Book Review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes (Me Before You #3)

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Previously read by the same author:

Read between: 18th-22nd May
Format: Hardcover
Number of pages: 475
Published: January 25th, 2018
Publisher: Michael Joseph/Penguin
Synopsis: Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She is thrown into the world of the superrich Gopniks: Leonard and his much younger second wife, Agnes, and a never-ending array of household staff and hangers-on. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her job and New York life within this privileged world.

Before she knows what’s happening, Lou is mixing in New York high society, where she meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. In Still Me, as Lou tries to keep the two sides of her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets–not all her own–that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?

Rating: Image result for five stars

Review: When we left Louisa Clark, she was leaving for a new job in New York, leaving her life, and her love- new boyfriend Ambulance Sam, behind.

Still Me follows Louisa as she finds herself in New York, on Fifth Avenue, working as the personal assistant to a woman who couldn’t be any more opposite to Lou if she tried.

To be honest, I was unsure about a third book involving Lou, but I’m glad that this book exists because, in a way, it acts as closure, and it definitely closes Lou’s story in a really nice way. Of course, as always, it’s not the dream that Lou imagined- because that would be too easy. There’s drama, heart- break, and an evil pug named Dean Martin…

Speaking of the pug, I ended up loving Lou’s relationship with his owner, Mrs De Witt- her employer’s neighbour- it’s so funny what people can bond over, and because I know Lou now, through the other books, it was no surprise that it was vintage clothing! Even in New York, Lou manages to be herself- which I liked, even though she was rubbing noses with NYC’s elite.

I ended up REALLY hating Agnes Gopnik for the way she treated and discarded Lou- all because Lou kept her secret from her husband like she’d asked her too. It just goes to show that you never know who you can trust.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed the story. It was great to see how Lou managed outside of her comfort zone in the Big Apple. I also thought it was a nice touch that Will wasn’t omitted from the story, as he is still obviously very much a part of her life.

As an ending to Lou’s story, it was great. She’s definitely developed as a character and I enjoyed completing the journey with her. Jojo Moyes has done it again- she really knows how to write a good story.

5/5 stars.

A lovely ending.

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: All That She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Read between: 10th-17th May

Format: Hardcover

Number of pages: 354

Published: 13th July, 2017

Publisher: Little Brown

Synopsis:

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review: Emotions are very important in this story….literally.

Cherry Redgrave can SEE people’s bad emotions; like grief, guilt, loneliness- she has done since she was a child and she uses this ability to make peoples lives better…

…..by baking!

The recipes and the descriptions of the cakes sounded so good…if you don’t care that eating them can actually change how you feel.

It’s a really interesting storyline!

Throw in Chase, a man who can see people’s good emotions and Cherry has competition! And perhaps maybe an admirer too…..?

I really liked this book, mainly because I’d never read a story like it before! Cherry is a great character- I love the fact she always wears pyjamas!

Comfort is obviously key.

In fact, most of the characters were loveable in their own way- like Sally and Bruce. I really loved their interactions with Cherry.

I really thought about the story- and also what Meddlum I’d have if I let my emotions get the better of me… and if that would change people’s opinions of me.

However, thinking aside, I don’t think I would want to know.

Overall, a great book, I love Carrie’s lyrical writing and I’d definitely recommend it!

4/5 Stars!

Such a great read! Really loved the premise!

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

Book Haul!

I’ve accumulated some books over the last months so I thought I’d share them with you!

The first two I bought as a treat to myself for passing my QTS Maths test, and these were:

Poor Unfortunate Soul by Serena Valentine. It’s Ursula’s story, and she’s such a sassy villain I’d love to read from her point of view. The blurb reads: How did the sea witch Ursula become so twisted and filled with hatred and anger?

Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a deal with Ursula. Will the cost of losing her enchanting voice and nearly her soul prove too high for Ariel, or will the power of good prevail?

Losing then finding one’s voice is at the heart of the classic story of The Little Mermaid.

Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell. This book is part of the Twisted Fairytale range and I’m so intrigued by them! It’s a retelling of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

Synopsis: Discover what would have happened if a kiss from the prince didn’t wake Sleep no Beauty.

The handsome prince is poised to kiss the beautiful sleeping princess and live happily ever after, but as soon as his lips touch hers he too falls fast asleep. It is clear that this tale is far from over.

Now, a Princess Aurora must escape from a dangerous and magical land created from her very own dreams.

