am a huge fan of this authors work - ive read a lot and this book was written just as well as the others. This book is about Allegra or 'Freckles' as she is known who goes on a bit of a mission to find her five - from the phrase 'you are the average of your five people you spend the most time with.' This was very good. Freckles is quite unique in her outlook on life - shes had some bad experiences and these are very evident in her outlook on life. This book was written without speech - just prose and it took a bit of getting used to but it fitted the character really well. She likes her routine, its very real life and i found her a bit sad and lonely. All in all a great read.
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