Tuesday 21 February 2023

Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson | Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson
My rating: 3/5
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication date: 16th February 2023

Blurb:
Meet Nora Hughes – the overworked, underpaid, last bookish assistant standing. At least for now.

When Nora landed an editorial assistant role at Parsons Press she thought it would be The Dream Job. But after five years of admin and taking lunch orders, Nora has come to the conclusion: Dream Jobs do not exist.

With her life spiralling and unable to afford her rent, Nora does the only thing she can think of and starts freelancing for a rival publisher.

But when Andrew Santos, a bestselling author (who also happens to be quite attractive), is thrown into Nora’s life, she must decide where her loyalties lie, and whether she’s ready to choose herself and her future over her job…

Review:
Nora Hughes is an editorial assistant at publisher Parsons's Press. They publish non-fiction which isn't Nora's favourite but it was a step in the door to the industry she wanted to work in. She has been there for five years but after major budget cuts and her best friend Beth leaving, she starts to evaluate how she feels there.

Her salary is cut and she ends up taking a freelance temp job at a rival publishers. At the same time, Andrew Santos, the biggest author Parson's have, strikes up something that is a little more than a friendship with Nora. Andrew potentially wants to move away from Parson's and Nora is keeping a lot of secrets. Surely not everything will run smoothly.

I really enjoyed the depth of Nora's character and her accurate representation of her feelings when it came to being unhappy or even depressed and not knowing what to do with herself. It is very heavy in book publishing, of course, which is something I am not really interested in despite being a book lover. I loved the character development and I kind of guessed how it would end which I am very happy about because it was perfect. Trigger warning for suicidal thoughts.

Wednesday 15 February 2023

The Shape Of Your Heart by Debbie Howells | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received an ebook copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

The Shape Of Your Heart by Debbie Howells
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication date: 7th February 2023

Blurb:
'When the world says “give up”, hope whispers, “try it one more time”.’

Callie’s always been the least ambitious of her sisters but also the happiest, until fate snaps her fiancĂ© away before they can say I do.

One year later, she is still putting her life back together, but she might be ready for more. With so much life left to live, she has to find a way to be happy.

Nathan knows not everyone gets a second chance at life and he’s not going to waste his. He’s left the city behind, moved to Cornwall and is starting over. When he meets a beautiful woman at the beach it feels like fate, but her heart belongs to someone else.

Could Callie and Nathan be just what each other needs?

Review:
I love a story where you are fully invested in the characters.

Callie is set to marry love of her life Liam, he gets her, they love the same things and she can't believe how perfectly they fit together.

On the day of their wedding, Liam sadly passes away. Callie has to do life without him now.

She meets Nathan who moves to a cottage in Callie's town. He is going through his own issues which was the reason for his move. As Callie's feelings grow for Nathan, she has to choose to continue wallowing in her grief or move on.

The descriptions in this book are stunning and I love how true to life both Nathan and Callie's feelings are. It accurately portrays what grief is like and shows the importance of relationships, not just romantic, and reinforces that we need to live life to the fullest.


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A massive thank you to Boldwood Books for having me on the tour. You can find information about the other bloggers taking part in the tour in the graphic below.

Tuesday 14 February 2023

To Love Jason Thorn by Ella Maise | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

To Love Jason Thorn by Ella Maise
My rating: 4/5
Publication date: 3rd December 2015

Blurb:
Your childhood crush turned movie star. Now set to play the leading role in a book he doesn't know you wrote about him. 

Jason Thorn is a name everyone recognises. A famous actor with the big house, nice car and the bad boy reputation to match. But Olive knows him as her brother's childhood friend and the boy who broke her heart. 

But years later, he should be easy to avoid even if he's impossible to ignore. That is until Olive's first novel suddenly becomes a bestseller and the film rights get sold to the highest bidder. 

In an instant, she's sitting across the table from a team of executives and Jason Thorn himself. Jason hasn't long re-entered her life before she finds himself being whisked around in his car and - inexplicably - being talked into a fake dating plot to restore his damaged reputation.

Review: 
Let's be honest, the brother's best friend/fake romance trope has been done to death but whilst reading a mentally heavier physical book, I needed something lighthearted. I gave To Love Jason Thorn a go on audio and it felt like perfect timing. It was just what I needed.

Olive Taylor first meets Jason Thorn when she is seven years old and he moves into their street. He becomes best friends with her older brother, he's always at their house, but following Jason's mother's death when he is a teen, he moves away. Olive's heart is broken as she always had an unrequited love for Jason.

Olive, now in her 20s in present day, is a bestselling author with one of her books being made into a movie. Jason Thorn is a famous actor with a bit of a reputation with the ladies. Who is cast as the male lead in Olive's adaptation? Of course, it's Jason! They are both happy to be back in contact again but when they are papped together looking very happy, Jason's publicist thinks that the best way to clean up his image is a fake marriage... I think we all know how this goes.

It has quite a bit of spice and it is just a nice, relaxing read. I really enjoyed it!

Monday 13 February 2023

The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Aria
Publication date: 2nd February 2023

Blurb:
Two years together. Twenty years apart. One day to change their story.

Benjamin's world is turned upside down the day he meets Clara. Instinctively, he knows that she is his person and he is hers, but the events of one devastating night will take their lives in very different directions.

20 years later, a bombing is reported in the city where Clara and Ben met, and she is pulled back to a place she tries not to remember and the first love she could never forget. Searching for Ben, Clara prays that twenty years of silence is about to end.

