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Book Review: The Perfect Dress By Louisa Leaman

Plot:

Fran’s wedding dress shop isn’t like any other. A treasure trove of history, filled with gowns from every decade for every type of bride. But not as you’d expect.

Something bold for the shy and retiring.
Something simple for the woman who is unafraid to stand out.
And something dazzling for the bride who wouldn’t normally dare to be different.

No matter your expectations, you’d never guess your own perfect dress. But Fran knows… she feels the wisdom woven into every gown, a gift from the previous owner waiting to be handed down to the next bride.

Review:

Such a cute plot!

Two complete opposites come together. From a wedding lover to someone that has complete negativity about the entire thing.

Vintage wedding gown shop + expert Fran, runs the Whispering Dress shop. This is no ordinary shop. Fran will match you with the perfect wedding dress as she gives you a little interview to see what you are needing to change. How a dress can help you and your future marriage.

On the side lines, there is the Colt family. How Rafael and Fran come from two completely different worlds and ended up being together more or less throughout the novel.

I really enjoyed the detail Fran goes into. This novel wasn’t too long, and it was very enjoyable.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Naughty Or Nice Clause By Kate Callaghan

Plot:

When Lyla’s father retired as CEO of the toy company which has been in their family for generations, she was meant to receive his shares. Instead, she discovers the company is bankrupt and her father has given her shares to Mason Klaus, an investor known in the corporate world for his cold and callous nature. Much to Lyla’s frustration, her only option is to run the company with him, despite their evident loathing for one another.

Review:

This was a pleasant enough of a read.

I found this novel to be completely like a Hallmark movie from the Christmas channel.
This reminds me of a different novel which gave me a headache.

The reasons for my wording is because it was missing that spark. It just didn’t do it for me at all.

If you enjoy the Christmas channel type of movies but you actually enjoy the book versions, here you go.

2/5 Stars

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Dessert Treats: Cake

Ta da!

This beautiful cake was quite handy to make.

Using a cake mix (Unicorn to be exact) it made the cake pink inside.

Following the instructions on the pack which saved time in gathering flour, food colouring and so forth, I added milk eggs and oil. Mixed this wet mix together and added it in along with the mix.

Put into the oven for 25 minutes at 180 degrees.

Added the pink icing to cover the layer and put it into the freezer for a short time.

Added more icing however I didn’t have enough for around the edges.

Finally, added the editable flowers to make it pretty for a child’s birthday as a little extra.

It was quite a tasty cake!

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The Christmas Postcards By Karen Swan

Plot:

Set in a chocolate-box village, a woman makes a surprising connection with a pen-pal that will change her life – and warm your heart – in the new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Swan.

It had been a make-or-break holiday for their marriage, but Natasha and Rob’s rekindled romance is short-lived when their daughter’s beloved soft toy disappears on the journey home.

As Natasha comforts the distraught child, she turns to social media for help. Miraculously, the toy is found, but it has become the lucky mascot of a man named Duffy, who is thousands of miles away.

When Duffy promises to keep Natasha updated with pictures, the pair begin a correspondence that soon becomes more meaningful to both of them. Sometimes, Natasha feels this stranger understands her more than the man lying next to her.

But as the weeks pass and Duffy heads deeper into the mountains, Natasha begins to notice a change in him. Then one day, the messages stop. Too late, Natasha wonders why he had ever needed a lucky mascot at all.

Review:

If you are looking for an incredibly slow type of romance. This is for you. Over halfway through is when this novel begins to make progress.

I usually enjoy Swan’s novels however this one is another let down.

The novel begins with a few people’s point of views which is confusing as it also changes date. Not only are you keeping up with the dates, but also the characters as you are only beginning to get to know them.

It wasn’t as structured which makes for a non-enjoyable read for myself.

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Sh!te Before Christmas By Serena Terry

Plot:

Christmas time, toddler meltdowns, teenage angst, marriage problems and WINE.

This year, the perfect Christmas is going to take a miracle…

Twas the sh!te before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except for … mum!

Like every mum, Tara wants a perfect Christmas for her family – but no-one else is lifting a finger and she’s losing her elf-ing mind. From the kids behaving badly (vaping! Potty training! The Nativity!), to a distracted husband acting very out of character, the last straw is Tara’s glamorous, feckless, boundary-less mother moving herself back in for the holidays.

Can Tara pull off the holly jolly Christmas of her dreams? Will she deck the halls and not her family? Or is this a Christmas catastrophe waiting to happen?

Review:

This novel is the second in the series by this author.

Background to the location if anyone picking this up is not a “local” :

These novels are set in the classified area if you search for it as Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Locals would have opinions on the way the above is written however for anyone that is not a local it can be super confusing when they hear one way or another. The area is in the Northern part therefore it is legally Northern Ireland. It is incorrect to say Ireland as another reviewer has done as there is a “Derry” in Sligo which is in Ireland not Northern Ireland. A book is released for people hopefully all over the world and not just locals.

Hilarious and full of laugh-out-loud moments. This novel has lived up to its expectations from the first novel in the series. You do not necessarily need to read the first one in order to read the second. However, the only thing I can possibly fault is that usually when there’s a second in a series, authors usually explain all of the characters as their mentioned and things that happened in the previous book briefly however, I felt those elements could have been stronger within this one.

Apart from that, we see a mother who is pregnant with her fourth child, tackling life and the daily struggles I mean tasks that has on a person who also works, juggling family life and so forth. I felt overwhelmed for her throughout as she is dealing with so much yet managed to keep her cool especially with her seemingly sexist boss.

With her husband, teenage daughter, friends all behaving out of character and being so close to give birth again, Tara is feeling very isolated and confused. I find that she deals with all of this so well. I admire how hard-working she is and her strength to keep her cool throughout each situation.

She manages to laugh or have a smart remark that makes the reader laugh out loud.
I really enjoyed the hilarious situations that later occur and help her relationships with people thrive. Some of these actually reminded myself of similar situations in Emmerdale the Soap show.

With it being the Christmas season this novel hit the spot on a cosy, relatable and hilarious laugh out loud read during this festive season.

I hope to be able to read more as I really do enjoy how Serena writes. Entertaining and captures my attention.

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

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: An Offer From A Gentleman By Julia Quinn

Plot:

Will she accept his offer before the clock strikes midnight?

