Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review - You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

You Had Me At HelloTitle: You Had Me At Hello
Author: Mhairi McFarlane
Published: 8th November 2012 by Avon
Source: Kindle edition from Amazon UK

What happens when the one that got away comes back?

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart.

It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

From the moment they met they’d been a gang of two; partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on. Ben is married. Rachel is definitely not. In fact, the men in her life make her want to take holy orders…

Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend
.[Goodreads]

I LOVED this book. Simple. Mhairi McFarlane has such a witty, fresh and clever way with words, I didn't want this book to end. In fact, I felt quite bereft once the book was over, and felt as though I'd lost something - it's very rare that happens!

Firstly, a massive thank-you to the author for setting it in Manchester!! I love the city and I'm always thankful that I only live 20 minutes outside it. I love all the details the author adds that are very familiar to me but any other reader would also understand. I've also got so bored of the typical rom-com settings of London, New York, Devon etc, which feel so overdone now. The Manchester setting was genius! There's also no (thank God) storyline about how a character made a boo-boo at work and had to escape to the coast, and luckily for her she found the man of her dreams behind the bar of the local pub, and they start off hating each other but secretly love each other (blah blah blah). Before reading You Had Me At Hello I'd been through quite a lot of chick-lit and felt I was always getting the same story over and over again, just a re-hashed version. This book was just miles apart. 

Rachel and Ben were the perfect characters. Nothing clich├ęd. Rachel has no annoying quirks that we're meant to find "adorable", she doesn't constantly do the thing you're screaming at her not to do, she doesn't lose things or fall flat on her face when she first meets Ben. It's completely, wonderfully real. I was totally invested in them both the whole way through the book and I felt like I could relate to them both even though I've never really been in their situation. To put it simply - they just felt alive. 

I really enjoyed the parts of the book set in university too - whenever I read about uni it always seems to be American, and although I really enjoy that, I can't always relate. I love escaping into books set in America because it doesn't feel like my world - but You Had Me At Hello just made me feel warm, comfortable and at home. There was our murky Northern weather, Oxford Road, A-Levels and British pubs! I knew the places, so I think for me, it felt like I knew the people and their stories more too. 

I also loved the supporting characters, especially Rachel's friends - ah Mindy! - and laughed so many times at so many different parts of the book. The author's descriptions are often hilarious, or just seem to pin down exactly how you remember/imagine them. The whole story is just very sweet and satisfying; a perfect boys meets girl with a bit of a twist. I would definitely recommend this to pretty much anyone, especially if you want to experience a lovely slice of Northern England! A must-read!


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Hosted by Breaking The Spine 

Sick by Tom Leveen

Publication date: 1st October 2013
Sick
Breakfast Club meets The Walking Dead as a group of unlikely allies tries to survive a deadly outbreak.
Brian and his friends are not part of the cool crowd. They’re the misfits and the troublemakers—the ones who jump their high school’s fence to skip class regularly. So when a deadly virus breaks out, they’re the only ones with a chance of surviving.
The virus turns Brian’s classmates and teachers into bloodthirsty attackers who don’t die easily. The whole school goes on lockdown, but Brian and his best friend, Chad, are safe (and stuck) in the theater department—far from Brian’s sister, Kenzie, and his ex-girlfriend with a panic attack problem, Laura. Brian and Chad, along with some of the theater kids Brian had never given the time of day before, decide to find the girls and bring them to the safety of the theater. But it won’t be easy, and it will test everything they thought they knew about themselves and their classmates.
 [Goodreads]

Why I'm Waiting?

I haven't read a zombie book in so long, and how can I resist one that is advertised as a cross between The Breakfast Club and The Walking Dead?! Hopefully this will be done well and not turn out cringey!



Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Read So Far in 2013


Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2013

In no particular order:

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1. The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence #1) by Jessica Sorensen - The second book in this series was my pick for Waiting on Wednesday last week. Such a heartbreaking but brilliant book but be warned - it ends of a cliffhanger!

2. School Spirits (School Spirits #1) by Rachel Hawkins - My first Rachel Hawkins and I loved it! She's a really great writer who had me swept up in the story from page one. I'm going to have to read the Hex Hall series soon!

3. Hopeless (Hopeless #1) by Colleen Hoover - I did a review on this a couple of days ago - it's one of my all time favourite books. An emotional rollercoaster and a fantastic read. 

