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Chocolat – Joanne Harris – Reading Challenge Recap

21 Nov

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Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide – #5/691, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – #6/782.

Series – Chocolat

  • Chocolat
  • The Lollypop Shoes
  • Peaches For Father Francis
  • The Strawberry Thief

The Link to my original review can be found here.

Synopsis – When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock – especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle?

My Thoughts – I read this back in 2013 – I’ve linked my original review above incase anyone wants to read it and I can remember enjoying it a lot! I did buy the next in the series The Lollypop Shoes back then aswell but for some reason I havent read it yet. Currently its in one of my boxes of books that hopefully when we move again I can unpack but I will be reading it at some point!

Rating – I rated this 4/5

Recommendations

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – Blackberry Wine – Joanne Harris, Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel, Lucas – Kevin Brooks (Challenge Book), Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – The Lollypop Shoes – Joanne Harris, Blackberry Wine – Joanne Harris, Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel, Lucas – Kevin Brooks (Challenge Book), The Food of Love – Anthony Capella

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The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger *Reading Challenge Recap*

19 Nov

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Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide #4/691, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition #5/782.

Link to my original review can be found here.

Synopsis – It’s Christmas and Holden Caulfield has just been expelled from yet another school. Fleeing the crooks at Pencey Prep, he pinballs around New York City seeking solace in fleeting encounters – shooting the bull with strangers in dive hotels, wandering alone round Central Park, getting beaten up by pimps and cut down by erstwhile girlfriends.

The city is beautiful and terrible, in all its neon loneliness and seedy glamour, its mingled sense of possibility and emptiness. Holden passes through it like a ghost, thinking always of his kid sister Phoebe, the only person who really understands him, and his determination to escape the phonies and find a life of true meaning.

The Catcher in the Rye is an all-time classic coming-of-age story: an elegy to teenage alienation, capturing the deeply human need for connection and the bewildering sense of loss as we leave childhood behind.

My Thoughts – I read this book back in 2010 and even now it sticks in my mind as a book I really didn’t enjoy. I wont go too deep into my thoughts about it as I’ve linked my original review above. I do sometimes struggle with ‘classic’ books that everyone raves about so maybe that’s why I didnt enjoy it!

Rating – 2/5

Recommendations

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – The Beet Fields – Gary Paulsen (Challenge Book), King Dork – Frank Portman (Challenge Book) Nine Stories – J. D. Salinger (Challenge Book)

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition. The Beet Fields – Gary Paulsen (Challenge Book), Billy Liar – Keith Waterhouse, For Esme – with Love and Squalor – J.D. Salinger (Challenge Book), Just in Case – Meg Rosoff (Challenge Book)

Me Life Story: Sofa, So Good! – Scarlett Moffatt * Book Review *

16 Nov

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Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – Fact: Did you know, over its lifespan, your sofa will witness roughly 293 arguments and 1,369 cuddles? Hiya, my name’s Scarlett Moffatt and I love random facts. Almost as much as I love sitting on me sofa. You might know me best from my most famous and celebrated sit thus far on the I’m A Celebrity throne. You might also know me from all sorts of other seats, most especially my Gogglebox sofa. Well this book is my attempt at telling me life story through a whole series of them! So I’d like you right now to stop what you’re doing and take a seat, whether it be in the comfort of your own home, on the top deck of the bus, on the tube (so you don’t have to make eye contact with anybody) or on the throne of the house (a.k.a. the toilet). I want you to get comfortable and get ready to laugh, cry and maybe even learn a bit, as I chat to you about some of the highs and lows of me life. So grab a brew, settle down and let’s start from the very beginning …

My Thoughts – I downloaded this as it was on audible 3 for 2 and I enjoyed Scarlett when she was on I’m a celebrity get me out of Here! so I thought that this book would be quite interesting.

I didn’t actually realise until I was almost through the whole book that this was her second book but I enjoyed it all the same.

This book has different chapters about her life – all starting with a few facts about something in the book and then ending with a life lesson or moral – which I really enjoyed.

This book really changed my opinion of Scarlett – for example, I didn’t realise that she was badly bullied at school and having come all through tha it makes her the person that she is today. I totally get that as I was bullied horribly at secondary school – to the point that I developed anxiety and refused to go. I think that this should be a must read for anyone going through that as there is light at the end of the tunnel and it really does get better.

I also didn’t realise that she was really into books – something that obviously I also enjoy. I wish more people would admit there love for reading – I’m all for that!

Overall a really enjoyable read – it was funny in places, sad in places and she’s a real humble nice person. A really good book. She also narrates it which I thought was fab!

Rating – 4/5

Eve of Man – Tom and Giovanna Fletcher * Book Review *

14 Nov

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Synopsis – Eve is like any other teenage girl . . .

