Only his daughter Poppy knows that behind his prickly exterior, Mitchell Fisher is deeply lonely. He may have sworn off romance, relishing his job cutting off the padlocks that couples fasten to his hometown’s famous ‘love story’ bridge… but underneath it all, he’s still grieving the loss of Poppy’s mum.
Then one hot summer’s day, everything changes when Mitchell bravely rescues a woman who falls from the bridge into the river. He’s surprised to feel an unexpected connection to her, but then she disappears. Desperate to find the mysterious woman, Mitchell teams up with her spirited sister Liza to see if she’s left any clues behind. There’s just one – a secret message on the padlock she left on love story bridge…
“I think that true love is simply your way of being together, in a way that makes you both happy. “
This novel was a nice read. A man is grieving for his girlfriend and mother of his child. He’s consumed by guilt and is stuck on the past. As the novel develops theres a seemingly confusing mixture as his feelings for someone not expected to form. He rekindles friendships with those he used to be close with and all of the characters progress. Although, the last 50 pages was the predictable and a little bit of a drag. It’s a difficult topic to write about and I did enjoy reading it.
Freya Fuller is living her dream, working as a live-in gardener on a beautiful Suffolk estate. But when the owner dies, Freya finds herself forced out of her job and her home with nowhere to go. However, with luck on her side, she’s soon moving to Nightingale Square and helping to create a beautiful winter garden that will be open to the public in time for Christmas.
There’s a warm welcome from all in Nightingale Square, except from local artist Finn. No matter how hard the pair try, they just can’t get along, and working together to bring the winter garden to life quickly becomes a struggle for them both.
Will Freya and Finn be able to put their differences aside in time for Christmas? Or will the arrival of a face from Freya’s past send them all spiralling?
Freya recently had to deal with grieving for her employer and friend Eloise. When her relative Jackson arrives he decides to sell the place. I love a garden read! It’s what helped me get back into reading. There’s just something about reading about those using nature as a relaxing method, not that I garden myself.
Soon she finds herself in Norwich around a community of people. It was so obvious she was going to take this job but I didn’t like that she took so long to see that this was the next best opportunity for her. I enjoyed watching Freya flourish as a person. Of course, any novel with a dog is an added bonus.
It’s a good read however the main character can annoy me at times especially as she still frequently chats to her ex like it is casual especially when she is getting things on with a new man I found to be odd.
Overall, I enjoyed the community aspect of the novel and a sense of fullness during the winter season especially as the focus. Having judgemental parents can be very relatable so I enjoyed seeing how some characters deal with it. I loved how Freya judged Chloe at the start and the way the novel shifts dynamics as it progresses. It was very interesting to watch her grow in a new town and to be apart of the community. It was a very warm cosy feel good type of read and I will definitely be adding Swain to my authors list to look at her other pieces of work after I attempt my TBR pile!
It’s not often I give 5 star reviews so here’s to a good 2022!
On the first day of Christmas, a dating app offered me Twelve tailored chances for perfect harmony . . .
Kate Turner is happily single – a bit too happily, in fact. Since returning to her hometown, the sleepy village of Blexford, love hasn’t really had a look in.
But Kate does love Christmas. So when her best friend insists she signs up to the Twelve Dates of Christmas, a brand new dating app service, she doesn’t need too much persuading. Twelve perfect festive dates with the area’s most eligible men – who could say no?
Amongst the twinkling lights and falling snow, over hot chocolates and glasses of red wine, romance is easy to find. But with each date, Kate learns more about the men, and even more about herself.
As the big day approaches, Kate’s left wondering – is it really the season for true love, or will this Christmas be the coldest yet?
“Life has a way of tipping the seemingly unimaginable on its head”
We get a background story of the Kate, her best friends (Lauren and Matt) as well as an insight into her family background to begin with.
Each of Kate’s dates seem to be the talk of the town. Upon each date something of course has to go wrong or take a turn in a different way which you would not expect. Throughout this I kept thinking oh, if the love of her life is right under her nose then it must be Matt and I keep looking for signs even though he is dating Sarah.
Although towards the half way point of the novel it begins to drag and I could not believe it was not completed yet as some descriptions did go on and on.
I did enjoy the book to begin with however the descriptions where a bit long for me.
Overall, the novel and descriptions where a bit long however I did enjoy the random dates and adventures Kate went on, it is an entertaining read.
A beauty influencer polls her followers to pick her date and ends up fake dating a fellow influencer, but real sparks fly when she begins to fall for the man behind his image.
After a scandal threatens her reputation, popular beauty influencer, Alivia Fae, attempts to distract her followers by polling them to pick her date. When they pair her up with a fellow influencer, Moe Gava, he takes notice and asks her out. Unfortunately, she soon realizes he’s not as desirable as he seems online.
Despite her disinterest, when it’s suggested that she and Moe start a fake dating relationship, to keep up engagement with their fans, she begrudgingly agrees. As the plan unfolds, she begins to grow closer to his low-key assistant, Travis. Leading her to re-evaluate what she truly wants to influence her life—love.
I received this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Alivia is a social media beauty influencer. When it was her male best friend’s wedding you know how that kind of thing goes where a simple look can be seen as much more by the paparazzi. So Alivia has a poll set up on her stories to draw the attention away so the poll is on who she should date. Looks can be deceiving is all I can say. This ‘Moe’ is less than what meets the eye. His assistant Travis totally has a crush on her immediately. At time as the story is a bit of a drag with the dialogue between the two. With tensions rising between Donna and Dan (the newly married couple) it’s clear to see based on the writing what’s is going on with Dan’s thinking process.
The novel for me begins to drag as there’s not an interesting plot that continues to flow. It seems like it is on pause for a good chunk of the novel to pass the time.
It took me a while and some determination in order to complete it.
A little thing I wrote about my thoughts on Social Media over a year ago that I forgot to share:
In this day and age, Social Media has a great effect on our mental health. I personally agree as it is a part of our daily lives in today’s society. Nearly everyone is using the internet all the time. The internet does have its benefits as its knowledge at our finger tip, in a glimpse of second. It offers businesses and entrepreneurs a great way to advertise your business, and for some, even a career.
However as with everything in life there are some downfalls. Due to Social Media, people use it as a mask to bully people online that is showing any form of success, this results in some rare situations that is becoming more common each year including suicide.
With the internet, people want to feel recognised, apart of this special club online where if you are seen engaging with peoples’ posts and images you are liked. You are then seen as a ‘friend’. Hence, the term ‘fake friends’ seem to be all you have online for the majority. Another example, is when those are using Facebook and adding people they do not know to increase their friends’ list to look like they know a variety of people.
With Instagram and Twitter, people follow those they do not know, because they like their newsfeed, or to get them to follow them back. It can be a vicious cycle as you watch your number and notifications increase, or not change at all. Which is something that affects mainly women in this modern generation.
People love gossip. Some know how to keep their private life private. However, some love attention and will always complain, seeking attention from others. Usually this type of information is easy to find. They think this will help them cope with life however it makes matters worse as it will not really solve their issues. As well, it invites strangers who knows someone through another, and gain all this information about this person they have not met. The dangers of this alone can be frightening.
People use this opportunity to gain information about others for their own benefit, to use behind their backs with any intention they want. Manipulating or using the information for their joy.
Not getting enough attention or likes can be disheartening for some, that rely on it to validate themselves. Some can take drastic action if they only get 99 likes instead of 100 likes. It’s crazy to think that we have come to this in 2019 whereas in 2008 it was about messaging and keeping up with friends using MSN. Sharing cartoon images, a way to instantly connect with close ones. To a world where we rely on validation from something as simple as tap on a screen.
The internet can be a great way to keep in touch with family and friends who travel and live all over the world. Or if you are not able to get out, to keep in touch with friends. To get to know people you’ve just met even more, as it can bring you closer together.
Overall, the internet is a great new aspect of life, within moderation. Everything in life has an affect on our mental health, it’s only natural. It is about using it for good, improving our mindset, setting limits and enjoying the happy moments that social media can bring, reducing the level of negativity with social media is how you can improve usage with social media today.
Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principal is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.
Finally a book who’s authors writing I can follow and writes the characters well!
When you attempt to write about multiple people within one novel lately I’ve noticed it has been such a clash when trying to write it and keep the readers involved and not bored or confused.
This novel, captured my attention from the beginning and it was easy to see there was a pattern with how the author was introducing each character and their thinking process. I loved the way it was done because I could follow it.
The way Mia, Pearl’s mother had spent time with Izzy and getting her to open up, and learning why Mrs Richardson had treated her youngest daughter and how she was brought up was interesting. I enjoyed the bond between the two and I am still getting my head around how Izzy’s thinking process works because at times I agree with some of the actions she had done but at times I am frustrated with her because she doesn’t seem to think of the consequences.
I did not appreciate Mrs Richardson’s nosiness into Mia’s past however discovering the story had my wanting to find out more.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book I definitely recommend it if you would love a great read that has you begging to know what happens next.
Breastfeeding is a choice. It always has been or at least it should be for so many years. There has been a mixed opinion about what you should and shouldn’t do. Believe it or not I had an open mind when it came down to it in the hospital. Yet, normally you would expect the medical staff to encourage or force you to breast feed but in my case it was the complete opposite. I kept getting asked is it sore, how I can be honest and how I don’t have to do it.
My experience has been good. It was like a tingly feeling at first however as time has passed and I’m currently over 2 months into it, it hasn’t been sore at all. So long as you use a correct breast pump. I am using the Spectra which was recommended to me by one of the members working. I was in hospital for about a week so I got to hear different opinions. The one I currently use has a massage feature which makes the expressing less like pinching and more of a numbing process. I never once have had cracks or anything else when it comes to breastfeeding and expressing – and this is coming from a person who has been told multiple times that I have a great supply as I have been producing over 600 mls a day when a baby of my daughter’s size should only be drinking about 400 mls a week, apparently.
Breastfeeding is sometimes a choice. If you can, you can. If you can’t or choose not to so be it.
For myself it has been a rewarding journey to help my tiny but very hungry 3lb 15 baby grow and gain the stem cells she needs to flourish.
A new start, a chance encounter, a Christmas to remember. Will Iris’s new year be happy ever after?
When Iris Greene’s boyfriend surprises her with a romantic dinner at their favourite restaurant, she’s expecting a proposal, not a move to another country.
But Amsterdam proves to be the change she never knew she needed, and a surprise encounter with a local actor leads Iris to new friends and the rediscovery of a long lost passion. While Iris thrives in a city filled with festivity, her boyfriend struggles, and her heart is torn in two.
As snow falls and secrets are revealed, Iris must decide her future. Will she be brave enough to start over and take a chance on love?
The beginning of this novel you can understand Iris’s anxiety towards the move. However I feel as if she has brain washed herself to this life with a man she is clearly not as compatible with. Iris and her best friend where discussing the qualities of the man himself but they forgot one important thing, do they get on in terms of their likes and dislikes as a couple. Because even though he is a good chap they didn’t discuss those important qualities.
