You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

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Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Publication Date: 1 March 2016

Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn’t: live past graduation.

Jaycee is dealing with her brother’s death the only way she can- by re-creating Jake’s daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She’s not crazy,okay? She just doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for staying alive.

Jaycee doesn’t expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she’s joined by a group of unlikely friends- all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend; the heartbroken poet; the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome; and…Mik. He doesn’t talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable-reveal parts of herself that she buried with her brother.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. I love YA books and the description of this one seriously grabbed my attention. I just had to know more.

Jaycee talked about getting lost in such an honest, raw way that I could almost feel her emotions jumping off the page at me. It quickly became apparent that she wasn’t the only one with issues and I found myself really enjoying meeting each character and learning about their lives. Individually they were interesting but as a group they were compelling!

Telling parts of the story with illustrations added a memorable and different element to the book, it helped bring everything to life and in my opinion made it stand out from the crowd.

The storyline was kind of dark and eerie but also touching at the same time. Once I’d started reading I found it incredibly hard to stop (even at 2 in the morning) because I just had to know what the group of friends would do next.

Being a YA read there was the obligatory thread of love/romance running through it. The interesting thing about this one, for me, was the silence. I’ll let you make of that what you will!

This was an intense read at times but always utterly fascinating, I simply couldn’t put it down. Even when I did manage to pry myself away, I still found myself thinking about it.

You Were Here was a captivating journey of self-discovery and gets an easy 5 stars from me.

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Summer Nights at The Moonlight Hotel

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Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 24 March 2016

“The Moonlight Hotel sits on the shore of England’s best-loved lake, Windermere, exuding vintage glamour.
 
Lauren loves the hotel, for hidden inside its faded walls is the key to her most precious memories. So, along with her best friends, Cate and Emily, she signs up to a new dance class in its gorgeous ballroom. They aren’t going for the men, they’re going for a laugh – although a little romance wouldn’t hurt . . .
 
But then a chain of events off the dance floor puts their friendship to the ultimate test, and makes Lauren question everything she holds dear.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read and share my thoughts. It initially appealed to me because of where the storyline was set – I love the Lake District! Reading about places I’ve actually been gave me a sense of familiarity and enabled me to visualise everything so vividly.

It was easy to become caught up in Lauren’s life. There was a wonderful camaraderie between her group of friends that was endearing (and kind of made me want to join them). Her job as a primary school teacher was hugely entertaining, especially her attraction to fellow teacher, Edwin.

There was a blossoming relationship that I correctly predicted quite early on but the fact that I’d guessed where things were heading didn’t affect my enjoyment of the process one little bit. Every new revelation simply made me smile even wider!

The author’s style of writing was light and humorous which meant that it was really fun to read – I love a book that can make me giggle out loud. It wasn’t all fun and laughter though, there was a touching moment which took me by surprise and brought tears to my eyes. I suddenly found myself looking at things from a completely different perspective.

Another more serious branch of the storyline centered around revenge of a devastating kind. I felt that this was particularly relevant to today’s world of social media and I applaud the author for putting it in the spotlight!

This was an addictive read filled with characters who were easy to take to heart. I can’t give it anything but 5 stars.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Jane Costello was a newspaper journalist before she became an author, working on the Liverpool Echo, the Daily Mail and the Liverpool Daily Post, where she was Editor. Jane’s first novel, Bridesmaids, was an instant bestseller. Her second novel, The Nearly-Weds, won Romantic Comedy of the Year 2010. Jane lives in Liverpool with her husband and three young sons and she is currently working on her next novel.

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kate1

As Weekends Go by Jan Brigden

Publisher: Choc Lit

Publication Date: 4 December 2015

What if your entire life changed in the space of a weekend?

When Rebecca’s friend Abi convinces her to get away from it all at the fabulous Hawksley Manor hotel in York, it seems too good to be true. Pampering and relaxation is just what Rebecca needs to distract herself from the creeping suspicion that her husband, Greg, is hiding something from her.

She never imagined that by the end of the weekend she would have dined with celebrities or danced the night away in exclusive clubs. Nor could she have predicted she would meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserved so much more …

But no matter how amazing a weekend is, it’s always back to reality come Monday morning – isn’t it?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. It sounded like a fast-paced, exciting romance and I couldn’t wait to find out if my expectations would be met.

I was definitely right about the exciting romance – the weekend scenes were full of fantasy moments. I read this over a sunny weekend in the garden with the children splashing water everywhere and it gave me a real sense of escapism.

When the weekend was over, the heart-pounding revelations just kept on coming and that’s when Rebecca’s dilemma became more complicated. Certain characters never failed to annoy me (I’m pretty sure this was the author’s intention so it was definitely not a bad thing).

The author’s natural style of writing meant that I fell into the storyline effortlessly. It was almost as if I had known Rebecca for years! I also enjoyed switching perspectives throughout because it gave me a deeper understanding of each character.

The ending left me smiling but it also left me wanting more – I would love to know what the future holds for Rebecca!

An interesting mix of fun, frolics and life-changing decisions. As Weekends Go gets 5 stars from me.

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kate1

Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

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Publisher: MIRA UK

Publication Date: 10 March 2016

“Great friends. Amazing Apartment. An incredible job. Paige has ticked off every box on perfect New York life checklist. Until disaster strikes and instead of shimming further up the career ladder, Paige is packing up her desk.

