Little Big Love by Katy Regan

Little Big Love

Katy Regan

Told through the eyes of Zac, Juliet, and grandfather Mick, Little Big Love is a layered, heartfelt, utterly satisfying story about family, love, and secrets.

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About a Boy meets Parenthood in this smart, big-hearted love story about a family for whom everything changed one night, a decade ago, and the young boy who unites them all.

Ten-year-old Zac Hutchinson collects facts: octopuses have three hearts, Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth. But no one will tell him the one thing he wants to know most: who his father is and where he went.

When Zac's mother, Juliet, inadvertently admits that his dad is the only man she's ever loved, Zac decides he is going to find him and deliver his mom the happily ever after she deserves.

But Liam Jones left for a reason, and as Zac searches for clues of his father, Juliet begins to rebuild what shattered on the day that was at once the happiest and most heartbreaking of her life.

Told through the eyes of Zac, Juliet, and grandfather Mick, Little Big Love is a layered, heartfelt, utterly satisfying story about family, love, and the secrets that can define who we are.


Advance Galley Reviews

I am such a fan of stories of family secrets, and seeing this book compared to the show Parenthood made it a “need to read” for me. Overall, the story was enjoyable. It took a bit of time to get a handle on what was going on (especially when changing narrators) but I came to really enjoy switching narrators. It gave more information from a different perspective that helped to deepen the storyline. However, in the end, I felt like too much went on. There was bullying, addiction (both alcohol and food) and a medical condition exacerbated by an unhealthy living environment. All of this, in addition to the main plot lines of secrets, and the search for Zac’s father, made for an often convulsed story. I am not a person who needs a neat and tidy ending, but so many of these were not wrapped up by the end of the story that I wouldn’t have minded them not being included at all. Even with these plot issues, I still enjoyed my time with this book. I think it would be an excellent summer vacation/beach read for someone looking for a story with some mystery, secrets, and a whole lot of love. Thank you to Penguin’s First to Read for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinions.

Summary: One night can change so many lives; and one determined soul can reconnect them all. Ten year old Zac is facing a lot- he isn’t exactly popular at school. In fact, his size makes him a target for bullying and his sole friend is his neighbor Teagan. All he ever wanted was for him and his mother to be happy. He wants a dad for himself, and someone to love his mother. A drunken declaration from Juliet sends her son into a tailspin. If his father was the only man she ever loved, he needed to know more about him. Secrets will come out, and bonds will be tested beyond limits. This book is about love, family, loyalty, and accepting the past. My thoughts: I love this book, there’s so much heart! Now, full disclosure, I read this book over a month ago and have been waiting until closer to release to review it. I don’t like doing that, because it isn’t as fresh in my mind. I may just begin scheduling reviews when they are this far out. This one, though, stays with you. Each character burrows into your soul. Zac is loving and sweet, the apple of his mother and grandmother’s eye. He’s also very smart and mature for his age. I loved his thought process, his care for his mother, and his relationship with his best friend. I felt bad for him, being bullied for being overweight. Every time I read about things like this I can’t believe they could ever be real…. but they most likely are. Juliet is working constantly and still can’t make ends meet, but she is determined to be a good mother. Between stress eating, holing herself off from romance, and the occasional lifted item; she’s a mess. When she finds out how badly Zac has been trying not only to find her a companion, but himself a father, she knows it’s time to come clean about a few secrets. I even liked the grandparents, though the hate living in Juliet’s mother was sometimes overwhelming. She has a lot of pain and has been allowed unhealthy coping strategies for far too long. Still, she loved Zac without reservation, and her pain was one I could understand. The premise was interesting and the book flowed between the three narrators easily. I loved the writing style, and felt like the additional insights were completely necessary for the story. For me, this is a five star book. On the adult content scale, there is some language and bullying. The bullying was actually the hardest on me. I give it a four. Talk to your younger teens about how it is portrayed and what they think of it. I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. My thanks!

I felt for Zac and his desire to know about his dad. This book was about family, about what the truth means, and what that does to a person. An interesting read. Thanks for the opportunity.

