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Archiwum - Styczeń, 2014

It Felt Like a Kiss by Sarra Manning / Book Review

30 sty

 

 

It Felt Like a Kiss by Sarra Manning

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Corgi

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 30th January 2014

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher, thank you! Od wydawcy, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

Meet Ellie Cohen, one of the most perfect girls in London.

Ellie manages a swank Mayfair gallery, but it’s her life that’s a real work of art. Great job, really good hair, loyal friends, loving family. It’s only her succession of lame duck boyfriends that ruin the picture.

Oh, and the world-famous rock-star father she’s never met, who won’t even acknowledge her existence.

Then Ellie’s perfect life is smashed to pieces when her secret is sold to the highest bidder and her name, face (and pictures of her bottom) are splashed across the tabloids. Suddenly everyone thinks she’s a gold-digging, sex-crazy, famewhore.

Enter David Gold. Charming and handsome David Gold. On paper he’s even more perfect than Ellie, if only he wasn’t her father’s ruthlessly ambitious lawyer whose job is to manage the crisis – and her. He certainly doesn’t think that Ellie’s the innocent party and she doesn’t trust him at all. So why is it that every time they’re alone together, damage limitation is the last thing on their minds?

Rating/Ocena: 5/5

 

Sarra Manning is an author that I’ve wanted to read for a long time but never had a chance. So when I received „It Felt Like A Kiss” I was really delighted and started to read it immediately. I actually had great expectations and let me tell you that the book didn’t left me disappointed.

 

The book revolves around Ellie Cohen, 26, most normal of all normal girls living in London, working in art gallery, having loving family and wonderful friends and enjoying her life. Ellie has only one problem, and it is about her boyfriends: all of them are „lame ducks”, not suitable for her and her present boyfriend Richey is worst of all of them. She has also a secret: she is a daughter of a British greatest rock star, whom she actually never met and whom she called like Lord Voldemort: he who must not be named. Richey sells her secret to the press and the real hell resolves… She is being called a gold – digger, there are many lies told about her and she is being sacked from work. But here we are also introduced to David Gold, whom Ellie once met by a chance on a music festival, and who appears to be a lawyer of her father. David claims he wants to help Ellie, but is this true?

 

I don’t want to give too much away about the plot, so let’s stop now. I really loved Ellie. She was a likeable, down – to – earth character, she wanted to be independent, she was loyal and a lovely daughter to Ari. Her relationship to Ari was one that I could imagine between mother and daughter in reality, it was actually like my relationship with my mother, we were not only family but also very good friends. Not best friends – those are Tess and Lola for Ellie, but really good friends with a dose of respect.

I have really felt for Ellie and it was great to follow the story and see how she’s coping with all the things that have so suddenly came upon her. It is not first book that I read where the character’s life is turned upside down because of the press and/or internet but I still have read it with my eyes wide open and with a flush, and still can’t believe that such things happen. Because they happen, out of the blue, like it happened to Ellie. And I still wonder who gave those people right to judge Ellie and accuse her of things that she hasn’t done, without HER say in that matter.

Well, I did say that I felt for her, didn’t I? :)

I could go on and on about how much I loved Ellie and how unfair it was on her to throw her in the spotlight when the only thing that she wanted was to live her life and do the job that she loved. But there were some other characters that were also very significant for the plot. Ellie’s mother, Ari, independent, stubborn and loving Ellie with all her heart. She was actually one of the reason that Ellie didn’t need a father in her life: she was surrounded by love, she was loved by Ari and  her grandparents so much. Like I said, the relationship between mother and daughter was very intense, but very healthy and normal as well.

Lola and Tess, Ellie’s two best friends, totally different but also totally likeable and brilliant, and you could often find me laughing out loud when I read the dialogues and banters between them, like the one about fluffer. Still chuckling.

David. I actually really liked him. Maybe not at the beginning, when he was so patronising to Ellie but fortunately he stopped being like this. They were two very different people and it was great to see the sparks going between them. This interaction was for sure not boring and I could expect that it is going to explode next, that everything can happen. He had his goals in life and he was very realistic.

Those were the main characters in the book, but all other that we meet and get to know are just brilliantly written. Manning doesn’t leave a place for any understatements or misunderstandings, she describes  people to the last detail, doesn’t matter if it is about their looks or their characters. I find it totally wonderful, and I had a feeling those people are real, that I can touch them.