Sophie Beckett never dreamed she’d be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s famed masquerade ball—or that “Prince Charming” would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.

Who was that extraordinary woman? Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other—except, perhaps this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid’s garb whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?

Review:

Cinderella Retelling!

I have seen bits of the show however I do not remember this story. I really enjoyed it. Oh, how much I hated the evil stepmother. At least in this telling of Cinderella, one of the sisters turns out to be good.
Benedict (Prince Charming) was indeed charming however the whole asking her to be his mistress (even though in those times that is how it is) I still found it rude. No one can tell me how I felt.

Also, if it was that horrible which it was in living in hell with her stepmother being her free labour – why would you not leave even if you had nothing, surely that would be better than what she was enduring?

I don’t have to explain this novel in too much detail as Cinderella is just one of those things everyone tends to know about.

Overall, by the end of the novel it was an adorable, sweet read (or audiobook as I listened to this one).

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Girls Bathroom By Sophia Tuxford and Cinza Baylis-Zullo

Plot:

In The Girls Bathroom, Sophia & Cinzia, the girls behind the chart-topping podcast, will supply you with all the girl chat, support and relationship advice you could ever want!

If you need help with:

– Learning how to keep your life organised and together
– Manifesting and achieving your goals
– Keeping your head in the dating world
– Embracing and falling in love with being independent or single
– Finding a healthy lifestyle that works for you
– Enjoying the present and being comfortable in your skin

Then this is the book for you.

Bringing their learnings, experiences and truth to the book, Sophia & Cinzia will show you you’re not alone. No topics are off limits.

THIS IS THE ONLY BOOK FOR YOUNG WOMEN FINDING THEIR WAY IN LIFE

Review:

Finally got around to reading the novel made by The Girls Bathroom podcast which I also adore!

Seriously, these girls were the first podcast I listened to that I properly stuck listening to for ages when I had Spotify years ago.

This novel’s first chapter caught my attention straight away. It is relatable in some way to every woman (because women can be amazing if you’re Actually nice with aspirations).

I think every little girl needs this in high school as no one really listens to their parents therefore having this little book with you would be a complete reassurance for that age group – or age mentally as some females do not age mentally and some need a reminder.

No person deserves to feel like any of the below (which I agree with throughout the novel these are elements of jealousy) I have come across petulant ‘adults’ to this day it is quite embarrassing adults behave in this immature and tactful way:

“That walking-on-eggshells feelings of unpredictability with a friend” YES!
If you have to walk on eggshells and having to be careful to not say too much about your life as a “friend” can get so jealous easily is toxic. Foe indeed when one is so easily jealous and is not there for you when for example relatives passed away – HOW JEALOUS CAN YOU GET that you ignore something like that? Low self-esteem people are the answer to that.

When it’s clear that your own life is one success after the next, and your “friend” is being so dry and pretending it does not exist – clearly Negative Nancy is the one that has issues. This novel helps you realise that YOU come first. I already know that, but I loved listening to The Girls Bathroom Podcast when I used to listen to them all the time a few years ago.

“They never celebrate your wins…They steal your limelight…it’s your birthday… suddenly my your friend turns up and immediately bursts into tears” yes! This novel has so many good points. Why be ‘friends’ with someone if you’re so insecure with yourself that you really cannot be happy for their success? Just because one has got their shit together does not mean you have let your very low self-esteem of yourself take over. There is such thing as actually being happy for one’s success whilst being happy with where you are in life. If you are feeling crap DO FUDGING SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Instead of making up fudge about the successful one! Seriously. These girls stuck together and look where they are in life. It’s rare to have another close friend that isn’t jealous. Where you actually push each other to grow instead of being what most of the world recognise as layabouts with zero goals.

Realistic for anyone finishing education on what is the next step as anyone who knows when they’re seeking to benefit from the degree (as you’re supposed to because why else do you get into debt?) it can be confusing out there and you may feel like you’re the only one however, Soph and Cinz let you know that girl it’s okay everyone goes through this stage.

Another great point in this, “So important not to compare who has achieved at this age or that age because, unfairly, we don’t all start at the same start line”

I loved that there is a little quiz in the novel about should you go to uni. It has realistic answers and a points system to help guide you. In my opinion I feel this would help so many people and should have prevented people from wasting a spot.

Friendships or decent human beings 101 tells you that sleeping with someone a “friend” fancies are “crossing the line”. Anyone that does, really isn’t a good human to any “friend” really.

I’ve had this novel on my TBR since it was first released. As I knew I would love it so much as it is so relatable to everyday time but especially when you are at a high school age.

Everyone is on a different path in life despite your age. Just because one friend has their own house, a family they have created with someone they have known for a lot longer than a one-night stand does not mean you have to follow suit and rush into that lifestyle the other has made.

That is what makes us all unique. By having our own lifestyles and not flipping copying each other. Once you are true to yourself you begin to grow. It is sad that some people cannot grow. This novel can hopefully help people realise this is the hug you needed as a child in school when anything was annoying or silly. This is the novel that you can turn to for boy problems when you’re first discovering love and other things.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Great Gatsby By F.Scott Fitzgerald

Plot:

A true classic of American literature. The Great Gatsby celebrates a heightened sensibility to the promises of life, an American capacity for hope that remains unsullied even by the falsity of what it pursues. Fitzgerald’s clean, elegant style evokes to perfection the glitter and charm of the Jazz Age, as well as the falseness of its values. Gatsby embodies the naive American notion that it is possible to invent oneself and persuade the world to accept that definition. Gatsby’s youthful neighbor, Nick Carraway, fascinated by both the display of enormous wealth and the essential integrity that he perceives in Gatsby’s vision, becomes his confidante and accomplice in his plan to capture the heart of Daisy Buchanan.

Review:


Poor Gatsby.

This novel is about shallow people who live for the titles and not for the actual quality of the people they are surrounded by. This elegant novel was most enjoyed this time round where I got to listen to it.

I tend to enjoy this novel with each time I read / listen to it. Although I do feel Nick is a little biased at times. However, I am obsessed with this read.

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: Maybe In Another Life By Taylor Jenkins Reid

Plot:

From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

Review:


Such a fun read! 💫

I listened to this audiobook and flew through it so fast. The main character, Hannah Martin travels everywhere (so lucky, I adore this) and we are at the point in her life where she returns to her hometown of LA. She’s 29 and confused what to do with her life. She stays at her BFF’s Gabby.

