Monday, February 25, 2013

Lifesaving for Beginners Readalong Week 3

This week is the third and final week of the readalong of Lifesaving for Beginner by Ciara Geraghty. I feel like a bit of a cheat sitting down to write this post today because I actually couldn't stick to the schedule because I just had to keep reading so finished the book nearly two weeks ago! Oh well. I guess it is better to be way ahead of the schedule than way behind *cough...War and Peace readalong...cough*.

Given that this post is about the final third of the book,  please be aware that there are


This final third is still about Milo and Faith, but really it is the part of the book where Kat has a big reality check. Her brother Ed collapses with a heart condition, and it is almost as though this is the spur that Kat needed to see that she had been blocking so much emotion that she has removed herself from her friends and family, from her former boyfriend Thomas, from realising the truth about herself.

Suddenly, after years of secrecy, Kat decides that she is going to come clean about that she is in fact Killian Kobain, and in doing so the power is taken away from the person who was blackmailing her. I must confess that the revelation of the identity of the blackmailer was a bit of an anticlimax for me. Bree and I had been having a discussion about who the blackmailer might be, and I was in the ball park but it is hard to get completely right when you never even knew of the existence of the person!

What the revelations about her identity do bring about is a media siege. Both Kat's own home and her parent's home is surrounded by a media scrum as they try to find out more about the huge story that has just broken. With a bit of subterfuge, Kat is able to escape and finds herself heading to England to start working on repairing starting a relationship with Faith and her family. There were a few moments in this section that almost slipped into the slapstick zone, particularly around the upcoming birth of Milo and Faiths dad's new child. It was amusing, but it kind of broke the flow for me.

I did mostly like the end, but there was one thing that I wasn't as keen on and that was the fact that Kat went on to write a novel that was called Lifesaving for Beginners. I guess that it won't bother some people, but I often find that kind of thing when an author inserts themselves into the story or does meta kind of stuff a little irritating. It was but a small blot though. The actual closing scene of the book where Thomas brings his book to be signed was the perfect way to end the book. Whilst it is clear that this is a new beginning for the two of them, it wasn't an ending where we see Kat waltzing down the aisle, or popping out her third child or anything like that. It was understated and hopeful, and really lovely!

In her discussion post this week, Bree posed a couple of questions that I thought I would address here:

What do you think Milo’s role in the story was? Do you think that without him, Kat and Faith would have been able to connect?

Milo was a fantastic character. His inquisitiveness and openness were the main facets of his personality that allowed him to enable many of the interactions between Kat and Faith. One example is when he rang Kat in the middle of the night to talk to her about Faith. Whilst initially Kat was resistant to the idea of coming to see Faith, I do think that having had that contact, Kat felt more secure when she did try to reach out. I did find it interesting that the author chose to have these scenes set at Christmas time. That can be such a trying time of year for a lot of people and so to then throw in the added complication of a birth mother on top of it being the first Christmas without a loved one added another level of emotional drama to the whole scene.

The whole lifesaving thing was quite an interesting aspect to choose as the title for the book. It is a great title. It certainly made me wonder what on earth the book could be about. Mile talked a lot about his lifesaving class but it was interesting that we never got to observe him in that environment.

Was Kat redeemed as a character? Did you like her/identify more with her at the end of the novel than you did at the beginning? Do you think she evolved in a believable way?

Kat as a character had a long journey in this book, and for the most part I think that she was redeemed. I think that she will always be who she is. I can't imagine that as a result of the events in the book that she will suddenly becomes fun and flirty and always happy, because I don't think that is truly who Kat is. But I do think that she is more open and far more honest both with herself and with the people that she loves, which has to be a good thing.

For those that enjoyed this novel, if you haven’t before, will you be reading any of Ciara Geraghty’s backlist/her future novels? Has this read-a-long introduced you to a new sort of book and a new novelist that you might wish to read more of?

This was my first Ciara Geraghty book, but most definitely won't be the last! I already have one of her other books out from the library and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for her future books. I was kept up late into the night reading this book, wanting to get to the end so that I would know what happened!

Oh, and I have to say.... if there was a branch of the Funky Banana cafe near me I would practically be living there! It sounds like such a fab place!

Rating 4/5

Thanks to the fab people at Hachette for organising the readalong and for the book, and to Bree for hosting the discussion.


Kat Kavanagh is not in love....

She has lots of friends, an ordinary job, and she never ever thinks of her past. This is Kat's story. None of it is true.

Milo McIntyre loves his mam, the peanut-butter and banana muffins at the Funky Banana cafe, and the lifesaving class he does after school. He never thinks about his future, until the day it changes forever. This is Milo's story. All of it true.

And there is the other story. The one with a twist of fate, which somehow brings together a boy from Brighton and a woman in Dublin, and uncovers the truth once and for all.

This is the story that's just about to begin.


  1. I have already decided that I am going to get this one, so I didn't want to spoil the ending. I will be back to read your final thoughts and discuss, Marg!

  2. I love bananas and I wish the Funky Banana cafe existed too! Would have loved a recipe or two to be included...

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