Friday, 31 May 2013

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

This was a really sad but touching book and shows how people affect each other without realising. Eddie seems like a grumpy sort at the start of the book, but by the end you discover the reasons for why he is how he is and therefore understand him as a person. It is also quite comforting in its suggestion that there is something to come after death, and I hope this is true and wonder who my 5 would be! It was quite a short book, but it was perfect in size - it explored the idea in detail, but still managed to leave me thinking. I give this book 8/10.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Starting Now by Debbie Macomber

I really enjoyed the story of Libby told in this book. What I liked most was that it was a story of self-discovery, where Libby learns that there are more important things in life than work and money. The link to the knitting store, which features highly in the Blossom Street series, was great to see and it was nice to revisit Lydia, my favourite character from the series. Other new characters, such as Ava and Phillip, added new dimensions to the story. Although the ending was so easy to guess, the journey Libby goes through during the book was the best part - it made me think about life in general as well as her story. I give this book 9/10.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Home To Roost by Tessa Hainsworth

This was a really enjoyable read. It was basic storytelling at its best, with lovely characters and a beautiful setting. It showed the ups and downs of life in the country and was full of different stories of the various people living in the area. Tessa Hainsworth is a very lucky woman to be living in such an amazing place and to be able to mix with so many people as part of her job as postwoman! The story of her new neighbours was the best story of all as it just went to show how communities come together when threatened. If only I could live in such a place! I give this book 9/10.

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson

I was absolutely addicted to this book once I started reading it! The story was so gripping, with constant twists and turns in the story. Every time I thought I knew who was telling the truth - Scott or Mirabelle - something new was revealed to make me question it and change my mind, just like the main character Tami. Just as I thought things were really good, a murder happened that had me intrigued even more. More and more truths and shocking news came out until I looked and realised I was devouring the book quicker than I thought. However, the BIG problem for me was the ending. I knew the killer probably wouldn't be too obvious, but I was sooo disappointed when I found out who did it and why. I thought it was a real letdown by Koomson. But even though I felt cheated at the end, I still have to give this book 8/10 because the rest of the book was so fabulous.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Summer House by Santa Montefiore

I absolutely loved reading this book, it had me hooked! From the synopsis on the back, I presumed that Phaedra was going to be George's mistress, but then when she revealed that she was his daughter, the story took a really interesting turn. I adored George's wife Antoinette and loved reading the journey she took throughout the book, from grieving to anger to forgiveness and truly finding herself as a person as she learns of new passions. I also loved reading of how the family as a whole grew and came together all because of Phaedra, especially the grandmother, Margaret's shift in character. David's crush on Phaedra seemed a strange story line to include, and to some extent gave away the twist that would come towards the end of the story. The only disappointment to me was the ending of the book, which seemed a little too neatly and easily resolved, especially the epilogue where the happily ever after was summed up by Margaret as part of a conversation that seemed a little bit too forced. This was the only thing that stops me giving this book full marks, so instead I give this book 9/10!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Chicken Coops for the Soul by Julia Hollander

I was really disappointed with this book, as I was expecting it to be something different to what it was. I expected it to be far more autobiographical. My favourite moments in the book were those about Julia's children and how they reacted about the chickens. However, a lot of the content was facts, figures and the history of chickens. Which would have been interesting in smaller doses, but I felt myself zoning out in these huge sections and contemplating whether to give up reading the book all together. I did enjoy certain aspects, don't get me wrong, such as reading about the chicken's personalities and their life in general. Overall, though, I have to give this book 3/10.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Eloise by Judy Finnigan

I don't usually read this type of book but the synopsis had me curious. And I'm so glad I decided to read it because I absolutely loved it. I read it so quickly and couldn't wait to read it again whenever I put it down. I was desperate to know the answers to the secrets and mysteries that Cathy was having to face. I felt so sympathetic towards Cathy, especially the judgement she had to face by others and her fears of going mad. There were so many plot twists throughout the book that had me gripped, I just wanted to keep going to find out more. Cornwall and Cathy's cottage sounded magical and was beautifully described. All of the characters had hidden depths and individual traits that really represents the diversity in real life. I have to give this book 10/10!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The List of My Desires by Gregoire Delacourt

This was a really interesting read, with a message about the dangers of money and that money doesn't bring you happiness. It is a relatively short book, but very engrossing and full of character depth. The twist toward the end was totally unexpected and shocking and finished the book off perfectly. It was quite a sad read throughout, with Jocelyne not really recognizing what she had before it was too late. I was hoping for a happy ending, but there wasn't really a proper one - but then I suppose that reflects real life! The only dissappointment that I had was that Jocelyne's haberdashery shop did not seem to fill her with pride in the way that it would have with me. She seemed to think her job was dull but it seems pretty amazing to me! Anyway, I give this book 9/10.

Warning: This was a proof copy and the actual book will not be out until 4th July 2013.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Country Loving by Cathy Woodman

I was slightly disappointed in this book because I did not feel it was as good as Cathy Woodman's previous Talyton St George novels. Stevie was a good lead character but not as strong as I would have hoped. Once she realised she had feelings for Leo she became very needy and pathetic, thinking that she could not live without him, which I hate in female leads. After he left for New Zealand, she would not move on as Jennie sensibly suggested. The back story of Stevie's family was interesting to read and added a new dimension to the story. And I loved the description of the the farm and all the animals. The pregnancy storyline was a bit random and I felt unnecessary as Stevie had enough going on with the farm's plans. And I was slightly disappointed by the ending too, hoping Leo wouldn't turn out to be perfect and that Stevie would realise how lovely James was. I therefore give this book 6/10.