Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis – Book Details
TITLE – Eight Perfect Hours
AUTHOR – Lia Louis
YEAR PUBLISHED – 2021
PAGE COUNT – 336
MY RATING – 4 of 5
RATED ON GOODREADS – 3.82 of 5
What It Is About
And it suddenly catches up with me, in one gust. This. The motorway. The snow. Me and Sam. The fact he could be anyone, the fact he is a stranger. The fact somehow – and I really don’t know how – I don’t feel like he is.
Don’t we all want a soulmate? And aren’t we all sure once we found them, everything would be perfect?
Noelle and Sam get stranded in their cars on a highway in the midst of a snow blizzard. What starts as a disaster turns into a pleasant evening and they both start to feel the connection they can barely explain.
But when the road is clear, they go their separate ways, sure they will never see each other again. However, the fate seem to have a different plan for these two…
Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis – My Review
Snow relentlessly tumbles outside, and as if synchronized, the sea of orange brake-lights illuminating the slushy road ahead start to go out one by one, like blown flames. Drivers giving up, engines killed.
Eight Perfect Hours is the second book I’ve read by Lia Louis. The first one, Dear Emmie Blue, didn’t wow me as much as I thought it would. But I liked the writing and the story had some really nice elements that convinced me to try out more of her books.
I’m happy to say that this one went better for me than the first one, so I will definitely be reading more of her work. (Maybe The Key to My Heart, coming out in July this year, should be my next pick?)
Anyways, with some books you just click, and this was one of those books for me.
I liked most of the characters very much. All those perfectly imperfect people trying to find their place in this overwhelming mess we call life. I wanted to get to know some of them even better.
Big things, I hope, might happen someday, but it’s the little things that are important, isn’t it? They keep us grounded. The little things are the things we miss the most when normality is turned on its head.
And I really liked Noelle. She had such a hard time in her life lately, and was putting up with everything with so much strength, grace and patience. It made sense the fate would stop whatever it was doing for someone like that and go help them out.
Noelle has practically no time for herself. Her life is on pause while she is taking care of her mother who barely leaves the house. She is still grieving a loss of a friend.
Her last relationship lasted twelve years and she never quite recovered from the breakup. And her dream career would require time and investment Noelle simply doesn’t have.
I wish things were simple. I wish I wasn’t me. I wish I wasn’t so confused, and I wish I didn’t feel so scared. To live. Because I am, I think. I’m afraid to live too loudly. And I wasn’t always like this, but I don’t know how to get back there.
When she meets Sam, of course that seems like just one more thing she isn’t destined to have. But things are about to start changing for her, and she is on her way to find out she has even more to offer to the world than what she originally thought.
The romance was sweet and charming. Not too heavy, not too fluffy. Weirdly realistic when it comes to the characters, their decisions and what was going on in their lives. But also with something almost magical going on.
Both Louis’s books I’ve read so far were contemporary romances. Technically, not a drop of magical realism. But they both had a strong sense of fate. Of meant-to-be. Like when at some point you just have to stop and consider it can’t all be just one coincidence after another.
In Eight Perfect Hours, Noelle and Sam kept bumping into each other over and over again. As if every time they stepped away, the universe itself was like – nope, you’re going to sit here nicely and talk to each other.
It gave this satisfying feeling that no matter how close you are to messing up your life, in the end everything will work out.
It feels dangerous to be this happy, and I’m sure it will for a while. When you’re scared of something for so long, it has a way of becoming part of your blueprint. You tell yourself it’s just not for you – that you don’t make the rules, but all those things everyone else seems to get, just aren’t open to you, aren’t available.
I am going to say – your enjoyment in this book will heavily depend on how much you are willing to just roll with everything. A lot of what happened heavily relied on circumstances and seemed farfetched at best.
However, whenever you are in the mood for a sweet, dreamy, serendipitous romance full of kindhearted people and a palpable chance of happily ever after, do remember this one.
One last thing that made me enjoy this book so much. I love when there’s a twist towards the end that completely catches me off guard. I almost always see them coming from miles away, and this was such a nice surprise.
The roads clear, traffic speeds up, and I watch Sam until his car is a speck in the distance, and like those eight perfect hours, he is gone.
I gave Eight Perfect Hours strong, not-perfect-but-I-enjoyed-it-so-much 4 stars. I took away one star because of the pacing, which had a lot of down, quiet moments (read – parts where Noelle and Sam were away from each other).
Plus, I thought that the chemistry between them could have been even more intense and romantic.
And I thought the cover and the title were a bit misleading.
For one, I was sure this was a Christmas romance. That cover practically screams holidays. But the blizzard actually happens in March, and then the story continues to develop throughout the year.
So, Eight Perfect Hours is not even wintery, much less Christmassy read. Not that it had to be, but I had my hopes.
Speaking of expectations, I assumed those eight hours would be the central part of the story. But nope. That part felt a bit overlooked. It was given very little space and it was definitely more told than shown.
But I liked everything other than that.
So yeah, if you are in the mood to root for some good guys, grab this book and let’s do it together. Who couldn’t use some adorable, heartwarming romance in their lives these days?