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Book Review: Someone For Everyone By Tracy Corbett

Plot:

A surprise inheritance and a failing care home might hold the unlikely makings for true love…

Kate’s husband has not only left her, he’s also left her tons of debt and she now risks losing her career as a lawyer if she can’t find a way to pay it back.

Overnight, Calvin’s life changed when he signed for a major football team, and then again when injury forced him into early retirement. His life is once more about to be shaken up after he inherits his great-uncle’s estate.

Kate needs a job and Calvin needs someone to manage the care home he now owns – if it doesn’t turn a profit in the next three months, it will be shut down and the residents forced out. Can the two work together to save Rose Court, and each other?

A fun, festive and joyful romance for fans of Sophie Ranald and Holly Martin.

Review:

Slow-burn romance ahead!
Mesmerised and brought into a Christmas feel-good world.

This is the first time I have come across the author’s writing and it was perfect.

The two main characters, Kate and Calvin oh my. I really do wonder what both of them look like. For them to be such complete opposites it would be intriguing. Calvin is this supposed gorgeous man on the outside, and throughout this novel he is also like this on the inside. He has pure intentions and reasoning.

I liked Kate at times however sometimes I felt like shaking her to waken her. She was awkward but sometimes she really didn’t need to be (such as taking a tantrum with a tree).

This novel is set in Pluckley which is in Kent. The setting reminded me of a non-Cornwall type of village these novels usually mention. I just pictured a cute little small village. Kind of like the one I am currently residing in which just added to this novel being so perfect.


Throughout, we meet the residents of the care home that Calvin had inherited. It was fate when he met Kate who had needed a job which just so happened to be the role Calvin needed her for and he could let her stay at the care home too which solved her issues. We meet residents such as Rowan who is very eccentric.

The entire community was just so full of life with everyone’s personalities.

I stretched this out whilst I was reading this as I really did enjoy every single moment. What peaked my interest more so was the friendship they built. They spent a long time getting to know each other. Yes, Kate was jealous of her cousin having a baby and his ex and so forth. 

As Calvin and Kate sort out issues, they are also getting to know each other and keep trying to fight it, at times it was very slow but overall I really enjoyed the entire premise, the characters and just how it all fits well together.

Oh and thank you to the publishers for sending me this novel in exchange for my honest review.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: Run Rose Run By James Patterson and Dolly Parton

Plot:

Every song tells a story.
She’s a star on the rise, singing about the hard life behind her.
She’s also on the run. Find a future, lose a past.

Nashville is where she’s come to claim her destiny. It’s also where the darkness she’s fled might find her. And destroy her.

Review:

RUN ROSE RUN goes back and forth between the past and the present. AnnieLee turns up in Nashville homeless and on the run from someone. She seems fearless and her journey is filled with danger and quite a few twists and turns. She is determined to do it on her own, even turning away from the famous Ruthanna Ryder where she could have taken the easy road to fame. Hold on tight people, the ride is a bumpy and crazy one!

The reader can look forward to a story that takes you into the country music scene. It also gives you romance, heart pounding danger, lots of action, and some wonderful friendships.

As determined as AnnieLee is to become a star, she’s also determined to outrun whoever is chasing her. Many nights she wakes up in the middle of nightmares, calling out the same name. Does a story get any better than this? Although I find her a little naïve as she could have told Ethan about her issues as I think she did expect him to subconsciously read her mind and help her.

The twists and turns in this are going to keep you up late into the night trying to figure it out. One minute you believe you know who did it and the next you are sitting there shaking your head, wondering what the heck just happened. I had my suspicions, I had it all figured out, or so I thought, and …….wrong again!

Why run after someone that’s bad that is looking to hurt you, you are small and petite from the sounds of it, no exercise and no muscle or strength, man or woman (don’t be a sexist woman reading this going on about feminism) if you don’t exercise at all of course you are not going to be strong, whether you are a man or woman. why chase after the bad guy in secret, on your own, hitching rides from strange men if you aren’t expecting some sleaze balls, again, can happen both ways, idiot. Good thing Ethan knew and was following her in his own ways. As she literally ran off without telling anyone she is about to embark on a journey to hurt someone who is out to kill her by the sounds of it.

Once you start reading, trust me, you aren’t going to be able to stop! When everything is finally revealed, well, you won’t believe it! I really hope James Patterson writes with Dolly Parton again. I would love to meet up with all the characters of Nashville TN once again!

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: A Court Of Thorns And Roses By Sarah J. Maas

Plot:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a terrifying creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not truly a beast, but one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled her world.

At least, he’s not a beast all the time.

As she adapts to her new home, her feelings for the faerie, Tamlin, transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But something is not right in the faerie lands. An ancient, wicked shadow is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it, or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

From bestselling author Sarah J. Maas comes a seductive, breath-taking book that blends romance, adventure, and faerie lore into an unforgettable read.

Review:

Interesting Fantasy! I can see why it is very popular.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin – one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it or doom Tamlin and his world forever.

I did find Feyre to be either stupid or naïve at times when she purposely does things to get herself and sometimes others harmed such as leaving her room when there was a big event going on which would obviously just make her prey. I mean, obviously people are warning you for your own safety.

It’s been awhile since I fell through the fantasy realms of reading. I see this series pop up across my feed constantly so here I am letting you know that you’ll fall into despair and journey through tasks in order to find the riddle. Love, lies, and deception will be your allies, but no matter what you will prevail.

This was an absolute pleasure. Can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Road Trip By Beth O’Leary

Plot:

Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in the north of Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed.

But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie’s ex, Dylan, who she’s avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier.

Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they’ve totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with three hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can’t avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship…

Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly… is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?

Review:

The title had me.
I loved both The Flatshare and The Switch, but this one disappointingly fell a bit short for me. It lacked the light-hearted humour of those first two for the most part. Towards the end, there were some humorous moments, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the journey to get there.

The Road Trip is, at its core, the story of Addie and Dylan’s relationship. Told from the present-day when they are unexpectedly crammed in a car together with three other people on their way to a mutual friend’s wedding and from the past with the origins of their relationship and its ultimate demise.

I’m not a fan of stories where pretty much all of the characters know something that the reader doesn’t, and those hidden things aren’t revealed until very late in the book, yet all throughout people keep hinting about them and alluding to them but not coming right out and saying what happened. There are ways of doing it but this one dangled it in-front of the reader and I didn’t like how this one was done.

I kept wanting to skip ahead and see what the big issue was that caused such a problem and why the dynamics of all of the friendships and other relationships were so strained and strange. Honestly, I didn’t care for Dylan at all until nearly the end which only changed slightly.

I got pretty angry about his treatment of Addie throughout the book and the constant acting like everything wrong was her fault. There were just many depressing elements of this novel which, in a way, created some depth, but also just gave me a dejected feeling because I saw how hard Addie was trying to make things work and how she was basically thwarted at every turn.

I just needed a LOT more humour and light hearted moments. I will definitely keep reading books by this author, but I need more fun and less depression.

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: A Merry Little-Meet Cute By Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

Plot:

Bee Hobbes (aka Bianca Von Honey) has a successful career as a plus-size adult film star. With a huge following and two supportive moms, Bee couldn’t ask for more. But when Bee’s favorite producer casts her to star in a Christmas movie he’s making for the squeaky-clean Hope Channel, Bee’s career is about to take a more family-friendly direction.

Forced to keep her work as Bianca under wraps, Bee quickly learns this is a task a lot easier said than done. Though it all becomes worthwhile when she discovers her co-star is none other than childhood crush Nolan Shaw, an ex-boy band member in desperate need of career rehab. Nolan’s promised his bulldog manager to keep it zipped up on set, and he will if it means he’ll be able to provide a more stable living situation for his sister and mom.

But things heat up quickly in Christmas Notch, Vermont, when Nolan recognizes his new co-star from her ClosedDoors account (oh yeah, he’s a member). Now Bee and Nolan are sneaking off for quickies on set, keeping their new relationship a secret from the Hope Channel’s execs. Things only get trickier when the reporter who torpedoed Nolan’s singing career comes snooping around—and takes an instant interest in mysterious newcomer Bee.

And if Bee and Nolan can’t keep their off-camera romance behind the scenes, then this merry little meet cute might end up on the cutting room floor.

Review:


I do not know why some people are calling this novel a cute romcom. I have read amazing cute rom coms however this is spicy, not cute. Big difference.

This novel has very funny moments that are sure to even melt the Grinch’s heart. There are so many great ideas in this story. I loved the ideas of a town where everyone films holiday movies at. The characters in this book are funny and very well developed. I really struggled with their relationship. I did not buy into it. It was not the over the top grand Holiday Romance I wanted nor needed.

The main character is a porn star and the amount of references is a bit cringy in my opinion (does that even need reminding when this is my own review that I can say what I feel?). She has had the biggest crush on her co-star as he was a bad boy in a boy band years ago.

Anyway, I will be honest holiday romances need to be perfection for me to love them. This one has some create Christmas cozy vibes but even the ‘cuteness’ and the spice could not save this for me. It was a struggle for me to get through this book. I feel like the pacing was off and was not a cohesive as I would expect from these two accomplished writers.

I do not like the way the main character acts so sassy and yet she is so paranoid of her weight at the same time as it is very hypocritical with her personality.

I think what fell apart for me was that a lot of the scenes were just awkward. There seemed to lack a flow in storyline and causing the characters to feel one dimensional. I wanted more.

Overall it is a not-so-cute-but-humourous-in-a-sexual-reference-way story but I just did not love it.

Thanks to the publishers for sending this in exchange for my honest review

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Twenty-One Nights In Paris By Leonie Mack

Plot:

Irena and Sacha come from two very different worlds.
An heiress to a fortune, Ren’s home-from-home is the Ritz, while the handsome and brooding Sacha has grown up in Paris’s less salubrious suburbs. So when an accident brings them together, romance seems an unlikely outcome.

When Ren’s society engagement reaches a very public end, Irena’s over-protective grandmother wants her home in London. Ren needs an excuse to stay in Paris, and so after some persuasion, Sacha agrees to pose as her new boyfriend. But only for the twenty-one days Ren’s grandmother has allowed her to nurse her broken heart before heading home to face the music.

Over the course of three weeks, Ren realises the world outside her exclusive bubble is more beautiful than she could have imagined. While Sacha reluctantly begins to see the goodness of the woman behind the wealth. When their time is up, will Ren want to return to her gilded cage, and will Sacha be able to let go of the woman he’s been ‘pretending’ to fall in love with…

Review:


Cute Christmas reads.

The main characters, Ren and Sacha are from opposite ends of society however they meet in a lovely way by colliding into each other. Later, they develop a relationship which can help Ren out of a situation with her family.

Ren is from a very wealthy family, but she is incredibly naive; She hasn’t explored and knows very little about real life, to the point where it’s almost frustrating. Sacha leads a relatively normal life as a teacher, helping out his family and travelling around Paris on his bike. As Ren persuades Sacha to act as her boyfriend in the lead up to Christmas so that she doesn’t have to go home and deal with her family-business crisis, they spend more time together and you start to understand more about the way they both are.

I wasn’t particularly keen towards Ren the beginning, she comes across as spoilt, but the way the author develops her throughout the story, giving up pieces of her background slowly throughout made me empathise with her.

In the end, their relationship felt equal with them both being able to teach the other something about themselves.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Lord Edgware Dies By Agatha Christie

Plot:

It’s true; Hercule Poirot had been present when the famous actress Jane Wilkinson bragged of her plan to ‘get rid of’ her estranged husband, Lord Edgware.

Now the man was dead. And yet the great Belgian detective couldn’t help feeling that he was being taken for a ride. After all, how could Jane have stabbed her thoroughly detestable husband to death in his library at exactly the same time she was seen dining with friends? And what could be her motive now that the aristocrat had finally agreed to grant her a divorce?

Review:

American actress, Jane Wilkinson, Lady Edgware, approaches Poirot, asking him to help her obtain a divorce from her cold, estranged husband. However, when Poirot, and Hastings, go to see Lord Edgware, he seems to have no issue with divorcing her. It seems that Jane Wilkinson, after all, will have her freedom and then the probable becomes the definite, when Lord Edgware is found dead.

This is not my favourite Poirot novel, although it is always delightful to have Hastings and Japp both involved in a mystery. There are a good cast of suspects and twists in the tale, as Poirot uncovers who really killed Lord Edgware, and why.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Summer With My Sister By Lucy Diamond

Plot:

New beginnings and an old flame. Summer just got hotter…

Polly has always been the high-flier of the family, with the glamorous city lifestyle to match.

Clare is a single mum with two children, struggling to make ends meet in a ramshackle cottage. The two sisters are poles apart and barely on speaking terms.

But then Polly’s fortunes change unexpectedly and her world comes crashing down. Left penniless and with nowhere else to go, she’s forced back to the village where she and Clare grew up, and the sisters find themselves living together for the first time in years. With an old flame reappearing for Polly, a blossoming new career for Clare and a long-buried family secret in the mix, sparks are sure to fly. Unless the two women have more in common than they first thought?

Review:

Another great read by Lucy Diamond, an author that I have come to highly admire recently!

This one dealt directly with two sisters, Polly and Clare, both of whom are estranged when the book begins. Through various circumstances, such as Polly’s relocation and career change, along with Clare’s stroke of luck and dealings with her ex-husband, the two become close once again, giving us all hope for our own family relationships.

Polly and Clare are very different characters at the start of this novel however I wasn’t particularly loving their personalities until the end when they develop into a nice middle. Polly was always over the top stressful as her life revolved around work and then she loses her job and realises she gave her life to a company that just see her as a number. As for Clare, she’s a bit stuck up with the whole ‘poor me’ attitude instead of seeing what she already has and should be more grateful, which her inner voice did realise at least.

I loved how Diamond wrote about the two sisters and their struggling relationship, making us believe in the difficulty that they faced as a result of their lives, which were vastly different in more ways than one.

I felt as though the plot was believable, especially in regards to the raw emotions expressed by both Polly and Clare. Such a great read that made me want to know more about what happens a few years down the road!

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear By Elizabeth Gilbert 

Plot:

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Gilbert offers insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

Review:

While not too sure at the beginning, I ended up liking this 3-stars worth.

Many of Gilbert’s approaches and positions about creativity are positive and inspiring, such as letting go of the “tormented artist” idea and keeping the making of art light and playful for the best in productivity and results; the value of persistence; trusting the process; and working with “stubborn gladness” in all cases, through good times and bad. I really liked this phrase “stubborn gladness,” as I’ve been known to be a little stubborn at times (just once in a while) and have to be reminded to focus that trait in a positive way.

I had a little trouble, though, with some of her concepts, especially the notion that creativity and specific ideas are sentient beings that seek us out and react to our actions.

At times she seemed to reject perfectionism with a vengeance that almost seemed to be endorsing mediocrity, although I’m sure that can’t be what she meant. There is certainly merit in recognizing that creativity is not well-served by an obsessive need for perfection, which breeds only procrastination and the above-mentioned “tormented artist” syndrome, and rarely finished work.

I would have preferred a more nuanced discussion of standards. Perfectionism is bad, but one does need to have standards. Deciding when one’s own standards have been adequately met is a little more complicated question than just pointing out that perfectionism is bad, and I never got the sense that I understood her criteria for determining that.

But overall, this was a light, inspiring read. She just needs to accept sometimes people strive for perfection and there is nothing wrong with that at all.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Whisper of the Moon Moth By Lindsay Jayne Ashford

Plot:

For nineteen-year-old Estelle Thompson, going to the cinema is more than a way to pass the time…it’s a way out. In 1931 in Calcutta, Anglo-Indian girls like Estelle are considered half-breeds, shunned by both English and Indian society. Her only escape is through the silver screen, where she can forget the world around her.

When Estelle catches the eye of a dashing American heir with connections to a major motion-picture studio, he also captures her heart. Soon, Estelle has a one-way ticket to London and a recommendation for a screen test.

To get to the top, she must keep her Indian heritage concealed—and so begins her new identity as movie goddess Merle Oberon. But just as her dreams are poised to come true, she discovers that her own family is keeping a much more shocking secret from her—one that changes everything she’s believed about her past.

Review:

The book follows Estelle Thompson, an Anglo-Indian young woman aspiring to become an actress.

After some unforeseen heartbreak, she lands up in London hoping to find any acting job. She luckily finds a small part in a production, impresses the director so much that she gets the part to play the famous literary heroine Cathy in Wuthering Heights.

She also finally finds the love that she has always been looking for even though the reveal of her family secrets are devastating. And then – the book was over. I was surprised when I reached the last line because I didn’t expect it be over so soon. Not because I was engrossed in it but because the book just didn’t feel complete yet.

The writing is good and I was not completely bored. The story was a little simplistic but still enjoyable. The aspect I really found interesting was the plight of Anglo-Indians in India before our independence. I wasn’t aware that they were treated with such apathy by both the communities and it was fascinating to get to know something different about India’s history. It is a good read but the pace was very slow.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: The No-Show By Beth O’Leary

Plot:

Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth.

These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: They’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up–Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.

Once they’ve each forgiven him for standing them up, they let him back into their lives and are in serious danger of falling in love with a man who seems to have not just one or two but three women on the go….

Is there more to him than meets the eye? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken?

Review:

The No-Show by Beth O’Leary was so intriguing and took me on a journey to a place I didn’t see coming.

First off, in the synopsis this says it’s a rom-com, but let me tell you… it is not. I would not consider it a rom-com at all. I would consider it more of a contemporary fiction with some romance in there.

Joseph Carter was a hero I spent so much of the book conflicted about. I didn’t think I liked him, until I began to see some of his reasons why. But he is far too feminine for my pleasing. There is so much I want to say about his situation with Siobhan, Miranda, and Jane, but I don’t want to spoil this book. Let’s just say each character definitely does has their flaws and just because something sad happens doesn’t make me like the said character.

I’m so glad I didn’t know what was going on. This is Beth’s latest work however I prefer her earlier works as I found them more enjoyable.

Anyway there’s a reason this author is popular; Her writing is so developed, the characters were great, and the story its self had so much emotion, angst, and a touch of humour. It’s one of those books that was equal parts heart-breaking and heart-warming and kept me on the edge of my seat. I definitely recommend checking this one out. It was not what I expected in the best way possible.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Man I Never Met By Elle Cook

Plot:

When Hannah picks up a call from an unknown number, she thinks nothing of it–it’s just an easygoing American named Davey who misdialed her while calling into a job interview. And when Hannah wishes him luck after clearing up the confusion, she never actually expects to hear from him again.

Then she gets a text saying he got the job and he’ll be moving to London, and she can’t help but smile. Soon their texts become phone calls that turn into video calls, and their friendship becomes a relationship they can’t wait to start in earnest once Davey lands in London in a month’s time.

But when Hannah goes to meet him at the airport, Davey isn’t there–and the reason why changes both of their lives in an instant. With their future together suddenly so uncertain, they don’t know what to do but try to move on from each other.

Though their chance at love seems lost forever, neither is never far from the other’s thoughts. Will fate intervene once more to bring the two together, or will Davey always be the man that Hannah never met?

Review:

The plot of this novel had me from the start. Rom-com front cover was so delicious it made me read this one as soon as possible.

I really enjoyed the unique take on this one as it was very realistic and by chance type of situation that makes it a bit different for this genre.

The main character Hannah is a character that is relatable to the average person. From the beginning, the fact that this man had misdialled a number and ended up calling her when he was supposed to be dialling a number for his interview was hilarious. Then, they end up chatting, calling and face-timing each other over the duration of the month. It turns out he does indeed get the job and is to move near Hannah herself.

The fact Hannah is sick and tired of meeting guys online for meaningless dates and finding herself wishing she could just once meet a guy in a different way.

The writing style was fun however it was written in a very American way I noticed compared to other novels set in England. I found the entire narrative to be enticing to keep reading more to find out how it goes and to join Hannah and her friends in this journey. Her next door neighbour, her friends, the gym, just the entire set up was so endearing and it was as if we were along with Hannah in person in this enjoyable journey.

If you are looking for a novel to get lost in, to have fun in a unique romance this is the one! Entertaining and relatable.

This ARC was received in exchange for my honest review.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Keeper Of Lost Things By Ruth Hogan

Plot:

Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.

As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?

Review:

If you are a lover of wonderfully told stories where people truly love one another, then this book is for you!

It is told with such tenderness of a love story immersed within two love stories. It is a story of requited love and love that was felt but never could be carried through. It was a story of people, a bit broken at times, but with the strength and love we all possess and probably should show more of.

This was a feel good story, one that will propel you out of the doldrums and make you quite glad that you got to spend some time with Anthony, Laura, Sunshine, Freddy, Eunice, and Bomber and least I forget some lovely four legged friends.

Imagine finding and labelling and keeping things you have found in your lifetime. Now imagine wanting to find the people who lost those things. In that you have the premise of this book. It was endearing and brought a big smile to my face as I turned the last page and read the last word. Now out to take a look for some lost things as I would truly love to be a keeper of lost things too!

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Copenhagen Like a Local: By the People Who Call It Home By D.K. Eyewitness

Plot:

Experience Copenhagen the local way with this insider’s guide

Copenhagen is king of cool: cutting-edge museums, breweries galore and a foodie scene like no other. But what’s beyond the well-trodden sights? Photography museums hosting DJ sets, tiny cafés swinging with late night jazz, cute bakeries holding bread-making classes – and that’s just for starters. There’s more to Copenhagan than Tivoli Gardens and Nyhavn, and who better to show you around than the locals?