 

The book has started perhaps slowly at the beginning and there was a moment that I lost my hope that anything is going to happen but then it kicks and the pace is absolutely right. It is not only about romance, the plot is solid, complete and entertaining, the writing is brilliant, I must admit that I haven’t read a book written in such engaging, solid style, a style that have me hooked from the very first to the very last page, I really didn’t want to stop reading, there are so much feelings in writing. Yes, I could see where the book is going but there were so many twists and turns that it was interesting, exciting, thrilling and gripping. There was really everything that I love in a book and I have enjoyed it thoroughly. This was a read with heart and brain and I really couldn’t ask for more. Loved it.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2014 Releases, Rating 5/5

 

The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman / Book Review

29 sty

 

 

The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Ebury Press

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 30th January 2014

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher, thank you! Od wydawcy, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

The name of your first-born. The face of your lover. Your age. Your address…

What would happen if your memory of these began to fade?

Is it possible to rebuild your life? Raise a family? Fall in love again?

When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold on to the past when her future is slipping through her fingers…?

Original, heartwarming and uplifting, The Memory Book is perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

 

Rating/Ocena: 5/5

 

Since I have read about The Memory Book I knew that I must read this book, no matter what. And I’ve read. And it was all that I hoped for, and even much, much more. I was glued to the pages from the very beginning to the end.

 

Claire is a 40 years old mother of two daughters, Caitlin who is 20 and Esther, aged three. She is English teacher who loves her job with all her heart. She’s also married to Greg, a man of her dreams and all is perfect.

But, as in life, it soon ends. Claire is diagnosed with an early – onset Alzheimer’s Disease. She must give up her job, she’s losing her memory, she can’t find her way home, she forgets if Esther was with her, she can’t read to her little daughter anymore because she forgets letters and words, she forgets that she loves her husband. So then her mother Ruth moves into the house to help the family, and she knows what awaits her: they have already lost Claire’s father to the same disease.

Greg buys Claire a memory book – a notebook where every member of the family can write their memories. Claire also adds to the notebook some mementos from her past, never sent letters and slowly it starts to remind the real Memory Book.

But the family must deal not only with Claire’s AD and its consequences. There is also a crisis with Caitlin and her real father whom she’s never known but Claire thinks that now is the right time for her to meet him – although he doesn’t know that she exists.

 

 This all can sound very sad, and it is indeed, but this book is also very optimistic. It is sadness intertwine with a great sense of humour. Claire is so intelligent, it is told that she could hide her illness, she actually understands what’s happening with her but she’s trying to fight it, she doesn’t want to accept it and is always plotting how to escape. Her good moments  entwine with the bad ones and my heart is really still broken when I think about it. And believe me, I am still thinking about the book, it is a story that stays with you for longer.

 

My heart is also broken for Greg, who was so in love with Claire and couldn’t see how his life is breaking apart, how Claire is forgetting that she loved him but was still loving her and fighting for her and for this love.

 

The relationship between Claire and her mother Ruth was difficult but also a very loving and poignant one. Claire can’t accept that her mother must leave her home and move to hers to take care about her grown up daughter, after she has already seen her husband dying of the same disease. But Ruth is a clever woman and she says some very important things about Claire being always her little baby, no matter how old she is and no matter if she herself is a grandmother, words that had me in tears.

 

The story of Caitlin is also important.  She has some issues and problems to solve herself but still doesn’t want to worry her mother. I would like my daughter to be like Claire, to have her character and empathy.

 

This book also shows what an impact such a disease can have on a family, and how every member of the family suffers or tries to fight. How little Esther doesn’t understand, and can’t understand, that her mum is ill and she can’t read her her favourite books anymore. Caitlin has her own problems and although she would like so much to confide in her mother, she doesn’t want to worry her. Greg and Ruth were also trying to cope in their own ways and it was just unbelievably sad to see how much they were trying to stay strong.

What I also loved is the fact that every chapter is told from the character’s point of view. The memories of Claire, Ruth, Greg and Caitlin were fantastic, sad and some devastating but also uplifting, full of emotions and love.

 

This book is all what I wished for and even more. It has taken me by surprise, that writing about such a bad disease can be so uplifting, full of hope and optimistic. It was incredibly beautiful journey through the illness of one member of the family and how it affects  all the others. It is about feelings and mostly about selfless love, about the strength of the family and faith in better times.

 

And last but not least I must mention the cover of this book which is damn brilliant! It is like the real Memory Book that Claire got from Greg and I really felt like I was keeping Claire’s memories in my hand. It is deep red with some of the bits and pieces on it that we read about in the book. There is nothing better than good old hardback with a beautiful, beautiful cover and fantastic story inside.

It is a story that will stay with me for long and I am sure that I’m going to read it more than once.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2014 Releases, Rating 5/5

 

The Memory Book GIVEAWAY / Ksiazka do wygrania

29 sty

I will be publishing my review of „The Memory Book” asap, probably this evening, but in the meantime I have a great giveaway, open internationally. You can win the book by simply clicking on this link: https://www.facebook.com/agi.onmybookshelf and following the instructions there.  The giveaway closes on 2. February at midnight. Good luck!