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4. True by Erin McCarthy - A tale of girl meets damaged boy but one that I felt was very fresh and exciting - a definite recommended read.

5. Queen's Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle - My first historical novel in a long time, I won this in a Goodreads competition and didn't know what to expect. What I got was drama, intrigue and passion - a real page-turner.

6. Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires #1) by Rachel Caine - I truly loved the first book in The Morganville series - so action-packed with brilliant characters and a great style of writing. 

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7. The Edge of Reason (Bridget Jones #2) by Helen Fielding - I'd only read the first Bridget Jones, many years ago, and thought I'd better get round to reading the second one! Laugh-out-loud funny with some truly cringey scenes from a well-loved, endearing character.

8. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - A very clever book, it follows Don - a man learning to let go and love whilst living with Asperger's. Very warm and funny, it hits all the right spots if you're looking for an unconventional love story.

9. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides - Very haunting and beautiful. Dreamlike prose interspersed with dark humour to provide a very subtle yet magical read.

10. City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare - I literally just finished this yesterday, and I totally fell in love with it :)

I hadn't realised how many series I've started off this year! There's still so much that I haven't got round to reading yet, of course, and one massive thing I noticed when looking at books I've read this year was how many I rated quite low. I hate feeling like I've wasted my time on a book when there's so many amazing ones out there still to be read.

What made your top ten this week? Leave me a link and I'll be sure to check it out. 


Monday, 24 June 2013

Review - City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)Title: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Source: Library book

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...[Goodreads]

After finishing this, I went back to look at other reviews on Goodreads and now I don't particularly know what to write in this review that hasn't already been said, or been slated. There is so much love and hate in equal measures out there for this book, I feel a bit bewildered to tell you the truth!

To start off, I made a stupid rookie mistake and perused some reviews before reading. I know not to do this on Goodreads when it comes to bestsellers, but sometimes I really cannot help myself. So, of course, I read a massive spoiler about the entire end of the book in one sentence. Damn. 

Anyway, this is going to be short and sweet. I personally fell in love with this book after reading the first couple of pages and thoroughly enjoyed it the entire way through. I loved the writing, the action, the characters and the world. For me, Cassandra Clare gave just the right amount of information for me to both understand what was going on, whilst also leaving parts wrapped in mystery to be revealed later. After I finished, I felt that delicious draw to instantly crack open the second instalment and fall back into the story as though I'd never left. I feel like I've definitely found a new favourite series of mine and feel quite annoyed with myself that it's taken me this long to get around to starting it!



Saturday, 22 June 2013

Stacking The Shelves (4)

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews

I decided not to buy any more books this week (a tough decision!) or check any out of my library - my TBR pile is so big and I'm moving house in a couple of weeks so I need to pack, not generate more things to pack! I did, however, receive some wonderful books to review that I'm so excited about!
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Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts
The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace
A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Screwed by Laurie Plissner

I'm so excited for The Edge of Never and Tumble & Fall! I'm also highly anticipating The Bone Season to see if it lives up to all this hype it's getting - it definitely sounds like my kind of book. 

What are you filling your shelves with this week? Leave me a comment and your link and I'll be sure to check it out :)


Friday, 21 June 2013

Review - Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)Title: Hopeless
Author: Colleen Hoover
Published: 8th January 2013
Source: Kindle edition from Amazon UK

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever. [Goodreads]

Colleen Hoover, I am SO glad I discovered you. This was my second book (my first being Slammed) and once again I was blown away. This book is not a light read - it's deeply emotional as broken lives intertwine and dark secrets come together but it is a perfectly stunning book. After I finished, I actually didn't know whether to laugh or cry! A must-read. Seriously!

Sky and Holder were beautiful together, one of my favourite book couples ever in fact. They combined everything I love in a good love story, and their connection was made even stronger through their heartbreaking experiences. On top of this, it was definitely the twists and surprises that made this book so good for me - as sad as they were, they were what made this book feel so special and what Colleen Hoover is fast becoming known for. 

I don't want to give anything away as the experience of reading this book is one to be done with fresh eyes (in my opinion!) I just simply loved it and found it to be completely unforgettable and incredible - love-at-first-read in other words! As long as Colleen Hoover keeps writing, I know I'll be happy!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Review - The Arcade Series by Kitty Charles

Title: The Arcade Series
Author: Kitty Charles
Published: Ongoing - every month this year by Blue Eyed Llama
Source: Kindle edition from Amazon UK

What do you dream of?

