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Books read in July 2017

Here are the books I read in July! I only managed four after the massive Outlander last month threw me off: 

 
I had wanted to read We Were Liars for ages and I love this special edition hardback copy. It’s a gripping YA read with a hyped twist and the storytelling is very original – worth picking up.

I also enjoyed Cathy Bramley’s cosy Plumberry School Of Comfort Food. It was a pure comfort read perfect for curling up with. 

I wasn’t 100% sold on Miss You as I didn’t really like the male lead in it. It has similar premise to One Day so I think I was subconsciously comparing the two, and I loved One Day, so maybe that’s why.

  
My favourite book this month was the wonderful Eligible which is modern twist on Pride and Prejudice. I actually don’t always enjoy updates of Austen but this one somehow kept the spirit and romance of the original but was completely contemporary and felt like a story in its own right too. I raced through it and would definitely recommend it!

What did you enjoy reading this month?

Victoria

xoxo 

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Books read in February 2017

First of all – happy World Book Day everyone! A perfect day to look back on the books I read in February I think.

  

It wasn’t a bumper book month for me. I was concentrating on editing my own book but I managed to read three novels and one non-fiction – a humorous self-help guide. 
  
My favourite of the books I read is this little gem. It’s not released until May but a proof arrived at work and I’m so happy it did!

  

I don’t want to talk too much about it as it’s one of those books that you should just read and fall in love with but essentially it’s about a woman called Eleanor who lives a lonely life in Scotland and how she comes to terms with her past and opens up her heart finally. It’s almost a coming of age novel although she’s grown up. 

It’s funny in places and so moving in others and I had tears in my eyes at the end. It’s really original especially Eleanor’s voice and I hope it finds lots of readers when it’s published.

What book did you love this month?

Victoria 

xoxo 

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Books that make you cry 

  
So I read this review of my novel (from this list of the ten most romantic books: http://bit.ly/246MFqP) and it got me thinking about books that have made me cry. 

Here are my five favourite weepies:

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

  

The love story that will leave you a weeping wreck at the end is soon to be a film and I don’t think anyone will be leaving the cinema with dry eyes.

One Day – David Nicholls

  

A couple you rooted for from the first page and THAT ending … *wipes eyes*

The Last First Kiss – Ali Harris

  

I loved this book – again an epic tale of young lovers through their life together and I was not prepared for the ugly tears that came at the end. 

The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks 

  

The classic weepie! Both the book and the film will have even the most cold hearted person reaching for the tissues! 

The Fault In Our Stars – John Green 

  

I am still traumatised by this book. I think it made me cry the most out of any books yet is so life-affirming. I just love Hazel and Gus and want to hug them both *slinks away crying*

And if you’re still in the mood for more tears after reading this you can pre-order The Second Love Of My Life now! 

  

  

What are your favourite books to make you cry? 

Victoria

Xoxo

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Books read in September 2015

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After You – Jojo Moyes

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Lou Clark has lots of questions.

Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.

Or why the flat she’s owned for a year still doesn’t feel like home.

Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.

And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.

Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for – or just more questions?

Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.

Open it and she risks everything.

But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she’s going to keep it, she has to invite them in . . .

All Of The Above – James Dawson

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When sixteen-year-old Toria Bland arrives at her new school she needs to work out who her friends are, all in a crazy whirl of worry, exam pressure and anxiety over fitting in. Things start looking up when Toria meets the funny and foul-mouthed Polly, who’s the coolest girl Toria has ever seen. Polly and the rest of the ‘alternative’ kids take Toria under their wing. And that’s when she meets the irresistible Nico Mancini, lead singer of a local band – and it’s instalove at first sight! Toria likes Nico, Nico likes Toria . . . but then there’s Polly.

Love and friendship have a funny way of going round in circles.

Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling

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Mindy Kaling has found herself at a turning point. So in Why Not Me?, she shares her ongoing journey to find fulfilment and adventure in her adult life, be it falling in love at work, seeking new friendships inunlikely places, or attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behaviour modification whatsoever.

In “How to Look Spectacular”, she reveals her tongue-in-cheek solutions for guaranteed on-camera beauty. “Player” tells the story of Mindy being seduced, then dumped, by a female friend in LA. And in “Soup Snakes”, she spills some secrets on her relationship with ex-boyfriend and close friend, B. J. Novak.

Mindy has put the anxieties, the glamour and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into this book, to which anyone can relate. (And, if they can’t, they can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.)

Book of the Month:

Hanya Yanagihara-A Little Life

I enjoyed all the books I read this month especially All Of The Above, which is a great contemporary YA novel set in the UK but for my book of the month, I had to pick the 700 page epic A Little Life. Here’s what it’s about:

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance.

When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome – but that will define his life forever.

The first thing to say about this book is not everyone is going to want to read this. Based on reviews I’ve seen, it’s a Marmite book. It’s an epic read and it’s one of the darkest and saddest books I’ve ever read. Seriously, it will break your heart. I’m still devastated about it!