 

Short info about the book and Rowan herself:

Rowan Coleman lives with her husband, and five children in a very full house in Hertfordshire. She juggles writing novels with raising her family which includes a very lively set of toddler twins whose main hobby is going in the opposite directions. When she gets the chance, Rowan enjoys sleeping, sitting and loves watching films; she is also attempting to learn how to bake.

Rowan would like to live every day as if she were starring in a musical, although her daughter no longer allows her to sing in public. Despite being dyslexic, Rowan loves writing, and The Memory Book is her eleventh novel. Others include The Accidental Mother, Lessons in Laughing Out Loud and the award-winning Dearest Rose, a novel which lead Rowan to become an active supporter of domestic abuse charity Refuge, donating 100% of royalties from the ebook publication of her novella, Woman Walks Into a Bar, to the charity. Rowan does not have time for ironing.

To find out more about Rowan Coleman, visit her website at: www.rowancoleman.co.uk, Facebook or Twitter: @rowancoleman.

 

About the book:

Synopsis

The name of your first-born. The face of your lover. Your age. Your address…

What would happen if your memory of these began to fade?

Is it possible to rebuild your life? Raise a family? Fall in love again?

When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold on to the past when her future is slipping through her fingers…?

Original, heartwarming and uplifting, The Memory Book is perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

 
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Napisane w kategorii Giveaway

 

Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice – Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson / eBook Review

27 sty

 

 

Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice – Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Penguin Books

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 28th January 2014

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher via NetGalley, thank you! Od wydawcy przez NetGalley, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

A witty and lively novel set somewhere between the worlds of Roddy Doyle and Irvine Welsh.” —William Dalyrymple, The Guardian

Reminiscent of early Roddy Doyle, Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma begins with our singular heroine’s less than idyllic birth and quickly moves to a spectacular fight that lands Janie and her mother in a local women’s shelter. From there it’s on to a dodgy council flat and a succession of unsuitable men, including the hard-drinking, drug-dealing, ice-cream-buying Tony Hogan. Kerry Hudson’s arrestingly original debut will enthrall readers with Janie’s tragicomic and moving story about coming of age in a non-traditional family amid the absurdities of the 1980s and Thatcherite Britain.

Rating/Ocena: 4/5

 

First I have seen the cover of this book and then I have read the title, and this is when I was totally sold. This is one of the best – and perhaps – longest title that I have come across in ages. It is eye – catching and intriguing. And so is the rest of this book. I had some night marathons reading this book and as a mum to an almost two – years – old baby ( = a wee bairn to take care of) I really appreciate a good sleep.

The first words that Janie hears in her life is swearing. She is born to a very young and single mother and her life of abuse, poverty, eviction begins. She spends her life in a long line of B&B’s, removals, hunger, benefits, live – in „uncles” often being abused. She and he ma are very poor and are always struggling to make ends meet but the ma wants only best for her daughter and is doing her best to bring her up. She doesn’t always succeed and Janie is a witness to alcohol, drugs and domestic violence.

The story is told first – person from the very beginning and Janie begins as a new – born. I was shocked to read about the world seen with the eyes of a few hours old baby. Janie is growing and her narration is growing with her and the author did a great, great job with telling the story this way. It was as if a real baby/child/teenager has written the story itself. Her point of view is growing with her, hardening, maturing, at the beginning so very naive and at the end much more matured.

The only thing that disturbed me was the fact that I often didn’t actually know how old Janie is. The action was flowing, we were moving from place to place, in different times and once a little child, Janie was suddenly at school and much older, but I still wasn’t sure how old in fact is she. Of course there are many mentions about the music, bands, TV programmes but well, when I’m reading a book I want to know the facts exactly. I had also some issues with the fact that the action moved from time to time very quickly, we were in one scene and the next was totally different, as if we were suddenly in other space. Book, please talk to me! Don’t skip things so suddenly.

This book was sharp as knife and the dialogues were witty. It is clever and cynic. It really struck a chord with me, many references to the times were known to me, the trends, the bands, the posters of New Kids on the Block on the wall, those were my times as well. I was totally absorbed in this story, I felt for Janie and really wanted all the best for her, with every page hoping that her life is going to turn for better. It is a honest description of a very different childhood, a matter not so often described in the fiction read by me but nevertheless, real and actual. It is very sad and I often had tears in my eyes, but also very witty and it made me laugh.
Kerry is a wonderful story – teller and sharp observer of the reality. Doesn’t matter if she writes about violence, post – natal depression, poverty effects, children forced to grow quickly, the writing is realistic and hooking. I must also mention the language that the characters speak in the book – without it the story wouldn’t be as great as it was, wouldn’t be so real and convincing. She has a great eye for details and thanks to it the characters are living and breathing.

