The Break by Marian Keyes – Book Review 


The Story

Myself and Hugh . . . We’re taking a break.’
‘A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?’

If only. Amy’s husband Hugh says he isn’t leaving her. He still loves her, he’s just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in south-east Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it. Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet . . . However, for Amy it’s enough to send her – along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers – teetering over the edge. For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns if he returns, will he be the same man she married? And will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then isn’t she?

The Review

Marian Keyes, you are a genius and I don’t know what to do with myself now I’ve finished this book!

It is such a real, human story. This may not sound like high praise, but when you read hundreds of books where the characters are limp, fake and frankly unbelievable, you can’t help but yell “hallelujah!” when you find a book like this.

I have to say, I have also never hated a character more than I hated Hugh. I just felt he was the most selfish, uncaring and heartless bastard. And yet, my feelings on him were swayed as well.

The story is actually quite heartbreaking. There is an awful lot of tragedy, and I just wanted it to stop but I could not put it down!

What makes this book so amazing is Amy. I never thought that at 25 I’d relate so well to a 44 year old mother of 2 (well, really of 3). Marian Keyes has an uncanny ability to use her characters thoughts to reach right into the reader’s soul and give a big tug. I was with Amy the whole way though this book. I felt her heartbreak, her rage, her excitement, and even her love for Hugh despite his bastardly behaviour.

If you are looking for an escape from your reality (a running theme through The Break), this book is perfect.  To be honest I think it’s perfect no matter what you’re looking for. I want to read it again already!

The Break was released yesterday so GO GO GO!

Trust me. IT’S THE BEST BOOK I’VE READ IN MONTHS!

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Playing Her Cards Right by Rosa Temple – Book Review


The Story 

New year. New life. Fresh start.

Newly minted career girl Magenta Bright reluctantly finds herself growing up – she’s now a live-in girlfriend, a successful business owner, and an obsessive desirer of classic leather handbags.

But, fuelled by her creative talent, Magenta doesn’t seem to know when to stop. Between designing and launching a new range of bags, planning her parents’ second wedding, and whisky binges with scary international model and best friend Anya, something’s got to give, and it’s not long before her relationship with shy artist Anthony is in the firing line.

Will handbags lead to heartbreak for the unstoppable Magenta Bright?

The Review

I’m going to start this review with a little disclaimer: I find it very difficult to feel sympathy for upper-class rich people whose lives are very close to perfect.

I’ll be honest from the beginning. I didn’t really like this book. I’m actually struggling to remember the name of the main character. Interestingy I can recall the names of both her best friend and her boyfriend, so perhaps I’d rather hear a story about either of them. In a way, that’s probably true.

I found the protagonist very difficult to relate to. When hungover, she reaches for Dior sunglasses, and she calls her parents “mother and father”. She’s also her biggest problem. If she would simply talk to anybody about what was going on in her head she’d have very few things to be dealing with. I guess it would make for a very short book, but I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing anyway. Even towards the end when I think she’s finally going to get over herself, she runs away from her problems again. Just frikkin talk to him! 

Having said that, I will concede that she does suffer a true heartbreak during this story. It’s the sort of event that no amount of money or privelage can fight against, and we can truly feel her despair coming through the pages. Even that isn’t enough to turn this around for me though. 

She is spoiled, idiotic, unfunny and cowardly, and I really couldn’t care less what happens to her. 

The Butterfly Project by Emma Scott – Book Review


Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Story

“Where you are is home…”

At age fourteen, Zelda Rossi witnessed the unthinkable, and has spent the last ten years hardening her heart against the guilt and grief. She channels her pain into her art: a dystopian graphic novel where vigilantes travel back in time to stop heinous crimes—like child abduction—before they happen. Zelda pitches her graphic novel to several big-time comic book publishers in New York City, only to have her hopes crash and burn. Circumstances leave her stranded in an unfamiliar city, and in an embarrassing moment of weakness, she meets a guarded young man with a past he’d do anything to change…

Beckett Copeland spent two years in prison for armed robbery, and is now struggling to keep his head above water. A bike messenger by day, he speeds around New York City, riding fast and hard but going nowhere, his criminal record holding him back almost as much as the guilt of his crime. 