Later on as I read more I fell in love with the plot because it is about creativity and inspiration which are two things I enjoy reading about and agreed with throughout the novel. Some twists and turns are discovered when we find out what happens. We obviously know she will stay in the new country however it is getting to that conclusion that was exciting.
I’ve decided to write some thoughts as if it where diary entries as there’s life topics on my mind.
It’s funny how you grow in life, you warn people as you’re a young person growing and developing that they would regret their manipulative actions and yet, at the end of the day they still cannot accept it and stalk you as you have grown as a person and have grown a gorgeous human being over half a decade later it’s just sad people can still be stuck in the same mind frame so many years later.
At least some people in this generation have grown as people instead of becoming more immature.
Who would have expected me to have a child?
People change as people grow that’s life. Otherwise you’re not living.
When sixteen-year-old Simone Wheeler is accepted into the elite Camp Kamama–a place of self-discovery for the morbidly obese–she instantly despises the food rations, obstacle course, and powwows, where each girl must stand in front of her peers to expose her darkest secrets. But the Appalachian Mountains are shrouded in mystery, and Camp Kamama’s rules will soon be the least of Simone’s worries. While meditating beneath an old tree in the woods, Simone unearths a secret diary belonging to a beautiful skinny girl from the despised Camp Felina across the lake. But Phoebe the Felina has done more than scribble words in a journal: she has carved a cryptic path that Simone will be compelled to follow–no matter what the consequences.
I would like to say thank you to the author for this novel as this is in exchange for an honest book review My first thoughts when reading this was how well it was written. Automatically I had a connection with the novel which is a major deal breaker for me when it comes to a novel of how fast I can progress and how I will feel about it.
The way the main character felt at the end of the first chapter set the presence for the rest of my reading; she felt as if she was a different person inside the body she is currently in. I can honestly say I understand where the main character is coming from as can many others at some point in their lives with various different situations. I enjoyed how it was written, the amount of detail as the author describes it.
At times the main character annoyed me because she didn’t seem to understand common sense things such as what the word cutlery means or the fact that eating a decent portion size of vegetables must be for vegetarians only. It made me laugh to read that because this woman used to be at a healthy weight so she should know that already. Instead it is written from a point of view where the main character seems as if shes only ever been fat.
I love the little reflection element of their schedules and schedules itself. For me, it helps them gain structure and helps to reflect upon them self each day.
The main character really annoyed me at times because she seems so spoiled and narrow minded. Such as she cannot possibility see the idea of her mum and herself taking up a hobby together, because they have a person they hire to do anything garden related.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this and seeing the comparisons between both the ‘elephant’ and the ‘butterfly’ because at the end of the day we are all both elephants and butterflies, it is how we choose to accept ourselves is how we grow as people.
This is a great coming of age novel for younger readers.
Combining medical and historical information with real life accounts of ordinary women, this book is an essential guide to the facts, feelings and emotions experienced during pregnancy and birth. It takes you week by week, from the decision to conceive, through to first impressions of life with your baby, offering invaluable information.
Topics include: Conception – If and When; Feelings for Your Growing Baby; Your Career and Financial Position; Fear that Something May Go Wrong; Changing Relationships with Family and Friends; Choosing Where and How to Give Birth; How Others Felt – Women Relate their Experiences; The First Few Days with Your Baby
Reading this novel after I have recently became a mother (yes, it’s still odd to have that word next to my name, seeing it on my daughter’s birth certificate), I felt more prepared to read it and more confident than if I did during the time when I was pregnant.
“It made me determined to be me, and not to give everything up for my children”
Understanding what mothers actually go through compared to being on the outside gave me a fresh perspective and I feel as if I’m having more empathy each day as I learn something new on this new phase of life. I appreciate the research that has went into this novel and gathering so many women’s point of views from all sorts of situations including the scientific research as I begin to understand and feel reassured at some of the areas in this novel. I have found it to be a very interesting read from the beginning.
“Though her decision appears fraught with conflict, adaptive choice enables the woman to reach balanced decisions that take account both of her feelings and her common sense.”
From being a person that had no interest in children at all – as with many women and this is commented on within this novel to subconsciously have one and understanding how that has even happened when you do not realise it is interesting to read within this novel.
Overall, great researched type of book for all things pregnancy.
I love being a Spice Girl, but what I am proudest of is being a mum. Even though I had all the real-life girl power of the actual Spice Girls on speed-dial, my incredible partner and my mum, I had so many worries and questions I couldn’t always ask out loud. What I really, really wanted was one, easy-to-read, honest book that would give me support without judgement – that might even make me chuckle occasionally.
So, I’ve written it for you! I’ve included all my stories about what that precious, exhausting first year was like for me, and I’ve also asked some brilliant experts for their help too, including a paediatric sleep consultant, a trusted NCT counsellor, a mindfulness coach, and no-less than five amazing midwives and doulas.
I want you to feel like you’ve got this. Because guess what mama? You have!
It was interesting to read this. I really enjoyed it as it was full of tips that some would say is common sense however the way it was written made me really understand this next chapter in life a lot more as a person that pretty much knows nothing about it so it was a reassuring read and makes me feel more prepared.
Once, there was a girl who loved saffron. She loved its secrets, its mystery, and best of all, she loved its hint of magic.
After the death of her beloved mother, Nell travels from rural Cornwall to the colour and chaos of Marrakech. Her marriage may be on the rocks, but exploring the heady delights of Moroccan cuisine could help her fulfil her dream of opening her own restaurant.
It’s there she meets Amy – a young photographer trying to unravel the story behind her family’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The two women develop a close friendship and discover a surprising connection between their own pasts.
This connection will take Nell and Amy on a journey to find their own ‘saffron trail’ – from the labyrinthine medina and bustle of Moroccan bazaars all the way back home to Cornwall and to the heart of their families’ origins.
I often find myself enjoying novels that involve a great passion towards something. Whether it’s for travel, food, love, something that shows a lot of knowledge and research into making it. There’s just something about this that makes a novel great, even if it is not of my particular interest I appreciate the energy that has went into the novel.
The basis of this novel that took place involved a few different timelines of events that interlink together in some way. I feel the Glen story that had the reader going back in time was a little annoying. Especially at the beginning where the reader is only discovering the characters and trying to get a few for the novel. This offset my balance. I really enjoyed Amy’s story the most. I think this was due to the fact she didn’t have as much baggage as Nell and I related more towards Amy if I had to choose. With Nell I really wanted her to shake her and tell her to leave her husband because he was very disrespectful towards her.
Overall, all characters showed development and progress as expected. Especially the two women on their journey together where they had met originally. I did find this to be slow paced and the multiple points of views did not help however it was an interesting plot.
Lila Edwards keeps to herself. Jilted on her wedding day by her fiancé, she has little interest in looking for love again. She spends most of her time hiding away in her cosy cottage, snuggling on the sofa with her two cats and trying to find the energy to invest in her online craft business.
Widower Ethan Morris has been drifting from job to job since he lost his wife, unable to commit to anything for long. He’s returned to Sunflower Street to stay with his ailing mother and is secretly glad to have an excuse to go home. His mother suggests that he puts his manual skills to good use by starting his own painting and decorating business.
The glorious spring sunshine reveals all the areas of Lila’s cottage that are in need of maintenance, as well as a good spring clean, and her friends suggest that she hires someone to do the work. At first, Lila is reluctant, having kept things the same since her fiancé left, but she has to admit that a fresh lick of paint on the walls and some more shelves for her books would be nice. When a flier advertising a new local painter and decorator lands on Lila’s doormat, it seems like fate has made the decision for her.
As Ethan works his magic on Lila’s cottage, and spring brings hope and renewal to Sunflower Street, is it possible that there could be a new beginning in store for Lila and Ethan too?
This novel was quite a lovely and quick read. I found myself itching to read more of it as it was quite soothing and gently written. It’s one of those pick-me-ups that quickly progressed.
Both the main character Lila and Ethan are in a similar chapter in their lives where they are experiencing pain and are looking for the next chapter to rebuild their futures, together as we already know where this story is heading.
Overall it was a great read and just what was needed to finish a novel.
Maybe now is the time to fully immerse yourself in change. Maybe what you need right now is to hold closely to the things and people and routines that bring you comfort and peace. Maybe it’s a mixture of both. Wherever you are, what’s most important is that you’re taking good care of yourself. Whatever that looks like.
Do you ever notice that when something negative leaves, another positive enters? It’s like the universe is trying to help you make the right decisions to guide you in your thoughts you don’t realise you’re manifesting.
Week after week, the postcards arrive, addressed to someone Ellie does not know, each signed with an initial: A.
These alluring cartes postales of Greece brighten her life and cast a spell on her. She decides she must see this country for herself.
On the morning Ellie leaves for Athens, a notebook arrives. Its pages tell the story of a man’s odyssey through Greece. Moving, surprising and sometimes dark, A‘s tale unfolds with the discovery not only of a culture, but also of a desire to live life to the full once more.
Where do I start? I could not really get into this novel. At the beginning I thought yes it is going somewhere unlike the last novel of hers I’ve read in the past however. I was sadly mistaken.
This novel was just a bunch of stories and it had no proper plot. So why would one bother with reading this if there is no structure? It was nice to see images yes however it did not blend in well together from my perspective.
I’m a strong believer in everything happens for a reason.
Whether it is things that make you reflect on how you can improve your actions or if it is removing negative energies out to make room for positives that help in aiding you to getting to where you want to be in life.
London, 1941. Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance – but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine.
Mrs Bird is very clear: letters containing any form of Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. But as Emmy reads the desperate pleas from women who may have Gone Too Far with the wrong man, or can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back . . .
Irresistibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce is a love letter to the enduring power of friendship, the kindness of strangers and the courage of ordinary people in extraordinary times.
“Find out what you’re good at and then get even better. That’s key”
As we are going through a global pandemic, it is interesting to read a novel about times of war because situations such as almost leaving your gas mask at the train station is relatable to us in 2020 and 2021 where this is now the new thing of remembering to bring your face masks with you everywhere and sanitising wherever you go. We are in a war of our own today in order to surprise.
During the first few chapters I felt so relatable to the main character Emmy because of her characteristics. She aspires to do a lot with her life and to make a difference in people’s life’s. So when one of her superiors tell her:
“Find out what you’re good at and then get even better. That’s key”
That relates to all of us especially now when a lot of us are suffering. You should always try to focus on the things you enjoy as well as the things you’re good at because these may not go hand in hand with each other. It is what makes life worth living.
When Emmy quits a perfectly good job to follow what she thought was her dreams it seems as if everything is going well until she discovers the job is not exactly what she expected. Then, she makes do with what she has. Mrs. Bird the lady she has to listen to is very rude as she will not allow Emmy to answer people’s letters who really need the help and advice they need. Instead Emmy is left to answer silly questions such as how to deal with arm fat. It begins to bug her and that is where the story gets real interesting.
Overall, I really enjoyed this read as it was full of adventure and development. The best kind of novels.
Stop. Take a step back and reflect. Is this what you want? Is this what you truely desire? Does it align with who you really are? If so, say yes to the important decisions you are about to embark upon.
