Friday, 19 January 2018

Review: On A Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond

It’s a beautiful day in Manchester and four friends are meeting for a birthday lunch. But then they witness a shocking accident just metres away which acts as a catalyst for each of them.
For Laura, it’s a wake-up call to heed the ticking of her biological clock.
Sensible Jo finds herself throwing caution to the wind in a new relationship.
Eve, who has been trying to ignore the worrying lump in her breast, feels helpless and out of control.
And happy-go-lucky India is drawn to one of the victims of the accident, causing long-buried secrets to rise to the surface.
This is a novel about the startling and unexpected turns life can take. It’s about luck – good and bad – and about finding bravery and resilience when your world is in turmoil. Above all, it’s about friendship, togetherness, and hope.

Review: I've listened to the last couple of Lucy Diamond releases as audio books and I think they work really well when told to you. Because she writes such uplifting stories about very real character, you really do feel like you're being read to as a real treat. 
This book was excellent, I loved the characters, the structure and the setting. I also love the fact that the characters had their own story lines at the same time as having a joint storyline, I think this is possibly my favourite structure of a book. The fact that this book is multiple narrative does make it slightly less suited to audio because it makes it eve so slightly harder to follow for some people. I really enjoyed the fact that these characters are so different though so I found the structure easy to follow and was always able to work out whose story line we were following. 
Another thing I really liked about these characters is the fact that they have got their happy ending, they have all been or are married  and this book follows them to find out what happens after the happily ever after. It is always refreshing to read a book from this genre that tackles that question. I think the fact that these women are all a little older and have all lived a life means that we get a slightly different perspective on the issues that they are facing than if they were in their twenties. 
I found these characters very easy to like and could easily and quickly sympathise and empathise with them. The things that they face and that Lucy Diamond puts them through are really quite tough and each of them are facing different dilemmas about how to handle what they are facing, This book is definitely not a light and fluffy read, these women go through a lot, together and separately. But on the whole it is still really uplifting and left me with a smile on my face, continuing to think about my four new friends. 
I really loved the structure, the characters and the plot of this book and I really think you would too. Whether you have read Lucy Diamond before or not, I think that you will definitely enjoy her latest offering. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Review: Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

What if the princess didn't marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut? What if the jealous step sisters were supportive and kind? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom? Illustrated by sixty female artists from every corner of the globe, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don't need rescuing.

Review: I was expecting good things from this book but actually I was absolutely blown away by it. I have already been using the knowledge that I have gained for it and have ordered several copies as gifts for friends and family, thank goodness there is another one out for me to try and get my hands on now!

This book is a book about strong, empowering women. Women throughout history. Women from all over the world. But it is not in anyway a dry history book, neither is it in any way preachy, or man-hating, as some may have led you to believe. This book is literally goodnight stories and so each page and each new woman begins with something like 'there was once...' or 'a long time ago' and so it condenses down and simplifies all the information about these amazing woman and make them easy to digest, easy to read and great to snuggle down with before bed. 

Then there are the amazing illustrations. I shared a few of the illustrations from this book on my Instagram because they are just beautiful and each illustration is by a different artist. Some artists have more than one illustration in the book but I loved the fact that they were all so unique and so fitting to the woman they are depicting! Some of my favourite were Venus and Serena Williams, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Virginia Woolf. 

I think this book really is suitable for all ages and all genres. I have already used some of the information I have learned in my weekly trivia and it really was the best book to start the year with. I couldn't recommend this book enough. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Guest Review: The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan

On the quayside next to the Endless Beach sits the Summer Seaside Kitchen. It's a haven for tourists and locals alike, who all come to eat the freshest local produce on the island and catch up with the gossip. Flora, who runs the cafe, feels safe and content - unless she thinks too hard about her relationship with Joel, her gorgeous but emotionally (and physically) distant boyfriend.
While Flora is in turmoil about her relationship. her best friend Lorna is pining after the local doctor. Saif came to the island as a refugee, having lost all of his family. But he's about to get some shocking news which will change everything for him.
As cold winter nights shift to long summer days, can Flora find her happy-ever-after with Joel?

Review: I was very pleased when I found this latest novel from one of my favourite writers, Jenny Colgan, in audiobook format, and listened to it in just a couple of sittings. I anticipated a compelling, romantic and heartwarming story, and I was not disappointed. 

The story is set principally in the lovely but remote Scottish island of Mure, which readers may remember from Jenny's last book, The Summer Seaside Kitchen. Once again, the central character is Flora MacKenzie, who has returned to the island after a spell living in London and has opened the Summer Seaside Kitchen, a cafe popular with locals and tourists alike. Flora is in a somewhat troubled relationship with Joel, an American lawyer representing Colton, an American millionaire with interests in the island. Her best friend and island teacher, Lorna, is also having romantic problems, having a crush on Saif, the doctor who came to the island as a refugee, having become separated from his wife and sons. 

There are, of course, a host of other characters in the story, including Flora's family, many of the islanders, staff and visitors connected with the local activity centre and people from Joel's background. Although there are some humorous parts to the tale, some more serious topics are dealt with causing pain and a great deal of worry for some figures. 

