Wednesday, June 30, 2021

BLOG TOUR The Island Home by Libby Page

 

Lorna's world is small but safe.


She loves her daughter, and the two of them is all that matters. But after nearly twenty years, she and Ella are suddenly leaving London for the Isle of Kip, the tiny remote Scottish island where Lorna grew up.


Alice's world is tiny but full.


She loves the community on Kip, her yoga classes drawing women across the tiny island together. Now Lorna's arrival might help their family finally mend itself - even if forgiveness means returning to the past...


So with two decades, hundreds of miles and a lifetime's worth of secrets between Lorna and the island, can coming home mean starting again?




I was delighted when I was asked to be on the blog tour for this one, I’ve not read any of Libby’s work before but this one has been on my radar for a while. Thank you to Orion Books for my beautiful gifted copy.


So this book was just so good. I devoured it over a few days, reading pretty much the second half in one go. The book is old from two peoples perspectives: Lorna and Alice. Lorna and her daughter Ella live in London, they don’t have many friends, and no family so to speak. Lornas family all live on the Isle of Kip, and they haven’t spoken in around 20 years since she left. But a bereavement takes her and Ella to Kip for a trip and a funeral. Things are tense as she meets her brother again for the first time in years, meets his wife Alice and their daughter Molly for the first time ever. 


The island sounded amazing. It makes me want to pack up and move to a little island myself! The way Libby describes it made it so easy to picture in our mind while reading. The interchanging weather, they sound of the sea, the smell of the salty air. It just sounded beautiful. And the community there, they’re all so friendly, they all know each other and help out with whatever needs to be done! It just sounds ideal doesn’t it.


I loved both of the main characters, Lorna and Alice are so different, but fit together so well. Alice seems very sweet and eager to help out anyone, Lorna sounded quite level headed and knew when to make herself heard. I liked Jack,  Lornas brother and Alices husband. The relationship between the siblings was strained, and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with them, but there were little things throughout that showed the ways they did love each other, memories from being younger.


The book does go into detail of why Lorna left and never kept in touch with anyone, and I wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I will say no more as to not spoil it!


I loved this book, I do hope Libby writes. Sequel as I’d love to know what happens next and how the lives of both families move on.




Monday, June 28, 2021

The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham

When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There's a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims' bodies while they're still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer's next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?



This was Tsundoku Squad’s June book, so our 6th read together. 


This was a fast paced, easy to read book. Marni seemed pretty bad ass if I’m honest, I liked her character and enjoyed the tattooing aspect of it, I’m a big fan of tattoos. It was a bit predictable at times though, and I think a few of us guessed certain things at one point or another. Sullivan seems a bit arrogant I though but I warmed up to him a bit throughout.


But it was also a bit gory. There are parts where the Killer speaks, and those are the parts I enjoyed the most. It gave the book an edge I thought, and I honestly thought I’d have given it less stars if those bits hadn’t been there. 


A good read, easy to read (I read each weeks part while I was on the exercise bike!), and I’ll more than likely read book 2 and see if the story carries on.


I gave the book 3 and half stars but rounded up to 4 on Goodreads (as they still don’t do half stars grrr). 


Check out Em’s collective round up and review here: REVIEW


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

WWW Wednesday 23.6.21


Welcome back!

Today I have another WWW Wednesday, it’s been 2 weeks since my last one so lets see what I’ve been reading. WWW is a meme hosted by Taking On A World of Worlds, and ask 3 questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? 

I’m currently reading one book, I’ve only read the introduction so far. It’s called In Other Words and its by Mainspring Arts. It’s a collection of 8 short stories all written by people who have Autism. It looks really interesting. Look out for my blog tour stop on July 2nd.

What did you recently finish reading? 

Since last time I’ve finished 3 books. I finished our Tsundoku Squad June read, The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belasham. Look out for my review on Monday! I read A girl Made of air by Nydia Hetherington, which was amazing by the way. If you haven’t read it, and like books based on the circus, you really should grab yourself a copy. I also yesterday finished The Island Home by Libby Page for a blog tour stop on June 30th. It was just brilliant, you will love it I’m sure!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think next I will maybe move to Heidi Swains next book on my list which is Mince pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market. I know it’s a Christmas book, but I don’t care haha. Also I have The Housemaid by Sarah Denzil for a blog tour on July 20th so I will get that read soon too and get my review written straight down. Sarah was kind enough to send me a signed copy of the book too so that’s very lovely.

Hope you enjoyed reading about my lates fortnight of reading, and hope there are some books here that take your fancy! If I’ve inspired you with anything let me know!