It’s okay to feel scared. It’s okay to take things slow if you need to. And, honestly, it’s okay to hate change. Sometimes, it really just sucks. But I promise, there will always be something to look forward to, even if we can’t see it yet.
Carla Sullivan’s 50th birthday is fast approaching when her whole world is turned upside down. Discovering her feckless husband is having yet another affair and following her mother’s death, she is in need of an escape. Finding an envelope addressed to her mother’s estranged sister Josette in the South of France gives Carla the perfect plan.
Seizing the moment, she packs her bags and heads to Antibes to seek out the enigma known as Tante Josette. But as the two women begin to forge a tentative relationship, family secrets start to unravel, forcing Carla to question her life as she has always known it.
Wow! Families do indeed have their secrets, more than some. I really despised Amelia in the way the plot unravels and we learn what she has done.
Josette is a wonderful lady who just shows us that age is most definitely just a number. We are all what we feel in our hearts.
The main character Carla has recently had to bury the woman that has been raising her however with life getting in the way a.k.a. She has finally had the last straw of her husband cheating on her. She decides it is finally time for a change. She is not afraid to be on her own, she goes to the south of France to learn more about her family.
I really enjoyed watching all of their developments and their versions of what life is about. How it is alright if you do not quite know. You could be sitting about daydreaming about a what if scenario of a future with someone and then come face to face with it and choose your new life.
I wish I was there, it sounds so needed, that type of weather and environment right now in the midst of the world pademic at the moment with the never ending lockdown it was a great read at this time!
When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter who lives far away and has asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York – Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light as air apricot souffle will end up changing her life. As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be.
“A place in your head where you are at peace with your life and your decisions”
“I secretly admired the diner’s cozy solitude – she was sitting, reading, savouring the wine and her own company.”
I feel like I’ve been transported in the. From the moment I read the first line in this novel I received in my monthly treat of #weareresposed this novel was the perfect read for me at this moment in time.
For a moment wasted is a moment you cannot ever take back.
Reading two different ends of marriage has been interesting. Edward and his love for his late wife was so lovely to read about.
I felt for Isabel and her crumbling marriage. I loved the dinner dates as they proved to not only teach her delicious recipes, they have taught her areas of life that she needed to reflect upon and realise she needs to be more confident in herself and realise what she wants from life. I loved some bits of this novel:
I’ve always wanted to go to New York City. I remember being 9 years old. A class task we were given involved writing what you wanted to do. I wrote to go to New York City. Therefore I have yet to actually complete this journey and I cannot wait to ever complete it. Hearing about the entire city and the wave of confidence it gives you would motivate me so much.
I loved learning about the receipts and watching Isabel grow and watching their relationship unfold. She became confident in herself and what she has been capable of and that is something to be proud of. That’s something that made me really enjoy this novel.
First published in 1818, “Persuasion” was English novelist Jane Austen’s last completed work. The novel centers on the story of Anne Elliot, a lovely young woman who years prior had accepted the proposal for marriage from the handsome young naval officer Frederick Wentworth. Despite Frederick’s cleverness and ambition, his lower social status and lack of wealth makes him an inappropriate match for Anne in the view of her family. Instead of following her heart Anne follows the advice of family friend, Lady Russell, who acting in place of her late mother encourages the young girl not to marry him. Years after breaking off the engagement, Anne is still unmarried and has not forgotten about Frederick, now a Captain in the navy and quite wealthy from his conquests during the Napoleonic Wars. Frederick, now a most eligible bachelor, has returned into her life and is ready to marry, just not to Anne, who he has still not forgiven for rejecting him. A biting criticism of the potential pitfalls of placing societal expectations ahead of the desires of the heart, “Persuasion” remains as one of the author’s most moving love stories. This edition is illustrated by Hugh Thomson and is printed on premium acid-free paper.
I tried to get into this I really did, I spent a while researching the plot as well to get my head around it because the way it is written, it is so elegantly put that it can take some time to really get into it however I find that if a book requires too much of your attention it can be difficult as you just want to read an excellent book without having to spend too much time having to look into it as you just want to enjoy the experience of the novel without all the extra effort.
I often find that if a novel requires you to do a lot of research compared to reading a novel that does not require as much time means the opportunity cost is better to just read the book you would easily give a high rating to because you just really enjoy it a lot without having to read extra bits or having to read into it more.
Set across two continents, Tiger is a sweeping story of survival and redeeming love that plunges the reader into one of the world’s last wildernesses with blistering authenticity.
Frieda is a primatologist, sensitive and solitary, until a violent attack shatters her ordered world. In her new role as a zookeeper, she confronts a very different ward: an injured wild tiger.
Deep in the Siberian taiga, Tomas, a Russian conservationist, fears that the natural order has toppled. The king tiger has been killed by poachers and a spectacular tigress now patrols his vast territory as her own.
In a winter of treacherous competition, the path of the tigress and her cub crosses with an Udeghe huntress and her daughter. Vengeance must follow, and the fates of both tigers and people are transformed.
Learning of her tiger’s past offers Frieda the chance of freedom. Faced with the savage forces of nature, she must trust to her instinct and, like the tiger, find a way to live in the world.
I read this a few weeks ago however all I remember is that I could not really good into it. I find that a book should have not too much detail in order for me to grasp it properly.
A novel should really focus on capturing the attention of the reader and holding their attention as there was a lot to take in with this novel.
I loved the cover for this though, it reminds me of a top that I used to own that had these exact shades.
You always hear everyone discussing their New Years Resolution must start on exactly the 1st January or the first Monday.
I feel like it can start from as early as Mid-November of the previous year! That’s when the New Year seems to begin for me and gosh so much has happened and changed in that space of time!
It seems as if last year was a few years into one. With that, I want to publish my Goals / Resolution for this year and reflect upon these at the end of year if I have accomplished my original goal by then!
New Years Resolution & Goals
– Write more reflective thoughts in journal
– Use my diary for everything more
– Read more
– Keep saving more (stick to goal)
– More mindful tasks and fun tasks (such as baths and puzzles)
A Christmas fling, or has Janie found the real thing? Thirty-something hairdresser Janie Johnson’s single status is a constant source of gossip for her friends and clients. So after too many nights in with her cat, a blind date disaster and news that her ex is getting married, Janie realises it’s time to do something dramatic with her life. It’s time for an adventure! Leaving winter behind, Janie takes the plunge and books an exotic trip to Africa. Her friends think she’s mad and Janie thinks they may very well be right …but then she falls head over heels for her tour guide – and fully fledged Maasai Warrior – Dominic. But can Janie now face spending a snowy Christmas back home without him? Packed with unforgettable characters, romance and laughter, Wrapped Up In You is your very own perfect Christmas Carole!
As I go through Janie’s journey from a lonely woman to a woman that goes on a spontaneous holiday to Africa on her own I found it so exciting to be with her in this journey. From judgemental colleagues to crazy blind dates that become a stalker to the caring neighbour that has the biggest crush on her this girl doesn’t realise she has a lot going for her!
She soon falls in love with Dominic and her colleagues are caring yes however as the main character pointed out, it is none of their business to shove their opinions down poor Janie’s throat especially when her so called best friend is going out with a complete cheat. I wished for Janie to stand up for herself at times when it came to everyone’s judgements of Dominic before they even met him.
A quote I found so relatable:
“How do any of us choose who we love and who we don’t? Why can we look at some people and feel absolutely unmoved by them and get the mere sight of someone else will make us shake like a leaf?”
I may not agree with Janie’s choices as I would be more of a Cristal character and I may have wanted to shake Janie for making poor unrealistic decisions. However I loved watching everyone develop throughout the novel. I couldn’t let this novel down I had to find out more!
Down-to-earth baker Minnie Cooper knows two things with great certainty: that her New Year’s birthday has always been unlucky, and that it’s all because of Quinn Hamilton, a man she’s never met. Minnie and Quinn were born at the same hospital just after midnight on New Year’s Day thirty years before, and not only did he edge her out by mere minutes to win the cash prize for being the first baby born in London in 1990, but he stole the name she was meant to have, as well. With luck like that, it’s no wonder each of her birthdays has been more of a disaster than the one before.
When Minnie unexpectedly runs into Quinn at a New Year’s party on their mutual thirtieth birthday, she sees only more evidence that fortune has continued to favor him. The handsome, charming business owner truly seems to have it all–including the perfect girlfriend. But if Quinn and Minnie are from different worlds, why do they keep bumping into each other? And why is it that each frustrating interaction somehow seems to leave them both hoping for more?
I enjoyed every moment of this novel. Probably why I partially took my time in reading this. It was interesting getting to know each of the characters. Even though Minnie annoyed me at times especially in the beginning because you could see how she was using their failing business was destroying her best friend’s chances at interesting jobs that was coming up.
This novel had some really good life quotes which should be acknowledged however I’ve only physically wrote this one out before I realised!
“Don’t cry about something you wouldn’t cry about in five years”
I really enjoyed the author’s writing and I cannot wait to read more of her as this novel had me wanting to figure out what was going to happen next which are the best kind of reads!
‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman teetering on the verge of thirty must be in want of a husband’
Not true for Manhattanite Elizabeth Scott. Instead of planning a walk down the aisle, she’s crossing the pond with the only companion she needs – her darling dog, Bliss. Caring for a pack of show dogs in England seems the perfect distraction from the scandal that ruined her teaching career, and her reputation, in New York.
What she doesn’t count on is an unstoppable attraction to billionaire dog breeder Donovan Darcy. The London tycoon’s a little bit arrogant, a whole lot sexy…and the chemistry between them is disarming. When passion is finally unleashed, might Elizabeth hope to take home more than a blue ribbon?
Review originally written in October 2014.
I try to see the positives in books but I hated how this author wrote it. I disliked the writing style I found it immaturely written and the whole concept of this novel as well.
Nothing happened in this entire story except the inner musings of both main characters.
I became so bored while listening to Elizabeth think about how hot and handsome he was and then come up with some lame reason as to why she couldn’t like him.
Their few interactions frustrated me as well. She was always so angry with Darcy for, again, some lame reason.
I couldn’t for the life of me see why or how he fell in love with her. His inner musing were only about how beautiful she was.
As we enter the new year it’s important to reflect upon everything that occurred during 2020 and how we have developed as a person overall.
Especially with the current global situation that really began to change all of our lives towards the end of March 2020. It can feel like we have lived through a good few years or decade. It’s crazy how much has happened during 2020.
With everything progressing online presence is much more important and essential now. It has taught us that you should always have a back up option in terms of your income. That’s why I have enjoyed my new side hussle in Network Marketing as it didn’t involve having any experience. It’s a bonus you get to help more people earn using social media through 7 ways as well!
Email or Message me on Instagram if you would like to hear more on how I fit this around my full-time job & lifestyle.
Ben’s always loved December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. So when he runs into his old friend Alice – the one that got away – Ben can’t help but wonder what would have happened if he’d done things differently all those years ago.
He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.
Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?
It was interesting reading this novel from a man’s point of view. At the very start I didn’t quite like him as he constantly thought about cheating on his wife and justified it.