Oh My Gosh. Their friendship was so on point! BOTH of them where so supportive of each other. If you know, you know.

Gabby’s husband Mark was such a douche. I never liked him to begin with, especially with a fake fear of dogs. Like girl you can do a lot better. But she literally settled for him. The novel throughout shows how she was obsessed with one guy. But settles as the next one came along. He was a douche the entire time anyway.

After the welcome home party that Gabby throws, Hannah has two choices: spend the night getting to re-know her high-school boyfriend Ethan, or just go on home with Gabby and Mark. This is where the story begins.

This is a novel about what if’s. The decisions you make determine where you end up in life. Throughout both decisions and their consequences we see how her life unfolds and she has ended up happy either way. They are both a struggle to get to the happiness she deserves. People she has encountered in both life’s she will have met in the other what if scenario.

I loved the uniqueness of this novel. it made me smile throughout. It is hopeful and gripping. I couldn’t decide which ending I would have wanted for her as both are happy and each decision has happened to bring people into your life.

100% recommend read this now. 

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Dead Zone By Stephen King

Plot:

Johnny, the small boy who skated at breakneck speed into an accident that for one horrifying moment plunged him into The Dead Zone.

Johnny Smith, the small-town schoolteacher who spun the wheel of fortune and won a four-and-a-half-year trip into The Dead Zone.

John Smith, who awakened from an interminable coma with an accursed power—the power to see the future and the terrible fate awaiting mankind in The Dead Zone.

Review:


I loved the plot. However, it was a slow pace.

This novel is the telling of a man named John (Johnny) Smith. The novel is a bit confusing to begin with. As it progresses, we learn he has psychic abilities whilst in a coma (which was actually due to a childhood incident). In between this novel being told is the story of Greg Stillson and his twisted ness from what I have gathered he is running for congress. The little in-between in this novel is annoying what the political elements.

I really wished this novel got to the point instead of having a lot of non-relevant parts. 

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Merrily Ever After By Cathy Bramley

Plot:

Two strangers. One big secret. And a Christmas to remember . . .

Merry has always wanted a family to spend Christmas with, and this year her dream comes true as she says ‘I do’ to father-of-two Cole. But as she juggles her rapidly-growing business, wedding planning and the two new children in her life, her dream begins to unravel.

Emily is desperately waiting for the New Year to begin, so she can finally have a fresh start. She has always put her family first, leaving little time for happiness and love. When her beloved father Ray moves into a residential home, she discovers a photograph in his belongings that has the potential to change everything.

As past secrets come to light, will this be a magical Christmas for Emily and Merry to remember?

Review:


“If the universe sends you an opportunity to celebrate, take it.”


Another heart warming read by Cathy!

I couldn’t stop smiling, a completely cosy read to cuddle up with a hot chocolate next to the fire.

This festive and heart-warming cute read was everything (apart from some of the main characters decisions).

The novel alternates between Merry and Emily.

These two women keep meeting each other randomly. Before they soon realise they have a lot more in common than they think.

Merry has never really had a family. Going from foster home to another. Cole asked her to marry him. With his two children she feels she is finally apart of a family. She also runs her own candle business (how cool is that?) with only one staff member (Cole’s retired dad) she really should have had more members taken on / pushed for it more as it’s not really fair on the dad.
Apart from that characteristic in Merry, she is a bubbly character.

Emily, is a teacher currently as she had to give up her other job to help take care of her dad (which did get out of hand when she was supposed to be working, the least she could have done was to get help as this would have helped with her mentally). I understand she feels she owes her dad everything but she has no time for herself at all. At the end of the day your own mental health and wellbeing and self care comes first. That is how you actually are able to take care of others. There is a reason why things such as airplanes and emergencies say to put the air items on yourself first before you help anyone else including children and so forth.

Both of these characters have the best intentions they are basically twins! It was so adorable to see their lives blossom as they make decisions as well as when their lives enter-twined. I really enjoyed this novel so much, I kept dragging it out because it really did make me smile so much my face hurts.

Perfect cosy read with love, family and new friendships.

100% recommend this!

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: A Seaside Wonder By Melissa Tagg

Plot:

In one evening, Indi’s world falls apart. Enter the shy professor her family mistakes for her fiancé…make that ex-fiancé.

Professor Philip West never wanted to return to Maine . . . or his grandfather’s miserable old house. But after his mother’s death, he’s now the guardian of a teenage half sister he barely knows—one who doesn’t want anything to do with him. He longs to help her heal, but he’s exhausted and numb, desperate for relief of his own. Maybe that’s why he’s so easily distracted when he happens upon the little shop with a name on its storefront window that sounds familiar, a hint of a mystery nudging him inside.

More than a decade has passed since Indi Muir made the heartbreaking decision she’s never recovered from—though she’s certainly tried. She has a full life running her shop and creating the artsy pieces that fill its shelves. If she can just stay busy, she’ll keep her hurt and regret at bay. But when her ex-fiancé returns to Muir Harbor, he brings news that shatters her carefully built walls. Things only get worse when lurking danger comes calling at her childhood home.

The one bright spot amid Indi’s turmoil is the shy stranger who wandered into her shop months ago and his moody but lovable sister. As she confronts her past and the mysterious threat facing her family, she’s intent on helping Philip win over his sister. He just might win over Indi, too, if they can overcome old secrets and wounds, outrun rising peril . . . and take a chance on love.

Breathtaking romance, a captivating mystery, and an enchanting wintry seaside . . . return to Muir Harbor in bestselling author Melissa Tagg’s latest.

Review:

From the plot itself Indi goes through life as an artist and business owner. The novel seems to go back and forth I think, it is difficult to tell as there wasn’t any signs such as titles saying ‘Then’ or ‘Now’.

The novel begins with a man writing a letter to how he felt the day he met Indi. But then we are in what I presume is the ‘Present’ and this man seems to have his grandfather’s letter about Indi, the same one. But then the storyline goes into how ‘the grandfather’ and how they met whilst still in the same storyline of the young guy arriving at this store.

I was very confused trying to follow this storyline. I do not usually have issues with novels and their storylines in terms of following it. Therefore, it is clear from my experience of this novel that it couldn’t be followed properly.