There are books that you know from the beginning that you are going to enjoy. It was one of those books. Touching, clever, written with a great sense of humour and distance. Will be keeping an eye on Kerry Hudson in the future.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2014 Releases, Rating 4/5

 

Some Girls Do by Clodagh Murphy / Book Review

26 sty

 

 

Some Girls Do by Clodagh Murphy

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Hachette Books Ireland

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 6th January 2014

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher, thank you! Od wydawcy, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

Claire Kennedy is NiceGirl, the anonymous author of steamy online blog ‚Scenes of a Sexual Nature’. An internet sensation, she attracts the attention of Mark Bell, a hot London publisher. But when it becomes clear that Mark is interested in more than just a book deal, Claire has to act fast. Because little does Mark know that NiceGirl is a lot more experienced in the bedroom than real-life Claire Kennedy.

Mark is offering Claire the life she’s always dreamed of – a steady relationship, the literary world of London and a posh Highgate apartment.

But when Claire hires the services of struggling artist and commitment-phobe Luca to brush up on her sex skills, things get more complicated…

Great sex, friendship AND love … can’t a girl have it all?

 

Rating/Ocena: 5/5

 

Clodagh Murphy’s name is a well – known one in a chick – lit world but till now I haven’t had a chance to read any of her books (banging head on the wall), which is going to change, absolutely. I have already added „Some Girls Do” to my „favourite” shelf and I blushed… I mean, I enjoyed this book thoroughly.

 

Claire is an average nice girl of 20 – something, who works in a bookshop (and I mean, bookshop! And what a great one!) and lives with her mother – only because she’s ill and needs some help but other than that is a very independent person.  Claire also writes a sex – blog as a NiceGirl and only two people know that she is the author of this blog, and it says something because it is the most popular sex – blog. Ever. It’s not a wonder that she gets a publishing deal with one of the hottest young publishers, Mark. The only problem is that Claire thinks  she will be expected to be like her alter – ego, and it means that she should be totally sexy, hot, wild and have experience in sex. Well, she is nothing of the above. She is sweet, realistically thinking girl who had sex only three and a half times in her life.

Welcome Luca. A struggling artist with a past, considered a total womanizer, Mr. No – Commitments – At – All. Luca is going to teach Claire in the art of sex… And what a teacher is he!

 

I loved Claire from the word go. I just loved her. She was brilliantly written, sweet, fun and intelligent, with a great dose of responsibility in her. Some could think Polyanna but she’s so not. Her relationship with her mother was great, I loved their banter and I loved the way Espie talked to her. At first I thought that Espie is going to be a whingeing, needy woman but no, she was brilliantly witty and I loved her sharp tongue and dry humour. I could see where Claire is coming from.

Luca is one of the best male characters ever. At the beginning I had very mixed feelings about him, he seemed to be lazy, with no actual job, thinking only about parties but then one could see his real face, get to know why he is behaving like this and understand him very good. It was really interesting to read about his life as a child, an orphan in Romania, why he was adopted and then  having to deal with his mother publishing a book about her experience, which actually shouldn’t be written at all. And well, Luca was a fantastic teacher, oh yes, hot baby, hot.

All the other characters were also brilliantly written, with such easiness that I had no problems to fell for them all. Especially friends of Espie were such warm people. I so wanted to go to their Friday get – togethers and play cards with them. Or even play with spoons. And not to mention Ali, Luca’s sister, who took such a care about him.

 

The relationship between Claire and Luca, this is what I call chemistry. There were sparks between them, there was fire, there was friendship and many, many feelings. It was Obvious for me and all other people that they are destined to stay with each other but as it was not so Obvious for them, and there was hot publisher Mark on the scene, it was actually not so sure what the future has for them.

 

It was brilliant to see the development of Claire, her journey through the book, to see how she is maturing and opening. Let’s be honest, talking about sex is not an easy thing but with Luca she could do it. And how! Oh my…

 

 

I don’t think this book is rude. The sex scenes are in fact beautifully written and I enjoyed reading them. There is no vulgarity in them, they are like the most beautiful sex scenes one can dream about. Maybe I’m not an expert, but they were really well written, subtle and not cringy. I really enjoyed this book, from cover to cover. It is written with some kind of magic, it’s warm and full of feelings and emotions. There is a lot of humour put into it, but there were also moments that had me in tears. I am going to read Clodagh’s previous books as soon as possible and waiting impatiently for her next book. In the meantime, perhaps, am going to make friends with „Scenes of a Sexual Nature”, published prior to „Some Girls Do”. Well, it is the name of Claire’s hot blog.

Highly recommended!