This insider’s guide is packed with recommendations from Copenhageners in the know, helping you to discover all their favourite hangout spots and hidden haunts. Of course, with a city as stylish as Copenhagen we could fill the pages of this book tenfold. Rather, Copenhagen Like a Local offers a snapshot of local life, and it’s yours for the taking.

Whether you’re a Copenhagener looking to uncover your city’s secrets or a traveller seeking an authentic experience beyond the tourist track, this stylish guide makes sure you experience the real side of Copenhagen.

Review:

For a travel guide this novel had a very enticing cover that drew my attention to this guide.

I normally would not pick up travel guides at least, not in half a decade.

This novel is full of information for those Instagram-able moments to capture and all the go-to places.

It was as if I was exploring the city itself through this read.

This guide shows you do not need to visit a place to travel. I felt I was travelling within this one.

With all the descriptions of the cafes and secret spots I do not want to give much away but it is a must read if you have an interest in the area.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: Peril At The End House By Agatha Christie

Plot:

Hercule Poirot is vacationing on the Cornish coast when he meets Nick Buckley. Nick is the young and reckless mistress of End House, an imposing structure perched on the rocky cliffs of St. Loo.

Poirot quickly takes a particular interest in the young woman. Recently, she has narrowly escaped a series of life-threatening accidents. Something tells the Belgian sleuth that these so-called accidents are more than just mere coincidences or a spate of bad luck. Something like a bullet! It seems all too clear to him that someone is trying to do away with poor Nick, but who? And, what is the motive? In his quest for answers, Poirot must delve into the dark history of End House. The deeper he gets into his investigation, the more certain he is that the killer will soon strike again. And, this time, Nick may not escape with her life.

Review:

Agatha Christie’s brilliancy in creating intriguing murder mystery plots is yet again displayed here. The final plot twist left me stunned. I didn’t expect it at all!

Interestingly, here the great Hercule Poirot is a little baffled with the circumstances surrounding the mystery. For the first time, Christie shows that after all Poirot is human too, though a very clever one. Nevertheless, with so many tangled facts at hands, and after going a little astray, Poirot solves the puzzle at the end securing his unsurpassed reputation.

This is again a well-written story which keeps the reader engaged till the very end. I enjoyed it.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Familiars By Stacey Halls

Plot:

Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft.

Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Rich and compelling, set against the frenzy of the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials, this novel explores the rights of 17th-century women and raises the question: Was witch-hunting really women-hunting? Fleetwood Shuttleworth, Alice Grey and the other characters are actual historical figures. King James I was obsessed with asserting power over the lawless countryside (even woodland creatures, or “familiars,” were suspected of dark magic) by capturing “witches”—in reality mostly poor and illiterate women.

Review:

In the story, a young bride, Fleetwood Shuttleworth, is pregnant, and seeks out a midwife, Alice Grey, to assist her in trying to keep her baby to term after suffering multiple miscarriages previously (Uhm she is only 17, so no wonder.

The story focuses on the friendship that forms between them, and Fleetwood’s desire to help her friend when Alice becomes caught up in the frenzy as one of those accused of being a witch.

For me the story was a bit of a slow-burn, and there wasn’t as much on the witches/trials as I had imagined there would be. The story was at a very slow pace as well.

But it was an interesting look at how women were seen and treated in those days. I liked the second half of the book more, when Fleetwood breaks free of some of the norms/expectations for women, and takes more control of her life as she tries to help Alice.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Party Crasher By Sophie Kinsella

Plot:

It’s been over two years since Effie’s beloved parents got divorced, destroying the image of the happy, loving childhood she thought she had. Since then, she’s become estranged from her father and embarked on a feud with his hot (and much younger) girlfriend, Krista. And now, more earth-shattering news: Greenoaks, the rambling Victorian country house Effie called home her whole life, has been sold.

When Krista decides to throw a grand “house cooling” party, Effie is originally left off the guest list–and then receives a last-minute “anti-invitation” (maybe it’s because she called Krista a gold-digger, but Krista totally deserved it, and it was mostly a joke anyway). Effie declines, but then remembers a beloved childhood treasure is still hidden in the house. Her only chance to retrieve it is to break into Greenoaks while everyone is busy celebrating. As Effie sneaks around the house, hiding under tables and peeping through trapdoors, she realizes the secrets Greenoaks holds aren’t just in the dusty passageways and hidden attics she grew up exploring. Watching how her sister, brother, and dad behave when they think no one is looking, Effie overhears conversations, makes discoveries, and begins to see her family in a new light. Then she runs into Joe–the love of her life, who long ago broke her heart, and who’s still as handsome and funny as ever–and even more truths emerge.

But will Effie act on these revelations? Will she stay hidden or step out into the party and take her place with her family? And truthfully, what did she really come back to Greenoaks for? Over the course of one blowout party, Effie realizes that she must be honest with herself and confront her past before she’ll ever be able to face her future.

Review:

I think Effie is around 26.
Would you behave so immaturely like a 8 year old if your parents split? The way I see it is that you had your childhood with them. She really annoyed me with her immaturity and gloominess. But I have to admit it was very funny to watch her chasing around the mansion sounding place she used to live in.

So she shouldn’t behave so much as a child Effie has been estranged from her father since at the last family get-together she attended she had it out with his new girlfriend. Effie sees Krista as nothing but a gold digger and really wishes her parents had never divorced at all bringing Krista into their lives.

The latest slight comes when Effie finds out that her beloved childhood home is being sold and Krista has not invited her to their goodbye party. Effie comes up with a plan to sneak into the party to retrieve some of her childhood memories before it’s all gone.

The Party Crasher got off to a somewhat slower start for me than some of Sophie Kinsella’s other books have. To be honest I wasn’t sure if I was even going to like Effie in the beginning but I did end up liking her mainly at the end although mainly enjoyed having all of the laughs that I expect to have from this author.

The brother and sister were a difference to the main character but they strengthened the novel I think.

This one is definitely more on the chick-lit side as the family feud is the main focus and the romance is barely there. I didn’t mind that fact so much myself but that would be my biggest warning when picking this one up if that is what you are searching out.

In the end I enjoyed this one despite the slower start for me and would recommend it.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Untamed By Glennon Doyle

Plot:

Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. It is the story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member’s ability to bring her full self to the table. And it is the story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There She Is.

Review:

This novel should say memoir in-front of it as that is what it basically was.

I found her to be a bit of a hypocrite at times because she goes on about her methods to have balance in your emotions however she seemed to have lacked one very important thing: empathy.

Not to bring the whole racism part in but using the word ‘caged’ is not a good metaphor if you are trying to entice all women to read this.

I just couldn’t get into her attitude, whilst she has some good points. She is a bit of a hypocrite as you should have a good balance instead of being very, very selfish which she is in my opinion.

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Mist By Stephen King

Plot:

It’s a hot, lazy day, perfect for a cookout, until you see those strange dark clouds. Suddenly a violent storm sweeps across the lake and ends as abruptly and unexpectedly as it had begun. Then comes the mist…creeping slowly, inexorably into town, where it settles and waits, trapping you in the supermarket with dozens of others, cut off from your families and the world. The mist is alive, seething with unearthly sounds and movements. What unleashed this terror? Was it the Arrowhead Project—the top secret government operation that everyone has noticed but no one quite understands? And what happens when the provisions have run out and you’re forced to make your escape, edging blindly through the dim light?

Review:

I would probably enjoy the film more!

I loved the writing, it is not interrupted at all.

The story is about a man named David. A long enough of a hurricanes occurs within this novel. When the main character and son goes to the supermarket there is a weird fog everywhere.

I would rather have listened to an audio recording of this as the novel reading in this style did not hold my attention. However it was a great plot.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Hygge Holiday By Rosie Blake

Plot:

It’s autumn in Yulethorpe and everyone is gloomy. It’s cold, drizzly and the skies are permagrey. The last shop on the high street – an adorable little toy shop – has just shut its doors. Everything is going wrong for Yulethorpe this autumn. Until Clara Kristensen arrives.

Clara is on holiday but she can see the potential in the pretty town, so she rolls up her sleeves and sets to work. Things are looking up until Joe comes to Yulethorpe to find out exactly what is going on with his mother’s shop. Joe is Very Busy and Important in the City and very sure that Clara is up to no good. Surely no one would work this hard just for the fun of it?

Can a man who answers emails at 3 a. m. learn to appreciate the slower, happier, hygge things in life – naps, candles, good friends and maybe even falling in love?

Review:

Cute cosy novel! 🍫 ☕️

Clara is the main character who enters this small town village and takes over and improves a little toy store.

Joe, well I did not like him. He’s full of paranoia and was constantly rude and suspicious of Clara’s intentions. To some extent I can understand, but overall his entire attitude was not needed. Clara was only making things more cosy to make Joe relax. But she did not like the lack of control she had over him either. Both characters have their advantages and disadvantages which was written well and was put together. The other side characters such as Gavin and Lauren were very colourful as well.

Overall it was a very cosy read (whatever time of year you read this).

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption By Stephen King

Plot:

Andy Dufresne, a banker, was convicted of killing his wife and her lover and sent to Shawshank Prison. He maintains his innocence over the decades he spends at Shawshank during which time he forms a friendship with “Red”, a fellow inmate.

Review:

What a satisfying read!

I never realised the film Shawshank Redemption was based on this novel.

Very powerful story that I found to be inspiring. A man can have the determination and strength when he sets his mind to something (either gender however this novel focuses on a man) as a woman is just as powerful as a man can be.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Roughest Draft By Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Plot:

They were cowriting literary darlings until they hit a plot hole that turned their lives upside down.

Three years ago, Katrina Freeling and Nathan Van Huysen were the brightest literary stars on the horizon, their cowritten books topping bestseller lists. But on the heels of their greatest success, they ended their partnership on bad terms, for reasons neither would divulge to the public. They haven’t spoken since, and never planned to, except they have one final book due on contract.

Facing crossroads in their personal and professional lives, they’re forced to reunite. The last thing they ever thought they’d do again is hole up in the tiny Florida town where they wrote their previous book, trying to finish a new manuscript quickly and painlessly. Working through the reasons they’ve hated each other for the past three years isn’t easy, especially not while writing a romantic novel.

While passion and prose push them closer together in the Florida heat, Katrina and Nathan will learn that relationships, like writing, sometimes take a few rough drafts before they get it right.

Review:

A romance between two writers. Nothing can go wrong, right? So many complications between the two and their lack of communication towards each other.

There is several flashbacks throughout it. They were put in quite randomly at different points. Usually this should blend well and coincide with what is going on in the present therefore this was not the case in this one.

In this case it was difficult to follow as their past is so similar to their present. The man cannot say his feelings and he becomes very hypocritical wondering why she, the single woman would not tell him, a married man her feelings.

Hoping she would get the hint via his writing bits for the book their working on together. A woman wants to be told how the guy feels she needs action not just a fairy-tale written in a story when the guy is married and doesn’t have the guts to come out and say it. It puts Kat, the main character in a very awkward position as she has good morals and would not say anything due to this.

Then, Nathan has the cheek to say she was horrendous to work with when he really liked her. That is SO childish. And he is supposed to be a grown man, really? And he wonders why she wouldn’t speak to him or want to be around him all this time, again, really?

As for Kat, why would she purposely go out with her publishing agent who is an ass and clearly only sees her as an income? It’s been clear since the beginning so I do not know what was with that choice either.

I usually love books if the characters are logical or has developed a lot throughout. I didn’t particularly feel that with this novel whole-heartedly.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Hidden Beach By Karen Swan

Plot:

The plot does not appear to be in English on GR

Review:

I absolutely love Karen Swan’s books. I have read only two of her novels and I cannot wait to read the rest. They have this uplifting effect that we all crave in a book.

The Hidden Beach is a lovely summery novel featuring the likable main character Bell. She nannies for a family in Sweden and spends her summer on a idyllic island. However, as in most stories, all is not as it seems.

The characters have depth to them, and each of them have their own story to tell. I didn’t always understand their decisions and had conflicted opinions about them but this only made them so much more real for me. I loved Bell, she was easy – going but she also knew what she wants and her love for the children was special, they really were in good hands, I think there wasn’t a thing she wouldn’t do for them to protect them and keep them safe.


Linus’s trauma and heartbreak in this book is incredibly well written and handled. His confusion, uncertainty, being torn was so brilliantly captured that you will really fell for this boy.

You can’t not like the characters, no matter what. Emil tried really much to be unlikeable but he was such a complex character and there was so much more to him than meets the eye. Maybe it’s not easy to warm to him immediately, but quickly you start to feel sorry for him, for all that has happened to him and seeing how much he has lost. I didn’t approve all his decisions, but I also understood that he has suffered a traumatic head injury and lost 7 years of his life – just imagine it, everything and everybody moving on and you staying at the same place as 7 years ago.

I didn’t know what to think about Hanna, she was like enigma to the end of the story. She seemed deceitful, don’t you think? Almost her every move and decision took me by surprise and no, I didn’t warm to her but I fell for her, just wait till the end with judging her.

As usual, the plot is complex and also filled with mysteries. The author brings the setting effortlessly to life again, showing us the beauty of Sweden in all its glory, with beautiful islands and traditions. Also, I always adore the career paths she chooses for her characters, they’re so different and refreshing.

This was a captivating read exploring family dynamics, loss and grief, thought – provoking and evocative and you’ll be asking yourself all the time what would you do in the same situation and will be happy that you don’t have to decide. This is what I like in Karen Swan’s novel, that she’s not shy of writing about difficult and taboo things without judging them herself.

The story is full of surprises and twists and often you simply don’t know what’s going to come, as the author takes you on a rollercoaster and heart – wrenching journey.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life By Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Plot:

Review:

“The best boundaries are loving ones. Boundaries in no way mean to stop loving. They mean the opposite: you are gaining freedom to love. It is good to sacrifice and deny yourself for the sake of others. But you need boundaries to make that choice.”

Interesting tips! Be aware though it goes on about the Bible from a Christian perspective.

I didn’t realise this novel would be religious. I believe in mindset, not that I am against religion I just find novels that mention any sort of religion with versus and things can be a bit pushy.

Apart form the religion elements the novel does offer great tips and insight for growing in development of creating healthy boundaries to LOVE YOURSELF more, amongst the other elements.

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Book Review: The Personal Shopper By Carmen Reid

Plot:

Meet Annie Valentine: stylish, savvy, multi-tasker extraordinaire.

As a personal shopper in a swanky London fashion store, Annie can re-style and re-invent her clients from head to toe. In fact, this super-skilled dresser can be relied on to solve everyone’s problems . . . except her own.

Although she’s a busy single mum to stroppy teen Lana and painfully shy Owen, there’s a gap in Annie’s wardrobe – sorry, life – for a new man. But finding the perfect partner is turning out to be so much trickier than finding the perfect pair of shoes.

Can she source a genuine classic? A life long investment? Will she end up with a mistake from the sale rail, who’ll have to be returned? Or maybe, just maybe, there’ll be someone new in this season who could be the one . . .

Review:

Annie is a 37 widow with two children of 15 and 9. Her actor husband had passed away a few years ago. She works as a personal shopper at a high end store therefore she dresses the rich. She has so many side hassles of trading with last seasons clothing and accessories with the handiness that her job had actually brought to her.

I found her lifestyle very busy but then you begin to understand why she does what she does. After all, with each generation of people we try to have a better life for the next generation otherwise, what is the point of you struggling and your children struggling as they get to your age too?

She puts herself out there to make a better life constantly for her children. It was humorous at times. I just didn’t like the old lady’s voice as the audiobook I listened to had put me off this entertaining novel. Plus, we got to get an insight into those who cannot style to those that can style and seeing what they count as stylish based on your looks and body shape.

Overall, it was an interesting read.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Someone Like You By Rachel Dove

Plot:

There was no plot on GR at the time this review was written and then published

Review:

Cute and heart warming read that you can easily get lost in! 💫

I wish this novel had a summary on the GR page as usually novels do.
Especially as this was such a cute fluffy read.

Be aware this novel involves physical abuse and overcoming it.

This novel is a heart warming read about Hannah and her baby daughter Ava who have moved to Leadsham, a small town for the fresh start they need. Not long in, they meet Broady (also known as Andrew) , a police officer who is a gentleman and has been drawn to her since he laid his eyes on her.


There is so much cuteness within this, the friendships as well and the love they are showing Hannah and Ava, two strangers who have arrived at their village. This novel mentions the serious topics in a nice way. As in, I wouldn’t normally pick up a novel that would mention it but it done so in a not ‘in your face’ type of way.

I agree with others where the dialogue was a bit confusing with no he or she said.

Normally novels fill you in on what was done over the last few weeks I felt this could have been done a bit better.

If you are looking for a slow romance as well as rebuilding yourself then, this novel is it.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Before I Do By Sophie Cousens

Plot:

What would you do if ‘the one that got away’ turned up the night before your wedding?

Head-in-the-stars Audrey is about to marry down-to-earth Josh. Though they are polar opposites, they have a healthy, stable relationship; Josh is just what Audrey needs. But romance should be unpredictable and full of fireworks, and as the big day approaches, Audrey’s found herself wondering if Josh really is The One.

So, when Josh’s sister shows up to the rehearsal dinner with Fred, Audrey’s What If? guy–the man she met six years ago and had one amazing day with–Audrey finds herself torn. Surely Fred’s appearance the night before she is due to get married can’t be a coincidence. And when everything that could go wrong with the wedding starts to go wrong, Audrey has to ask herself: Is fate trying to stop her from making a huge mistake? Or does destiny just have a really twisty sense of humour?

Review:

Heart warming read that transports you to a fascinating world! 🌟

This novel is about love, second chances and what if’s. I am a firm believer of what happens in the past, stays there as your move on with life and learn from it.

This particular novel focuses on the main character and a special one-night she had with a man.
If a novel draws me in from the beginning that’s an excellent sign for me. This novel did that.
The characters are very well written, thought out and have their own personalities and background which brings you the reader, into their world. Without going into too much detail you can know a good bit about the characters.

As people, we always have those lingering passing thoughts of ‘what if?’ This novel shows the main character thinking about these things which I found to be the interesting element.


The dilemma of the characters are very authentic as well that it can easily happen in reality as well which I loved. Can a person that is the complete opposite of you be ‘The One’ or is it someone so completely similar?

Yes, of course the nice guy is nice, but is he missing something? That’s for you to find out in this read!

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Snowed In For Christmas By Sarah Morgan

There was no plot for this novel at the time of reading.

Review:

Cute lovely read 🤍

Be aware there are multiple narratives that can take forever to navigate through as there isn’t a clear direction when the chapters are switching.

When I start a novel it has to be clear and concise when you shift narratives. This particular novel didn’t do that element too well in my opinion.

So after that, there are Alice, Clemmie and Ross. With no plot as guidance here goes: Alice takes her boyfriend home to meet the parents also he proposed so I don’t know what she expected when your taking a man home at Christmas to meet the family, of course things are about to escalate in their relationship.

Clemmie is desperate for her own baby. Ross is all about work.

Funniest part is, with his siblings personalities and everything he really doesn’t need a girlfriend.

Light-hearted read that can be read at any time of the year.

Recommend on that aspect as the plot is good.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie By Muriel Spark

Plot:

At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods and strives to bring out the best in each one of her students. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises them, “Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me.” And they do–but one of them will betray her.

Review:

This novel takes us to Edinburgh in the ‘30s. Where a teacher/mistress named Miss Jean Brodie has taken an interest in 6 of her students who are known as ‘The Brodie Set’.

Jean loves to go on about being in her prime throughout. It doesn’t matter what age you are, everyone reaches it at different times. Anyone in her classes are being taught in her own unorthodox way of life.

With the particular ‘Brodie Set’ they see Jean outside of school hours for plays and such. Be aware these kids are only 10 at the start of the novel. Jean goes on to discuss what they will be like in the future. Speaking of 10 year olds and talking about their sexuality was a little disturbing for myself.


It is so weird the amount of influence she has over these young women. I found it so interesting to see how these women turned out as they were growling during their impressionable age.

I really wished we could have seen more of an insight into Jean’s thoughts as we could only see from the kids points of views. I really did not agree with Brodie when she called a married man the ‘love of her life’ when clearly he a pervert luring after young children and later sleeping with one of them! She had one kiss with the man and deemed him as the love of her life, really?

Apart from that and the influencing of making them have sex with the teacher, it was an intriguing read.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: While You Were Reading By Ali Berg

Plot:

Words are messy. Love is messier.
A hilarious, insightful new novel from the creators of Books on the Rail

Meet Beatrix Babbage – 29-year-old dog-earer of books and accidental destroyer of weddings.

After ruining her best friend’s nuptials, Bea relocates to the other side of the country in search of a fresh start, including meeting new people, living life to the fullest and finally pulling off balayage.

But after a few months, life is more stagnant than ever. Bea’s job is dead-end. Her romantic life? Non-existent. And her only friends are her books, her barista and her cleaning lady.

​Then Bea stumbles across a second-hand novel, inscribed with notes. Besotted with the poetic inscriptions, Bea is determined to find the author … and finds herself entangled in one hell of a love quadrangle.

