Blitz+Excerpt: The Art of Letting Go

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom 
(Uni Files #1) 
Publication date: September 25th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance

One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could what would you do to stop it?

When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.

Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.

As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.

With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be.

With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?


The Fresher’s Ball

 7.00 a.m. 

 OH, FUCK! Oh no, no, no, no, no.

 I can’t believe it! I have woken up and can now remember the Fresher’s Ball, in all its 

high-definition 3D glory. 

 This is all I can remember of how I broke every single one of my Uni rules. I am 

going to write it down and then I am going to forget about it until the day I die, which may 

very well be later today. 

 The Fresher’s Ball completely rocks, but this may be because I break the ‘No 

Drinking’ rule by consuming:

 Half a bottle of champagne 

 Three tequila shots

 Three bottles of beer

 Three glasses of water (to keep a balance)

 Two glasses of wine

 Note to self: This amount of alcohol causes significant pain and memory 


 Halfway through the evening, the room is spinning in an alarming fashion and I am 

using the wall as a support. I would like to move away from it and dance with my 

roommates, but I am scared that: A. My legs will fall off, or B. I will be sick. So instead I just 

stand and lean, sipping some more water.

 The live band is great, though unfortunately I have to look at them through one eye. If 

I open both eyes, everything gets a bit blurry. 

 The lead singer is damn hot: tall and slim with a shock of dark hair and flashing blue 

eyes that I can see all the way over from my safety spot against the wall. 

 Ha ha! If I open both eyes there are two of him!

 One eye, one singer. Two eyes, two singers. One eye, one singer. Two eyes, two 


 I think he may be glancing in my direction, but cannot be sure. Maybe he is just 

working out if he needs to get someone to call an ambulance for me. 

 Oh no! I probably look like I am winking at him. I am such an idiot!

 I decide to head back to the bar and get another bottle of water. Without a backwards 

glance at the stage—let’s be honest I am in no condition to be glancing anywhere—I make 

my way to the bar. Froebel college is an old mansion house made up of a rabbit warren of 

rooms that I stumble my way through until I find where they have hidden the bar. Once there, 

I attempt to communicate with the barman for a bottle of overpriced water. 

 Sipping my drink, I turn from the bar, but someone is blocking my path back to the 

exit. I look up and see a pair of blue eyes twinkling down at me.

 Ah, pretty, blue sparkly eyes like the sky at midday. I appear to be completely at a 

loss for words. Again. 

 A dark head lowers to examine me closer. 

 “Ben,” he introduces, holding his hand out to me, his blue eyes crinkling. 

 On closer inspection, I see they are surrounded by the cutest freckles I have ever seen.

 “Lilah,” I respond, taking his hand. I don’t shake it, I just hold it. 

 That is so not cool.

 I hope I am not still looking through just one eye. “You’re the singer guy, right?” At 

least my tongue still works.

 He flashes me a wicked smirk. “Singer guy, I am,” he replies, his hand still holding 

 I have no urge to move away.

 “You’re the girl in the knock out white dress,” he adds. 

 I have nothing to say to this, but he laughs all the same. 

 “Would you like to go outside for some fresh air?” he asks, leaning forward slightly 

and talking right into my ear. His warm breath sends shivers down my arm and various other 

 “I should find my friends,” I say. I don’t want to. I want to follow the blues outside, 

but there is a teeny tiny part of my inebriated brain that knows this may be a bad idea.

 “Come on, Lilah.” He tugs at my hand, and my willpower crumbles like a sandcastle 

in the tide and I follow him without a second thought.

I Will Not Talk to Boys . . . Much

 Hold on a minute. It gets worse.

 Outside, he takes a crumpled packet of cigarettes out of his jeans pocket. I cannot 

help but focus on his hand sliding into the tight space of his dark blue jeans. 

 I am a dirty pervert.

 He offers me one, and I automatically accept. 

 Well, that is a pile of Crap!

 I have broken all four of my cardinal rules within twenty-four hours of starting Uni. 

 Well done, Delilah! I offer myself an imaginary clap on the back.