Overall, I did find this novel confusing to follow as it was not completely clear. However, the cover is lovely, and I do not want to be harsh therefore I did not give this novel a 1 star.

I was sent this novel in exchange for my honest review.

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Last Summer By Karen Swan

Plot:

Wild-spirited Effie Gillies has lived all her life on the small island of St Kilda but when Lord Sholto, heir to the Earl of Dumfries, visits, the attraction between them is instant. For one glorious week she guides the handsome young visitor around the isle, falling in love for the first time – until a storm hits and her world falls apart.

Review:

That ending seriously?


Who ends a novel seriously on an ending like that?
I have not read a novel with a cliff-hanger that doesn’t actually show what happens. Usually everything is sorted in one way or another. Therefore, this novel loses a star (was originally 4 but that ending is disappointment).

This novel has a lot of animal abuse and deaths just so you are aware as it wasn’t entirely pleasant to listen to.

It took me a little while to realise this novel was set a century ago. Takes place in the setting of a Scottish place called St Kilda.
How the main character lived without a lot of basic essentials even back then is beyond me.

Overall, this novel was alright. Karen Swan has written better novels.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Most Likely Club By Elyssa Friedland

Plot:

At their milestone high school reunion, a group of friends make a pact to finally achieve their high school superlatives one way or another, in the lively new novel from the acclaimed author of Last Summer at the Golden Hotel.

In 1997, grunge is king, Titanic is a blockbuster (and Blockbuster still exists), and Thursday nights are for Friends. In Bellport, Connecticut, four best friends and high school seniors are ready to light the world on fire. Melissa Levin, Priya Chowdury, Tara Taylor, and Suki Hammer are going places. Their yearbook superlatives confirm it: Most Likely to Win the White House, Cure Cancer, Open a Michelin-Starred Restaurant, and Join the Forbes 400.

Fast forward twenty-five years and nothing has gone according to plan as the women regroup at their dreaded high school reunion. When a forgotten classmate emerges at the reunion with a surprising announcement, the friends dig out the yearbook and rethink their younger selves. Is it too late to make their dreams come true? Fueled by nostalgia and one too many drinks, they form a pact to push through their middle-aged angst to bring their teenage aspirations to fruition, dubbing themselves the “Most Likely Girls.”

Through the ensuing highs and lows, they are reminded of the enduring bonds of friendship, the ways our childhood dreams both sustain and surprise us — and why it’s deeply uncool to peak in high school.

Review:

This novel looks so pretty and it lives up to its expectations! 💫

In ‘97 there are Melissa, Priya, Tara and Suki, high school popular wanna-bes. They aspire to live up to their expectations. Life does not go as planned.

I really enjoyed the 90 vibes and the American themes.
The school reunions are interesting the way they look at things, it was as if I was watching an American chick flick. I would love to see this as a film.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Player Next Door By Elizabeth Davis

Plot:

Logan Walsh doesn’t do relationships.
Clare Thompson doesn’t do casual.
What could possibly bring them together?

Finance bro Logan and tabletop game designer Clare couldn’t be more different. They know this because their apartments face each other, and they’ve noticed. But not, you know, in a creepy way.

Still, when they get stuck in the elevator together, sparks fly and they each see an opportunity: Clare needs her co-workers to believe that she is capable of a one-night stand to get them to buy into her new role-play character, and Logan needs a steady girlfriend to prove his maturity to his boss.

After one night together, they’re keen to get on with their respective plans. Except Clare can’t understand why her hook-up seems to want to date her, and Logan is confused that Clare isn’t responding to his flirting.

A kiss in the rain might clear up any confusion over their chemistry, but this whole ‘relationship’ thing is a two-player game, and both want to win. With their hearts and their pride on the line, could the prize be love?

Review:

From neighbours to more!

Main characters Clare and Logan are the complete opposite. From watching his parade of women through the window of watching him go down on them whilst she is working away on her Quest game. I have to be honest if you are a big gamer you are used to the terms and just the style of how Clare’s chapters are written.

I really did appreciate elements such as friendships within this even for Logan, a player who is still friends with everyone he has slept with mostly.
However, it did have a very slow pace throughout without much enticing me to read faster personally.
The contract between characters I really did appreciate as one does flings and the other does the complete opposite.

Watching the development between the two characters was very interesting. Apart from the whole sexism that men can enjoy casual relationships whereas women can’t. Whereas, in reality both obviously can.

It was a cute read from opposites to understanding each other.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Heart Principle By Helen Hoang

Plot:

A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her—in this new New York Times bestselling romance by Helen Hoang.

When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she herself has just started to understand. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves. 

Review:

Be aware, this novel is not only amazing to read, but it can be quite steamy! 🔥

The main character is Anna, an accomplished violinist who comes from a hard-to-please family. One day, her boyfriend surprises her by wanting an open relationship – yet he thinks he knows her so well thinking that she won’t sleep with anyone, well he is completely wrong there, pig.

Soon comes along Quan and that is when she begins to flourish. Having a relationship is supposed to make you feel better about yourself mentally and physically instead of getting worse. With actual help of counselling, she found out things about herself she didn’t know, but it also explains a lot. So, all of this timing came in well as she grows as a person to her toxic mother who would not listen to Anna’s / her father’s wishes it seems.

I loved the audiobook of this, and I devoured it so quickly. The characters grow on you, and I also learned something new within it. I really enjoyed it and the writing style. Definitely recommend.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Unhoneymooners By Christina Lauren

Plot:

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of…lucky.

Review:

Twoo twins: Olive and Ami who are complete opposites. Olive tends to focus on the fact she has much bad luck whilst Ami has the best luck

Why marry someone you barely know / fall for the fake show they have on for you? Well throughout this we will soon find out.

It’s the occasion of Ami’s wedding to Dane Thomas and Olive isn’t looking forward to her pairing with the groom’s best man and brother, Ethan. Their first meeting didn’t go so well, and it was just downhill since. What begins as a 24-hour tolerance turns into a 10-day honeymoon vacation when the entire wedding party suffers from food poisoning (bad shellfish) and Olive & Ethan replace the bride and groom on their non-refundable Maui trip. She’s allergic to shellfish and he won’t eat food on a buffet, so they avoided illness. This is their start to what becomes a hilarious and unplanned romantic getaway in Hawaii.

