Monday, 21 July 2014


In case you haven't heard about it, the ever-so-lovely Emma is the brains and beauty behind #sunathon. From today to July 27th (the day before my birthday), book lovers from all over the world are taking part in a readathon. If you'd like more information about it all, check out Emma's blog post here.

What I love most about #sunathon is there's no specific genre of book to read or a limit to books either. Read as much as you can, when you can. I also LOVE that it's over the weekend too because, working full time, I don't get as much time to read as I'd like. 

I've kicked off today by continuing to read 'After I Left You' by Alison Mercer. I'm hoping to finish it by the end of the day and will, hopefully, update you tomorrow with the next book I've chosen. 

A review of 'After I Left You' will be up soon but in the mean time, here's the blurb...

"Every broken heart has a history.
Anna hasn't been back to Oxford since her last summer at university. She tries not to think about her time there, or the tightly knit group of friends she once thought would be hers forever. She has almost forgotten the sting of betrayal, the secret she carries around, the last night she spent with them all.
Then a chance meeting on a rainy day in London brings her past tumbling back into her present. . . Can Anna finally face up to the memories of that summer and the people she left behind?"

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Fiona Gibson - Take Mum Out

“Three blind dates
Two teenage boys messing up her plans
And one man who'll melt Alice's heart.

'You need to get back in the saddle…' Alice despises that phrase. She's fine being single – with two slothful teenage boys and a meringue business to run, she has enough on her plate without negotiating the troublesome world of modern dating.
However, Alice's three best friends have other ideas. Each one will present her with an utterly delicious, eligible man – all Alice has to do is pick her favourite.”

I read this before mother’s day and completely forgot to publish my review. I’m pretty certain I’d lose my head some days if it wasn’t screwed on, goodness me!

This book was so much fun to read! I loved every second of it. I loved that it wasn’t your standard “girl meets boy and falls in love” story – there was a depth and reality to it that, even if you haven’t been through it, you understand and appreciate. It helped to make the characters more loveable and believable which, for me, is absolutely key to my enjoyment of a book – regardless of how great the story might be.

Alice is the single mother to two teenage boys and, although the dad does help out and see them, they live with her which means she puts all of her attention on them and making her meringue business a success. When her friends suggest setting her up, she isn’t keen on the idea – she’s happy how she is, why should she change that?

One of her three best friends decides that they can all set her up and Alice can pick her favourite. This is such a great idea – it was like reading a super long episode of Blind Date (god, that was such a good show with Cilla Black at the helm!) and who doesn’t want to do that!?

Although the majority of the book focuses on Alice’s love life adventures, it also focuses on some real family issues – teenage boy issues, to be precise. It helps to bring you back to earth with a bump, just as it would in real life but, more than that, it shows that the characters are well-rounded and human. Life isn’t perfect, after all.

Sorry this review is SO late. Just know that this book is a great, humorous read and I recommend it highly to all!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Ben Aaronovitch - Rivers of London

“My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.
Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden . . . and there's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.
The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying.”
I had heard so much about this book (and the series in general), I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. Thankfully, The Book People had it on offer a few months back so I took advantage and grabbed the first 3 in the series. I honestly don't know why I went so long refusing to read book series, they're amazing!

When it comes to describing this, I'd simply say it's very much Harry Potter meets Sherlock Holmes. It's a great read for anybody who likes mystery and magic. I'd say given some of the details in the book, it's probably best suited to readers in their mid-late teens and above. Then again, I watched The Exorcist at 12years old and survived so if you can handle it, read it.

It follows Peter Grant and various other police officers as they work hard to solve a very weird case that involves murder and magic. That in itself was enough to make me want to read the book but there's so much more to it than that. There's no real hidden depths although there's a slight love story in the mix. Only slight though - and more of a lust story really.

The writing style is simple which, for some, is a negative thing but I love it. It makes it so easy to follow and much more gripping. The characters are great - there's a mixture of those that can do magic and those that can't, not to mention ghosts. They feature pretty heavily in this story.

In all honesty, the only little niggle I had with the book was that nobody ever seemed to question the fact people could do magic. If I was a police officer and I found out that a colleague could do it, I'd be freaked out (after I came round from fainting, obviously).

I would definitely suggest reading this book, particularly if you like Harry Potter or Sherlock. Or even if you just like to get lost in a good mystery book but don't want to have to think too hard when you're reading it.

Have you read 'Rivers of London'? If so, what did you think? 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Jill Mansell - The Unpredictable Consequences of Love

"In the idyllic seaside town of St Carys, Sophie is putting the past firmly behind her.
When Josh arrives in St Carys to run the family hotel, he can't understand why Sophie has zero interest in letting any man into her life. He also can't understand how he's been duped into employing Sophie's impulsive friend Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited.
St Carys has more than its fair share of characters, including the charming but utterly feckless surfer Riley Bryant, who has a massive crush on Tula. Riley's aunt is superstar author Marguerite Marshall. And Marguerite has designs on Josh's grandfather...who in turn still adores his glamorous ex-wife, Dot...
Just how many secrets can one seaside town keep?"

I am yet to read a Jill Mansell book that I didn’t like or I struggled to get into… I honestly think that everything she writes turns to gold. This book is one of many fine examples of how fantastic a writer Jill Mansell truly is – it’s funny, captivating, touching, gripping, and just generally wonderful. I'd been wanting to read it for ages so I was so excited when it was available on BookBridgr (if you're not signed up to the site, definitely check it out - it's fab!)

It follows the lives of a few select characters in St Carys, a wonderfully gorgeous seaside town where, in all honesty, I would want to move to and spend the rest of my days there because it sounds heavenly. The lives of these characters intertwine which makes it feel more ‘together’ as a story because you’re not simply reading about a whole host of random characters – I dunno, it made it feel more jointed for me.

The characters range from Riley who’s a bit of a ladies man who doesn’t want to work, just play, to Sophie whose refusal to let a man become part of her life is something that bemuses those who know her but not her darkest secret. All of the characters are well developed and help, in their own way, to bring the story together. They’re very three dimensional and have real depth to them, some more than others such as Sophie, Riley, and Marguerite. It makes for a very gripping read, I must say.

Without giving too much away, Sophie is a woman who is very focussed on her work and seems to have no time for men in her life. However, it later becomes clear that that’s something she’s deliberately orchestrated due to previous events in her life. Josh takes a shine to her and wants to bring her out of her shell and what unfolds from then on out is a wonder to read. Their friendship/relationship has funny moments, sad moments, and complete ‘COME ON, YOU TWO! SORT IT OUT!’ moments. My personal favourite would be the latter but they’re all really good, I swear.

There’s more to it than a standard love story; there’s surrounding drama and lots of twists and turns. You won’t be able to stop turning the pages and, more to the point, you won’t want to. You want to watch this people grow and come together. You’ll be surprised by how things turn out, that’s for sure.

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think?

About Jill: Jill Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol, and writes full time.
Actually that's not true; she watches TV, eats fruit gums, admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the internet Tweeting and marvelling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she's completely run out of displacement activities does she actually write. 
Follow Jill on Twitter at @JillMansell.