My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon

mysweetrevengeSynopsis

I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.
 
Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
 
I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’.
 
I want it to hurt.
 
Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students. She gave up her dreams so he could make it. Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors. And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair.
 
She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing. And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers. It will be her greatest acting role ever.
 
Revenge is sweet. Isn’t it?

Review

I have read all of Jane Fallon’s previous novels and moe of them have been about adultery. What is great about them that it’s not always the person being cheated on. Sometimes it’s the mistress, sometimes it’s a character thats not directly related to the relationship where someone is cheating but gets caught up in the inevitable mess. The unique viewpoints mean that while they cover similar topics, they are all unique and fascinating. This one is no different and may just have excelled to become my favourite book of Jane’s, a feat I didn’t think possible since ‘Getting Rid Of Matthew’ is absolutely fantastic and a tough one to beat.
 
The writing is smart and the whole book keeps at a steady pace where I was dying to know what was going to happen next. I loved watching Paula execute her plan. We can all imagine how horrible it must be to find your partner is cheating on you and equally feel some less at getting your revenge. The opening chapter was absolutely fantastic and I instantly warmed to Paula, and I could see how deeply she cared for their daughters and it was easy to see how she felt a little bit resentful toward’s Robert and his career when she didn’t have their opportunity despite their agreement. I also find it a bit sad that she never bought it up. I guess once Robert found a steady role it was a difficult situation to be in, but it seemed like options for Paula working as well was never fully explored so I wish they had done this, and this would have stopped some of the resentment, but when you’re in these situations it’s always more difficult than being an outsider looking in.
 
Robert was the perfect character to dislike, making it even easier to will Paula on during her plan to get revenge. He was incredibly vain and arrogant and while the character caused a few laughs, it was mainly laughing in disbelief at how ridiculous he was acting.
 
The rest of the cast of characters were fantastic, as Paula befriends Saskia, you get to know the mistress better, and Saskia’s husband sounds pretty handsome and kind. The side stories with Paula and Robert’s daughter, Georgia and her trouble with university, and also Alice, Robert’s sister were really interesting and a great distraction so it wasn’t all revenge revenge revenge, which might have got a bit tiring.
 
This book throws a few twists at you and I never wanted to put it down. It’s a lot of fun and definitely pulled me out of my slump! Another great book from Jane Fallon.
 
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Published by: Michael Joseph – Penguin
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 
 
 

The Secret Lives Of The Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain

secretamirsistersSynopsis

The eagerly awaited debut novel from the much-loved winner of The Great British Bake Off
 
The four Amir sisters – Fatima, Farah, Bubblee and Mae – are the only young Muslims in the quaint English village of Wyvernage.
 
On the outside, despite not quite fitting in with their neighbours, the Amirs are happy. But on the inside, each sister is secretly struggling.
 
Fatima is trying to find out who she really is – and after fifteen attempts, finally pass her driving test. Farah is happy being a wife but longs to be a mother. Bubblee is determined to be an artist in London, away from family tradition, and Mae is coping with burgeoning Youtube stardom.
 
Yet when family tragedy strikes, it brings the Amir sisters closer together and forces them to learn more about life, love, faith and each other than they ever thought possible.

Review

First off, I love the Bake off, so was clearly intrigued when I found out Nadiya was releasing another book, but not cooking or baking, oh no, it was women’s fiction. So would this book be as good as her cakes look? The answer would be yes.
 
The writing is sharp and funny and certainly kept me reading as all the characters were relatable in someway. They evoked sympathy, annoyance and a whole range of emotions. We hear from all four sisters at separate times, each is distinct from each other and it was interesting to see the inner workings of a family that were close knit, but equally, secretive at the same time. Each sister having to navigate pleasing their parents with their own struggles.
 
While we hear from all four sisters, the main focus is on Fatima. She is shy and incredibly self-conscious. I completely warmed to her and connected with how she was feeling, relating to her weight issues and it also saddened me how disconnected she seemed from the family. You could tell she loved her sisters and parents dearly, but always worried they looked down on her, because of how useless she felt. I think her driving instructor, Ash was a great influence on her.
 
