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Archiwum - Sierpień, 2015

The Little Flower Shop by the Sea by Ali McNamara / Book Review

31 sie

The Little Flower Shop by the Sea by Ali McNamara

 

Publisher: Sphere

Publishing Date: 30th July 2015

Source:  Received from publisher, thank you!

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Poppy Carmichael, 30, certainly never intended to own a florist. But when she inherits her grandmother’s beloved flower shop on the beautiful Cornish coast, Poppy has no choice but to return to the pretty harbour town of St Felix where she spent much of her childhood.

Returning to St Felix brings back sad memories for Poppy. But when she makes new friends such as local flower grower Jake, a young widowed father of two teenagers, Poppy begins to overcome her fears, and discover for herself what’s so special about this little flower shop by the sea.

Rating: 4/5

 

„The Little Flower Shop by the Sea” is Ali McNamara’s 6th book, if I’m not mistaken, and I can proudly say that I’ve read all of them. Nevertheless, I was starting this book a little uncertain, because as much as I love Ali’s „From Notting Hill…” series, I had not so brilliant relationship with her stand – alone novels. But I can now easily state, that her latest release is a wonderful story that I enjoyed so very much!

There is a great cast of characters in this book, and there is this incredible sense of community that I so love in my books. The characters were so vivid and colourful, and all of them had their own personality and felt like real people, with their stories, their history, that often was so heart – wrenching. It was really great to see how all of them were developing, especially our MC Poppy who, named after the flower, didn’t want to have anything with flowers. Nevertheless, being in St Felix brings back all the nice memories from her childhood, and no matter how much she doesn’t want to stay there, the place grows on her so much again, and she feels happy there. Is she going to conquer her demons?

Also, the people of St Felix that welcomes her back so warmly were a great addition to the story. And not only people, but also dogs and monkey! Yes! Miley the monkey was an extra character, and I loved all the scenes with her, she was so greatly described that I could see her cover her ears or eyes.

I also loved the descriptions of St Felix, the sense of community that I’ve mentioned before – this place was truly charming, the atmosphere there was so cosy, and I’d love to spend my holidays there and try some pasties from the lovely duo Ant & Dec. Ali has captured the atmosphere of this little town perfectly, the neighbourly kindness, but also the neighbourly messing about.

We knew from almost the very beginning that Poppy had some issues and as a result she has been almost fifteen years in the therapy. We know it has something to do with her brother and flowers but of course we must wait a respectable bit of time for this secret to be revealed. Nevertheless, the author has done this brilliantly in my eyes, because she didn’t mention it too often to make us tired with the waiting, and in the meantime she has added some really significant scenes or sub – plots that took our minds away from this particular secret. Really great job.

There is a lot about flowers in this book, and as much as I’m not into the whole flowers – thing (although I’m not as extreme as Poppy, I do like a big, nicely scented bouquet of flowers), I did enjoy all those descriptions, and the information about how each flower means something totally different. I loved how each chapter was dedicated to different flower (had no idea there are so many of them!), and how the descriptions of those flowers fit the content of this chapter. I wouldn’t also say no to this extra special bouquet made only for me by Amber, a bouquet that would cure all my troubles.

You know, it was a truly complex story, full of feelings and emotions, and as much as it is on the light side, the author also writes about some much more important issues that often made my heart breaking. It has enough twists and turns and a very promising romance. I have a feeling that there are some loose ends left that are in need to be tied up, but maybe we are for a sequel there? But still, it was really a lovely novel, a novel that has everything that I am always looking for in a book: relatable, likeable heroine, a story, it’s full of emotions and it makes you both laugh and shed some tears. The author also tried to stir some problems adding Caroline to the plot, and as much as I appreciate it, this sub – plot was a little far – fetched, too obvious and too predictable, and I’d love a little more resistance from her, that it didn’t end such easily and without protest. This, and the end that seemed much too rushed for my liking, and especially Stan being introduced to his new family – it was too important to be so left out, as Jack and his children are significant characters to this story, and the book has lost its impact somewhere in the middle, the pace slowed clearly down – those are my only „buts”. Other than that, it was really a delightful, sunny and light read that I truly enjoyed, and it brought back the feeling of summer, with just the right mix of romance, laugh and tears, and I am already waiting for a new story from Ali.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2015 Releases, Rating 4/5

 

Weekly Wrap Up # 60

30 sie

Hello, hello, how are you all doing? When I was thinking that summer has gone away, it’s back, and we’re sweating again. I never thought that I’m going to tell this, but I don’t want summer any more. But. Back to books. It was a quiet week, relatively speaking, I was of course reading but couldn’t settle for a book, started two kindle books and didn’t finish them, and it of course slowed me down. Not many reviews as well, but you could read brilliant Q&A with Liz Tipping and see what my most anticipated September releases are.

