Saturday, June 27, 2015

Book Review: Satisfaction

1,5 stars (It was ok) for Satisfaction by Andee Reilly.


Publication date: August 4th


When 22-year-old Ginny Martin discovers her husband has been cheating on her, she strikes back. Buying tickets to every concert on the Rolling Stones North American tour, this devastated suburban housewife packs up the car and takes to the road. Following the Rolling Stones from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, Ginny experiences freedom for the first time, while coping with the insecurities and limiting beliefs that had kept this small town girl’s life far too small. Bree Cooper is a nomad, a free-spirited drifter, and a mother who abandoned responsibility – and her young daughter – years before. When Ginny meets Bree at a roadside diner, they impulsively make the decision to throw their lot in together. In each other they find a friendship that they both had longed for. Bree also gives Ginny a chance to have a mother-figure who inspires independence and encourages confidence, while Ginny gives Bree a chance to get parenting right on the second try.
Source: Goodreads
 



I received this book through Netgalley for an honest review.

I really wanted to like this book! A story about Ginny making a roadtrip and following around her favourite band? What's not to like about it!
But it failed to capture me.

When Ginny finds out her husband has been cheating on her, she takes off on a crazy roadtrip to follow around her favourite band, The Rolling Stones. During her trip she meets Bree who is everything Ginny believes she isn't: Wild and Spontaneous. They continue their trip together and start their own little adventure.

Only their adventure isn't really and adventure and their friendship seemed a bit weird. I couldn't relate to either character - this coming from a person who has followed around her own favourite band on several occasions- and the dynamic between the two woman was a little out of balance.
Andee Reilly is a big Rolling Stones fan herself, which you can tell by the passionate way she writes about them in this story. However (and I say this with the utmost respect), sometimes it felt more like I was reading a Stones biography rather than a fiction novel.

The pace of the book was at times very slow and every time it seemed to reach some kind of peak, it dropped back down. I really did want to like this book but sadly enough it didn't work for me. In all honesty, I wanted to quit by the time I was halfway.

Having said that, I am sure this book will find its way to some other people who will absolutely adore this book and who will be able to relate to the characters in a way that I failed to.



About the Author: 
Andee Reilly was born and raised in Los Angeles. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside and teaches literature and writing at California State University, Channel Islands. When not teaching or writing, she can be found surfing the beaches of Southern California and Maui. She fell in love with the Rolling Stones as a teenager, and their music has long served as an inspiration to her writing. Satisfaction is her debut novel. Connect with Andee at: AndeeReilly.comFacebook.com/andee.reilly, and Twitter @andeereilly.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend.


2 stars (I liked it) for The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald.

Publication date: June 18th

Warning: once you let books into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
This is a book about books. All sorts of books, from Little Women and Harry Potter to Jodi Picoult and Jane Austen, from to Stieg Larsson to Joyce Carol Oates to Proust. It’s about the joy and pleasure of books, about learning from and escaping into them, and possibly even hiding behind them. It’s about whether or not books are better than real life.

It’s also a book about a Swedish girl called Sara, her elderly American penfriend Amy and what happens when you land a very different kind of bookshop in the middle of a town so broken it’s almost beyond repair.

Or is it?

The Readers of Broken Wheel has touches of 84 Charing Cross Road, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Chocolat, but adds an off-beat originality and intelligence all its own.

Source: Goodreads


I got this book through netgalley.

I am slightly conflicted about this book. By the time I finally got into it and started liking it, it was over.
But maybe that's of the purpose. The town only came back to life thanks to Sara, so it could only start pulling you in once it was alive again.

In all honesty I had expected more from this book. When I had read the description I had expected it to be something in the likes of 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' (a book that happens to be mentioned in the actual book), but it wasn't.
This book was different. Take a broken town, a Swedish girl and the opening of a bookstore and see how everything evolves in a town where everyone all of a sudden seems to come back to life after the arrival of the new girl.

Overall I found that the voice of the book at times too weak to stand up against the expectations. I'll be the first to admit that this book only a handful of times managed to scrape the expectation line I had set for it (and I believe myself to be fairly reasonable when it comes to book related expectations).

