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Some Kind Of Wonderful By Giovanna Fletcher

Some Kind of Wonderful‘Some Kind Of Wonderful’ is the latest book by Giovanna Fletcher.

Lizzy and Ian have been a couple since their first day at university. Now, after celebrating a decade together, everyone thinks they’re about to get engaged. A romantic escape to Dubai is the perfect moment, but instead of the proposal Lizzy hopes for, Ian reveals he’s not sure he even wants her anymore. Lizzy is heartbroken. But through the tears, she realises this is her chance to seize the opportunities she missed as Ian’s other half. But what does she want? How much of her is really Lizzy, and how much was Ian’s influence? Determined to discover who she is at heart, Lizzy sets out to rediscover the girl she was before – and in the meantime, have a little fun.

Giovanna Fletcher has returned to our bookshelves with a book that will have you laughing and crying in quick succession.

When Izzy and Ian go on holiday, Izzy thinks it’s only to be expected for him to propose to her after ten years together. Wrong. Instead, he breaks up with her and she ends moving back to her family home, much to the upset of her pregnant sister, who’s wedding is coming up and Michelle is convinced that Izzy is determined to ruin her big day.

As Izzy reflects on her life, now as a single woman, she thinks of all the changes and sacrifices she made for the relationship and is determined to live her life for herself and not for others. This involves wearing throngs, going out with friends and meeting new people and joining a choir.

This book is a journey of self discovery and for me, was quite the thinker as we all change in relationships. I loved how Izzy rebelled now she was single and had only to answer for herself, as well as figure what she really wanted from life, as the story progressed, she blossomed into a strong and independent woman.

The story is tender and heartfelt and you can feel the love in the writing. I loved Izzy, she was a fun and vibrant character with a big heart and this reflects through the hilarious situations that she gets herself in, whether it’s with outspoken sister or fun best friend, Connie.

Deliciously fun and witty, ‘Some Kind Of Wonderful’ is a charming story of new beginnings and self discovery.

You can buy Some Kind of Wonderful from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Friend Request By Laura Marshall

Friend Request‘Friend Request’ is Laura Marshall’s debut novel.

Maybe that had been the problem all along: Maria Weston had wanted to be friends with me, but I let her down. She’s been hovering at the edge of my consciousness for all of my adult life, although I’ve been good at keeping her out, just a blurred shadow in the corner of my eye, almost but not quite out of sight. Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston has been dead for more than twenty-five years.

‘Friend Request’ was one of the big debuts of 2018 and I finally got around to reading it at Christmas and it was quite the roller coaster ride.

The story is seen through the narrative of Louise Williams, a young woman who randomly gets a Facebook Friend Request from Maria Weston, a woman from her past. A woman that Louise is convinced is no longer alive. After a fateful night at their school leavers ball, Maria disappeared and has never been seen again. Now 25 years later, Maria wants to get back in touch, just as Louise receives an invite to her school’s reunion party, to reconnect with all the people who changed her life.

As the date of the reunion looms closer, Louise receives more unsettling messages and finds herself fearing for her life, as she believes that she is being punished for Maria’s disappearance.

The story is written in the past and present tense. Maria and Louise at school, Maria is the newcomer that the popular girls don’t like and force Louise make Maria’s school life unhappy, even though Louise likes Maria.

The story is filled with suspense and right from the start, we are drawn in the dark world of social media and how easy it is to reconnect with someone from your past. Louise is deeply troubled and haunted from her past and even though she is terrified that she is being hunted, she’s also relieved that the burden she’s been carrying may finally be revealed. She’s not the most strongest of characters, but as the story progresses, we begin to see another side to her. The story has many interesting characters, including Sam, Louise’s ex-husband and crush at school. He’s charismatic and charming and someone Louise can confide in, even though he broke her heart.

Twisty from the first page, this book really pulls the reader in and keeps them guessing until the final page. With unsettling moments and dodgy characters that make everyone a potential suspect, ‘Friend Request’ is a cleverly written psychological thriller that is well worthy of all its hype.

You can buy Friend Request from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Rise And Fall Of Becky Sharp By Sarra Manning

The Rise And Fall Of Becky Sharp‘The Rise And Fall Of Becky Sharp’ is the latest book by Sarra Manning.

Determined to leave her poverty-stricken roots behind her, Becky Sharp is going to take every opportunity offered to her to climb to the top. Whether it’s using her new BFF Amelia Sedley to step up into the rarified world of London’s upper classes, or seducing society’s most eligible bachelors, Becky Sharp is destined for great things – at any cost. From London to Paris and beyond, the world is there for Becky’s taking – even though some people are determined to stop her along the way

This book is Sarra’s modern take on the classic novel, ‘Vanity Fair’.

In this book, we meet upcoming socialite Becky Sharp, who after spending years scrimping to get by, is determined to make something of herself. After coming second in ‘Big Brother’, she becomes best friends with winner, Ameilia Sedley. A well known socialite from a rich family, she’s kind with a big heart and doesn’t see when others take her for granted, including Becky.

After being cast off to the countryside, Becky reluctantly becomes a nanny to the many children of Sir Pitt Crawley, a former lusted after film star, who has let his house and himself go to rat and ruin much to Becky’s despair.

Fortunately Becky meets Rawdon, Sir Pitt’s son and the pair fall madly in love and become one of the UK’s hottest couples, with his upcoming rise to film stardom and Becky becoming the latest reality star, the couple are on the top.