 “I wasn’t winking at you, by the way.” I assure him.


 “Um, nothing.”

 “So you here as a guest or a student?” he asks, leaning in and lighting my ciggie for 

 “Student,” I reply, attempting not to slur. 

 He lifts an eyebrow at this. 

 “Yes, I know I am old!” I retort. I should just walk away but my legs are not 

responding to any command my brain makes. Apart from the one that instructs me to stand 

there like a dick.

 “Hardly.” The blues hold mine.

 “Twenty-five is pretty old compared to all the spring chickens in there.” I motion my 

head to the hall behind me full of dancing teenagers. 

 Motioning of head is not such a great idea. My vision is about 5 seconds behind.

 “I’m twenty-five,” blue-eyed Ben informs me.


 “So what are you studying?” 

 He is standing really close, very close indeed. I seem to be staring at his lips as he 

speaks, they are all I can focus on. Everything else is blurred or doubled. 

 I take a long drag of my cigarette.

 “History,” I tell him, waiting for the laugh. None comes. “So, have you been with the 

band long?”

 “Ten years.”

 “Wow! That’s a long time.” It really is. 

 “Yeah, I guess.” He throws his cigarette away and I follow suit. He still does not 

move away from me. This guy obviously does not follow the rules of etiquette regarding 

personal space. 

 “You don’t recognise me, do you?” 

 Of all the questions I am expecting, this one is not it. “No. Should I?”

 “I played at a Christmas party last year. You were there.” 

 I stare at the blues as he speaks; they are a little mesmerising. Let’s just hope I have 

my mouth closed.

 I remember the band now, and I vaguely remember him. Well, not him exactly, but 

something about the colour blue. John had been a complete arsehole that evening, not leaving 

me alone for a minute. It had been suffocating and in the end we had left early. The evening 

was so bad I have forced myself to never think about it again.

 “Sorry,” I offer. I kind of am.

 “I think I prefer the white dress to the red.” 

 What?! He can remember the dress I was wearing nine months ago! I am about to say 

something . . . anything . . . 

 Then he is kissing me: his mouth warm and firm on mine. 


 It should be strange, but it is not as strange as you’d think. I automatically lean in and 

slide my hands into his black hair, pulling him down closer. His hand grazes down my back 

and over my left butt cheek. I am not complaining though. Nope, no complaints here. None at 

 Just like that my knees start to go. His arms slide around me holding me up and I 

think he may be chuckling, but I am not sure. It is hard to hear anything above the roaring in 

my ears. 

 This is the point I realise I am going to be sick all over a complete stranger I have 

just snogged.

 “I think I should help you home,” he says into my ear.

 “What? No way! If you think I am going to let you take me home so I will have sex 

with you, you’re sorely mistaken! I am not some gir—” My words are cut off by his lips. I try 

to protest but soon give up. It is not the most convincing protest I have ever made. I have 

protested more over cold toast.

 “I am not taking you home so I can take advantage of you,” he says after finally 

pulling away so I can gasp a breath. 

 “You are really rather drunk and I think you should let me help you home,” he 

continues, a smile playing on his lips. He is probably right. 

 I can barely stand up, though I am not sure if that is through lack of oxygen whilst 

kissing or from too much booze.

 “Besides,” he says with a twinkle of blues, “when I do have sex with you, I would 

rather you were a little more sober.” 

 I start to protest again but his arms lift me up and throw me over his shoulder in a 

very unflattering fireman lift.

 “Where do you live, Lilah?” he asks. 

 He is never going to know, so I tell him, just so he has to admit he does not have a 

 To my immense surprise he just starts striding off across campus. 

 I try to think of ways to get down, but in the end just give up and stare at his rather 

tidy arse as my eyesight starts to go black.

 This is all I remember.

 So kill me now.

 I can’t believe that I got drunk enough to snog a stranger, even a hot one. What a 

complete bloody idiot. I may never, ever leave this room again. Ever.

 I am going back to sleep. Hopefully when I wake up I will realise that this has all 

been a hideous nightmare.

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