Except that the fate of the entire world lies on her shoulders.

She’s the first girl born in fifty years.

She’s the answer to their prayers.

She’s the final hope.

Which means she has one function alone . . .

At sixteen, Eve must face her destiny and make a choice.

She will choose a man, one out of three carefully selected suitors.

But what about Bram?

The future of the planet hangs on Eve making the right choice.

Will she?

COULD YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN LOVE, AND THE FUTURE OF THE HUMAN RACE?

My Thoughts – I am a massive fan of these two authors and when I heard that they were writing a young adult novel I just knew I would love it!

This book is the first in a trilogy and it centres on two characters, Bram and Eve. Eve is the first girl born on 50 years and so much has been put in place to protect her. Bram is a boy who works where Eve has been living for most of her life – the tower.

Eve is coming up to a crucial point in her life and is discovering that things maybe arent always what they seem.

I really enjoyed this book – it was a little bit simular to start with to Lauren Olivers Delirium book but it soon took its own way. I really enjoyed how the book went from the two characters perspective too. I was gutted though that the book ended on a cliffhanger – I wanted to read the next in the trilogy however its not out yet!

Rating – 5/5

Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding * Reading Challenge Recap *

13 Nov

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Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide #4/61, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – #4/782.

Books in the Series

  • Bridget Jones’s Diary
  • The Edge of Reason
  • Mad About the Boy
  • Bridget Jones’s Baby

Synopsis – A dazzlingly urban satire on modern relationships?
An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family?
Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something?

Welcome to Bridget’s first diary: mercilessly funny, endlessly touching and utterly addictive.

My Thoughts – It was a very long time ago that I read this book – probably around 10 years or so however it resonates true the older that I get! It is so funny in places and I feel as though most women can identify with Bridget and her life in some way – for example weighing yourself so much that it becomes obsessive or obsessing over men. I read the first and second book in very quick succession however I’m not too sure why I didn’t read the rest – maybe I just forgot to add it to my wish list at the time! I’m definitely going to go back and finish this series though as i really enjoyed the first two books and the films are equally as good in my opinion!

Rating – 4/5

Recommendations

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, Angus Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging – Louise Rennison (Challenge Book), High Fidelity – Nick Hornby (Challenge book)

Ultimate Teen Book guide Second Edition – Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, Does my Bum Look Big in this? – Arabella Weir (Challenge Book), Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (Challenge Book), Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things – Carolyn Mackler

The Diary of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell *Book Review*

12 Nov

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Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book as it was on the daily deal and I’d already got this book on my wishlist. This book is basically a year in the life of a man who owns a bookshop in Scotland. I found this book funny, sad, interesting, compelling all in equal measure. As a self-confessed bookworm I could see myself spending lots of money in a shop such as his. I found all of his anecdotes about his various customers and staff really funny.

It has made me think a lot about how I use Amazon though. Currently if I feel like ordering a book I tend to go on Amazon and order it through Amazon Prime. Having read this book I’m going to hunt out some local bookshops to me (I’ve just moved to a new area so not too sure whats about yet!) and browse their shelves more. He also runs The Random Book Club and I’m really tempted to join this too!

We are planning a trip to Scotland and I think that The Bookshop is definitely a place that I want to visit while we are there!

Overall an absolutely fantastic book that I was very sorry that had ended. I could have listened to many more years of this!

Rating – 5/5

The Murderers’ Son – Joy Ellis * Book Review *

9 Nov

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Format – audiobook

Series – DI Jackman #1 (although #2 by audible)

Synopsis – Crimebusting duo DI Jackman and DS Evans are back, solving another crime that will make your skin crawl.

Twenty years ago: a farmer and his wife are cut to pieces by a ruthless serial killer.

Now: a woman is viciously stabbed to death in the upmarket kitchen of her beautiful house on the edge of the marshes.

Then a man called Daniel Kinder walks into Saltern police station and confesses to the murder.

But DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans of the Fenland Constabulary soon discover that there is a lot more to Daniel than meets the eye. He has no memory of the first five years of his life and has a rather unusual obsession with his mother….

Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you gripped until the shocking ending.

My Thoughts – I had this book on pre-order as I enjoyed the first book on audible (Their Lost Daughters) so much!

This book is a return to DI Jackman and DS Evans and the Fen murders. As I’m originally from that area it appeals to me a lot as I had a really good idea of the area in which it was set and recognised a lot of places that were discussed. In this book another brutal murder has taken place and they have a confession from a man but no evidence to back up his story.

The plot was really good – full of twists and turns again and although I had managed to work out the plot it really didn’t ruin it for me – it was brilliant! I am really enjoying this authors books. The next one is released on Audible in December and it is already on my wish list. I can’t wait for more – very enjoyable.

Rating – 4/5