Zach is 10 years old and wants to know about his dad who disappeared from his life with no apparent explanation. I do love Zach's character. He is such a sweet, curious lovable kid, who happens to be obsessed with cooking and baking. I smiled when he was happy, and cried when he was sad. This story maneuvers through three points of view, sharing the space with Juliet and Mick, Zach's mom and grandad. The writing is so personal. I wondered many times, 'How she can describe these emotionally charged moments in such a vivid, honest way. It's just so real. I feel like yelling, 'You nailed it, because, I was there!' The writer is so in tune with each character. None of them are perfect, and all of them have something to hide. These special real moments kept me turning each page I needed to know, 'what really happened to Zach's dad. How did it all go so terribly wrong?' Unfortunately as is the challenge with a multiple point of view storyline is the difficulty that presents itself of not every POV being equally as interesting. It is a skill to keep each prospective moving the story forward. I found all the bits and pieces retelling what led up to Zach's Father's sudden departure dragged the story. The one thing I needed to get the answer too after a while did not seem worth the constant tangents these characters sent us on. Despite the well rounded quirky, endearing characters that I enjoyed to follow, I felt my patience was tested with many so many irrelevant distractions that weighed down and dragged the storyline to the very end. I simultaneously feel in love with the characters while growing weary of their stories. 3 stars

I think this novel tried to tackle and overcome a little too much dysfunction. There were family secrets, addictions (food, theft, alcohol), Teagan's medical problems, deadbeat dad, and less than attentive mom, bullying...the list goes on. Not all of these issues came to resolutions, as far as the reader knows anyway. And then there was the Liam arc that became so frustrating I nearly didn't finish the novel. Zac's family's lies about Liam and their reaction to his involvement in Jaime's death was just a little too over-the-top unbelievable for me.

It took me a while to get into the story here and I feel like it reads very much like a young adult novel. ( which I honestly have nothing against). Once I did finally get into the story i started to enjoy the book and wanted to keep reading to see how it would end.

Great premise, slow and hard to connect with characters. Could see how someone would like it though. But I need a story to connect to immediately.

I could not get into this book. Did not like the characters. Adults are always drunk and kids need major help. I did not enjoy reading it at all and could not finish. I am giving an honest review after receiving an advance copy.

For an honest review I was given an advanced reading copy of Big Little Love by Penguin Random House through their first to read program. I will say I enjoyed reading this book. The book is told from three perspectives; Zac, Juliet, and Mike. Zach is on a mission to find his dad. He starts this journey for obvious reasons but his main focus is to make his mom happy again since his dad is the only man his mother has ever loved. What Zac doesn’t know is there’s a family secret that is preventing him from knowing his dad. It is amazing how his journey to find his dad unravels a secret his grandad has held his either life. It takes Zac’s innocence and determination to get his family to confront their past and move forward with their lives. After finally sitting down and actually taking the time to really get into the book I would say I enjoyed the read. It was beautiful! Have you ever longed for something you knew you were missing and went searching for it? This is Zac and his determination to find his father, not only for himself but for his mother as well. It is funny how kids can have big, little love. I love how the title ties into who Zac is and how his big little love brings his family together. It is funny how it takes the innocence and love of a kid to bring this together.

This story is told by Zac, a ten year old boy who is overweight and bullied relentlessly at school.  Those parts were horrible to read because I know things like that really do go on in schools.  The story is also told by Zac's mom, Juliet, and his grandpa, Mick.  Zac was told his dad left him and his mom before he was born so Zac and his best friend, Teagan decide to find him because Zac overheard his mom say she still loved his dad.  When Zac's grandpa finds out about this, he is worried because he knows the real reason Zac's dad left and it could cause a lot of heartache if the truth gets out.  I loved the relationship between Zac and his mom.  They were so supportive of each other.  When Zac decides to try and lose weight, his mom joins him at the gym.  Even though it could lead to disappointment, Juliet helps Zac in his mission to find his dad.  This was a sweet and endearing book about love and family.

It’s easy to love and care about Zac; he’s a 10 year old sensitive, overweight, bullied little boy who decides he wants to find his father who, he has been told, left before he was born. He writes a letter to his father inviting him to his 11th birthday party and states that he thinks his father will like him if he meets him. He is joined in his quest to find his father by his loyal friend, Teagan. However, in their detective work they find family secrets surrounding Zac’s father and the death of Zac’s uncle. The story is told from the point of view of Zac, his mother Juliet and his grandfather Mick. It is funny, heartbreaking, heartwarming and uplifting. It is a well written novel and Katy Regan has you caring for all of her characters through the past tragedy and their daily lives since. I will be looking for more books by Katy Regan. I received an early copy through Penguin First to Read program.