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2014 Releases, Rating 5/5

 

What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin /eBook Review

20 sty

 

What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Gallery Books

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 21st January 2014

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher via NetGalley, thank you! Od wydawcy przez NetGalley, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

Self-professed cynic Molly Hallberg navigates the tricky waters of New York romance with help from the advice found in Nora Ephron’s romantic comedies.Molly Hallberg is a thirty-nine-year-old divorced writer living in New York City who wants her own column, a Wikipedia entry, and to never end up in her family’s Long Island upholstery business. For the past four years Molly’s been on staff at Eye Spy, covering all the wacky assignments. She’s snuck vibrators through security scanners, speed-dated undercover, danced with Rockettes, and posed nude for a Soho art studio.

Fearless in everything except love, Molly is now dating a forty-four-year-old chiropractor. He’s comfortable, but safe. When Molly is assigned to write a piece about New York City romance „in the style of Nora Ephron,” she flunks out big time. She can’t recognize romance. And in her own life, she can’t recognize theone man who can go one-on-one with her, the one man who gets her. Mainly because he’s a well-known player.

But, with pointers from Nora Ephron’s romantic comedies, Molly learns to open her heart, suppress her cynicism, and find her very own fairytale ending.

 

Rating/Ocena: 4/5

 

Let’s start this review with saying that your tolerance of this book with depend on your liking films like Sleepless in Seattle, You Have a Mail, When Harry Met Sally because they are often mentioned in the story, as is the author, Nora Ephron. I’m not an expert on Nora but I have seen them all once found them not bad, so I enjoyed the book the same.

 

Molly Hallberg (I have a soft spot for heroines named Molly, won’t tell you why, let’s just say it has something to do with my favourite dog)is in her late thirties and I must admit that I enjoy reading about heroines a little older than 21. She is recovering from a failed marriage and having decided that four generation of the upholstery business is enough for her, she is earning her money in EyeSpy, an online magazine. She dreams about her own column but in the meantime must writes articles about parachuting, sneaking vibrators through the metal detectors, you have it. She likes comfortable and safe, and her actual boyfriend is like this: a chiropractor Russell, who is all but adventurous.

Why Nora? Because Molly should write about an article about finding a soul – mate in style of Nora Ephron, which means funny, quirky, witty. Well, she bombs. But researching for the article she meets a best – selling author Cameron Duncan and she uses to run into him at odd turns.

 

Molly was a complicated character to me. While sharp – funny and a good observer, she was also often unhappy. Perhaps she was too comfortable to me, setting with a boring boyfriend but having no guts to do something with it, not using social media herself and thus not approving when her friends did this, generally speaking, dissatisfied with almost every aspect of her life. But on the other hand she was likeable, she was nice and she was intelligent, brave and she usually didn’t give up. But I didn’t buy the romance in the story. Molly’s „big love” is being mentioned through the book, they meet occasionally, there are some really funny situations they put themselves in but to be honest, I didn’t see the sparks or the interest there, for me there was any chemistry there.. And it took ages to bring those two together although it was obvious for me that they are „destined” for each other in this book.

 

But nevertheless, the book is written with flourish and humour. The writing style reminds me much about Sex and the City but altogether the book is more interesting for me. The pacing is quick, the dialogues are snappy and some of them made me laugh out loud. There were moments that I found the writing too slow but nevertheless, I enjoyed the read., as it was a real light – hearted fun.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2014 Releases, Rating 4/5

 

Mums on Strike by Laura Kemp / Book Review

18 sty

 

 

Mums on Strike by Laura Kemp

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Arrow

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 16th January 2014

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher, thank you! Od wydawcy, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

From the author of Mums Like Us comes a fun, witty novel about what it’s like when an ordinary mum has had enough. Perfect for fans of Pedigree Mum and The Mummyfesto.

It was just a squashed grape on the kitchen floor. Hardly a reason to get upset, right?

But six years of motherhood has left Lisa Stratton feeling like a skivvy.

Every morning before she’s opened her eyes, she starts her mental inventory of jobs to do. And just like yesterday, the day before and every day since she became a mum, she’s woken up knackered.

So when her husband deliberately steps over the grape because it’s ‚her responsibility’ to run the house, it tips her over the edge.

He wasn’t always like this – they used to share everything.

Then the kids came along and he saw it as an excuse to sit back.

But this time things are going to change. Lisa has made a decision. She’s going on strike.

 

Rating/Ocena: 5/5

 

This is the second Laura Kemp’s book but first that I have read. I have „Mums Like Us” on my bookshelf but never came to read it. Yet, it’s just a matter of time.

 

The story is about Lisa, working mum of two children who one day says she is up to her nose being also a housewife, doing everything at home. She feels underestimated, taken for granted by her husband and decides to go on strike from the domestic things. Now it is time for her husband Adam, who has his own firm but s doing nothing at all. And well, flying to their honeymoon they have promised that they will share everything.