The events leading up to the wedding (almost free because of Ami’s skill at coupon collecting and luck with contest entries) had me in stitches. Olive and Ethan’s duplicity in having to pose as the newlyweds created some sticky moments while in Hawaii that served up some funny and often awkward situations, too.

With all of the above this made a decent enough base to get to know each other better as this wouldn’t normally happen. However, with the people they meet on vacation – both sets of people how can that all so much actually happen realistically when you are on vacation?

I enjoyed Olive’s character but needed some warming up to Ethan, just as she did so I was obviously immersed in the story.

Overall, it’s a delightful tale with some strong themes around family, loyalty and being true to yourself.

4/5 Stars

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Baking: Fifteens Dessert Treat

Ingredients:

10-15 plain digestive biscuits

7 or so marshmallows (Depending on their size)

Handful of glace cherries, cut in half

Under 200mls of Condensed Milk

Handful or so of desiccated coconut

Instructions

Step 1: Crush the digestive biscuits, however you want, I broke it up with my hands. Then put into a large mixing bowl.

Chop the marshmallows into small enough pieces but not too small. Add these + the cherries + around 170mls of condensed milk.

Mix these together until well combined and you have a sticky mixture. If it’s too dry, add some more milk until you think it is the right amount.

Step 2: Sprinkle most of the coconut over a large piece of cling film (or foil). Tip the mixture onto this into a long sausage shape. I used 10 biscuits in my mixture and have over 10+ slices, but it depends on the shape of your sizes you cut them into. Anyway, sprinkle some more coconut over the top (or wait until a day later). Wrap the cling film tightly over it, feel free to add more cling film if there are any holes.

Leave it in the fridge to chill – I personally left it in for over 24 hours, some would say 4-6 hours however even after 24 hours I found mine to still be a little soft but mainly solid. I did freeze it for 4 hours to quicken this process as I had issues with this before. However, with this entire method and how I left it, it tasted delicious and turned out very well.

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Book Review: Someone To Kiss By Jamie Anderson

Plot:

As the clock strikes midnight over a disastrous New Year’s Eve and happy couples celebrate all around her, Kate makes a resolution, hastily scrawled on the back of a napkin, that next New Year’s Eve she will have found someone of her own to kiss.

But when you’re a forty-something cat-mom who’d rather binge Netflix than brave the singles scene, finding someone to kiss turns out to be harder than it sounds. Kate is totally unprepared for navigating hook-up apps, speed-dating, and sliding into somebody’s DMs.

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, Kate seems further than ever from reaching her goal. As relationships crumble around her and dark long-kept secrets spill out, could Kate’s fixation on her quest cause her to let true love slip through her fingers forever?

Review:

A lovely, sweet story.
This novel focuses on Kate, a single woman in her forties. On NYE, she pledges to find ‘someone to kiss’ by next NYE.

“You’re one of those sad women who would do anything for a guy. A woman who doesn’t have any opinions of her own. You want men to like you so much that you turn yourself into an extension of them”

This quote sums up the main character.
We go through her current goal of finding someone to kiss with some flashbacks of failed relationships where she usually got so needy. Cuts off everyone and is not surprising when they break up with her one way or another.

Her best friend Julie points out how threatened Kate is by her because Kate is so full of negativity towards her best friend as Julie has what she wants in life. All because Julie is actually nice to everyone (instead of pretending to be a good person), Kate misinterprets this due to her low self-esteem issues and thinks she’s flirting with one of the few guys she kind of likes although Kate made zero effort to show she is into whichever guy it is.
Another thing that annoyed me about Kate and her low self-esteem and jealousy is that when it comes to Julie’s brother Ben. How can she not see that she’s into him? She gets jealous once again that he doesn’t message her as much anymore and so forth. Perhaps take the hint and see he was into you. And the feelings you have obviously mean you have feelings of some sort for him too.

I wish the novel got to the point like others however at the same time I did enjoy exploring the online dating scene from all of the different points of views we got to meet along the way, and it was hilarious the different types of weirdos out there ones you wouldn’t have put together or ones you were expecting.

From speed dating, real life, blind, to online dating it was a great mixture.
It was very enjoyable to read about. The characters were very developed I must say and it was written in a way that kept me reading which are the main things for me to read.

I really enjoyed reading about not only the dating aspect but the friendship aspect. Just because one person has more success naturally does not mean you have to have so much hatred inside you towards that person due to your own feelings about yourself. Be happy for the person and their success instead of being so immaturely jealous of them! Anyone can see how jealous Kate is and how unreasonable she is. Just makes her out to look pathetic that she cannot be her own person picking on Julie who everyone can see did nothing wrong at all as it is all of Kate’s actions. How does Kate not see her actions are showing everyone she’s being childish? You wouldn’t think these characters are in their mid-forties based on how they act and everything which again, was another aspect I loved in this read.

This novel covers many aspects from a few points of view overall I really did enjoy this.
Thanks to the publishers for sending me this novel in exchange for my honest review.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Beach Read By Emily Henry

Plot:

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another, and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book, and no one will fall in love. Really.

Review:

Severely disappointed. I won’t crap on your favourite book. Everyone likes different things at different times. I knew going into this that this wasn’t the typical romance novel I enjoy.
It is fun and light at times however when the main character uses her imagination as her real-life story half the time right from the beginning it is very off-putting as you weren’t sure which parts are real or not. Was there even a Jacques for example walking into the first few chapters.

2-star rating as it is ok at times and just that. She rambles so much. The cover is too pretty but the book just felt like a headache for myself personally.

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: Every Thing Is Fucked By Mark Manson

Plot:

We live in an interesting time. Materially, everything is the best it’s ever been—we are freer, healthier and wealthier than any people in human history. Yet, somehow everything seems to be irreparably and horribly f*cked—the planet is warming, governments are failing, economies are collapsing, and everyone is perpetually offended on Twitter. At this moment in history, when we have access to technology, education and communication our ancestors couldn’t even dream of, so many of us come back to an overriding feeling of hopelessness.