BOOKS THAT I READ LAST WEEK:

„Five Go Glamping” by Liz Tipping – reviewed

„The Little Flower Shop by the Sea” by Ali McNamara – to be reviewed

„The Morning After Memoirs” by Kate Michaels – DNF

„Asking for It” by Louise O’Neill – to be reviewed

 

  Am reading right now:

„The Things We Do for Love” by Alice Peterson

„Raincoats and Retrievers” by Cressida McLaughling

„The Aubrey Rules” by Aven Ellis

 

 I REVIEWED THIS WEEK:

It’s Got to be Perfect by Haley Hill 2/5

Five Go Glamping by Liz Tipping 5/5

My Everything by Katie Marsh 5/5 + Hall of Fame

 

BOOKS I RECEIVED THIS WEEK:

PAPERBACKS:

Zoe Miller „A Question of Betrayal”

Jenny Lawson „Fabulously Happy”

Vanessa Greene „The Beachside Guest House”

Monica Byrne „The Girl on the Road”

KINDLE:

Cressida McLaughlin „Raincoats and Retrievers”

Max Wirestone „The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss”

Christie Barlow „The Misadventures of a Playground Mother”

Lisa Dickenson „The Twelve Dates of Christmas”

 
 

(My Most Anticipated) September Releases

28 sie

Hello, hello, and here we are again. The summer is almost history, autumn begins, big changes are coming, and NEW BOOKS as well. One better than the other and the only question that stays the same each month is how can I find enough time to read them ALL? Here are books that I’m waiting particularly impatiently for:

The first book that I have to mention is for sure The Things We Do for Love by Alice Peterson. I love this author with her every new book more and more and even though her stories make me cry buckets, I can’t have enough of them. Alice is an incredibly talented author and one of the most kindest persons ever, and she writes such down – to – earth, true to life novels that make me smile, laugh, gasp and  – first of all – cry, and yet there is always so much hope in them. I’m just starting „The Things We do for Love” and am totally over – excited, as the blurb sounds so, so, so promising! The book is out on 10th Spetember, published by Quercus.

Then! Lucky Santangelo is back! OMG! Jackie Collins is one of my favourite authors, and one of the first thanks to whom I love books and reading so much, and to be honest, all the copies of her books that I have on my bookshelf look a little battered – but no wonder, as I’ve read them thousands times or so… Nevertheless, Ms Collins is back with The Santangelos on 10th September and already reading the blurb otself gives me a thrill and goosebumps! I so can’t wait to start reading this epic saga and see what kind of problems Lucky is going to put herself into! (The novel is published by Simon & Schuster).

Also Miranda Dickinson is back with a brand new novel and brand new publisher! My relationship with Miranda’s books is like a rollercoaster ride, but there is something that always makes me want to read her every new release. This time it’s A Parcel for Anna Browne and it not only has a beautiful cover (I love this blue!), but also a very promising blurb that sounds almost like a fairy – tale, and who doesn’t love fairy – tales? Well, I do, and this is why I can’t wait to read this book! it’s out on 24th September, published by Pan Macmillan.

Also Vanessa Greene has a new book published in September. I fell in love with her beautiful stories about tea – rooms and friendship, and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us this time. The publisher promises a little darker and more serious story this time, but I am sure that we’re going to find the things that we got to love Vanessa for: friendship, romance, love, laughter and teras, and this all written in this lovely, easy to follow writing style! The Beachside Guest House is published by Sphere on 24th September and I literally can’t wait to start reading this beautiful novel as well!

A book about my favourite background, ie. school gates, playground is already on my kindle! I love reading about school gates and parents and their antics, and The Misadventures of a Playground Mother by Christie Barlow seems just what the doctor ordered for me! It sounds incredibly hilarious and entertaining, and it is for sure my next kindle read (or maybe I’m even going to abandon the book I’m reading right now just to start this one!). The novel is out on 11th September, published by Bookouture.

And, because Bookouture is spoiling us with so many incredible new releases, there is one more from this publisher that I can’t wait to read: Christmas at the Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin. I don’t have to introduce this author, as she is one of the well – known chick – lit authors, and also one of the most loved, which is not a wonder actually, as her stories are full of magic, feel – good factor, fun and all other emotions. And just looking at this beautiful cover makes me miss Christmas already, and who wouldn’t like to live in a Lilac Cottage??? Roll on, time, as the book is out on 25th September.

And you? Do you also wait for any particular release?

 
 

My Everything by Katie Marsh / Book Review

26 sie

My Everything by Katie Marsh

 

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publishing Date: 27th August 2015

Source:  Received from publisher, thank you!

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A thought-provoking, emotive and page-turning debut novel: Hannah’s thirty-two-year-old husband has a stroke . . . on the day she was going to leave him.

On the day Hannah is finally going to tell her husband of five and a half years that she is leaving him, she finds him lying on the floor by their bed, terrified and unable to move. He’s suffered a stroke.

It’s unbelievable – Tom’s only 32. And now Hannah has to put all her plans on hold to care for the husband she was all but ready to give up on, only now feels she can’t. Tom can’t walk, carry out basic tasks, or go out to work, but after months of neglecting and disconnecting from his wife, the long period of rehabilitation he’s faced with does mean one thing: he has the time and fresh perspective to re-evaluate his life. He decides he must make his marriage work: Hannah is the love of his life.

But can Tom remould himself into the man Hannah first met? And can Hannah let go of what she thought she wanted – the new life she had planned – and fall in love with him again?

