The Charm Bracelet by Melissa Hill
Paperback, 400 pages
Published 25th October December 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Holly O'Neill knows that every charm bracelet tells a story. Many years ago she was sent one with just a single charm attached. The charms have been appearing ever since, often at challenging times, as if her mysterious benefactor knows exactly when she needs a little magic in her life. As a result, Holly's bracelet is her most prized possession. So when she finds someone else's charm bracelet, she feels she has to try to reunite it with its owner. Even if the only way she can is to use each charm to help discover more about them. In a search that will take her all over New York City at Christmas, Holly becomes ever more determined to piece together the details of this other charmed life. But what she doesn't know is that her quest may also lead her somewhere she never, ever expected...
Despite her huge popularity, I hadn't gotten around to picking up a book by Melissa Hill until this Christmas. Though the Charm Bracelet is the first book that I have read by her, I am sure it won't be the last - it was everything that I was expecting in the most positive way.
The Charm Bracelet immediately had me sold as it based around Christmas time - I love Christmas and prefer my reads to be as seasonal as possible, so I had to give this one a go. Of course, this book also has such a fun and intriguing premise - our main character, Holly, works in a vintage clothing store and finds a charm bracelet, which someone has mistakenly sent inside a jacket pocket, to the store. Holly has a charm bracelet herself and knows how important and sentimental they can be to the owner, so she sets out to find who it belongs to.
Alongside the story of Holly, we are introduced to another main character called Greg, who is still finding himself - he has left his steady job in order to pursue his dreams, which causes some relationship problems and in turn, his whole lifestyle gets shaken up. Initially, Greg's story seems very separate from Holly's, but as the story progresses, both story lines become interlinked.
I really enjoyed learning about both Holly and Greg as well as about the owner of the bracelet. I really don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I won't go into detail, but the story behind the owner was one of the most special parts of the book for me - it was very touching. Holly works through each charm on the bracelet and tries to find out the history behind it. For anyone who has ever owned a charm bracelet, you will find yourself reminiscing.
The characters were all well written and well thought out - each had a good history which was particularly 'solid' and contributed a lot to the plot of the story which moved at a good pace and was so easy to read continuously. If you're into chick-lit, Christmas and easy, indulgent reads, this is certainly a book I would recommend. I look forward to reading more by Melissa Hill in the future.