Parallel to Lisa’s story we get to know her best friend Cal, stay – at – home mum to three children who seem to have no problems at all, and Mandy, married to Sandro, with two children and all but romantic in her marriage.

 

This book sounded totally innovative to me, while I have read many books about mums and their everyday lives, there was actually no single one of them who has decided to go on strike, no matter how unhappy she was. I must say that there are moments in my life that the idea is very appealing for me.

 

The idea of this book is so easy and normal, I mean, who would actually think to write about mum going on strike, because we take it for granted, and there are roles that we so easy fall into: house and children are for girls and the rest is for big, hunting boys and nobody should complain. I am not a fighting feminist, I take what I get but reading this book I have done some thinking. I am a stay – at – home, my man is the one winning the bread in the moment, our daughter is almost two years old. He takes care about her so willingly, he goes with her for walks, he stays with her that I can go to do my zumba, he is loving and caring man but… There are moments that I feel like Lisa, underestimated, never hearing thank you, always having to ask if he liked my cupcakes. What I mean, well, it is NOT obvious that I should make those cakes, isn’t it? Thinking about doctors, what to buy, what to cook… Why is it me? Because I have, like Lisa, boobs and am a woman? „You do this better”, „you know what to do”, „how shall I do this”…? Grrrr. One example. Sophie was crying in the night, well, actually it was in the very early morning, the time my husband is getting up to go to work. I have thought, good, he is going to give her her pacifier and I don’t have to get up. And what???? Of course he didn’t do this, and what I heard later? „I didn’t know what I should do”. Well, I never…

 

I don’t consider going on a strike but I see Lisa’s point. She was a normal, likeable woman, like almost all of us, she wanted to feel appreciated and I totally get it. I liked her from the beginning, she was like my neighbour or a friend, warmed to her immediately and even if I’m not like her – here is all topsy – turvy, often unorganised, I am not stressing about small things like she did – I really could see where all of this strike thing is coming from. She was juggling children, job, husband, work and there came a moment that she said she cannot any more. Believe me, I often have such feeling.

Adam was great. I really can’t see my husband coping with the things so patiently like he did, and he did brilliant in my opinion. I would say, thumbs up to him, he had a stressful job and that he played along with Lisa’s strike. I personally would have some pangs of conscience doing something like this but like I said, my husband is not so bad. He could only stop searching for things that our out of a sale date and showing them to me again and again.

The other characters were also good but I didn’t like them as much as the main heroes. I have very mixed feelings about Cal, she was not so totally my cup of tea, too smug and too posh for my liking, but I felt for Mandy and it was great to see how she developed in the book. Maybe it went a little too easy with Sandro but well, all is well that ends well.

 

Altogether, I really enjoyed this book. I have read every page with flushed face, turned the pages with curiosity and wanted to know what’s going to happen next. I think it was because this book was about me, about normal people and their everyday lives, and actually I have found myself nodding at every turn, knowing the situations, everything was so familiar to me. Laure Kemp showed that one doesn’t need to write a book with exaggerated plot, impossible situation and still, this book can be gripping, normal and brilliant read.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2014 Releases, Rating 5/5

 

Checking Inn by Emily Harper / eBook Review

09 sty

 

 

 

Checking Inn by Emily Harper

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Writers to Authors

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 20th December 2013

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from author, thank you! / Od autorki, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

Kate Foster runs the Summerside Inn (and her life) by well-organized checklists.
Make sure the caterers don’t serve devil’s food cake to the Christian Women’s Alliance- check.
Tell my mother that having a séance to get rid of any unwanted spirits in the kitchen during dinnertime is not okay- check.
Send a friendly reminder to all staff that the pens are colour coded for everyone’s enjoyment, and therefore it is not a good idea to put them all in one jar in order to spice things up as was anonymously suggested- check.
But, when an acclaimed hotel critic dies at the Inn, just before she’s about to publish a scathing review that would ruin the business, Kate’s life and checklists are thrown into disarray. And it doesn’t help matters that the detective assigned to the case is messy, unorganized, and too charming for his own good. Now Kate has to prove her innocence and save her Inn, or else the only thing that she’ll be organizing is the prison’s next bake sale.

Rating/Ocena: 5/5

 

When I read a summary of this book I had a feeling it could be a good one. And I wasn’t wrong. I have enjoyed it thoroughly, from the beginning to the end. It is fun and fast read, not too ambitious perhaps and your enjoyment can depend on your tolerance to the chick – lit in its best. Because in my opinion it was this: chick – lit at its best.