Her brother’s best friend Jake might be the only person who can help her put her life back together. He also happens to be the boy she spent her teen years pining after, and Paige is determined not repeat her past mistakes. But the more time she spends with Jake, the more Paige realises the one thing that was missing from her world all along: The perfect New York love story…”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read and share my honest thoughts. I was initially attracted by the gorgeous cover and when I moved onto the blurb I just couldn’t resist getting stuck in!

I loved the way I was introduced to Paige and her friends, it’s amazing what you can learn about characters on a simple walk to work. I was well and truly pulled into the storyline by the author’s fun writing style and the intriguing scenes unfolding before me.

Jake was absolutely my favourite kind of male character – soft inside with a tough outer shell that can be difficult to crack. I just loved reading from his point of view.

The romantic (and sometimes sexual) tension was palpable throughout the book and held my attention beautifully. A blissfully romantic ending left me with a contented smile on my face.

This was a fun read – fabulous friends who made me want to be a part of their group and hot male characters who made me fall for them. What more could I want!

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kate1

These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton

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Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: eBook – 1 March 2016 | paperback – 7 April 2016

“Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.
 
Kate has always loved Charlie – they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn’t always follow the journey it should.
 
But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won’t it…?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this fabulous signed proof. There was a real buzz surrounding this book and I couldn’t wait to delve beneath the beautiful cover to find out more.

Getting to know Kate and Becca was lots of fun, they were great characters who kept me on my toes throughout – I should have known that when it came to a wedding, things wouldn’t be as they first appeared! This was a fab twist that really got me thinking.

The storyline took me through some major life events with a series of invitations (a brilliant touch) and inevitably some of those events were desperately sad and left me in tears.

As I was reading, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t quite right and when it became apparent why I felt like that I was keen to find out where it would lead.

A very natural writing style meant I flew through the pages. The author had a wonderful way of delivering the unexpected and keeping me guessing.

This was a lovely read filled with characters who were easy to care for.

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kate1

Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon

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Publisher: Penguin | Michael Joseph

Publication Date: 14 January 2016

Rumours, secrets and lies. It’s all in a day’s work.
Tamsin and her best friend Michelle have been inseparable since they were teenagers. Even now they spend all their time together, along with Patrick, Michelle’s handsome husband.

So when Tamsin hears a rumour that Patrick is having an affair, she is furious. Unwilling to ignore it, Tamsin plots a scheme to catch Patrick in the act, using her assistant Bea as live-bait. It should be fool proof.

After all, Tamsin can trust Bea with anything. From her daily coffee order to fetching her dry-cleaning, writing reports and doing all the filing – Bea does everything with a smile on her face.

Except Tamsin never considered Bea might have her own agenda.
And if she does, then Tamsin really needs to watch her back . . .”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read and share my thoughts. I was intrigued by the blurb and couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

I have to say, the blurb didn’t come anywhere close to preparing me for the shocking first chapter, I was so confused! What I was reading was completely unexpected but it definitely caught my attention. My imagination was working overtime and I came up with many theories as to how Tamsin had found herself in that position. Luckily, in chapter two, Tamsin began to explain all.

I adored the conversational style of writing, it made me feel like I was chatting with a friend and on more than one occasion I found myself talking back (my family are now used to the fact that I talk to books so this is completely okay in my world).

Once I was fully updated on how the unexpected had happened, I then wanted to know what was next. This inevitably meant that I was turning the pages into the early hours of the morning, I simply couldn’t stop reading!

As I progressed through the book, everything began to slot into place and an understanding took over. But just when I thought I had it all figured out, along came more shocks as the storyline switched to Bea’s point of view. I think at that point I just gave up trying to predict what would happen.

Tamsin turned out to be quite the detective, and a very funny one at that. I really enjoyed following her crazy spy antics especially when she was joined by an equally funny sidekick.

This was an utterly compelling read, it brought out a whole range of emotions – everything from anger to laughter. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author.

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Jane Fallon is the multi-award-winning television producer behind shows such as This Life, Teachers and 20 Things to Do Before You’re 30. Her previous books, Getting Rid of Matthew, Got You Back, Foursome, The Ugly Sister and Skeletons have sold over 710K to date and have been hugely successful bestsellers. Strictly Between Us is her sixth novel. She lives in North London with her long-term partner.

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This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

To be published by Orchard Books in January 2016

“Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publishers for sending me this ARC to read and share my honest opinion. I had heard so many good things about this book and I was looking forward to checking it out for myself.

Wow. It’s difficult to put my finger on just what it is that makes this book so unique. The storyline is another variation of the standard teen love story but this has something extra, something almost magical within its pages. The writing style has an atmosphere all of its own and the authors words pulled me in until I felt like I was part of the book.

Lucille’s honest thoughts were endearing and I found myself nodding along with familiarity over her crush on Digby – we’ve all been there at one time or another haven’t we! Her struggles at home made my heart hurt, somehow I had become completely attached to this character and her welfare in just a few pages.

Have you ever had a grateful bellybutton? Apparently Lucille did and it was this kind of lovely little phrase that made This Raging Light so special in my eyes.

If you like a bit of mystery when you’re reading, this covers that too. A mysterious good Samaritan had my mind working overtime, I just couldn’t figure it out!

The ending came far too quickly and was a little unusual. It left me feeling like I needed more, I really hope it’s leading the way for a sequel.

This was a raw, unputdownable read. It oozed passion and warmth from every page.

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