What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – My Review

Alice

What’s it all about:

Alice is twenty-nine. She adores sleep, chocolate, and her ramshackle new house. She’s newly engaged to the wonderful Nick and is pregnant with her first baby.

There’s just one problem. All of that was ten years ago . . .

Alice has slipped in a step-aerobics class, hit her head and lost a decade. Now she’s a grown-up, bossy mother of three in the middle of a nasty divorce and her beloved sister Elisabeth isn’t speaking to her. This is her life but not as she knows it.

Clearly Alice has made some terrible mistakes. Just how much can happen in a decade?

Can she ever get back to the woman she used to be?

Review

Liane Moriarty has fast become one of my favourite authors. After reading Big Little Lies I found myself searching Amazon to buy more of her books and so What Alice Forgot and The Husband’s Secret were my next investments.
What Alice Forgot is one of those books that forces you to be reflective, to think about your own life – how would you act, feel, love, if you lost a decade of memories. It made me smile, laugh, ponder my own life and marriage. I adore a book that makes you think and think I did. Alice Love has had a nasty bump on the head, a nasty bump that has caused her to lose the last ten years of her life. As far as Alice is concerned, she’s 29 years old, pregnant with her first child and decorating their new dream home with her husband, Nick. So when she wakes up after a trip and fall at the gym, is carried out on a stretcher and taken to hospital, all Alice can think is how silly it all is that people are making such a fuss. And why on earth is she at the gym with a woman she never particularly liked?Alice Love has had a nasty bump on the head, a nasty bump that has caused her to lose the last ten years of her life. As far as Alice is concerned, she’s 29 years old, pregnant with her first child and decorating their new dream home with her husband, Nick. So when she wakes up after a trip and fall at the gym, is carried out on a stretcher and taken to hospital, all Alice can think is how silly it all is that people are making such a fuss. And why on earth is she at the gym with a woman she never particularly liked?

Alice Love has had a nasty bump on the head, a nasty bump that has caused her to lose the last ten years of her life. As far as Alice is concerned, she’s 29 years old, pregnant with her first child and decorating their new dream home with her husband, Nick. So when she wakes up after a trip and fall at the gym, is carried out on a stretcher and taken to hospital, all Alice can think is how silly it all is that people are making such a fuss. And why on earth is she at the gym with a woman she never particularly liked?

When her sister, Elizabeth arrives at the hospital, Alice just wants Nick. Why hasn’t Nick arrived? What is he doing in Portugal? Why can her sister barely look her in the eye and why, when she does speak to Nick, does he hate her so much?

Of course, ten years on Alice has not only had one child, she has had three and cannot remember a single thing about them. The thought of being left alone with them terrifies her and Nick isn’t much help. They are on the brink of divorce and fighting for custody of the children so he believes everything that she does has a motive behind it, that she always has an angle and is trying to make him look bad. If I’m honest, I felt drained for them both.

Snippets of Alice’s memory try to make a return, a smell with trigger an emotion but she cannot seem to pull out an actual memory. Her family warm to the new old Alice, the Alice that isn’t busy, busy, busy, the Alice that will eat a custard tart without thinking of calories, the Alice that isn’t a bitch.

Along with Alice’s POV we’re treat to a diary of sorts from her sister who is recording events in a journal for her therapist. We learn more about Alice and how she changed from the girl they all loved to the girl who would rather spend time with her new friend Gina than her sister or husband. Alice learns that everything seems to lead back to Gina as the book goes on and when we finally think we have the answers as to who Gina is….we don’t. We don’t even truly have the answers as to who Alice is and what went so wrong between her and Nick until nearer the end.

I cannot express how much I loved this book. The characters felt like they were a part of my life, my heart broke for Alice again and again as she became lost in the new world that she had created for herself but didn’t have a clue how. I longed for Nick’s armour to come down, for a happy ever after for the couple but the way the story pans out to me was perfectly realistic and appropriate. I believed every word I was reading and genuinely wish I could go back and read it for the first time all over again.

