Tuesday 26 May 2015

One Small Act Of Kindness: Lucy Dillon

Libby and her husband, Jason, have moved back to where he grew up. Their intention is to support his mother in the running of her hotel following the passing of his father. They are leaving behind a past full of problems and Libby is eager to take on the project of running a hotel. She dreams of minimalist design and fancy bath tubs, of course, it doesn't all go smoothly. One day Libby finds that an accident has taken place outside of her hotel. The victim, a girl, who in being hit has lost her memory. With no ID and no knowledge of who she is or where she is from. Libby takes her under her wing as they wait for her memories to return or someone to claim her. But the problems keep coming, nobody said running a hotel was easy and Libby faces her fair share of problems. Meanwhile her newly found friend is left to face the struggles of relearning who you are and who is important to you. 

I thought the concept of this book was simple but brilliant. It was really intresting to watch the girl in the accident relearn who she was and what was important to her. It left the book with a sense of wonder as every now and then something new would be revealed but there was always something held back. I liked how I could anticipate what would happen next but I never quite new. I won't say too much about how the story progressed because the fun of the book was the opportunity it gives the reader to wonder what will be revealed next.

I found Margaret, Jason's mother, infuriating. As I am sure was the intention. Her unquestionable love for her son Jason and her inability to see his faults left me seething. The anger I felt towards her was almost cathartic in parts so it wasn't all bad. There was a nice range of characters, from the incompetent to the competent. Each of them had something to add to the story whether it was good or bad. 

I love love love Lucy's addition of dogs to her stories. Who doesn't love a dog?! Lord Bob was perfect and entertaining and the book wouldn't have been the same without him. I was nice to have a dog who felt like a character in his own right, Lord Bob had a humongous personality and it shone from the pages. 

I liked the ending I just felt as though it could have been elaborated upon. The journey the book took was good and well developed and I felt that the ending was dealt with very quickly. This is a tiny little fault though and is most likely just personal preference!

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book, I loved Lucy's previous book (A Hundred Pieces Of Me) and this was just as good.


Saturday 23 May 2015

The Sun In Her Eyes: Paige Toon

I am a self confessed addict when it comes to Paige Toon's books. I didn't even hesitate to pre-order her latest release and I couldn't contain my excitement when it landed on my doorstep the other morning. I am happy to report, that I wasn't let down. I gobbled it up in a matter of hours and I only wish that it had gone on longer.

Here's a short overview...

When Amber hears of her father having a stroke she finds herself with no reason not to fly over to Australia to see him. Having just been made redundant she finds herself on a plane, returning to the country she had grown up in, barely glancing back at the husband (Ned) she is leaving behind. Amber falls easily back into her old life, picking up where she left off with best friends Tina and Nell. Of course there is Ethan too, the subject of her childhood crush. He is newly divorced and Amber is faced with a moral dilemma as her loyalties to her husband dwindle.

There was also a sub story of an elderly woman, Doris, who was witness to the car crash that killed Amber's mother when Amber was only three. Doris has held onto the last words Amber's mother said and she is on a quest to fulfil her promise to tell them to Amber. I really liked this idea and I only wish that it had been developed slightly more; not so much in how it ended but rather in how it developed. I also liked the flashbacks to the start of Amber and Ned's relationship which were vital to creating a believable relationship. With Amber fawning over Ethan, it would be easy for the reader to lose sight of her relationship with Ned but thankfully it was kept alive through these flashbacks.

Amber was not my favourite of Paige's protagonists but I have learnt recently that I don't actually have to like a character to enjoy their presence. Amber certainly was flawed and she made some very questionable decisions but she was all the better for it. Of course, I fell for Ethan immediately, he was charming and charismatic. Again, not perfect, and I must say that I finished the book with a very different opinion of him than when I started it.

The story line had just the right amount of twists and turns. Sometimes I felt as though I knew exactly how it was going to end but then Paige would throw a curve ball and I would be left wondering all over again. The ending was not what I expected but I wasn't disappointed.

If you have read any of Paige's books before you will know that some characters pop up in more than one story. I found myself reading this book thinking about the stories that could be given to the more minor characters. In my head I formed different endings for all these characters and even the most minor ones suddenly held so much potential. The brilliance of Paige's storytelling is her ability to make the reader see more than just the main character.

So, the big question: would I recommend it? Of course I would! It didn't quite knock Pictures of Lily off the top spot but it came pretty damn close!


Wednesday 20 May 2015


Three years, nine terms, numerous coursework essays, fourteen exams, one dissertation and I AM DONE. 

They say that university goes by quickly and you should savour it, but it is safe to say that I did not expect it to go this fast. It feels like just yesterday when I was moving into my first year accommodation. But it wasn't yesterday, it was almost three years ago *woah*. 

Today I sat my final exam, three hours on the topography of Rome. Right now I am sitting at my desk wondering what to do with myself. I was in full day nursery from 6 months old. I don't know what it's like to be out of education. But today marks the end of that road. I am not planning on going onto do a masters any time soon so this summer will be devoted to looking for a job and hopefully come September I will have something to do. 

But right now I am going to delve into the endless pile of books I have had to ignore over the past months and I am going to catch up on some much needed sleep. I also have a couple of trips planned: Greece, Spain, Scotland and Wales. It's fair to say that I am making the most of my last summer of freedom. Who knows when I will next have such a long expanse of time to do whatever I want. 

So today I say goodbye to organised education and the wonders of student finance and say hello to the adult world of real jobs and rented flats. 

(Really I am just moving back in with my family, but you know, a girl can dream.)

Sorry for the complete absence of posts this month, dissertation and exam revision took over and somehow my blog got lost along the way. I will try and get back into the swing of it from now on.