What’s going on? If anyone can put a name to our current malaise and help fix it, it’s Mark Manson. In 2016, Manson published The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, a book that brilliantly gave shape to the ever-present, low-level hum of anxiety that permeates modern living. He showed us that technology had made it too easy to care about the wrong things, that our culture had convinced us that the world owed us something when it didn’t—and worst of all, that our modern and maddening urge to always find happiness only served to make us unhappier. Instead, the “subtle art” of that title turned out to be a bold challenge: to choose your struggle; to narrow and focus and find the pain you want to sustain. The result was a book that became an international phenomenon, selling millions of copies worldwide while becoming the #1 bestseller in 13 different countries.

Now, in Everthing Is F*cked, Manson turns his gaze from the inevitable flaws within each individual self to the endless calamities taking place in the world around us. Drawing from the pool of psychological research on these topics, as well as the timeless wisdom of philosophers such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, he dissects religion and politics and the uncomfortable ways they have come to resemble one another. He looks at our relationships with money, entertainment and the internet, and how too much of a good thing can psychologically eat us alive. He openly defies our definitions of faith, happiness, freedom—and even of hope itself.

With his usual mix of erudition and where-the-f*ck-did-that-come-from humor, Manson takes us by the collar and challenges us to be more honest with ourselves and connected with the world in ways we probably haven’t considered before. It’s another counterintuitive romp through the pain in our hearts and the stress of our soul. One of the great modern writers has produced another book that will set the agenda for years to come.

Review:

Are we in a class seminar discussing philosophy? Because that is the sum up of this read.

This book was less about psychological studies and more about interesting philosophies and ideas. Manson grabbed a bunch from Nietzsche and Plato. He also dug into their life and who they really were which was interesting.

It had interesting idea’s about the world and where we’ve come and where we’re going. Artificial intelligence is an exciting yet scary thing.

You can easily create your own religion because they’re basically all the same.

Instead of flying cars we got twitter. It’s because what we think we really want is sometimes not actually what we really want, there’s other things that are important that we didn’t realize.

There’s the left side and right side of your brain, for feelings and emotions and the other for logic and reason. They both have to live in harmony with each other, you can’t ignore your feelings.

Don’t strive for happiness, strive for pain and suffering and you’ll be happier. This food for thought was kinda like – expect the worst so that you’ll never be disappointed.

Talked a lot about how it’s human to have hope and faith but having hope is always wishing for something greater, and you will never be fulfilled.

Basically, robots will take over at the end of the day, you can either like being controlled by robots or you may not. This basically sums up this novel. Oh, and you will be easily brainwashed into any sort of religion if you are down in the dumps – that is childish dictator’s dream come true.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Boardwalk Bookshop By Susan Mallery

Plot:

When fate brings three strangers to a charming space for lease on the California coast, the Boardwalk Bookshop is born. Part bookstore, part gift shop, part bakery, it’s a dream come true for Bree, Mikki and Ashley. But while their business is thriving, their personal lives are…not.

Bree, wounded by brilliant but cold parents and her late husband’s ultimate betrayal, has sworn to protect her heart at all costs. Even from Ashley’s brother, a writer and adventurer who has inspired millions. He’s the first man to see past Bree’s barricades to her true self, which terrifies her. Mikki has this divorce thing all figured out—somehow, she’s stayed friends with her ex and her in-laws…until a new man changes how everyone looks at her, and how she sees herself. Meanwhile, Ashley discovers that the love of her life never intends to marry. Can she live without being a wife if it means she can have everything else she’s ever wanted?

At sunset every Friday on the beach in front of the Boardwalk Bookshop, the three friends share a champagne toast. As their bond grows closer, they challenge one another to become the best versions of themselves in this heartachingly beautiful story of friendship, sisterhood and the transformative power of love.

Review:

A novel about the test of friendships! 💫

Bree, Mikki and Ashley made a combined business decision that paid in dividends none of them expected. Not only are their individual businesses (bookstore, gift shop and bakery) thriving as they share the same space, but a lifelong friendship develops and blooms. In fact, the women also find more in their lives that they did not expect.

Their weekly get-together over champagne solidifies their bond week after week. But, during this time each woman finds herself involved in romantic entanglements. However, the chance for happily ever after for each of them seems highly doubtful.

For Bree, taking a chance with Ashley’s brother is a risk, as she worries if things do not work out, will her friendship with Ashley be soured. For Ashley, she is in love with her partner and the two live together. But, when he tells her that he never plans on marriage, Ashley begins to doubt the strength of his love. Meanwhile, Mikki is enjoying a “happy divorce”. She and her ex-co-parent well, enjoy other activities together, and the question comes up as to whether or not they can give it another go. However, with a new man in her life, Mikki might be forced to view long-range plans for her life.

What a cute book about friendship and the power of love between strong women who only want the best for each other. I enjoyed each “love story” as it developed and truly felt for each of the women as they explored the possibility of love and a happy future. For a book that will give all the feels, The Boardwalk Bookshop definitely checks all the boxes.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Cruise By Catherine Cooper

Plot:

A glamorous ship. A mysterious cast of passengers. And a New Year’s Eve party that goes horribly wrong…

During a New Year’s Eve party on a large cruise ship in the Caribbean, the ship’s dancer, Lola, disappears. The ship is searched, and the coastguard is called, but there is no sign of her, either dead or alive.

Lola was popular on the ship but secretive about her background, and as the mystery around her deepens, each passenger becomes a suspect. Who was she arguing with the night she vanished? Why did she come aboard the cruise in the first place? What was she running from?

Review:

What could possibly go wrong on a Cruise? A lot.
This story involves chapters from different peoples point of views. However, it is back and forth and usually a novel is consistent in one way or another when it comes to multiple POVs and going back in time. However, it was very inconsistent in this matter which started putting me off this one as consistency is a big thing to stay on top of.

In terms of the plot, I really did enjoy the plot with the idea that someone has gone overboard and is assumed dead. Soon, the ship is on a layover in the Caribbean and there is only essentials/useful staff allowed. Then another death occurs and one of the characters POV was very dodgy and poorly written in how their thought process is portrayed.

Alongside this, there is a backstory of a missing person. You begin to wonder how the two things are connected. It feels as if it takes forever to move along with this story until it eventually did.
Overall, it did feel like two different novels mushed together however it didn’t suit. There are ways to mash two story lines together however these two where very out of it.