Funny, poignant and insightful, While You Were Reading reveals that there’s no such thing as perfection, the value of true friendship and, most importantly, the power of not living in fiction, but still reading it … Often.

A love story for book lovers that celebrates much more than romance.

Review:

I really enjoyed Ali’s other book: Book Ninja.
This novel is a super cute romance comedy.

Sometimes a light hearted cuter read is what you need sometimes. The characters all had personality and blended well with the plot!

Bea attends her BFFs wedding and lets a dark secret slip to the groom and her BFF does not forgive her for this. But at the same time you feel like saying to Cassandra “YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE IT!” Bea was drunk so of course she isn’t making conscious decisions so don’t totally blame her.

Soon enough, Bea takes a new job and thinks a change of scenery will do her good. She comes across a second hand book full of annotations and inscriptions. And she is on the hunt to find out who wrote these.

As you read it you are taken on an adventure. This novel was easy to devour so quickly I couldn’t help it!

Great light read that will make you smile.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Hello Again By Isabelle Broom

Plot:

Philippa Taylor (Pepper to her friends) has big dreams. When she closes her eyes, she can picture exactly who she ought to be. The problem is, it’s about as far away from her real life in a small coastal town in Suffolk as she can imagine.

So when her elderly friend Josephine persuades Pepper to accompany her on a trip to Europe, she jumps at the chance to change her routine. And when Pepper bumps (literally) into the handsome Finn in Lisbon, it seems as though she might have finally found what she’s been looking for.

But Pepper know all too well things are rarely as they seem. Her own quiet life hides a dark secret from the past. And even though she and Finn may have been destined to find each other, Pepper suspects life may have other plans as to how the story should end..

Review:

Broom has a way of taking you around the world in her novels.

Therefore the first chunk of the novel where we are taken to Lisbon was bliss however it was short lived sadly. I wish that part of the storyline had continued more so.

It was difficult to connect with Pepper as a character throughout and blames her lifestyle for every single decision and not even owning up to her own lifestyle. We all make decisions, stop being so selfish. I felt as if the novel’s love plot developed too fast so of course there will be struggles and doubt since that is the case.

I didn’t have that spark with this particular one sadly, I had higher hopes. Don’t let this novel put you off though as Broom does have more amazing reads.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Hidden Palace By Dinah Jefferies

Plot:

The second book in the sweeping new historical series from the number one Sunday Times best-selling author.

An island of secrets. A runaway. And a promise….

A rebellious daughter
1923. Among the ancient honey-coloured walls of the tiny island of Malta, strangers slip into the shadows and anyone can buy a new name. Rosalie Delacroix flees Paris for a dancer’s job in the bohemian clubs deep in its winding streets.

A sister with a secret
1944. Running from the brutality of war in France, Florence Baudin faces a new life. But her estranged mother makes a desperate request: to find her vanished sister, who went missing years before.

A rift over generations
Betrayals and secrets, lies and silence hang between the sisters. A faded last letter from Rosalie is Florence’s only clue, the war an immovable barrier – and time is running out….

Review:

I have not read the first novel in this series however that didn’t matter too much.

This novel is told in two different times. One, in 1925 where Rosalie runs away from home. Arriving in Malta she goes on to be a dancer for a club. She has ambitions to make something of herself despite the difficult times.

Second timeline being in 1944 England where this woman Florence gets to visit her estranged mother whilst trying to escape the horrendous war in France and has had to leave behind her two sisters.


It is an interesting different novel to what I normally read however it is a light read but at the same time it has elements of sadness, grief and loss.

Within this novel you are taken on an emotional journey of courage and determination. Very compelling indeed. Also, this has a beautiful cover I thought I should mention as it does indeed take you to another land.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Modern Break-Up By Daniel Chidiac

Plot:

“When it comes to dating, I seem to be going around in a circle. The ones I want don’t want me, and the ones who want me, I don’t want.”
-Amelia

“I don’t know, I just think there’s too much miscommunication between guys and girls. I mean, no one knows what the fuck is going on. We need to have the discussion. We need to vent it and get it out in the open,” I said, grabbing my drink from the bedside table.

_____ sat on the edge of the bed and put his shirt back on. “What do you want to know?”

“I just want to know what guys are thinking. I mean we have sex and stuff and nothing lasting ever comes of it,” I said, taking a cigarette out and lighting it. I knew I shouldn’t be smoking in the room, but I was too drunk to care.

“I don’t think I should say. We don’t know everything girls are thinking. I think some things are better left unsaid.”

Review:

To those that have written negative reviews which I’ve read, READ THE DAMN TITLE OF THIS NOVEL! If you do not like it perhaps that is because this is just how things have been done in this day and age with the generations?


You certainly must be old if you do not agree with this novel because it actually is on point. It may be crappy and so forth but the book from the get-go is being honest is the majority of young peoples lives of how communication works between men and women.

I couldn’t believe when I realised it was a man that wrote this because it is so spot on. As a young woman I have already experienced or know someone that has all of these things. So many elements in this novel it is as if the author is in my mind grabbing at my thoughts.

I found this novel to be a great discussion between friends, it is as if you are along with them in their daily discussions. Hence it was a little inconsistent however it is written as they are living their daily lives.

It is like a chiller version of Sex and The City.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: Just Date and See By Portia MacIntosh

Plot:

Billie is looking forward to a quiet, man-free Christmas. It’s just a shame her family doesn’t feel the same way…

With a house full of unexpected (and unwanted) guests, Billie needs to find the perfect escape to get away from the chaos.

So when her dating app recommends a week of singles nights in her area, Billie decides that braving these events has to be better than making conversation with her dad’s new wife, dealing with her mum’s mid-life crisis or witnessing her sister flirting with her insufferably arrogant next-door neighbour.

While this is definitely not the festive season she had planned, between disco bowling and boozy bingo, little does Billie know that she may find love this year after all – she’ll just have to date and see…

Fall in love with the perfect laugh-out-loud festive read from top 10 bestseller Portia MacIntosh.

Review:

Love love love it!

The main character Billie is looking forward to a peaceful man-free Christmas. It begins with her mum staying with her, and ends with having a very long list of people to even her neighbour she barely knew or liked at the beginning all at the Christmas table by the end!

So of course to get away from this maddest she says she has so many plans. It just so happens that the dating app she is on, recommends a week of singles nights in her area. So she is very desperate to get away from everyone including her immature ex.

With all the drama going on and non-parent-traps, a neighbour having a thing with her sister, her divorced parents under the same roof alongside his new wife and both of them seeming to get on better than ever it is no wonder she takes a leap on the singles events.

Oh my god. The adventures they go on and some of the hilarious laugh-out-loud moments that occur on these events had me physically laughing and smiling. As well as guessing what is about to happen just by the title of some of the later on events where just hilarious!

It does not matter if it is currently not Christmas this novel will have you in the mood for a light hearted funny read.

This may not be the exact quiet lonesome Christmas Billie had planned from events such as the Disco bowling, Boozy Bingo, Eiffel Tower events but she most definitely has romance on the horizon whether she admits it to herself or not.

The only, and only element i disliked was Billie’s denial towards her feelings of Rocco. She kept saying she has no feelings and then inside her thoughts she shows she does have feelings. Just, why lie?

She put it out there they are buddies so of course he will follow her lead.

Overall, excellent writing style with loving characters full of personality.

Thank you to the publishers for sending me this novel in exchange for my honest review.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: Make a TikTok Everyday By Dave Jorgenson

Plot:

Life is short and so are TikToks, so what are you waiting for? Release your creativity with these 365 TikTok ideas.

Making a TikTok video that goes viral is all about having a quirky idea that can grab attention in as little as 15 seconds. Whether you’re a TikTok beginner or a practiced creator, the hardest part is often getting started. This unofficial book provides a year’s worth of ideas in the form of creative prompts to keep you posting new videos every day.

 Give the weather report using the app’s Green Screen effect.
 Use forced perspective and a coffee mug and make a splash as you dive in.
 Dance with your dog.
 Say nice things to a houseplant and see if it grows faster.
 Kick-start a new meme by creating a TikTok that people will want to duet with.

There are tips and advice from the most popular creators, including the queen of Alt TikTok, Melissa Ong, wholesome TikTok family The McFarlands, and fashion favorite Jeffery Dang, who provide insight into their experience on the app and how they got started as creators.

Review:

For someone starting out on TikTok as a content creator or just curious it is a great read full of inspirational ideas to try out.

However what would have made this novel even better is if it had an element of how you actually become successful as this novel is a pocket book of ideas to spark some imagination when you need some.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Big Four By Agatha Christie

Plot:

Framed in the doorway of Poirot’s bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man’s gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell. Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? We follow Hercule Poirot as he finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life to uncover the truth about ‘Number Four’.

Review:

This particular novel by Agatha Christie isn’t exactly the best or the most logical novel.
Poirot and Hastings go on a international crime hunt.

There was just so many characters in this novel, like was that necessary? This novel felt more like a trying-to-be-thriller more than anything. It rushes off our of nowhere as well. Also, it was difficult enough keeping track of the four evil villains as usually its one and a sidekick.

Poirot seems to suit the private cases amongst a few people not an international one where there are too many characters who’s existence is not necessary.

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: Christmas At The Borrow a Bookshop By Kiley Dunbar

Plot:

With just two weeks until Christmas, everything in Clove Lore should be perfect. But the latest holidaymaker to the Borrow a Bookshop is feeling far from festive…

Icelandic ex-bookseller Magnús Sturluson might be surrounded by love stories in the Bookshop, but he’s nursing a sadness that not even fiction can fix.

When Alexandra Robinson finds herself stranded in Clove Lore, she finds a safe place to hide from heartbreak. After all, all that’s waiting for her at home is a cheater boyfriend and the memories of her parents. As Alex finds herself embraced by the quirky village community, she finds her tough exterior thawing – and as she grows closer to Magnús, she finds an equally soft heart under his gruff shell.

It seems that Clove Lore is working its magic once again – until a great flood on Christmas Eve brings devastation in its wake. It’s up to Magnús and Alex to batten down the hatches and help bring the village back together again, while also introducing the locals to the Icelandic tradition of the jólabókaflóð – Yule book flood – where families and friends gather on Christmas Eve to exchange books and read together.

But can Magnús and Alex truly rescue the ruins of the village, and salvage their Christmas spirit? Or is there another complication lurking even closer than they thought?

A totally uplifting read that will lighten the winter gloom, for fans of Jenny Colgan and Trisha Ashley. Booklovers will adore this seasonal treat!

Review:

I never realised this novel was a part of a series! Let’s just say this novel has me vibing on Christmas any time of the year!

I was so excited to have the opportunity to read this, especially because it felt like my very own Christmas in July!

I love reading novels that transport me to a new place and quaint towns/villages happen to be one of my favourites! I loved all the townsfolk of Clove Lore and learning about all their quirks. I especially enjoyed Magnus and Alex and their specific stories alone and together. You can’t help but root for them to find happiness, especially after what they have both been through.

This novel makes you feel all sorts of emotions so it is a definite pick me up and feel-good one.

Also, borrowing a bookshop sounds like a dream and I wish this was a thing in real life (is it? I need to know!)

This was such a cosy, romantic read that also really lets the community of characters shine where you can see the characters are very well developed.

I can’t wait to see who will be borrowing the bookshop next.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Unbalanced Equation By H. L McFarlane

Plot:

What do a bad landlord, a family wedding and a rogue Bunsen burner all have in common?

After suffering four years of scrutiny from her PhD assessor, Elizabeth Maclean believes she’s finally free of Dr Thomas Henderson’s tyranny when she begins her postdoc. But when a fire goes off in Tom’s lab (stupid undergrads) he ends up working in the same lab as Liz.

On the same bench, no less.

For three whole months.

To make matters worse – and much to their mutual surprise – Tom’s mum and Liz’s dad announce their impending marriage after a whirlwind romance. So when Liz’s landlord tells her to move out, pronto, it tips her over the edge. Desperate for a place to stay and in need of a saviour, the last person Liz expects to offer her a temporary home is Tom himself.

Now stuck working together, living together and planning their parents’ Christmas wedding together, will Liz discover that Tom’s attitude over the last four years was all a ruse to hide his true feelings? Or are the two doomed to fail in their co-existence experiment?

A smart, sexy enemies-to-lovers story perfect for fans of The Hating Game and The Love Hypothesis, The Unbalanced Equation is H. L. Macfarlane’s first foray into contemporary rom-com territory. She swears there are no faeries this time.

Review:

I heard that this was a hate-to-love relationship and very, very similar to The Love Hypothesis. But unfortunately, it didn’t meet my standards.

With that in mind, novels usually have some distinct differences however, this one was very much like a duplicate of the famous book I mentioned.

Both the main characters both have red flags. For example, Tom is on Liz’s phone, sabotaging her chances in getting her own flat, and putting Liz in sexually uncomfortable situations. He is also this weird manly type of man personality, but I could not really see him like that.

Liz is literally the definition of “play silly games to win things”.

She is the person who is like “I never knew you liked me!!!” even though Tom literally says he liked her from very early on so she clearly refuses to communicate when it is there clearly. These two characters unfortunately did not vibe with me, though sometimes they were cute.

Other than that, I didn’t have any major issues with the book. The side characters were meh and barely served any purpose. There’s not as much science-y stuff going on, though there were times where people talked in science-y jargon.

The “get back together” scene wasn’t too exciting as you usually get with these types of novels. However, I did appreciate that the couple’s happy ending was not getting married or having kids—because some people don’t need that in their lives.

Overall, this book was average. The red flags in the protagonists really just threw me off.

Thanks to the publishers for sending me this novel in exchange for my honest thoughts

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Losing Hope By Colleen Hoover

Plot:

In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

Review:

While I enjoyed this book, I didn’t love it as much as I did the first one. The main reason for that is pretty obvious and simple; I already knew the story. I have no idea why this bothered me. But in this one I was reading and thinking the scenes Colleen chose for this book weren’t always appropriate. And there were a lot of parts from the first book that I thought she should have kept.

Anyways, I loved the letters all throughout the book! It was a very unique element for this sequel. I enjoyed that in the end we had a chance to see Dean’s mom meeting Sky, which we didn’t see in the first book and I thought it was an important thing to write. I wish we had the chance to see Dean interacting with his dad though.

I really liked Daniel and I’m super curious about Finding Cinderella because I have a feeling it will be about him. And I was hoping the girl could be Six but I’m not sure.
I also love the Mormon guy. I can’t remember his name. And I loved every single bonding moment between him and Dean!

Reading this book from a different POV, in Hopeless I was so focused on the book itself. In finding out about everything that the similarities just passed by me.

So this novel can be read alone but you would be getting an outsider’s point of view for the same story. I did find it interesting.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Splendid City By Karen Heuler

Plot:

In the state of Liberty, water is rationed at alarming prices, free speech is hardly without a cost, and Texas has just declared itself its own country. In this society, paranoia is well-suited because eyes and ears are all around, and they are judging. Always judging. This terrifying (and yet somehow vaguely familiar) terrain is explored via Eleanor – a young woman eagerly learning about the gifts of her magic through the support of her coven.

But being a white witch is not as easy as they portray it in the books, and she’s already been placed under ‘house arrest’ with a letch named Stan, a co-worker who wronged her in the past and now exists in the form of a cat. A talking cat who loves craft beers, picket lines, and duping and ‘shooting’ people.

Eleanor has no time for Stan and his shenanigans, because she finds herself helping another coven locate a missing witch which she thinks is mysteriously linked to the shortage of water in Liberty.

Review:

I really wasn’t sure of this, the plot summary on the page was not very clear either.
To sum it up: Eleanor is an exiled Witch. Stan is the Cat she has to look after, he is grumpy and limits himself to ‘shooting’ one person per day. It seemed very immature. We don’t know why they are put together and the fact they are bound together in order to find out what had happened to a missing witch. Messed up world charging for extra things is what caught my attention as it was so relatable however that was about it.
This is obviously a dystopian based world however it just didn’t feel right and the characters just annoyed me.

1/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Club By Ellery Lloyd

Plot:

Everyone’s Dying to Join . . .

The Home Group is a glamorous collection of celebrity members’ clubs dotted across the globe, where the rich and famous can party hard and then crash out in its five-star suites, far from the prying eyes of fans and the media.

The most spectacular of all is Island Home—a closely-guarded, ultraluxurious resort, just off the English coast—and its three-day launch party is easily the most coveted A-list invite of the decade.

But behind the scenes, tensions are at breaking point: the ambitious and expensive project has pushed the Home Group’s CEO and his long-suffering team to their absolute limits. All of them have something to hide—and that’s before the beautiful people with their own ugly secrets even set foot on the island.

As tempers fray and behavior worsens, as things get more sinister by the hour and the body count piles up, some of Island Home’s members will begin to wish they’d never made the guest list.

Because at this club, if your name’s on the list, you’re not getting out.

Review:


About 40 pages in is when this novel actually begins. Until then, it’s employees thoughts on the island which can be confusing as there’s no structure how how they interrelate for it to link together.

One thing I will say is that I would so want taken off the VIP list for The Club Home. It went into a lot of ramblings about everyone’s point of view and it just made you eye-roll. The pace of the plot didn’t really move much and I felt the characters of those that worked at the club, in particular Annie was over written. Everyone just judged everyone and put on a false face. Bitchiness is not my kind of novel. I did enjoy the mystic element of the novel to begin with however that novelty wore off as soon as we dived into it.

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: Let It Snow By Beth Moran

Plot:

After the end of a long-term relationship, local weather girl Bea Armstrong has been avoiding her family, and their inevitable ‘I-told-you-sos.’ But with Christmas fast approaching, she is finally on her way home to Charis House, the school in Sherwood Forest that her mum and dad run in their old family home. And to top it all off, the insufferable Henry Fairfax – who her parents have always wanted her to marry – has also been invited.

Relief comes in the shape of a last-minute interview for her dream job. There are just a few minor problems… The interview is in Scotland, Bea has no car, and the snow is falling already. The only solution is for Henry to drive her – could this Christmas get any worse…

But during an unforgettable two-day interview, a stay in a log cabin and a nightmare journey through the snow, Henry turns out to be nothing like she thought. And when Bea’s first love and recent ex shows up, Bea has a difficult choice to make…

Review:

The main character, Bea Armstrong works as a weather reporter for East Midlands News. However unlike the standard weather, she answers questions from viewers live whilst wearing quirky weather themed outfits.

Bea does not have the best taste in men when it comes to looking for someone that she really wants in terms of their characteristics. Adam and herself have broke up yet again as he wants to travel to be a rockstar. Mhm.

She is dying to spend Christmas with her family yet at the same time she has been dreading it. It is very clear someone is sabotaging her career in work as things such as missing emails occur.

Anyway when she arrives home she realises her parents have invited her childhood enemy over, Henry Fairfax who is completely different looks wise for the better.

However during the email mess up she realises she was invited to attend a two-day interview over in Scotland. Henry offers to drive her. She also realises if she gets this job she will be close to Adam the inconsistent man that thinks he will be a rockstar after all these years.

Anyway this road trip at Christmas enemies to lovers romance with snow and family it makes for a cute warm Christmassy read to get you in the mood.

Thank you to the publishers for sending me this novel in exchange for my honest review.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Counterfeit By Kirstin Chen

Plot:

Money can’t buy happiness… but it can buy a decent fake.

Ava Wong has always played it safe. As a strait-laced, rule-abiding Chinese American lawyer with a successful surgeon as a husband, a young son, and a beautiful home–she’s built the perfect life. But beneath this façade, Ava’s world is crumbling: her marriage is falling apart, her expensive law degree hasn’t been used in years, and her toddler’s tantrums are pushing her to the breaking point.

Enter Winnie Fang, Ava’s enigmatic college roommate from Mainland China, who abruptly dropped out under mysterious circumstances. Now, twenty years later, Winnie is looking to reconnect with her old friend. But the shy, awkward girl Ava once knew has been replaced with a confident woman of the world, dripping in luxury goods, including a coveted Birkin in classic orange. The secret to her success? Winnie has developed an ingenious counterfeit scheme that involves importing near-exact replicas of luxury handbags and now she needs someone with a U.S. passport to help manage her business–someone who’d never be suspected of wrongdoing, someone like Ava. But when their spectacular success is threatened and Winnie vanishes once again, Ava is left to face the consequences.

Swift, surprising, and sharply comic, Counterfeit is a stylish and feminist caper with a strong point of view and an axe to grind. Peering behind the curtain of the upscale designer storefronts and the Chinese factories where luxury goods are produced, Kirstin Chen interrogates the myth of the model minority through two unforgettable women determined to demand more from life.

Review:

Why does this novel not really use a thing called speech marks when speaking? It is difficult to distinguish between when the main character has thoughts and what she actually says out loud. Yes, she admits ‘I asked’ and so forth after something is mentioned in conversation however it is very annoying as you are reading this novel when there is no proper grammar! I also found the characters to be very annoying.

1/5 Stars

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Book Review: Single All The Way By Portia MacIntosh

Plot:

Will Dani find love this Christmas? Or will she be Single All The Way…?

When Dani’s boyfriend (and boss!) dumps her for a younger model, the only silver lining she can see is to be able to spend Christmas at home with her family after years away.

