Review – Letters to Zell

FullSizeRenderTitle: Letters to Zell
Author: Camille Griep
Pages:
336
Genre: Fairy-Tale Retellings / Fantasy
Blurb:
Everything is going according to story for CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty)—until the day that Zell (Rapunzel) decides to leave Grimmland and pursue her life. Now, Zell’s best friends are left to wonder whether their own passions are worth risking their predetermined “happily ever afters,” regardless of the consequences. CeCi wonders whether she should become a professional chef, sharp-tongued and quick-witted Bianca wants to escape an engagement to her platonic friend, and Rory will do anything to make her boorish husband love her. But as Bianca’s wedding approaches, can they escape their fates—and is there enough wine in all of the Realm to help them?


This is Camille Greip’s debut and my first fairytale re-telling (that is a mouthful isn’t it?)

I wasn’t sure what to expect having not read a re-telling before, however always keen to read something different, i gave it a try and I’m glad I did as I really enjoyed it!
Letters to Zell focuses on the princesses as adults after their “story” as we know it ends, as such we get taken on quite the adventure. The book is written entirely in letter format to Zell (Rapunzel) although not written as a genuine letter would be due to the dialogue that is included; this didn’t put me off  and I was soon hooked!

The book opens with the princesses finding out that Zell has left Grimmland for good, to open a unicorn sanctuary (how amazing does that sound!?) which leaves the other princesses feeling a little put out.  How could she leave them and her “Happy Ever After”? Each princess takes Zell’s leaving differently it sparks all kind of feelings for them and for CeCi (Cinderella) especially makes her realise she would like to pursue her own dream. This book explores friendship, love and self discovery. It was great to read that these princesses had ambitions and dreams to follow. I particularly enjoyed it when the three of them went “outside” and visited Disney Land. Rory (Sleeping Beauty) was not impressed with how her story was portrayed, this made me laugh! We get to follow all four of the princesses and see what they get up to. Can I just say I Loved Bianca (Snow White) her potty mouth made for entertaining reading, a princess swearing FAB!  She knows what she wants is it determined to go ahead circumstanced be dammed. Poor Rory has to deal with a lot, she is very naive when it comes to matter of her own heart. I was fully rooting for them all to continue their happily ever afters…

Letters to Zell was a super fun read that I read over a wet weekend and I pretty much smiled the whole way through. Princesses that swear AND drink what’s not to love?

My Rating: 3.5*

Lx

Review – Remember Me

Title: Remember Me
Author: Lesley Pearse
Pages: 560FullSizeRender
Genre: Historical Fiction
Blurb: She made a mistake and now she’ll never see home again . . .
Mary, a Cornish mariner’s daughter, makes the biggest mistake of her short life when she steals a silk hat. Convicted and sentenced to be transported to Australia, she endures horrific conditions aboard ship before landing in a brutal and barbaric country. It will take all her courage just to survive.
But Mary is also determined to make something of herself in this rugged man’s world. And she dreams that one day she will find a way of crossing the cruel seas that lie between her and home . . .

Based on a true story, Remember Me brings Mary Broad vividly to life in this moving story of a woman triumphing against overwhelming odds.


*NOTE* I read this book back in January.

This is my 6th Lesley Pearse, I went into this book not knowing what it was about. I try not to read the blurb of a book, especially if I have previously read another book by the same author. Once I started this book I was pleasantly surprised about the content. I started this book on Australia Day weekend which marks the anniversary of the arrival, of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson New South Wales in 1788. This coincidently was what this book was based on!

The book opens with Mary being sentenced for committing highway Robbery the punishment is being hanged! Mary is sent to prison to await trial and will be stuck in a grotty cell to wait out her fate. The conditions of the prison in which Mary arrives are despicable and Pearse does a great job of describing them, as at times it made my skin crawl! Before she gets to trial however Mary soon discovers that she has been pardoned and will be sent with a select few to a new prison colony in Australia New South Wales (NSW) While Mary should be delighted as she gets to live, she finds herself unsure. Although she is being pardoned it means she will never be able to return home, she decides that she will never speak to her family again as she feels it would bring shame to their door. We join Mary on her trip to NSW I must admit that the conditions of the transportation ships shocked me and I would say they were worse than the prison. It is no wonder so many didn’t make it!  They are starving, lying in their own and everyone else’s I might add filth, riddled with lice and overrun with rats. Just imagine having to be on a ship for as long as it would take from the UK to NSW let alone with these appalling conditions. Not only does she have to deal with these poor conditions most of the officers on board are downright nasty. They really do not care what happens to the prisoners only one guard had any shed of human decency because of this I became a little in love with Officer Tench the way he treated the prisoners and wasn’t such a brute really made him a proper gentleman. Mary. What. A. Women as the book progresses I became more and more in awe of this her and the fact this is based on a true story makes it hit home more too. When they finally arrive they soon find out it isn’t quite what they expected and their fight for survival had only just begun. We ourselves are taken on a journey of what it must be like to arrive in a foreign country with pretty much the clothes (if you have any left!) on your back. Pearse writes with great compassion you find yourself cheering Mary on as the story continues.