Rating: 5/5

 

I’m on such a good roll when it comes to debut novels lately! „My Everything” is Katie Marsh’s first book and I can’t believe it, as it so mature, perfect, compelling read. It reminds me a lot of Jessica Thompson or Jojo Moyes’s books – both in subject matter and the writing style, but no worries, Ms Marsh has already found her own way with words and her own style, and truly, I can’t wait to read more from her. And to be totally honest, I don’t know how to write this review to do this book justice, I could write I TOTALLY LOVED IT and be done.

The way this book was written has worked out incredibly well for me, and I find this idea of doing it in a full circle really good. The chapters are alternating between the present and past, telling us a lot about the characters and what happened that the situation is like it is, explaining everything, to eventually meet in the present, to do a full circle.

I fell in love with Hannah from the first time we get to know her. She was very likeable in my opinion, of course she was, but there was something special in her, something that I can’t put my finger on, but this „something” just made her a smashing, extraordinary character. I would do anything for Hannah, and would support her no matter what she were to do, as she was so exceptional. No, she was not perfect, she had her flaws, and there was more than once that I wanted to shout at her or shake her and tell her, get a grip, woman, and fight for yourself! She was not the best in confrontations and when something didn’t work out than she just left it as it is, not trying to fight to change it. And I hated how impassive she was towards her sister – in – law, Julie. But an extraordinary book character can’t be flawless, right? Hannah was full of passion for her job and I loved it. She loved travelling but she put this hobby on hold, because life got in the way. By „life” I mean her marriage to Tom – his job didn’t allow to take any free time. Hannah’s best friend accused her that there is nothing remaining from old Hannah, that she changed, but I think that Hannah herself realised this.

There were not many characters in the book, as it mostly concentrates on Hannah and Tom, Jules and Hannah’s friend Steph, but believe me, there needn’t have been more, as those were so special and unforgettable. I’ve no idea how Katie Marsh managed to write such extraordinary characters, that felt more than vivid, and telling that I had a feeling they are going to jump out of the pages would be an understatement – I had a feeling that the story is whispered to me but them, that we are sitting at the same table and they personally are telling me this story. It’s incredible feeling, I can still feel goosebumps, and I can’t remember I apprehended, appreciated characters so much.

And moreover, those were my favourite kind of characters. People, who were not staying in one place, but people who were changing, developing, maturing, people who learnt from their own mistakes, three – dimensional characters that I rooted for from the very first moment. Oh, of course, I liked some of them much more than the others, but the author made them so movable, adjustable that my opinion about them was also changing, and even the most unlikeable ones (yes, Jules, I’m talking about you) changed.

The story is so human and it tugs at all the right heart – strings. I didn’t have any problem to feel „at home” right from the very beginning to the end, as the author has this incredible talent to throw you direct into the heart of the story. Her writing style is also beautiful, and I really can’t believe that it’s debut novel, it is so self – confident, mature and everything has its place in this book – and I like when one thing results from the other, not when the things are strew around and I have a feeling the situations has nothing in common.

Usually I like the end to be closed, wrapped up, but it must be the exception here – it is left open and we can write the ending for ourselves. It really amazes me, because I truly am a fan of everything being explained and having its own place, but this time the author lets our imagination run a little, and I really like it, and it suits the story totally.

I could really go on and on about how much I loved this book. Everything there was perfect for me. I adored the way how the author coped with the difficult issues in the story, such as stroke and its consequences, growing apart, finding yourself anew. I loved the plot – it was maybe was not the most unique one, but was tackled in a way that made it feel unique and fresh. I loved the characters, that felt like real people, that behaved and spoke like real people, it all felt so honest and genuine. I loved the tone of the story – it might not have been the easiest book to read because of the storyline, but the author has made it a real joy to read, has made it easy and also light, and also a funny read, it was all brilliantly balanced. So yes, I think you can say that I really LOVED „My Everything”, and even though it’s a debut novel, the author proved she has this magic touch, and I personally can’t wait to see what Katie Marsh has in store for us next.

So really, this is a big cracker of a book, and I urge you to read it. It is incredible story about journey through life, about developing , about getting to know each other again, about following your dreams, compromises and backing down in the name of love. I really can’t praise it high enough. It is right now one of my strongest candidates for my book of the year, as it is unforgettable, beautiful story.

 

Q & A with Liz Tipping, author of „Five Go Glamping”

25 sie

Today I am super excited to have Liz Tipping on my blog. Liz’s debut novel „Five Go Glamping” is out this Friday, on 28th August, and you can read my review here. I truly adored this book and am going to recommend it to all of you who’s going to listen to me (and even if you’re not going to listen to me,  still will be recommending it) – it’s such a feel – good, heart – warming story!

But before you can go and buy your copy (and thank me later), Liz has answered some of my questions. Enjoy!

1. Hi Liz, can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Thank you for having me on your blog, Aga! I’m a brand new romantic comedy author- well, I say brand new, but I have been at it for a while now but I am new to being a published author. I live In Birmingham.  I love photography and films and going on adventures.