As the couple travel the world with the paparazzi watching their every movement, Becky begins to enjoy the life that she feels richly deserves much to the bemusement of those around her.

I adored this book, but I knew that would be the case as I love her Sarra’s writing. Her writing is always fresh, witty with fascinating characters and hilarious situations that made for compulsive reading.

The book is so reflective of modern life, the pressures of social media and appearance and I thought that Sarra made a fantastic job of adapting the book to the 21st century.

I loved Becky, she’s the woman we all dream of being, glamorous, gutsy and not afraid to follow her dreams, no matter the cost. Amelia was also especially sweet and gave an insight into the other side of being a socialite as well as living in Becky’s shadow.

With a fabulous cover, delicious characters, drama and sass throughout, ‘The Rise And Fall Of Becky Sharp’ is a fantastic retelling of a contemporary classic filled with filters, designer labels and wit.

You can buy The Rise and Fall of Becky Sharp from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Tell Me A Secret By Jane Fallon

Tell Me A Secret‘Tell Me A Secret’ is the latest book by Jane Fallon.

Best friends Holly and Roz tell each other everything. Until Holly gets a surprise shot at her dream job. Why isn’t Roz popping the champagne? Now Holly feels like she’s got a target on her back. Perhaps it was a mistake to tell Roz all her secrets. It takes two to tango. But it only takes one to start a war.

I’m a huge fan of Jane Fallon and was fortunate to have received a proof of her new book to enjoy over the Christmas holidays. In her latest book, we meet colleagues Holly and Roz who both work in television. Holly is delighted with her new promotion and opportunity at work and thought Roz felt the same, but when things start to happen putting Holly’s job in jeopardy, Holly begins to question Roz’s loyalty.

For years, I’ve enjoyed Jane’s writing and I gobbled this book up just like her previous books as it made compulsive reading. There was one big difference, I noticed about this book and that it was seen from a single narrative.

This was an interesting slant for me, as a lot of her previous books included multiple perspectives. Holly is an interesting character, she’s excited about her promotion and sinking her teeth into the new job, but with every chance she has to prove herself, she finds herself having to explain an awkward situation or email that she had nothing to do with. As more situations arise, she begins to wonder about her colleagues and has one of them got it in for her, particularly Roz. Her so called work best friend, who’s always the life and soul of the party. As time passes, with the help of her bubbly and inquisitive friend Dee, Holly discovers that Roz isn’t quite the person she is lead to believe.

The story is set against the backdrop of script writing a television series and gives the reader an insight into Jane’s job before she became a full time author.

I really enjoyed this book, the characters are great and really entertaining, particularly Roz and Dee, as they both injected a little bit of humour and flamboyance to the story. With so many interesting characters throughout the story, I did find myself wondering throughout the story, if they were suspects. Cleverly written and riddled with drama and wit, ‘Tell Me A Secret’ is a deliciously, compulsive story about female friendships and dramas in the workplace.

You can buy Tell Me A Secret from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Jemima J By Jane Green

Jemima J ‘Jemima J’ is by Jane Green.

Jemima Jones is overweight. About seven stone overweight. Treated like a slave by her thin and bitchy flatmates, lorded over at the Kilburn Herald by the beautiful Geraldine (less talented, but better paid), her only consolation is food. What with that and her passion for her charming, sexy colleague Ben, she knows her life needs changing. But can Jemima reinvent herself? And should she?

‘Jemima J’ is a book that I read many years ago and fell in love with it. Recently I was thinking about the book and thought for the first time, I’d return to it and review it, as this was the first book that I read by Jane Green and started my love for the popular author.

The book is set in the early 90’s just as the Internet was launched and Jemima is a tips columnist for a small newspaper, she dreams for so much for life, then just providing tips for removing stains and unwanted hair. She’s overweight and completely in love with a colleague called Ben, who most women love including Jemima’s bitchy house mates Lisa and Sophie. So when Ben gets a new job and leaves Jemima, she decides to have a go at online dating and that’s when she meets Brad. A handsome gym owner from America who steals Jemima’s heart. After much pleading for a photograph of herself, Jemima sends through a fake photograph and Brad completely falls in love and this gives Jemima the boost and incentive to make a difference to her life before travelling to America to meet Brad.

After months of hard work and determination, Jemima becomes a shadow of her former self and becomes competition to her flatmates, who always pitied her for being overweight. Now slimmer and happier than she has ever been, Jemima travels to America to meet the love of her life. But, things take an unexpected turn in America that leaves Jemima unsure of what she is to do next.

For the second time, I fell in love with this book. Jane has such a lovely style of writing, writing from Jemima’s perspective as well as an observer watching Jemima’s life change, as well as those opinions and attitudes around her. Her writing is clever and warm, that had me giggling at the situations and people. Jemima, is such a sweetheart, quiet and strong willed. She really blossomed throughout the story and opened up to those around her. I particularly loved her friend Geraldine, who was initially just an acquaintance but they grow closer as Geraldine helps Jemima with the makeover. The story has many unexpected twists that made for delicious reading and as it’s set in a time when the internet was only starting out, it was refreshing to read a book that wasn’t heavily reliant on social media.

A story of love, determination and self-worth, ‘Jemima J’ is a deliciously tender and fun story that is well worth a second read.

You can buy Jemima J from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.