I would definitely recommend this latest book about the island of Mure to anyone looking for an entertaining read. At the very least, you find yourself wanting to be transported to this lovely spot and the amazing beach of the title, with the added lure of some delicious snacks from the Seaside Kitchen. Jenny has included a selection of recipes for Scottish specialities for those of us feeling creative. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: 2018 Bookish Resolutions/Goals 16/1/18

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This one is always a bit of a toughie. I don't like to make too many reading goals for the year because then I might fail and I don't think of reading as a winning/failing thing so that's slightly problematic though. 

I don't know if I can come up with ten here but I will see what I can do...

1. My Goodreads goal. I always sign up for the Goodreads challenge. In 2016 I didn't meet my goal of 100 books and in 2017 I had met my goal of 100 books by the beginning of June, who knows what will happen this year (my goal is 104).

2. Try not to buy too many new books-who am I kidding? I'm going to buy new books but there are so many on my shelf I want to read so I really need to show them some love too!

3. Keep on plugging away at my BookTube channel. I have loved having more time to make BookTube videos and over vlogmas I tried my hand and vlogging too (you can read all about that here). My channel still has a small following and sometimes I find that discouraging but I definitely still want to keep going with it and try and upload 2-3 videos a week as I did in 2017. 

4. Continue to participate in readathons. I participated in more readathons than ever in 2017 and I would love this to continue in 2018. I know I probably won't have as much time this year as last year as I hopefully won't spend the entire year unemployed, but I would still like to take part in the readathons, even if I just read less!

5. Continue to show my blog lots of love. Having more time last year meant that I could show my lovely blog even more love. Sometimes I had posts going up every day. I had different kinds of posts as well as just reviews and top tens and I loved feeling like I was in control of the blog. I would love this to continue into 2018. I'm not off to a great start at Christmas knocked it out of me more than I was prepared for but I would love to keep making Fabulous Book Fiend a fabulous place to come for all things bookish. 

Please let me know below if you think I have made sensible goals and what your reading goals for 2018 are, if you have set any. I would love to hear from you!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Bout of Books Day 7 Update and Wrap Up

It's the end of Bout of Books-who else is sad? I know I've said it before but I'll say it again, I think this readathon is the BEST way to kickstart your reading year, whether you read 1 book or 10 books. It means you'll have read more this week than you did last week, joined in with the community and had fun! I also enjoy the challenges, let's not forget those challenges...

Book spine rainbow

Book spine poetry

So let's start with what I read today... I finished Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined, 341 pages. And I listened to Moonrise by Sarah Crossan, something which I started reading in September and then left for some reason. So I went back to the start and read all 400 pages of this, on audiobook. 

And now for the books I read this week (I've been filming my reading this week so check out my channel today for my wrap up and later this week for some more reviews!)

Complete: 400 pages

Complete: 301 pages

Complete: 304 pages

Complete: 306 pages

Complete: 358 pages

Complete: 252 pages

Complete: 480 pages

Complete: 368 pages

Complete 400

Pages Read Today: 748
Pages Read This Week: 3176
Complete Books Finished: 9

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Bout of Books Day 6 Update/Day 7 Challenge

Today was a bit of a weird day, I did a lot of audiobook but I really struggled to read actual books. I had a headache and it was one of those where you just want to lie in the dark you know?

I took part in the Bout of Books Twitter chat today as well, I set my alarm and everything!

The challenge today is to leave a review. I have actually already reviewed one of the books this week. Click here to see my review of Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughn. Of course I have posted my review on Amazon/Goodreads as well so if we're Goodreads friends then you'll be able to see it on there too (I'm Fabulous Book Fiend on there too!)

The first thing I did today (from midnight until 2am) was finish off Seven Days of Us. I couldn't go to sleep without finishing it! So that was the final 71 pages of that.

Then during the Twitter chat & whilst doing chores around the house I listened to a couple of audiobooks. Firstly, I listened to some more of On A Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond. I actually finished this one, equating to 240 pages.

I listened to the whole of this book. Although this is a survival guide and advice book for actors and I am not an actor, I felt like this was a good follow on after listening to The Bassoon King. I found this really motivating for just pursuing what you want to do in general and I found the anecdotes really entertaining too! This book totalled 252 pages, but I listened on audio and it felt a lot longer than that!

Then I started reading Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined. I was really struggling with my headache so I only read 27 pages of this.

I've already met my goal of reading 7 books this week (yey!) so anything that I read tomorrow will be a bonus!

Pages Read Today: 590
Pages Read This Week: 2347
Complete Books Finished: 7

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Bout of Books Day 5 Update/Day 6 Challenge

The challenge for today is book spine poetry. Again I will be doing my challenge over on Instagram so make sure you check there for that later on today. 

I listened to some more of the audiobook I started before bed yesterday. On a Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond. I listened to half of this which equates to 240 pages. 

I also read another 185 pages of Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornack. I had hoped to finish this one today and will probably try and read before bed, but its after midnight now so...

Pages Read Today: 425
Pages Read This Week: 1757

Complete Books Finished: 4