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Blood Sisters By Jane Corry

Blood Sisters‘Blood Sisters’ is the latest book by Jane Corry.

Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak properly, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here. At least that’s the story she’s sticking to.Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right. But someone is watching Kitty and Alison. Someone who wants revenge for what happened that sunny morning in May. And only another life will do…

‘Blood Sisters’ is Jane Corry’s second book and is just as gripping and dark as her debut novel, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, with quite complex and difficult characters, this thriller was easily devoured in one sitting.

In the book, we meet sisters, Alison and Kitty, whose lives change dramatically when an accident happens when they are teenagers. The accident leaves Kitty in a care home with no memory and leaves Alison living with the guilt of the accident and feeling responsible for her Kitty’s disability. Alison tries to stay away from Kitty, as being with her reminds her of the guilt, so she keeps her visits to the care home to an absolute minimum, much to the despair of her mother. Alison loves art and finds a comfort and solace in creating, so when the unusual opportunity comes about to become an art teacher in a prison, she grabs it with both hands looking to make a difference to other people’s lives. But, it’s whilst she’s in prison, that she finds herself in danger not only within the confines of the prison walls but on the outside world.

The thing that makes this book so interesting is the mix of the characters, there’s the quiet, soothing presence of Alison with her tragic past and then there’s Kitty. Kitty is quite the wildcard, she’s boisterous, outspoken and is frustrated by her disability. She gets fed up when people don’t understand her. As the story is seen through the narrative of both sisters, I found Kitty fascinating. In my mind, everything makes sense but to others, she speaks nonsense, and this angers her making her lash out. With her disability, Kitty is a great character, she’s wild, witty, with a sense of humour and says what she thinks, unconcerned of the outcomes.

The story flows between the past and present tense leading up to the accident and gives us an insight into the type of person Kitty was before the accident and I found these scenes to be the most fascinating of the story. She was quite unlikable, spoilt and seemed to revel in making Alison’s life a misery.

Atmospheric from the very first page, the story is cleverly written with hidden twists and turns throughout that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Chilling, suspenseful with the addition of unexpected humour, ‘Blood Sisters’ is a gripping psychological tale of sibling rivalry and dark secrets.

You can buy Blood Sisters from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

This Could Change Everything By Jill Mansell

This Could Change Everything‘This Could Change Everything’ is the latest book by Jill Mansell.

On the one hand, if Essie hadn’t written that letter – the one that only her best friend was meant to see – then she’d still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding…On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn’t accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn’t have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas…And she wouldn’t have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn’t fall in love with…

Jill Mansell is back with a delicious new book that will warm the cockles of your heart with this happy story of karma, new beginnings and glamourous ladies.

In her latest book, the story is seen from the perspective of Essie, who’s life falls apart when her jokey Round Robin email is sent to everyone in her contacts list and this leaves her single, jobless and homeless. Fortunately, sophisticated Zillah takes her under her wing and offers her refuge in her home, in return for helping around the house. Now, that she has a home, Essie just needs to find a job and fortunately Lucas needs help in his bar. This would be great, if Essie didn’t hate Lucas for ruining her life and sending that email but she reluctantly starts working for him. Meanwhile, Conor Zillah’s other tenant is helping Zillah with her side project, helping people fulfil their last dying wishes.

From the start to finish, this book was an enjoyable read. It’s filled with entertaining and bubbly characters that made it impossible not to smile at. Essie is a great character, she’s fun, outspoken and isn’t afraid to tell Lucas what she really thinks of him. Moments between the pair make for entertaining and occasionally tense reading. Lucas is a charming man, who regrets getting on the wrong side of Essie and each time, he tries to right things between them, it’s thrown back in his face. I adored Zillah, she’s an elderly, flamboyant woman with a huge heart, she’s wonderfully witty and has such kind nature, that I found myself regularly welling up at her generosity for others.

With a striking cover, this book is wonderfully fun with dramas and twists throughout, ‘This Could Change Everything’ is a heart-warming story of friendship, love and starting over. Packed with humour, drama and tenderness, this romantic story is beautifully written and will have you smiling when reach the final page.

You can buy This Could Change Everything from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling By Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen

Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling‘Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling’ is written by Irish writer duo Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen and came about after a successful Facebook page.

Aisling is twenty-eight and she’s a complete … Aisling. She lives at home in Ballygobbard (or Ballygobackwards, as some gas tickets call it) with her parents and commutes to her good job at PensionsPlus in Dublin. Aisling goes out every Saturday night with her best friend Majella, who is a bit of a hames (she’s lost two phones already this year – Aisling has never lost a phone(. They love hoofing into the Coors Light if they’re ‘Out’, or the vodka and Diet Cokes if they re ‘Out Out’. Ais spends two nights a week at her boyfriend John’s. He’s from down home and was kiss number seventeen at her twenty-first. But Aisling wants more. She wants the ring on her finger. She wants the hen with the willy straws. She wants out of her parents’ house, although she’d miss Mammy turning on the electric blanket like clockwork and Daddy taking her car ‘out for a spin’ and bringing it back full of petrol. When a week in Tenerife with John doesn’t end with the expected engagement, Aisling calls a halt to things and soon she has surprised herself and everyone else by agreeing to move into a three-bed in Portobello with stylish Sadhbh from HR and her friend, the mysterious Elaine. Newly single and relocated to the big city, life is about to change utterly for this wonderful, strong, surprising and funny girl, who just happens to be a complete Aisling.

This book came out towards the end of last year and I was curious about it as it was getting a lot of hype on social media as well being nominated for the ‘Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year’ at the Irish book awards 2017 and once I started to read the book, I found it impossible to put down, as I’d found a kindred spirit in Aisling.

