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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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The Books That Made Me

For World Book Day I thought it would be fun to look back at the books of my childhood that stand out to me all these years later. I’ve always loved books. I was a bookworm when I was young and reading has always been a joy. 

As an only child I always had an overactive imagination so it’s no surprise books have shaped so much of my life and that I’m a writer now!

  
The first books that really stand out as ones I loved reading for myself are Roald Dahl’s and my favourite was unsurprisingly the one about a girl bookworm Matilda.

  
When I was growing up, I didn’t have Harry Potter but I did have the Worst Witch! A fun series about a witch school and Mildred who was always getting things wrong.

  
I remember my cousin handing down books to me from her childhood including the Famous Five series. Although already old-fashioned their adventures were captivating and I always wanted tohave a  midnight feast like they did although I was confused as to what ginger beer was that they were always drinking! 

  
It wasn’t only British classics that stood on my bookshelf though, I also loved Anne Of Green Gables and all the Noel Streafield “shoe” books this one being my favourite closely followed by White Boots probably because skating is the only sport I can actually do:

  
And my favourite was Little Women. I would still count it as one of my all-time favourite reads now. Naturally I was drawn to Jo the bookworm. A true classic read.

  
And then there were the boarding school stories! I loved reading these. Although I think I would have hated to actually attend one, the books made them seem full of fun antics and they were books I devoured. My favourite series were:

  
And this one:

  
When I was slightly older I moved onto the Point Horror and Sweet Valley High books. Point Horror was a series of creepy stories that really did scare me at times but probably made me feel really grown up reading them.

  

I was a huge Sweet Valley fan! I had every book in this series and its many spin-offs. I just loved reading about a workd so different from mine – this sunny Californian life and two such different sisters. I preferred Elizabeth as she was more like me! I actually wish I’d kept these books as I’d love to re-read them. They inspired the first book I ever wrote when I was a teenager too.

  
And then as a graduated into more grown up books, I found the book that is still my favourite today.

  
What were your favourite books growing up?

Victoria 

xoxo 

10

When a book gives you FEELS

Firstly, happy World Book Day everyone! There is only one way I can mark this day and it’s to talk about books ūüôā I’m going to talk about the last book I read and it’s one that gave me FEELS.

I think we all move from saying we like a book to loving a book when we read one that makes us feel something. Something that grabs us emotionally and crawls into our hearts. It could be because it has a warm and fuzzy ending, a happy ever after moment or it could take us on a moral journey, making us question who we are and want we want from life, it could be bittersweet and leave us feeling sad or it could just be a terrific page turner that leaves our hearts racing. There are a lot of books that I love for one or more of these reasons but it’s actually rare for a book to make me cry. Often I have a lump in my throat at the end of a book or just a big goofy smile but one that leaves me with ugly tears doesn’t happen that often.

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Last year, the only book that produced real tears was John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars and those who have read it can imagine why ūüôā This year, I’ve found a book early on that made me cry – The Last First Kiss by Ali Harris. Most of my reading tends to be young adult because I love it but I do mix it up by reading adult books now and again and this one made it on my list. I enjoyed Ali Harris’ first book but this one really moved me. Taking us on a journey though the relationship of Ryan and Molly, jumping back and forward through their story, we find out who they fell in love and how they were torn apart.

If anyone thinks women’s fiction or if we must call it chick-lit is just fluff, they should read this. A story of love and friendship, of growing together and growing apart, I was totally absorbed in finding out what happens to these two characters. The timeline jumps around but I didn’t find it hard to work out where we were in the story. The two leads were well-drawn characters as well their family and friends and there was often humour as well as moving moments. Yes¬†it’s unashamedly romantic and has it’s share of slushy passages but it never lost me along the way. I suppose you could say it’s similar to One Day in that it spans years of the same relationship but this one wedged itself into my heart more than that book did and the last couple of chapters made me cry so hard, I couldn’t see the words on the page. I’m not going to spoil the story in case you guys want to read it but know that the ending is bittersweet.

Somehow this book is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching and Ryan and Molly’s story will stay with me for a long time.

What was the last book to give you FEELS?

Victoria

xoxo

 

50

Happy World Book Day

It’s World Book Today¬†so I thought I’d share¬†this quote with you to celebrate. It’s been spread around Facebook for a while and it makes¬†me smile everytime I read it!

