July Reads

July was a GOOOOOD month for books. Great, in fact. Check out what I was reading…

 

Wilde Like Me

Wilde Like Me / Louise Pentland

Meet Robin Wilde! You’ll make a friend for life and she’ll take you on a journey you’ll never forget …Single mum Robin Wilde adores her six-year-old daughter and loves her job as a make up artist’s assistant. She has a wonderful best friend and an auntie who is bonkers, yes, but loves her to the moon and back. But Robin has a secret. Behind the mask she carefully applies every day, things just feel … grey. And lonely. She struggles to fit in with the school mum crew. Online dating is totally despair-inducing, and she worries every day about raising her little girl with self-confidence, courage and joy.What Robin longs for is someone (over the age of six) to share with – someone who’s always on her team. After 4 years (2 months, and 15 days!) of single-mum-dom, it’s time for Robin Wilde to Change. Her. Life. Exciting new opportunities are about to come Robin’s way … Perhaps a man, perhaps the chance of a lifetime …What will Robin do with the possibilities she creates for herself? And what potential will she unlock if she takes the leap?

Ahh, I had pre-ordered this and was so so excited when it arrived! I absolutely love Louise and just knew it would be a great read. It was so so funny at parts and I laughed out loud quite a few times!

 

My Not So Perfect Life

My Not So Perfect Life / Sophie Kinsella

Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed. Ok, so the real truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers. But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they? Until her not-so perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business. Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams? Or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman with everything – have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems. And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?

This was hilarious from start to finish! I absolutely loved Katie. She’s one of the loveliest yet funny and straight talking characters I’ve ever read about. I love the plot and the ending and pretty much everything about the book. Although I was still so unsure of Demeter!

The Out of Office Girl

Out of Office Girl / Nicola Doherty

Alice Roberts is having a rubbish summer. She’s terrified of her boss, her career is stalling, and she’s just been dumped – by text message. But things are about to change… When her boss Olivia is taken ill, Alice is sent on the work trip of a lifetime: to a villa in Sicily, to edit the autobiography of Hollywood bad boy Luther Carson. But it’s not all yachts, nightclubs and Camparis. Luther’s arrogant agent Sam wants him to ditch the book. Luther himself is gorgeous, charming and impossible to read. There only seems to be one way to get his attention, and it’s not one her boss would approve of. Alice is out of the office, and into deep trouble…

A good book. Very easy read. Not a life changing book or anything but a really simple feel good read.

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Behind Closed Doors / BA Paris

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows. Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

Ohhhh, I loved this read. If you love a good suspense book then this is the one.

 

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The A to Z of Everything / Debbie Johnson

P is for Paris where it all began. J is for Jealousy where it all came undone. But the most important letter is F. F is for Forgiveness, the hardest of all. Sisters Poppy and Rose used to be as close as two sisters could be, but it’s been over a decade since they last spoke. Until they both receive a call that tells them their mother has gone – without ever having the chance to see her daughters reunited. Andrea, though, wasn’t the kind of woman to let a little thing like death stand in the way of her plans. Knowing her daughters better than they know themselves, she has left behind one very special last gift – the A-Z of Everything.

This was such a heartbreaking read. I related so much to Rose at the beginning but ended up loving Poppy just as much! Really conveys what grief is really like!

 

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Finding Audrey / Sophie Kinsella

Audrey can’t leave the house. she can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.
Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start.And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

I think this story is an excellent representation of what it’s like living with social anxiety. I think it is a great way to educate young adults about anxiety and mental health in general. I was gutted that we didn’t get to find out what actually happened to Audrey at school.

 

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A Summer Fling / Milly Johnson

When dynamic, power-dressing Christie blows in like a warm wind to take over their department, five very different women find themselves thrown together at work. But none of them could have predicted the fierce bond of friendship that her leadership would inspire…Anna, 39, is reeling from the loss of her fiance, who ran off with a much younger woman. Her pride in tatters, these days Anna finds it difficult to leave the house. So when a handsome, mysterious stranger takes an interest in her, she’s not sure whether she can learn to trust again? Then there’s Grace, in her fifties, trapped in a loveless marriage with a man she married because, unable to have children of her own, she fell in love with his motherless brood. Grace worries that Dawn is about to make the same mistake: orphaned as a child, engaged to love-rat Calum, is Dawn more interested in the security that comes with his tight-knit, boisterous family? When a sexy, footloose rock singer catches her eye, will Dawn have the courage to follow her heart? At 28, Raychel is the youngest member of their little gang. And with a loving husband, Ben, and a cosy little nest for two, she would seem to be the happiest. But what dark secrets are lurking behind this perfect facade, that make sweet, pretty Raychel so guarded and unwilling to open up? Under Christie’s warm hand, the girls soon realise they have some difficult choices to make. Indeed, none of them quite realised how much they needed the sense of fun, laughter, and loyalty that abounds when five women become friends. It’s one for all, and all for one!