The fact that the main character adores books and has spend a lifetime around books, made me like her instantly. When I also found some of her characteristics and traits back in myself, you'd think that I'd instantly relate to her but even with Sara I struggled.
Everything just felt sort of 'flat' and even though the author managed to give her secondary characters their own voice and share their backstories, it was never enough to pull me in.

But I appreciated Sara's love for books and the honorable mentions of many beautiful books throughout the entire story. What I liked even more was that it was books that managed to bring part of this town and its inhabitants back to life, Even more so when you find that Sara manages to find a book for most people in the town and not necessarily by sticking to the obvious choices. We end up with a severly Christian woman buying gay erotica, or an older men being pulled in the world of Bridget Jones.

I found myself starting to enjoy it more and more once the town itself became more vibrant, but it's such a shame that this only started to happen when I embarked the last 100 pages. There were definitely a few remarkable lines in the book, that made me stop and appreciate the text I was holding in my hands. Some of which might just stick with me but it wasn't enough to make the book stand.

In general this book never really managed to enchant me.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Weekly Obsession: Return To Bluebell Hill



This week it's all about the higly anticipated debut novel of a lovely twitter friend of mine.
The book's cover was only announced on Tuesday and thus this book has been the talk of the week. Have you guessed it yet?
It's Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh

Publication date: 18 June


As sweet and satisfying as strawberries and cream! This British summertime, get out in the garden with Rebecca Pugh’s sparkling debut novel.


Home is where the heart is…

Jessica McAdams has never belonged anywhere; never truly felt at home. Of course, what did she expect from parents who never made her feel welcome in her own house? Leaving her life in London to return home to the charming country village of Bluebell Hill is harder than she thought. Especially as she never considered she’d be returning under such heart wrenching circumstances…

Clearing out the stunning and imposing Bluebell House after her parents’ death is difficult for Jessica—they never had the best relationship and now it’s too late. Yet spending time in the house that was never a home, having afternoon tea with dear old friend Esme—and sharing hot, sizzling kisses with delectable gardener Rueben!—opens Jessica’s eyes to the potential of Bluebell House… Could this big old, beautiful manor really be her forever home? Is Bluebell Hill where her heart is, has always been?

Jessica soon dares to dream of her very own home with delicious Rueben by her side. But when a deep, dark secret of Bluebell House is unearthed, Jessica’s world is turned upside down…

Will Jessica ever find where her heart truly lies?



An emotional tale of self-discovery, taking chances and romance! Rebecca’s unique British voice feels like coming home again and again.

Get it on:
Amazon

What about me?
Return to Bluebell Hill sounds absolutely lovely and even though I don't currently own it yet, I am planning one massive e-book buying spree at the end of june and I know Return to Bluebell Hill will be in it!

I know one thing, if this book is even half as lovely as Reecca herself then it shall be great!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Update + 5 Book Confessions

This is one where I seem to be screaming a lot.
Oh and, as usual, I talk a lot of nonsense.

But I also share 5 book related confessions with you, so that's something ;)

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Cover Reveal: Return to Bluebell Hill

I am incredibly excited to be hosting my first ever cover reveal on the blog. What makes it even better is that I adore this lovely lady and I think we should all go and give her some love on twitter!

The lovely Rebecca Pugh was kind enough of letting me join the group of bloggers who have the privilege to reveal the cover of her debut novel Return to Bluebell Hill (out on June 18th).

So Let's not postpone the moment any longer and have a look at this absolutely stunning cover for this beautiful girl's first book.


Look how pretty it is!!! The blue, and the flowers, and the silhouettes, and aaaw!!!! Isn't it pretty?!?!


About the book:

As sweet and satisfying as strawberries and cream! This British summertime, get out in the garden with Rebecca Pugh’s sparkling debut novel.