Gorgeous clothes, gourmet foods, beautiful men?

Whatever you wish for, Angell’s Arcade is all your dreams come true. Under its Victorian glass atrium, twelve little shops glow like gems– and the people who run them love and fight and sell for their lives.


Released in twelve monthly instalments – like your favourite soap, The Arcade brings you characters you love to hate – and to love. Each bite-sized episode is perfect for your journey to work, your lunch-break – or a quiet night of escapism. And it’ll leave you wanting more – with a teaser of next month’s storyline!


So what are you waiting for? Time to give into your dreams and sample the delights of Angell’s Arcade. Go on, take a look inside. [Goodreads]



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The Arcade is a series of short stories all surrounding a collection of shops that share space in a glamorous shopping centre. The first episode introduces you to Faith, a new addition to the Arcade, as she sets up her vintage clothes shop and starts meeting the other tenants at a New Year's party. Each episode after that follows a particular shop or business and it's owner, weaving everything together as each character tells their own story.

They're short stories, so perfect for a quick read as you dip in each month to experience another part of the Arcade. Kitty Charles is a pseudonym for a group of six bestselling women's fiction authors who each take it in turn to write an episode, so this way, the reader is not only delving into different character's lives, but also different writing styles.

The series are a really fun read and very easy to catch up on, the perfect escapist treat for a quick read in the sun!
             

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine which highlights upcoming releases we can't wait to read!

This week's selection is:

The Redemption of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

Publication date: 6th August 2013

The dark secret Kayden has kept hidden for years is out. Worse, he's facing charges for battery. The only way he stands a chance against the charges is if Callie speaks up, something he'll never ask her to do. Callie knows Kayden is going back to his dark place and desperately wants to save him. But saving him means admitting her secrets aloud. Callie and Kayden are stronger than they think, especially when they're together. Together they move forward, face their demons, and finally start to heal from their traumatic pasts. [Goodreads]
Why I'm Waiting?

I loved The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, and it was left on such a cliffhanger that this book cannot come soon enough! The first book was so emotionally draining but I was dying for more at the end, and I'm sure this one will be just as good.


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays - Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is:

TOP TEN BOOKS AT THE TOP OF MY SUMMER TBR LIST

I am personally using my summer to catch up as much as I can on books I've missed. This might be a whole series, finishing a series off or stand-alones. Recently I've been dedicating too much time to reading review copies of books, and quite a lot of them have left me feeling a bit deflated. There are so many great new books coming out and I've got a lot of new releases sat on my shelves waiting to go, but I keep promising myself to read ones I've had for some time and the summer seems to be the perfect time for this. I don't know if I will be able to resist the temptation of a new book, but we'll see :) 

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1. The Dead Girls Dance (The Morganville Vampires #2) by Rachel Caine - I completely loved the first book in this series then went and bought the next 10 off Amazon but still haven't got round to getting stuck into them!

2. Twisted (Pretty Little Liars #9) by Sara Shepard - OK, so she's set to release book 14 in December and to be honest I don't quite know where she'll end up with this...BUT...I love them. They're so entertaining and quick to read, I just need to get cracking with the rest of the series first!

3. Pretties (Uglies #2) by Scott Westerfeld - Eeek, I really need to read the rest of this series!!

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4. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally - This looked like a really fun summer read when I first heard about it :)

5. Numbers (Numbers #1) by Rachel Ward - I've got the whole series ready and waiting, and I know I'll really enjoy it, so this one is going to have to become a priority!

6. Point of Retreat (Slammed #2) by Colleen Hoover - I know, I know, I have the third in this series on my sidebar set as 'To Read Soon' but I have to confess...I still haven't read the second one for reasons completely unknown to me!

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7. Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn #1) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian - The synopsis had me hooked when I first saw it so I instantly went out and bought it, I just need to get round to actually reading it!

8. City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare - I've finally got round to reading City of Bones at the moment, and I am really enjoying it. After reading a quite a few mixed reviews I decided to ignore them a bit and get on with it, and I've been pleasantly surprised so far. 

9. Debutantes by Cora Harrison - This cover!!!! Ahh!!! 

10. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen - An old series that I really keep meaning to get around to. So much to read, so little time. 

