new reads

A Yorkshire Christmas by Kate Hewitt | Book Review

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A  cute little read that was finished in one sitting. Fed up with her superficial family, Claire decides to avoid the ‘perfect’ Christmas with her family in American and decides to take residence of her godmother’s cosy cottage in Yorkshire. Having her own emotional baggage from the past, Claire yearns nothing more for a peaceful and quiet Christmas.

After her car skids into a snow bank, Claire has the fortunate pleasure of meeting Noah and eventually his daughter Molly – the family and love she’d craved for a very long time. Claire helps Noah to push the back end of one of his sheep out of the icy mud, even if she’s going to ruin her brand new pair of Prada boots, the meeting between the two begins the early stages of their romance.

Hewitt combines and develops the characters of Noah and Claire by allowing the third person narrative to focus on both character’s viewpoints.

The writing was engaging, descriptive and effortless to read. I loved that both Claire and Noah had past relationships which still had an impact on them in the present as they seemed like realistic characters, one that I could relate to.

I found the ending to be a bit rushed for a novella. I would have liked to read a bit more of a realistic ending. But if anything, it was a pleasure to read that I wish it wasn’t a novella and that I could read more about the relationship of Claire and Noah.

Would recommend to anyone that wants a light and easy read.

 A Yorkshire Christmas was published by Tule Publishing.

2016 · commercial fiction · fiction · HarperCollins Publishers · Maze Books · Romance · Uncategorized

Girl on a Plane Review

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Did it just get hot in here! Girl on a Plane is sexy and scintillating and I can guarantee that it’ll have your adrenaline pumping when reading about Sinead and Gabriel’s heated romance (as it did with mine!)

Sinead, the main protagonist of the novel, is a beautiful airhostess that just so happens to meet first –class-flying, Australian business man, Gabriel. Due to a tropical storm interrupting the flights, both Gabriel and Sinead coincidentally book the same hotel room, upon where they meet again.

This really is a jet-setting book with action all over the world – quite literally, the characters find themselves in Melbourne, London, Singapore, Paris and Thailand.

It’s not hard to see that there is an instant attraction and chemistry between Sinead and Gabriel that is simmering, even if Sinead is wary of entering into a relationship due to being badly hurt before by a previous partner. This is not your typical romance book where boy meets girl and they fall in love. Girl on a Plane deals with more than your average romance story line.  Sinead and Gabriel are well developed characters that are also relatable. We can instantly understand both perspectives, as the story is told through both Sinead and Gabriels perspective.

Girl on a Plane also deals with various sub plots such as Gabriels mum having health problems, which puts a lot of pressure on Gabriel as well as Sinead being tormented by her pscho ex partner, she also has a non existing relationship with her mother and her little sister dips in and our of her life. When these various sub plots are brought up, the tension and drama is undeniable making it impossible for me to put this book down.

Girl on a Plane is Cassandra O’Leary’s debut novel and was published by Maze Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.

Bloomsbury · commercial fiction · fiction · Uncategorized

The Kite Runner Review

The Kite Runner is Khaled Hosseini’s debut novel. It is a gripping and emotional story of betrayal and redemption. The Kite Runner had moved me as it tells the story of two close friends, Amir and Hassan, who are more like brothers and are also experts in flying kites.

The two young boys live in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and this year they aim to try harder than ever to win the local kite-fighting tournament, a popular Afghan pastime, and this is Amir’s one hope of winning his father’s love and admiration.

But everything turns around when war comes knocking on Afghanistan’s door and the country becomes a place of constant danger. Despite this political sub plot, Amir commits an act of betrayal towards Hassan, which will haunt him for the rest of his life. Amir and his father are forced to flee Afghanistan for America, and The Kite Runner becomes the story of Amir’s quest for redemption – righting the wrongs he had committed as a young boy, all those years ago in Kabul.

The story has a sense of urgency and there is never a dull moment. It helped expand on my knowledge of Afghan culture, which continues to fascinate me. Hosseini is a superb writing, finding a balance between being concise and yet powerful. Amir himself becomes a writer, and he reflects on his experiences in the story as though his life itself were a piece of fiction.

Without giving the juicy bits away, I was pleased that Hosseini chose to send Amir back to Afghanistan to and makes a very different set of sacrifices in order to do the morally right thing.

Hosseini expresses a strong message through The Kite Runner, and I think that is: good will always out win evil.

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The Kite Runner was published in 2003 by Bloomsbury.

2015 · commercial fiction · fiction · Penguin Random House UK · psychological thrillers · Uncategorized

The Girl On The Train review

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I have finally read this baby and now I know what all the hype is all about. Devoured within three days reading this going to and from work on the tube, The Girl On The Train will be one of those books that will happily join my never ending collection of books.

The Girl On The Train is about an alcoholic woman named Rachel who travels the same train journey every morning in to London. Like every morning, the train waits at the same signal upon where Rachel has a moment or two to look out at the houses. She notices the same house with the same couple living there, but one day, when Rachel sees something inconceivable she can’t help but get involved in the mystery.

I really liked the narrative structure, which switches from Rachel and Megan allowing us to understand the plot from the two women’s perspectives. The protagonist Rachel is a flawed character who is not particularly likeable, however, possessing a strong moral sense of doing the right thing, her perseverance and willingness to help is admirable, despite the ways in which she does so.

All the main characters were well developed and felt very much real to me. They would prance around in my mind and I’d often think about them when I was not reading – only a gripping book like Girl On The Train will have this affect on you.

The plot had lots of twists and turns, which inevitably kept me wanting to read more and more as I, like Rachel, also wanted to understand what had happened to Megan and how this had affected the other characters.

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My favourite part of the book is when we first hear of Megan’s voice through the narrative, where she explains the reasons why certain actions in her past were taken. Having not adjusted to the fact that Megan’s narrative is the lady that Rachel allocates a different name and life to is extremely satisfying when we finally understand what Paula Hawkins does there.

The ending was great too, Rachel telling us she has to get up early in the morning to catch the train, to me, was the perfect way to end.

I also think the idea behind the book was simple yet interesting. Paula Hawkins was once on a train when her train stopped at a signal and she looked out of her window to the houses nearby the tracks. She wondered what it would be like to write about every day situations and people, and voila, the idea was born.

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This was without a doubt a page-turner – a fantastic read and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is in to psychological thrillers.