Home is where the heart is…

Jessica McAdams has never belonged anywhere; never truly felt at home. Of course, what did she expect from parents who never made her feel welcome in her own house? Leaving her life in London to return home to the charming country village of Bluebell Hill is harder than she thought. Especially as she never considered she’d be returning under such heart wrenching circumstances…

Clearing out the stunning and imposing Bluebell House after her parents’ death is difficult for Jessica—they never had the best relationship and now it’s too late. Yet spending time in the house that was never a home, having afternoon tea with dear old friend Esme—and sharing hot, sizzling kisses with delectable gardener Rueben!—opens Jessica’s eyes to the potential of Bluebell House… Could this big old, beautiful manor really be her forever home? Is Bluebell Hill where her heart is, has always been?

Jessica soon dares to dream of her very own home with delicious Rueben by her side. But when a deep, dark secret of Bluebell House is unearthed, Jessica’s world is turned upside down…

Will Jessica ever find where her heart truly lies?

An emotional tale of self-discovery, taking chances and romance! Rebecca’s unique British voice feels like coming home again and again.



About the author:

Rebecca Pugh grew up in the green county of Shropshire, with a mind full of fairy-tales and happy endings. Enchanted by true love and Disney Princesses, she decided that no matter what life threw her way, she’d continue to see the world through a child’s eyes. Through the pages of countless books, her adoration of reading blossomed, and it didn’t take long for her to fall under the spell of hundreds of authors’ words.

Now, Rebecca’s own story has taken a fairy-tale like turn, and at 22, her dream has come true. With her faithful companions: Bonnie the dog, her partner, and her gigantic family by her side, Rebecca is ready to share her stories with readers who enjoy falling in love and losing themselves within beautiful, fictional worlds.

Rebecca Pugh is the author of women’s fiction and romance, her all-time favourite genres. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a good swoon?

Her debut novel, Return to Bluebell Hill, is due to be published June 18th 2015 by Carina UK.

Find the book on:


Give Rebecca some love on: Twitter Goodreads Blog

Friday, June 05, 2015

Weekly Obsession: Dream A Little Dream



After missing out a few weeks due to holidays etc. I am back with a new Weekly Obsession and it's a dreamy one.
Dream A Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher.

Publication date: 18 june

Sarah is doing just fine. Sure she's been single for the last five years, and has to spend an uncomfortable amount of time around her ex-boyfriend and their mutual friends, and the rest at her tediously mundane job, but it's fine. She's happy(ish).

But it's not surprising that when Sarah starts dreaming about a handsome stranger, she begins looking forward to falling asleep at night. Reality isn't nearly as exciting. That is until her dream-stranger makes an unexpected real-life appearance, leaving Sarah questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Because people never really find the person of their dreams... do they?
Source: Goodreads 


Get it on:
- Amazon
- The Book Depository


What about me?

I have Giovanna Fletcher's other books and I always enjoyed reading them.
She grows as an author with each book and I notice myself liking each new book more than the previous one. I'm curious to find out what she's done with this one.
Not sure when I'll be buying it but I know that I will at some point!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Book Review & Recommendation: The Day We Disappeared

5+++++++ stars (I loved it!!!) for The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson.

- Amazon
- The Book Depository
- Goodreads

Annie has a secret. But if she's not going to tell, we won't either. It's a heart-breaking secret she wishes she didn't have - yet Annie isn't broken, not quite yet. Especially now there's someone out there who seems determined to fix her.
 
Kate has run away. But she's not going to tell us why - that would defeat the point of running, wouldn't it? It's proving difficult to reinvent herself, however, with one person always on her mind. 
Scratch beneath the surface and nobody is really who they seem. Even Annie and Kate, two old friends, aren't entirely sure who they are any more. Perhaps you can work it out, before their pasts catch up with them for good . . .

A gripping and unpredictable story of two young women running from their pasts. We defy you to guess the twist . . .

Source: Goodreads

You may have noticed that whenever I read a brilliant book, I tend to be lost for words in describing how amazing I think it is. The Day We Disappeared is no exception but, as usual, I shall do my very best. So this is not only a review but a recommendation to you. READ IT, READ IT, READ IT!