For anyone looking for a book to spend their Christmas money or voucher on, anyone looking for a book that will pull you in and keep you in a vice like grip setting you free bit by tiny bit while you hold your breath in anticipation for what else Alice forgot then this is the book for you. I could ramble on for hours and hours but won’t. Just buy it. Please.

5 STARS

Buy the book – Amazon UK / US

Connect with Liane on Facebook

Visit Liane’s website

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The Lonely Hearts Travel Club – Destination Thailand by Katy Colins

thailand

What’s it all about:

What if you had a second chance… to find yourself?

Instead of slipping on her something borrowed and tripping up the aisle to wedded bliss, Georgia spends her big day crying into a warm Sex-on-the-Beach, wondering where it all went wrong.

Forced to make a bucket list of her new life goals by best friend Marie, it’s not long before travel-virgin Georgia’s packing her bags for a long-haul adventure to Thailand.

Yet, Georgia’s big adventure doesn’t seem to be going to plan. From strange sights, smells and falling for every rookie traveller scam in the book Georgia has never felt more alone.

But the good thing about falling apart is that you can put yourself back together any way you please. And new Georgia might just be someone she can finally be proud of…

Review

Book provided by Carina UK in exchange for an honest review

Katy’s debut novel caught my eye on Twitter when her cover was revealed (and what a beautiful cover, no? <3) and after reading the blurb, I just had to read it. Like, now. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge sucker for a list – I genuinely struggle to function without one – but when that list is a bucket list, a TRAVEL bucket list, I can barely contain myself.

Destination Thailand follows jilted bride, Georgia, as she struggles with the aftermath of her fiance dumping her weeks before their wedding for another woman. Her best friend, Marie, takes her away on a holiday to Turkey so that on the day she was supposed to say her I do’s she isn’t hiding away from the world saying I can’t. It’s on this holiday that Marie convinces Georgia to create a bucket list, something that will help her get back to her old self again. To travel and do the old cliche and ‘find herself’.

After some serious deliberating, Georgia finally books a 6 week backpacking tour of Thailand as part of a group and this is where the fun begins.

Now I just want to say that Thailand is high up on my travel bucket list so to read a book written by someone that has genuinely travelled to the places she is writing about was a huge plus for me. Especially Bangkok, a place that both fascinates and terrifies me at the same time! I may or may not have stalked Katy’s blog to drool at her photographs too. Just saying.

Poor Georgia has some amusing and yet truly horrifying experiences when she arrives in Bangkok to meet her fellow backpackers and it doesn’t get much better for her until she decides enough is enough and heads off to do her own thing. I loved the fact that Georgia finally plucked up the courage to go it alone and for me, that’s when I really began to get lost in a dreamy haze, googling pictures of Koh Lanta and imagining myself in Georgia’s shoes. She meets some very interesting characters along the way but the guys in Koh Lanta were my favourite, especially Ben. The only downside for me was that it seemed to end a bit quickly.

If you’re looking for an escape from the cold, winter nights, the drudgery of day to day life and love to read about exotic locations then Katy Colin’s debut novel is the book for you.

4 STARS

Pre order on Amazon UK / US

Follow Katy on Twitter

Read Katy’s blog

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How to Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake – My Review

xmas

What’s it all about:

‘Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you’ve found an intimate picture of another woman on your fiance’s phone…
Eve is heartbroken after discovering her fiance is cheating on her. Being surrounded by the joys of Christmas is more than Eve can bear, so she chooses to avoid the festivities by spending Christmas alone on a houseboat in Pangbourne. Eve gets gets an unexpected seasonal surprise when handsome local vet Greg comes to her rescue one day, and continues to visit Eve’s boat on a mission to transform her from Kitchen Disaster Zone to Culinary Queen.
But where does Greg keep disappearing to? What does Eve’s best friend Daisy know that she isn’t telling? And why is there an angry goose stalking Eve’s boat?

Review

As soon as I saw Rosie’s new cover appear on Twitter way back when, I knew I had to have it and I’m so pleased to tell you lovely bookish folk that it was a highly anticipated read that didn’t disappoint one bit.