Determined to surprise them, Dani turns up unannounced in her hometown, excited to see that the festive season in Marram Bay is in full swing with Christmas lights twinkling on every corner. But disaster strikes when she finds her parents’ house is empty and they appear to have gone away on holiday!

Christmas alone and single is not ideal, and when Dani starts bumping into old friends, neighbours and potential love interests, she can’t face telling them the truth. So in a panic she claims to be home to throw a Christmas party for the whole town – easier said than done with 12 days to go before Christmas…

As the fake party approaches, little does Dani know that there may be someone there under the mistletoe for her, if she can just let her guard down and see them…

A laugh-out-loud festive romantic comedy from top 10 bestseller Portia MacIntosh, guaranteed to put a smile on your face this Christmas.

Review:

ALERT: RomCom lovers come right this way.

I wasn’t sure which copy of this novel it was as it wasn’t too clear to clicking to add it!

Turns out this story was originally a novella. So basically the same title and plot style just with different characters.

I found this novel to be very entertaining.

The main character Dani is not so lucky in work and in her personal relations. Falls in love with the player of the office. The games they play. Her ex Rex I just wanted to ask her Why? Why did you go out with him if you had to keep it a secret which didn’t even make 100% sense with how he acted.

Anyway, the plot of the whole Christmas party doesn’t happen until 30% in. Until then, there is banter between the main character and player of the office.

This novel is suitable for any time of the year. Christmas novels get me in the mood for autumn which is my most absolute favourite time of the year.

It’s weird, even when things aren’t gong too well for Dani you still have positive vibes going on in this novel. Dani remained hopeful.

I loved the Michael Buble references as well it was very fitting for this novel.

Hilarious, heart-warming romance that is full of cosy vibes.

Overall, definitely recommend this novel. I think this is the first novel by Portia I have read and it won’t be the last.

Thank you to the publishers for sending me this novel in exchange for my honest review.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: Young Women By Jessica Moor

Plot:

Everyone’s got that history, I guess. Everyone’s got a story. When Emily meets the enigmatic and dazzling actress Tamsin, her life changes. Drawn into Tamsin’s world of Soho living, boozy dinners, and cocktails at impossibly expensive bars, Emily’s life shifts from black and white to technicolour and the two women become inseparable. Tamsin is the friend Emily has always longed for; beautiful, fun, intelligent and mysterious and soon Emily is neglecting her previous life – her work assisting vulnerable women, her old friend Lucy – to bask in her glow. But when a bombshell news article about a decades-old sexual assault case breaks, Emily realises that Tamsin has been hiding a secret about her own past. Something that threatens to unravel everything . . . Young Women is a razor sharp novel that slices to the heart of our most important relationships, and asks how complicit we all are in this world built for men.

Review:

I enjoyed the plot, I really did but about half way through I started to get bored with the ranting type of article-search that was going on.

The start of the novel was going somewhere but it is as if the author got stuck as to where to take it as it began to ramble on and not really go anywhere.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: How to Read Now: Essays By Elaine Castillo

Plot:

How many times have we heard that reading builds empathy? That we can travel through books? How often have we were heard about the importance of diversifying our bookshelves? Or claimed that books saved our lives? These familiar words–beautiful, aspirational–are sometimes even true. But award-winning novelist Elaine Castillo has more ambitious hopes for our reading culture, and in this collection of linked essays, “she moves to wrest reading away from the cotton-candy aspirations of uniting people in empathetic harmony and reposition it as thornier, ultimately more rewarding work.” (Vulture)

How to Read Now explores the politics and ethics of reading, and insists that we are capable of something better: a more engaged relationship not just with our fiction and our art, but with our buried and entangled histories. Smart, funny, galvanizing, and sometimes profane, Castillo attacks the stale questions and less-than-critical proclamations that masquerade as vital discussion: reimagining the cartography of the classics, building a moral case against the settler colonialism of lauded writers like Joan Didion, taking aim at Nobel Prize winners and toppling indie filmmakers, and celebrating glorious moments in everything from popular TV like The Watchmen to the films of Wong Kar-wai and the work of contemporary poets like Tommy Pico.

At once a deeply personal and searching history of one woman’s reading life, and a wide-ranging and urgent intervention into our globalized conversations about why reading matters today, How to Read Now empowers us to embrace a more complicated, embodied form of reading, inviting us to acknowledge complicated truths, ignite surprising connections, imagine a more daring solidarity, and create space for a riskier intimacy–within ourselves, and with each other.

Review:


I found this novel extremely difficult to get into as the writing was a bit arrogant to begin with and very annoying.

The writing style was a bit annoying as it isn’t very proper every for essay style it was a bore. I have read more interesting novels based on essays in the past. I often find this with American style pieces as it takes a great amount of education it seems for some to write well. As I do have my favourites from all over the world to actually know what good writing is whatever the sub genre of the novel is.

It also didn’t make complete sense in this way. It was constantly full of the authors notes instead of reading as a novel would normally read or even when a novel discusses topics as this just read differently. (EVEN FOR ESSAY STYLE).

There was not really any tips. The title in itself dictates ‘How To Read Now’ which for the average educated person denotes you will be given tips on how to read.

I wouldn’t say it was extremely well written the entire time as it wasn’t consistent in that sense. I wasn’t finding myself too excited to reach for this.

I expected tips from this however it wasn’t as useful as the title suggests. Just my opinion. 

1/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Plot:

A woman and her husband rent a summer house, but what should be a restful getaway turns into a suffocating psychological battle. This chilling account of postpartum depression and a husband’s controlling behaviour in the guise of treatment will leave you breathless.

Review:

This story is so well written! I cannot believe it was written way back in the 1890s.
It just shows that mental health has always been around despite it not really been spoken about until this generation.

The Yellow Wallpaper is written as a series of diary entries from the perspective of a woman who is suffering from post-partum depression. She begins by describing the large home that she and her husband, John have rented for the summer. John is an extremely practical man, a physician, and their move into the country is partially motivated by his desire to expose his suffering wife to its clean air and calm life so that she can recover from what he sees as a slight hysterical tendency.

She complains that her husband will not listen to her worries about her condition, and treats her like a child.

As part of her cure, she is forbidden from pursuing any activity other than wife duties. They move into the room at the top of the house, which she suspects is a former nursery since it has peeling yellow wallpaper.

She becomes obsessed with the disgusting wallpaper which is part of her breakdown.

 
Books like this (both fiction and non-fiction) have opened up my eyes regarding mental health. Now I realise the general people and the medics have known the conditions for centuries now.

This short but impactful novel shows the stigma and discrimination like how it is represented in this quick read that makes people hush up about these conditions and their consequences.


“Am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again… Personally, I disagree with their ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good.”

As you can see, even way back then, women had these thoughts of depression and wanting to have a job to take their mind off it. However they were not even allowed this option in that particular era.


This story can be creepy at times but I was able to relate with the narrator and what she was trying to convey.

It was most likely that she was suffering from postpartum depression but I can feel the discrimination of the other family members including her ‘physician’ husband towards her enough to hold her captive.

It’s the way of human and how our minds work when we might turn into something else in that condition.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: Malibu Rising By Taylor Jenkins Reid

Plot:

Malibu: August, 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over-especially as the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud-because it is long past time to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own-including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.

Review:

Just when you thought you know when the fire is going to happen, you really don’t!

This novel was so detailed in a good way. The only downfall I will say was there was a bit too much unnecessary extra sided characters although for a film this would be amazing to watch! As always with Taylor’s novels I WANT TO SEE THEM ALL AS MOVIES!

The Riva family in this book are fascinating. Iconic singer Mick can’t keep it in his pants, despite his marriage and later remarriage to kind-hearted June, but one good thing that does come out of the marriage is their children: Nina, Jay and later Kit. Added to the mix is Mick’s illegitimate son, Hud, who June lovingly raises as her own. The Riva children, now grown, have never known a life in which Mick was physically present and involved, and by circumstance, now find themselves completely dependent on each other to navigate life. In this situation, they’ve each found ways to survive and thrive.

Nina, the oldest, is the responsible one. The caretaker. The comforter. The one who will sacrifice her own desires and dreams to hold her family together. If that means working as a well-paid model in the public eye when she’d really rather have a quiet life surfing, she’ll put everyone else’s needs first.

Jay and Hud are brothers from different mothers and are almost like twins, both in age and in their inseparable nature, often traveling together as adventurous Jay pursues surfing professionally and sensitive-natured Hud photographs him for magazines.

Kit is the youngest, a no-nonsense girl in the shadow of her beautiful and talented older siblings, but possibly the most talented surfer of the bunch.

I love these four. They are dysfunctional and wounded in their own ways, but wholly committed to one another, and you just always get the sense that no matter what happens in life, they’ll have each others’ backs.

I felt terrible for the children once things happened with June however she needed more self-love and respect for herself. As for Mick – KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS AND STOP WITH EXCUSES UPON ANY WOMAN!

I still do not 100% love hud as much as I do with the other siblings. He was kind of like his father. Why would you purposely do that against someone you supposedly love? He’s kind of like his biological mum when you look at it that way in terms of how he was created.

Oh yes, the elements of the novel that mentioned Celia from Evelyn Hugo novel I really enjoyed those parts.

I felt so invested in each of them and their well-being. When the story culminates in the infamous Riva party that Nina holds at her place each year getting wildly out of control, those bonds get put to the test as all chaos ensues.

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Book Review: The Blue Train By Agatha Christie

Plot:

A mysterious woman, a legendary cursed jewel, and a night train from London to the French Riviera — ingredients for the perfect romance or the perfect crime? When the train stops, the jewel is missing, and the woman is found dead in her compartment. It’s the perfect mystery, filled with passion, greed, deceit, and confusion. Is Hercule Poirot is the perfect detective to solve it?

Review:

If you are doing Nothing with your time why not read an Agatha Christie? It will for sure get you out of your reading slump for any people needing a shove or two!

This novel at last did not disappoint. The last few Christie books did you see.

American heiress Ruth Kettering is riding the luxurious Blue Train bound for the French Riviera. When the train reaches its destination the conductor attempts to rouse Mrs. Kettering but finds that she is dead, with her face disfigured. Moreover the Hearts of Fire rubies that her father, American millionaire Rufus Van Aldin, had gifted her just a few days before has been stolen. As she was about to divorce Derek Kettering, her husband, and he was riding the same train, he becomes suspect number one. Onboard the train was also Hercule Poirot and he is not so sure that M. Kettering is guilty. As Poirot reconstructs the events on the Blue Train, he uncovers a much more complicated web of lies.

Ruth Kettering boards the Blue Train towards the French Riviera to meet a man that she has loved since before she married Derek Kettering. On the train Derek, the woman he has been seeing, Ruth’s maid, a simpler woman who has recently come into money and the one and only Hercule Poirot.

When the Blue Train reaches its final destination, Ruth is found dead, murdered at some point along the journey. Her face is irrecognizable as it has been disfigured and the case with her gems has been taken (in which she had the valuable Hearts of Fire rubies).

Naturally suspicion falls on the soon-to-be ex-husband who would have been left penniless had the divorce come through.

But as the investigation developes, others are found to have reason to want Ruth dead.

I love the setting and tone of this book. I particularly enjoy Christie’s “closed room” mysteries. The narrative is entertaining and a delight. As per usual, I got the culprit wrong and was looking in the wrong direction all along. What can be said of Christie that has not already been said? She is simply fabulous.

If you listen to the audio book you are in for a spooky treat!

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Lessons By Ian McEwan

Plot:

When the world is still counting the cost of the Second World War and the Iron Curtain has closed, eleven-year-old Roland Baines’s life is turned upside down. Two thousand miles from his mother’s protective love, stranded at an unusual boarding school, his vulnerability attracts piano teacher Miss Miriam Cornell, leaving scars as well as a memory of love that will never fade.

Now, when his wife vanishes, leaving him alone with his tiny son, Roland is forced to confront the reality of his restless existence. As the radiation from Chernobyl spreads across Europe, he begins a search for answers that looks deep into his family history and will last for the rest of his life.

Haunted by lost opportunities, Roland seeks solace through every possible means—music, literature, friends, sex, politics, and, finally, love cut tragically short, then love ultimately redeemed. His journey raises important questions for us all. Can we take full charge of the course of our lives without causing damage to others? How do global events beyond our control shape our lives and our memories? And what can we really learn from the traumas of the past?

Epic, mesmerizing, and deeply humane, Lessons is a chronicle for our times—a powerful meditation on history and humanity through the prism of one man’s lifetime.

Review:

This novel is indeed about Lessons.

Roland cannot get over his wife abandoning him and their baby. Why have one if you aren’t going to look after it or want it? Shouldn’t have a baby because you think you are supposed to or to fall in a clique.

Roland goes back and forth in life in his thoughts. One second he’s 14 playing the piano with his creepy teacher and the next he is in the daily life of the current.

His journey through his life is punctuated with attempts at escape, but ultimately always reflecting on how one’s personal reactions to events affects all around us. Are our personal feelings of rejection, remorse, anger, sadness, elation ever truly our OWN? How do we navigate our own private emotions without those emotions effecting those around us? 

It was more so a life lesson and how our thoughts can go back and forth. However for a novel I wish it was more consistent.

Thanks to the publishers for sending me this novel in exchange for my honest review.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Being Lolita By Alisson Wood

Plot:

NYU MFA candidate and Goldwater Fellow Alisson Wood’s BEING LOLITA, a memoir of the author’s two-year relationship with her high school English teacher who seduced her by teaching her Lolita, a story he had her believe was the greatest love story of our time, which she only later learned was anything but, and how revisiting Nabokov’s masterpiece allowed her to grapple with what it means to have been an unreliable narrator of her own life, exploring our shifting views of consent, male dominance, and self-perception, to Sarah Murphy at Flatiron Books.

Review:

I never realised this story was 100% real until the end oh my god.

See as you read this novel you try to get into the mind frame of a teenage girl because as you look back upon it you think how stupid can a girl be? How can she clearly not see that the man is controlling and abusive?

Perverts like Nick are difficult to find probably as you are vetting people to work with children but as a mother THIS COULD HAPPEN TO A BOY OR GIRL SO YOU CANNOT SAY OH THANK GOD YOU ARE A BOY ETC. AS I KNOW MEN THAT IT HAS HAPPENED TO FYI!❗️

Completely relatable in that teenage girls want attention – however some are modest and some aren’t and those people tend to never stop being teenagers (I’m the modest however I know too many women who constantly seek attention as they are so very jealous).

Throughout this novel and Ali’s adventures I was very understanding of imagining myself as her and understanding her thought process after all she had been through so much.

The writing was excellent in how it was conducted. I enjoyed the ending of how Ali reflected upon her younger self for every memory and how she managed to come where she is today.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Cosy Cottage in Ireland By Julie Caplin

Plot:

Snuggle up in your favourite armchair and take a trip across the Irish sea for comfort food, cosy cottage nights and a heart warming romance…
Talented lawyer Hannah Campbell is after a change in her workaholic Manchester life – so on an uncharacteristic whim she books herself a place at the world-renowned Killorgally Cookery School in County Kerry. But on her first night In Ireland, sampling the delights of Dublin, Hannah can’t resist falling for the charms of handsome stranger Conor. It’s only when Hannah arrives at her postcard-pretty home at Killorgally for the next twelve weeks that she discovers what happens in Dublin doesn’t quite stay in Dublin…

Nestled amongst rolling green hills and breath taking countryside, the cookery school throws Hannah and Conor together again–for better or worse.

Review:

I really enjoyed one of Caplin’s other novels and this one was the same!

In this uplifting romance, Hannah decides that she needs a break to learn something other than being a Lawyer. From the moment she enters Ireland she is completely out of character and it is the best decision she has done. With meeting such interesting characters for the reason of her trip; the Killorgally Cookery School for a total of 6 weeks. A lot has happened for Hannah during this time and we get to join her in this journey meeting all the wonderful characters and a few bad ones too.

I do not want to spoil much of this novel but lets just say she meets this famous man Conor who she has no idea who he is at all! But she has met him before her journey even officially began.

I took my time with listening to this audiobook as I wanted to stretch out my journey.

This is a feel-good read with images running through your mind of nourishing the food you get from chickens to pigs, it really is another thing to hand pick your food fresh whilst looking after the animals! Just because you eat from them does not mean you don’t appreciate animals, if anything it just means you appreciate them more so!!❗️

Highly reccomend this novel as it gives you cosy but farming vibes along with great characters who are full of life in their quirky personalities.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Love Arrangement By Ruby Basu

Plot:

Some deals are made to be broken…

Independent and free-spirted Annika has no plans to settle down anytime soon… if only her parents felt the same way. But when her father unexpectedly falls ill, she’ll do anything to make things better. Even if it means suddenly blurting out she has a boyfriend.

The only issue is, he doesn’t exist.

Then, by chance, she bumps into handsome entrepreneur Rav, and she can’t believe her luck. He’s single, sworn off relationships and looking for a date to attend work events with. He’s the perfect solution to her troubles. Or is he?

Because there’s just one slight catch – he also happens to be her childhood nemesis.

It was only ever supposed to be a simple, temporary arrangement. Nothing more. Certainly love was never part of the terms and conditions. But Annika’s about to discover that some deals are made to be broken…

Review:

If you love novels that involve: Fake dating, enemies to lovers, grumpy dating happy vibes, look no further.

This novel is going for a cute light funny read. With some ramblings at times as Annika is unsure of this arrangement at times (which can be annoying but understanding) we see the long winded story of where Annika actually falls for Rav, the guy that her parents always used to show off about to make the children work more. It only makes sense. But they don’t actually know Rav.

So when they randomly meet as adults one day at a hotel and then they get to talking and have a purpose to spend time together it is only natural things start to escalate between the two.

Annika’s parents love Rav and are so happy she has found someone like him. A little background to Annika’s job: she travels as a consultant all over the world based on the projects she takes on she could be gone for months at a time. Annika goes on and on about her freedom and so forth but really, it isn’t freedom when you have to rely on people to hold your extra things so how is that liberating?

The main character is a little naive and immature in this way as shes very stubborn to believe that only her way is the right way and that she doesn’t need to do everything the way her sister has. Annika is hurt that everyone is trying to force her to do things in a particular way that is why she is very adamant in her decision to travel and be away from London / and home as much as possible.

Anyway, both of them manage to trick their families and work colleagues that they are in a real relationship. However Rav on the other hand seems to think he can plan every single moment in terms of how he can manage to find a woman to start his family that does not yet exist as he doesn’t even have a woman.

These two opposites manage to find themselves in a real romance. Dispute this novel being a bit repetitive on different topics at times it was nice to have a romance read at last if you’re going through a slump. So thank you to the publishers for sending me this novel in exchange for my honest review.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Elodie’s Library of Second Chances By Rebecca Raisin

Plot:

An uplifting story about fresh starts, new beginnings and the power of stories, from the bestselling author of Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop!
When Elodie applies for the job of librarian in peaceful Willow Grove, she’s looking forward to a new start. As the daughter of a media empire, her every move has been watched for years, and she longs to work with the thing she loves most: books.

It’s a chance to make a real difference too, because she soon realises that there are other people in Willow Grove who might need a fresh start – like the homeless man everyone walks past without seeing, or the divorcée who can’t seem to escape her former husband’s misdeeds.

Together with local journalist Finn, Elodie decides these people have stories that need sharing. What if instead of borrowing books readers could ‘borrow’ a person, and hear the life stories of those they’ve overlooked?

But Elodie isn’t quite sharing her whole story either. As the story of the library’s new success grows, will her own secret be revealed?

Review:

I have a novel by Rebecca on the top of my TBR pile at the moment actually! So when I received her newest one as my beginner novel instead I was happily pleased.

Let’s say the momentum for reading this particular novel continued from there onwards.

As a book lover, how could one resist reading a novel about a library? Saving one as well.

Willow Grove sounds as cosy as it is written. Except for one thing, a lot of the villagers living there are stuck in their old minded traditional ways as they are so judgmental. For example; A pizza shop got remodelled to be more modern with the times and they refuse to go in there, come on.

It is like Chinese whispers around the place, I mean, a man you marry does not mean you can predict his every move, people have poor judgement and are good at manipulating does not mean you judge the wife that has been abandoned.

When we were given the description of Elodie’s mum I was half thinking it was about my own. But no, this one is far worse. Controlling her diets when she’s a complete adult with her own mind it is no wonder she wanted to escape from the lifestyle she had.

When Elodie goes to work at the library to save it from being closed down, her only other colleague is this downer named Maisie. All she did was complain and be lazy and she was very judgmental especially of poor Harry. Yet throughout all of this, Elodie still tries to see the best in every single person which I really admire. She is the least judgmental person for a novel I have read this year.

Listening to every ‘Library Book’s’ story was just something else. Understanding what they all went through and their true intentions. Oh, little Alphie he is extraordinary indeed.

I loved being on this journey with Elodie and I recommend that if you love a feel-good read in a small town then this novel is for you.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: One Night On The Island By Josie Silver

Plot:

One cottage. Two strangers.
Every great love story starts somewhere . . .

Cleo writes about love stories every day. She just isn’t living one of her own.

When the editor of her dating column asks her to marry herself on a remote Irish island – a sensational piece to mark Cleo’s thirtieth birthday – Cleo agrees. She’s alone but not lonely, right? She can handle a solo adventure.