Remember me, was a thought provoking, sad, but wonderful book that had even more impact with me due to when I read it. I am slowly working my way through Pearse’s back catalogue of which there is quite a lot!

 My Rating: 4.5*
L x

Apologies and chapter names

Hello fellow book lovers!

First off let me say sorry for the prolonged silence. I have been busy reading, just not reviewing! I haven’t really an excuse either, as I have read some wonderful books so far this year. (How is it already September!?) I have just spotted that I have one drafted from January – that seems like forever ago! Which I’ll edit up and put out there after the weekend at some point!

Any who….

I realised something about my reading late last night that I’d like to talk about! .

I don’t ever read chapter names. I don’t know why I’ve only just realised this having been reading for years or even why I don’t. I was nearing the end of my book and read something that I couldn’t quite understand WHY it was there. Realising I must have I missed something I started going back a few pages and as I neared a previous chapter I spotted it in the chapter name – Now, who knows what else I may have missed by not reading all of the chapter names? I’ve been trying to figure out why I don’t read them and I guess I find them distracting. Maybe I try to avoid reading anything that might give even a hint of the story away? I’m still not sure! I even skip dates and times in books too which I have to admit can sometimes get confusing.

I suppose I should start reading them, however I’ve never been conscious that I was a chapter skipper until last night – how is that so?! Luckily my latest book just has regular numbers!

Anyone else out there a chapter name skipper?

Lx

 

 

 

 

Review – YOU

youTitle: YOU
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Pages:
432
Genre:
Thriller
Blurb: Love hurts… When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: She’s gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and as sexy as his wildest dreams. Beck doesn’t know it yet, but she’s perfect for him, and soon she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom made for her. But there’s more to Joe than Beck realizes, and much more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect façade. Their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences . . .


This is my first Caroline Kepnes book and I was beyond excited to read it, it sounded so twisted and right up my street I love a bit of weird!

Most of the reviews I’ve seen have either loved it or hated it but I’m a little in the middle, and as such I’ve struggled to finalise this post since finishing the book. Although I didn’t love it, I still think about it now it’s one that sticks in your mind for a while after finishing for sure….

YOU is written entirely in second person, which I have to say is a first for me and it took me a while to get used to the style of writing. That said once I did being inside of Joes head was great in a strange but wonderful way!!

It all begins when Joe meets Beck, he works in a bookshop and she is a customer. That’s it, he becomes obsessed! He starts following her everywhere, he manages to find out where she lives and stares at her through her apartment window, she has no curtains and he revels in this fact and takes every opportunity to watch her. He slowly works his way into her life bags himself a date, at the end of which he steals her phone! From then on he can gain access to her messages and emails. With access to her phone he manages to get more information about her sort of boyfriend and takes it upon himself that he needs to be sorted as he is just using his sweet Beck for sex! As the book progresses Joe becomes certain that Beck is crazy for him and his behaviour becomes even stranger.The suspense of YOU is great and I was always left wondering how far Joe would go to win Beck over. Beck isn’t 100% sane in my opinion either, and has her own issues as does her best friend. Everyone in this book is just not normal, and it makes for interesting reading throughout! Its hard to write much more without giving anything else away.

I found YOU to be a disturbing and addictive read. One that I didn’t love, but you just might, go give it a whirl!

My Rating: 3.5*

Lx

…I’ve also just found out there is a sequel, more Joe! I don’t know if I’m ready.

