Review: How To Be A Grown-Up

June 26, 2018 in Book Reviews, Non-Fiction

I received this book for free from bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: How To Be A Grown-Up How To Be A Grown-Up by Daisy Buchanan
Published by Headline on 28th June 2018
Genres: Non-Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: bookbridgr
Goodreads
four-stars

Have you ever felt lost, anxious, panicky about adulthood?

Have you ever spent a hungover Sunday crying into a bowl of cereal?

Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and felt nothing but green-eyed jealousy and evil thoughts?

Award-winning journalist, Grazia agony aunt and real-life big sister to five smart, stylish, stunning twenty-something young women, Daisy Buchanan has been there, done that and got the vajazzle.

In How to be a Grown-Up, she dispenses all the emotional and practical advice you need to negotiate a difficult decade. Covering everything from how to become more successful and confident at work, how to feel pride in yourself without needing validation from others, how to turn rivals into mentors, and how to *really* enjoy spending time on your own, this is a warm, kind, funny voice in the dark saying "Honestly don't worry, you're doing your best and you're amazing!"

Sometimes it’s just nice to read a book that you can relate to. I might be in my thirties and been through a lot in my three and a bit decades on the planet, but I think How To Be A Grown-Up is a phrase I’ll forever ponder (won’t we all) and so Daisy Buchanan’s book called to me.

Ok, full disclosure, I didn’t actually know who Daisy Buchanan was before I picked up this book (if you’re wondering she is an award-winning journalist and Grazia agony aunt), but I now feel like she’s my pal.

Buchanan shares her life with such honesty; the lessons shes’s learned, mistakes she’s made, emotions she has tackled, such that by the end of this book I felt I knew her.  From Instagram jealousy to fear of the financial, panic attacks to body image, Daisy writes with honesty, humour, and wit. Her anecdotes are relatable, and I can’t tell you the number of times I felt less alone reading this.

Going through major changes at this stage in my life isn’t something that I ever expected or wanted, but although Daisy’s story is very different to mine, her kindness and advice on being kind to yourself shine through. It has helped me.

Sometimes I fear a book like this can come across a bit ‘preachy’ but that isn’t the case here. Daisy lifts the lid on her life with seemingly nothing off limits – sharing her more difficult times with us as well as the happier times.

I enjoyed Daisy’s writing, her way with words and turn of phrase often appealing to my sense of humour.

Perhaps I related to a lot of this book as I was raised in the same era as Daisy. However, I do feel that those in their 20s will get a lot from this book, maybe a bit like an older sister sharing advice.

20s, 30s or 40s – do we ever really know how to be a grown-up? If this is a question that you often ponder then Daisy’s book is one for you. A perfect easy-to-read book for your Summer TBR.

P.S. I just noticed that the Kindle edition is only 99p on Amazon right now! (Not an affiliate link)

four-stars

Review: HUNTED

May 18, 2018 in Book Reviews, Dystopian

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: HUNTED HUNTED by G.X. Todd
Series: The Voices #2
Published by Headline on 31st May 2018
Genres: Dystopian
Goodreads
five-stars

The birds are flying. The birds are flocking. The birds know where to find her.

One man is driven by a Voice that isn't his. It's killing his sanity and wrestling with it over and over like a jackal with a bone. He has one goal.

To find the girl with a Voice like his own. She has no one to defend her now. The hunt is on.

But in an Inn by the sea, a boy with no tongue and no Voice gathers his warriors. Albus must find Lacey ... before the Other does. And finish the work his sister, Ruby began.

 

I have been SO excited to read HUNTED, ever since I closed the final page of DEFENDER (see my review here).  If you follow me on Twitter you are no-doubt aware of my love for that book. So when I was kindly sent a HUNTED ARC by Headline, I started it ASAP and proceeded to eke it out for as long as possible, because I wasn’t ready to leave the world and Todd’s writing for another year.

As you’ve probably gleaned from this first paragraph, HUNTED did not disappoint!

Todd has taken the world and characters we became familiar with in book one and expanded in the best possible ways – new characters, new concepts, new relationships, new dangers. I could easily have swallowed this book whole, but, like I said, I needed to savour it – every last word!

As ever, Todd strikes the perfect balance between action and character-building, allowing us to get to know those characters that she inevitably puts through the mill. I swear she took my heart and stomped on it at one point.

What’s so delicious about this book is that, although we start to gain some information, some more understanding of this dystopian world, by the end we are hungrier than ever for more answers.

I know I’ve not mentioned much about the plot here but that’s intentional. This is an action-packed sequel that absolutely lives up to the very high standards of book one, and is a story that you need to uncover for yourself!

Limited Edition SIGNED Copies

Before I go, let me draw to your attention the exclusive limited edition, signed copies available from Goldsboro Books. There are only 250 copies available and each will be signed and number with sprayed edges. I can’t wait to see my copy!

five-stars

Review: Come and Find Me

March 20, 2018 in Book Reviews, Crime, Thriller

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Come and Find Me Come And Find Me by Sarah Hilary
Series: DI Marnie Rome #5
Published by Headline on 22nd March 2018
Genres: Crime, thriller
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She's finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn't able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him - and is about to pay the ultimate price.

There are no spoilers in this post – for this book or the previous four!

