Who is better? Mr Darcy or Captain Wentworth?

This is the ultimate question, for me. Obviously both have their character flaws. Darcy is obscenely proud (but that is not necessarily his fault, but perhaps the society that he grew up within). Wentworth is … quick to jump the gun. As soon as Anne starts hanging out with Mr Elliot, “Oh, she must be head over heels in love with him, I’m doomed for ever and ever!”

… I digress.

My fourth read of the year was Victoria Connelly’s The Perfect Hero which discusses, not exactly Darcy vs. Wentworth but what the components are that make “The Perfect Hero”. And Wentworth even makes a showing. How delightful.

The Perfect Hero – Victoria Connelly

Year: 2011

Publisher: Avon

Acquired From: Own collection (bought from an independent second-hand English bookstore somewhere in the midst of Budapest)

Genre: Romance/Fiction

Audience: Adult

Setting: Lyme, UK

Synopsis: An artist named Kay, wanting to publish her Persuasion collection into a book, moves to Lyme for extra inspiration – the very place where Austen set her classic Persuasion. Little does she know that she is getting more inspiration than she bargained for, having moved to the town where the latest film adaptation of Persuasion is being filmed. Meeting the actor who plays Wentworth, has her weak at the knees, but the screenwriter, Adam, is the one she has more in common with …

Impressions: This is my second Victoria Connelly book, and my second Jane Austen inspired Victoria Connelly book. I have to say, she is fantastic at what she does. I am a massive fan of Jane Austen and most adaptations of her work – I’m still not that sure of what I think of zombies mixed with Austen, but I think I liked it. In The Perfect Hero, my heart was uplifted by this simple love triangle story with hints (and explicit references) of Austen thrown in. Honestly, for me, as soon as you add Austen to a modern day love story, I’m sold.

Recommended for: Anyone who loves a good love story, and wants something light-hearted and easy to read. If you love Austen and a warm and fuzzy romance, this one is for you!

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‘Head Over Heels’

My third read for the year came in the form of Head Over Heels by Jill Mansell. Much like Paige Toon, Jill Mansell is my go to author. This is what I thought of my third read of the year.

Head Over Heels – Jill Mansell

Year: 2017

Publisher: Headline Review

Acquired From: Own collection (found second hand in an op-shop)

Genre: Romance/Fiction

Audience: Adult

Setting: Upper Sisley, UK

Synopsis: A woman, Jessie, is reacquainted with an old flame – famous actor, Toby Gillespie – and is forced to admit that the father she told her son Oliver he had, did not exist, but is instead Toby himself. What she doesn’t expect is to be attracted to the very happily married Toby who has just waltzed unknowingly back into her life.

Impressions: Jill Mansell is another one of my go-to feel good authors. Like Paige Toon, I find her writing captivating. Though I wouldn’t say that this way my favourite of Jill Mansell’s books, I still loved it. I was enthralled by the will-they-won’t-they relationship between Jessie and Toby, and was torn as to which way I wanted it to fall. The secondary characters, too, are given their time to shine, which is always good, so that it’s not all Jessie/Toby, all the time.

Recommended for: Anyone who loves a good love story, and wants something light-hearted and easy to read. If you love Lindsey Kelk, Giovanna Fletcher and Paige Toon, I would give this one a go!

My second read of the year …

The second book that I read this year was a little paperback that I picked up very cheaply secondhand. I had bought it as a potentially mindless read that wouldn’t require too much mental strain …  the kind of books that I love, to be honest.

See Jane Score – Rachel Gibson

Year: 2003

Publisher: Little Black Dress

Acquired From: Own collection (found second hand in an op-shop)

Genre: Romance/Fiction

Audience: Adult

Setting: Seattle, USA

Synopsis: A reporter is designated the task of tailing the Seattle Chinooks Hocket Team for a season. Challenged by the sexist view that women can’t be sports reporters, she dives into the task head on, only to come face to face with the Chinooks goalie, Luc Martineau, who tries his best to prove this sexist generalisation right.

Impressions: This was a light-hearted and quick read, which I read in my hotel room in Prague on holidays at the start of the year – it was a wonderful distraction from the fact that the airline had lost my luggage. Though, I was not completely sold on the characters of See Jane Score, I enjoyed the fast moving plot line, and the obvious chemistry and fury between Jane, the reporter, and Luc.

Recommended for: Anyone who wants something light-hearted and easy to read.

I’m back.

I have been quiet for a while. I have been a busy bee, but I had so many people tell me that they used this blog for book recommendations, that I thought that I would try and post a review of each book that I read this year. That way you can keep track of what I am reading, and what you should be reading.

I don’t always read new books. In fact, I am likely to read books that were published between five and ten years ago, but their age in no way determines how much I enjoy the book, and nor should it.

So … I have a lot of ammunition to get the ball rolling for this challenge of  reviewing each book I have read this year. I have been doing a lot of reading this year … So settle yourself in your arm chair and strap yourself in, because we’re off with the first book that I read this year… Paige Toon’s The Last Piece of my Heart.

