A Year And A Day by Isabelle Broom

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ayearandadaySynopsis 

For Megan, a winter escape to Prague with her friend Ollie is a chance to find some inspiration for her upcoming photography exhibition. But she’s determined to keep their friendship from becoming anything more. Because if Megan lets Ollie find out about her past, she risks losing everything – and she won’t let that happen again…
 
For Hope, the trip is a surprise treat from Charlie, her new partner. But she’s struggling to enjoy the beauty of the city when she knows how angry her daughter is back home. And that it’s all her fault…
 
For Sophie, the city has always been a magical place. This time she can’t stop counting down the moments until her boyfriend Robin joins her. But in historic Prague you can never escape the past…

Review

I was really excited to read this book because I had heard rave reviews about ‘My Map of You’ but I resisted reading for a few months because I was visiting Prague so I thought I would read it a week or two so it was fresh in my mind and so I could get even more excited for my few days away.
 
The setting of Prague was perfectly described in loving detail. Before visiting myself, I almost knew the place. Prague is a very pretty city and Isabelle gets that across, it’s clear she loves the city, and I can see why. It’s great to see a book set in a location I’ve never read about before, a breath of fresh air. You completely felt the city, the atmosphere, the chill of the snow which gives it a slight magical feel and the romance of it all.
 
I loved the multiple, intertwining  storylines. Each character was different so they probably wouldn’t socialise in any other situation, but they made great friends, and looked out for each other in times of need.
 
Out of all 3 main characters I think that I related to Megan the most. Probably because Simon and I are around the same age as her and Ollie, and the activities that they got hip to sounds exactly like what Simon and I enjoy on holiday as well. Sight-seeing, random wandering and lazy afternoons in a bar. However at times Megan was incredibly frustrating with her denial of feelings with Ollie and fear of commitment. Ollie was such a genuinely nice person, it’s beyond me how she could have resisted, even despite her issues.
 
Hope and Charlie’s storyline had me humming and aching if I liked Charlie or not. Sure he was charming, but almost too charming, you know? Something came off as slightly controlling at times, but other times he seemed completely genuine. I did love this part of the story as well though. The couples dynamic was different to Meg and Ollie’s and my suspicion of Charlie put a different edge to it.
 
Sophie was more a closed book, she obviously is a bit down as she is waiting for her fiancé to join her, unfortunately he’s had to get a plane a few days later than her. Because she’s more closed, I felt like I got to know her less, but did love how her and Robin were so passionate on the outside, travel and adventure, and also how they celebrated their anniversary of meeting by visiting Prague, where they met, it was really sweet. She was very delicate, and it was understandable why the others felt protective of her.
 
I adored the descriptive writing, totally setting the scene for some drama, romance and emotion. Simply put, this book is intensely addicting and you need to read it to enjoy the magic for yourself. Now, I’m off to check when I can next go to Prague, as just thinking of this book wants me to pack my bags once more!
 
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Published by: Michael Joseph 
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 
 
 

We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

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wecomeapartSynopsis

Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home.
 
Meanwhile, Jess’s home life is overshadowed by violence.
 
When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship grows into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and hopeful futures. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?
 
 
 

Review

I am not going to lie, I was quite nervous of reading this book. While I hadn’t read any books by Sarah Crossan or Brian Conaghan, but I had heard only good things about Sarah Crossan’s previous novel ‘One’. I knew both that one and this book were written in free verse which was quite daunting to me. I’ve read unusual narrative’s before to critically acclaimed books, and I couldn’t get on with them at all, so I was nervous, but I really wanted to read something a little out of my comfort zone.
 
I am so glad I did and about 3 pages in, I put my Kindle down, ordered ‘One’ and then went back to reading this wonderful story. It is quite a quick read, but that doesn’t stop the story being simply beautiful.
 
Each author has taken charge of a different character. Jess is a troubled teenage girl who lives with her mum, who’s in an abusive relationship. Nice is Romanian, and is determined to make the most of his life in England.
 
I adored both characters. It was so sad seeing Jess’s situation at home. It just goes to show that because someone acts loud and rebellious, there is often a reason behind it. Any other circumstance, I would find it hard to connect with Jess, but I was so wishful that life was different for both Jess and her mum. Jess, when you got to know her was a really nice person, she was the only person to give Nicu the time of day and see him as a human being. It would of been easy to ignore him from peer pressure, but their friendship grows and it is lovely to read.
I really liked Nicu too, he genuinely seemed keen to learn and fit in, but was barely given a chance, by both his father (who was abusive and arranging a marriage for Nicu) and people at school who were beyond rude and it was some uncomfortable reading.
 
Then there was the last third which really got to me. |t was part anger-inducing and really sad at the same time. This book was a great read, and definitely has pushed me to try more books I’d normally be nervous to try.
 
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Published by: Bloomsbury
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 

Girl 99 by Andy Jones

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Girl99Synopsis

When Tom’s girlfriend walks out on him the day before Christmas, he feels humiliated but not necessarily heartbroken. Sadie wasn’t, after all, The One. If we’re being precise, she was number eighty-five.
 
And so, for reasons that are only mostly wrong, Tom embarks on a mission to bring his number of encounters up to a nice neat one hundred.
 
Over the course of his quest he sleeps with a colleague, a colleague of a friend, a friend of a friend, a friend of a friend’s wife, the estate agent selling his flat and several more besides.
 
Everything is going, if not well, then at least according to plan…and then Tom meets Verity. Whether she’s The One remains to be seen, but she’s certainly more than just another number.

Review

I’ve read the first two books by Andy Jones and they were both very good, so I was definitely looking forward to this one. It has a slightly lighter tone than the other two, but still has the same sense of fun, and I was soon relaxing as I delved into the story.
 