 2. Can you please tell us shortly about your new book „Five Go Glamping”?

The book is about Fiona who at the beginning of the book realises she has been doing the same job for years and years and hasn’t really achieved what she wanted to. She’s worried she’s going to be a mad cat lady like her colleague, Doris! When her friends suggest a Glamping trip, she thinks it will be a nice break and a chance to think about her life but she gets more than she bargained for!

 3. Where did the initial idea for the book come from?

I wanted to read a grown up with all the fun of chick lit but with the sense of adventure of an Enid Blyton – and I couldn’t find a book like that so I decided to write one. At the time I started, I hadn’t been glamping but I really wanted to as it looked such fun, so I wrote about it!

4. What is your favourite scene in this book?

What a good question! I have never thought about this before!

I love all the scenes with Brian in them. I love him.  Although they were tricky to write at times and  I would sometimes forget he was there! When I read back through it, I had a few moments of “Hey, where has the dog gone? He was here a minute ago!”

5. Camping or glamping for you?

I love both and have been camping and glamping in the last year and I love them both, but I think my favourite kind of holiday is in a caravan!

6. What is your favourite holidays memory?

I have so many, but recently this beautiful beagle stole my lunch on the beach in Ogmore, Wales, so that was fun! But also, you know those claw grabbing machines in amusement arcades- the ones no-one ever wins?

Well, I put 50p in one of the giant and won a gigantic bear. I don’t even like cuddly toys, but it felt like I had won the lottery. I couldn’t believe it and I think it was pretty much the best day of my life ever!

7. I love the idea of fake vacations – where would you go and what would you do on such holidays?

I think going on the type of fakeation mentioned in the book is kind of strange! Like, going to Spain and pretending you are in the Bahamas is crazy, isn’t it? Why not simply enjoy being in Spain? But I do like the idea of bringing those  holiday activities into our everyday lives and doing the things you do on holiday as often aa you can- so going for walks, taking time to relax, going for a swim- and reading books of course!

 8. Are you like any of the characters in „Five Go Glamping”?

I’m probably a bit like Fiona in that I can’t stand working in offices! Unlike Fiona, who has stayed in her job for ten years, I’ve only done it twice and both times was for less than a week! I’m probably a little bit like Sinead too in that I am always looking for ways to relax. I’m least like Steph- she’s more of a business woman type. She’s very focused on her career and I’ve never really got the hang of that!

9. What 5 books would you recommend to our readers?

This year so far I have loved The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig, A Robot in The Garden by Deborah Install and  The Sisters by Claire Douglas. There’s a book I love called Driving Jarvis Ham by JimBob which is crazily hilarious- a really bonkers book that cracks me up. One of my favourite romance writers is Romy Sommer and I think Not a Fairy Tale is my favourite of hers.

10. And finally, what are the three facts that we don’t know about you and would like to know?

    1. I’m not a fan of wine at all- or champagne or anything like that, so I will be celebrating my book release with a bitter or a Guinness!
    2. I have trouble with shoes. I find them really uncomfortable and don’t like to wear them at all. I have two pairs and only bought one pair of shoes in the last five years. I do love boots and trainers though!
    3. I love blogging and when I grow up I want to be a full time blogger!

 

 

Bio

Liz Tipping writes romantic comedy.
As well as reading and writing novels, Liz enjoys John Hughes films, science fiction box sets, reality television, Irish sausages and ginger beer.

Her debut novel Five Go Glamping is published by Carina and she is represented by Juliet Mushens.

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/LizziesBooks

Twitter: @LizTipping
https://twitter.com/LizTipping

Website: liztipping.com
http://liztipping.com/

Blog: fivegoglamping.blogspot.com

 

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2015 Releases

 

Five Go Glamping by Liz Tipping / eBook Review

25 sie

Five Go Glamping by Liz Tipping

 

Publisher: Carina

Publishing Date: 28th August 2015

Source:  Received from publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

 Synopsis:

Glamping Check list

Festival tickets
Double check best Instagram filter
Avoid thinking about work/Connor/five year plan!!

A four day break from her hectic life to relax in the countryside and hang out at a local festival (for free!) is just what Fiona Delaney needs. With her best friends, great tunes and a cool looking hat her Instagram shots are going to look A-Mazing!

Until suddenly glamping starts to feel a lot more like camping and Fiona’s in desperate search of a comfy chair, wi-fi and a chilled glass of wine. But when she finally makes it to the local pub she discovers this trip could be more than just a holiday, it might just change her life forever…

Rating: 5/5

 

„Five Go Glamping” is Liz Tipping’s debut novel, and what a lovely, sweet and charming debut it is! It is full of humour, brilliant one – liners and funny, embarrassing situations, so actually it is just what the doctor ordered for the end of this summer. I also absolutely adore the cover of this book, the colours are so lush and strong and only looking at this yurt is making me laugh, as I still remember the antics of the characters.

The book was quick, really, and I mean the way it was written made it easy and quick to read, and the pace of the story was really fast. Even though I found the second part of the story, also after the characters went glamping, a little slower, still the tempo was right and they didn’t slow down with their antics.

