Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Alison reviews How To Climb The Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

Today’s book review comes from Alison, she blogs at


Alison chose to read and review  How to Climb the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

How To Climb The Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

How To Climb The Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

How to Climb the Eiffel Tower

An uplifting, enjoyable read.

Lara is 29 and lives a solitary, friendless life, working, going to the gym and eating takeout every night. Then she is diagnosed with cervical cancer and her life is changed, but in surprisingly positive ways.

This book is harrowing at times, as Lara’s background story is revealed and the reasons for her fear of people become clear. But watching her finally make friends and finally live is really rewarding and a pleasure to read.

Her relationship with Jane is a stand out of the story and the kindness of Vanessa is heart-warming. But this book isn’t soppy or sentimental; neither is it preachy. It is simply a tale of a lost, lonely girl who learns to live when confronted by her mortality.

I didn’t particularly enjoy the recounting of Lara’s dreams, although I can see why they are included. This was my only issue with the book. Aside from this, this is definitely worth a read and I recommend it.

Four out of five stars.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Dani reviews How To Climb the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

Today we have a review from team member Dani, she blogs at


Dani chose to read and review How To Climb The Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

How to climb the Eiffel Tower

Here is Dani’s review.

This book has become one of my all-time favourites. My ability to form a coherent review may be severely stunted by how much I loved it.

The story follows Lara Blaine, a super-fit workaholic who’s running from a tragic past. When she gets diagnosed with cancer, the world of relative safety she’s built around herself is shaken to the foundations.

While the story and beautiful characterisation is poignant and moving, it’s also acutely relatable. There were times when I looked up from the pages half convinced that had cancer – that’s how realistic Ms Hein’s character is.

In spite of the sober subject matter, the story is one of hope, of healing on more than one level and of fresh starts. It’s a grounded, accurate and enlightening tale of friendship and overcoming fears.

How to Climb the Eiffel Tower is fantastically written, and the plot was a perfect amalgamation of all of the factors in Lara’s life. I loved the careful growing of relationships (especially with Vanessa) and the way we get to see our protagonist grow as a person. I was, however, a little thrown by the suddenness of her romantic pairing (I was rooting for Tom!).

Jane and Lara also have a great relationship – their selfless natures and their unfamiliarity with the art of friendship make them a joy to read about.

My only real complaint about the book doesn’t affect the text at all; it’s just that I felt the cover image didn’t quite do the novel justice. This isn’t a wishy-washy rom-com, but a candid, down-to-earth story of life and – more importantly – of hope.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Melissa reviews “How To Climb The Eiffel Tower” by Elizabeth Hein

Rosie’s Book Review Team brings you today’s review by Melissa. She blogs at

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Melissa chose to review “How To Climb The Eiffel Tower” by Elizabeth Hein

How to climb the Eiffel Tower

With a horrific past that left her bitter, closed off, and emotionally crippled, it is with the startling diagnosis of cancer that Lara truly begins to heal.

I found the first half rather slow and slightly difficult to remain engaged with, but that’s most likely due to Lara’s prickly personality. Truth be told, she was supposed to be prickly and I believe I was supposed to slowly grow to love her, which I did. By the second half, Lara’s icy exterior began to thaw as she opened up to the love around her and it became a much more pleasant reading experience. In the final scenes, I felt that I was there beside her, holding her hand, wanting to help her climb above all the pain. I give Hein tremendous kudos for a fantastic job at transforming her main character from a hide-in-your-shell turtle to a live and laugh and love butterfly.

Though I enjoyed it and recommend it, there were a few times when I was pulled out of the story, most commonly when Lara repeatedly said oh my god. It got a bit old and it wasn’t necessary.

Overall, a well written novel about friendship, love, courage, and cancer.

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