How to Stuff Up Christmas follows Eve, a recently single woman after discovering her arse of a fiancé was cheating on her with someone who is quite partial to sending picture messages of their ladygarden…..can you imagine?! So Eve would like to avoid the festive period if she can. This doesn’t mean she’s a humbug, because she isn’t, she’s simply a woman who would rather lock herself away with a bucket of ice cream than spend the day with her family and the reminder of how perfect the Christmas before was when her fiancé proposed. Who can blame her, right? So this year she decides to escape and enrols in a pottery class in the quaint little village of Pangbourne and rents a houseboat. From this point on the world around me disappeared! Emails were avoided, meals were burned and husbands were ignored (it’s fine though, we have a snack cupboard he raided!) Seriously though, Pangbourne was a truly delightful setting and I could just imagine myself walking through the village, watching the world go by on the river…..and attending pottery classes.

In Pangbourne, Eve meets local vet Greg under comical circumstances and it becomes clear that the two of them will hit it off, but Greg has something mysterious going on in his life which means he can be frustratingly elusive and it doesn’t help that he doesn’t seem to want to open up to Eve. To be fair, she is a stranger but I still found myself pleading with him to go visit Eve more, to not misinterpret her distance with disinterest. Their story is heart-warming and I loved watching them get to know each other better.

The supporting characters were also wonderful and realistic and I found myself laughing along at the antics of Eve’s sister and brother in law, best friend Daisy, Eve’s dog, Marmite and a special shout out goes to the geese; they made me snort with laughter. So attractive.

If you’re looking for a festive read that is jam packed with Christmassy romance, festive recipes (what a bonus!) and humour that will have you spitting out your mulled wine, then How to Stuff Up Christmas is a must read for you. I would also like to add that I fell so deeply in love with this book that it inspired me to attend a pottery class myself in a local village not too far from me. It was one of the best experiences and I have the lovely Rosie Blake to thank for that.

5 STARS

Buy the book: Amazon UK / US

Follow Rosie on Twitter

Visit Rosie’s website

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Picnics in Hyde Park by Nikki Moore – My Review

Picnics in Hyde Park

What’s it all about:

Hot summer romance…or cold revenge?

Super nanny, Zoe Harper is mad! It was bad enough discovering her ex-fiancé Greg cheating on her just weeks before their wedding. But now she’s returned home to London to find her younger sister Melody has been left jobless, homeless, broke and dumped.

Zoe is determined to get revenge on the infamous Reilly brothers for her sister’s heartbreak. So when an unexpected opportunity gives Zoe a way in to uncaring—and dizzyingly gorgeous!—successful music producer Matt Reilly’s world, she jumps at the chance to make him pay.

But living with Matt as nanny to his two adorable, but complicated children, Zoe soon begins to suspect that not everything is as it seems… Matt insists on pushing everyone away including his children, but why? And if his delicious summer kisses are anything to go by, he can’t be that bad surely?

Can Zoe convince Matt to open up a little and help fix this family before she leaves…or worse, before Matt learns who she really is?

Review

Book provided by Harper Impulse via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This is the first book I’ve read in the Love London series and wouldn’t hesitate to read the others, or any other by Nikki Moore in fact. This book was the perfect holiday read, I devoured it in one day sat by the pool!

Picnics in Hyde Park follows Zoe on her return from 5 years in New York to find a heart broken sister who has just been brutally sacked from her job as a live-in nanny for a London record producer, Matt. Seething, Zoe arrives on Matt’s doorstep ready to give him a piece of her mind and get some answers for her sister, Melody, who is at a loss as to why she was kicked out without so much as an explanation. However, things don’t go according to plan and soon Zoe finds herself agreeing to replace Melody as Matt’s new nanny on her own undercover revenge mission.

Zoe has a plan, a plan to bring Matt down and out him to the world for the arse that she thinks he is, but the longer she lives with him and his children, the more she learns about him and his ex wife, and the more she softens. It also helps that Matt is easy on the eye!