Aisling is a country girl working in the big city, she organised and likes everything to go to plan, her idea of a mad night out would be having a coffee before bed instead of tea. Having been with her boyfriend, John for seven years, she’s dying for him to propose to her, as everyone around her are announcing their engagements. Finding the last minute holiday to Tenerife, she’s convinced that he’ll propose and when he doesn’t, she calls everything off and decides to reevaluate her life and make some big decisions. Living the countryside for the city and make new friends and new experiences.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. It’s filled with wit,charm and is unexpectedly quite sad in parts as Aisling deals with some big changes in her life. The story is seen through Aisling’s narrative and this is very funny, she’s got a dry humour and is very frank about things in life which entertains all those around her. She’s a kind soul and like every other woman her age, wishes she was further on in her life.

The story flows at a nice pace with regular jokes and anecdotes that show the Irish really are the best country for dry humour and sarcasm. Another thing that was great about the story, is that Aisling was a relatable character, she wasn’t glamorous or high maintenance, she was down to earth with real first world problems and for me, really drew me into the story. It also made me realise that there’s an Aisling in all of us, as I pack pumps for the walk home after a night out!

A witty and warm hearted story about the problems of a small town girl, ‘Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling’ is a stunning coming of age story that will have you giggling throughout at all the dramatic scenarios.

You can buy Oh My God What a Complete Aisling from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Man I Think I Know By Mike Gayle

The Man I Think I Know‘The Man I Think I Know’ is the latest book by Mike Gayle.

Whatever happens to those kids at school who are always being tipped to be stars in adult life? Danny Morgan and James McManus – rivals for top honours in everything throughout their school years in Birmingham. Whatever their friends and teachers might have expected, neither Danny nor James is currently running the country. Depressed and unemployed, Danny is facing an ultimatum from his girlfriend Maya: if he doesn’t get out and get a job, she’s leaving. It was an accident that changed James’s life and now he is looked after affectionately by his parents. But his sister Martha believes that the role of full-time carers is destroying their lives – and infantilising her brother. She suggests that James should go into a respite home while her parents take a break. The respite home, as it turns out, where Danny has just got a job. What is the path that has brought these two people to this unexpected place, and where will it take them next?

When it comes to stories of new beginnings, friendship and starting over, Mike Gayle is an absolute pro at this and in his latest book ‘The Man I Think I Know’, we meet two very different men who share an exceptional bond.

Danny Allen is a gifted man who excelled at school, from a poor background, his family were so proud of him and thought he was going to make something of his life. But, tragically things don’t work out and Danny finds himself, unemployed, single and alone. Like Danny, James has an exciting future ahead of him but an accident rips him off of his independence and mentality and he finds himself struggling in life, wanting much more but unable to achieve it. Tried of his mother cutting up his dinner, he runs into Danny and remembers him from school and asks him to become his carer and help him take some of his life back.

I loved this story, it’s a tender tale of friendship between two men trying to make better lives for each other but faced with struggles along the way.

The story is cleverly seen through the narrative of both men and gives a great insight into their thoughts. Danny is a lovely man, he’s kind with a heart of gold but has faced so many problems, he’s become accustomed to failure and feels like he’s useless. But when he meets James, he gives him responsibility and a purpose. James is a smart and frustrated man, with once a bright future, he struggles to communicate with people and longs for the life that was cruelly taken away from him.

Between the two of them, they form a strong bond, a need and a responsibility to help each other lead a happier and more fulfilling life. Their moments together are delightfully funny and tender as they share moments and help each other along.

This is a beautifully written story about friendship and independence. Riddled with frustation, dermination and humour along the way, this book is a story of two broken souls who find solace and comfort in each other’s pain, but manage to come out the other side stronger and happier. A thoughtful and reflective tale about male friendships, their insecurities and heartbreak along the way. A wonderful story from start to finish.

You can pre-order The Man I Think I Know from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 19th April 2018.

Surprise Me By Sophie Kinsella

Surprise Me‘Surprise Me’ is the latest book by Sophie Kinsella.

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years… and panic sets in. They quickly decide to create little surprises for each other, to keep their relationship fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me – anything from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to photo shoots – mishaps arise with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, the surprises turn to shocking discoveries. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all…

For fans of Sophie Kinsella, you’re in for a treat with her latest book, ‘Surprise Me’, a heart-warming and witty story about family and relationships.

In this story, we meet Sylvia and Dan, a happy couple who are content with each other and their twin daughters, until they discover that they are going to be together for 68 years. Delighted that they are both going to be each other’s happy ever after, they are both terrified that they will grow to hate each other. So, Sylvia comes up with a genius idea to inject some spontaneity into their relationship by surprising each other. But in the true style of Sophie’s writing, nothing is ever simple and there are plenty of unexpected surprises along the way, which ends up challenging the couple’s commitment.

I loved this story. From the very beginning, it was light-hearted and engaging and the characters really made for fun reading. Sylvia is an interesting character, she’s happy in her relationship, but once she finds out about how long their marriage will last, she finds herself re-evaluating her life. Once a confident and happy woman, she begins to find flaws in her life and struggles to properly communicate with Dan, which causes issues for the couple. What I really enjoyed about the story, is that it reflected on real relationships issues, particularly long-term when relationships become stale and mundane.

The story is filled with many vibrant and interesting characters, particularly Sylvia’s boss, an old fashioned woman who struggles to adapt to life with gadgets and social media. The story flows at a lovely pace, with witty narrative and drama along the way that made for really enjoyable reading.

With a vibrant cover and just the right amount of sentimentally and humour, ‘Surprise Me’ is a deliciously written story about new beginnings and discovery

You can pre-order Surprise Me from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 8th February 2018.