During his dream or during the magic transitions of going back in time and into a potential future it was interesting to see as he began to become more grateful of his wife, mother and best friend. You just begin to appreciate the small things instead of feeling self-pity and actually see what others have done for him that he didn’t realise before. Overall I really enjoyed reading this novel and learning the life lessons along with him.
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.
I loved this! The main character Richard was a very interesting narrator, I enjoyed getting to know these characters as they would not be the most likeable characters traditionally. I found Henry’s pretentiousness quite amusing at times I was keenly interested in his character until the very end. However, if I had to pick a favourite character it would probably be Francis, as it was his character that consistently held my attention, especially in the second half of the novel as he attempts to come to terms with what they have done. One of the side characters, Judy Poovey is another aspect that I really enjoyed as she brings a sense of much needed comic relief.
Another aspect of The Secret History that I particularly enjoyed was the way the book was split into two parts, with the first being heavily focused upon why they killed Bunny, and the second being heavily focused upon the effects that this act has had upon the central characters.
At first I found it odd that the main part of the novel should be in the middle, and couldn’t imagine what Donna could possibly have to say for 300 more pages. However, upon reading it this part of the novel actually became my favourite. It was here that Donna allowed her characters (Richard in particular) realise the gravity of their situation and the magnitude of what they had done, with this causing them to act in increasingly questionable ways until the climactic end. I personally loved the way Tartt chose to end this book as it was here that the tension masterfully came to a front. However, I found that although the epilogue was clearly necessary, I couldn’t help but feel that perhaps it fell a little flat in comparison to the rest of the book.
The only other issue I had with this book was coming to grips with when it was actually set. Though I absolutely loved the novel and the aesthetic of it all, I found it increasingly hard to believe that these events were happening in the early 90s, and couldn’t help but imagine it taking place much earlier. However, despite this issue, I’m still willing to give this book 4 stars and call it one of my absolute favourites!
Overall, I cannot believe this is Donna’s first novel. I felt like I was there, apart of the story on the outside looking in. The writing is immaculate. One of my favourite parts was how each season was written as you can feel each season and see their beauty.
When the story is taking place there is some racy topics being mentioned but with the way it’s written and at its time. I love how she has explored some people’s sexuality at a time that would have been barely mentioned. The other topics that would be difficult to write about without getting a lot of criticism they didn’t mention it too much – it was written to well and made it okay to be mentioned and it was gripping to read.
It was really realistic based on the storyline and it wasn’t too out there. If you have an interest in open minded, dark, and a hint of pretentious reads this is for you.
The Blue Castle is widely hailed as a reader favorite. Valancy Stirling is 29, unmarried, and has never been in love. Living with her overbearing mother and meddlesome aunt, she finds her only consolation in the “forbidden” books of John Foster and her daydreams of the Blue Castle a place where all her dreams come true and she can be who she truly wants to be. Shortly after her birthday Valancy receives some news about her health that makes her decide to throw caution to the wind and make a fresh start. Rebelling against her family she soon discovers a surprising new world, full of love and adventures far beyond her most secret dreams.
I’m a bit torn about this novel. Despite it being a historical work and the language is therefore not exactly the same as todays, it was a rather quick and easy read.
The language actually had me chuckle a couple of times, when I realized how the meaning of words has changed in the last hundred years or so. The love story is very sweet and for me it was believable.
My problem was with Valancy or rather with some aspects of her character. Mostly I liked her just fine … just when she was dealing with her family, I didn’t. I understand being exhausted by and angry at her family, but I still think she was very harsh and sometimes even cruel with them. They weren’t psychopaths who held her captive and tortured her all her life. They were just little people with little minds and huge egos and it’s not their fault that they never treated her differently when she never told them to change their behavior! How were they supposed to know she was unhappy when she never told them? She never stood her ground until she was twenty nine and then she let them have everything. She never acknowledges that maybe she has a part of the guilt for her unhappy life as well and that really annoyed me.
In essence, if you want something changed in any of your relationships, talk about it. The other person can’t read your mind!
In Chia-Chia Lin’s debut novel, The Unpassing, we meet a Taiwanese immigrant family of six struggling to make ends meet on the outskirts of Anchorage, Alaska. The father, hardworking but beaten down, is employed as a plumber and repairman, while the mother, a loving, strong-willed, and unpredictably emotional matriarch, holds the house together. When ten-year-old Gavin contracts meningitis at school, he falls into a deep, nearly fatal coma. He wakes up a week later to learn that his little sister Ruby was infected, too. She did not survive.
Routine takes over for the grieving family: the siblings care for each other as they befriend a neighboring family and explore the woods; distance grows between the parents as they deal with their loss separately. But things spiral when the father, increasingly guilt ridden after Ruby’s death, is sued for not properly installing a septic tank, which results in grave harm to a little boy. In the ensuing chaos, what really happened to Ruby finally emerges.
With flowing prose that evokes the terrifying beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, Lin explores the fallout after the loss of a child and the way in which a family is forced to grieve in a place that doesn’t yet feel like home. Emotionally raw and subtly suspenseful, The Unpassing is a deeply felt family saga that dismisses the American dream for a harsher, but ultimately more profound, reality.
The rating is given due to the writing style was good. However a part from this there is no connection towards the characters. The story itself goes back and forth as the main character was in a coma, at one point it seemed like the mother died, it was very confusing to follow and such a disappointment for Reposed reads this month. The Taiwanese immigrant family in Alaska had a very dark tone with many unfortunate incidents happening to the family members. The writing was good but way to much of the action was dedicated to the children of the family to hold my interest. The child narrator trope has never been a favorite of mine, especially when the story is all over the place!
When struggling actress Heidi has a life-changing accident aged 32, her world falls apart. Stuck in hospital and unable to walk, her only companion is Maud, the elderly lady in the bed next to hers. Heidi misses her flatmate, her life, her freedom – surely 32 is too young to be an amputee?
But when Maud’s aloof but attractive grandson Jack pays a visit to the ward, Heidi realises that her life isn’t over just because it’s different. It might not look like the life she dreamed of, but it’s the one she’s got – and there’s a lot she still wants to tick off her bucket list. With Jack at her side, will Heidi take the first step back to happiness? Or is there one more surprise still in store…?
I felt so so sorry for Heidi at the beginning, I couldn’t imagine that situation happening to anyone. When she is sharing a room with elderly lady Maud, the grandson comes to visit and he straight away was so cold towards Heidi I felt like screaming at him! How could one be so insensitive to anyone in that situation. Like you do not know where she’s coming from, if she recently got moved there then obviously she is in the early stages of this transition so whatever he had going on in his life, if you’re visiting your grandmother, have some consideration for those you encounter.
As the novel progresses, Heidi feels so sorry for her family as she didn’t realise how much its actually hurting her loved ones watching her life change. She also becomes so strong and develops new relationships with Jack and learns how to grow as she is afraid of what will happen when she leaves the facility.
I really enjoyed watching her grow and the way it was written was interesting.
You can take the girl out of the city but can you take the city out of the girl?
When Grace is offered the chance of a lifetime, to test out brand new camping equipment in the rainforest – it’s easy to turn down. After all, who in their right mind wants to trek around the muddy rainforest? But when the offer becomes too good to be true and her friends and family doubt her ability, she’s determined to prove them wrong.
When trekking in the Amazon rainforest, most normal people must overcome their fears of the unknown. For city girl Grace Brooks, she must overcome her fears of no makeup and going to the loo. And can she survive for two weeks without her hairdryer?
What could possibly go wrong? Well…everything.
Forced into the rainforest to rescue some bimbo, Patrick Kirk is determined to despise the silly woman. When he finally catches up with her, Grace is less than impressed with her neanderthal rescuer. Patrick too, is less than impressed with the high-maintenance whiner.
Stuck together for at least a week, can they learn to get on or are they destined to kill each other?
“It was all very beauty and the beast – with her starring as both roles”
That about sums up Grace’s experience in the ‘jungle’ as she calls it.
Grace complains a lot however I enjoyed the writer’s metaphors.
Firstly I would like to say thank you to the author for sending me this novel in exchange for an honest review. I only ever do these if I enjoy the sound of the novel.
From the start of this novel, I loved it. I always try to relate to the main character in some way. Grace’s personality is strong and relatable. I mean, a ‘high-maintenance’ girl going camping? I also enjoyed the fact she’s working in marketing in a business field as that’s of my interest as well. Grace and her best friend Olivia’s conversations where a joy to read and made me laugh.
It’s a really interesting plot that had me wondering what’s going to happen next? I want to be in the know.
When Grace is lost in the rainforest we hear her thoughts along with Patrick who really annoyed me at the start as he was so judgemental and arrogant. As he got to know Grace more he started to like her. It was interesting watching them both develop.
Grace learns to not be so superficial needing everything in the rain forest as she learns to go without and actually appreciate nature.
I really enjoyed this read it was entertaining and I found myself laughing at times. The author’s writing style has you wanting to know what happens next and those are the best kind of reads. You must read this if you are looking for an entertaining read! That ending was so cute.
I am witnessing a phenomenon. It seems as though a growing group women entrepreneurs all around the world has discovered the secret to success and happiness in both their lives and careers. It’s almost as though there is a hidden, underground world of power playing females who have all cracked a magical code: they think positively, they support one another, and they truly believe they can have it all —and you can, too. There is something dynamic that happens when women genuinely show up for each other. When we lose the facades, when we cut the bullsh*t, and when we truly have each others backs. When we stop pretending everything is perfect, and we show the messy, beautiful parts of ourselves and our work that all look awfully similar. When we talk about our fears, our missteps, and our breakdowns. And most importantly, when we share our celebrations, our breakthroughs, and dish on what works. There is no reason to hoard information, connections, or insight. Wisdom is meant to be shared, so let’s start sharing what we’ve learned to make each other better. Let’s start building each other up. Let’s live up to our potential and start ruling the world. GIRL CODE is a roadmap for female entrepreneurs, professional women, “side hustlers” (those with a day job who are building a business on the side), and anyone in between who wants to become a better woman. This book will not teach you how to build a multimillion dollar business. It won’t teach you about systems or operational processes. But it will teach you how to build confidence in yourself, reconnect with your “why,” eradicate jealousy, and ultimately learn the power of connection. Because at the end of the day, that’s what life and business is all about.
First I would like to say I found out about this novel via Cara’s Podcasts that someone recommended and I’ve found her views on life so empowering and motivating especially as a woman in this day and age. If you’ve not listened to her podcasts check them out immediately!
I can hear Cara’s tone as I’m reading this, since this was written she has evolved even more so as we all do. Cara like anyone has her loves, likes and dislikes. What one person loves to do such as their handbags, pampering themselves, spending as much time as possible with their children, running their business and so forth is their choice and is their version of “being successful” as Cara points out early in this novel. This is very true! She is just a person pointing out her views and her likes and dislikes. For her, at that time those where her values and she is also trying to relate to the majority of girls out there. If your version of success is completely different that’s totally fine, Cara just points out her version which involves a lot of self care and what she seems to be her self care.