I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Crime at Black Dudley By Margery Allingham

Plot:

A house party is under way at the remote mansion of Black Dudley, and among the guests are some very shady characters. As they playfully recreate the ritual of the Black Dudley Dagger, someone dies. Pathologist George Abbershaw suspects foul play, and when a vital item is mislaid, a gang of crooks hold the guests hostage. Will they escape the house – what did happen to the Colonel – and just who is the mysterious Mr Campion? Neither the story nor Albert Campion is quite as vapid and slow as you might expect…

Review:

This is my first Margery Allingham and I had high expectations, but this didn’t live up to them.

It starts silly and gets sillier. However, it was also Allingham’s first outing with Albert Campion, so let’s hope she improved. The basic outline of the plot is not bad (I’m being rather generous here) and with more believable characters, less melodrama and fewer secret passages it could have made a good mystery.

As it is, it reads rather like an unfunny spoof of a mystery novel. At the end of chapter 11 we are told that one of the prime suspects is ‘the most dangerous and notorious criminal of modern times’ but he simply doesn’t live up to his reputation, being distinctly half-witted, as far as I can see. The love interest on the side amounts to nothing, as the delightful red-head instantly drops into the hero’s arms as soon as he declares his passion for her; where’s the suspense – or the point?

2/5 Stars

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Book Review: Where The Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens

Plot:

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So, in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.

But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life’s lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies. But while she has the skills to live in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world—until the unthinkable happens.

In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a profound coming of age story and haunting mystery. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the child within us, while also subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

The story asks how isolation influences the behaviour of a young woman, who like all of us, has the genetic propensity to belong to a group. The clues to the mystery are brushed into the lush habitat and natural histories of its wild creatures.

Review:

Anyone else get a little bit of To Kill A MockingBird Vibes?

I absolutely loved the first half of the book talking about the abandoned youngest girl child of a broken family.

This is the story of this girl who did everything on her own to survive. But what appealed more was the way she totally relied on nature and a rare few strangers to survive.

This story intensely studied such a character, who’s thoroughly neglected and shunned for no fault of hers, how she evolved into a woman and as one of the most famous authors writing on nature.

Even though I loved the first part, I felt like I was watching a movie and I could not get the feel of real characters. It felt like the characters were some good actors. But I enjoyed the first part the most.

The second half was a real struggle. It tried to work out the murder mystery in details in which our main character, Kya, was the main suspect.

The chapters kept going on and on and on. I was almost about to skip some chapters but somehow, I got through them and well, it was worth it. It’s because of these chapters that I actually came to appreciate the last few chapters and the ending. All I want to say now is that the book started good, and it ended well.

This book is a character driven one in which the characters are pretty convincing. The writing style is endearing and flawless. The poetry references, the talk about books and nature; the human nature, our basic instincts and weaknesses have been beautifully captured.

Even though the book was good, I couldn’t love most of the characters especially the main character. And I can understand the reason why her character was made this way. It’s really convincing though. Her character remains detached even to the reader.

The ending though. Kya seems like a character who you can easily figure out, but the last few pages have something else to say!

I absolutely loved the characters of Tate Walker and Jumpin’. These characters made a huge impact in the character development of the main character. I wish the world is full of people like them.

In regard to what happens later on in the novel: I Knew It!
The goody-too-shoes act is how people perceive her. She never actually said anything. All throughout the events I knew what the real outcome would be. Yet everyone presumed it would be the opposite of what my instincts told me. Funny how your instincts work. Mine are on point whether it is about immature jealous women behaving as if their 10. Or in this case, when a cave like woman is prone to her natural instincts.

Overall, it has been written in a way to be impactful.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Girl I Used To Be By Debbie Howells

Plot:

Marie Kondo for the soul.

Anna and Will have been passing in and out of each other’s lives since they were just kids.

Now 20 years later, Anna is married – she has a lovely house, a step daughter in university and a husband with a good job.

What she doesn’t have is joy. When she runs into Will it sparks something in her, a longing for the Anna she used to be.

Together they embark on a journey to find what brings them joy, to discard what doesn’t and to become the people they always wanted to be.

But in finding themselves, can they also find each other? 

Review:

The story of Will and Anna was very intriguing at the beginning to entice you to know more. However, after a little while it lost its momentum for me personally.

It was a very slow burn type of romance, rollercoaster emotions going back and forth. Just when you expect them to get together, something else gets in their way.

At times this novel felt like you are having a chat with an old friend. To reminisce over being younger again.

Some quotes I really enjoyed:
“We take on all these limitations, mostly dictated by other people. They hold us back. Get in the way of our dreams.”

“That’s why there are so many unhappy relationships ships. Safety and familiarity are not easy things to give up”

SO True! The amount of people I know is pathetic that do this. Staying together for the sake of the kids etc. if you want a kid go have one, don’t stay with someone because of them. Anyone can produce a baby. But to have your child around potential harmful people as you don’t know them is a major no for me at least. Thank goodness the main character didn’t have children, although she basically raised her stepdaughter. But she was living in a bubble, quite literally as she was having the same days on repeat and actually Losing Herself piece by piece until she finally met someone from her past that reminded her, she has choices and the way she is currently she is not herself! She has become a complete bore that follows her dull husbands’ orders. Thank goodness people in the novel eventually seen what they were doing wasn’t right for them. You put yourself first. Self-care and all that.

It was great to get views from both of them across random timelines you were not expecting. The characters are very well developed with their stories. I did wonder at times how did Anna stick with her husband with the way he was treating her.

Overall, it was a cute love story based on fate and chance.

3/5 Stars

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Book Review: Golden Girl By Elin Hilderbrand

Plot:

On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she’s assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.

From the Beyond, Vivi watches “The Chief” Ed Kapenash investigates her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi’s family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes—with or without a nudge of help from above—while Vivi finally lets them grow without her.

With all of Elin’s trademark beach scenes, mouth-watering meals, and picture-perfect homes, plus a heartfelt message—the people we lose never really leave us—Golden Girl is a beach book unlike any other.

Review:


A Summer ish read that will have you wondering ‘What If?’

Vivian Howe is a bestselling author of beach novels. She’s divorced from JP and they have three grown up children. Early one morning she is killed in a hit and run, and she ascends into The Beyond where she is greeted by Hermès scarf wearing Martha. She’s granted viewing windows in a limited time period and three nudges to influence outcomes on earth. She has to use them wisely to help her children who have more issues than she knows. The story is told via several perspectives in the present and the past.