I really could have gone on and on with this list - I scanned my Goodreads TBR list and was amazed at how many great books I've spotted out there that I still need to read, in fact, it makes me feel a bit sad! Some of these actually make me a bit shamefaced too, because I've left it so long with not reading them! (You're probably thinking 'Where has this girl been?!' looking at some of these). There were many more stand-alones I could have picked out, but I've got so many series to catch up on first. Luckily for me, I get six weeks off in the summer as I work in a school, so I've got a lot of time to read! 

How are you picking your TBR list for summer?


Monday, 17 June 2013

Review - Vain by Fisher Amelie

Vain (The Seven Deadly Series, #1)
Vain by Fisher Amelie
Published: 7th February 2013
Source: Kindle edition from Amazon UK

If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah...then you’re gonna’ hate my story.

Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.

I’m Sophie Price...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. [Goodreads]
I really wanted to like this book. I thought it had so much potential and I'd been so excited to read it but it just fell a bit too flat for me. 

I hadn't read any reviews before starting it, so I was unaware about the Uganda part of the plot (in case you haven't read this, I'll just be vague and say Sophie is sent there quite early on in the book as a court order). Although I enjoyed this strand, I felt like I really didn't know enough about Sophie's past life and wanted to spend more time there before being taken away from it. I was looking forward to reading about a girl I was meant to hate and the beginning of the book hooked me. Yes, I hated her and I enjoyed hating her!

All of a sudden, she's in Africa and everything is happening too fast. She's sent to volunteer at an orphanage in Uganda - somewhere completely out of her comfort zone. However, her attitude changes so suddenly that I just couldn't believe it. No longer was she a girl I could easily hate. After a few hiccups when she first arrives as she gets used to the living conditions, she quite quickly becomes adjusted and starts evolving into a totally different person. This was a girl who self-professed that she was a cruel, manipulative, vindictive bitch and now she's almost immediately selfless. I felt like I just couldn't keep up. 

Inevitably there was a love interest and this came in the form of Ian, another volunteer at the orphanage. I personally loved Ian's character and really wished the author had given us more of an insight into him, but I couldn't see how he fell so fast for Sophie. He started off pretty disgusted with her, but this all just seemed to disappear between chapters. The plot felt too disjointed and under-developed to ensure the story and the romance worked like it could have done.



On the other hand, once I got used to the change of scene in Uganda, that side of the story did start to grow on me. It was a different twist and I loved the fast-pace of the action scenes. It was very touching to read about the orphans and the workers at the orphanage, I think the author explored that side really well. 

However, this was just not enough to redeem the book for me. I never felt anything for Sophie even though she was meant to be a changed young-woman and as for the ending?! Did the author have a pressing deadline and need one Disney 'wrap it all up in a cute package and tie with a bow' end paragraph? It all just felt so rushed and unreal. Throughout the whole book there also seemed to be so many missing words and sentences that didn't flow that it started to really ruin the reading experience for me. I often found myself re-reading sentences 2 or 3 times trying to make sense of them and ending up just skipping them. 


For me, Vain missed the mark. I wanted what was in the blurb and really felt like the book didn't follow through. I appreciate what the author was trying to achieve and I'm aware that by not enjoying it I'm in a minority, but overall I was sadly disappointed and I wouldn't recommend it. 


                                       

Friday, 14 June 2013

Let's Talk - Darker Books on the YA Market

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Let's Talk is a fun weekly meme at i swim for oceans. It's a way for us all to get involved in a discussion and have our say on certain topics!

What do you think about darker books on the YA market?

In my job as a high school librarian, the thing I am asked most for is titles of darker books. 

I think the students love reading about characters their own age who they can identify with. Sometimes they want a tough storyline because as Melissa said, it makes them feel. Other times I know they're personally seeking out a particular book that reflects some part of their own life. It gives them a safe space to explore the issue whilst also allowing them to find out what the character did about it and compare their situations. If anything, it often gets them talking - whether that's between themselves or with me. 

For me, I am always drawn to a novel that deals with a tough subject. I want to read books which elicit an array of emotions, that make me sit back and just really think about what I've just read, that are painful to tackle and that allow me to explore challenging topics.

However, I do believe caution has to be taken. Authors and publishers have a responsibility when they market a book as YA because although many of us in the audience are mature, just as many aren't. That's definitely not to say issues should be concealed or watered down - but in my job I do also have parents to answer to. As a librarian I do not believe in censorship but I know there are parents who would not want their children reading about certain topics from a protective point of view. I often think parents would appreciate more information on the back of a book - then it can be their decision whether or not they want to allow their child to read it, but it should still always be available. Special review websites have been set-up to purposefully provide information to aid in this decision making - they will state what issues in the book are explored, what could be flagged as inappropriate for certain audiences, whether there are any graphic scenes and what those entail. 