Cleo arrives at her luxury cabin to find a tall, dark, stubborn American who insists it’s actually his. Mack refuses to leave, and Cleo won’t budge either. With a storm fast approaching, they reluctantly hunker down together. It’s just one night, after all . . .

But what if one night on the island is just the beginning?

Review:

Cleo is heading towards an Irish island to marry herself as apparently Emma Watson has done. This is her birthday present to herself for her 30th. She writes as a dating columnist so this should be interesting.

There’s this American man named Mack who is coming from Boston to hear more about his family. Him and his wife have been separated for a year but he has yet to accept it yet she has already been seeing her boss. Somehow his long distant cousin forgot to mention or even gather knowledge that there been a double booking clash therefore, these two strangers find themselves in the same cottage for the foreseeable.

At first, Cleo’s personality towards Mack was super annoying and ignorant as she was completely rude and not understanding that Mack arriving as he has relations to actually be here in Salvation Island is more of a reason for him to stay and he was doing nothing but being well-mannered.

As the story unfolds I did get bored at times as the characters had features I liked (attractive) and some that just made them so stupid or ignorant. Mack was becoming unrealistic in how he sees his relationship and how it is okay to sleep or have feelings for anyone else as he is separated from his wife. It is as if he is still about 7 years old, an immature one at that.

As he goes back to Boston he claims he loves Cleo but at the same time keeps saying his home is Boston with his family even his slutty wife who only wants him now that someone else has liked him.

What I enjoyed most was the other characters! They were so pleasant and funny and heart warming. They had all sorts of moments and I wish the novel revolved more around them as they were actually likeable and not as stupid or naive!

3/5 Stars

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Breakfast: Baked Oats

Ingredients

  • 100g porridge oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 banana, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of mixed spice or ground cinnamon

Instructions:

Firstly, Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the oats in a blender and pulse a few times until they start to resemble flour. Add the baking powder, chopped banana, maple syrup or honey, eggs and mixed spice or cinnamon, and whizz until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips or berries.

Secondly, Lightly oil four heatproof ramekins, then divide the batter between them. Bake for 20-25 mins, or until well-risen and the baked oats spring back when lightly pressed. Scatter with more chocolate chips or berries before serving, if you like.

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Book Review: Hopeless By Colleen Hoover

Plot:

Sky Davis is starting sixth form having always been home-schooled, and wants to keep a low profile. But then she runs into Dean Holder – messy brown hair, smouldering blue eyes, and a temper straight out of Fight Club, someone who Sky is determined to avoid.

There is something about Holder that sparks memories of Sky’s troubled past, those which she would rather stay buried. Little does she know that the mysterious Dean Holder is harbouring secrets of his own . . .

When the truth unravels, Sky must piece her life back together and learn to trust again. Only by facing the revelations together can the two of them begin to heal their emotional scars and find a way to live without boundaries

Review:

It is interesting to compare Colleen’s earlier works with the recent ones I have only came across. She did not disappoint.

I actually prefer the writing style in this novel compared to her other reads. Very American as usual but it didn’t give me a headache which means it wasn’t too sickenly written.

Sky I found to be quite annoying, she is our main character and to go without TV or technology is mind blowing when everyone of that age is interested to try it whereas she acts as if she doesn’t care less or sees a need for even a mobile phone, very unrealistic.

For someone that is aware that Holder has issues you’d think she wouldn’t tempt him by purposely ignoring questions. He asked her where she got her bracelet it’s a simple question that she ignored when she would know that by being ignorant like that of course he would be annoyed. And the fact that she knew what he was thinking was such a bitchy thing to do.

I like her loyalty towards Karen but she is a little naive. When you think about the things she was told, the character we were originally introduced to as Sky should really consider her memories and what she believes as her gut instinct instead of being so quick to dismiss everything she is being told.

“Sometimes the right thing to do isn’t always the best answer”

This novel did have some interesting quotes I will admit that.

It was an interesting read that was enjoyable even though I wanted to scream at the main character for a few reasons. Also, at least Holder was a bit more realistic I can imagine a very feminine man saying those things, it happens.

4/5 stars

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Book Review: The Measure By Nikki Erlick

Plot:

Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice.

It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out.

But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.

From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?

As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?

The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined, pen pals finding refuge in the unknown, a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush, a doctor who cannot save himself, and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimately changes everything.

Review:

If you could find out how long you have left in your life, would you?

That is everyone’s question as they are faced with the answer one morning all over the globe.

Is it just me or is anyone else getting dystopian world vibes that also in another way reminds you of March 2020 – the beginning of Covid madness? It has all the similar features; new thing entering the world causing everyone chaos wondering whether or not if it is true at the beginning. But in this case, it only happens when you are aged 22 and above. The length of the string inside this box is long or short which determines your life spam. Once the scientists start noticing that the short strings correlate with the deaths that is when everything becomes more clear.

There are so many point of views that at around 29% in is when I had had enough as there was far too many points of views to keep up with. Along with that, the chapters have no real sense in order as you normally would have it in order which makes it a bit more confusing as well.

Although some good points in the difference in characters is their circumstances, I think the author tried to ensure they thought of every possible scenario and point of views and trying to ensure every view and angle was covered.

See this is where a second novel exploring some other angles from this story line I think could cover it in better detail without it being too much. But I guess you would rather it be too much than not enough quality content.

We hear from army people, those in relationships, make or breaking a relationship, doctors who had to witness it. Those that wanted to keep their jobs but couldn’t and then the alternatives.

This novel has a very unique plot and has you wondering about how each situation will unfold.

Thank you to the publishers for sending me this for my honest review.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Beach Café By Lucy Diamond

Plot:

Evie Flynn has always been the black sheep of her family – a dreamer and a drifter, unlike her over-achieving elder sisters. She’s tried making a name for herself as an actress, a photographer and a singer, but nothing has ever worked out. Now she’s stuck in temp hell, with a sensible, pension-planning boyfriend. Somehow life seems to be passing her by. Then her beloved aunt Jo dies suddenly in a car crash, leaving Evie an unusual legacy – her precious beach cafe in Cornwall. Determined to make a success of something for the first time in her life, Evie heads off to Cornwall to get the cafe and her life back on track – and gets more than she bargained for, both in work and in love…

Review:

Evie Flynn doesn’t seem to know what she wants from life. From temp jobs to quitting and having a controlling boyfriend, she isn’t really sure of herself and it doesn’t help that her family call her a black sheep.

When her aunt dies unexpectedly, Evie finds out she is left her café in Cornwall as she is her favourite niece. She finds herself unable to leave the café due to crappy staff and their attitude and begins to find people that become her friends and others that come to help the place become what it is by the end of the novel. With dilemmas that you see coming in both relationships and in the store we come across a lot of vibrate characters especially those that have helped out at the café. Evie’s family finally sees that this is the right move for her.

I wasn’t too fond of the beginning of this novel as the characters in her current life including at that time current boyfriend Matthew where very annoying and negative.

The café brings out Evie and you can easily see how happy she is now in her new life. It was quite a warming read which I recommend.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Holiday Bookshop By Lucy Dickens

Plot:

One woman. One island. A bookshop in need of revival…

Jenny has never been a risk taker. But when her best friend takes off on an American road trip, Jenny finds herself saying yes to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of her own and accepts the role of a bookseller in the Maldives.

The island of Bounty Cove Cay is everything she’d hoped for: white sandy beaches, glistening turquoise waters and palm trees bursting with coconuts. But it’s not all plain sailing…

The resort bookshop is far from thriving and, in an unexpected twist, management are threatening closure.

Can Jenny throw her rulebook to the wind and turn things around before it’s too late? And might she find her own happy ending along the way?

Review:

Thanks to the publishers for this copy for my honest review.

When looking for a book seller in a resort you should be very specific in what you are looking for. I knew from the beginning Jen would not be very successful for the most part of this novel. She just doesn’t have that creative spark. She has the organisation, just barely any creativity.

The best friend Marianne is a selfish cow that is used to being the centre of attention from what I have gathered. She is the one with the men and travelling so when her co-partner applied for a job in the Maldives she is of course jealous and annoyed – EVEN THOUGH she has been telling her friend to get away for a while. Then, as Jen pointed out, Marianne is travelling the world with her latest boyfriends for a long time: 3 months. You learn a lot about a person you live with even for a few days. It’s your tolerability level – if you are constantly telling yourself it will get better or you barely know him and so forth – you are wasting your time it won’t work. So why spend 3 months travelling all over and talking about marriage with this dude? It is utterly pathetic. But she is creative so she has that going for her.

It’s difficult for most. You are either Marianne or Jen. But for some you can be both in the one person.

Jen should know herself by this stage in life however she wastes her time in order to get a free holiday as she is failing in what the company has hired her to do. Before she left England she had a row with her best friend so you can just easily guess where this is going.

If you are looking for a read to make you feel good whilst sitting out in the sun where it isn’t too much thought for a plot whilst you are relaxing this is for you. The entire read from start to finish suits a relaxing read. However if you want more depth you will average like this novel just like I did. I really did enjoy the holiday vibes from Jen’s side however Marianne was very annoying and jealous of Jen. Women and their bitchiness to copy I cannot tolerate anymore just do your own thing and stop copying!

I did however wish I was by the Maldives Beaches enjoying the atmosphere with a drink and book at hand!

Great read for holiday vibes by the beach or in a tropical island.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: After The Rain By Lucy Dillon

Plot:

First, the clouds…
Tara Hunter is a therapist on a mission to restore Longhampton’s community spirit after catastrophic flooding. But with her boyfriend AWOL, her family fragmented, and only a cat for company, Tara’s own life is crumbling.

Then the storm…
On top of everything, Tara’s father – last seen as he walked out on her when she was ten years old – is suddenly back, with a surprising offer that could change everything.

And after the rain…
Dr David Dalloway is Longhampton Wellness Centre’s new star counsellor. He’s charming, caring and has a knack for reading people’s minds – which is the last thing Tara needs right now. Will having David and her dad around make for a bigger storm on the horizon? Or is this Tara’s chance for a fresh start?

Review:

Tara Hunter is a counsellor living in a small village which recently dealt with a massive flood impacting many of her clients. She’s went out of her way to help in the community centre and such.

It appears that her life is in order and she is a ‘Good Person’ by going above and beyond however this is a distraction as she comes to terms with her family drama.

Having a mum distort your view and changing your future perspective and relationship with your father is a horrible thing to do however sadly women tend to do this about the ‘man that left’ even if it is their own fault.

I do not understand Tara’s stubbornness for sticking up with her ‘lonely mother’ and completely ignoring her dad. She even admits that she has blocked out memories she doesn’t like.

Everyone has problems and she keeps acting like she has none as she’s not willing to accept any blame or fault and is behaving exactly as her mother had, using excuses and going ‘poor me’ every chance she has.

Assuming her dad only has bad intentions she was behaving like a proper child! Hiding his phone so he wouldn’t be able to check important things and being selfish and so frigging childish as she kept going on about wanting bonding time and getting on to him for bringing her new half-sibling over. Get over yourself you are a grown adult stop behaving so petulant.

The side characters including David, Toby, her father, Lloyd and Molly I found to enjoy a lot more. Toby her twin brother has tried to set things straight with his silly sister.

Despite Tara’s childish behaviour this novel was very warming and listening to the advise and going on of many people was quite enjoyable.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Verity By Colleen Hoover

Plot:

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

Review:

Firstly I would like to say Verity is an attention seeking psycho.

Usually, a lot of women tend to be attention seekers, jealous, or complain a lot, or they can be direct and honest usually.

I was not sure much about what this book was about going into it however. Lowen- weird introduction it feels as if the author is trying too hard to capture the readers attention by duping into the thriller scene with the main character nearly getting into an accident right before a meeting cross over with romance where the man that “saves” her is actually the stranger she is about to have this meeting with.

Straight away when you hear that his ill wife cannot write her own novels and all of the tragedies that accompanies Verity – a famous writer I think red flags about this character automatically because each of her children keep ending up dying in the oddest of situations. Then she feels too bad and tries to off herself. This is my intake by page 40 before I will even continue this review. It just seems very strange for a famous writer to have this much bad things happen to her after she’s famous and thinks this Lowen has similar writing and it’s within her field it is as if she’s screaming out for more attention that is hidden between the lines.

As Lowen begins to contemplate being a co-writer she fears gaining publicity and so forth by becoming successful. I find her to be a hypocrite because why would you become a writer if you are fearing being acknowledged for your work, that is the point of being a writer – putting yourself out there. Earlier on she had complained she isn’t successful enough to have money and sales. Uhm, money and sales are linked to your books being successful, make up your mind woman! Lowen thought a kid was an “asshole” because he ran away and he was quiet. Really? A kid cannot be scared just as much as she is and automatically she assumes that much from an innocent child?

You’re naturally loving the baby you made so it is unconditional. You cannot simply say it’s unconditional to love your partner their not your blood it’s technically conditional.

By the end of the novel there is a massive twist. However given what we know of Verity’s personality I think it is pretty consistent given all the facts that we already have and it was just put in there to make us question what we already know.

I didn’t like the way Lowen got ‘her way’ at the end when the situation unfolds, she clearly knew what she was doing. But I don’t agree that her and Verity are similar as she didn’t have evil intentions. The ending of the novel makes it seem as if everything you have just read is utterly pointless. Another reason why I think the plot twist was just that, a twist, not necessarily the truth. Lowen had basically came from pretty much nothing at the start of the novel. Throughout the novel she was willing to leave the whole place behind so she did not have a vendetta as some would say she had. She was broke and needed the money as her books where not selling. By being a co-author she would have to face up to some fears but she did not anticipate the creepy spookiness of a ‘coma’ person spooking her about the place.

Hoover’s novels tend to always be about tragedies and nothing else, can there at least be something different because she tends to think that this is the only way to keep a reader entertained.

It is a gripping read I will admit and I recommend it if you are looking for a twist that does have you wanting to find out more. I read this within 48 hours.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Carrie By Stephen King

Plot:

A modern classic, Carrie introduced a distinctive new voice in American fiction — Stephen King. The story of misunderstood high school girl Carrie White, her extraordinary telekinetic powers, and her violent rampage of revenge, remains one of the most barrier-breaking and shocking novels of all time.

Make a date with terror and live the nightmare that is…Carrie

Review:

I must have seen the film adaptation but I barely remember it so it was interesting to go into this not knowing too much. I always find the books have more detail. However what I do remember is that Carrie is a skinny stick whereas in the novels she’s large currently?

Anyway, Carrie is a teenager, unpopular and friendless. She discovers she has these Telekinetic powers which torments her as she can’t control them fully. It also tells the views from one of the bullies, Sue.

Oh how horrible it is to be a teenager, even worse if your an adult who is still jealous of others!

King as always did not disappoint. I enjoyed the way he blended 1st person narration with newspaper clippings, articles, others views and other documents which unveils what happens before, after and during the horrible events in Maine.

We got a deep insight into the mother. If you are ever curious as to how a person is, have a look at their parents. They have similar qualities usually. The mother of Carrie White is a nut job. There is no nice way to put it. She’s a religious freak who sinned herself. What’s with selfish mothers wanting to kill their children before their born if you purposely got pregnant?

Overall, King does an excellent job showcasing all angles therefore there is no flaws whatsoever with this one.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: One Last Day Of Summer By Shari Low

Plot:

As a flight to St Lucia leaves the runway, four passengers meet for the first time.
After escaping her controlling husband, Bernadette Manson is taking the first extravagant holiday of her new life. But when her best friend cancels, will she be strong enough to fly solo?
Tadgh Donovan is about to jet off to his destination wedding when he sees a shocking text. Has his bride-to-be written her wedding vows… or already broken them?
Hayley Ford is the wife of a top fertility specialist yet her battle to get pregnant has almost broken her marriage. Can a trip to the sun heal their relationship or should she brace for a crash landing?
Dev Robbins is crossing oceans to track down the woman he fell in love with at first sight. Will it be a one way trip to happy ever after or a return journey to singledom?

Review:

Thank you very much to the publishers for sending me this in exchange for my honest review.

The plot basically lists what it is about so there isn’t much point explaining it. 4 strangers get randomly seated together. First one is Tadgh (a part of a band, graphics designer), Bernadette (50’s and newly widowed) she was supposed to go on this trip with her friend but then couldn’t. Hayley (Husband is a doctor, a controlling ass who wouldn’t sit next to her on the plane), and Dev who is a hopeless romantic chasing after a one night stand (yet he lives with his girl-next-door best friend, you can tell where that is going). They are all on a long flight to St. Lucia and it was enjoyable as every character was light hearted. And learned life lessons during this magical flight.

Overall, this novel had a great plot. Although a lot of it was quite repetitive and dragging as you had to basically wait a few chapters to get to the main person your interested in hearing about. But each person kept repeating their thoughts throughout which was a disappointment. I get the whole vibes of holidays and everything but it was still dragged out for a novel.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Life Ceremony By Sayaka Murata

Plot:

In these twelve stories, Murata mixes an unusual cocktail of humor and horror to portray both the loners and outcasts as well as turning the norms and traditions of society on their head to better question them. Whether the stories take place in modern-day Japan, the future, or an alternate reality is left to the reader’s interpretation, as the characters often seem strange in their normality in a frighteningly abnormal world. In “A First-Rate Material”, Nana and Naoki are happily engaged, but Naoki can’t stand the conventional use of deceased people’s bodies for clothing, accessories, and furniture, and a disagreement around this threatens to derail their perfect wedding day. “Lovers on the Breeze” is told from the perspective of a curtain in a child’s bedroom that jealously watches the young girl Naoko as she has her first kiss with a boy from her class and does its best to stop her. “Eating the City” explores the strange norms around food and foraging, while “Hatchling” closes the collection with an extraordinary depiction of the fractured personality of someone who tries too hard to fit in.

In these strange and wonderful stories of family and friendship, sex and intimacy, belonging and individuality, Murata asks above all what it means to be a human in our world and offers answers that surprise and linger.

Review:

I have been excited to read Sayaka’s other novels however at the present time I have been gifted with this one so Thank You to the publishers.

This novel is a collection of what I would call ‘What If’ scenarios on the theme of life and all the different possible versions there could be that you can imagine. We do indeed live in a dystopian world (Government controlled, what a pain) but novels include more screwed up versions that our minds would allow us to think.

From making use of human flesh so that nothing is wasted (some cultures are like this however this particular short story I read in this novel takes it to another level). The stories can be seen as so twisted but I was intrigued to see the types of thoughts and imagination another person could have. It also made me think about different versions as well.

Although some stories are a bit more difficult to listen to, it felt amazing to have a bunch of stories right at your fingertips of the alternatives that could be possible. It can be seen as disturbing but at the same time I kept wanting to get into the next story AND it could also be overwhelming.

Each story had a point and makes you reflect upon each one.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Inheritance Games By Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Plot:

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.

Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

Review:

I have no idea how I feel about this one. One part of me really enjoyed it, but on another, I kind of hated a lot about it.

The plot wasn’t very well executed. I love Knives Out, so I expected to love this as I got these vibes from this. Not only was the big plot twist in the end not even shocking, but the mystery was so confusing and there were too many plot conveniences.

I cannot give too much away so I will say that as far as the characters go, Xander is the best sibling and character there was a lot of personality to him. I would say Grayson is second, he has potential. Jameson is really annoying. Also it is quite random that Nash has a southern twang when everyone else in the family doesn’t and they were all raised in the same environment. Avery needs more character development as there wasn’t much depth there, she was okay but I didn’t particularly like or hate her.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I did find it lacking and I can’t help but be a bit disappointed. And, if you listened to the audiobook, who else thinks the recording is a little slow? I had to fast forward the speaker to 1.5.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Book Lovers By Emily Henry

Plot:

One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming…

Nora is a cut-throat literary agent at the top of her game. Her whole life is books.

Charlie is an editor with a gift for creating bestsellers. And he’s Nora’s work nemesis.

Nora has been through enough break-ups to know she’s the woman men date before they find their happy-ever-after. That’s why Nora’s sister has persuaded her to swap her desk in the city for a month’s holiday in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. It’s a small town straight out of a romance novel, but instead of meeting sexy lumberjacks, handsome doctors or cute bartenders, Nora keeps bumping into…Charlie.

She’s no heroine. He’s no hero. So can they take a page out of an entirely different book?

Review:

I must say this at first: please do not compare getting a job promotion to a woman’s water breaking 🙄 it is very disrespectful considering they are Nothing alike. I should know taking zero help and having a quick labour due to my body’s physical strength and non-lack of laziness and excuses!

Anyways, at first I felt as if this novel was trying too hard, the writing style with all of its jokes it can get annoying for anyone. However I powered on and began to really enjoy it. I found this to be a cosy read. So you know those films that are always on the Christmas channel they seem to be the same one on repeat with different characters; high power career person has to go to small town for a particular task and they are so out of place and they end up falling in love with the place and falling for some widower and break up with their city-life partner? That city-life bitch in this case is our main character Nora.

Except, when Nora has to go to a small town as a favour for her sister Libby she ends up getting her own version as well not just her exes!

