Saturday, 30 June 2012

June Book Reviews

I am a complete bookworm and when I set up this blog I wanted it to include book reviews as well as beauty reviews, hence the name of my blog!

This is my very first book review post and I'm sure the reviews will become more detailed over time, I would love recommendations on any books you have enjoyed. I will try not to give too much away on the storylines as I don't want to ruin the books for you!  I love reading on my kindle but I will never give up "real" books so I read a selection of both.

These are the books I read in June.  All images are taken from Google Images.

Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life – and she’s going to have to keep it.
Lying on Lucy Silchester’s carpet one day when she returns from work is a gold envelope. Inside is an invitation – to a meeting with Life. Her life. It turns out she's been ignoring itand it needs to meet with her face to face.
It sounds peculiar, but Lucy’s read about this in a magazine. Anyway, she can’t make the date: she’s much too busy despising her job, skipping out on her friends and avoiding her family.
But Lucy’s life isn’t what it seems. Some of the choices she’s made – and stories she’s told – aren’t what they seem either. From the moment she meets the man who introduces himself as her life, her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory – unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.

I picked this book up at the airport in May when my Dad got taken into hospital (everything fine now but gave us a scare) and I needed something not too difficult to read. I have read quite a few of Cecelia Aherns' books and I like the way she writes so I knew I would enjoy this.

I didn't end up reading it until I went on holiday and couldn't put it down! Its a real feel good story, predictable in places, sad in others - a perfect book for the beach. I thought it was quite similar to another book she has written called "If you could see me now" so wait a while between reading the two books. Thumbs up!
In the Sixties, Athene Forster is the most glamorous girl of her generation. Nicknamed the Last Deb, she is also beautiful, spoilt and out of control. When she agrees to marry dashing young heir Douglas Fairley-Hulme her parents breathe a sigh of relief. But within two years rumours have begun to circulate about Athene's affair with a young salesman.
Thirty five years on, Suzanna Peacock is struggling with her glamorous mother's legacy. At odds with her father and his second wife, struggling in a stalled marriage, she returns to the place of her birth to find that the ghost of her mother, in differing ways, still haunts them all. The only place she finds comfort is in her shop, The Peacock Emporium, a coffee shop-cum-curio store, decorated in her own image, which provides a haven for other misfits in the town. 
There she makes perhaps the first real friends of her life, including Alejandro, a male midwife, escaping his own ghosts in Argentina. But the spectre of Athene and the shop itself combine to set in place a chain of tragic events, forcing Suzanna to confront the feelings she has disguised for so long - and her family, in their varying ways, finally to deal with the events of the past. And Suzanna discovers the key to her history, and her happiness, may have been in front of her all along.

This book had been sat on my bookshelf for months waiting patiently to be read, after reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes a few weeks ago and it being the best book I have read this year I remembered I had this waiting.

It's not as good as Me Before You but its still a great read. Its a real page turner, lots of twists and some very sad parts - you will need a tissue when reading this book! Again I couldn't put this down. I will definitely be purchasing more of her books.
Two summers in Amsterdam. The first: fourteen year old Joe Salt, obsessed with clouds and falcons and perplexed by humans. His aunt Nel, a chaotic artist with two lovers. The second, fifteen years later: a family secret, which makes sense of everything, and pushes Joe to breaking point...

This is the first book I have read by this author, it was a free book from the Kindle Amazon store.

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would when I started it as it took me a while to get into the storyline, I prefer a fast paced story with twists and turns and this is not that kind of book. It has a good twist near the end and it deals sensitively with the undercurrent of mental health issues that run throughout the book. 

This book wouldn't make me pick up anything by the same author, enjoyable read but not my cup of tea. 
When Alice was a teenager, strange things started happening to her. Hours of her life simply disappeared. She'd hear voices shouting at her, telling her she was useless. And the nightmares that had haunted her since early childhood, scenes of men abusing her, became more detailed . . . more real. Staring at herself in the mirror she'd catch her face changing, as if someone else was looking out through her eyes.
In "Today I'm Alice," she describes her extraordinary journey from a teenage girl battling anorexia and OCD, drowning the voices with alcohol, to a young woman slipping further and further into mental illness. It was only after years lost in institutions that she was correctly diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. When her alternative personalities were revealed in therapy she discovered how each one had their own memories of abuse and a full picture of her childhood finally emerged. As she learned to live with her many 'alters', she set out to confront the man who had caused her unbearable pain.
Moving and ultimately inspiring, this is a gripping account of a rare condition, and the remarkable story of a courageous woman.

I found this on my "to read" shelf and took it on my holidays without reading the back cover. It was only when I was a chapter or two in that I realised it was about child abuse so horrific that it made Alice develop multiple personalities. It is amazing how the brain copes with these situations but deeply disturbing that abuse like this happens at the hands of the people we trust the most.

I didn't think I would be able to read this book all the way through but I'm glad I did, she is truly a remarkable woman and I hope she found some closure in writing this book. The book is sad and disturbed me greatly, it will stay with me forever. 

I do not enjoy reading this genre of books and I would not have picked this up - turns out it was in a bag of books that my best friend Vicki gave me as she bought it, read the back and decided she couldn't read it.

For an insight into how the brain protects itself then this is a fascinating read but as it contains memories of child abuse it is not an easy read.

Yeah, yeah I got sucked into the hype!

This book is all over my Facebook feeds, being talked about in work, in the school playground - I can't get away from it! I wasn't going to read it as it gets some scathing reviews on Amazon, but sitting in a bar on my holidays I decided to download it onto my kindle to see what all the fuss was about...well I read all three books in a week!

It's much better written than I thought it would be, it has a really good action storyline running through the second and third books. Its written in a typical chick lit way but with lots of naughties ha ha ha!

There are explicit scenes in these books and I have heard a few people class them as "Mummy Porn" which erm yeah is a good way to sum them up!

One thing that's great about these books is that I see a lot of Facebook posts saying they are reading Fifty Shades and that its the first book they have read in years and how they are enjoying reading - surely that's a really good thing if its re-introducing people to books and the enjoyment of reading.

I think everyone has heard about these books but if you haven't you can read all about them on E L James' website

Hope you enjoyed my first book reviews!


  1. I really enjoyed this review! I'm definitely going to look out for the Cecelia Ahern and the two Jojo Moyes' books that you mentioned! They definitely sound like something I'd read! As for the 50 Shades of Grey series, I haven't read these yet but no doubt I will at some point! I bet the Today I'm Alice was heart-renching! I really don't think I'd be able to read that one! I'll look forward to your next book review :) x

    1. Thank you! Me Before You is the best book that I have read this year, don't read the ending in public and make sure you have a box of tissues! x

  2. Great reviews! I want to read The Peacock Emporium x

    1. Thanks Sandra! Its a really good read, but not a patch on Me Before You - I know you loved it as much as I did x