Let me start with saying: WOW!
I wanted to give this book 5 stars way before I was halfway, again when I was halfway and again when I reached 2/3 of the book. This is brilliant!! I've only put it down a minute but am already suffering massive book hangover!
I was pulled in almost instantly. This book is filled with characters that I loved from the start. Lucy Robinson created Annie and Kate, who are our main characters and both have their secrets. And oh did I love Annie and Kate, the fact they both love Asia was a nice plus. I related to different aspects of both of them almost immediately and I think that's another big reason why I am such a fan of this book. That was until the inevitable happened and Lucy Robinson punched me in the face with her literature.

She had created this picture perfect story where happiness walked hand in hand with my personal curiosity to constantly find out more about what was going to happen next. I felt blissfully and filled with that pleasant kind of tension and I always regretted having to put down the book for minor things (like, you know, work and stuff).

But then, right when you feel like you are perfectly nestled into the story, and I was feeling ready to move in with these lovely girls and re-create Charlie's Angels, Robinson pulls the lever and BAM I found myself staring at the page. I reacted in a way only my usual sensible self would...by staring gobsmacked at the page for 10 minutes, pulling at my own hair, sighing loudly in despair, muttering 'no way, oh my god, what, etc etc', spamming every single friend (whether they'd read it or not) with capslocked messages and wanting to throw the book across the room; because that was the only appropriate outlet for what had just happened.

See, Usually I am the kind of person who figures out a plot twist quite easily. When I watch a tv serie, I quite easily know who would have done the murder or who was secretly also in the plot, what will happen in the end and so on. Partially because I'm the annoying kind of person that is constantly trying to unravel the plot and look for clues throughout the entire thing. Both on television and in books. So when everyone was screaming about how this book has an amazing twist and you won't see it coming until it's revealed, I noticed my own brain thinking of every possibility. Yet, never would I have considered the one that was presented to me on a silver platter so, naturally, I went completely nuts.

Gaaaaaaaah, this book is such a page turner and it has an incredible twist! it's made me once again speechless and now I am suffering with a major book hangover!
If I was only allowed to tell you one thing then I'd tell you to FRIKKING READ IT!!!

The Day We Disappeared deserves every single bit of praise and even more than that!





Book Review: The Five People You Meet in Heaven

1,5 stars (it was okay) for The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

- Amazon
- The Book Depository
- Goodreads

Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination, but an answer. 
In heaven, five people explain your life to you. Some you knew, others may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie's five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his "meaningless" life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: "Why was I here?"
Source: Goodreads


Sometimes you read a book and even though it reads in a fluent way and reads quite decent, it fails to captivate you and pull you in. The five people you meet in heaven is a book like that for me.
This kind is the most confusing book relationship you can have.

I never felt reluctant to go back to this book, in fact I didn't mind reading it but somewhere something still went wrong. It couldn't convince me in the slightest, I kept waiting for that moment in the book where I would think 'this will stick with me'. Maybe it was wrong of me to expect something mind-blowing; some kind of uplifting life lesson that I would remember forever. Something that would alter my views. I guess I shouldn't have expected it but could I really be blamed with a title like this?

I liked Mitch Albom's idea of heaven but when eventually everything fell in place, I still felt disconnected from the entire book.
In the book Albom brings his main character in a heaven where there isn't such a thing like winged men playing on harps (but seriously who would expect this? I personally expect a full on banquet with lots and lots of chocolate cake). Albom's character Eddie meets 5 people in heaven who he (in)directly came in contact with and who had an influence on his life and he on theirs. But it's an influence that went unnoticed by Eddie at the moment and it is why those five people are there to meet him.
They explain to him what effect Eddie has had on matters in life Eddie never would've thought twice about.
In doing so they explain to him his importance on earth and why he, too, was important. Even if Eddie himself never thought he was.

I'm not sure why I didn't fall for this book because it sounds great in concept. I just felt that an opportunity was missed, that more could've been done with it. And maybe it's the subtle and humble way in which this book was written that didn't catch on with me.

Maybe at a different time, in a different place, and a different mind set, this book could've blown my mind. But not right now.