Nora is working in publishing and has been in contact with Charlie who I believe is also doing a similar role to Nora. It turns out he lives in this random small-town that Libby has choose! This novel becomes hilarious as they both have to not hate each other whilst Nora is completing Libby’s small-town bucket list that Charlie has put a bet for Nora to do to get her incentive for Libby’s sake (which Libby does not know about of course)

Elements of this novel reminds me of my favourite shows such as Gilmore Girls with the Town Hall meeting on getting someone to change their business name and it made me laugh out loud.

An element I did not like, the erotic scenes towards the end. That’s just an ick for a novel in my opinion there are ways to be classy about it.

The novels ending was a little bit too expected as indeed like the Christmas channel films it was a bit tacky and expected.

Overall I did at times feel like giving this a higher rating by one point but the last 70 pages was dragging and a bigger let down but the rest of this read was more enjoyable. The cover is what sold me. In the day and age of marketing and how a product looks is how it is sold, it does matter how the cover looks and that is what attracted me to read this but I will definitely check out Henry’s other works.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Godmersham Park By Gill Hornby

Plot:

On 21 January 1804, Anne Sharpe arrives at Godmersham Park in Kent to take up the position of governess. At 31 years old, she has no previous experience of either teaching or fine country houses. Her mother has died, and she has nowhere else to go. Anne is left with no choice. For her new charge – twelve-year-old Fanny Austen – Anne’s arrival is all novelty and excitement.

The governess role is a uniquely awkward one. Anne is neither one of the servants, nor one of the family, and to balance a position between the ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ members of the household is a diplomatic chess game. One wrong move may result in instant dismissal. Anne knows that she must never let down her guard.

When Mr Edward Austen’s family comes to stay, Anne forms an immediate attachment to Jane. They write plays together, and enjoy long discussions. However, in the process, Anne reveals herself as not merely pretty, charming and competent; she is clever too. Even her sleepy, complacent mistress can hardly fail to notice.

Meanwhile Jane’s brother, Henry, begins to take an unusually strong interest in the lovely young governess . . .

And from now on, Anne’s days at Godmersham Park are numbered

Review:

I never realised this was Jane Austen’s friend until I read another review. So what I gathered is that this is loosely based on Jane’s acquaintances when I originally thought it was just Austen vibes.

Thank you to the publishers for this reading. The plot was interesting and very understandable for a classic type of novel in terms of getting into that era.

The novel focuses on Anne being a Governess to a teenager named Fanny Austen, who’s aunt is Jane Austen. Jane has a brother called Henry and that is when Anne becomes a little careless. The conversations she has with Jane are intriguing and feminist type of way.

The novel itself is well paced for the era it is portraying which is slower than today. It was a bit of an effort for me to read at times for this reason however the plot and writing style (and the cover too because it is just so elegant let us take a moment to appreciate this) it is a cozy read in this way.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: November 9 By Colleen Hoover

Plot:

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

Review:

Be aware this review is part rant and part spoiler.

Fallon used to be a small-role actor with an ass of a father. This random guy Ben pretends to be her boyfriend and so since then they have this magical ‘connection’ from just one day of kind of spending time together. So from here onwards they spend each year on this day together. The 2nd year is when things get steamy and she promises things when things get passionate then she has the cheek to take it all back and then:

‘It’s not something we planned’

Oh shut up Ben! He uses this as an excuse to go ahead and sleep with his dead brother’s wife.

Communicate you stupid man. He seems to think Fallon was not hurt at all last year. She was putting Herself first. You do not put a man first let alone some man you barely know! And yet, Ben uses this as an excuse to go ahead and do that? Why doesn’t he try to communicate how he feels towards her? What an idiot.

Both of these children do not know how to indicate and yet he is to be a father like figure?

SOME PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO LOOK AFTER CHILDREN! Just because one person does it doesn’t mean you can too,k some people are just stronger than others so stop trying to copy you imbecile sleeping with your dead brother’s wife, gross.

“There was no one there to tell me I would regret it some day”

Uhm how about yourself? Stop blaming other people and both take responsibility for your own actions!

Is Fallon really that silly? When she comes to find Ben’s script she becomes unsure and thinks he made up things when clearly he hasn’t.

Suicide. No one is responsible for making someone kill themselves. It’s the person themself that is selfish. Usually they are aware of the help around them however they do not care who they hurt as they only want to console themselves. How dare Ben even blame some asshole for his mother doing that to herself.

Overall, this novel’s plot is a little screwed up. I mean, immature boy sets fire to man’s house then he purposely seeks the man out and falls in love with the girl and helps her out of his guilt for nearly ending her life and then makes her promise to meet him every year? It is a little controlling.

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: Note To Self By Anna Bell

Plot:

It’s never too late to follow your heart.

One summer’s day seventeen years ago Edie and Joel meet.
Their connection is instant and a friendship is born, although Edie can’t help but wish for more. But just as she builds up the courage to lay her heart on the line, one night changes everything…

Edie’s moved on from the heartbreak of years ago. So the last thing she expects to receive on her thirty-fifth birthday is an email… from her eighteen-year-old self. As more emails arrive, she starts to remember what – or rather who – she left behind.

Following her own advice, Edie heads back to the place where it all began, and finds her path unexpectedly crossing with Joel’s once more. Could this finally be their chance at love? Or are some things better left in the past?

Review:

I felt like this novel is full of life lessons. As you get older, even so little as a year you do tend to reflect on your behaviour, actions and so forth and question some decisions.

Edie finds herself in her thirties with an on-paper “successful life”. One day, she receives an email from the 18 year old version of herself.

Imagine having that actually happen to you, it really is like a movie and to reflect upon every stage of a great summer you had right before things took a difficult turn. How would it make you feel? Especially in this day and age where we went through a few years of the most toughness in terms of mainly everyone’s mental health at hand. We tend to reflect on the past and on great memories or sad memories of people that are no longer alive and so forth. But to constantly replay those moments means you will never be happy. So instead you focus on how your life came to be as it is today and what it can become.

One quote I really enjoyed:

“Looking back on the past and what might have been will only ever lead to heartbreak”

Even though this is a fictional book, the main character in a way is questioning her life and philosophy very lightly which I did really like in this novel.

“You shouldn’t talk yourself out of doing something just because it seems scary”

It was interesting to go on this journey and life lesson with Edie although it did reach a point where I am taking forever to finish a novel so if the details where a bit less it would have been an ultimate favourite as it was written in a way where I really enjoyed the life lessons she learned from young-adult version her.

Thank you to the publishers for sending me this in exchange for my honest review.

4/5 Stars

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Dessert: Banoffee Pie

Ingredients:

  • 250g Digestive biscuits
  • 100g / 1 cup Coconut Oil
  • 200g Dulce De Leche / Caramel (sometimes sold as caramel) (HALF a tin! Learned the difficult way do not use a full tin)
  • 2 bananas peeled and sliced
  • 300m whipping cream, whipped until soft peaks form
  • 3 table spoons of grated dark chocolate

Instructions:

  1. Place the biscuits into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter, mixing well to combine.
  2. Place the mixture into a lightly greased 20cm/8in loose-bottomed cake tin and press down into the base and up along the sides. Place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Spoon the dulce de leche over the biscuit base, and then cover with a layer of sliced bananas. Spoon the whipped cream on top and decorate with grated chocolate.
  4. Slice into wedges and serve.
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Book Review: The Boyfriend By Michelle Frances

Plot:

Amy is fiercely independent, with a high-powered career, a flat of her own and tight-knit friendships. But as she approaches her thirtieth birthday, she can’t help but rue the one thing she doesn’t have – a relationship.

When Amy comes round following a serious fall, she doesn’t remember anything from the last six months. Not even the week skiing at her aunt’s luxurious chalet in Val D’Isere with her mum and best friends to celebrate her birthday. And she certainly doesn’t remember being swept off her feet by the handsome Dr Jack Stewart . . .

Jack is the full package – charming, caring and devoted to Amy. Everyone is smitten with him, but as the week goes on, Amy begins to find Jack’s presence chilling. Is her broken mind playing tricks? Or is the perfect boyfriend really too good to be true?

Review:

Don’t bother reading if you want a real suspenseful novel. Why try for a mystery if isn’t going to be a good one? 

A bit unbelievable but full of suspense.
Amy wakes after an accident with amnesia and can`t remember the last six months not even her boyfriend Jack Stewart.
Her 30th birthday is due and her plan is to spend it with friends and her mam at her aunts ski lodge in Val d`Isere, unfortunately Jack can`t make it, but then he turns up at the lodge and things don`t seem right to Amy.

Lots of things that doesn`t make sense with Amy just after having a head injury, but the suspense keeps you reading.

It makes you wonder, why would you make up a fake boyfriend and carry on the charade and keeping track of all your lies like what is the point? Just be honest or get on with it.

Technically she did get what she deserved and Jack did teach her a lesson therefore I didn’t feel sorry for her in that aspect. I did feel sorry for Amy when her friends and mum wouldn’t listen to her at all without any proof. They would rather listen to a handsome stranger instead of someone they actually know.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Lucie Yi Is Not A Romantic By Lauren Ho

Plot:

An ambitious career woman signs up for a co-parenting website only to find a match she never expected, in this unflinchingly funny and honest novel from the author of Last Tang Standing.

Management consultant Lucie Yi is done waiting for Mr. Right. After a harrowing breakup foiled her plans for children—and drove her to a meltdown in a Tribeca baby store—she’s ready to take matters into her own hands. She signs up for an elective co-parenting website to find a suitable partner with whom to procreate—as platonic as family planning can be.

Collin Read checks all of Lucie’s boxes; he shares a similar cultural background, he’s honest, and most important, he’s ready to become a father. When they match, it doesn’t take long for Lucie to take a leap of faith for her future. So what if her conservative family might not approve? When Lucie becomes pregnant, the pair return to Singapore and, sure enough, her parents refuse to look on the bright side. Even more complicated, Lucie’s ex-fiancé reappears, sparking unresolved feelings and compounding work pressures and the baffling ways her body is changing. Suddenly her straightforward arrangement is falling apart before her very eyes, and Lucie will have to decide how to juggle the demands of the people she loves while pursuing the life she really wants.

Review:

As usual an over hyped book does indeed do the opposite of its intention: It did disappoint. Although, one quote I 100% agree on:

“We definitely want our freedom. Just because we’re parents doesn’t mean our world should revolve around our kids… We don’t stop being who we were before parenthood”

Lucie Yi rambles on so much. She’s the type of soon-to-be-mum that makes me want to gag, roll my eyes and scream ‘YOU’RE A STUPID IDIOT’!

As a newly mum myself, you really do not need to bother with reading baby books. I read a few and boy where they a yawn and a waste of time. Instead of glamorising your fatness; enjoy your freedom instead of being a sad girl obsessing over two guys. Why did she even get into this arrangement with a rando she only just met when they never even tried living together etc. and the ONLY THING THEY HAVE IN COMMON IS THAT HE PUT A BABY IN HER !! She’s clearly still have feelings for her cheating and disgusting ex so from the start you can see how this novel is going to go. 

She claims she’s career driven. She wants the career however she didn’t choose one that suits a lifestyle, but I must say at least she has a job instead of being a lazy benefit person claiming working people’s money.

But, I will say that Collin does have some interesting points on how the foetus should be raised. And Lucie doesn’t seem to see the common sense in things. Is it a woman thing? Am I just so logical and women typically are stupid when they purposely get knocked up and then consider getting rid of it? Why would she get into this arrangement with Collin without talking about how they are raising it? Wasn’t that the purpose of this entire Co-Parenting thing from the site they met on? To talk about this stuff before she actually does go into this arrangement.

At least Lucie was considerate and aware of both her friends children situations she at least has a brain to ask her so called friends how they are doing with their new triplets. Some women do not even have such consideration once they are carrying a foetus as it’s all attention seeking. Seriously Lucie, get a grip and don’t be having a baby just because your old (late 30’s) and the others have one just to use as an attention seeking prop, she clearly values her career more when she is seeking to advance her career to be like Diana as she is hiding the whole pregnancy in the first place. By trying to help run an important business when she is pregnant does she not realise she is taking on a lot as she calls finishing at 8pm at work an early night. How does she expect to raise the baby with nannies yet at the same time doesn’t want it raised by them?  

Babies are for life, and if you don’t check in on those that already have one, you’re going to be going through a very tough time as you weren’t there for others during the toughest time it’s called fairness selfish being. 

This story was too predictable. Some catchy references however it was predictable and Lucie annoyed me so very much because of her silly ness. If the main character is intolerable it makes for a bad experience.

I received this novel in exchange for my honest review.

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Guard By Kiera Cass

Plot:

Before America Singer met Prince Maxon . . .
Before she entered the Selection . . .
She was in love with a boy named Aspen Leger.

Don’t miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection trilogy. This brand new 64-page story begins just after the group of Selected girls is narrowed down to the Elite and is told from Aspen’s point of view. The Guard also features a teaser to The One, the thrilling conclusion to The Selection trilogy.

Review:

Review originally written in 2014. 

This is from the selection series (book 2.5)

I loved hearing from Aspen’s point of view. I don’t get why everyone is so against him. Him and America are each other’s first love and I appreciate the fact that they still love each other since they are each others first love. 

I just wished this novella was a bit longer.

4/5 stars

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Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Plot:

The Selection began with thirty-five girls. Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away.

Review:

Review originally written in 2014. 

This is from the section series. I quite enjoyed this book however, I really felt heartbroken at times between the characters choices and I’m just waiting to find out what happens next in the next book! I still can not figure out which team I’m rooting for, at times I’d choose Aspin, at times it would be prince Maxon, I just can’t choose. However, I think we all know who she ends up with. Overall, good read.

3/5 stars.

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Book Review: The Bookshop On The Shore By Jenny Colgan

Plot:

A grand baronial house on Loch Ness, a quirky small-town bookseller, and a single mom looking for a fresh start all come together in this witty and warm-hearted novel by New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan.

Desperate to escape from London, single mother Zoe wants to build a new life for herself and her son Hari. She can barely afford the crammed studio apartment on a busy street where honking horns and shouting football fans keep them awake all night. If she doesn’t find a way out soon, Zoe knows it’s just a matter of time before she has a complete meltdown. On a whim, she answers an ad for a nanny job in the Scottish Highlands, which is about as far away from the urban crush of London as possible. It sounds heavenly!

The job description asks for someone capable of caring for three “gifted children”, two of which behave like feral wolverines. The children’s widowed father is a wreck, and the kids run wild in a huge tumbledown castle on the heather-strewn banks of Loch Ness. Still, the peaceful, picturesque location is everything London is not—and Zoe rises to the challenges of the job.

With the help of Nina, the friendly local bookseller, Zoe begins to put down roots in the community. Are books, fresh air, and kindness enough to heal this broken family—and her own…?

Review:

This novel centres around Zoe who is a single mum with no money living in London. Although I feel like she should have been more careful about who she sleeps with as he did come across as a inconsistent mess of a guy at least she has came a long way on her own. She doesn’t have a comfortable living situation so she takes her 4 year old son Hari who has never spoken a word, to Scotland.

Zoe works as a nanny in this mysterious castle type of home and the children are troublesome and the whole thing seems a bit odd.

However, I did think the novel was a bit long and the writing font should have been smaller as it made for slow reading which took away the nice feeling this novel had to offer.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Plot:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Review:

Review written originally in April 2014:

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book under a day as fast as this. I was hooked from the beginning and I absolutely loved it and cannot wait to read the second one in this trilogy which will probably be very soon! I fell in love with all the characters. However, the reason it’s not 5 stars is because at the beginning I found it a bit slow, was too eager for it to get to the main plot! I was partly upset with some of the prince’s actions in this selection but as it is a competition and that’s how it’s supposed to go. I really loved this book and I definitely recommend those who this kind of story it would interest to read it!

4/5 stars

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Book Review: Worst Idea Ever By Jane Fallon

Plot:

Georgia and Lydia are so close, they’re practically sisters.

So when Lydia starts an online business that struggles, Georgia wants to help her – but Lydia’s not the kind to accept a handout. Setting up a fake Twitter account, Georgia hopes to give her friend some anonymous moral support by posing as a potential customer.

But then Lydia starts confiding in her new internet buddy and Georgia discovers she doesn’t know her quite as well as she thought. Georgia knows she should reveal the truth – especially when Lydia starts talking about her – but she just can’t help herself.

Until Lydia reveals a secret that could not only end their friendship, but also blow-up Georgia’s marriage . . .

Georgia’s in too deep.

Review:

To sum up this novel: DO NOT HAVE A JEALOUS COW OF A BEST FRIEND – Only genuine ones!

Lydia is properly obsessed with Georgia’s husband secretly. Ignorant sad cow. Georgia and Lydia both do design stuff however Georgia is more lucky in life as she has everything, the family, the perfect-ish husband and a lifestyle of happiness that she WORKED HARD to have and maintain. So when she sees her best friend Lydia is still not really taking off in life, no boyfriends, no children and a shitty job but still, at least She has a job, whilst working on her sideline business so at least she is motivated. Lydia has the perfect single life type of Instagram whilst being very two faced to her friend.

Georgia sees Lydia is having a hard time and she has to CONSTANTLY DOWN PLAY her success to Lydia so she doesn’t get jealous. If you’re successful you shouldn’t need to lower yourself just because your so called ‘friend’ has always been so jealous of you when all you have tried to do was help her. It’s not Georgia’s fault that naturally better things happen to her and not much happens with Lydia.

“They are that rare breed; friends that are genuinely happy when things go well for you”

Lydia is trying to create a mess of Georgia’s life because she’s a jealous cow. Georgia was trying to help Lydia and that is what she gives in return? DISGUSTING. What a horrible friend Lydia was. This is why I am not friends with women much, too jealous and I am NOT for down playing MY success, I’d rather be successful than a lazy bitch with unsatisfactory silly excuses that are transparent.

I LOVED how this was written though, so relatable although I am smart enough unlike Georgia to see through bitches.

When you show your success or lifestyle, that is when you can see a person’s true colours. Not many are actually genuine, but it’s good when people appear out of your life randomly to be genuine people.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Briefly, A Delicious Life By Nell Stevens

Plot:

In 1473, fourteen-year-old Blanca dies in a hilltop monastery in Mallorca. Nearly four hundred years later, when George Sand, her two children, and her lover Frederic Chopin arrive in the village, Blanca is still there: a spirited, funny, righteous ghost, she’s been hanging around the monastery since her accidental death, spying on the monks and the townspeople and keeping track of her descendants.

Blanca is enchanted the moment she sees George, and the magical novel unfolds as a story of deeply felt, unrequited longing—the impossible love of a teenage ghost for a woman who can’t see her and doesn’t know she exists. As George and Chopin, who wear their unconventionality, in George’s case, literally on their sleeves, find themselves in deepening trouble with the provincial, 19th-century villagers, Blanca watches helplessly and reflects on the circumstances of her own death (which involves an ill-advised love affair with a monk-in-training).

Charming, original, and emotionally moving, this is a surprisingly touching story about romantic fixation and a powerful meditation on creativity.

Review:

The writing style was good, interesting chapter names as this was a unique element of this novel.

We are taken to Mallorca where this ghost has been stuck for so many years watching the lives of those that has came and gone. Has literally ‘entered’ their body to feel what they feel. The setting of this novel was unique although it did feel a bit creepy at times. There is a lot of potential with the family in where I think this novel could have explored more instead of being stuck in the same frame. Yet, at the same time the consistency was a bit wish-washy.

Usually a novel has a beginning, middle and an end. The middle is supposed to have the whole build up of something that needs to overcome however there really isn’t much going on.

The main story line the ghost follows in this novel is of this boy dressed looking woman named George who I really wasn’t interested in at all, her children and Chopin who I think is her friend? He is dying and composes music and the plot just seemed to drag so much.

Overall I need a novel that is actually moving forward as a novel is supposed to be. Plus, characters usually develop and grow however in this one nothing really happens.

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts By Annie Darling

Plot:

A quaint old bookshop, where happy ever after is only a page away…

Once upon a time in a crumbling bookshop, Posy Morland hid in the pages of romantic novels.

So when Bookend’s eccentric owner, Lavinia, dies and leaves the shop to Posy, she must put down her books and join the real world. Because Posy hasn’t just inherited an ailing business, but also the attentions of Lavinia’s grandson, Sebastian, AKA The Rudest Man In London™.

Posy has six months to transform Bookends into the shop of her dreams but as Posy and her friends fight to save the bookshop, she’s drawn into a battle of wills with Sebastian, about whom she’s started to have some rather feverish fantasies…

Review:

Review written in January 2017:

First book I’ve read in a long time that I found just so perfect. I must admit I didn’t find this book as I normally find my books (via browsing on the internet)

I stopped by a bookstore and noticed the beautiful cover and it did entice me in. I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover but it is a good marketing strategy for it to be this pretty. Not only was the book ascetically pleasing but the plot seemed so perfect. 

A book lover that’s awkward inherits a cute little bookshop. In London but has the best of both living in a city but village like vibe where it was set!? Yes please. I loved all of the characters quirky ness and the humour they had. I just loved this book a lot and it’s not often I give books 5 stars. Check it out because you really won’t regret it. Also, if the author ever reads this, keep up the work.

