3.5 stars. This has taken me way too long to finish but it wasn't because it was bad. On the contrary. I'd have loved to have had more time to read it3.5 stars. This has taken me way too long to finish but it wasn't because it was bad. On the contrary. I'd have loved to have had more time to read it but I haven't. Alas. Watermelon is a fantastic exloration of a new mother coping with a newborn baby after her husband left her for another woman on the day of the birth. It is both emotional and funny, and you fall in love with the characters without even realising it. Review to come....more
From the gorgeously elegant cover art to the utterly cheerful atmosphere of the entire novel, Miracle on Regent Street is a book that I will definitelFrom the gorgeously elegant cover art to the utterly cheerful atmosphere of the entire novel, Miracle on Regent Street is a book that I will definitely be rereading and recommending for years to come and it has got me into the Christmas spirit more than any tinsel or music ever could without needing to vomit Christmas. The entire novel is split into chapters and then days as it counts down the time Hardy's has until store closure and the time Evie has to secretly transform the store and hopefully draw in enough customers to vastly increase profit takings in that time.
It is written in the present tense which usually throws me off for a little while when I first pick up a novel but not this time. The beauty of Ali's gorgeous descriptive imagery drew me in so quickly that I didn't even notice the tense. If anything, it added more to the novel as you feel just as if you are there watching over Evie's shoulder. "It feels as if I have been magically transported back in time as I cycle into Portland Place. No vehicles are on the streets and I can't help but imagine them when they were cobbled and filled with horses and carriages." Evie herself is quite the dreamer and the descriptive passages reflect greatly on this as she imagines how things could be and might have been, and the writing style is just so warm and delightful, the only thing that was missing was a big mug of hot chocolate. I read most of this book with a smile on my face and when I wasn't smiling I was either frowning at a nasty character or trying to ignore the tears in my eyes when the big emotional scenes happened near the end. Miracle on Regent Street is a book that just makes me happy and it's extremely hard to put down. Seriously, if this book isn't made into a movie one day I will be sorely disappointed!
But the thing that really made the novel for me was the amazingly diverse characters. Evie, for starters, is such a kind-hearted individual who just wants to be noticed. She's let herself fall into obscurity and nobody she works with on the shop floor even knows her real name. However, underneath her mask of plain, invisibility she has this creative flair and very chic retro style that is so perfect for her task at Hardy's to secretly transform the store into a great place to shop once more. She is just so easy to love with all of her self-doubt, I think we've all been there at some point. It does bother me, however, when characters overhear part of a conversation, jump to conclusions and run off crying without even attempting to confront anybody about what they have heard. Evie does this a lot and I just wished she would go to the person and say, "Excuse me, are you doing x?" Because then they could have chance to explain themselves! Perhaps it's just me. The drama as a result does bring about a gripping story after all. As for everybody else, every single character is so different from the next with different looks, styles and personalities that you really believe they could exist, and alongside all of the Christmas cheer there is also the bitter drama of real life from all angles. It's very real and I like that, but it is by all means a highly animated story.
I knew I would love this book before I even started it because it just sounds so wonderful, doesn't it? As such I have already recommended it to several people and I will continue to do so but now with more knowledge of just how wonderful it is. With all of its' cheer and sparkle, Miracle on Regent Street is a fantastic book to beat the Winter blues and I can't praise it enough. I love it!...more
I won't be reviewing this one on the blog but I will say a few words. The Night Before Christmas is an absolutely lovely read, especially nice if youI won't be reviewing this one on the blog but I will say a few words. The Night Before Christmas is an absolutely lovely read, especially nice if you like Christmas chick lit. It has the same format as any chick lit really.. but that's what I love about these stories! They're comforting and leave you feeling warm and happy, and The Night Before Christmas is no different. There were a heck of a lot of mistakes but that's not Scarlett's fault and you can ignore them it's just a bit odd, is all. The story is nice, set in the Lake District in an old house, snowed in with her best friends, her current boyfriend who she's suddenly not sure about, and the ex love of her life, as well as a yummy local guy who came to fix the boiler, Lydia is determined to have a perfect Christmas. I'll be watching for future books by Scarlett Bailey, for sure. :)...more
3.5 stars. Never Mind The Botox is such a fun read! It is a series of four books featuring four high-flying, career driven women and how a cosmetic com3.5 stars. Never Mind The Botox is such a fun read! It is a series of four books featuring four high-flying, career driven women and how a cosmetic company takeover affects each of them. Each book takes a look at a different woman and they can be read in any order as they do not follow on from each other. This one is about Rachel, the corporate financier and how she tries to keep straight in order to do better and get that director promotion she’s been waiting for but her boyfriend is selfish and constantly convinces her to stay out drinking at all hours of the night and heading into work late due to or with a hangover. I like to think of Never Mind The Botox as being a chick lit with a soul. Instead of going over the woes of a love sick fashion slave it looks at the life of a career-driven woman and how her working life affects her personal life.