What captivated me so much, and positively surprised, was the way the story was written – it was incredible joy to read! – and how larger – than – life and realistic the characters and situations felt. I truly had a feeling that the characters are going to jump out of the pages any moment. Yes, there were moments that the plot felt a little too far – fetched, especially when we think about Crazy Trousers and Weird Beard, or was it Weird Trousers and Crazy Beard… and all this „New Age” cult, but it somehow suited this book and the writing style and on the other hand, it was so belly – ache funny that I was able to swallow every situation and every event – it just sat so good with this story, and in fact added so much freshness to it.

Our main character, Fiona, is such a typical chick – lit heroine: she’s in a relationship with Connor, but she’s really not sure if it is still a relationship at all, as Connor comes and goes as he wants. She works hard, not having holidays or free days because she’s saving. Saving hard to eventually buy with Connor their dream house and be completely together. But is it really her dream? Or is this her boyfriend’s dream? She’s also on the verge of being OCD, as she plans everything meticulously and painstakingly and you’re not going to find a spontaneous bone in her body. Yes, I can see you asking, how such a character can be likeable, but believe me, I was rooting for Fiona from the very first scene. She was lovely, funny and friendly, and when you got to know her deep, deep inside, it quickly turned out that she has also a spontaneous side to her and she’s not afraid of taking risks and making changes.
I loved the interactions with all her friends, and the dog, Brian Harvey. I loved Brian with all my heart and mostly the scenes with him made me laugh out loud. And he was so incredibly well and vivid described, that I truly could see his puzzled face, or him running and barking around – loved him, just loved him! The friends, Steph, Sinead and Kirk was the loveliest bunch of friends you could imagine, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go with them camping. Or glamping. Whatever. Holidays with them wouldn’t be boring, that’s certain.

The romance in the story was also brilliantly considered and thought through. It was not so straight – forward, oh no, even though Fiona very quickly found herself attracted to Sam. It was Sam that was a hard cookie this time, playing hard to come by… no, no, I’m joking, I think Sam was also attracted to Fiona, but the circumstances were not right this time, and he was very clear with it, no beating around the bush, no tricking, no bluffing.

Liz Tipping has incredible talent to write scenes that seem to be normal, usual situations, but she can change them into incredibly funny scenes, and write dialogues with a lot of fun and hidden sarcasm, and it just makes fun to read this heart – warming, optimistic, lovely story. Yes, of course, it is predictable to some degree, but it’s so nicely written that even if you are guessing how it’s going to end, it doesn’t spoil the reading in any way.

I liked the end to this story. The last few chapters, I really didn’t know what Fiona is going to do, if she’s going to follow her dream and risk everything she so hard worked for for so many years, or just go with the flow. It was not the easiest decision to be made, I must admit, because often we just live accustomed to this what we have and we don’t want to take any new risks, to start afresh. What did Fiona do? Well, you must read for yourself!

But under all this fun and humour the book is about new beginnings, about giving yourself a second chance. It is a chick – lit with a sense of adventure, and I absolutely adored the way our Fiona went on her adventure, with open mind, and how she was not afraid to change. Believe me, if you are in a need of a book that’s going to make you laugh out loud, has style, glamour and interesting storyline – than do not look any further! „Five Go Glamping” is what you’re looking for!

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2015 Releases, Rating 5/5

 

It’s Got to be Perfect by Haley Hill / Book Review

24 sie

It’s Got to be Perfect by Haley Hill

 

Publisher: Mills & Boon

Publishing Date: 27th August 2015

Source:  Received from publisher, thank you!

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 Synopsis:

Ellie Rigby isn’t holding out for a hero; she just wants a decent guy

But the promise of meeting thousands of ‘likeminded singles’ has come to nothing and she is fed up negotiating the minefield of one online dating disaster after another.

In a moment of clarity, Ellie realises that she must take matters into her own hands. Her mission? Reclaim

Cupid’s bow from soulless software and become a matchmaker. As her client list grows, Ellie becomes an expert. She knows twenty eight is the most eligible age for a women, that most relationships fail and, most of all, that it’s got to be perfect.

Until a match with one of her clients changes ever ything…

Rating: 2/5

 

„It’s Got to be Perfect” is Haley Hall’s debut novel and as she herself was a professional match – maker I thought the idea of writing a book about what she really knows and can do is a great one. It truly appeals to me, just imagine how much fun it can be! And so, full of hope and expectations, I started to read this novel.

And the beginning was good, albeit very quick. I felt as if a whirlwind of action got by – Ellie, the main character, decides she’s going to be a match – maker and she immediately becomes a match – maker, without researching, without anything, only collecting people in the pubs and restaurants, and it somehow works.
Unfortunately, quickly I found that I really couldn’t care less about what’s going to happen, and how many new characters are going to be introduced to us. Also, the easiness the whole business is blossoming was a matter of confusion for me. I mean, Ellie just started it, just like we click our fingers, and there was not a single problem, not a single money issue, and the clients were appearing also just like that.
Then, suddenly, somewhere in the middle, the book just jumps forwards few years. We don’t know why, we don’t know what happened in between, we know nothing, only that the company is working and growing.

