All About Us by Tom Ellen #bookreview @TomEllen7 @HQStories

It seems I have accidentally read a festive book, something I don’t usually do until November at the earliest! All About Us is a retelling, or at least a variation on the theme, of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Ben’s marriage to Daphne is on the rocks and he’s tempted by the one that got away, Alice. On Christmas Eve he goes to the pub to meet an old friend, Harv. He’s about to spill his thoughts but Harv would rather talk about football than emotions. A mysterious man in the pub gives him a watch, which has stopped at one minute to midnight. The next morning he wakes up in his first year student bedroom, the day he first gets together with Daphne which is also the day when he could have begun a relationship with Alice. What will he do?

Well what would you do? This was such an engaging story as Ben jumps to various significant and pivotal days in his life getting a glimpse to relive his past, see a slightly different present and yes experience his potential future too. Does he have the power to change the way his life turns out? Perhaps not but he does have the chance to remember more and to appreciate what he has. The important thing Ben comes to realise is that he needs to work out why the times he experiences again are important and whether they might give him the opportunity to change himself rather than his life.

All About Us reminded me a bit of the films It’s A Wonderful Life, and Sliding Doors and of course the book A Christmas Carol. I loved the whole ‘what if’ aspect to the book and the sense that we all need to take time to appreciate what we have and the important things in life. I thought this was a wonderful heart-warming book and highly recommend it, whether it’s Christmas time or not!

My thanks to publishers HQ for the chance to take part in the tour and for my review copy via Netgalley. It’s available now as an ebook and the paperback is released this Thursday 15th October. Please buy your copy from an independent bookshop if you can. Otherwise you will find buying options for various retailers on the Harper Collins website here: All About Us

From the back of the book

If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a different life?

Ben usually loves the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old friend Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?

He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

Two loves. Two lives. One destiny…

About the author

Tom Ellen

Tom is an author and journalist from London, England. He is the co-writer of three critically acclaimed Young Adult novels: LOBSTERS (which was shortlisted for The Bookseller’s inaugural YA Book Prize), NEVER EVERS and FRESHERS. His solo adult debut novel is the romantic comedy ALL ABOUT US (HQ/HarperCollins, published October 2020). His books have been widely translated and are published in 20 countries. He is a regular contributor to Viz magazine, and has also written for Cosmopolitan, Empire, Evening Standard Magazine, The Daily Mash, Glamour, NME, ESPN, ShortList, Time Out London, Vice, Stylist and many more.


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