Wednesday, September 02, 2020

The Last Charm by Ella Allbright

When Leila loses her charm bracelet she is devastated, because the charms represent her life story over the past twenty years. When she was a young girl, her mother gave her a charm  bracelet with a heart charm on it and then promptly disappears from her life. Then, as Leila grows, she receives charms to commemorate the important events in her life. For her, it is the connection with her mother that she holds onto, rightly or wrongly. The person who finds the lost charm bracelet asks Leila to describe it and so this book is, in effect, her telling the story of each charm.

Leila's mother leaving means that Leila and her dad have to move away from their home. Before they leave, Leila meets Jake, the young boy who has moved into Leila's old house with his dysfunctional family.

Over the years, Jake and Leila's lives continued to intersect as Leila comes back to visit her granddad Ray (loved him!) and then when Leila moves back to the town.

I loved the premise of this book. The idea that when something momentous happens you add some kind of momento so that you can sit and touch it to bring back the memories, to evoke the feelings, to bring that moment to mind, to bring the people you love back to mind.

It will depend on what you think of the characters as to how this book resonates for you, and this was mixed for me.

Jake......sigh....what a man he grew up to be. Jake overcame such challenges from his childhood and through sheer grit and determination became more, much more. I struggled more with Leila who also had to overcome childhood trauma, but it took her a long time to be able see what was right in front of her, and a long time to grow up. Quite frankly, I think Jake had the patience of a saint, and there were numerous times when I wanted to lead into the book and yell at Leila to just have a proper conversation with Jake.

Having said that, I had very tangible reactions to the book. It made me smile, it made me laugh, and yes, I cried.

Rating 3.5/5

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this review copy.

Goodreads synopsis

A moving and heartwarming love story perfect for fans of Me Before You and One Day in December…
Leila’s charm bracelet tells a story of love, a story of loss, a story of hope. This is the story of her … and the story of Jake.
When Leila Jones loses her precious charm bracelet and a stranger finds it, she has to tell the story of how she got the charms to prove she’s the owner. Each and every one is a precious memory of her life with Jake.
So Leila starts at the beginning, recounting the charms and experiences that have led her to the present. A present she never could have expected when she met Jake nearly twenty years ago…


  1. I really like the premise of this one. I imagine I would have the same reaction to Leila. Haha. I will have to give it a try.

  2. Replies
    1. It is fun, and there is a lot to like but it's not perfect Bree.

  3. What a lovely idea/ premise this is, wrapping up her story around the charms! I'm sorry a bit of it was frustrating but it sounds really good too.

  4. Sounds charming ;) Thanks for sharing your thoughts

  5. I love the idea of the charm bracelet and all the memories each charm holds. I've had to add this one to my wishlist after your review!

    1. I hope you enjoy it if you read it Iliana!