The idea of this book was really good in my opinion, it’s just that for me it seemed ragged, not thought through. There was so much potential in this dating business, and some of the dates were really funny, but I missed a depth to this all, some feeling. Also, the descriptions of the dating business were for me a little too superficial, I’d love to hear more about how, when, why and who, and I’d missed much more hilarious stories. What I also find a shame is that I didn’t get any clearer information how the couples were actually matched – this I would love to know! I just had a feeling that the story is dragging nowhere.

I also couldn’t connect with the characters. No idea why, because they seemed to be normal characters, but there was nothing that made me care about them. They were just very straightforward characters, okay, decent people but they had nothing in them that would make them to the top, and make them unforgettable or special.

I also found myself skipping the whole pages, as the story just wasn’t able to keep my attention, and I was thinking as I am this far already, I’m going to finish this book, no matter what. I think that it just started promising, but then only went downhill. It makes me really sad, because I had incredibly high expectations for this novel, and I am truly disappointed that it didn’t work for me. But oh my goodness, please do check this book for yourself – it has some really great reviews, so you might find this a hilarious read, just something that you were looking for! I am really sad it was not the case for me, as I so wanted to love the story! Nevertheless, I am looking forward to a new book from Haley Hill, and hope to be able to read it sooner rather than later!

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2015 Releases, Rating 2/5

 

Weekly Wrap Up #59

23 sie

Hello, hello, and here we are again. It’s Sunday, it’s sunny, but it’s not too hot (phew!) and it’s time for a Weekly Wrap Up. Please don’t laugh, but that was with me not posting about the books I’ve received – it really helps me to keep on track, and I was told that it’s just nicer with some more photos… So here we are again :)

BOOKS I RECEIVED THIS WEEK:

PAPERBACKS:

Danielle Steel „Undercover”

Kate Morton „The Lake House”

Vanessa Diffenbaugh „We Never Asked for Wings”

Beth Miller „The Good Neighbour”

Alice Peterson „The Things we Do for Love”

A. O’Connor „The Left – Handed Marriage”

Louise O’Neill „Asking for It”

Hilary Boyd „Meet Me on the Beach”

KINDLE:

Liz Tipping „Five Go Glamping”

Kate Michaels „The Morning After Memoirs”


BOOKS THAT I READ LAST WEEK:

„The Other Side of the World” by Stephanie Bishop– reviewed

„#PleaseRetweet” by Emily Benet -  reviewed

„It’s Got to be Perfect” by Haley Hill – to be reviewed tomorrow

„Appleby Farm” by Cathy Bramley – reviewed

„My Everything” by Katie Marsh – to be reviewed

 

  Am reading right now:

„Five Go Glamping” by Liz Tipping

„The Little Flower Shop by the Sea” by Ali McNamara

 

 I REVIEWED THIS WEEK:

What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor 5/5

The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop 5/5

Appleby Farm by Cathy Bramley 5/5 + Hall of Fame

#PleaseRetweet by Emily Benet 3/5

The Curvy Girls Baby Club by Michele Gorman 3/5

The Waiting Game by Jessica Thompson 5/5 + Hall of Fame

Mile High by Rebecca Chance 3/5

Ah, it was a great week, full of book reviews and blog tours! I love such weeks, really. And hope to see you next week too, for new reviews and author interviews!

 
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Napisane w kategorii Weekly Wrap Up

 

Blog Tour: Mile High by Rebecca Chance / Book Review

22 sie

Mile High by Rebecca Chance

 

Publisher: Pan

Publishing Date: 13th August 2015

Source:  Received from publisher, thank you!

Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

First class is about to get dangerous . . . Pure Air’s new LuxeLiner is flying from London to LA – its inaugural journey – with a first-class cabin packed with A List celebrities. As the feuding crew compete to impress their famous passengers, the handsome pilot tries to win the attention of a pretty young stewardess. But one VIP singer is battling something seriously sinister: watching her every step is a very determined stalker, someone who will go to any lengths to get the star to satisfy their desires. At thirty thousand feet there is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide . . .

Rating: 3/5

 

Rebecca Chance has been on my radar for a long time already, but „Mile High” is the first book by her that I’ve read. Ms Chance has already a reputation of a great writer, and after reading this novel I can understand why – even though I’m hearing that this book is not her best one and that the previous novels are much, much better. Nevertheless, I am of course so going to check the other books as soon as time allows.

„Mile High” starts slowly, very slowly, it really takes its time to warm up to gain a pace. There were some things that bothered me a little and spoiled the reading, and one of them was that, in my opinion, the book concentrated on many, many things that were insignificant to the plot. There are many details – I truly don’t need to know about Catalina’s dancing routine during one of her past concerts, or about her video that she recorded some time ago, or how it is by other stars at their tours – such things are in no way significant to the story and only made me impatient. I really wanted to cry: SO WHAT! Please, give me some action, something that relates to the plot! In fact those were the last 80 pages that teemed in action, and as the book is almost 500 pages long, well… it dragged a little, and I was missing the action, the sharp short chapters and ever changing point of view that I am so used to get from my bonkbusters.