Last year, we talked about our favourite¬†books but this year, I thought it would¬†be fun to share what we’re all currently reading. I’m currently reading The Help¬†by Kathryn Stockett¬†– I’ve heard¬†so many¬†good things¬†about this book and the film that I knew I had¬†to pick it up. It’s set in 1960’s Mississippi and tell¬†the story¬†of three women – two black maids and a white woman who come together¬†in an¬†extraordinary¬†way and attempt¬†to¬†break down racial barriers. I’m about halfway through¬†and I love the three main characters and how¬†their stories unfold¬†on the page. I’m looking¬†forward to seeing how it all turns out and then I’ll watch the film.

What are you reading at the moment?

Victoria

xoxo

31

World Book Day

Yesterday was World Book Day over here in the UK so to celebrate¬†here is a list of my favourite books and why I enjoy them so much …

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife …

I have loved P & P¬†from the first read. I think I actually watched the BBC series in 1995 first and the¬† picked up the book and ended up¬†reading all of her novels and becoming¬†addicted to all things¬†Austen (even visiting¬†her home in Hampshire). I love this book because¬†it’s funny, romantic and transports me to a time¬†where men were¬†gentlemen, courtship was chaste and chaperoned and balls were held¬†with beautiful¬†gowns. I love Lizzie – she’s sparky¬†and witty and Darcy is the¬† man we all want to fall in love¬†with. Plus there is a happy ending ūüôā

2. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.

After I got into Austen I started to read The Classics as they are so called and picked this one up. I adore the character of Jane starting from when she is a bullied and neglected child to the serious young woman she becomes Рsteady, sweet, intelligent and loyal she faces hardships but keeps her strength of character and her love story with Rochester is no fairy tale and yet her love is passionate and unwavering. When they are finally united at the end, it is bittersweet and beautiful.

3. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

If we are all alive ten years hence, let’s meet, and see how many of us have got our wishes, or how much nearer we are then than now…

A family member gave me this when I was younger and it is a beautiful story about sisters, their love for each other and the journey they take together. I like the fact the sisters are different but realistic characters Рthey have flaws, sometimes are actually quite annoying but you feel so much affection for them anyway, you want them to be happy. My favourite is Jo, the wannabe writer who falls in love in spite of her nature and who completely charms you with her fierce loyalty.

4. Harry Potter series – J K Rowling

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that

I didn’t¬†start reading¬†these until the first¬†4 had come out. I was intrigued¬†about the hype that was building¬†and even though¬†it was technically a children’s book I gave it a go. I quickly¬†got through that set¬†of books and had¬†a long wait¬†for book 5. Books 5 – 7 I brought on the first day of release, book 5 I even got at midnight. This series is a great example¬†of good storytelling¬†that stretches beyond age or genre boundaries – it’s exciting, scary, fun and a classic pitch – good vs evil but with wands and spells! I can’t¬†wait to read¬†it¬†to the children I will hopefully have one day. Plus I heart Dobby ūüôā

5. Twilight Saga – Stephenie Meyer

Edward: “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.”
Bella: “What a stupid lamb.”
Edward: “What a sick, masochistic lion.”

Okay so¬†I might get some flack for this one but despite¬†its flaws, as soon as I started reading Twilight¬†I was hooked. I read all 4 books immediately¬†and then re-read them straight¬†away. Something¬†sucked me in and I can’t¬†break out of the world. The romance is intense and deep and the vampire twist adds excitement and I’m sorry but yes I fell in love with Edward. It also put me on the road to wanting¬†to write¬†my own supernatural¬†book and has kept me in the dark romance bookshops¬†section for a while!

6. I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith

I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.

This book is written¬†in¬†first¬†person¬†and¬†Cassandra our narrator¬†is pitch¬†perfect in how she describes¬†her world and the¬†people¬†in it. There are also several¬†references¬†to Jane Austen, a plus point! I’ve always felt a bit disappointed¬†by the ending as it’s left open whereas I like¬†a solid happy¬†one but the journey Cassandra¬†makes¬†leaves me smiling.

 What are your favourite books and why? Happy World Book Day!

Vix x