But is it too late to put right what went wrong?

This is not a love story. But it is a story of first love, of the mistakes people make, and the lengths they'll go to put things right.

Review:
This book is just wonderful! I went into it thinking it was a typical "missing your first love" type of book but I couldn't be more wrong.

The story spans across different times from the early 2000s to present day. Clara and Benjamin meet during their first year at university. Benjamin is very kind and gentle and is a massive lover of football. Clara thinks the world of Benjamin and thinks they will be together forever. She just can't stand his love of football. Clara's personality at this time is very juvenile and she does come across as a bit annoying but to be honest, it is reflective of her age and we can see how she has grown up in present times.

In present day, Clara is a journalist living in London and Benjamin is a single dad to Aiden and they live in Newcastle. There has been an explosion at the football stadium where Aiden is and Benjamin is frantic because he can't get hold of him.

Obviously Clara and Benjamin aren't together anymore, with Clara now being married to Thom, but we are drip fed information about Clara and Benjamin's relationship back then before we eventually find out what happened in the end. Clara has always thought about him.

There is so much to unpack with this book and I was fully immersed in the characters. Trigger warnings for child sex abuse, sexual assault, suicide and death.

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A massive thank you to Aria for having me on the blog tour. You can find information about the other bloggers taking part in the tour in the graphic below.

Tuesday 7 February 2023

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Montlake
Publication date: 10th December 2019


Blurb:
Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris―Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

Review:
This was my third attempt at a Colleen Hoover book and I am so glad I gave her another chance.

Regretting You opens with Morgan, Chris, Jonah and Jenny as teens at a party with Morgan discovering she is pregnant with Chris's baby. 

Fast-forward to present day, Morgan and Chris are married and their daughter Clara is sixteen. Jonah has returned after almost 17 years away (he left right after the aforementioned party) and he now has a baby with Jenny, Morgan's sister, after a one-night stand.

After a tragic accident, their lives are thrown into disarray with a lot of secrets spilling out. Clara is trying to navigate her first relationship, the loss of two of her favourite people and a strained relationship with her mother.

I wasn't a fan of Clara for the majority of the book but I have to admit that I absolutely loved the development of all of the characters. I love how they grew together and understood one another. It had depth. I did feel a little awkward about sexual encounters featuring sixteen and seventeen year olds though.

This book was very emotional and was very well-written in terms of showing hurt and betrayal. Special brownie points for the Twenty One Pilots mention. My favourite Colleen Hoover book so far.

Friday 3 February 2023

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth | Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Publication date: 6th October 2022

Blurb:
Abby Lamb has done it. She's found the Great Good in her husband, Ralph, and together they will start a family and put all the darkness in her childhood to rest. But then the Lambs move in with Ralph's mother, Laura, whose depression has made it impossible for her to live on her own. She's venomous and cruel, especially to Abby, who has a complicated understanding of motherhood given the way her own, now-estranged, mother raised her.

When Laura takes her own life, her ghost starts to haunt Abby and Ralph in very different ways. Ralph is plunged into depression, and Abby is being terrorized by a force intent on taking everything she loves away from her. With everything on the line, Abby must make the ultimate sacrifice in order to prove her adoration to Ralph and break Laura's hold on the family for good.

Review: 
What on earth did I just read? 

Abby and her husband Ralph move in with Ralph's mother Laura to help look after her. Laura divorced Ralph's father when he was nine years old and Ralph has been her world ever since. She is clearly dependent on him and no one is good enough for her son, especially not Abby. All Abby ever wanted was a mother figure as her relationship with her own mother wasn't great but evidently it isn't something she will get from her mother in law.

After many suicide threats, Laura succeeds and Abby feels like she and Ralph's life will now be better without Laura in it. But Laura isn't really gone. Well, her body might be...but she is in the home still determined not to let her son go. Abby needs to find a way to get rid of Laura once and for all.

There is a real horror and supernatural element to this book. The descriptions of even mundane things are gory and interesting and although the theme is dark with mentions of suicide, depression and sexual assault, the main character of Abby is hilarious.

I loved the running theme of motherhood throughout and it is really clever. Not like anything I've ever read before!




Wednesday 1 February 2023

People Change by Sara Jafari | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

People Change by Sara Jafari
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: 2nd February 2023

Blurb:
When Shirin bumps into Kian at a house party in Brixton, she is taken aback by the feelings that resurface.

They last saw one another ten years ago as sixteen-year-olds at school in Hull. And the weight of everything left unsaid since then still hangs between them.

But now they're back in each other's lives, it's harder to run from the past.

There's nothing worse than losing the person you trust with your deepest secrets.

Can it be different second time around?

Review:
People Change follows Shirin, an assistant editor in publishing and Kian, an artist. The two went to secondary school together but haven't seen each other in ten years. They reconnect at a party through mutual friends and begin to start up a friendship again.

The two clearly have a past but this past isn't smooth. Both went through troubling times and as we read, we discover what exactly happened between them and if they can forget about the past for their future. 

It is very focused on race, both characters being British-Iranian. From bullying and prejudice they experience at school which even continues through into the workplace in present times. It also centres around finding yourself, being vulnerable and I have to add a trigger warning for depression and suicidal thoughts too.

It is a beautiful and moving story.

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A massive thank you to Penguin for having me on the blog tour.