Unfortunately I didn't particularly like this book. I thought I was picking up a teen thriller (with a slightly unusual cover!) and while it is tryingUnfortunately I didn't particularly like this book. I thought I was picking up a teen thriller (with a slightly unusual cover!) and while it is trying to be a teen thriller, that's not what this book is. I wish this book wasn't written in the way it was at all, hiding what the book is really about in order to do a shocking reveal in those last few pages. Even the elements of mental illness were kept under wraps like being LGBT or a mental illness are things to be deeply ashamed. I knew from the first few chapters what Lauren's secret is AND who might end up sending her sinister presents so I read most of this story thinking 'why? Why tell this story in this way? Trying to make out that either Lauren did something terrible in the past or was the victim of something terrible?' I just didn't get it....more
While I wasn't as emotionally invested in the characters as I'd have liked to have been, I did really enjoy the concepts it brought up. About teen preWhile I wasn't as emotionally invested in the characters as I'd have liked to have been, I did really enjoy the concepts it brought up. About teen pregnancy, being a parent, bullying, domestic violence, friendship. I liked it a lot.
The Baby by Lisa Drakeford was an interesting read that covered lots of topics that I found fascinating. Each of the five characters' stories were really interesting and I thought it was great how each character's story really builds on the overall theme of teen pregnancy/parenthood whilst also giving each character time to shine in their own right.
I found the structure of the novel to be quite unusual. There are five narrators in this book each of the five being people who have attended this 17th birthday party in which one of the guests unexpectedly (even to her!) gives birth to a baby. The rest of the story is the aftermath of this big surprise.
There is Olivia, the birthday girl. Alice, Olivia's little sister. Ben, Olivia's gay best friend. Nicola, the new mother (and Olivia's best friend.) Jonty, the father (and Olivia's boyfriend.) You can kind of see how there might be some conflict as the father of the baby is the boyfriend of someone else. And that there'd be obvious fall-out between the two best friends. But what I liked about this book is that while this book is quite slim, there was quite a lot packed into it. The exploration of these complicated relationships. Nicola (and Jonty) dealing with the fact that they are now teenage parents and what that means for their lives and futures.
Through the eyes of Nicola and Jonty we can see some of the reactions that other people have towards teenage parents which is quite sobering. There is a lot of stigma and negativity surrounding teen parents which can be quite sad to read about. For me, there was a bit of a disconnect between me and most of these characters, however, Nicola's adventures of being a new parent and caring for a newborn made tears come to my eyes. I knew exactly the frustration and fatigue and helplessness she felt as she tried so desperately to soothe a colicky baby in the middle of the night.
But I also found Alice and Ben's story lines very interesting in that they are involved in Nicola and her baby's lives and give support but they also share and we get to explore some of their own life problems. Alice with her difficulty in finding friends and being different and Ben and his search for love. But it was definitely the domestic violence aspect of Jonty and Olivia that made me really intrigued by this novel. I found it an interesting topic to explore and I quite liked seeing Jonty's character development from the beginning to end.
The Baby was something a bit different and I really liked that!...more
I wanted to read Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally mostly because I've really liked the other books I'It was okay but I just wasn't really feeling it.
I wanted to read Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally mostly because I've really liked the other books I've read so far in Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks series. I've enjoyed the connectivity between the characters, I've enjoyed the characters and their relationships together. So I quite happily requested Jesse's Girl on Netgalley and was all prepared to sit down and get lost in another wonderful contemporary love story.
Unfortunately I felt a bit let down by Jesse's Girl. Everything is just so straight forward, with no extra layers or complexity. We're told everything we need to know: that Jesse has no friends or family and feels very lonely and has lost his trust in other people. Maya has a knock to her confidence and doesn't quite know if she should carry on with her music as a solo artist or look for another band after she's kicked out of hers. And with all of that information laid at the reader's feet, I found myself very underwhelmed by everything that happened throughout the story. I wanted to like it more than I did but I found it just 'okay.'
Jesse's Girl is the story of Maya (the younger sister of Sam from Catching Jordan) and her eventful day when she is paired with a famous country singer, Jesse, on her school's career day. She's more rock and he's a country singer. He also has trust issues so of course there was a bit of drama and conflict at their first meeting. They soon get over it and go on a Ferris Bueller type adventure for the day. It was kind of sweet and I did think their day sounded amazing. I just wanted more depth to the story than there was.
It was quite nice to catch up with Jordan and Sam from the first book in the Hundred Oaks series. I loved seeing what they were up to and how their relationship has progressed several years down the line. Sam was quite the over protective older brother but Jordan seemed to balance him out.