Monday, June 21, 2021

A Girl Made of Air by Nydia Hetherington

This is the story of The Greatest Funambulist Who Ever Lived..

Born into a post-war circus family, our nameless star was unwanted and forgotten, abandoned in the shadows of the big top. Until the bright light of Serendipity Wilson threw her into focus.


Now an adult, haunted by an incident in which a child was lost from the circus, our narrator, a tightrope artiste, weaves together her spellbinding tales of circus legends, earthy magic and folklore, all in the hope of finding the child... But will her story be enough to bring the pair together again?


Beautiful and intoxicating, A Girl Made of Air brings the circus to life in all of its grime and glory; Marina, Manu, Serendipity Wilson, Fausto, Big Gen and Mouse will live long in the hearts of readers. As will this story of loss and reconciliation, of storytelling and truth.



I’d bought this book back in January and just haven’t had time to read it. I’m so glad I got round to it. I’d recently read Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth MacNeal so was quite looking forward to reading another circus style book. How different the two books are! A Girl Made of Air is so good, its lovely, heartwarming, sad, heartbreaking, uplifting and magical all at the same time. 


Mouse is a child, thrown into such a strange life where she isn’t wanted and pushed aside. Her parents are close by but don’t have anything to do with her. Serendipity Wilson comes along and everything changes for Mouse. She has someone who loves her, someone who looks after her, they live together in Serendipity’s tent. I loved how the author always made Mouse use Serendipity Wilson’s full name, there was something very old worldly about it. 


I loved the way Mouse describes the circus world, the way she sees things from under the caravans when she’s hiding away watching the world. She sneaky, and knows exactly where to go and how to stay away from people. The love she brings when she talks about being on the wire, you can tell it makes her feel special and gives her joy. And the way she talks about Serendipity Wilson, she is very specia to her and you feel it through the pages. 


I liked the adult mouse talking to the reporter, giving her views of what happened back whe she was a child, talking about the missing child and her time trying to find her. I loved the house with the rollercoaster on top, the thought of something so fun like that was great. 


But there was also great sadness in the book, there were a few times I welled up a little, Nydias descriptive and heartfelt writing of these moments were so well written it dug deep down and made you feel it so much. 


I loved this book, a huge 5 stars from me. I’m hoping Nadia writes more and I would definitely read any more of her books. 




Thursday, June 17, 2021

Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Sutanto

ARE YOU...DEAD?'

OH MY GOD. I THINK HE IS.

When Meddy Chan accidentally kills her blind date, she turns to her aunties for help. Their meddling set her up on the date so they kind of owe her.


WELL, THAT DIDN'T QUITE GO TO PLAN.

Although hiding this goddamn dead body is going to be harder than they thought especially when her family's wedding business has THE biggest wedding of the year happening right now.


IT'S PRETTY BAD TIMING REALLY.

It turns out the wedding venue just happens to be managed by Meddy's ex, aka the one who got away. It's the worst time to see him again, or...is it? Can Meddy finally find love and make her overbearing family happy?





I received a proof copy of this book from the publisher, thanks ever so much!


I read this over 2 day, I drank it in and it was just what I needed. Sitting in the sunshine reading a book that had me giggling out loud to myself. This book is so funny, it’s so crazy that its brilliant. I really really loved it, and wait until you meet he Aunties, they are brilliant. 


There are 4 Aunties: Ma (Meddy’s mum), Big Aunt, Second Aunt and Fourth Aunt. I love them so much. I can just imagine them, I had visions of them all in my head as I was reading. They seem so much fun. I think Jesse wrote these characters perfectly and I wouldn’t change a a thing about them. Their relationship is so strange, they love each other but are always in contest with each other too. 


Meddy is the main character, and we know from the blurb that she accidentally kills her date (you’ll see what happens when you read it, I say when because I know you’re going to). The craziness of what ensues afterwards had me both laughing at the absurdity of it all, whilst also sitting on the edge of my seat wondering when they were going to get caught! There is an absolute hilarious moment with text messages and emojis, and it made me giggle so much, its so real.


Please read this book, you will love it, and it will make you laugh. I would definitely read sequels to this about the aunts as they were by far all my favourite characters. 




Monday, June 14, 2021

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she's ever loved. But when her imaginary love story becomes public knowledge, her life suddenly becomes much more complicated. The inspiration for the Netflix-hosted runaway hit film, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a classic coming-of-age high school romance: a sweet, smart, sharply funny story about the aches and pains of growing up and falling head over heels for the very first time.