I love characters like Kate, doing everything with the to – do lists and checks, maybe because they are so different to me. I wouldn’t know a to – do list if it slapped me hard on my head, so yes, I am more detective Ben type. Grrrr…
Kate has OCD and sorts the pens according to their colour. Her business – cards must also be put in the same place and not a millimeter above. Everything has its place and everything is according to the lists done by Kate. She has put her heart into renovating an old inn and now only needs a brilliant review from her so – called friend Samantha. Samantha has bullied Kate at school but she is the only one who can help her now. But then Samantha is found murdered in her room in the inn…

The idea of the plot was so easy but it did work out. I didn’t expect it to be very complicated one, with many investigations or detective puzzles, and I didn’t actually want it to be like this. And I have got this what I so wanted: funny, easy, surprising book that made me smile.

Kate was brilliantly written. Her OCD was really great portrayed, and I really could feel her pain when she got into Ben’s car. My, she was so tight and so perfect but also so warm, friendly and adorable, and I just couldn’t help but like her so, so much.
Ben is a total opposite of Kate, he is messy and unorganized but he is also damn handsome and a great guy. Kate’s boyfriend, on the other hand, was a typical Wrong Guy but Kate didn’t see this of course. He has always let her down and promised to make it up for her, which he of course never did. He was as cold as Ben was warm, as unfriendly as Ben was nice, so adding two and two together Ben should be the Right Guy. Is Kate going to see this?

The other characters were also great fun. Kate’s mom was hilarious, a total opposite of her daughter, wanting to help but more often causing more problems, Becky and Louisa were a dream – team, Kate’s dog Maggie was a real sunshine. The situations in the book were great fun, some of them really unexpected, the writing was flowing, very easy to follow, with a great dose of sharp, witty humour – just what the doctor ordered!

Overall yes, the book was predictable but it absolutely didn’t spoil the reading. I have really enjoyed this story. It is a great read when one feels in need of entertaining or feels low, or is between some serious read. And it is a compliment! And I have just downloaded Emily’s first book, „White Lies”, to my kindle.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2013 Releases, Rating 5/5

 

Over the Rainbow by Alison Sherlock / eBook Review

07 sty

 

 

Over the Rainbow by Alison Sherlock

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Alison Sherlock

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 1st January 2014

 

Source / Zrodlo: Purchased / Kupiona

 

Amazon Summary:

How far do you need to travel to find yourself?

It’s been ten years since make-up artist Elizabeth Monroe discovered that she was adopted. She has spent her twenties trying and failing to find her real mother. Trusting no-one with her secret, it has been a lonely search on her own.

Her hunt has finally led Elizabeth to Grove village. Getting involved with the local amateur dramatic society was not part of Elizabeth’s plan. But famous theatre director Jack Andrews appears to hold the key to her mystery and if she keeps close to the villagers she might be able to finally meet her real mother.

Unfortunately the production of The Wizard of Oz is a mess. Dorothy’s hormones are menopausal, the TinMan is Elizabeth’s badly behaved ex-boyfriend and the Wicked Witch of the West has a huge secret. It’s up to Elizabeth to take control of the musical to ensure it’s a hit for all the right reasons. Maybe some of her new friends will help, if she can learn to trust them. And just maybe, amongst the cast of undertakers, farmers and florists, a true star lies in the wings.

But perhaps what Elizabeth seeks isn’t what she really needs? Perhaps it will take a group of strangers to show her the path to true happiness once more. All Elizabeth knows is that she has to find a way to let go of the past in order to look forward to the future.

Perhaps all of her answers lie Over The Rainbow.

Rating/Ocena: 4/5

 

I didn’t know that Alison was writing her third book and it came out as a wonderful surprise. I love Alison, she is a very nice person, and I also love her books, so I didn’t think long and purchased „Over the Rainbow” in the twinkling of an eye.

 

Elizabeth Monroe has been in a life crisis for more than twelve years. On her 18th birthday she was told by her parents that she is adopted. Her world has broken and to forget the pain she becomes the party – queen of London. We get to know her twelve years later, working as a make – up artist for the theatres and still searching for her birth – mother. The search leads her to a small village Grove but the things turn out very unexpectedly there. She didn’t plan to be a part of the village Christmas play, she didn’t plan to stay there longer than necessary, she didn’t plan to find friends there, and most of all, she didn’t plan to find love. She just wanted to find her mother. Unfortunately, she is put in actual charge and must take control over the play and organize almost everything.

 

While adoption is relatively often a topic in books, this what some kind of brutal: putting a baby for sale in a paper ad. I am not sure if it was legal and possible even in 1984 but let’s forget about legal issues. It’s just a fiction :)

 

I have warmed to Elisabeth immediately. She was nice, likeable character and she was real in her longings. Well, sometimes she was too soft, too meh and forgot to stand for herself but well, all of us sometimes forgets the words. Although I didn’t like the fact that she let Jack to treat her as a doormat sometimes.

