Blog Tours book reviews Emma's Anticipated Treasures

BLOG TOUR: The Girl on the 88 Bus by Freya Sampson

Published April 13th, 2023 by Zaffre Books
Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, Romance Novel

Welcome to my review for the gorgeous and heartfelt The Girl on the 88 Bus. Thank you to Zaffre books for the gifted copy of the book and for the invitation to take part in the tour.


‘The characters are relatable and lovable; the story is uplifting and romantic, full of emotions and heart, celebrating the importance of making human connections and embracing our dreams. This book is my happy place!’ Ali Hazelwood, author of The Love Hypothesis

‘I loved it ‘ Hannah Tovey

‘Heartwarming, gorgeously written and I fell instantly in love with the quirky cast of characters’ Jessica Ryn

‘A must-read’ Sarah J. Harris

When Libby Nicholls arrives in London, broken-hearted and with her life in tatters, the first person she meets on the bus is elderly pensioner Frank. He tells her about the time in 1962 he met a girl on the number 88 bus with beautiful red hair just like her own. They made plans for a date, but Frank lost the ticket with her number written on it. For the past sixty years, he’s ridden the same bus trying to find her.

Libby is inspired by the story and, with the help of an unlikely companion, she makes it her mission to continue Frank’s search. As she begins to open her guarded heart to strangers and new connections, Libby’s tightly controlled world expands. But with Frank’s dementia progressing quickly, their chance of finding the girl on the 88 bus is slipping away . . .

More than anything, Libby wants Frank to see his lost love one more time. But their quest also shows Libby just how important it is to embrace her own chance for happiness – before it’s too late.

The author of The Last Library brings us this beautifully uplifting novel about how one chance meeting can change the course of your life forever



“In the space of one bus ride I’d fallen head over heels in love, and now I had no way of finding her again.” 

Endearing, heartwarming and uplifting, The Girl on the 88 Bus feels like a big hug that warms you from the inside out. It will make you laugh, make you cry, make your heart ache, and make it soar as you go on an unforgettable journey with characters that will stay with you long after reading. Filled with romance and hope, this book is both an unconventional love story and a journey of self discovery, with some valuable life lessons sprinkled in along the way. 

When I picked up this book I was needing something lighthearted after reading some heavier books back-to-back. I remembered how much I loved Freya Sampson’s debut and was hoping for some of that same magic again. I was not disappointed. Once again Ms. Sampson has written a truly special story that I didn’t want to put down. The meet-cute at the beginning of the book has to be the most adorable one I’ve ever read. *Sigh*. And while it was this scene alone that cemented it as a book that would stay with me, it was the exquisite writing, surprising depth and unexpected curveballs of this story that left me reeling and made it one of my favourite books so far this year.

“On the 88 there’s always the chance for a bit of drama or a brief chat with a stranger, a nugget of something new.” 

This wonderful story is elevated by the motley crew of quirky characters who are impossible not to love. I was captivated by them, invested in them, and rooting for them to find the elusive redhead who had rocked Franks’ world. Libby is a compelling protagonist with problems that many of us will relate to. I enjoyed watching her rediscover herself and her confidence after coming out of her long relationship. It is so easy to lose ourselves when with the wrong person but not realise until it’s too late, leaving us adrift and trying desperately to reconnect with ourselves when that relationship ends. I’ve been there and Libby captures those feelings perfectly. But dear old Frank was the character who stole the show for me. I had a soft spot for him immediately and fell in love with him more and more as we discovered more about him; how he’s been making friends and changing lives on the 88 bus for years. It was a reminder that the smallest acts of kindness can impact people in the biggest ways, how we never know the impression we have on someone, and how our lives can change in a moment. 
No character is too small or inconsequential to make an impact in this book, which I loved. I could mention them all, but instead I’ll give a shout-out to the delightful Esme, who made me laugh every time she was on the page, and Peggy, the mysterious lady who we are never quite sure where she fits in, but most of us can relate to for her love of people watching on the bus. They both made lasting impressions from their first appearances in the book and jumped from the pages again and again. 

A bingeable read full of heart and humour, this is feel-good fiction at its best. An absolute must-read. 

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮



Freya Sampson is the USA Today bestselling author of two novels, The Last Chance Library and The Lost Ticket/The Girl on the 88 Bus. She worked in TV as an executive producer and her credits include two documentary series for the BBC about the British Royal Family, and a number of factual and entertainment series.

She studied History at Cambridge University and in 2018 was shortlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize.

She lives in London with her husband, two young children and an antisocial cat.



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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles xxx

Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour

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