I was struck by how real a lot of the stuff in this book felt. You believe that these characters could exist, and as ridiculous as a lot of the going ons in Rachel’s life might seem, you can’t help but believe they could really happen. That being said it does contain a lot of humour. I was caught laughing at my book more times than I can count and that really is what I’m looking for in a good chick lit – a good sense of humour! There is also plenty going on to keep the story interesting, plenty of intrigue and deception, and it came with a rather nice feel-good ending. This book is a total breath of fresh air in the chick lit genre and I’ll definitely be tracking down the others in the series, of which online ‘Alex’ is available at present, and also keeping my eye out for the TV series which is currently in development!
Also, slightly unrelated but I find it important.. You know how some books have a really distinctive smell? I absolutely adore this book’s smell! Call me weird, but it kind of reminds me of guidebooks. Anyway.
Never Mind The Botox is definitely a must read for chick lit fans, and if, like me, you’re fussy with your chick lit, preferring them to come with a story, a bit of soul, and fun, this is the book for you....more
It feels like yonks ago I read and fell in love with this book, looking at my Goodreads page, I suppose aReview originally posted at Once Upon A Time.
It feels like yonks ago I read and fell in love with this book, looking at my Goodreads page, I suppose a month ago is a fair while, but hey that’s why I take notes and I do remember how much I absolutely adored this book, to the point that I told off Ms. Lucy on Twitter for making me actually cry and I couldn’t read anything else for three whole days afterwards and I told a random lady in Tesco to buy it because it’s really really good (as well as many other people). *ahem* Yes.
Lucy’s writing style pulls you in from the very first page when Fran is telling us about how and why her friends broke into her flat, only to be disgusted by the state they find her in, and demanding that she go on this “Eight Date Plan” while on her 3 month break from her boyfriend Michael. She has this fantastically hilarious way of wording things, and it’s such a British sense of humour. So often I’d burst out laughing at something or other1 and I’d get the “what are you laughing at?” look from my other half.
“Walking out of the building and into the cold, hard afternoon sun, I caught sight of Michael’s bottom. I’d not realized I was a bottom sort of girl until that moment but Michael’s was exquisite. Small, manly and firm, with just a hint of muscle. I wanted to cup it gently. And then firmly. And maybe give it a soft slap just to be sure.”
My only major criticism of the writing style itself was the overuse of exclamation marks. Whilst they did add a lot more excitement to the text, often they added a little too much.
Fran is just so absolutely mental and Bridget Jones-like with her clumsy, drunken, lovesick stalking ways. She has low self esteem yet loves her life and when she suspects her currently ex-boyfriend of dumping her on her birthday to date a posh, gorgeous girl called Nellie Daniels she gets a little crazy. Whilst it could all have been fixed by a simple text, it did make for a hilarious read and things wouldn’t have worked out quite the way they did. And that was a pretty freaking epic ending. I’m also completely in love with the side characters. Dave the Glaswegian cameraman who always seems to have a cigarette in his mouth and there for Fran through thick and thin. Barmy Stefania the nutty European, exact origin unknown. Duke Ellington the evil cat. And the dates! My word, they’re so hilarious! Though it isn’t all hilarity. Fran’s mother has been dealing with an alcohol problem for years and there are some very heartfelt dealings with that problem as she tried to get her mum to go to Alcoholics Anonymous. They all give the story a kick of life and it wouldn’t have been quite the same without them.
Should you read this book? Hell to the yes. There is a lot of swearing and a teeny tiny bit of sex but it’s not too adult in my honest opinion. I thoroughly believe that it’s too brilliant to miss. Often, I find chick lit has a lot of trouble with predictability but here I just didn’t see any of the twists coming and.. Kay, finished gushing. If you have a secret penchant for chick lit while nobody’s looking or a great stonking love of it, give The Greatest Love Story of All Time a go! I love it so much and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it....more