 

The Last Piece of my Heart – Paige Toon

Year: 2017

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Acquired From: Own collection (bought brand new from a bookstore)

Genre: Romance/Fiction

Audience: Adult

Setting: Cornwall, UK

Synopsis: A travel journalist, and aspiring novelist, is tasked with finishing the latest novel of a well-known novelist who has recently passed away. In the process of writing the end of this novel, she implants herself into the late author’s life in more ways than one.

Impressions: I love Paige Toon. I am very quickly making my way through her entire collection of works. The Last Piece of my Heart is no exception to my love of Paige Toon. Her witticisms in her writing have me laughing and smiling from the off, and in those heavier bits, she even has me shedding a tear. The Last Piece of My Heart had me torn with Bridget, between what she feels in her heart and what she sees as the right thing to do in order to respect the life and family of Nicole Dupré, the late novelist. As Paige Toon so often does, she made me wanting to read more.

Recommended for: Anyone who loves a good love story, and wants something light-hearted and easy to read. If you love Lindsey Kelk, Giovanna Fletcher and Jill Mansell, I would give this one a go!

Holding Up The Universe

Author: Jennifer Niven
Year: 2016
Pages: 388
Genre: Young Adult

I have so much love for this book.
I can’t stop thinking about it.

Holding up the Universe is one of those books that makes you fall in love with reading again. That’s the exact effect that it had on me and, honestly, I just want to talk to everyone about how thought provoking and amazing it is.

I’ve talked it up a lot, now. I suppose I should feel nervous that you may rush out to the bookstore and get yourself a copy, read the first couple of pages, and hate it. But you won’t.

I read the first 2 pages and was so overcome with “feels” that I had to stop, put the book down, and utter “WOW” about 10 times. I’m not kidding.

Holding up the Universe is a novel told from two perspectives:

  1. Libby Strout – A girl plagued by the prejudice she attracts due to her size.
  2. Jack Masselin – A boy who needs to project who he is onto others, for fear of completely losing his identity.

Both characters have their own struggles and make their own discoveries within themselves, but when they come together, they find comfort and strength that they never knew possible.

I found Niven’s prose to be angelic – a joy to read. I couldn’t get enough.

It inspired me – to create something as special, something as meaningful, something as sophisticated for my own readers.

…it also gave me an inferiority complex… but I can’t help feeling like it was bestowed in the best way possible.

What are you still doing here?

Go read it!

Until next time,

x much love.

The Christmasaurus

Author: Tom Fletcher
Year: 2016
Pages: 384
Genre: Children’s Fiction

How do I describe this book to you?

This is the type of book that almost makes me wish that I had a child of my own to share it with. Whilst reading it, I was wracking my brains trying to figure out who had kids of the correct age to buy it for.

The Christmasaurus is a children’s novel written by the awesomely loveable (and perhaps overly obsessed with Christmas and dinosaurs), Tom Fletcher. You may have heard of Tom Fletcher before. He’s pretty much got his finger in all creative pies – he’s a member of the UK pop group, McFly; he’s a YouTuber, he’s song writer for big bands like One Direction; he’s co author of “The Dinosaur that Pooped …” series; and now he’s a novelist and the brains behind a stage show based on this lovely novel I am currently reviewing.

Can anyone say “Wow”?

I can.

I’ll do it for you.

WOW!

Tom’s debut novel follows a young boy named William Trundle who, more than anything, would like Santa to give him a real, live dinosaur. I mean, who wouldn’t? William is the subject of bullying and social out-casting due to being stuck in a wheelchair (and therefore different from all the other kids).

William’s wish finally comes true, due to a series of fortunate and unfortunate events, and they head off on a dangerous and thrilling adventure.

This book is a gem. It’s full of child wonder, and mystery. It reminds you how magical a child’s imagination can be – and how important it is to preserve that in children and in yourself.

It made me laugh, it very nearly made me cry, and it most certainly entertained.

Though I was not the intended audience of such a book, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m sure you will too. And if that’s not enough to convince you, the illustrations that accompany the text are utterly stunning.

Go. Read it. Fall in love William and his best friend, Christmasaurus.

 

‘Milk and Honey’


Author: Rupi Kaur

Year: 2015

Pages: 204

Genre: Poetry/Feminism

I don’t like big, sweeping statements. They are too generalised. But … I’m just going to come out and say it … Every woman should read this book.

That’s right, you read correctly. Every. Single. Woman. In the world.

Before I bought this book, all I knew about it was that it was filled with poetry. I had heard the title thrown around here and there, but I knew nothing about the subject matter.

I wonder, if I knew that it was feminist poetry, if I still would have bought it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a feminist. I believe that women should have equal opportunities as men, and should be treated as though they are on an even keel as men. I would be stupid if I didn’t. Something about me stating that Milk and Honey is feminist poetry, though, somehow makes it lose a bit of spark. Perhaps this is due to the radicalness negatively associated with feminism—something that, frankly, I am ashamed to admit.

The poems are short, and are accompanied by small black and white sketches. They layout is impeccable.

The content raises many questions about how women view life—relationships, work, love, sex. It certainly made me reflect on the way in which I choose to carry out my own life.

I congratulate Rupi Kaur on such a stunning collection of works. I feel as though any of the words I am typing don’t even have half the grandeur and praise that this book deserves.

Read it. Now.