This book is so emotive, you care so much about the characters and the author really puts them through hell. It deals with some pretty tough subjects such as child abuse and for this reason, it’s hard to say that I liked this book but I admire it a lot. It’s compelling and I found it brilliantly written with such well-drawn characters that at one point, I threw the book down unable to bear what was happening to them. I picked it back up again though. I couldn’t stop thinking about the book and hoping that things would turn out okay. I think the book had to end how it ended but I’m still upset about it.

So, I’ve never read anything like this book before. However, I won’t recommended it to everyone because of the subjects it deals with and how difficult it is to read about them. I think reading the blurb and reviews will help you decide if it’s for you or not. And if you do read it, just have a light-hearted book ready to pick up when you’re done!

Has anyone else read these books? What did you think?

Victoria

xoxo

Come and see me over at Goodreads!

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Books read in August 2015

  

We Never Asked For Wings – Vanessa Diffenbaugh 

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 How far would you go for your children?

Would you lie for them? Flee with them? Let someone else mother them if you thought they would do a better job?

As a single parent, Letty does everything for her two children – apart from raise them. Being a mother terrifies her more than she can admit, and so she’s always let her mother take that role. When Maria Elena ups and leaves, however, Letty has to confront her fears and become the parent she doesn’t think she can be.

Even as she tries to give her children a future, Letty’s teenage son, Alex, struggles to forgive his mother for choices she made in the past. But he and Letty are not so dissimilar, and both are prepared to risk everything for those they love.

Did I Mention I Love You? – Estelle Maskame

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When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she s letting herself in for. Eden’s parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she’s about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler’s group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can’t understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t her step-brother. Throw in Tyler’s clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there’s secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler?

And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie

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Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.

The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again…

Looking For Alaska- John Green

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“If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

Miles Halter’s whole life has been one big non-event, until he meets Alaska Young.

Gorgeous, clever and undoubtedly screwed-up, Alaska draws Miles into her reckless world and irrevocably steals his heart. For Miles, nothing can ever be the same again.

‘Looking for Alaska’ brilliantly captures the exquisite painful joy of living and loving. Poignant, funny, heartbreaking and compelling, this novel will stay with you forever.

The Queen Of The Tearling – Erika Johansen

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Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret after her mother – a monarch as vain as she was foolish – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding…

And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, win the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea’s story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance – it’s about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive…

Book of the month:

The Humans – Matt Haig

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THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

OR IS THERE?
After an ‘incident’ one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he’s a dog.

What could possibly make someone change their mind about the human race. . . ?

I loved this book – a quirky story of an alien who takes over the identity of a maths professor who has made a discovery that the human race isn’t ready for. At first, he finds us confusing but as he spends more time as a human, he begins to understand and even starts to like us a little bit too. Especially the family dog.

This book made me laugh out loud at times and the ending made me cry! I loved the voice of the alien and the way he examines human beings and ultimately has to decide whether to go back to his alien world or continue to live as one of us on Earth. I haven’t read anything like it before and would really recommend it. I shall definitely be reading more Matt Haig in the future too!

What has been your favourite book this month?

Victoria

xoxo

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TBR

I’m nearly at the end of my TBR (to-be-read) pile of books. I’m not sure when I started to build up a pile of books to read rather than just having the one I’m actually reading but once it begins, it’s hard to get the pile down – you might see a bargain you have to snap up or win a copy of a book and suddenly there’s ten or more to read. Usually I like having more than one to choose because there’s options depending on my mood or if I finish a book I have one ready to go but sometimes a pile can be off-putting – it feels like a to-do list you have to get through and you’ll see or hear about a new book and wish you could be reading that one instead. We always want what we can’t have after all 🙂

I think I’m going to try to stick to a happy medium when it comes to the pile in future – more than one but no more than five so I can still be excited to read the books I have and if a new one catches me eye, I won’t feel bad about buying it.

I have brought three so far for my new pile – one I have heard mentioned a lot over the years and I keep walking past it in the bookshop, thinking I really must read that and two newer books that have been talked about a lot online and look like my kind of thing.

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Do you guys have a TBR pile, how big is it? How do you decide what to read next? Pictures if you have them!

Victoria

xoxo

 

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Reading is a right not a privledge

One of our newspapers The Evening Standard is running a campaign to tackle illiteracy in London. According to the paper, one in three children do not own a book and how one million working adults cannot read in the city. I am shocked that so many people are being held back in the world by not be able to read and saddened that so many either do not want to read or do not have access to books to do so.

I grew up reading. Books held shape the person I am today. I constantly read through my childhood and teens. I remember reading whilst eating breakfast. Books transport you into another world. They allow you to imagine, to analyse, to dream and to see different places and different things. I find it heartbreaking that some children don’t have a chance or don’t want to discover books.

For me, learning to read is as important as learning to walk and talk and yes even breathe. Everyone should have the support they need to be able to read. Even if they never embrace books in the same way I did, everyday life must be a constant struggle if you can’t read – even using a computer requires it.

I hope this campaign helps. I hope people who struggle with reading step forward to get help. I hope parents encourage their children to learn. I hope children leave their video games and pick up a book instead. I hope all children have access to books. And I hope books never lose their power to inspire.

Can you imagine not be able to read?
Vix

xx