There are also many other important characters in the book. First of all, the famous and extravagant director Jack who finds himself being in charge of the Christmas play of „The Wizard of Oz”. Yes, he is cold, yes, he is arrogant but on the other hand I had a feeling that he knows what he want and that in the end he is as soft as a lamb fur.

The reverend Barry White was ridiculous and the way he forced all people to do what he wants was a little unbelievable. Dorothy being played by hormonal, some decades too old and not being able to sing Mavis was… maybe not too fresh and innovative idea but nevertheless it worked. The other actors and inhabitants of  village were nice and professionally written and they added some spice to the plot. Especially Dawn and Tiffany who grown to be very important people in Elizabeth’s life and the sub – plot of Tiffany was important and significant. There was also Lawrence, an ex – boyfriend  of Elizabeth, who called her Lizzy, who was as grotesque as an ex can be, but I loved the back and forth chatter between him and Elizabeth, those were actually the best dialogues in the book and only with him Elizabeth was so witty and sharp.

 

This book was a great fun. The idea to present Oz in the times of  World War II and the consequences of organizing the play like this were risky but also brilliant. The many actors with different characters only added to the story and reading about the rehearsals was fantastic. Yes, Alice is writing about some important issues too, but she writes about them with a big dose of subtlety andbalances them with many funny scenes so we are not too overwhelmed. Yes, I did predict a bit, actually I predicted many but nevertheless it didn’t spoil my reading. I have really enjoyed the book, exactly like all of Alison’s previous books. Want more:)

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2014 Releases, Rating 4/5

 

Romancing the Soul by Sarah Tranter / eBook Review

06 sty

 

 

 

Romancing the Soul by Sarah Tranter

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Choc Lit

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 7th January 2014

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher, thank you! / Od wydawcy, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

Rachael Jones hasn’t exactly chosen an average career path. She’s a past-life regressionist and is now hoping to help her clients find their Soul Mates through reconnecting them with their past lives.

But despite her best intentions, there are problems. Rachael made the mistake of regressing her best friend, Susie Morris, who has since been haunted by events that occurred in her past life.

When Susie meets Hollywood actor, George Silbury in unlikely circumstances, she is completely unprepared for her reactions. There’s an intense mutual attraction that neither can explain nor ignore.

Can George help Susie to overcome the sense of desolation she feels as the result of her past life regression, or will history’s habit of repeating itself ruin all chances of her finding happiness?

After the success of her debut paranormal novel, Sarah moves into mainstream contemporary with a twist—past life regression!

 

Rating/Ocena: 2/5

 

This is the first book by Sarah Tranter and I am very sorry to say that it was not my cup of tea. Although I find the idea of the book interesting: reuniting Soul Mates, past lives etc. Not exactly what I call „wow” but nevertheless, something refreshing and new for me in a book. I guess the only book with plot a little similar to this was Marian Keyes’s „Anybody Out There”, which I loved.

We have four main characters in this book. Best friends Susie and Rachael, and Rachael is a past – life regressionist and helps people to find their Soul Mates. Susie is a teacher and since Rachael has regressed her, she doesn’t believe in a true love and is being haunted by her awful, past life.
Cassie and George are sister and brother. Cassie is a journalist and George is a Hollywood star. Cassie wants to prove that this was Rachael does for living is a total crap and so makes George to be regresses by Rachael. George meets then Susie and their attraction is just to intense.
And this is all what I can say about the plot.

The characters were unlikeable for me, I didn’t feel them and I didn’t fall for them. The whole plot, the whole action was too unrealistic, too untrue and I really couldn’t care less what’s going to happen. For me one half of this book is about Susie moaning that she can’t have relationship with George but she doesn’t understand why, and the second is about Susie moaning, that she can’t continue the relationship with George but she doesn’t know why. She just has bad feelings.
In my opinion, the characters were not the best written. I really couldn’t care less about Susie, she was a drama queen, meh, weak and not funny at all. George was so perfect and nice that I couldn’t help but think that it can’t be true. The banter between Cassie and Rachael was the lightest point of the plot but the dialogues were not engaging at all, they were repeating the same things over and over again and I felt bored. I have skipped more then a third of the book and I didn’t have a feeling that I’m missing something.

The idea of regressing was also not this what I thought of and developed in a way that didn’t have me hooked. There were too many repetitions, the tension was not enough for me, the situations were too unrealistic, the sub – characters were ridiculous as „black – characters”. I am really sorry to say that it was not my favourite reading but nevertheless, I hope that I will come across Sarah Tranter in future.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2014 Releases, Rating 2/5