I can’t wait to read the rest of Cara’s novels as always, I always feel so motivated and upbeat after reading or listening to Cara’s views.
Set in a sun-drenched Sicily, among the decadent Italian aristocracy of the late 1950s, Steven Price’s Lampedusa explores the final years of Giuseppe Tomasi, the last prince of Lampedusa, as he struggles to complete his only novel, The Leopard.
In 1955, Tomasi was diagnosed with advanced emphysema; shortly after, he began work on a novel that would fail to be published before his death four years later. When The Leopard at last appeared, it won Italy’s Strega Prize and became the greatest Italian novel of the century.
Adhering intensely to the facts of Tomasi’s life but moving deep into the mind of the author, Lampedusa inhabits the complicated interior of a man facing down the end of his life and struggling to make something of lasting worth while there is still time.
This is a beautifully written novel. It’s full of SO MUCH detail though. I wasn’t in the mood for this much detail hence my rating as it’s based on my personal experience of reading the novel. Therefore, the novel’s plot itself denotes a prince that is slowly dying from Emphsema. During his last few years of life he explores nature of memory, love and more. He grieves throughout his life and is quite reflective. He longs for simplicity despite his immense complexities.
It was an experience reading this novel here’s an example:
“Gliding footsteps of a god, and the intelligence in her liquid eyes. She had become a part of his, a second great house, a loss he could inhabit that was his and his alone that could not be taken from him again for it no longer stood in the world of the living. She had become memory, and this he could not reject, for it was not separate from his self, and so she had achieved what she had desired in the end.“
What if you could wake up tomorrow and any – or EVERY – area of your life was beginning to transform? What would you change? The Miracle Morning is already transforming the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world by showing them how to wake up each day with more ENERGY, MOTIVATION, and FOCUS to take your life to the next level. It’s been right here in front of us all along, but this book has finally brought it to life.
Are you ready? The next chapter of YOUR life-the most extraordinary life you’ve ever imagined-is about to begin. It’s time to WAKE UP to your full potential…
This is a great insight into changing your lifestyle for the better. There is a clear structure of what a miracle morning can look like. Even when you are first trialing this out you begin to notice the effects straight away. Even if you are having a down day – it’s not as bad when you do the miracle morning SAVERS routine every morning as it does actually improve your mindset which in turn improves your days. You have to take action and this novel helps you realise that by what the author has went through.
I’ve noticed there’s some mixed reviews on this novel saying it’s more of a blog and so fourth however I found the writing style quite refreshing as he is writing how he would speak which adds personality to the novel and Hal explains how he has discovered every single part of his journey to what it is.
Overall, this is a must read. It will change your life if you properly take in the concept and use the ideas you can end up in a much better place (even if your life is awesome at the moment imagine it x10 better). It’s definitely a go-to when you want a reminder.
Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020 ‘Sophie Ward is a dazzling talent who writes like a modern-day F Scott Fitzgerald’ Elizabeth Day, author of How To Fail ‘An act of such breath-taking imagination, daring and detail that the journey we are on is believable and the debate in the mind non-stop. There are elements of Doris Lessing in the writing – a huge emerging talent here’ Fiona Shaw ‘A towering literary achievement’ Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things ‘Philosophy meets fiction in this beguiling and intriguing novel of minds, hearts, other worlds, love, death and everything in between. It’s a book that dances and dazzles with ideas and left me thinking long after I finished it’ Sophie Kinsella Rachel and Eliza are hoping to have a baby. The couple spend many happy evenings together planning for the future. One night Rachel wakes up screaming and tells Eliza that an ant has crawled into her eye and is stuck there. She knows it sounds mad – but she also knows it’s true. As a scientist, Eliza won’t take Rachel’s fear seriously and they have a bitter fight. Suddenly their entire relationship is called into question. Inspired by some of the best-known thought experiments in philosophy, particularly philosophy of mind, Love and Other Thought Experiments is a story of love lost and found across the universe.
I enjoyed the first chapter and was looking forward to the rest. However, I found it a bit odd to follow as I assumed some of these chapters where alternative realities and that was just confusing. Rachel annoyed me a lot. I did enjoy some bits of writing due to the way the author writes. I need to be able to like the main characters otherwise I find it frustrating that is why this novel gets its rating as it was good writing even though I did not enjoy the plot much after the first chapter.
The terror begins unobtrusively. Noises in the attic. In the child’s room, an odd smell, the displacement of furniture, an icy chill. At first, easy explanations are offered. Then frightening changes begin to appear in eleven-year-old Regan. Medical tests fail to shed any light on her symptoms, but it is as if a different personality has invaded her body.
Father Damien Karras, a Jesuit priest, is called in. Is it possible that a demonic presence has possessed the child? Exorcism seems to be the only answer…
First published in 1971, The Exorcist became a literary phenomenon and inspired one of the most shocking films ever made. This edition, polished and expanded by the author, includes new dialogue, a new character and a chilling new extended scene, provides an unforgettable reading experience that has lost none of its power to shock and continues to thrill and terrify new readers.
This novel has a fantastic plot when you’re in the mood for a spooky horror type of novel, especially as we are at this time of year. However from the beginning, I found that there was a lot of characters and even after slowly reading trying to take in who is who I did find this one more difficult to follow. It has a great plot, however characters where not introduced properly and that sets the tone for the novel overall.
When Hannah meets Sonny, she’s irresistibly drawn to him: he’s sexy and confident, but only in town on holiday. That’s fine with Hannah – she doesn’t do long-term relationships. And luckily for her, neither does Sonny. But before they can even so much as kiss, Sonny receives some shocking news and commits to making serious life changes – ones that can’t and won’t include romance.
With even a short fling now off the cards, Hannah and Sonny settle for being friends. But as summer hots up and their chemistry shows no signs of cooling, they start to question their reasons for shutting each other out.
Are they both too broken to find love? And if they tear down the walls between them, will they still like what’s on the other side?
Hannah meets Sonny at her place of work, as a customer. Soon enough he’s basically next door to her and the story begins to unfold as friendships develop.
I love how novels start off where you meet new people and shortly friendships are formed like we are with them in this journey and I find that so exciting to watch it unfold.
This novel was different to Toon’s other novels which made it refreshing. I love how it wasn’t a love triangle type based novel as the ones in the past had the same sort of plot.
In this one they had things to overcome, both of them that is. A lot of self development which was the main focus in this read alongside the love aspect.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman teetering on the verge of thirty must be in want of a husband.
Not true for Manhattanite Elizabeth Scott. Instead of planning a walk down the aisle, she’s crossing the pond with the only companion she needs her darling dog, Bliss. Caring for a pack of show dogs in England seems the perfect distraction from the scandal that ruined her teaching career, and her reputation, in New York. What she doesn’t count on is an unstoppable attraction to billionaire dog breeder Donovan Darcy. The London tycoon’s a little bit arrogant, a whole lot sexy and the chemistry between them is disarming. When passion is finally unleashed, might Elizabeth hope to take home more than a blue ribbon?
Review originally written in October 2014.
I try to see the positives in books but I hated how this author wrote it. I disliked the writing style I found it immaturely written and the whole concept of this novel as well.
Nothing happened in this entire story except the inner musings of both main characters.
I became so bored while listening to Elizabeth think about how hot and handsome he was and then came up with some lame reason as to why she couldn’t like him.
Their few interactions frustrated me as well. She was always so angry with Darcy for, again, some lame reason.
I couldn’t for the life of me see why or how he fell in love with her. His inner musing were only about how beautiful she was.
The Secret is a self-help book regarding the power of positive thinking by Rhonda Byrne. The book suggests the notion that like attracts the like, which means if you emit positive energy, it will be very beneficial because you will attract positive things to you.
I absolutely loved The Power it was an amazing read that I was recommended to read, after that a bunch of great opportunities came my way that I am now in the middle of my ventures!
I recommend this and the other read if you are in need of changing your mindset and gaining a fresh and motivating perspective!
The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community – and the things that ultimately haunt us most. It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, 17-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance – and the subsequent cover-up – will have an impact that will impact all three.
I really enjoyed how this was written. The main character decided she did not want a baby as her career comes first. You should NOT revolve your life around a man you love. They are apart of your life, does not mean you use seeing and spending so much time with them as your only hobby.
Aubrey miss-goody-too-shoes was delightful to begin with however as she began to age she was so obsessed with her husband and seen him as her only priority which was pathetic as a woman because you should not revolve your life around anyone. Have goals and a life outside of your husband as well.
It is very demeaning for any person to have one person as their entire world, yes they can mean a lot to you (including babies) however they are not your entire world as that is not your entire purpose as a person to love and care for one being, your main priority is yourself.
I loved the main character as they developed in many ways. The way this was written was authentic and real, showing the types of women out there and how it can be a blame game on both sides.
‘He’s not mine, is he?’ That’s the question I fear the most. You see, I have a secret. My son is not fathered by my boyfriend, but by one of the most famous rock stars that ever lived. And he doesn’t even know it.
One-time celebrity personal assistant to wild boy of rock Johnny Jefferson, Meg Stiles is now settled and living in the south of France with her doting boyfriend Christian and their son Barney. But they’re living a lie – a lie that will turn their lives upside down and inside out – because as Barney reaches his first birthday, Meg can no longer deny that her son is growing to look more and more like his rock star father every day, and less and less like Christian, and sooner or later, the world is going to realise …
Review originally written in December 2018. The follow on from Johnny Be Mine:
This is a follow on from Johnny Be Good. That in itself denotes there is no need for a lot of pages spent recapturing the story as if this is a first read. It is a follow on which means a good amount of time was spent recapturing the story from the first in this series.
Paige’s novels tend to have a particular theme however, depending on; the plot, the main character and how it has developed I do not simply praise each and every novel as it deserves to be fairly critiqued upon each novel and how the plot develops.
I do enjoy how Paige writes as it has a natural flow which entices you to continue reading. There is plenty of drama in this novel surrounding Meg’s child and Barney’s biological father.
Meg has shown she has taken a step back in life from her career due to how she felt when she was last a PA. She is getting used to motherhood and the challenges and struggles it brings and we are going through that with her. With an unhelpful family as they are too busy being dazzled by Johnny’s appearances at times when they are not listening to Meg’s wants for her own child. As a new mother you would think her own mother would understand this but nope. This made me feel for Meg as she is under a lot of pressure despite her actions and everything that follows when Bess her best friend encourages her to tell the truth and the consequences it brought on.
Moving to LA and dealing with Johnny’s ways and how easily he is influenced by Dana. I love how Paige portrayed them as she made Dana a character to not like much at all. I enjoyed Johnny’s reaction to finding out the truth and what he has done partly to become apart of Barney’s life.
I found this novel more entertaining in ways compared to the first in this series. I have went from disliking the hurt caused by characters to enjoying their development, and the ending of course. I enjoyed seeing how minor characters lives have moved on. This is a gripping read that will make you read faster to find out what happens – that is good writing. I recommend this and Johnny be good for an interesting read.