Overall I found this to be a very sweet story, told from the point of view of Zac (a 10 year old looking for his father), Juliet (Zac's mother) and Mick (Zac's grandfather). Zac is being bullied at school because of his weight, but even though he tries to ignore it sometimes he can't. He instead focuses his efforts on finding out clues as to who/where his father is. Juliet and Mick haven't told Zac the true story as to why/when his father left and this book takes you through the journey of Zac finding clues out about his father. At times I felt the book was moving a little slow and not headed anywhere until about halfway through them there were a few twists that you learned in the story up until the end. Thank you First to Read for giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Little Big Love by Katy Regan.

This book was very sweet, albeit a bit slow. The author spent a lot of time talking about Zac and Juliet's exercising, which I found to be a bit overkill. Some material could definitely be cut without the story suffering. I wouldn't say that I ever really got "in" to this book, partially because it was so slow. However, i did find the ending to be very touching and almost teared up a little.

I found this book to be nothing short of refreshing and powerful. I liked that the POV of Zac was written with the facts. I liked that the story jumped viewpoints between Juliet and Mick as well. There is a lot of good relatable material here. It reminds you how life can change and alter in a moment. It also offered information about how obesity affects another country. I couldn't imagine someone being sent a letter here and offered assistance.

The chapters of the book are divided up into 3 POVs... Zac (the young boy bullied at school for being overweight and fatherless), Juliet (Zac's mom, who has tried to put off questions regarding Zac's dad) and Mick (Zac's sympathetic grandfather who plays a bigger role in Zac's situation). This book started off really slow for me. I had a hard time getting into it. I made myself continue on for at least 100 pages. Finally, it started to pick up and then I couldn't stop. This definitely qualifies as a great beach read. This book brought up so many emotions. I was heartbroken for Zac in how he was bullied at school and again in how he was being lied to by those who loved him. I could sympathize with Juliet, a struggling single mom trying to do what is best for her son but not always sure of what exactly that is while also dealing with her own depression. Thankfully these two are supported by good friends who are there to support them. I'm on the fence as to how I feel about the grandparents. Nan, who can't get over the grief of having lost her son and placing the blame on the one person she felt she could. And Mick, who supports and loves Juliet and Zac but is holding onto secrets of his own. Any time a book brings me to tears, I generally consider it a success.. and this book did that. On Goodreads I rated it 4 stars.

I read a few chapters, but his book just didn't grab me.

A story of a family recovering from a tragic night out, a boy in search of his father, and mother coping with doing it on her own. The ending makes it a definite beach read.

I didn’t love this book, but it got better and more interesting as I kept reading. Worth sticking with.

Katy Regan tells the heartwarming story of ten-year-old Zac, who is on a quest to find out the truth about his missing father. Set in Grimsby, England, the book slowly reveals the secrets told after the death of Zac's Uncle Jamie, a tragic event which happened just after Zac was born. Told from three perspectives, this is a story about family, grief and discovering the truth. I particularly loved the characters in this book: from Zac, the collector of facts, to his feisty best friend, Teagan, to Juliet, a mom who is trying to do what's best for her family and her son. I loved this book, and look forward to reading more by Regan.

The first American release for British author Katy Regan is a heartfelt story of family secrets and lies that are slowly revealed over the course of roughly 360 pages. Narrated by three different characters with distinct points-of-view (that also represent a different generation of the Hutchinson family), events are set in motion when 10 year old Zac decides to look for the father he believes abandoned him and his mother Juliet before birth. More than just a gimmick, the trio of narrators works quite well, even if occasionally the plot lags a bit with some adorable filler care of Zac and disappointingly for the only female narrator, Juliet's character in particular grates slightly on the nerves - swinging like a pendulum from extreme self-loathing and immaturity to downright mother of the year material. Overall however, the author's heart is in the right place and we're right there with her. A terrific reminder of just how much emotional mystery exists within our family trees, I found myself rapidly turning pages as more hidden truths came to light before it eventually reached its tender, lovely, twist-filled resolution. An ideal read for those that loved Dear Frankie and/or About a Boy, I'm eager to see what Katy Regan delivers next.

This is a wonderful book that shows how one incident can change the lives of a family in an instant. It shows how each person suffers in their own way and how lives did not have to be ruined if honesty and compassion were present from the beginning. The book is told in three voices. All three have secrets but in the end, when they all actually talk to each other about the secrets they have been keeping, everything comes full circle.

Okay I really liked the premise of the story. The idea was great. The story just progressed slowly for me. I wish there was a lot more dialogue in the story. The boy came across more as an adult then his mother. There were many times in the story I just wanted to smack Juliet and tell her to grow up and think of her son.

 


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