The story was of course a great view on how the other half is travelling, hmmmm. I travel only in economy, with no place for my legs and a tray leaning against my knees, so reading about all the VIPs treatments and features… well, no, it didn’t depress me or something, no, it was just a way to learn something new (yes! Of course! I’m going to save money for my next 1st class ticket!). I am also not a specialist when it comes to the cabin – crew’s interactions or hierarchy, but this what I read has just shocked me. I mean, it’s only airlines, right? To categorise people according to the airlines they are flying, well… Also the way the women were treated by the „higher” in hierarchy members of the crew was awful, just awful, and when it’s really like this, I don’t want to be a stewardess when I grow up, no thank you.

When the characters were already talking (although mostly I had a feeling that this book is one long narration, as so few interactions took place there) I wasn’t sure if they are eventually going to come to a conclusion, because there was so much inner monologuing between the lines that I really mostly lost my hope to get to the point sometime.

I was also a little confused by the author adding chapters about other characters that seemed to bring nothing to the book, as they had nothing to do with the plot. I guess I know what was the purpose of this, as Ms Chance was here and there adding some information that may be misleading for the reader, that may shake their opinion and that may make them change their minds about the characters and guessing, who the stalker is – I truly didn’t know who is the stalker, and thanks to those extra information about different characters I was changing my opinion about who it can be.

I am a little disappointed, because there was so much potential in this story – setting the novel on a plane was in my opinion a brilliant idea, just imagine, a ten – hour flight, you are closed on a plane with a murderer, stalker, singer, actress and other VIPs – how much can happen? Much! At least I’ve expected tons of action, but it was slow, too slow for my liking, and the tension was not as palpable as I’d like it to be.

The cast of the characters was really good here, and they were all so different to each other and – except of Catalina and Latisha (although there was a moment that I suspected Latisha as well!) – you didn’t know whom to trust, who is good and who is not. But really, to the last minute I didn’t expect this person to be a stalker, as I haven’t seen any connection, and hints, which is really great, as it is really hard to surprise me so much. I can’t say that I had my favourite character, or that I warmed to them, as for example Catalina was drawn to be this little innocent lamb, nice, sweet and lovely, but it made me perceive her as a person without a backbone, without a mind of her own; some of the characters were a little too stereotyped for my liking, you know, the plane captain – a total womanizer, the director stewardess – a real bitch, etc… , and the other felt so childish, so spoiled, and so bitchy. Although they were all incredibly colourful, three – dimensional, vivid characters that felt realistic.
Yes, there were also moments that the plot felt a little too far – fetched. But even though there is a great number of characters and the story is told through many perspectives, I didn’t lose a track for a moment, or never felt confused – maybe only with the backstage characters, the rest of the crew, oh yes, here I didn’t know till the end who is who and why.

There is everything in this book. Apart from the stalker, we have a murder, romance, a lot of scandals, drama, danger, some sexy scenes (well, there is something like „mile club”, no?) and some fun. It might not have been exactly this what I was expecting from this much acclaimed author, but it was enough to make me sure that I really want to read other Rebecca Chance’s books. And I am also certain that you are going to find something that you’ll like in „Mile High”.

 

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR FOR MORE REVIEWS:

 

Blog Tour: The Waiting Game by Jessica Thompson / Book Review + Exclusive Extract

22 sie

The Waiting Game by Jessica Thompson

 

Publisher: Coronet

Publishing Date: 13th August 2015

Source:  Received from publisher, thank you!

Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

‚The moon was speckled like a bird’s egg. It hung reliably in the blackness above Will Turnbull and Nessa Grier who sat side by side on a bench as the leaves fell around them, landing softly on the thick, wet grass. Their knees were just touching, hearts pounding hard.’

Nessa Bruce waits for her husband to come through the double doors. She’d waited for him to return home from Afghanistan for what felt like forever, and now the moment was finally here. But Jake isn’t… Jake Bruce hasn’t come home, and it looks like he never will.

Nessa’s life – and that of her daughter Poppy – is turned upside down in an instant. What has happened to the elusive man at the centre of their world? They hold onto the hope that he is still out there somewhere, alive… but as time passes by, Nessa is forced to look at her life, at the decisions she has made and the secrets she has kept. For maybe somewhere within it all lies the answer to the question she’s desperate to answer – where is the man she loves?

The Waiting Game is perfect for reading groups with lots of twists and turns, and big topics such as mental ilness, discussed in a fresh and sensitive way.

Rating: 5/5

 

After reading Jessica Thompson’s debut novel „This is a Love Story” I know immediately that she’s going to be my auto – buy author, and it turned out to be truth. I am always impatiently waiting for her every new release, as I simply fell in love with her beautiful writing, very captivating story – telling, and the exceptional plots of her books. What I also can always be sure to get from Ms Thompson’s books, is the incredible gentleness in tackling all the issues she writes about in her novels – they are full of understanding and empathy – and it was the case with „The waiting Game” as well. I can’t praise this book enough, everything there was beautiful, and let’s not forget this gorgeous, sentimental and atmospheric cover!