It is 1948 and Britain is struggling to recover from the Second World War. Half French, half English, Marguerite Carter, young and beautiful, has lost her parents and survived a terrifying war, working for the SOE behind enemy lines. Leaving her partisan lover she returns to England to be one of the first women to receive a degree from the University of Cambridge.
Now she pins back her unruly auburn curls, draws a pencil seam up her legs, ties the laces on her sensible black shoes, belts her grey gabardine mac and sets out towards her future as an English teacher in a girls’ grammar school. For Miss Carter has a mission – to fight social injustice, to prevent war and to educate her girls.
Through deep friendships and love lost and found, from the peace marches of the fifties and the flowering of the Swinging Sixties, to the rise of Thatcher and the battle for gay rights, to the spectre of a new war, Sheila Hancock has created a powerful, panoramic portrait of Britain through
During a time when being a woman and achieving career goals is so difficult to even be allowed to do, this novel was gripping from the beginning.
Do you ever have those weeks, where you are in a reading slump and seem to be quite fussy on the random books you are reading and none seem to be leaving you with that ‘wow I read a great book’ feeling? This novel got me out of that.
As I’m writing this I’m currently at a page where the main character, Miss Carter is chatting with the sports teacher and explaining how she got turned down in university for a group project as she was “too damn attractive”.
It’s weird to think that your looks, being very good, can be a disadvantage to sexist pigs who think they can have you whenever they feel like it. And then use it against you for achieving your career and education goals.
I loved how Miss Carter dealt with her first class, I felt as if I’m along with her in this journey. It’s clear she aims to be an excellent teacher and during that time, for a woman to even achieve that is amazing because the distance they reach in doing so.
Her journey with the students, in particular Elsie I found to be really helpful. Dispute the head masters comments of how you can only help so much and you can’t help them all as family circumstances do take over, Miss Carter still tries her best and a glimmer of hope is seen as Elsie grows.
Circumstances where so difficult and different back then. I felt so sorry for Tony and for everyone between those who has had loved ones shot and those that had to overcome so many difficult situations which lead to where they are now. There’s sayings out there which go on about you have to overcome difficult obstacles in order to become stronger / the best version of yourself however I disagree. I think it’s perseverance, determination and hard work is how one becomes strong. Yes, it tends to involve difficult situations to overcome however I find if you have a goal in mind you can achieve and become a strong-willed person.
A great novel makes you think a lot and question the topics involved, at least that’s what I think when I end up loving a book. Some bits of this novel made me cry it was just so sad hearing some of the stories which I know would have happened to so many people in the world, today and throughout the ages especially with the wars going on.
Overall by the end of the novel I really enjoyed it as it was gripping and got to see characters grow as the novel progressed. The only bit I didn’t enjoy was that it felt as if the story never ended (took me a fortnight to finish) and the little breaks in the writing where the main character was having flashbacks of the war and the gruesome scenes it involved.
What is happiness? It’s the absence of fear and pain. But how do we get there? How do we reach happiness? Well the safest way of not being very miserable is to not expect that much in life. Then you shall be happy
When you constantly work at something and become a perfectionist. Something always needs to be improved upon which means nothing is never good enough.
I think the only way of trying to get out of this mindset is positive affirmations to slowly click into your mind since you have been growing up with a set of characteristics and changing your views in this way cannot simply be done. It takes practice and years of reminding yourself each day.
London 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one, and she never suited the role of society wife. Accompanied by her son Francis – a curious, obsessive boy – she leaves town for Essex, where she hopes fresh air and open space will provide the refuge they need. When they take lodgings in Colchester, rumours reach them from further up the estuary that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, is immediately enthralled, convinced that what the local people think is a magical beast may be a previously undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail, she is introduced to William Ransome, Aldwinter’s vicar. Like Cora, Will is deeply suspicious of the rumours, but he thinks they are founded on moral panic, a flight from real faith. As he tries to calm his parishioners, he and Cora strike up an intense relationship, and although they agree on absolutely nothing, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart, eventually changing each other’s lives in ways
I tried to like this novel. The start of it was confusing and difficult to follow what story was actually going on. By the time it matched the back of the book’s plot, it was detailing every second and it felt a bit boring and then it jumped through letters that I just didn’t follow at times. Maybe it’s a reading slump or maybe it’s poor structure.
It’s interesting to read about different philosophers points of view. Schopenhauer said “Life oscillates like a pendulum, back and forth between pain and boredom”. He believed happiness as life’s ultimate goal even though he knew it was virtually impossible to get there
Every discovery, invention, and human creation comes from The Power. Perfect health, incredible relationships, a career you love, a life filled with happiness, and the money you need to be, do, and have everything you want, all come from The Power. The life of your dreams has always been closer to you than you realised, because The Power–to have everything good in your life–is inside you. To create anything, to change anything, all it takes is just one thing…THE POWER.
Where do I start? This novel is very inspiring and makes you realise that the power is really within you. Love is the key. By altering your thoughts you can change your mindset and how your life will turn out. After all, we are all entitled to a happy, successful and wonderful life where we can get everything we desire, all by using our mindset, using our power for good. Love will get you everything you want.
The author covers a great range of topics throughout the novel, it does seem repetitive at times however it is showing you the examples of topics and how you can apply the power. It made me question / answered some thoughts I had of my own of how particular situations turn out / why do certain things happen.
Eye opening read that inspires you to take action to change your life for the better.
It’s interesting to read about different philosophers points of view. Schopenhauer said “Life oscillates like a pendulum, back and forth between pain and boredom”. He believed happiness as life’s ultimate goal even though he knew it was virtually impossible to get there
This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s romantic and witty first novel, was written when the author was only twenty-three years old. This semi-autobiographical story of the handsome, indulged, and idealistic Princeton student Amory Blaine received critical raves and catapulted Fitzgerald to instant fame. Now, readers can enjoy the newly edited, authorized version of this early classic of the Jazz Age, based on Fitzgerald’s original manuscript. In this definitive text, This Side of Paradise captures the rhythms and romance of Fitzgerald’s youth and offers a poignant portrait of the “Lost Generation.”
At the start of this novel we are introduced to Amory’s point of view of how he sees his mother, Beatrice who sounds wonderful on paper. The ,other seemed to never settle with friends or places. Some would find this lifestyle to be rather lavish and would look down upon it however I quite enjoyed reading about their lifestyle.
Parts of the novel began to feel. However I soon realised that this novel had not much of a plot therefore it was quite a let down. It contains rare moments of brilliant writing however by the time you find it each time you are bored. I liked it at the start so I did enjoy some elements.
Charlotte Saunders has always loved the buzz of city life. So, when she finds herself abruptly fired and dumped in one fell swoop, she’s devastated to have to swap her London home for the sleepy town of Penmullion, Cornwall, to move in with her estranged sister.
But Lauren Saunders has problems of her own. A single mother to twins, the bills are piling up faster than she can pay them. And when what she thinks is a loan from a friend puts her deeper in debt than ever, things are starting to look impossible.
In desperate need of a distraction, the two sisters turn to their community drama club. With bit of help from their new friends and lot of help from each other, can the Saunders sisters turn their luck around before the summer ends?
The novel started off interesting, two contrasting characters as they are polar opposites however, they where standard strong characters of one being a complete ‘control freak’ and one that’s quite laid back in terms with their parenting style.
I just could not comprehend how you would stick a 16 hour minimum wage job and complain about never having enough money when you can do something about it, especially as the sister would offer and suggest, instead she just sits there and complain which is the standard ‘full-time mummy’ descriptions you find on much of at least the English speaking countries social media pages, always complaining, when there’s help out there that is being refused because they love to complain.
As for the controlling one; needing to control everything and focus on the perfect job, never learning to let loose.
I found the story interesting to begin with however it lacked much of a plot and it was very slow paced.
So I’m going to start this new thing every week. For the next week I will create a list of all the things I appreciate and love. It’s a great way to motivate and to think positively. I’ve recently read a book called The Power, it’s quite inspiring and true. Hence my new outlook, feel free to use this idea for yourself or leave any comments with things that have made you happy, feel gratitude 😊
Some of these may be small silly things however it’s what has brought me positivity which is what counts.
– Light bright nail colours – Catchy song that you feel love for and haven’t heard it in a long time – When you complete your exercise goals the first week back at it properly – Grateful for the new colour in my bathroom and the effort that went into my bathroom and the effort that went into painting it and making it look so pretty and full of love
– Recognition / smiles from strangers – Thoughtfulness of knowing you have made someone’s day and they have also been the highlight of yours – When you connect with new people – When you discover shops sell more of the new things you’re trying – The little purchases that make a room in your house stand out more / brings happiness
– Achievement feeling when your house is spotless – Mop slippers that are so amusing and helpful – Progression in a new project you are working on – The love and care from others – Thankful for the safety each day in knowing you have lived contently
I just wanted you all to know that having reviewed books for many years I have been inspired to write my first novel (yay!) I am in the latter stages of editing and at present I am activiely seeking an agent to represent me. This is a formidable task as I know there so many talented writers out there however, if some insightful agent was to take a chance on me I know they would not be disappointed.
My novel is original and I think well written so here goes!
Tilly was a bright, outgoing little girl who liked playing with ghosts and matches. She loved fizzy drinks, swear words, fish fingers and Catholic churches, but most of all she loved living in Brighton in Queenie Malone’s magnificent Paradise Hotel with its endearing and loving family of misfits. But Tilly’s childhood was shattered when her mother sent her away from the only home she’d ever loved to boarding school with little explanation and no warning.
Now an adult, Tilda has grown into an independent woman still damaged by her mother’s unaccountable cruelty. Wary of people, her only friend is her dog, Eli. But when her mother dies, Tilda returns to Brighton and with the help of her beloved Queenie sets about unravelling the mystery of her exile from The Paradise Hotel, only to discover that her mother was not the woman she thought she knew at all …
Mothers and daughters … their story can be complicated … but it can also turn out to have a happy ending.
I tried to really like this book given the location and cover I will say that.
At first this novel comes across as normally written however we are then introduced to child Tilly who has very bad grammar and I was a bit confused as the novel seemed like it was going to go back in time however it just jumps and you aren’t sure of what is going on exactly. It seems like it’s from a reflection point however it doesn’t seem like it so I found it oddly written at the start. Is the main character supposed to have very poor grammar as an adult who had over 10 years of ‘excellent education’? Because I find it very irritating as it’s difficult to follow. On the bright side Tilly has a colourful way of looking at life, in a child-like view. Every single movement and breath she takes is noted. This is not how I read novels and it does not seem like a real book.
I really liked the cover and the idea that it’s in a seaside town. The ideas of the book are what I like. The writing, the characters and everything as I am reading this makes it very difficult to finish.
Tilly as a child is very disobedient and annoying. Yes we were all children once before however I’m 100% sure that a lot of children including myself had a lot more sense! Everyone seems to have such high praises for this read however I do not agree with a lot of it personally. It was an entertaining read however I was annoyed by the main character.