With Maleficent’s agents following every move, Aurora needs to discover who her true friends are and, most importantly, who she really is.

I also won a pile of books from Penguin from their February Reads giveaway and these were the books included in the prize:

The first book is the only fiction book in the entire pile which is The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.

I’ve heard so much about this book- it’s been making the rounds around booktube and book blogs so I cannot wait to get to it.

Synopsis: Alice has spent most of her life on the road, always one step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at her heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her isolated estate- The Hazel Wood- Alice discovers how bad her luck can really get.

Her own mother is stolen away- by a figure who claims to come from the supernatural world where the fairy tales are set. Alice’s only clue is the message left behind:

STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD

To rescue her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began…..

Now onto the non-fiction!

Plus + Edited by Bethany Ritter

It contains some stunning photos of some stunning plus size women. The back reads ‘Style Inspiration for everyone, no matter your size. Be inspired by the very best plus size street style from all over the world’

I’m not a plus size girl, but I still think this book is awesome!

Everything I Know about Love By Dolly Alderton

Synopsis: A spot-on, wildly funny and sometimes heartbreaking book about growing up, getting older and navigating all kinds of love along the way.

When it comes to trials and triumphs of becoming a grown-up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self- sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you’ve ever been able to rely on, and finding that your mates are always at the end of every messy night out. It’s a book about bad dates, good friends and- above all else- about recognising that you and you alone are enough.

Glittering with wit and insight, heart and humour, Dolly Alderton’s powerful debut weaves together personal stories, satirical observations and a series of lists, recipes and other vignettes that will strike a chord of recognition with women of every age- whole making you laugh until you fall over. Everything I Know About Love is about he struggles of early adulthood in all its grubby, hopeful uncertainty.

This book sounds hilarious and I. Cannot. Wait to read it!

Misfit by Charli Howard

This was the book that made me enter the giveaway because it spoke to me on a personal level.

Synopsis: So, how did a slightly bonkers misfit with anxiety and eating disorders decide to solve their problems? I became a model. As you do.

Growing up, Charli Howard always felt like an outsider. So she looked at the skinny girls smiling out of magazines and come to the conclusion that to be happy, she needed to be thin. Believing that these models had perfect lives, she decided to become one herself.

It wasn’t quite as glamorous as she’s hoped. No matter how much weight she lost it was never enough. At her thinnest, Charli was dropped by her agency. Her angry response went viral, and she finally discovered that she wasn’t alone after all. The perfection she’d been chasing does not exist.

In this funny, honest and unfiltered memoir, Charlie is determined to share the truth she never understood as a teenager: that standing out is so much better than fitting in

I am SO ready to read this book! Having face similar problems as a teen myself, I think it’ll be great to have an understanding as I read someone else’s story.

Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch

Sypnopsis: Where are you really from?

You’re British. Your parents are British. You were raised in Britain. Your partner, your children and most of your friends are British. So why do people keep asking you where you are from?

Brit(ish) is about a search for identity. It is about the everyday racism in that plagues British society. It is about our awkward, troubled relationship with our history. It is about why liberal attempts to be ‘colour-blind’ have caused more problems than they have solved. It is about why we continue to avoid talking about race.

In this personal and provocative investigation, Aqua Hirsch explores a very British crisis of identity. We are a nation of denial about our past and present. We believe we are a nation of abolition, but forget we are the nation of slavery. We are convinced that fairness is one of our values, but that immigration is one of our problems. Brit(ish) is the story of how and why this came to be, and an urgent call for change.

And that’s all the books I’ve got over the last couple of months!

Which ones do you think I should read first?

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

Trials of a Trainee Teacher #4

Taster Days!

So now I have officially got my place at Bath Spa in September, I went along to their Teacher Training taster day where I found out about some of the subjects and specialisms!

It was really eye opening, and I’m very excited to see what the course brings!

I also came home with a nice little haul including a book about the 70 years of Teaching at Bath.

I definitely think I’ll find uses for the water bottle and coffee mug 😛

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

Book Review: Torchwood: Trace Memory by David Llewellyn.

