This is my first book review, and I am in no way a professional. This is just my opinion.
MAJOR spoilers will be included so read with caution.

On The Other Side is a fiction novel by Carrie Hope Fletcher, published on July 12th 2016. The original hardback price from Waterstones is £12.99. She has a video (here) that answers some questions about her book.

I have been a fan of Carrie Hope Fletcher for a while now. When I heard about her non-fiction book, I was excited and when it came out I bought it instantly.
Therefore, when I heard Miss Fletcher was releasing a fiction novel I couldn’t wait to read it.
I wasn’t disappointed- overall, I really enjoyed the story and thought the writing was very cohesive. The characters were unique and complex while still managing to be believable. For me, they were vivid, colourful and alive. Of course, Miss Fletcher also included many LGBTQ+ characters without making their sexuality the plot, which is a rare occurrence even in 2016.
The plot itself was a twist on a very overrated (and overdone) idea: souls not being able to get to Heaven. Having a wall that changes and undulates as a living thing, a thing that can transport you back to where you need to go is very interesting and something I haven’t seen done before, and felt new instead of boringly familiar.

That being said, I was slightly disheartened when I discovered that each secret had unlikely elements. Obviously, this story is a fantasy that includes an afterlife- something that requires you to believe in something that some people say is unlikely.
I can allow myself to believe the afterlife part of this story, because afterlife is unknown and uncertain. However, trying to believe a dove can live for 55 years and somehow survive being covered in ink, paper inexplicably turning to glass (which somehow creates sentient images)  and someone being able to rip their heart out without bleeding and carry on surviving is too much to ask of my imagination.
I know that makes me sound like a boring an unimaginative person, but I just expected something different from this book. The impossibility of some features shocked me because I expected the book to be more mature. I think the most odd part of the book was the final secret- Evie burying her heart. I could not bring myself to enjoy that bit because it was completely inexplicable. Evie can still love her children and still allows Jim to kiss her. It confuses me as surely having no heart makes you unable to feel in this universe.
Despite the inexplicability, for a first- and a fantasy- novel, it was a very good book.
I admit I cried at the end and I know I will reread it. Sometimes, the impossibility is nice to get lost in.

I mean no offence to Miss Fletcher. I am a Hopeful and I have admired her and aspire to be half as talented as she is.

Feel free to share your opinion (nicely please) in the comments below.
Thank you for reading.
-Alice x