5/5 stars

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Book Review: The GetAway Girls By Dee MacDonald

Plot:

Connie McColl is finally free to make her own decisions for the first time in decades. And when she meets glamorous Gill and downtrodden Maggie, at a rather dull flower arranging class, it seems that she’s not the only one dreaming of adventure. The three very different women all agree it’s about time they had a holiday to remember.

So they make a pact for this summer to be their best yet – and drive off into the sunset together…

As they meander their way along the beautiful beaches of France and onto the glorious delights of Italy in their luxury campervan, the new friends have plenty of fun and frolics in the sunshine. But the vacation isn’t quite what they expected…

Gill will do anything to have one last holiday romance, Connie has a surprise inheritance awaiting her in Italy, and Maggie has a secret that is going to catch up with them all…

In the end, all three women discover that the journey they thought would be their last really is just the beginning…

Review:

An unexpected tale of friendship, love and a new life start as each woman takes on this adventure without knowing each other much and coming at the end of summer with a new friendship and love for each other without any sort of jealously (don’t you just hate that when people are not truly happy for you and are completely envious of your life you worked hard to have? It’s called strategic living).

These elderly ladies have had their children and grandchildren and so forth. They unexpected meet at a floral arranging class when one of them needs to go on a trip to find more about her ancestors in Italy.

This novel it turns out is a follow up which you so wouldn’t know. In this novel we learn from three wonderful women that life does not end after a particular age. Connie goes ahead and purchases a camper van for this journey as she has a fear of planes.

The idea of this plot and its execution was very well done. As they travel through France we, the reader are taken on their road trip as well. With a lot of laugh out loud moments unexpected backgrounds from each of ladies this makes for an interesting novel that will have you wanting to be apart of it as well!

One thing I will say is just read it if you are wanting to be apart of an honest friendship journey as these ladies get to know each other whilst travelling. They truly have each other’s backs!

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

Plot:

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents’ marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it’s all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening–to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she’s the only person who can stop Kasey — but what if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore? 

Review:

Review originally written in 2014:

Bad Girls Don’t Die has this totally creepy cover, I love it! From the first time I saw it, I was intrigued. 

I think I had high expectations for this book. I wanted it to be creepy and super scary. I mean, antique dolls? – I was expecting doll heads twisting around, dolls walking and talking but I didn’t get any of that. I didn’t even get the creepy feeling I look forward to when reading these books. It could be that I read most of this book while laying at the beach, not the ideal place to read this type of book – I know. But even the occasional nights I did read some, I wasn’t freaked out or all that convinced that I was reading a “scary” book.

I do love the idea of a girl who collects dolls, then gets possessed by one – it’s neat and has potential to be great but unfortunately it wasn’t executed well in Bad Girls Don’t Die, in my opinion. I think the first few chapters were the best, if I’m being nice, but then the author seemed like she wanted to add a love interest to the story then almost forgot to take it anywhere, but the thought kept popping into the story. I found it a little all over the place to be honest. The writing was alright, I didn’t have enough to paint the story or see the characters (or dolls) come to life in my head.

Overall, the foundation of Bad Girls Don’t Die is there, but I think it needed to be built up a LOT more. Maybe I’m too old for these types of terrible immature writing for younger people? I mean I am seventeen and this book seems to be written for twelve year olds.

1/5 stars

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Book Review: A Little Something Different By Sandy Hall

Plot:

The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship.

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together….

Review:

Review originally written in 2014:

A Little Something Different was indeed something different. I enjoyed the 14 different view points for the majority of the book. The reason why I didn’t enjoy them entirely was because secondary objects and animals (particularly the squirrel) were used to tell parts of Lea and Gabe’s love story… I totally understand why those perspectives are there, but that doesn’t mean that I enjoyed reading unnecessary perspectives. I actually enjoyed connecting with Gabe and Lea’s friends and family more than reading about their love story. Especially the creative writing teacher. I also liked how a lot of the aspects of the story were on the cover, and how I could identify them while reading. Overall, this book was cute, short, and pretty swoon worthy.

1/5 stars.

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Book Review: Stargazer By Laurie Petrou

Plot:

Summer 1995. Diana and Aurelle are inseparable, living together in Diana’s parents’ cottage on the edge of the Rocky Barrens University campus, about to start freshman year. The strength of their bond is undeniable, if unexpected: Diana is a highly ambitious, socially awkward art student while Aurelle is a more likeable, more fragile literature student and the daughter of famous artist Marianne Taylor. Plus, despite having lived next door to each other their whole lives, the girls have only grown close in the last twelve months.

As the college year progresses, their relationship becomes increasingly unstable, as do the girls themselves, threatening to unravel due to the intense feelings and complicated circumstances that underlie their bond. Yet, the biggest threat is posed by a secret one girl is keeping…

The lines between love, envy and obsession blur in Laurie Petrou’s utterly enthralling, unceasingly tense second novel. A darkly compelling coming-of-age thriller, perfect for fans of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, or Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.

Review:

Again, I liked the idea of this plot however it didn’t turn out to be as good as it was hyped up to be. This novel is about obsession, envy and friendship and beyond creepy at times. Claiming that Diana and Aurelle are the same person, sleeping and cuddling each other I was confused at if this was an obsession or lesbian attraction. I did feel like it dragged out a lot at times with the descriptions and so forth.

Why compare this to The Secret History? All the characters did was complain a lot and seemed to unhealthy need each other too much.

Although in this novel it has a dream style vibe- with the drugs and the highly privileged thing going on, like a female version of Bret Easton Ellis in my opinion if you are going to make any comparisons.

Stargazer is an enjoyable read that uses a dark vibes to explore the darker sides of female friendship and how such bonds can be toxic. Fans of this type of feeling will enjoy this kind of book more.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Confess By Colleen Hoover

Plot:

Auburn Reed is determined to rebuild her shattered life and she has no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to become deeply attracted to the studio’s enigmatic artist, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is hiding a huge secret. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything Auburn loves most, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it—but can she do it?

Review:

Auburn Reed feels like she is a complete failure in life. Looking for a job, she runs into an Art Studio called “Confess.” There is a small box with the word “Confess.” This is where complete strangers can write their confessions in life, whether it is good or bad as anonymous. The artist, Owen Gentry, works at this studio and uses the confessions as inspiration to paint his paintings. He paints his paintings and sells them every month. Lucky for Auburn, Owen is in desperate need for a new worker to work at his studio…

One of the main reasons of why I liked this book was because of the confessions. It was so interesting because all the confessions were different. Everyone had a different problem or confession that the wanted to share. Sometimes, when people see their confession as a painting, they want to buy it, I mean who wouldn’t? Some of the confessions make me cringe while the others make me jump in excitement.

I liked Auburn but sometimes, I was really frustrated by her decisions. She didn’t follow her heart, she forced herself to do things she didn’t want to do. Plus, she was very naive. She trusted Trey even though she clearly had no feelings so this in itself is confusing to read or listen to. Owen, Emory and AJ are very colourful characters which make listening to Auburn a bit better.

Note about the audiobook: Saying Harrision is ‘Irish’ yet the accent in this audiobook came out as Scottish and NOTHING at all resembling an Irish accent is very embarrassing and annoying to listen to. Get your voice accents correct first.

The writing style was nicely paced. The plot was decent and completely different. I never saw things coming so I was really shocked when I finished the book. Listening to peoples confessions was the best part. although, if you want a realistic romance this book isn’t for you. I mean some of the things that Owen comes out with is cringe-worthy. No person would be that sappy to come out with those embarrassing words. Especially when you are in the middle of intimate matters.

That’s another thing, the intimate moments in this novel I really enjoyed how it was written. A lot of romance novels go into too much detail however in this novel it was nicely done.

3.5/5 Stars

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Book Review: One Way Ticket to Paris By Emma Robinson

Plot:

When I was a kid and I’d lost something, my dad always said ‘Go back to the place you last had it’. The problem is that what I’ve lost is… me.

Kate loves her family more than anything, but recently she has started to feel invisible. Lying awake at three a.m. as her husband snores, panicking about shopping lists, birthday parties, and the school bake sale…

She finds herself in the kitchen, gulping water, staring at a postcard of the Eiffel Tower from Shannon, her best friend.

Paris, with its red wine, slippery cobbles and curly lampposts. Where the scent of freshly-baked croissants hangs in the air, and Kate last remembers feeling like herself.

The postcard is a year old. It has just one line on it: When are you coming?

An inspiring, feel-good tale of friendship, love, and what happens when running away is the only way you can find your way home. Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jane Green and Marian Keyes.

Review:

Woman having a mid-life crisis of the same routine on repeat with a husband that doesn’t seem to understand she needs a break however she has not communicated this.

I listened to this audiobook last week and let me say this:

If you are going to have accents in a book why not do that particular person’s Thoughts in that accent as well?

There is 3 women’s situations mentioned in this and one of them is American. Every time she speaks out loud she is American however her thoughts are in an English accent which derails from this novel

These women never stop complaining and don’t seem to know how to open their big mouths! They have a lot of thoughts however they do not seem to understand you need to communicate.

The writing style is in a middle aged whiny voice for all of the characters.

At times I did find it funny and entertaining and it was realistic which I appreciate in a novel.

I don’t get why the main character  complains about not working when she’s the lazy b*tch that chose to have children so she didn’t need to get a job, well she uses that as an excuse and then she wonders why she complains so much. STOP BEING SO LAZY AND GET OFF YOUR BUTT. If you aren’t going to be a good mum then just shh. No excuse to not have any sort of job.

By the end there are happy ever afters in all of their mid-life situations. I do not want to give much away as it can be predictable from then onwards.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon

Plot:

A year ago, Bronte left Sydney for a wedding in England, where she met newly single Alex. After one amazing night together they parted ways.

Now working on the picture desk for a glossy magazine in London, Bronte is about to meet a new colleague – who turns out to be all too familiar. Alex is now engaged, but the memory of the spark they felt when they met hasn’t died. As Alex’s wedding day looms, it is clear that he and Bronte have unfinished business…

Review:

Review originally written in December 2018:

I found myself getting bored with this Paige Toon novel. I felt as if it did drag for the first two thirds of the novel. It felt a bit been there done that, it did not grasp my attention as much despite it’s lovely but bland plot. 

It is interesting though, how I can love one book of Toon’s and be completely bored by the next. For a writer her novels can be … a bit all the same. 

Bronte, the main character was very naïve and selfish, I did not enjoy that she lead characters on. There was no build up in this novel as one is supposed to have properly. 

Lachie, a character that flirts with everything that moves barely an inch. Trying to build chemistry that was clearly not there. 

Alex, well he is engaged to someone else, that says it all. 

Writers usually are more creative and inventive however a good chunk of Toon’s novels are the exact same recipes with a new icing flavour as a new novel; some are good, some are a hit and miss. The main character was too conflicted throughout the novel to make a decision. It gets boring after a short while. But for majority of the book? Not the best.  

2/5 stars

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Sunday Breakfast

Sunday Breakfast
  • Pancakes made from scratch using 2 Eggs, 100g Flour 200ml Almond Milk (Unsweatened) and a dash of Salt
  • Boiling 1 egg for approximately 20 minutes on medium
  • Fresh strawberries and banana chopped
  • some baking equipment to cut the pancakes into shapes
  • Dash of cinnamon and decimated coconut flakes

Voila!

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Book Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Plot:

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more — though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was — lovely and amazing and deeply flawed — can she begin to discover her own path in this stunning debut from Ava Dellaira, Love Letters to the Dead.

Review:

Review originally written in 2014:

This book I loved as it reminded me of the perks of being a wallflower. Yes I know they are not the same however they have similar qualities. 

Love Letters to the Dead is a book written in the form of letters that the protagonist Laurel has to write to dead people as part of her school assignment. This format is easy and so much fun to read because it is something different and makes the reading experience very interesting and refreshing. Author Ava Dellaira does a smashing job with the writing. It is so clean and poetic. What adds to the beauty of it is lines borrowed from various poems and an absolutely beautiful original poem that marks the end of a story which is exactly how I like my stories to be- disturbing, sad and simply astounding. If that isn’t enough, most of the letters are addressed to famous musicians that practically the entire world has heard of which makes music, in a very hidden and somber way, an integral part of the book. 

From a few incidents that Laurel narrates to the people she writes her letters to, I could make out what the issue with her was and I was right about it and that contributes in making the story predictable. But the way in which the story was executed and presented was simply gorgeous. Besides, Laurel’s issues weren’t the only focus. The people around her- her dad, her mom, her sister, her friends, her love interest- each one had some issue or the other and it was the sense of togetherness that they shared, in sadness and in happy days, that made the story so touching. I have avoided speaking of the story and I really don’t wish to change my mind at this point. But for me- and this is for the reader to find out how and why- the book is not just about Laurel, it’s about her sister May and her friends Hannah and Natalie. 

There were some aspects to it, like the predictability of the story, the importance given to characters whose absence wouldn’t had made much of a difference, the focus on how things should be rather than how they actually are and a natural submission of women to male domination, what makes this book so interesting is how real it is. And reality, as cruel as it might be, is reality and it hits straight in the face. The fact that it had just been a really long time since I actually read a great book made me put aside these minute negatives and made me admire Love Letters to the Dead a lot and I’m glad I read it. It wasn’t extraornidary, yes, but it has definitely and undoubtedly made it to the list of the few books that I actually liked reading so far in 2014.

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Book Review: Say Her Name by James Dawson

Plot:

Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of ‘Bloody Mary’: say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear… But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it?

Next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her bathroom mirror… five days… but what does it mean? And who left it there? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are now in a race against time before their five days are up and Mary comes for them, as she has come for countless others before… A truly spine-chilling yet witty horror from shortlisted ‘Queen of Teen’ author James Dawson.

Review:

Review originally written in 2014:

First off I thought this would be an excellent book from the reviews and the plot. I disliked the characters immediately. It was a fairly quick read.

When I read horror, I want two things – either genuinely scary, scares-the-canolli-out-of-me stories or something plain gory and fun. Unfortunately, Say Her Name was neither. Instead of being a fun slasher which I was expecting, it was a complete snooze fest. And the writing style was pretty lack-luster and it was written in an immature style for when it comes to horror books which made my attention drift. If I could in would give this zero stars.

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Book Review: Friend Request By Laura Marshall

Plot:

1989. When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything the girls Louise hangs out with aren’t. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Within just a few days, Maria and Louise are on their way to becoming fast friends.

2016. Louise receives a heart-stopping email: Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface: those first days of their budding friendship; cruel decisions made and dark secrets kept; the night that would change all their lives forever.

Louise has always known that if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria’s sudden reappearance threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone she’d severed ties with to escape the past. But as she tries to piece together exactly what happened that night, Louise discovers there’s more to the story than she ever knew. To keep her secret, Louise must first uncover the whole truth, before what’s known to Maria – or whoever’s pretending to be her – is known to all.

Review:

Overall, it was okay but I did find it a bit repetitive and depressing.

What really attracted me about this novel was the social media element. Although I felt the main character did go on a bit too much. I mean, someone from the dead is adding you now 20 or so years later, obviously it’s spam but she properly obsessed over it. I felt compared to other suspense and thriller type novels that I have read that this one in comparison did not do it for me. It’s meant to give you that feeling of ‘Oooh I must find out more’ but sadly this did not do that for me.

I agree with others that this novel did have promise with the social media element however the plot compared to the entire novel did not love up to it for me.

I found it to be very sad the things these ‘children’ did when they were almost adults. I get it, you go with the flow but I wish she had more since than that.

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: Walking Back to Happiness By Lucy Dillon

Plot:

A delightful new novel from the author of “Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts.”

Juliet’s hiding from her feelings about the recent loss of Ben, the love of her life. If it weren’t for having to walk Ben’s loyal dog, Minton, she’d never leave their half-finished house. Then her mother asks her to take her elderly lab, Coco, along. One dog leads to another, and soon Juliet’s the unofficial town pet-sitter. And when she takes on a lonely spaniel, and gets to know its attractive owner, she realizes that her emotions aren’t as easy to handle as her canine charges..

Review:

I like how both sisters think – how Lucy has portrayed their similarities with their thinking process of ‘should I? Yes let’s do it’ 

I love how Juliet refers to her pet sitting as a ‘lending library of pets’. 

The book is portraying the grievance of Juliet’s late husband therefore it comes across as she is always very sad and has her routine of not really wanting to leave the house.

Her mother Diane tries to push her slightly. Her neighbours realise what she is going through and they try chatting to her. I find all the characters so thoughtful and caring towards Juliet. 

I find that Juliet isn’t appreciative. I wish she would see that her sister does want to make amends, and that she isn’t out to boost especially during a time like this. 

I love the theme of dogs and animals and I love how their portrayed in this novel! It’s the first novel I’ve read by Dillon and I’ve only heard great things involving dogs with all of Lucy’s novels! 

I love the character development of both sisters, Diane, Loucan, Emer, Mark/Michael and seeing how they affect Juliet’s life and everyone’s growing together and on their own. I love how referring to their dogs is how they get on a date. 

This book has not been a let down. However, towards the end I didn’t like the build up to the plot it was leading to. As well as the last 100 pages felt rambled. Just my opinion.

4/5 stars

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Book Review: The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

Plot:

Caught between loyalties, the mother of the Tudors must choose between the red rose and the white.

When Henry Tudor picks up the crown of England from the mud of Bosworth field, he knows he must marry the princess of the enemy house—Elizabeth of York—to unify a country divided by war for nearly two decades.

But his bride is still in love with his slain enemy, Richard III—and her mother and half of England dream of a missing heir, sent into the unknown by the White Queen. While the new monarchy can win power, it cannot win hearts in an England that plots for the triumphant return of the House of York.

Henry’s greatest fear is that somewhere a prince is waiting to invade and reclaim the throne. When a young man who would be king leads his army and invades England, Elizabeth has to choose between the new husband she is coming to love and the boy who claims to be her beloved lost brother: the rose of York come home at last.

Review:

Review originally written in October 2014:

A majority of this novel focuses on the Warbeck rebellion and the author can’t even decide what to call him. This leaves the reader inundated with references to “the boy”, incessantly, until it will seep into your nightmares. Just call him Richard or Perkin for heaven’s sake! Besides the fact that this “boy” is well beyond what is considered an age of majority and the age that his alleged father was king and battle seasoned warrior. I almost stopped reading, but forced myself to persevere for dear Elizabeth’s sake until she met her end.

I had hoped for better, had longed for somebody to do poor Elizabeth some justice. No characterization of her that I have read has honored this woman who bridged the gap between the Plantagenet and Tudor dynasties. 

Near the beginning of this book, Elizabeth thinks, “I am, like England itself, part of the spoils of war.” I loved this line and its simple, sad truth. It got my hopes up that the rest of the novel would be as beautifully written, that Gregory would surprise me. She didn’t.

Before turning too many pages I was sick of hearing Richard III referred to as “my lover.” I don’t even mind that PG decided to make EofY and RIII lovers. Fine, it’s fiction. Whatever. But she’s a writer, right? Exercise that vocabulary a little!

If only that was the only example of repetitious, eye-roll inducing, make-me-want-to-throw-this-book-out-the-window vocabulary. Perkin/Richard is always “the boy”, RIII is always “my lover”, everyone keeps asking “what d’you think/mean”, and Elizabeth’s answer to every question is always “I don’t know”. Seriously, I have no idea why this is told from her point of view because the girl never knows anything. To emphasize the fact that she is as slow as her cousin, Edward, she frequently repeats what people tell her in the form of a question, creating some of the least compelling dialog that I have ever read. Dialog is repeated, thoughts are repeated, everything is repeated. The novel could be 100 pages shorter if the author wasn’t so condescending to the reader.

1/5 stars. 

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The Girl On the 88 Bus By Freya Sampson

Plot:

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 at the National Gallery, 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 help 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 number 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 chances for happiness – before it’s too late.

A beautifully uplifting novel about how one chance meeting can change the course of your life.

Review:

Who knew a small idea from passing conversation would lead to a fantastic read?

From the beginning of this novel we are taken to 1962 where this man Frank at the age of 22 meets this vibrant woman. He was to meet her but he has lost his ticket. Of course he moves on with life however he always goes back to riding that bus in the hopes of finding her. When one day he bumps into this woman that looked like her, Libby. He retells this story of how this beautiful young lady had helped change the course of his life and he would love to thank her for it.

Libby, having a not so good time of life as it is herself has decided to help him find her and we get to be lucky enough to go along with them in this journey!

The beginning of this novel had automatically captured my attention. Not only is the plot unique, cute and interesting but the writing style is so warm and easy to read and follow where you would want to read it all day if you could.

Libby comes across a range of diverse characters, her sister Rebecca develops as a person, slightly that is. And the others she meets (I don’t want to give too much away) but it’s no surprise the way situations unfold to make life that extra bit complicated for Libby. This novel did have my eyes water in particular scenes towards the end. I really could not stop reading this. Hearing Peggy’s story and her narrative as well in the odd random chapter was that extra bit of colourful ness you love to have in a novel. They where so close and I thought this novel was going to be 100% predicable however it had a nice twist.

When it comes to giving birth I swear I must think in the traditional / correct way because from my experience it actually is 110% spot on. This quote in this novel:

“You yougers these days are so used to planning and controlling everything, and you approach giving birth in the same way, with your books and birth plans and all that malarkey. It’s nonsense (LOL proved to be very true! Thank god I never bothered with much of that)

Well, you can forget all that right now. A baby’s gonna come the way a baby wants to come, and there’s not much you can do besides lie back and let Mother Nature do her work”

Praise be indeed. Spot on advice.