I really wanted to enjoy this novel however at time’s I got very annoyed by how the main character thinks.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan has been in possession of her meticulously crafted answer since she understood the question. On the day that she nails the most important job interview of her career and gets engaged to the perfect man, she’s well on her way to fulfilling her life goals. That night Dannie falls asleep only to wake up in a different apartment with a different ring on her finger, and in the company of a very different man. The TV is on in the background, and she can just make out the date. It’s the same night – December 15th – but 2025, five years in the future. It was just a dream, she tells herself when she wakes, but it felt so real… Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind. That is, until four and a half years later, when Dannie turns down a street and there, standing on the corner, is the man from her dream…
First, I would like to say I really enjoyed the introduction. I forget the word for it, where the author is starting a sentence with just the number of minutes. Then describing what the number stands for. The main character seems very proud of her materialistic achievements. She has this random dream, fast forward 5 years later and she meets this random guy she’s dreamt about, but, *plot twist* he’s going out with her best friend, so how does the vision she had in her dream come true? Intriguing plot that has left me wanting to read more every time I had to stop reading it, going back to do errands and so forth.
Plus, it has a very pretty cover.
Although, I do not like how she treats David. I mean she describes how he goes out of her way to do everything such as the late take-away food ready for her whenever she ever came home for work although we hear so much about how perfect David is. But she doesn’t seem to really do anything for him now does she? She loves how he does that, and how they fit so well. However she does not show her appreciation at all. He proposed to her at a very top high-end restaurant – the place to be yet she never even bothered to set a date almost FIVE years after the proposal. How mad is that? If you really love this ‘perfect’ guy and how he’s done everything a dream guy does, why would you never set a date or even discuss a wedding ?! This organised main character infuriated me at times as she’s not very appreciative and it seems to be always about her, very self centred main character.
The plot twists and I’m at a loss for words at times for other characters. However with the main character I find her so annoying; who cares what you are wearing and how late your boss is.
As the saying goes, you work to live, not live to work however Dannie sees it as the latter which is kind of sad. Yes your job can be sometbing you love however if all you do is work, then what’s the point? You work hard to play hard and she doesn’t do the latter, she finds it too frivolous.
I understand Dannie is a bit protective of Bella however she’s acting like Bella is her property. Her item. Instead of focusing on herself as well as her own relationship. She doesn’t seem to spend much time on that. It’s just work and friend. No one else. Which is a bit selfish as she is kind of controlling in that way.
As Dannies dreams come to life, what Bella has done for her and her realisation, it was very sweet and poetic.
By the end of the novel, I agree with the acknowledgements of; Continue moving forward which is towards you.
The main character annoyed me a lot however I’ve found this novel to be quite intriguing and I did want to continue reading it each time, to the end of the novel, plot twists throughout.
Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
Re-reading this brought back so many fond memories of the novel itself. I first read this when I was entering my teenage years so to reflect on it now, almost a decade later (feels weird saying that) is going to be an interesting view.
This novel is perfect for those of that age, or those that are looking to rediscover the most nerve-wrecking years of your life. Charlie is very innocent, lonely, quiet, an introvert that just wants a friend and company. We learn his views as he begins to be introduced to life at high school with the help of his new friends that are in their final year. Charlie has explored a lot of what most teenagers would usually explore one or two things or so but he has experienced most of it which is impressive. This novel is written in a way that is just so relatable to everyone reading it. Especially when you’re younger as you’re exploring your thoughts and questioning everything you come across.
We come across his first thoughts on all of this and it’s just interesting to see as he develops.
Things such as Charlie interpreting Craig: “Craig doesn’t really listen to her when she talks. I don’t mean that he’s a bad guy because he’s not. It’s just that he always looks distracted” but as Bill pointed out to Charlie earlier on, “we accept the love we think we deserve” or we tell ourselves we are used to it so we have to stick to it.
The rat and mouse experiment where they both put up with a lot more voltage in order to get pleasure more than food shows that we would do a lot more for pleasurable activities than for basic essential living.
I always get that hug version of a book feeling when I read this. I love how the book finds playlists and book lists for you to research and I thoroughly enjoyed how Charlie describes them as he makes tapes for Patrick.
One of my favourite parts of this novel is the lists! The playlists and the book lists we are introduced to. As well as the meanings of life such as “we accept the love we think we deserve”. I think the movie captures the novel greatly which I wouldn’t usually say. This is a coming-of-age read that everyone should read as it explores a lot of themes that goes on in the typical mind of a teenager.
Italy, 1819. Emilia Barton and her mother Sarah live a nomadic existence, travelling from town to town as itinerant dressmakers to escape their past. When they settle in the idyllic coastal town of Pesaro, Emilia desperately hopes that, this time, they have found a permanent home. But when Sarah is brutally attacked by an unknown assailant, a deathbed confession turns Emilia’s world upside down.
Seeking refuge as a dressmaker in the eccentric household of Princess Caroline of Brunswick, Emilia experiences her first taste of love with the charming Alessandro. But her troubling history gnaws away at her. Might she, a humble dressmaker’s daughter, have a more aristocratic past than she could have imagined? When the Princess sends her on an assignment to London, she grasps the opportunity to unravel the truth.
Caught up in a web of treachery and deceit, Emilia is determined to discover who she really is –even if she risks losing everything . .
This young girl at 21, in 1819, along with her mother travel around Italy as they are dressmakers. On the go constantly. Which we see is quite infuriating for Emilia the daughter. They are in a coastal town called Pesaro. I loved the fact this novel was based in Italy. You get a feel for the main character as she’s had to leave places where she has made a best friend and suddenly had to leave and you just want her to get her happily ever after of settling somewhere more than a few months at least. The mother’s views and her paranoia really annoys me from Emilia’s point of view.
As the novel progresses there’s a good amount of lies being told to the main character however, as the reader I began to realise this due to how the novel was written however the main character was a bit naive and at times I wondered how she could blindly follow peoples stories just because they told her instead of thinking outside of the box and actually question everything she is told.
Her father shows very controlling and greedy behaviour – the constant putting people down, twisting stories, things having to be his way otherwise he snaps very quickly. Poor Maude, the aunt that has a very close relationship with both the mother and the daughter.
I loved how gripping this read was, it was quite engaging and interesting to watch how it unfolded. Who knew a human (her father) could be so very cruel?
By the end of the novel, there was a lot of plot twists added some of which you would question and then it was mentioned and you are like the author went there! I found this to be an intriguing and gripping read.
Madisen eloquently analyzes some of life’s universal themes within the framework of a house. Whether it’s the garden, the bedroom, or the front porch, Madisen takes you into her own “home,” sharing some of the most intimate parts of her life so that you might also, someday, feel free to share some of yours.
Filled with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations from Melody Hansen, this boldly intimate, preternaturally wise, and emotionally candid collection encourages you to consider what home means to you–whether it’s in the lush, green-lawned suburbs or a city apartment–and, more importantly, explores how you can find it even when home feels like it’s on the far-off horizon.
When it comes to Madison Kuhn novels at the beginning – you get a sense of relaxation. A great opportunity to really dive into a read that will help to inspire and really reflect upon your own thoughts. From the first poem in this, I really understand where Madison is coming from, well in terms of relating to it as we do feel homeless from time to time especially as we grow up. However, the fact that everyone is growing up having a real sense of belonging whereas she does not – I really relate to.
“no matter how much I love the man whose clothes hang in the closet next to mine I am afraid of the uncertainty the fickleness of things”
However, by the end of the novel I felt bored and that my time was wasted because all her happy moments for the most part relies on a man. A new perspective on this novel would have been appreciated as it was quite negative to read and was a drag after the introduction.
Morag, “Mo” has it all. A happy go lucky, free-spirited student and martial arts enthusiast, she’s on top of the world until she finds Cindy beaten and bloodied in the graveyard – ultimately shining a light into unknown shadows of her own childhood.
Cindy, eighteen with her whole future in front of her, has lost it all. One victim of many in a brutal string of sex crimes that has swept their corner of South East England, the experience leaves her shaken, before revealing secrets she’d kept even from herself. Despite the support of her rich and successful older friend Faye, who has troubles of her own, Cindy sinks deeper into despair.
As Detective Chief Inspector Colin Massey, Mo’s father, heads the special task force investigating the sex crimes, another girl goes missing. Her boyfriend, Johnny, begins to hear her voice in his head. Driven to the edge of his sanity, he teeters between reality and the beyond.
As their four journeys collide in an explosion of violence, love and betrayal, the principle questions are, who can they trust, and, is the face of the person looking back at them masking the identity of a killer?
This novel which falls into the cross-genre crime thriller with a paranormal undercurren novel which was published on 28th February 2020. I would like to thank the author Samantha for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review, as all my reviews I write my thoughts as I progress with the novel.
The plot, straight away being introduced to a few characters and background stories got my attention. I was not sure where it would lead but I liked the sound of their backgrounds and where it will go.
To begin with, we are introduced to this girl-turning 18-Cindy. It seems like a quick flash forward into the future before we go into the present as Cindy is trying to retrace her steps, with the main thing being that she was at her friend Faye’s who seems well-off in comparison.
We shortly find out how Faye came into the local area shortly after and I find her life very interesting, it goes back into the present which I found to be a nice transition. The opening chapter ends on an intriguing note as we are curious to find out what happens next.
The next few chapters we are introduced to each main character this novel involves which I enjoyed as it made it easier to understand each character as some novels have a bad way of letting the reader know all about the characters.
As the story unfolds I begin to really wonder what is going to happen and are they going to get to the bottom of finding these mystery people. I find it interesting how our memories work; if a memory is so bad that we block it out completely and have no knowledge of it, yet during counselling it can be brought out even though the person it’s happening to has no knowledge of it.
I agree with the saying in this: “Odd how life weaves it’s wonderful web”
At times I find some of the characters develop and think of how strong they are. However, when it comes to Johnny, he began to annoy me. I know you are supposed to feel sorry for the guy after he finds out some bad news however I found him to be very naive as he later on, had information that could have been of use to his adoptive father / cop. Keeping that type of information from him I just did not understand why he would do such thing. As for Colin, he could have took more actions, for example, if there was cops constantly body guarding his daughter Morag, how did she end up becoming another victim?
I think one of the main points in this novel is that when rape happens to a person, the family or very close people that are your family are the ones that cry about it the most which they shouldn’t. It’s not them that this tragic thing has happened to. It’s the person itself who was abused and they should really give that person a break instead of smothering them as it’s something that has changed their life completely. They need time to process it and discover who they are and who they will be and how they will shape their life.
Eventually I progressed on with the book. For the most part, the characters keep going on and on about they need to find this mole however it becomes boring if you keep on saying it however not much has happened, chapter after chapter. Precious reading time being wasted on the same chapter on repeat for most of the book. I felt this was unnecessary and a lot of these chapters could have been scraped to get to the point. Because out of nowhere, is when we actually get to the good stuff – with the plot actually progressing at 90%. Therefore this novel gets its rating which is very high however as it was a great plot, I just wish a lot of the chapters where cut and got straight to the point, and I felt that Johnny could have just told his dad what actually happened as it would have been most reasonable. I also found some of the explicit scenes with Faye a bit random however it was an unexpected twist when reading this. I found it interesting how Morag went away for a while to discover herself, those changes in scenery was a good insight to seeing another aspect of this read.
