Thursday, 23 February 2017

Book Review ~ All That I Am by Anna Funder


When Hitler comes to power in 1933, a tight-knit group of friends and lovers become hunted outlaws overnight. United in their resistance to the madness and tyranny of Nazism, they must flee the country.
Dora, passionate and fearless, her lover, the great playwright Ernst Toller, her younger cousin Ruth and Ruth's husband Hans find refuge in London. Here they take breath-taking risks in order to continue their work in secret.

But England is not the safe-haven they think it to be, and a single, chilling act of betrayal will tear them apart.

I’m so happy I finally picked All That I Am up. It’s well written, well told, my heart has been ripped out, stomped on and then replaced.
I feel like my review won’t be able to compare, I can say how much I love it, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to say why.

Based on “true events” and “real people” (the reason I did that in quotations, was because some names have been changed, and true events are either based on documentations, of people who were there or not).
World War II as well as World War I is horrific just reading about it, but it doesn’t hit you as hard as this book. Anna Funder brings you into this world, she absorbs you and just….makes you feel. Told you I won’t be able to word it right.

What we need to take from this, is how strong these women were. To be in a place where women’s rights was just beginning, they faced exile, but that didn’t stop them from doing what they believed was right.
Dora Fabian should always be remembered as a strong, brilliant person who fought for our rights.

I hope her story, her true story, will be remembered forever. Thank you Anna Funder for that.

My star rating is

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Book Review ~ Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman


Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales.
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. 
Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of giants, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.
From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

Neil Gaiman knows how to tell a story. I’ve always been interested in Norse Mythology, but it wasn’t just that that got me hooked from page one.
It’s easy giving us facts, but Neil Gaiman tell us these beautiful, dark stories like he was an elder, and we his young, sitting around listening to him eagerly.

I wish there were pictures to accompany the stories. I was constantly looking up on Google every time he mentioned a character.
And yes, I could conjure up an image in my head, but there is just something magical when you see them in a beautifully painted picture.

This book is great for reading to your kids. Yeah there are a lot of names hard to explain, but I don’t think they would mind when they are hearing the story of Thor, and not the comic book version.

My star rating is

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Book Review ~ After You by Jojo Moyes


How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

I couldn’t wait to read more about Lou. I loved her in Me Before You, so I couldn’t wait to see her life after Will.
I knew she wasn’t going to be okay, how could you when something big like that happens in your life. Especially if your life was “boring” before.

Okay, I’m going to say it all out now. It’s not that I don’t hate the novel, but I didn’t love it as much as Me Before You. Of course, I still loved Lou, even though at times I still think she is the push over she was before. I also loved watching a new romance bloom.

Now for the thing I couldn’t stand, and I tried to see the positive side of it. A young girl finds out who her real father is, him dying before she got to know him, but by golly she is one selfish bitch.
She acts like a spoilt brat, and yes, I know her mother is a cruel cow, so I’m guessing mother like daughter.
Just thinking about her is getting under my skin.
She just barges into Lou’s life, and instead of being nice for crashing into Lou’s house, she is rude, brings strange people over, and criticises everything about Lou.
Okay, no more. Thinking about her is just going to make me give less stars.

Even though it’s not as great as Me Before You, I still enjoyed it….slightly.

My star rating is

Book Review ~ Confessions Of A Wedding Planner by Michelle Jo Quinn


He may be the best man, 
but he’s the worst man for her… 

Wedding planner, Veronica Soto-Stewart believes everyone deserves a fairy tale wedding–even her ex-boyfriend and his new fiancΓ©e. Unable to refuse his request, she finds herself creating the most magical event for the perfect couple. 

But nothing is ever perfect… 

Especially when Levi Laurent, the best man, is doing everything to get into her pants. Veronica wants nothing to do with the rich, sexy, irresistible playboy. 

Can Levi convince Veronica that her own fairy tale is closer than she thinks and not all happily ever afters can be planned?

Really, three months after being dumped by “the man she loves”, he is engaged to another woman. And that isn’t the shocking part, he asks her to plan the wedding.
And our strong heroine says, no right? Wrong, she agrees. She even agrees to be the bridesmaid.