So we all know the story right? The film that was made famous by Netflix, which was amazing, but please read the book because it’s absolutely fantastic. I was a bit dubious about reading the book after a few people said it wasn’t as good as the film, but believe me it was great, I thoroughly enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed the film. It has made me want to sit down and watch the films again. I’m desperate to dive into book 2 and 3 but I’m unsure whether to read something else first and break them up. This book had me captivated all day.


Laura Jean writes love letters, it’s her way of saying goodbye when she realises she doesn’t love a boy anymore, but they aren’t sent out, but kept for herself. One day a letter she wrote to Peter Kavinsky makes it’s way into his hands, Laura Jean is mortified, he has a girlfriend Genevieve, who is awful, like something out of Mean Girls. Laura Jean runs home to realise all the letters are missing, not just Peters. Stuff happens and they come up with an idea of pretend dating, that way Peter can get back at Gen, and Laura Jean can avoid the other letter receivers.


This book is just so nice, I love how the relationship between Laura Jean and Peter develops. I love the relationship LJ has with her sisters too but most importantly with Kitty. Oh and her Dad, who was a single parent to 3 girls after the Mum died when Kitty was little. But Peter… Oh I love him so much. He stole my heart completely (as did Noah Centineo in the movie). If you like Cheesy rom-coms you will love this book,. I really hope you love it as much as I did.




Friday, June 11, 2021

Heartstopper Vol 4 by Alice Oseman


Charlie didn't think Nick could ever like him back, but now they're officially boyfriends. Charlie's beginning to feel ready to say those three little words: I love you.


Nick's been feeling the same, but he's got a lot on his mind - not least coming out to his dad, and the fact that Charlie might have an eating disorder.


As summer turns to autumn and a new school year begins, Charlie and Nick are about to learn a lot about what love means.


Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie's lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.






So this is the latest instalment of Heartstopper and they keep getting better. In the fourth book we see a lot more about mental illness and it digs quite deep into it. There are a few trigger warnings in here so if you are worried I’d google it first. Nick and Charlie’s relationship is moving on and they’re both realising they love each other, but neither has said the words before. We get to see them both getting themselves ready to say it to each other, and how much they care about each other when Nick goes away for 3 weeks on holiday. 


I think this one is one of the best ones so far, but Vol 1 will always be my favourite as it introduced us to the boys and they are just so sweet. I’m looking forward to Vol 5, an the new Netflix show!!!!!




Thursday, June 10, 2021

Heartstopper 3 by Alice Oseman

Charlie didn't think Nick could ever like him back, but now they're officially boyfriends. Nick's even found the courage to come out to his mum. 

But coming out isn't just something that happens once - there's Nick's older brother, and a school trip to Paris, not to mention all the other friends and family - and life can be hard, even with someone who loves you by your side. As their feelings get more serious, Charlie and Nick will need each other more than ever before. 


Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie's lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us. 




Volume 3 of Heartstopper shows us more of Nick and Charlie’s relationship. I loved this one more than the second, maybe not as much as the first. The school and their neighbouring girls school do a trip to Paris, and the boys are looking forward to sharing a room. Nick’s brother comes back from University and causes Nick a bit of anxiety and worry. But friendships are stronger than ever in this one I think, and I’m loving all of the characters.


This book for me delves deeper into being a teenager, parties, drinking, body issues, and more. I liked this one, and definitely think this series is great for anyone who loves a good love story.




Wednesday, June 9, 2021

WWW Wednesday 9.6.21

 


Happy Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Worlds and asks 3 questions: What are you currently reading? What have you recently finished? what do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading 2 books at the minute. One is for Tsundoku Squad June read, which is The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham, and the other is A Girl Made of Air by Nadia Hetherington. I’m enjoying both so far and looking forward to seeing where both go!

What have you recently finished?

I finished 3 books within the last week. Heartstopper 4 by alice Oseman which was fab. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, which was so lovely. And Dial a For Aunties by Jesse Sutanto, which was hilarious.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Next up I may read the next Heidi Swain book which is Mince Pies and Misteltoe at the Christmas Market, I know a Christmas book in June, but I really want to get on with her books! And Famished by Anna Vaught is something I’ve been meaning to read since I got it but keep forgetting!



Thanks for looking guys, hope you’re having a good week!




Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Heartstopper Vol 2 by Alice Oseman

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. An LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between: this is the second volume of Heartstopper

Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie's gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn't.


But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family ... and himself.




I dived right into book 2 after Vol 1, and loved this one just as much. I’m fully invested in Charlie and Nicks story now and book 2 dives a bit deeper.


We see Nick finally trying to come to terms with the fact he likes Charlie. There are a lot of hidden moments, embarrassment and loneliness. But it is such a lovely story and like I said, I’m rooting for them all the way!!