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Read between: 7th-9th May
Format: Hardcover
Number of pages: 256
Published: March 6th, 2008
Publisher: BBC Books
Synopsis: Tiger Bay, Cardiff, 1950: A mysterious crate is brought into the docks on a Scandinavian cargo ship, the Kungssangen. Its destination: The Torchwood Institute. As the crate is offloaded by a group of local dockers it explodes, killing all but one; a young Butetown lad called Michael Bellini. Fifty-eight years later a radioactive source somewhere inside Torchwood leads the team to discover the same Michael Bellini, still young and dressed in his 1950s clothes, cowering in the vaults. As they question the intruder, it becomes apparent that each of them has met him in the past. All of them remember him talking incoherently about terrifying “Men In Bowler Hats” and little more, but it’s Jack who remembers him best of all…

Rating: Image result for four stars

Review: The Torchwood team are alerted to an intruder in the hub. The weird thing? They all remember meeting him at some point in their lives. So there is only one question: Who is Michael Bellini and why has he randomly appeared- and how?

The book also takes place over on Sunday night- as well as various different time periods. Michael had an accident in 1953 and can now involuntarily time travel! He also brings danger- The Vondrax- beings in bowler hats that are set upon Michael’s destruction.

Can the Torchwood team help him and discover the secrets of the silver orb he was found with?

I haven’t watched the series in a while, but this book took me straight back to the show and characters I know well. I also liked the fact that Ianto is a MASSIVE Bond fan. That little fact actually explains quite a lot about some of Ianto’s character traits.

However, it was much more about Michael than the Torchwood team, because, apart from Jack, they were only minor characters in Michael’s life. He and Jack were a thing back in the 60s and they were so cute together!

It was great to re-enter the Torchwood world, and re-familiarize myself with the characters. I really enjoyed the story, and it was such a quick read, because the story was interesting as well as fun!

4/5 Stars.

A nice easy read and a great Torchwood adventure!

Thanks for reading
~Katie

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Book Review: Missing (Lyn Kramer Mysteries #1) by Ann Jones.

Read between: 1st-7th May

Format: ebook

Number of pages: 191

Published: 8 July 2017

Publisher: Instafreebie

Synopsis:

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review:

Detective Lyn Kramer is called on a missing persons case. However, it’s not as easy as she thinks when she discovers that the missing woman is actually her long lost sister.

Her long lost twin sister.

Obviously, this leads to an emotional backstory and tells us more about Lyn (full name Melinda) and who she is.

It was a very short book so there was a lot crammed in but it didn’t seem rushed and was actually a very interesting story and mystery.

Lyn’s partner Jud, is a great character because he is very compassionate and understanding as a person, which helped when Lyn was going through some tough times.

The case wasn’t what it expected but I liked how it was turned around.

The short chapters and writing style made it incredibly easy to read and I flew through it. I can’t say too much without giving the story away, but I’d definitely recommend this book if you want something short but thrilling to read.

I wish it had been longer because I really enjoyed it.

3/5 Stars

Thanks for reading!

~Katie

Book Review: The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

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Read between: 22nd-30th April
Format: Paperback
Published: 3rd May 2018
Publisher: Penguin
Synopsis: A princess, a traitor, a soldier, a hunter and a thief.


Five teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands.
Five nations destined for conflict.

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father, while her true love, Ambrose, faces the executioner’s block.

In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town.

And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.

As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our five heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war.

Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?

Rating: 3-5-stars

Review: This book is a typical fantasy novel, but with a large mix of characters from various backgrounds. I was interested in the story from the moment I read the blurb!

There’s so much in this book, from empowerment, LGBTQ romance, comedy, and some pretty gruesome deaths…it works to make a captivating story! There was a lot of swearing though, which could sometimes be a distraction.

Each of the five main characters had chapters as their stories progressed, and the book would alternate between all five of them, or between just a couple of them, as the stories went on. However, with five different stories I sometimes found it hard to follow so I’m glad they weren’t written in first person because I would have gotten really confused!

There’s a lot going on, and I love all the fantasy elements. Not only are there demons (Tash’s story) but we also meet a royal family, with a King full of secrets (Catherine’s story), a guard looking for love (Ambrose) and two men, on an adventure to find the younger man’s father (March and Edyon’s story.)  Their stories end up entwining, and I was actually surprised how much I ended up liking the story considering it took me a while to get into.

If I had to choose a favourite character, it would be Catherine, a princess, who starts off out of place in a country she doesn’t know because of an arranged marriage, but ends up standing her ground and becoming a strong woman, the woman her father didn’t want her to be.

Overall, the book was pleasantly surprising. I admit, I didn’t like it at first, but obviously my opinions changed. The only thing I’d say is I wish there was more of Edyon’s backstory. He seemed very interesting.

I’d recommend giving this book a shot. I really enjoyed it!

3.5/5 stars.
A good fantasy with plenty going on!

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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