I also really liked Mae, despite doing something incredibly naïve which hurts her family, I think it shows the age difference between the sisters, and I can imagine the fascination i’d have with youtube and twitter etc. if I was that age. She clearly meant no Malice.
 
I felt sympathy for the secret Farah was keeping, and then to have her world turned upside down with all the uncertainty must be very hard.
 
The only thing I wish was that there was more conclusion to Bubblee’s story, we didn’t really get to know her as much as the other sister’s I feel, it does lead me to hope there is a sequel about her, and maybe more from Mae. As I said this book mainly focused on Fatima, and actually there was a fair bit on Farah too, so I think another book focusing on Bubblee and Mae would be perfect.
 
Overall I really enjoyed this book, I could barely put it down. It was funny, completely true to life, you can definitely imagine each of these characters being alive, as if it was an autobiography rather than fiction. More please!
 
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Published by: HQ
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 
 
 

Top Ten Reads of 2016

You may be very surprised to hear, I have actually managed to stick to 10 books for a top ten list, rather than renaming it ‘My Favourite Reads’ to excuse the fact I’m indecisive! So in no paticular order, here is my top 10 books that I read in 2016!

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A Summer At Sea by Katie Fforde
This is the first book I’ve read by Katie Fforde, and even then I listened to it on audiobook. Regardless it was a really good read and I loved it!

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan (99p on kindle till January 3rd 2017)
It’s no secret this is my favourite of the series, I absolutely adored all 3, but this one was by far the one that I fell in love with the most.

 

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You Had Me At Merlot by Lisa Dickenson
Wine, Italy and a lovely man in one book? This book is too wonderful!

The Affair by Amanda Brooke
Loved this novel by Amanda, an interesting subject and wonderfully told.

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The One We Fell In Love With by Paige Toon
The most predictable book in my top ten, but what can I say? I love Paige’s books and this is fighting with Chasing Daisy to be my number one book by her.

Valentina by S E Lynes (Another bargain at £1.99 on kindle right now)
This book was the biggest surprise of the year. I didn’t know what I was expecting, but it surpassed all expectations.

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Out Of Practice by Penny Parkes
I loved this book, it was endearing, and I can’t wait to read more books from Penny!

The Missing by C. L. Taylor (99p at time of writing)
This book was easily the best out of C L Taylor’s thrillers. It completely captured my attention from page one.

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The Night That Changed Everything by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice
I loved Laura and Jimmy’s first book, but this one was even better. Loved the ending, however emotional it was. This book was pretty much perfect!

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
I read this book a few months ago and I am still struggling to put into words just how fantastic this book is. Just go and read it!

What have been your favourite reads of 2016?

My TBR Bookcase Tour – Shelf 5

Shelf #5

This shelf is where all my To-Be-Read paperbacks end, and the only doubling up I’ve had to do so far, though have bought and received a few books I’ve yet to add so will need to do more ASAP. I have also separated my hardbacks and put them in one place.
 

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Paperbacks
The Proposal by Tasmina Perry
A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson
Someone to Watch Over Me by Madeliene Rees
Christmas Magic by Nora Roberts
On Strike For Christmas by Sheila Roberts
The Snow Globe by Shelia Roberts
Snowed in For Christmas by Claire Sandy
A Time For Friends by Patricia Scanlan
The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
Winger by Andrew Smith
Valley Of The Dolls by Jaqueline Susann
Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline
Christmas Under The Stars by Karen Swan
Paper Swans by Jessica Thompson
The Olive Branch by Jo Thomas
If She Did It by Jessica Treadway
In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
It’s a Vets Life by Cathy Woodman 
Trust Me, I’m a Vet by Cathy Woodman
Hardbacks
Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern
A Song For Issy Bradley by Carys Bray
Remember Me This Way by Sabine Durrant
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum 
Fallen by Jane Green
Lasting Damage by Sophie Hannah
The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah
The Bones Of You by Debbie Howells
The Stylist by Rosie Nixon
Replica by Lauren Oliver
My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins
Off The Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
Girl Online On Tour by Zoe Sugg
All The Stars In Heaven by Adriana Trigiani
The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Juvie by Steve Watkins
The Liar’s Chair by Rebecca Whitney