When I’m asked who my favourite authors are, Sarah Hilary is always on the ensuing list. So whenever I get one of her new books in my hands I’m both tremendously excited and fairly nervous. I worry in case I won’t love her work as much this time around – please tell me that I’m not alone in doing this?! But every single time Sarah wows me, reasserting her position in my favourite writers’ list. Come and Find Me is no different.

This is the fifth book in Hilary’s DI Marnie Rome series, and I’m convinced that somehow she is getting better and better – she needs a star rating of her own!

As ever, Hilary’s writing is captivating as she throws Marnie and Noah into a new case. I love that along with each new case we follow Marnie and Noah’s own personal journeys – their own stories add a whole other dimension to these novels.

What’s more, unlike other series where I have to familiarise myself with the ongoing tale once more, I never have to do that with Hilary’s books. These characters and their stories are always just ‘there’ in my mind, waiting to continue where they left off. Personally, I think this demonstrates the incredible characters and partnership that Hilary has created.

If you haven’t yet started this series, I envy you. You have five stunning novels awaiting you! Go get your hands on a copy of her first book, Someone Else’s Skin, right now and get reading. You won’t be disappointed!

Come and Find Me is a novel full of the twists and tension that we’ve come to expect from Sarah Hilary. It’s a fascinating storyline, written with her incomparable style and care.

When can we have book six, please? I need more Marnie and Noah!

five-stars

Review: Quieter Than Killing

March 7, 2017 in Book Reviews, Crime

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Quieter Than Killing Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary
Series: DI Marnie Rome #4
Published by Headline on 9th March 2017
Genres: Crime
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

It's winter, the nights are dark and freezing, and a series of seemingly random assaults is pulling DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake out onto streets of London. When Marnie's family home is ransacked, there are signs that the burglary can have only been committed by someone who knows her. Then a child goes missing, yet no-one has reported it. Suddenly, events seem connected, and it's personal.

Someone out there is playing games. It is time for both Marnie and Noah to face the truth about the creeping, chilling reaches of a troubled upbringing. Keeping quiet can be a means of survival, but the effects can be as terrible as killing.

For the past few years, my most-anticipated release list has included Sarah Hilary’s latest works. We’re now onto the fourth book of the DI Marnie Rome series and Hilary never fails to impress me. Her storytelling sweeps me up, diving into her books is like meeting up with old friends – and I love it!

The case in this book is compelling. There has been a series of attacks and Marnie and Noah are tasked with finding the culprits. Are the attacks connected? One again Hilary has woven her narrative, teasing and tripping me up along the way.

For me though, what I really enjoyed most about this book was spending more time with Marnie and Noah. I feel that by now, book four, we have a good handle on their characters, we know their histories and Hilary ensures we become even more invested in our protagonists.

I feel that I say this after every Hilary book, but Sarah handles the issues involved in Quieter Than Killing with great respect. It’s one of the things I love about her writing; she takes care and consideration with any issues she addresses, yet doesn’t detract from the story or lose any of the impact. If anything, it adds more impact!

I could sit here and gush about Sarah Hilary’s novels all day long. Her stories are realistic and believable, her characters relatable. Hilary references real-life news events to anchor her stories into our lives. I love her ongoing development of Marnie and Noah’s lives, and feel we are being drawn in closer with each passing page.

All in all, Quieter Than Killing is a fantastic addition to the series. It will raise many questions, but not all of them having answers!

five-stars

Review: This Is How It Always Is

February 24, 2017 in Book Reviews, Contemporary

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: This Is How It Always Is This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Published by Headline on 9th February 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

Rosie and Penn always wanted a daughter. Four sons later, they decide to try one last time - and their beautiful little boy Claude is born. Life continues happily for this big, loving family until the day when Claude says that, when he grows up, he wants to be a girl.

As far as Rosie and Penn are concerned, bright, funny and wonderful Claude can be whoever he or she wants. But as problems begin at school and in the community, the family faces a seemingly impossible dilemma: should Claude change, or should they and Claude try to change the world?

This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and, he loves peanut butter sandwiches.

He also loves wearing a dress, growing his hair long, and dreams of being a princess.

Rosie and Penn have four boys when they decide to try, one last time, for a girl. Claude arrives and they continue their hectic lives with a houseful of boys. However, it seems Claude really just wants to be a girl.

This is a beautiful, witty, hopeful yet sometimes heartbreaking story of a family who want the best for all of their children. A family who shoulder a secret so that their youngest member can be happy. Sadly, many secrets don’t say that way and not everyone is so accepting of the family’s choices.

This is a stunning, special novel full of wisdom, love and kindness. It educates but doesn’t lecture. It grabs a hold of your heart from the first page and doesn’t let go.

Frankel does an excellent job of inserting us into the family of seven. We feel that we know each one of her characters, and that’s no small thing.

One thing I loved about this book is that Penn is a writer who tells his children an ongoing fairytale bedtime story that has been progressed every night for their whole lives. Through this tale he weaves important messages for his children – messages that we as readers also need to hear!

This is a tale of unconditional love, parental decisions, childhood innocence, sibling relationships and handling the world outside of the safety of your own four walls.

It’s beautiful, important, relevant and thoughtful. I highly recommend reading it!

five-stars