This is a well written novel which combines the mystery of who killed Viv which is investigated by Nantucket Police Chief Ed Kapenash and it’s about overcoming grief, confronting the truth and acknowledging the past which is where the title comes in.

I really like the premise and the imaginative way The Beyond plays out as we learn Vivi’s secrets as well as those of her family and where their truth lies. I enjoy how Martha gets her precious and valuable Hermès scarves which is admirable justice!

The characters are good although they are all flawed in some way but that does tend to make them more interesting. The insights into Vivi are good and you also come to realise that she’s been too busy with her career to notice what’s really going on in her children’s lives. I like their points of view and understanding just how damaged they are to a lesser or greater degree, and all are struggling with issues.

The family dynamics are good and not just in Vivi’s immediate family either. It does have a bit of everything, there’s some humour to alleviate some of the heaviness, there’s romance and scandalous affairs, there’s the nostalgia of first love, there’s a bit of suspense and of course, the mystery of the car driver which in the end doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

However, on the negative side it’s very slow in places and I find my mind wandering and it’s way too long. There are multiple points of view and I’m not entirely convinced that all are needed.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Reading List By Sara Nisha Adams

Plot:

An unforgettable and heart-warming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb.

Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life in the London Borough of Ealing after losing his beloved wife. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who hides in her room reading while he spends his evenings watching nature documentaries.

Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library for the summer when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a list of novels that she’s never heard of before. Intrigued, and a little bored with her slow job at the checkout desk, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she’s facing at home.

When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list… hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again.

Review:  


Complete nourishment for a real book-lover’s soul.

I found it to be very ironic as I read a library version of this novel which is very appropriate given this story is one long love letter to libraries.

The main characters are Mukesh and Aleisha. There are also various other viewpoints who find the reading list in random places over the years.

One key element was that each chapter had been split up by book title from the Reading List, which appeared to run so smoothly in order of the reading list.

The unlikely bond between a person old enough to be a grandparent in the traditional sense and a teenager was completely heart-warming.

Later on in the novel, some shocks happen which is a very heavy topic and I found myself sad for one of the characters especially as this happened, I had to stop my eyes from watering more. You know you are invested in a novel when this happens.

This novel is therapeutic to heal, guide, inspire and calm the soul of a book lover or potential book lover. I have already screen-saved the extra books at the end of this novel and I cannot wait to check these out. 

5/5 Stars

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Book Review: Murder on the Orient Express By Agatha Christie

Plot:

Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the famous Orient Express in its tracks as it travels through the mountainous Balkans. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year but, by the morning, it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.

One of the passengers is none other than detective Hercule Poirot. On vacation.

Isolated and with a killer on board, Poirot must identify the murderer—in case he or she decides to strike again.

Review:

This is a classic, locked-room mystery.

A train passenger has been killed, the train is snowed in, and one of the surviving passengers has to be the culprit. Fortunately, inspector Hercule Poirot is riding the train. He jumps into action and begins a methodical investigation of the mysterious murder. Poirot creates a list of questions to be answered. He believes that if the answers are revealed, he will be able to discover the identity of the killer.

In a brisk couple hundred of pages, Agatha Christie presents a meticulously plotted mystery that will keep even veteran readers of the genre guessing. With the static setting of the stalled train, Christie uses her charismatic hero and his incremental revelations to bring depth to her novel. However after about 150 pages in it began to feel very repetitive and I just wanted it to get to the point already.

Overall though, over eighty years after being published, Murder on the Orient Express is still a thrilling read with a surprise ending that makes it one of the best that’s ever been written.

4/5 Stars

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Book Review: How To Kill Men And Get Away With It By Katy Brent

Meet Kitty Collins.
FRIEND. LOVER. KILLER.

Have you ever walked home at night, keys in hand, ready to throw a punch in self-defence? That’s how it all started. The killing spree, I mean.

I sort of tripped into this role… Literally. The first one was following me. That guy from the nightclub who wouldn’t leave me alone. I pushed him, he stumbled, and fell onto his own broken wine bottle. Oops. It was such a waste of a good house white.

But now I can’t seem to stop and nor do I want to… I’ve got a taste for revenge and quite frankly, I’m killing it.

Review:

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer! It is always the one that shows you how jealous they are, isn’t it?
Given the nature of this novel you’d think I would be very uncomfortable, but at the same time I LOVED IT!

The title alone caught my attention. So as you can imagine, a lady kills men, but not just any man, rude sleazy disgusting men that are not worthy of having life. For a Vegan, she loves cutting up meat. Human meat that is.

If you’ve read this you’ll be as completely shocked as I was. The entire time I was thinking kitty was silly for not taking more precautions at letting strangers in. Yes that is the case however, she should have kept a closer eye on those she has always known. Some friends are actually proud and can be happy for you. Others, well, others are jealous copycats that try to copy you in every way possible and if you’re doing better than them naturally, they have to cause you revenge in one way or another. But honey, that won’t fix all your problems, you have to fix yourself first. Copying someone else isn’t going to make you feel happy, in fact it’s pathetic. Go love yourself instead.

On with this novel, the plot twist of killing off disgusting men was brilliant! Who would want the responsibility of having produced a boy/man for him to become a vile creature of society? The decision is completely inscrutable.

Kitty has decided to help society out, in a “Dexter-Esque” way. The fact at the beginning she referred to her friends and acknowledging them by their IG followers was also brilliant. It shows their worth to her and their meaningfulness impact upon society. The less you have, the less you matter in social aspects.

Kitty has an excellent point: Men are typically the predators. Women, are women in their own way. But men can be horrible creatures if not nurtured the correct and educated way.
For the men she kills, for plans to kill you can see her reasons why and understand where she is coming from. She is not completely evil, she does have good logic behind every one of them (even the accidental one that she felt so very guilty for)

If you are easily triggered please be aware the following are mentioned in this novel: Sexual assault, murder, rape, violence, animal killings, and drug abuse.

Sassy and shocking ending. It most definitely had me reaching for it to see what Kitty would do next.

The female Dexter. This needs be become a film! I would love to see the personalities come to life and watch how every situation happens.

Thank you so very much for this amazing read. I hope to ever see this live in action, or even a sequel.

5/5 Stars

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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