Jesse's Girl was a cute read. It had some fun moments and I did like Jesse's gay uncle but for the most part, I just wasn't feeling this book or the relationships between any of the characters. I felt very disconnected from the lot of them. And for that I feel very disappointed. I will still continue to read Miranda Kenneally and pick up further books in this series but what a shame this book was a bit of a let-down. ...more
I can't do it. It turns out even Katie McGarry can't make a motorcycle club into anything other than skeezy and gross. I tried my very best with thisI can't do it. It turns out even Katie McGarry can't make a motorcycle club into anything other than skeezy and gross. I tried my very best with this one but I decided to DNF at 45% By this time I'm already annoyed at many things.
1. The whole set up of 'good girl' meets 'bad boy' - The good girl here is kind of boring and judgmental and the bad boy isn't winning any points for his behaviour. Also, hate the bias towards the MC being THE BEST. Like, everyone is ready to laugh and make fun of Emily because of her reaction to a dead body, but whatever, folks. Hers would be a normal reaction to something unusual. Also? She's not going to have the reactions you want her to have if you keep 'protecting' her from the truth. And I didn't get to the bottom of the whole mystery and secrets Emily's mom is holding but I don't think I'd want my child to grow up in the community of a motorcycle club either so you're not going to win me over with whatever 'traitor' stuff is going on.
2. The slut shaming is atrocious. Oz is all about one-time hook ups with girls he could care less about because gross, they gave it up. Whereas Emily is pure and good and I might just throw up. It all feels very much like girls and women who have sex are not worthy of respect and I don't agree with that.
3. All the macho bullshit. It's all guns and knives and violence and muscles and holy crap, I nearly rolled my eyes out of my head. Especially as everyone is taking it all so seriously.
4. The mention of the term 'old lady' which gives me the creeps. I actually shuddered at the mention of it.
5. A club house that has walls decorated entirely in bras. Because that's not disgusting. This is where I decided enough was enough. At 42%
Katie McGarry's previous books in the Pushing the Limits series were great, I loved them. I requested this book on Netgalley because of Katie McGarry's name and also the cover which looked summery and romantic. And I did not find that this book was either summery or romantic. I won't be continuing this book or with this series. ...more
I really enjoyed Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young and over the years I've been a firm fan of this series of books in the On Dublin StreeI really enjoyed Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young and over the years I've been a firm fan of this series of books in the On Dublin Street series. It's been nice to see not only how individual characters develop but also relationships and to see these friendships and a large family circle grow over time into something really strong and special.
Thoughts on the series overall: the descriptions of the love and loyalty and strength of connection between this entire group makes me cry a little bit. I love that everyone is just there for each other and really gives each other plenty of chances. I don't always love the over-the-top descriptions of traumatic events and sometimes the descriptions of love and devotion are on the cheesy side. But neither of these slight niggles is enough for me to stop loving this series in its entirety.
Moonlight on Nightingale Way felt a bit different to the other books. And I don't mean because it is the final book in the series (I didn't know that until the very end!). It felt different to me because the relationship between to the two main characters, Grace and Logan, went a different way to the other couples in this series. They seemed obviously physically attracted to each other right from the start (as per the usual) but they bond over shared concern for a young teenage girl that they both help to raise. I found it interesting to see them build a family unit first and then admit their feelings for each other. It's not the conventional method but I liked it.
I really liked both Logan and Grace immediately. They're both really loveable in different ways and I really liked how their relationship begins with lots of complaints and antagonism.
I don't actually remember Logan from the previous book, Echoes on Scotland Street. He's Shannon's older brother and he's just been released from prison for assaulting Shannon's attacker. He spends a lot of time hopping into bed with one night stands and generally pissing off his next door neighbour, Grace.
Grace is so not so amused by Logan's antics at first. She's there to witness g-strings in the hallway and vomit on her doorstep and loud sex noises into the small hours of the night. She's escaped a difficult home life and has been living in Scotland making a living from being a freelance editor and has a group of friends she considers family. She really doesn't need or want someone like Logan in her life... Until the day that things change entirely and Grace digs in and helps out Logan in incredible ways and the two start leaning on each other and seeing the other in very different lights.
It's quite sweet, this story. I really enjoyed it. It felt much more like a family drama than it did a contemporary love story though of course it was both. I thought Logan's character development in particular was great to witness. The arrival of Maia into his life changes everything for him and it was great to see him step up and take on this new role.
Again, the parts that I loved the most about these books are the strength of friendship and relationships between all of the main characters. There's a real sense of community in these character's lives in which no one person has to handle any kind of drama or trauma alone. And I like that. Reading these books is a real comfort to me and I've really loved each and every one of them.
Moonlight on Nightingale Way gives an extensive epilogue which finishes off each of the couples that we've been introduced to throughout this series and they each get their own little send-off and proper goodbye. There is a lot about marriage and babies which I didn't think was necessary (and falls into the cheesy description that I mentioned earlier) but it was definitely nice to see that the series ended not only in a satisfactory way for Grace and Logan but for all of the beloved characters of the On Dublin Street series. I shall be looking forward to whatever Samantha Young chooses to write next! ...more