I enjoyed this novel immensely with the way it is written, even the annoying characters such as Simon as it does help Libby to grow throughout this novel. A realistic novel with a realistic heart felt novel that will keep you wanting to know more!

Thank you to the publishers for sending me this novel in exchange for my honest review.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Plot:

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

Review:

Review originally written in October 2014:

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a fantastic book that I read in about one sitting. I just did not want to put the book down and was so intrigued by how different it was. I’m really into YA Contemporary books and this was incredibly enjoyable! I never would have thought a book about a teen dying from cancer could actually manage to be funny but… it did. Pretty dark humour at times but it certainly made me laugh out loud which is a serious accomplishment, I love any book that can actually make me laugh.

The first half of this novel was really funny like proper funny I really was laughing out loud. I care for the characters and I don’t think I have read a book that’s made me laugh so much. And Greg. Unusual character but I loved him his personality was so unique and makes me wish he was my best friend. 

I wanted to know more about him! What I loved most was how he was just honest. He doesn’t sugar coat his thoughts. He just tells it like it is and I loved him for it. Greg is definitely not a popular kid and really only has his one friend, Earl, for company. He’s pretty much just trying to get through high school without drawing any attention to himself.

Rachel has cancer. Greg’s mom decides Rachel needs a friend so Greg is pushed into hanging out with her. He’s reluctant and not afraid to say it. He’s not really friends with Rachel but feels an obligation now since she’s so sick. I liked that Greg was honest about how he just didn’t want to do this (who would? it’s a sad situation to put yourself in!) but he still went in open minded and definitely learned a thing or two.

Greg’s just hilarious. He’s honest and raw and tells his tale (and Rachel’s) so well. Some parts were just so sad! Greg tried to stay detached from the situation but you could tell it was killing him too. He talks about how he just hates talking about this. Greg has a no-nonsense attitude towards life and makes some pretty funny observations. This isn’t your regular YA book about dying kids and I liked that. It focused far more on Rachel as a person than on her disease. Most YA books seem to have female protagonists so this was a refreshing novel told through the eyes of a witty guy just trying to make a girl happy. I highly recommend it.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Great Alone By Kristin Hannah

Plot:

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

Review:

I found this novel a bit difficult to read throughout the majority of it. I wondered how would women actually tolerate these sort of men that abuse them. But I did try so hard to understand as the year was 1974. Thank god I did because this novel turned out to make my eyes water towards the end. It was so well written. Even though at times I thought how stupid the women where or some of the decisions they made throughout.

So, the actual story itself involves this wife Cora, husband Ernt and their 13 year old daughter Leni. They head to Alaska because Ernt came back from the War and hasn’t been right since. Yeah, that’s the only reason, sure. Anyway, he goes shit-crazy and doesn’t seem to have any logic or reasoning at all and seems to think they need to live in cave like days for the rest of their lives. Why make your life more difficult than it has to be? When a friend they made, Tom Walker starts to change things for the better that is when the shit hits the fan as the saying goes. He properly goes crazy by locking the girls in their homes trying to trap them there forever. We get it, you’ve been to war but don’t abuse women or anyone for that matter and become so controlling!

Then life progresses for all of them and eventually they grow to develop their more logical reasoning and begin to see their mistakes. I did enjoy the friendships made in Alaska and how friendly they all where it was the best element of this novel I feel.

By the end, Leni has somehow grew up and survived living with a mentally de-ranged father and a mother who was incapable of protecting her child, or herself. She wasn’t a good role model accepting that sort of behaviour so of course Leni the more reasonable one here did not and could not ever leave her mother behind. Some of the scenes between these two (I listened to the audiobook) proper made me go ‘aww’ or my eyes start to water a good bit as they both realise their mistakes and their sorrows are spoken about.

This is a story of hardship and overcoming it along with the love that can be received in friendships and those around that have become more. Even though I did not like the characters decisions, by the end I have come to really enjoy it.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Club By Ellery Lloyd

Plot:

Everyone’s Dying to Join . . .

The Home Group is a glamorous collection of celebrity members’ clubs dotted across the globe, where the rich and famous can party hard and then crash out in its five-star suites, far from the prying eyes of fans and the media.

The most spectacular of all is Island Home—a closely-guarded, ultraluxurious resort, just off the English coast—and its three-day launch party is easily the most coveted A-list invite of the decade.

But behind the scenes, tensions are at breaking point: the ambitious and expensive project has pushed the Home Group’s CEO and his long-suffering team to their absolute limits. All of them have something to hide—and that’s before the beautiful people with their own ugly secrets even set foot on the island.

As tempers fray and behavior worsens, as things get more sinister by the hour and the body count piles up, some of Island Home’s members will begin to wish they’d never made the guest list.

Because at this club, if your name’s on the list, you’re not getting out

Review:

About 40 pages in is when this novel actually begins. Until then, it’s employees thoughts on the island which can be confusing as there’s no structure how how they interrelate for it to link together.

One thing I will say is that I would so want taken off the VIP list for The Club Home. It went into a lot of ramblings about everyone’s point of view and it just made you eye-roll. The pace of the plot didn’t really move much and I felt the characters of those that worked at the club, in particular Annie was over written. Everyone just judged everyone and put on a false face. Bitchiness is not my kind of novel. I did enjoy the mystic element of the novel to begin with however that novelty wore off as soon as we dived into it.

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Murder On The Links By Agatha Christie

Plot:

When Hercule Poirot and his associate Arthur Hastings arrive in the French village of Merlinville-sur-Mer to meet their client Paul Renauld, they learn from the police that he has been found that morning stabbed in the back with a letter opener and left in a newly-dug grave adjacent to a local golf course.

Among the plausible suspects are Renauld’s wife Eloise, his son Jack, Renauld’s immediate neighbor Madame Daubreuil, the mysterious “Cinderella” of Hasting’s recent acquaintance, and some unknown visitor of the previous day–all of whom Poirot has reason to suspect. Poirot’s powers of investigation ultimately triumph over the wiles of an assailant whose misdirection and motives are nearly–but not quite–impossible to spot.

Review:

In this particular Agatha Christie novel, it focuses on the millionaire Mr Renauld who writes to Hercule Poirot for assistance as he fears for his life. Poirot automatically travels to him however Mr. Renauld is already dead; stabbed in the back, literally.

Poirot delivers yet again. He begins to use his ‘grey cells’ to solve the murder and detests anyone who does not follow order and method. Hastings is not as silly in this novel when it comes to his theory’s therefore he’s slightly improved although not by much.

I did enjoy it and appreciate that Poirot did not put down Hastings as much in this. Although at times it did ramble on with theories but by the end it was much enjoyed as it finally crapped up.

This would have gotten 5 stars from myself if it wasn’t for the fact that Hastings and his ‘love’. Just give over, anyone that goes on about ‘love’ too much is clearly for show or infatuation and cough cough IT JUST WON’T LAST, IDIOTS LOL.

It was very annoying how this element was played out. Why bring love into this mystery novel? It was fine as it was without this annoying element which did not suit this particular novel.

Other than that, everything else about this novel was very well written and kept me turning the page.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Weather Girl By Rachel Lynn Solomon

Plot:

Ari Abrams has always been fascinated by the weather, and she loves almost everything about her job as a TV meteorologist. Her boss, legendary Seattle weatherwoman Torrance Hale, is too distracted by her tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband, the station’s news director, to give Ari the mentorship she wants. Ari, who runs on sunshine and optimism, is at her wits’ end. The only person who seems to understand how she feels is sweet but reserved sports reporter Russell Barringer.

In the aftermath of a disastrous holiday party, Ari and Russell decide to team up to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. Between secret gifts and double dates, they start nudging their bosses back together. But their well-meaning meddling backfires when the real chemistry builds between Ari and Russell.

Working closely with Russell means allowing him to get to know parts of herself that Ari keeps hidden from everyone. Will he be able to embrace her dark clouds as well as her clear skies?

Review:

This novel for the most part was a decent read. After 80% that is when it went downhill so lets start with the positives. Ari is a Jew, and feels the need to mention this throughout. I found this interesting because it was different sure. She tells the weather, reads from a script on what the weather is going to be like, that is it in a nutshell, if you like talking about the weather so be it but don’t act like your higher above everyone else. Her boss is Torrance and lately she’s been a bitch. Also, she was obsessed with Torrance when she was younger as she clearly has mummy issues and keeps trying to see everyone as her desired mum. Anyway, Torrance and Seth where married and recently broke up so the work environment has been hell. Somehow Ari and the Sports guy Russell come together to literally do the ‘parent trap movie’ on them. They become closer and so do the other two in this process.

When Ari discovers Russell has a kid she becomes so selfish as she is like what am I supposed to do I’ve never been around someone with one can I even do this and so forth. It’s not hers so stop making it a big issue jeez. Then, she starts to want a kid herself and thinks about it and everything – YOU HAVE TO BE IN A STABLE RELATIONSHIP FIRST GIRL! She becomes so obsessed with the idea of wanting her own when she was only either single or going out with Russell for a few weeks.

At least the sex scenes weren’t as graphic as other books though.

When Ari says about depression ‘I can’t control it’

Making it all about her when every person on earth has some form of mental “disability” as it’s classified as. I did understand and appreciate her to begin with although towards the last 2 hours of this audiobook she really began to annoy me as she made it all about her and the behaviour that came across was the whole “poor me I have depression you can’t handle that” and she isn’t even giving Russel a chance as she made it all about her and getting too paranoid instead of calming down. It’s as if she’s purposely trying to self sabotage on purpose by letting her mouth continue to ramble on about negative crap. Like towards the end she is going insane by blurting her negativity out. It’s called control. You do not let the rambling negative thoughts out or let them get you down. I used to be like this however as you begin to age and gain maturity you usually know better.

But to act as if it is all about you especially when you have had your own upbringing let me tell you something ; everyone has their hardships one way or another so stop making it all about yourself!

Russell has a kid and She doesn’t know if she can handle going out with a guy that has a kid? Seriously? It’s not as if she can do it! Everyone has frigging depression so stop being so selfish and learn to control elements of it! It’s life. It doesn’t make One person in particular special. You experience All Emotions of Every sort at some points in daily life or throughout your life and it is literally about accepting it and letting each emotion pass as any councillor would tell you. You have to accept your moods and know that they will eventually pass.

Yes! Exactly the councillor was on point as I listened to the rest of the recording. I felt myself going Yes! On point with her as she was being a selfish idiot.

Is Ari that stupid she expected Russell to message her after that silly argument? Why would one go and continue to annoy an angry dog if it was angry when you last dealt with it? Your reaction if you want to have peace that is, would naturally be to stay away and give it space until it’s calm again.

Overall, this book was nothing too special. It was a warm-ish read for the most part until I realised that Ari is very selfish and thinks the world revolves around her. We get it, your needs are important but stop shoving it down everyone’s throat. Also, as an author their books are their children yes as they created this entire world so you do not need to keep on mentioning how special it is to you as great and more famous authors don’t go on and on about their many novels.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Strictly Business By Ruth Cardello

Plot:

I just found out I have an identical twin. Wasn’t looking for one. Would have preferred to not have one, but here we are. We have nothing in common. I was adopted by a successful businessman who raised me to see life as a game and gave me the skills to win it. Him? He is about to lose his family’s farm. You heard me—farm.

Lucky for him, I’m a firm believer that when it comes to family, no one goes to battle alone. I’m in. I’ve switched lives with him and will use every business trick I know to save his farm.

However, my initial plan did not take into account a drop-dead gorgeous oil rep or the secrets I uncover about my brother. And worst of all, I’m starting to like the farm and all its inhabitants. I can’t stop thinking about that oil rep. This will definitely take longer to resolve than anticipated.

Review:

The main character does indeed come across as an ass with how he behaves and treats animals as he did not seem to know much or care much about them.

Like others, I did not see what the entire logic is in this lustful meeting when Jesse switches places with Scott in order to get rid of the oil rep who actually used his niece to do it for him. She appears to be ‘hot’ but she acts like a nerd so you can see how the plot from a glance sounds interesting however I found there to be no logic, not much thought was written in this as you are just left kind of confused at their first encounters for them to feel that way towards each other. It is as if the author has presumed we should already know when in reality authors need to take the reader through each step in how they got so lustful towards each other. I mean, is that not the best part, the journey of how they even became attracted to each other? Yet this novel just skips out on it which is disappointing.

I did try to enjoy this, I just can’t lie about a poorly written piece of work.

Thank you to the publishers for this novel in exchange for my honest thoughts.

1/5 Stars

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Book Review: Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan

Plot:

Nora’s life is about to get a rewrite…

Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it’s her job. But when her too-good-to work husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns her marriage’s collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. No one is more surprised than her when it’s picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her 100-year-old-home. When former Sexiest Man Alive, Leo Vance, is cast as her ne’er do well husband Nora’s life will never be the same.

The morning after shooting wraps and the crew leaves, Nora finds Leo on her porch with a half-empty bottle of tequila and a proposition. He’ll pay a thousand dollars a day to stay for a week. The extra seven grand would give Nora breathing room, but it’s the need in his eyes that makes her say yes. Seven days: it’s the blink of an eye or an eternity depending on how you look at it. Enough time to fall in love. Enough time to break your heart.

Filled with warmth, wit, and wisdom, Nora Goes Off Script is the best kind of love story–the real kind where love is complicated by work, kids, and the emotional baggage that comes with life. For Nora and Leo, this kind of love is bigger than the big screen.

Review:

First, what is with the purposely incorrect emphasis on words? Such as “sur-prised”? At first I thought this was for emphasis but then it just started happening in random places throughout the novel.

Nora writes movie scripts for the tacky romance channel. It’s like the Christmas movies the ones with the same annoying plot that play over and over again. So this movie she wrote is based on her husband leaving her and she had no reaction at all as she found them drifting apart.

Why would you be with a man who is a LEECH? Living off his wife’s income and then divorcing and doesn’t want to see his own children. Why would you be with a man that complains about his children having extra circular activities? Especially when it’s with your money that you earned? And paying for his luxury lifestyle? Literally you’d have to be an idiot or a mug that was just desperate to hold onto anything that breathed. And then to have no reaction when you broke up.

Is Nora even human? Does she have any emotions?

The emphasis thing got very annoying. I mean writing “Manhat-tan” do you have a pronouncation error? As this is not mentioned in her character at all which makes for poor reading.

Anyway, Leo a film star lives with her for a week because that is SO realistic. Right after they finished filming in her house.

Also, another unrealistic point is that if you’re making a film and using only one location to film the entire thing, and the novel did state that these films are two hour films – you cannot possibly make a decent film within less than 7 days. It takes over 12 hours to make only a few scenes for a decent film I should know, doing acting and everything. Also, this novel claims to be ‘real love’ hardly real and not very realistic which is a fact.

This novel was very unrealistic and too fairy tale like with a non-emotional main character who loved to judge people and with the emphasis on the writing it was a bit meh for me. Considering my knowledge and my need for good grammar written novels, this was not my cup of tea despite the plot seeming interesting at first glance.

The publishers have sent me this novel in exchange for my honest review.

1/5 Stars

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Book Review: The House In The Cerulean Sea By TJ Klune

Plot:

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

Review:

At the start of this novel I got Lemony Snicket vibes. I think this was a TikTok book? It came up under a recommendation list and for once they actually had a book I enjoyed so much.

As I listened to this audio book (RECOMMEND SO MUCH, the voices of all the characters are just perfectly done. I’ve laughed out loud, my eyes have watered, I went aww so many times throughout this.

The characters are all so unique so this definitely needs to be a movie it really does have all the features to be one.

The little children have been through so much and to have Author and Zoe looking after them now was just heartwarming.

I wasn’t sure about this novel initially as it was classified as a ‘contemporary fantasy’.

This novel is written in a way where it would suit a younger reader as in teenagers I think however it also read in a way where you would be able to enjoy it at any age.

All of the children were so unique and funny. They had so much personality and mature views of life for their age. This book had some life philosophy lessons throughout as well, in particular one of the many quotes I enjoyed:

“Why can’t life work whatever way we want it to? What’s the point of living if you only do it as others want you to”

I was not bored or annoyed with any aspect of the writing style and such hence my rating. The only annoying things would have been of course the people that where against these little children. They are children, it does not matter what they are they are the innocent. It’s the adults that shape them and are a result of the adults parenting styles. For example, at times they were not allowed in shops and I was thinking seriously? That is like saying you are refusing to serve a black, gay, disabled, the list goes on. It was discrimination and against children. Just because they had extreme powers to do harm does not mean they are going to use them. It is like they are brainwashed (the idiots that is) to going with the flock without actually seeing the logic or common sense in it. You would literally have to be an idiot to not serve particular people.

The writing style of these unique and young children where so well-written, so Thank You TJ for creating a novel for all ages to enjoy. Plus, it mentions different sexual orientations which of course is appreciated especially when it hasn’t been too focused on in a novel (things like this that are over focused I find annoying). Every topic within this novel was written well and had enough focus within it.

Everyone that I’ve seen read this has been right where the novel leaves you wanting to find out more to continue living in this unique island. In particular all of the children are very cute and interesting. Lucy and Chauncey where just adorable in their personalities and views. Oh, the things they have said would definitely make you laugh out loud.

I really hope this gets turned into a movie and gets even more recognition than it currently already has. The author T.J Kline definitely makes this novel shine and I love the imagination and effort he has put into this.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen

Plot:

Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen called this brilliant work “her own darling child” and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, “as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.” The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. And Jane Austen’s radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England.

Review:

Finally done reading this. It was well-written don’t get me wrong but it was SO LONG! And the pace was very slow that not much happens. Why is this over-rated?

When it comes to classic books it does not matter if you are familiar with the language it will still take forever to read compared to reading for example, this review where everything is written simply and direct whereas classic language like to sugar coat everything as that’s how much they had back in those particular days.

So lets get to it. Great social commentary diving into the economic positions of women back in the 19th century of mums such as Mrs Bennett who is very desperate to get the best possible men for all of her children especially the older children. Jane is the perfect goddess daughter, we get it, don’t need to repeat it so much.

The ramblings of Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy and their bitchy sisters where very tiresome as it wasted a lot of my time reading it. Funny at times though.

Don’t be so naive is my point in this read. ‘Love’ does not need to be big gestures. Or, in today’s day and age writing ‘Love you’ or tacky posts of couples on Social Media is cringy. Why do you need to declare it if this is the real case? Social Media is fake therefore by casting your personal relations 24/7 it is actually not showing love, it is in-fact showing that you feel as if you have a point to show something that isn’t there compared to simply living contently within the middle. It is actual vomit at cases where they need to be declared like this or anything to do with any sorts of personal relations.

Elizabeth can be seen as picky and too choosy by her mother. However she doesn’t actually say why she doesn’t want or seek particular men, she does not actually seem to comprehend the fact of what lays ahead of her based on her decisions therefore in that case that makes her silly. She isn’t independent or anything like that especially in that century where you literally had to depend on a man otherwise you will be living in the gutter.

As for Darcy, he is an ass. Why is everyone obsessed with him? Not very good at communicating and I felt she did like him however she loved to bitch about him which made me eye roll so much.

Overall, it’s overrated. So I’ll give the other reads of Austen a try to see if she rambles less.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Family Of Liars By E. Lockhart

Plot:

The prequel to We Were Liars takes readers back to the story of another summer, another generation, and the secrets that will haunt them for decades to come.

A windswept private island off the coast of Massachusetts.
A hungry ocean, churning with secrets and sorrow.
A fiery, addicted heiress. An irresistible, unpredictable boy.
A summer of unforgivable betrayal and terrible mistakes.

Welcome back to the Sinclair family.
They were always liars.

Review:

I was excited to read this as I read the original (We Were Liars) back when it was first released in 2014 wow you would not think it’s been almost a decade! I loved the first novel when I was younger however upon re-reading it perhaps as an adult that’s why my thoughts have changed.

The second novel followed in a similar manner to the first therefore to get the full overview – even though this is like a prequel you still have to read the first novel released first in order to understand it.

I was excited to see how the Liars parents grew up as the elders / previous generations always have a more scandalous past than their children.

So this novel takes a step back in telling a story that is mesmerising in its own unique world. The language and how it is written is due to the nature of the Sinclair family and how they were raised (Mainly by Tipper and his values and beliefs)

This novel takes a step back to when Carrie Sinclair (Mother of Johnny, one of the side characters in We Were Liars) spends her summers on Beechwood, particularly when she was 17 when the main events happen.

The story begins to pick up when ‘The Boys’ came to the island. If you are looking for a read of holiday vibes thats plot doesn’t move too much or much happens then this is the perfect read. I am at a phase where I need a more interesting plot at a faster pace. I think this suits younger adults / teenagers more. However I DID ENJOY IT! I loved the fact we finally got to see more of the Liars. I just wished this was released a few years ago based on my age of when I had originally read it therefore it does not take away from the novels itself.

Read this if you are prepared to enter not a dystopian world but a family of being set in their unique ways and at the same time summer vibes.

Thank you so much to the publishers for sending me this greatly written novel in exchange for an honest review.

4/5 Stars