This book is not only unbelievable, it was just plain terrible. Even the love affair between the two main characters was pathetic.

I might sound harsh, but I’m sick of authors pretending they are writing a strong character, but in the end, they write a weak one who not only doesn’t have a backbone, probably doesn’t even know what one is.

My star rating is

Monday, 6 February 2017

Book Review ~ Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts


Childhood friends Mackensie, Parker, Laurel and Emmaline have formed a very successful wedding-planning business together. While helping thousands of happy couples to organise the biggest day of their lives, three of the four women have all found love themselves - but workaholic Parker remains resolutely single.

Her business is her life and she devotes all her energies to it. But as she is forced to re-evaluate her friendships, Parker finds that someone is about to divert her focus...

After I got over my momentary “slump”, I got back into The Bride Quartet with love.
I kind of feel sorry for the story of Laurel, but oh well. Maybe (okay that’s a definite), when I read it again, this slump that I was in wouldn’t happen again.

I love Parker’s work ethic. Since books one, Vision In White, her passion in what she does and her friends, now I understand when they say “saving the best till last”.
Her obsession with everything being on schedule was a great pairing with Malcolm.

This isn’t going to be a long review, I’ve actually come down with a cold and staring at the computer is giving me a slight headache. But I needed to get my thoughts out before they escape.
So, what I want to really say is, I’m sad this has finally come to an end. Nora Roberts leaves you wanting more after the final book in the series. You start to miss this world and the characters she has created.

Then again, I have a habit of rereading her books over and over and over…..and you get the picture.

My star rating is

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Book Review ~ Savour The Moment by Nora Roberts


Childhood friends Mackensie, Parker, Laurel and Emmaline have formed a very successful wedding-planning business together but, despite helping thousands of happy couples organise the biggest day of their lives, all four women are unlucky in love.
Chef Laurel McBane has worked hard all her life to secure her dream ? to be an award-winning baker. Now, her wedding cakes are as close as anyone can get to edible perfection ? stunning creations that complement Mac's beautiful photographs and Emmaline's floral bouquets. Because Laurel has worked so hard to overcome her tough upbringing, she is wary about letting anything, or anyone, get in the way of her work.

But a slowly simmering chemistry with Parker's brother Del has suddenly become too hot to ignore ...

It’s sad to say, I wasn’t a huge fan of this one.
I don’t know what it was, a mixture of not really caring about Laurel and Del as a couple, and sadly as people, and I’m starting to get bored of reading the same thing over and over again.
It might not be any of those, or one and not the other. Whatever it was, I wasn’t in the mood with Savour The Moment.

I was also very disappointed in Laurel. She was funny, independent, strong, then all of a sudden, she becomes weak in this book. It was like I was reading a completely different character. Okay, you want your character to have something fragile in them, but this was more than that.
See, would I feel like this if I was in a different mood?

I’m going to still read the next book in the series, hopefully this slump feeling is gone when I do, because I really want to finish this series on a high.

My star rating is

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Book Review ~ Bed Of Roses by Nora Roberts


Emmaline Grant has always loved romance, so it's really no surprise that she has found her calling as a wedding florist. And she gets to work with her best friends Mackensie, Parker and Laurel - she couldn't ask for a better job.

Yet while men swarm around her, she still hasn't found Mr Right.

I loved Emmaline from book one, Vision In White, so I knew I was going to love her story.
An energetic, romance loving, strong woman. She is the type of person you want to read when you want something just plain romantic. Makes your heart warm and all that soppy stuff. Bed Of Roses did not disappoint.

The growing attraction between Emma and Jack, and once they finally got together, just to read what they do with each other was such a joy to read. I’m so happy I still have two books left of them, because I don’t want their story to end.

I know next to nothing about flowers. Of course, I know the simple ones like roses and tulips, but when they were describing some others, it went right over my head. Especially when they were describing a bouquet or an arrangement. I wanted to picture it all in my head. Let’s just say, thank goodness for Google.

I think the next book would be interesting to read, Savour The Moment. I find Laurel to be a strong sarcastic woman, which I can relate to a lot. But I think we might see a more vulnerable side to her.

My star rating is