Zelda and Beckett form a grudging alliance of survival, and in between their stubborn clash of wills, they slowly begin to provide each other with the warmth of forgiveness, healing, and maybe even love. But when Zelda and Beckett come face to face with their pasts, they must choose to hold on to the guilt and regret that bind them, or let go and open their hearts for a shot at happiness. 

The Butterfly Project is a novel that reveals the power of forgiveness, and how even the smallest decisions of the heart can—like the flutter of a butterfly’s wings—create currents that strengthen into gale winds, altering the course of a life forever. 

The Review

My first impressions about this book were wrong. It didn’t grab me, like so many other books do, and I couldn’t work out why. I love the idea of a graphic novel writer for the main character, and the criminal past of her only friend in New York was a great backstory, but I just couldn’t get into it. Well, until the second half, that is. 

I cried in the lunchroom, I cried on the train. I cried in the street. This book just got me. What’s worse, it wasn’t sadness that made the tears flow. There is a rightness to this story, one of those rare tales where you could have guessed what would happen, but the fact of it happening tugged at your emotions all the same. The feelings evoked are akin to those experienced by purveyors of viral videos, where love and charity seem to know no bounds. They drag tears from even the hardest of hearts. 

This book shows the complexities of forgiveness, the thought of which can seem impossible, but the act of which can be your redemption. And not just forgiveness of others, but forgiveness of yourself.

It also explores the idea of good and evil – when does a desire for vengeance against evil become evil itself? Does an evil act make you an evil person? What about if you could have prevented evil, but didn’t? Are you good if you regret an evil act?

What I like about this novel is that even though these themes are clear, they aren’t shoved in your face. If all your looking for is a will-they-won’t-they with a bit more heart than your average romance, this book is perfect. At the same time, if you want something which takes a close look at the human condition, crime and punishment, this would also be a great choice for you.

Scott has managed to find the perfect balance of all these elements in this novel, and I would highly recommend her to any bookworm out there.

The Butterfly Project is out now, and you can buy it here. You can connect with Emma Scott on Twitter and Facebook

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira – Book Review


Rating: 5 out of 5

The Story

In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. 

But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

The Review

Chick lit is hard to write.  Well, let me rephrase. Good chick lit is hard to write. Love stories, for all of their excitement, can be a little predictable to say the least. 

A tall handsome man is lusted after by the quirky self -conscious girl. After some awkward but sexy encounters, they both realise they were meant to be together and they then live happily ever after. 

For a writer to come up with not only a novel twist, but an interesting twist on this ancient recipe is a pretty hard task, particularly when the subject matter is one (I hope) everyone has had at least a little experience of. 

Therefore it gives me great pleasure to introduce Isabel Bandeira and her new novel, Bookishly Ever After… it’s a GOOD chick lit book!! 

As a not-so-secret bookworm, Phoebe grabbed my interest straight away. She loses herself in novels every day, and romance will do no good unless it comes straight off the pages of the latest paperback. You can’t really argue with that – men in books are the very best.

By creating a character I instantly connected with, Bandeira quickly drew me in. I love Phoebe’s independent, I-don’t-care-what-you-think attitude. Although she does fit in with the classic personality of many women in romantic novels, she has enough about her that she still feels like a tangible person. 

We’ve also got a really charming love interest, a great cast of supporting characters, and most importantly a plot which is perfectly paced and teases just enough in all the right places. 

You’ll not find any x-rated bedroom scenes, but it doesn’t need them to keep things exciting.  A tastefully written story that keeps you turning pages, and one that I would highly recommend. 

The One by John Marrs is out TODAY


Well, it was already out on Kindle but you can now get the real thing, and that’s way better 🙂

A great choice for fans of romance and drama, and anyone who loves a good twist.

Here’s my original review.

Here’s where you can buy the paperback.

Gingernut x