The writing is as sharp and observant as the other two. You have the funny moments, even when it’s also quite bad at the same time, there is some humour to it.
 
I was worried initially that I wouldn’t like Tom because I couldn’t relate to his objective and at the start he was more about the numbers than the people in one way, but I was stupid for worrying. I actually really liked him, he’s flawed (aren’t we all?!) but likeable. I loved reading about him and his family. As he was a fair bit older than his sister, it left him in the middle a bit, but he stuck up for his sister a lot which was great to see. Also to see his sister grow as well, especially when going on
 
This book also stars El, who also starred in Andy’s book ‘The Two of Us’, but this book is set before then, so El’s illness is less progressed. This didn’t stop the emotion being there. el’s relationship with Phil was absolutely heartbreaking. It added a bit more depth, to a story that is relatively light hearted.
 
This book was a fairly quick read that offers a lot of heart, but also the sense of fun I’ve come to enjoy from Andy’s books, even more so than the other books given the lighter overall tone.
 
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Published by: Lake Union
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
andyjones_croppedAbout The Author

Andy Jones lives in London with his wife and two little girls. During the day he works in an advertising agency; at weekends and horribly early in the mornings, he writes fiction.
 
You can find Andy on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram as andyjonesauthor
 

March Monthly Challenge

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Now I’ve been able to read a fair bit more recently, I think it’s time to re-start my monthly challenge to read at least 8 books. So here is my 8 books I plan to read in March! 
 
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The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett (released April 6th 2017)
 
When Gav and Lou move into the house next door, Sara spends days plucking up courage to say hello. The neighbours are glamorous, chaotic and just a little eccentric. They make the rest of Sara’s street seem dull by comparison.
 
When the hand of friendship is extended, Sara is delighted and flattered. Incredibly, Gav and Lou seem to see something in Sara and Neil that they admire too. In no time at all, the two couples are soulmates, sharing suppers, bottles of red wine and childcare, laughing and trading stories and secrets late into the night in one another’s houses.
 
And the more time Sara spends with Gav and Lou, the more she longs to make changes in her own life. But those changes will come at a price. Soon Gav and Lou will be asking things they’ve no right to ask of their neighbours, with shattering consequences for all of them…
 
This book simply sounds fascinating, the synopsis instantly caught my attention.
 
This Love by Dani Atkins (Released March 23rd 2017)
 
Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon – she’s a single, thirty-one year old translator who works from home in her one bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a very long time ago, when she was fifteen years old and tragedy struck her family. Her grief has left her scared of commitment and completely risk averse, so she plays it safe and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.
 
One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a random passer-by, Ben, luckily happens to spot and rescue her. Suddenly her cocoon is shattered – what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?
 
Loved ‘Our Song’ so much, it was inevitable I would pick this up sooner rather than later!
 
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One Little Mistake by Emma Curtis
 
YOU TRUSTED YOUR BEST FRIEND . . . YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE.
 
Vicky Seagrave is blessed: three beautiful children, a successful, doting husband, great friends and a job she loves. She should be perfectly happy.
 
When she makes a split-second decision that risks everything she holds dear, there’s only person she trusts enough to turn to.
 
But Vicky is about to learn that one mistake is all it takes; that if you’re careless with those you love, you don’t deserve to keep them… 
 
This book is going to feed my need for thriller’s I’ve been feeling recently.
 
On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher
Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It’s the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she’s become her twenty-seven-year-old self and the door won’t open.
 
Evie’s soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it’s too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow , some way, she may also find her way back to her long lost love…
 
I’ve wanted to read this one for a while, sounds magical.
 
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Orange Blossom Days by Patricia Scanlan (released March 9th 2017)
 
In a beautiful southern Spanish town, where the sea sparkles and orange blossoms scent the air, the gates of a brand new apartment complex, La Joya deAndalucía, glide open to welcome the new owners.
 
Anna and Austen MacDonald, an Irish couple, are preparing to enjoy their retirement to the full. But the demands of family cause problems they have never foreseen and shake their marriage to the core.
 
Sally-Ann Connolly Cooper, a feisty Texan mother of two young teenagers, is reeling from her husband’s infidelity. La Joya becomes a place of solace for Sally-Ann, in more ways than one.
 
Eduardo Sanchez, a haughty Madrileño, has set out with single-minded determination to become El Presidente of the complex’s management committee. But pride comes before a fall.
 
Jutta Sauer Perez, a sophisticated German who aspires to own her very own apartment in La Joya, works hard to reach her goal. Then the unthinkable happens.
 
As their lives entwine and friendships and enmities develop, it becomes apparent that La Joya is not quite the haven they all expect it to be…
 
Hopefully this gets me in a summery mood unlike the weather out there right now. It sounds wonderful, and with multiple viewpoints, just my sort of book.
 
One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus (Released June 1st 2017)
 
On Thursday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
 
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
 
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
 
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
 
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
 
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
 
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investi­gators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Thursday, he died. But on Friday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they just the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? 
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
 
I know this is not out for ages, but It sounds soooooo good!
 
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The Escape by C. L. Taylor (Released March 23rd 2017)
 
When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.
 
The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.
 
What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.
 
No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.
 
I’ve Loved C. L. Taylor’s other books, and by the first chapter I snuck a look at last night, this one’s going to be just as good 
 
The Memory Book by Lara Avery
 
They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I’ll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I’m writing to remember.
 
Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way–not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly start to steal her memories and then her health. What she needs is a new plan.
 
So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. It’s where she’ll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime crush, Stuart–a brilliant young writer who is home for the summer. And where she’ll admit how much she’s missed her childhood best friend, Cooper, and even take some of the blame for the fight that ended their friendship.
 
Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it’s not the life she planned.
 
I’ve been meaning to read this for a few months, so now is the time!