My Reading Challenge for 2015

Happy New Year to you all :o)

New year, new reading challenges. Yay! I tell myself EVERY single year to read more classics, or to read more books from the “100 you must read before you die” list and I never, EVER do it! As I’m aiming to read 125 books this year I thought I would dedicate 5 from the “classics / 100 you must read before you die” This year I decided that if I write them down  once read I can tick them off, hopefully it’ll help me stay on track. Here is what I’ll aim to read this year:

  1. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens (I have started and stopped this book more times than I care to remember I WILL FINISH IT!)
  2. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  3. Shadow of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  4. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  5. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

FullSizeRender9780141439518[1]2memoir[1]1

As I already have ALL of these on my Kindle ready and waiting to be read I have NO excuses however I’ve not read one yet….So wish me luck.

What is your reading challenge for 2015?
Did you complete your 2014 one? I did and am super pleased with myself!

 

Lx

 

Favourite Books 2014

Hello, Can you believe it’s almost Christmas?
If any of you are looking for some good books to read over the festive period I thought I would write a list (I do LOVE a good list!) of some of my favourite reads from this year. I didn’t want to put too many so I’ve limited it down to 10, which I have to say was harder than I thought when I started this post, having read 120 books thus far. These are in no particular order…

  1. The Night Stalker – Chris Carter (BUT anything by this man is a favourite!!)
  2. The One Plus One – JoJo Moyes
  3. Trouble – Non Pratt
  4. A Place to Call Home – Carole Matthews
  5. Sleep Tight – Rachel Abbott
  6. The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson – Paige Toon
  7. Now you See Me – Sharon Bolton (Lacey Flint Series)
  8. The Teashop on the Corner – Milly Johnson
  9. A Single Breath – Lucy Clarke
  10. Run – Gregg Olsen

How about you can you name your top ten of this year? I’d love to hear them.

Lx

 

*Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all*

Review – The Great Christmas Knit Off

Title: The Great Christmas Knit Off FullSizeRender
Author: Alexandra Brown
Pages: 400
Genre: Chic-Lit
Blurb:
Heartbroken after being jilted at the altar, Sybil has been saved from despair by her knitting obsession and now her home is filled to bursting with tea cosies, bobble hats, and jumpers. But, after discovering that she may have perpetrated the cock-up of the century at work, Sybil decides to make a hasty exit and, just weeks before Christmas, runs away to the picturesque village of Tindledale.  There, Sybil discovers Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, an emporium dedicated to the world of knitting and needle craft. But Hettie, the outspoken octogenarian owner, is struggling and now the shop is due for closure. And when Hettie decides that Sybil’s wonderfully wacky Christmas jumpers are just the thing to add a bit of excitement to her window display, something miraculous starts to happen…


This is my 4th Alexandra Brown book. After reading and loving her Carrington series I was super excited to read The Great Christmas Knit Off, which is set to be another series. Yay!

I got stuck into The Great Christmas Knit off and straight away I was hooked I finished it within two days. I do love a good Christmas book and reading about all the snow was a delight having lived in Sydney for the last two Christmas’ it’s been bloody lovely to read about the cold and snow I have always associated with Christmas.

We are introduced to poor Sybil who was jilted at the altar. Heartbroken Sybil throws herself into her knitting, which she enjoys and finds comfort in. However with her mind being elsewhere, especially so, while she is working she finds herself hardly focusing on her job. She soon discovers she may have caused a major cock-up one that could cost her, her job! On the spur of the moment she decides to take her dearest friend up on the offer of letting her stay with her for a few days in Tindledale, at the new pub she has bought. She jumps on the train without a thought with just her dog basil for company and soon arrives to a picture perfect village, albeit an empty pitch black one due to a power cut. While there she soon discovers Hetties House of Haberdashery a shop dedicated to knitting and all things craft, Sybil is in heaven! Hettie and Sybil get off to a frosty start but soon become firm friends and once Sybil discovers that the shop may have to close down she takes it upon herself to help in any way she can to keep it open. As well as Hettie we get to meet a few other residents of Tindledale, we soon learn to love them all. A favourite of mine, being Ruby. Tindledale was such a lovely little village and whilst reading you felt like part of the family, they all rallied around to help one another. If only you had neighbours you could count on like this in real life! I also think that Tindledale could quite possibly be the most luscious setting for a Christmas book.

The Great Christmas Knit Off is heart-warming and Christmassy full of love and I can’t wait for the next book in the series and finding out what happens to Sybil and the rest of Tindledale next.

My Rating: 4.5*

Lx