As you know by now, Milly Johnson is my fave author! And I absolutely love when she has more than one main character. I loved all the girls stories in this novel.The characters are all so realistic and you go through ever emotion with them!

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Stillhouse Lake / Rachel Caine

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom. With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace. But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

I was quite disappointed in this book to be honest. I felt like the book was so slow until the final 100 pages. I never give up on books but almost did with this one but I am glad I didn’t as the ending was great. I just wished more had happened earlier on in the book.

Have you got any recommendations for me? Let me know!

Much love,

louise-x

April Reads

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / JK Rowling

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone, or something, starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects: Harry Potter himself?

Just read it if you haven’t already. The Harry Potter books are phenomenal and are so much more in detail than the films. They explain so so much. Chamber of Secrets is so so good, it makes you properly understand what the Chamber of Secrets is etc etc.

 

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Gone Girl / Gillian Flynn

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favours with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behaviour. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

This was such a strange read. I enjoyed it though! It took a while to get into and the first quarter of the book was pretty slow. I much preferred Amy’s character after she was honest, I didn’t really enjoy the diary entry Amy. The plot is very exciting but can seem quite confusing nearer the end, as if the story went too far.

 

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Mad Love / Nick Spalding

Can two people who have never met make a marriage work? Popular dating site Sociality thinks so, and is marrying London lad Adam to California girl Jessica to prove it.
What better way to show that your ‘love algorithms’ work than to put two complete strangers together in an expensive publicity stunt? But, as livewire Jess and lazybones Adam quickly discover, just because a computer says you’re the perfect match, it doesn’t make it so! Two million Sociality subscribers and the media are following the happy couple’s progress, and they have to make a go of it or they’ll lose everything, look like idiots, and destroy Sociality’s reputation. But can the mismatched pair, who seem to be constantly at each other’s throats, put their differences aside and work their way into each other’s hearts? Nick Spalding, bestselling author of Fat Chance and Bricking It, will make you cry with laughter at this story of marital warfare—complete with sinking boats, badly aimed flatulence, well aimed tennis balls and some very suggestive pastry.

Ahh I just love Nick Spalding. I laugh out loud at ALL his work. He is such a funny author. Both Adam and Jess tell their stories throughout this book and I love how Spalding can write so well of both points of view of male and female characters. Great read!

 

Our Chemical Hearts / Krystal Sutherland

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Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change. Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.

I absolutely fell in love with Henry Page. I love love loved him. I feel like this story and plot is pretty realistic as there is so much pain and suffering and covers the theme of loss really well. It shows you that not everything goes as expected and that is just how life works.

 

I was Here / Gayle Foreman

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When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

Honest opinion? I had such high expectations for this book because of the previous work of Gayle Foreman’s I had read. It’s not that it wasn’t good, I just expected it to be amazing. I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. But I guess that kinda fits the theme of the book. Cody is lost without her best friend and feels like it’s hard to exist, and that comes across well as you cannot really connect to her.

The Stranger in my Home / Adele Parks

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Alison is lucky and she knows it. She has the life she always craved, including a happy home with Jeff and their brilliant, vivacious teenage daughter, Katherine – the absolute centre of Alison’s world. Then a knock at the door ends life as they know it. Fifteen years ago, someone else took Alison’s baby from the hospital. And now Alison is facing the unthinkable. The daughter she brought home doesn’t belong to her. When you have everything you dreamed of, there is everything to lose.

AHHHH I LOVED this book. Such a great plot! It drags a bit in the middle but I love how you find out about Alison’s past as well as the present situation she is in. The characters are all so different and you can relate to every one of them. All I can say is, plot twist or what?!

 

So, that’s what I had been reading last month. Have you got any book suggestions for me?

 

Much love,

louise-x