I absolutely fell in love with Matt and his children, they were both so adorable and in desperate need of Matt’s attention, something he hasn’t truly given them since his wife died. There is a mystery surrounding this story which is eventually revealed and I found my heart wrenching for both Matt and the children. Zoe soon realises that her revenge mission is something she can’t follow through with, she’s in too deep with Matt, but will it be too late when he finds out exactly why she took the job in the first place?

Picnics in Hyde Park took me on a wonderful journey through London and is a story that seriously sizzles in parts. Zoe takes her role as big sister very seriously and was a great character for me to be introduced to the London Series with. If you’re looking for a romance that will take you back to summer and pull at your heartstrings, then I urge you to buy this asap!

5 STARS

Buy the book: Amazon UK / US

Follow Nikki on Twitter

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Mile High by Rebecca Chance – My Review

mile high

What’s it all about:

First class is about to get dangerous . . . Pure Air’s new LuxeLiner is flying from London to LA – its inaugural journey – with a first-class cabin packed with A List celebrities. As the feuding crew compete to impress their famous passengers, the handsome pilot tries to win the attention of a pretty young stewardess.

But one VIP singer is battling something seriously sinister: watching her every step is a very determined stalker, someone who will go to any lengths to get the star to satisfy their desires. At thirty thousand feet there is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide . . .

Review

Book provided by Pan Macmillan via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I want to start by saying I’m a massive fan of Rebecca Chance and couldn’t wait to read Mile High. The cover caught my attention straight away and I couldn’t wait to devour it on holiday.

The premise of the book is the first flight of Pure Air’s Luxe Liner flying from Heathrow to LA containing the who’s who of the celebrity world; the piece de résistance being Catalina, a pop star at the height of her career and the one to help create the biggest buzz about the airline. The only problem is that the prologue lets us into a dark secret that Catalina certainly isn’t expecting….her stalker will be on that flight, and they intend to join the mile high club with her. The prologue sent chills up my spine, it was utter brilliance and I felt my eyes widen with every sentence.

Throughout the book, (which is purely set on the plane aside from the flashbacks we get of Catalina) we’re given an insight to the private life of the pint-sized popstar. We read about when she discovered she had a stalker, the dependency she has on her best friend and assistant, and the current heartbreak she is suffering from. For me, she was the most surprising and I felt that she was a down to earth young woman who was just going through hell.

Of course, the flight is filled with more drama than you can shake a stick at. A bitchy senior stewardess out to destroy the career of the new girl with her gay sidekick, a randy celebrity chef on the lookout for someone to have a bit of fun with, a British actress pining for her personal trainer, and a publicity director trying to do as much damage control as humanly possible. Not an easy task.

I found myself on edge throughout most of the book when people were trying to get Catalina on her own; when a fan approached, when someone from her past showed up, it was all very tense.

Overall, I did enjoy the book but found it hard to get into, despite the prologue dragging me in at breakneck speed. I found that some chapters were maybe a bit too long or were just drawn out longer than necessary which meant that it was a slow read in parts and wasn’t a book that I flew through. It wasn’t one of my favourite Rebecca Chance books but was definitely full of twists and turns so expect the unexpected.

3.5 stars

Buy the book: Amazon UK / US

Follow Rebecca on Twitter

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Hello!

Helloooo. Hello, hello, hello!!

Just a super quick post to check in. I’ve been pretty pants recently keeping up to my blog but I’ve been thinking more and more about starting vlogs. I’ve done one or two before but I think this might be a much better way for me to keep up with you all. What do you think?

Christmas is almost upon us too, can you believe it? Where has this year gone *shakes head* The good news is that I have ten book reviews coming up soon for you once I get my sorry backside into gear and write them. This is my task for the weekend, I promise! As well as buy and decorate the tree. And buy a Christmas jumper. And finish my shopping. Gulp.

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Are you all ready for Christmas?? Do let me know how you’re all doing – and by that what I obviously mean is please make me feel less crap about not having bought and wrapped all of my gifts let alone defrosted my freezer. God I’m so rock n roll it hurts!!

 

Well, I just thought I would check in with you all and keep it short and sweet. And, ya know, let you know I’m still alive and all that jazz. I’ll post again soon with an update about vlogs and my top reads of 2015.

Mucho love

E xoxo