In my opinion, if a student is taking an interest in the pure joy of reading and they have specifically picked out a darker book, who am I to say no? Reading is a personal journey, if a reader finds a book too disturbing they can put it down - believe me, this happens a lot! At the same time, I would never push a book that tackles darker subjects on to a reader - I personally love them, but I understand they aren't for everyone. 

Darker books are challenging to read, sometimes hard to swallow, they push boundaries and can cause controversy - but I wouldn't ever change them from being on the YA market.  

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Review - The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
Published: May 14th 2013 by Disney-Hyperion
Source: NetGalley

She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.


Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival. [Goodreads]

This book started too slowly for my liking, in fact, it's taken me quite a long time to make my way through it. Having said that though, it definitely picked up in the last quarter and I raced through it then to the end. 

I really liked Meg, especially in her scenes with her little sister - their relationship was so sweet and genuine to read, it made me want to visit my own little sister just to give her a big hug! I also really enjoyed the romance that was interwoven with the story, it was probably my favourite part of the whole book. Her relationship with Ethan did happen rather fast, but for once I didn't care - Ethan was adorable! Damn that dimple! 


On the other hand, the mystery just didn't make me feel much of anything or really have any page-turning qualities about it. Even though I raced through the end, I had already worked out the secret a while before and I just wanted to see how it would pan out in the final few pages. I did like how it was left though, with most of it tied together apart from a few strands that will lead nicely into the sequel. To be honest though, I don't know if I'll read the second book - I needed more excitement and was left disappointed after eagerly anticipating this one. 


Overall, it was OK - the romance and Meg's relationship with her family made it much better, but I was expecting a thrilling mystery and didn't feel that I got it. 

                       

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine which highlights upcoming releases we can't wait to read!

This week's selection is:

Mad About The Boy (Bridget Jones #3) by Helen Fielding

Publication date: 15th October 2013

With her hotly anticipated third instalment, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Fielding introduces us to a whole new enticing phase of Bridget's life set in contemporary London, including the challenges of maintaining sex appeal as the years roll by and the nightmare of drunken texting, the skinny jean, the disastrous email cc, total lack of twitter followers, and TVs that need 90 buttons and three remotes to simply turn on. [Amazon UK]

Why I'm Waiting? 

I know this is a while off but I'm SO excited for this - Bridget Jones is back!! I cannot wait to read all about her new life and I just hope it will be as perfectly funny as always. 


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays: Best Beach Reads


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is:


TOP TEN BEST BEACH READS

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1. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard - I could just line the whole series up in a row and devour them one by one! Perfect mix of mystery, friendship and drama. 
2. One Day by David Nicholls - A gorgeous book to relax with on a summer's day - sweet and heartbreaking at the same time. 
3. You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane - This is one of my all time favourite books! Set in my beloved Manchester it follows Ben and Rachel (perfectly adorable) and their lives apart after university. Very witty, fun and romantic. 

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4. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks - One to really get lost in on a hot day - beautiful, touching and set on the beach in North Carolina. 
5. Babyville by Jane Green - This follows three women and their different approaches to motherhood - very funny, emotional and a fantastic read for a gorgeous sunny day. 
6. Starter for Ten by David Nicholls - Another David Nicholls (how could I resist?), this is also one of my all time favourite books. It follows Brian as he awkwardly navigates university, falling for girls out of his league and appearing on University Challenge - perfect!


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7. Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot - The book is made up of emails, letters, notes, IM conversations, minutes etc and it all comes together to form a very funny, fresh book that always makes me smile. 
8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling - Who wouldn't want to get lost in one of their most favourite worlds of all time, say hello to old friends and play a spot of Quidditch? :)
9. Lizzy Harrison Loses Control by Pippa Wright - A perfect chick-lit book to read whilst sunning yourself on the beach - a controlling heroine who learns to let go in the arms of bad boy Randy. 
10. Isobel's Wedding by Sheila O'Flanagan - She's written so many books, but this always stands out for me the most because it was my first 'non-children's' book from my high school library when I was about 13. And by that I mean, I didn't want my mum to find me reading it! A brilliant author that always pulls you into her world, and this one is set in Spain too! 


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