Definitely another great graphic novel, and I’m looking forward to books 3 and 4 now!




Monday, June 7, 2021

Heartstopper Vol 1 by Alice Osman


Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they've never met ... until one day when they're made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn't think he has a chance.

But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realised.




I read this book last year but decided to read it again, and read all 4. 


This book is lovely, and a great book especially for teens or anyone who is coming to terms with their sexual identity, or just anyone who loves a good love story! It’s a lovely story about a boy how falls for a straight boy, and that boy starts to fall back. Finding yourself and coming to terms with it, and most importantly understanding yourself.


I love Charlie and Nick, they’re so sweet! I love how caring Charlie is, and how much he obviously likes Nick. I felt so bad for him too though, and had to talk to my daughter before she read the book as there is a consent issue in the book. Nothing a preteen shouldn’t read, in my opinion it’s a good thing to put in there as a way of talking about all issues regarding consent.



I dived straight into book 2 after this one so I shall be chatting that one soon too!


I definitely recommend this book if you like Graphic Novels and a cute love story.




Friday, June 4, 2021

Lace by Shirley Conran

1980. In Manhattan’s most exclusive hotel, four friends come face to face with a young, mega-watt film star. She has a question for them that has brought her from the streets of Paris to the playgrounds of the rich and famous - and it has almost destroyed her…


Kate, Maxine, Judy and Pagan have soared to the top in fashion, PR and interior design. Now they are forced to look back at their lives: their wicked behaviour at school, the building of careers and the breaking of hearts. These women have never questioned their friendship, but now they must answer to Lili.


Lace is the book that every mother kept hidden from her daughter. Originally published in 1982, it is the debut novel from the million-copy bestselling author of Superwoman.




Lace was the Tsundoku Squad Book Group read for May. It’s a biggie at 750 pages, so we split this one into 5 parts seeing as there was an extra saturday in May. We had some great conversations during the month and it brought about a lot of topics we weren’t expecting. 


For starters we thought there would be a lot of sex, one or 2 of the group were a bit dubious going into it, and although there are a few graphic scenes, it wasn’t as much as we thought. The Goldfish was a very unwelcome surprise, and the cellar scene was a bit much.


The book is very outdated in certain ways, but it was advanced for its time in others. We were expecting an old book but it wasn’t what we got. The outdated parts were definitely not something that would be written today, being told to ignore your husband cheating was a big one, waking up to someone erm doing things to you and saying what a lovely way to wake up, I think you’ll find that’s assault. There were a lot of controversial topics in the book, and the opening chapter was a rough one. There was a big part in the middle involving Lily which was hard to read too and I think a lot of the group may have skimmed through that bit. Most of the men in the story are awful, but the book throws quite a surprise at you towards the end.


But there were good themes too, of strong women, beautiful friendships, and a lot of love. We all loved the friendship between the girls, they were always there for each other, fling across countries to help each other. It’s the kind of friendship you want in your life, maybe you haven’t seen each other in while, but you know if something is wrong, you will be there for each other.


There are strong triggers in this book, I won’t go into much detail but if you want to know these they will easily be found. Overall I gave Lace a 3 star, and Tsundoku collective was also a 3.


In the end I wasn’t sure how much I actually enjoyed it, but I did love the fact it brought up great conversation in book group. I’m glad I read it.


Check out Em’s collective group review here https://emandherbooks.com/2021/05/30/lace-shirly-conran-spoilers/




Thursday, June 3, 2021

Summer At Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain

 

Amber is a city girl at heart. So when her boyfriend Jake suggests they move to the countryside to help out at his family farm, she doesn't quite know how to react. But work has been hectic and she needs a break so she decides to grasp the opportunity and make the best of it.


Dreaming of organic orchards, paddling in streams and frolicking in fields, Amber packs up her things and moves to Skylark Farm. But life is not quite how she imagined - it's cold and dirty and the farm buildings are dilapidated and crumbling.


But Amber is determined to make the best of it and throws herself into farm life. But can she really fit in here? And can she and Jake stay together when they are so different?




This is the second of Heidi’s books, and I loved it just as much as the first. 


I fell in love with the idea of living in a small rural place like Wynbridge in book 1 but this book made me want it even more. A lovely little countryside village where everyone knows each other, where they organise fayres and get togethers and everyone attends. It’s just so romantic isn’t it. 


I love Jake, I can’t tell you how much I fell for him for some reason. Amber is lovely too, I love how much she cares about people, and wants to help with everything. And I loved seeing some familiar faces from The Cherry Tree Cafe book pop up, it ties it all together. I really know I’m going to love this series and can’t wait to dive into the next one.




Last Post

What Might have Been by Holly Miller