Every young Indian leaving the homeland for the United States is given the following orders by their parents: Don’t eat any cow (It’s still sacred!), don t go out too much, save (and save, and save) your money, and most important, do “not” marry a foreigner. Priya Rao left India when she was twenty to study in the U.S., and she s never been back. Now, seven years later, she s out of excuses. She has to return and give her family the news: She s engaged to Nick Collins, a kind, loving American man. It’s going to break their hearts. Returning to India is an overwhelming experience for Priya. When she was growing up, summer was all about mangoes ripe, sweet mangoes, bursting with juices that dripped down your chin, hands, and neck. But after years away, she sweats as if she’s never been through an Indian summer before. Everything looks dirtier than she remembered. And things that used to seem natural (a buffalo strolling down a newly laid asphalt road, for example) now feel totally chaotic. But Priya’s relatives remain the same. Her mother and father insist that it s time they arranged her marriage to a nice Indian boy. Her extended family talks of nothing “but” marriage particularly the marriage of her uncle Anand, which still has them reeling. Not only did Anand marry a woman from another Indian state, but he also married for love. Happiness and love are not the point of her grandparents or her parents union. In her family s rule book, duty is at the top of the list. Just as Priya begins to feel she can t possibly tell her family that she s engaged to an American, a secret is revealed that leaves her stunned and off-balance. Now she is forced to choose between the love of her family and Nick, the love of her life. As sharp and intoxicating as sugarcane juice bought fresh from a market cart, “The Mango Season” is a delightful trip into the heart and soul of both contemporary India and a woman on the edge of a profound life change.
“You’ve made your own life… no matter how your culture tells you that you owe your parents, you have to remember that children never owe their parents. You don’t owe your parents anything”
This novel was a quick read! I really enjoyed it, although at times I felt like it was a bit dragged as it was mainly taking place over one day. We learn a lot about the Indian culture and how very strict it was back then – unsure of now however it is how the main character is viewing her old life and how ‘americanized’ she has become when she visits it after almost a decade away from it. I felt like I understood her annoying reasons for continuing to chicken out at telling her family as it would be very difficult in that type of culture. I have never realised how important mangos are and how they can equate to happiness either.
“Our cousins have done this program,” Sophie whispers. “Best kept secret. Zero supervision.”
And just like that, Ever Wong’s summer takes an unexpected turn. Gone is Chien Tan, the strict educational program in Taiwan that Ever was expecting. In its place, she finds Loveboat: a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, and the nightlife runs nonstop.
But not every student is quite what they seem:
Ever is working toward becoming a doctor but nurses a secret passion for dance.
Rick Woo is the Yale-bound child prodigy bane of Ever’s existence whose perfection hides a secret.
Boy-crazy, fashion-obsessed Sophie Ha turns out to have more to her than meets the eye.
And under sexy Xavier Yeh’s shell is buried a shameful truth he’ll never admit.
When these students’ lives collide, it’s guaranteed to be a summer Ever will never forget!
I love the cover it looks so pretty doesn’t it? Although in this case, looks are deceiving. The novel started off having me feeling very stressed for the main character. Am I getting old (I’m only in my early twenties however, mentally) I feel like this novel was immaturely written from the main character’s point of view. Yes their at school and applying for colleges oh, in particular medical schools however I found her to be a little selfish and a bit rude – just because you’re Asian does not mean every Asian you come across is just there to nod at / automatic rejection in a romantic sense.
As well, when the main character Ever finally got to her boarding school summer camp type place out in Taiwan and we are introduced to everyone’s colourful hidden personality’s I found a lot of them to be focused on rebelling yes it’s attractive in that way however, I still found the setting to be very petulant.
I’ve seen from others reviews of how the author tried to fit in so many topics and how it was poorly done. I agree with that with my reasoning in the above paragraphs! However, as most teenagers are developing, a lot of topics are thrown at them in that way so I appreciate where the author was coming from. I also appreciate the beautiful cover and plot. However this story was not for me.
Emily Drummond has just finished her degree and the world is her oyster. She can do anything she wants. So when she marries Andrew, 19 years her senior, after knowing him less than 6 weeks, eyebrows are raised. Is this a case of marry in haste and repent at leisure? Is Andrew having a mid-life crisis? Or is this true love for both of them? Then Emily meets Jack, who’s just back from travelling the world, and he offers her a glimpse of what life might be like with someone her own age. Suddenly the doubts come crowding in—did she marry Andrew too hastily and does the age-gap matter after all?
Firstly, I never thought I would be reading a book about how you should take your drinks. Mainly because I do not drink and also, whiskey sounds icky.
I’m starting to find the book misleading: the cover looks so pretty and girly, definitely chiclet type of book right? Wrong. As the first few chapters go on and on about whiskeys and the order you drink them in, boring.
I couldn’t really get into this novel. It was misleading and that’s all I really have to say about this novel.
With everything going on in the world, and in some close one’s lives this week with unfortunate tragedies going on, it is important to realise you should always live your life as if each day is your last.
Welcome to The Paradise Cookery School – a place where dreams, and chocolate, are made!
When newly heartbroken chef Millie Harper is offered a job overseeing the launch of The Paradise Cookery School she jumps at the chance. Leaving her ex behind Millie jets off to the hilltop cocoa plantation in St Lucia.
Despite the beautiful location Millie soon realises she faces a challenge to get the school ready on time. And sarcastic but extremely handsome estate manager Zach Barker isn’t helping.
As Millie adjusts to the Caribbean pace of life she discovers her own carefree side in the tropical paradise. But can she fulfil her promise? Or will fun in the sun prove too much of a distraction?
We are introduced to Millie rushing to the airport thanks to her friend and colleague Jen to make a flight whilst reassuring her sister Jen she will make it on time. She is asked to run a cookery school as the main woman Claudia is awaiting an operation. The cookery school is in St Lucia (a country in the Caribbean, one of the Winward islands) I googled it and it looks like paradise. So Millie is at the airport, having to go from a planned airplane ride to a new destination to house sit initially as she thought she would not be running the cooking school. I would love if that type of situation happened to me!
Oh my. The taxi man’s name is my blog name without the proper pronunciation; Clavie whilst I am CLaVie, as in C’s Life. When Millie arrives at the villa we meet Zach the estate manager who is full of personality and wit. We then get to find out a lot about coco beans – which is interesting however it’s a lot of information about a topic when I just want to get on with the summery light plot.
Warning, do not read this novel whilst you’re starving for some food as it goes into details of delicious combinations that makes my stomach more hungry.
However this novel did not hold my attention enough to properly be engaged with it, therefore it gets one point for actually being a holiday read as I did like the idea of it.
There’s a trend going on, where people think having a blank black image post helps, I get that the sentiment is there however, like many others, if they are saying it does not help, you’ve got to ask yourself why are you doing it then? Just creating an empty feed that is not helping anyone.
In general, it’s not just black lives, it’s anyone of any race as there is racism for every race out there .
How do you help?
By donating to charities in regards to racism such as:
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that’s great… as long as you don’t die. Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left. Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley. Little do they know someone’s determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.
Review originally written in October 2014:
Every so often it will happen to me that I completely dislike a book that literally has nothing else but positive reviews. It really makes me sit back and wonder if I missed something! Charming was one of those books for me.
This is a Cinderella retelling, I suppose, and the details of that are clear. The girl, Haley, lives in a single parent family with a sibling that is treated like gold while she is abused. Haley even gets to go to a ball, where she has to be home by midnight…and her date is the prince of the town, Chris Charming.
Abuse in a novel is not an easy topic to write on, but when done well it’s compelling. In Charming, while the abuse was sad, the reasons behind it and why Haley figured she couldn’t tell anyone seemed very weak indeed.
Timeline inconsistencies, and several other seemingly small details all came together to bother me enough that I had to quit reading. After 100 pages, I just did not find myself caring what happened to these characters at all. As for the other reviews that call this book, “Cinderella meets Saw”…have you guys even seen Saw?? It took ALMOST 100 pages for any action to happen, and then when it did happen, it wasn’t really heart pounding to me.
This book is definitely closer to NA than YA, so that should be known to those who care about mature content.
I thought I would draw a post to remind everyone about staying positive and keep doing what you’re doing to help. I’ve seen way too many cars out on my street with those that are having large parties. We shall get there some day, ❤️
No one knew it at the time, but April 19, 2011, was the most important day in the history of the world.
After his only friend and colleague, John Manta, disappears without a word, Dave Randall further entrenches himself in the humdrum life of an unenthusiastic lawyer. But once he begins to understand what happened, he embarks on a journey to uncover the deeper meanings and implications of John’s fate.
Accompanied by Peaches the cat, Dave uproots his life and reinvents himself in the midst of his search. Along the way, he is haunted by his piecemeal understanding of John’s fate and what it means for his existence. Little does Dave know, his journey of self-discovery will have ramifications that extend far beyond the borders of his own little life.
Firstly, the cover is so pretty and colourful!
Secondly, this novels plot grabbed my attention so I would like to thank Daniel the author for the advanced readers copy. I began reading this before it was officially published.
Now onto the review, this novel begins with the whole present and past tense. We are introduced to the main character Dave’s day during April 19th 2011. The day this novel focuses on. Then we are taken back in time to when Dave and John first met. I love how this novel is focused within the job itself as they are working within a law firm. The two meet during a mundane task that is beneath both of them however as with everything – someone has to do it! A great conversation starter too.
It’s interesting to learn about this omniscience although it still does not make sense how a human can be chosen to be this god figure. I do not like the idea of books being at all religious because it’s preaching however this novel is different as the main character goes from being stuck in a routine where he works for the law doing things without question. To quitting and starting a new life elsewhere trying to figure out what he wants to do. Later on he becomes a teacher and meets this woman called Abby, and events leading to disappointments and questioning in God.
The novel progresses well throughout each stage of life as it passes over years throughout. Some quotes I really enjoyed include:
“Nothing is worth doing if you have to give up even a fraction of your soul in the process”
“When you’re really living, there is something in your life that you are afraid, at some level, of losing.”
“I want to change the world for the better, but I’m not always sure how to do it. And it can be too daunting at times to consider the big picture.”
“Joy is a positive force that fills a day with moments that are truly worth living.”
At first, like Dave, I was very annoyed God/John would let such a horrible thing happen if he can control it from not happening. But the role is to let us make our own decisions and be responsible for the consequences. Despite some horrible things that happen in life. Some would always turn to religion and curse at why would whoever is out there, do that to the world? Because life is not peachy – no pun intended. Life is made to have ups and downs as it does shape who we are.
Overall, at the beginning it took me a while to understand the idea of omniscience however by the end of it I found myself emotional at times with sadness and joy once things finally developed properly (within the story’s plot of wanting the happy ever after), it’s rare for me to give 5 star ratings however this one deserves it as I cannot find a major fault in anyway. I really did enjoy the message of this read and how it was written and how it progressed.