Mostly Jessica Thompson’s stories are sad, really sad – about people loosing their closest ones, about dramas happening in their lives, and „The Waiting Games” is also sad, but please do not feel deceived – it is not a comedy of errors of course, not a rom – com, yet the book leaves you full of hope.

I personally am not too happy with the ending to this story – I just couldn’t believe it! You know, when reading Jessica’s stories, there is always this tension, this tickling sensation somewhere in your mind telling you that something is going to happen, but still you read and hope for a happy end. And also, being Will I think I’d not go for it („it” – not going to tell what „it” is, as don’t want to spoil you the reading!), I’d feel like the second best, but it’s only me, and it is my only one reservation – other than that, it was a perfect read for me. The plot was intense and the pace was right, and the author was not afraid to put her characters into difficult situations, to put them in front of controversial choices and to cope with life that is not a bed of roses, but full of problems and difficulties. The characters were relatable, they were not flawless, but this is how I like my characters to be. They were struggling, trying to find the best solutions, and their decisions were not always the best ones, but they were trying and hoping. Also, all the relationship are described just as they usually are, they are not too rosy, too optimistic, no, they are just as we know them – this between Nessa and her growing daughter, with her parents in law, with friends, it all sounds so realistic. Nessa is so strong, and I really kept my fingers crossed for her, and it hurt so much to see how she’s coping with her life, with all the problems, and having such a rebellious teenage daughter with this very sharp tongue, who was judging her mother so harsh, didn’t help. Poppy was too well – developed for her own good, and this bad language coming instantly from her didn’t suit such a young girl so much, but if it was the way she was coping and reacting, then let it be. All Nessa and Poppy’s emotions and frustrations were brilliantly captured, and you yourself either get angry together with them, or feel helpless, just like those two, and you can’t help but keep your fingers crossed for them. There was something special in Nessa, as she went through so much in her life, and still she didn’t lose her hope and I truly admired her.

Also the other characters are so down – to – earth and realistic. Nessa’s best friend, Will, was lovely, and the friendship between those two is through thick and thin. As for Jake, we don’t get to know him personally (or rather, almost don’t get to know him personally), and we hear about him from other characters, and of course there emerges a picture of a hero, of a brilliant father, husband and friend, but is it truly like this? And this sub – plot, it is in fact amazing how the author wrote it, it kept me on my toes and I couldn’t wait to see how it’s going to end.
Jessica Thompson has truly created characters that I rooted for and cared about, and kept my fingers crossed for them.

„The Waiting Game” was so a typical Jessica Thompson’s book, full of feelings and emotions, a rollercoaster ride filled with love, hope and friendship, with a cast of believable characters and situations. The author writes about some important issues, such as mental health, Alzheimer disease, growing up, PTSD, and it is amazing with how much care and understanding each of this is described, how much warm and sensitiveness there is in the writing. Jessica Thompson did it again, she has delivered beautiful, poignant and making you think story – she has just swept me away with her stunning novel. Highly recommended!

 

EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT

Nessa started searching the crowd for a sign of Jake. All she needed was a flash of his hair, that gorgeous sandy brown colour, those big brown eyes, strong, distinguished stature, those tanned muscular arms, and his hands – his beautiful strong hands. Lots of soldiers were filing into the hangar now; more women and their children running towards them. Little boys in t-shirts and shorts were lifted up in the air by the strong arms of their fathers and uncles. People wept, and laughed, and choked up with tears. A tsunami of emotion swept through the room.

Nessa and Poppy were standing up now, raised up on to their tiptoes every now and then, trying to see Jake. Only about half of the soldiers had come in, and the army officials were trying to usher reunited families to another area so there would be plenty of room in the hangar.

‘Ergh, like where the fuck is he? It’s so hot in here and there are loads of annoying kids around,’ Poppy said irritably.

‘I don’t know honey, I’m sure he will come round that corner any second now. We just have to be patient,’ Nessa said, putting her arm on Poppy’s shoulder to soothe her, trying to forget about the things she’d said in the car earlier.

Poppy wriggled away from her touch self-consciously. More men filed in. Some of them looked exhausted, but they were finally home. But where was Jake?

Nessa started to feel a little panicked. There were only a couple of soldiers walking in now . . . The majority of families and couples had now shuffled along to the next hangar. Things were suddenly quietening down.

After five minutes or so, there were only four families left in the tent.

An eerie calm had arrived. They could only hear two or three conversations in the hanger about fish and chips for tea, and what films were on later, who had won the X-Factor final, and the distant buzzing from the space next door. An older lady, who had clearly come to meet her son, looked over to them with concern and smiled a kind of sympathetic half-smirk before walking away, with her head turned in the other direction, like people do when there’s a car crash and they can’t bear to look anymore. Nessa felt her chest tighten. Panic started to grip at her throat.

Now come on . . . There has to be a simple explanation for this, she thought to herself. There was no way that Jake wasn’t close by. Someone would have come to see them by now if there had been any kind of problem. In fact they would have heard well before now. He would only be a moment or two . . . Just a moment or two . . .

 The moments slipped by until there were no more fami­lies in the hangar. Everyone had left, floating away in their own swirls of love.

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