Friday 31 May 2013

Noble Conflict by Malorie Blackman Book Trailer

Back in March I attended the Random House Bloggers' Brunch. We were shown an image and given a date (6/6/13) and that's all we were told...

This week I was sent a link to the trailer for this new novel by Malorie Blackman-Noble Conflict. I'm always on the lookout for something new and exciting, and this YA novel certainly looks that:

Years after a violent war destroyed much of the world, Kaspar has grown up in a society based on peace and harmony. But beyond the city walls, a vicious band of rebels are plotting to tear this peace apart. It is up to the Guardians - an elite peacekeeping force - to protect the city, without ever resorting to the brutal methods of their enemy.

When Kaspar joins the Guardians, he has a chance encounter with a rebel - a beautiful girl named Rhea. Haunted from that moment on by strange visions and memories - memories that could only belong to Rhea - he realises he hasn't been told the truth about what the rebels really want, and what he's really fighting for.

Here's the link to the trailer Ill let you go and see for yourselves the mystery that surrounds this novel...

The book is released next Thursday (6th June) you can pre-order now from all the usual sources!

Thursday 30 May 2013

Lucy Robinson & Mike Gayle at Brixton Library!

At the end of last year I went to an awesome event at Brixton library featuring five fabulous female authors-it was a brilliant night! So when I heard they were having another event featuring an author, who's writing never fails to make me laugh, Lucy Robinson I knew I had to make it there! The event also featured women's fiction author Mile Gayle-there to talk about his latest book The Stag and Hen Weekend. This book was on my TBR pile so I quickly bumped it to the top so that I could be a little more informed about the other author at this event.

The event was very well organised and well attended as last year-these guys really know how to host an author! We waited patiently for the Lucy and Mike arrive and when they did, they both had such obvious stage presence, I knew we were going to be thoroughly entertained... Mike Gayle gave us a reading from his novel, which I have reviewed here on the blog. He read from the very beginning where Phil is preparing to go off on his stag do and Helen is making him a packed lunch for the journey, their interaction at this point is very Funny.

The audience asked him several questions and he told us that writing females as a male author does have it's drawbacks, he hopes not to come accords as a man putting on a woman's voice and that he avoids female stereotypes, and indeed make stereotypes to avoid this happening. He says that the way he writes is to plan everything thoroughly beforehand, to really know where the story is going. Once you've got the plan out of the way, the book just naturally comes together as you write it. He really made the audience laugh when he told us that the hardest thing abut writing females as a male author is dressing them and that, in actual fact, he uses the Next catalogue to choose outfits for the women in his book!

Lucy said that her male characters are very much inspired by her partner. That the scruffiness and laid back attitude of her most recent male lead definitely came from real life. Lucy also said that by the time her books actually come to the shelf she begins to hate them because she has been so involved with the writing and editing of them that she just wants to see the back of them. She talked about the book that she is currently writing, which she describes as her favourite so far, it's going to be based in the world of opera. She made us laugh by telling us that the writing process for her takes about a year, but that involves 2 months of procrastinating and another month of 'research' which is essentially more procrastination!

Lucy read a section of her latest novel A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger an demonstrated why her books are such a hit, by having the audience in absolute stitches in a scene where her main character Charley is in hospital and interacting with her eccentric parents. Both authors were presented with a book cake at the end of the evening to take home, but, don't worry, there was also cake to be had four audience members. The authors stuck around to sign their novels, which were available to buy, and Lucy Robinson was even lovely enough to pose for a picture with me-using her phone since mine had run out of battery!

If you haven't read The Stag and Hen Weekend, you can find my review right here on the blog. I have also reviewed Lucy Robinson's two hilarious novels, The Greatest Love Story of all Time and A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger over on The Sweet Bookshelf

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Review! The Stag and Hen Weekend by Mike Gayle

The Stag and Hen Weekend is the story of Phil and Helen, a couple in their thirties about to commit their lives to one another . . . that is of course if they can just manage to get through their respective stag and hen weekends (his: Amsterdam; hers: a country house and day spa in the Peak District) without falling apart. Told in the unique form of two separate stories that have common characters as well as themes and conclusion, The Stag and Hen Weekend can be read from front to back or from back to front putting the reader in the driver's seat as to which story they wish to read first. Feisty, fun and thought provoking.

Review: this book had been on my wish list for some time and so when I found out that I was going to be meeting Mike Gayle at a Brixton Library event, I bumped it straight to the top and actually downloaded the audio book so that I could read it in time to meet him. I loved the concept of having the dual narrative and making them completely separate books. Both stories do actually stand on their own, but you get more of an insight into the second one you read, having read the first one. I thought it was a concept which, although it has been done previously, hasn't been done for a while and is refreshing to find as a reader!

I have to say, I think I enjoyed the male side of the story more than the female side. This surprised me but I think it's because I found the character of Helen just a little bit irritating. She is very much a typical woman, so it's nothing wrong with the way she is written, but I just felt that, if I knew her, her inability to make a decision and her apparent need to revisit the past in the way she does, it seems as if she wants to have her cake and eat it and that annoyed me! Phials stag do was in Amsterdam, a city which I love, and I found the temptations that he faced very realistic, and the way he dealt with them just as realistic too!

The supporting characters in the novel are also strong. There are two main sub plots which only add to the twists and turns of the storyline, both involving other couples and these spam both parts of the book, again explaining why the books are two separate novels, but two separate novels that are joined together. The scenes and settings are described really well and I thought that the time period, setting it over the course of a weekend, was just right, the pace of the book was good.

I haven't read this kind of fiction written by a man before, but I really didn't feel, when reading it, that it was a man writing as a woman. This writer writes characters of both sexes in a very realistic and believable way, and hearing him speak at the library event, this is because he simply bases them on friends he has, and their partners. Although this is the first novel by this author I have read, I would definitely like to explore his other books Dan perhaps work my way through his back catalogue. Perhaps because this book is written by a male author, it will mean that more men will read this. I hope so because it is funny and insightful and would be a great choice for a male or female reader, a great one to whisk you away for the weekend!

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

A few weeks ago there was a top ten rewind where you could choose what you wanted to revisit from. Top ten you'd missed and I chose a fairly recent one, but quite a few people chose their favourite quotes. I totally wish I'd chosen that because when I'm reading I always highlight my favourite quotes in books. So news my chance to share some of them with you. I no particular order...

1. From How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran: "The relief of taking off a bad bra is immeasurable. It's like a combination of putting your feet up, going to the toilet, a drink of cold water on a hot day and sitting on the steps of a caravan having a fag. Bad bra removal is measure of your friendship. If you would feel comfortable in going round to someone's house at the end of a long day and saying, 'I'm just going to take my bra off,' you know you are intimate friends."

2. From Married by Christmas by Scarlet Bailey: "And besides, haven't you learnt yet that you can't always be prepared for what life throws at you."

3. From A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson: "After all, I wasn't a bad person. I was just doing my best in what had turned out to be a fairly imperfect life."

4. From Moranthology by Caitlin Moran (I could quote Caitlin Moran for this whole top ten, honestly I could!) "This faux-cuntiness was a cunt's game. I decided I was going to stop."

5. From You Had me at Hello by Mhari Mcfarlane: "The process of falling in love had been gradual but the realisation that's where I was arrived fully formed. While I was avoiding it, it felt complex. Once confronted, it was extremely simple."

6. From Working it Out by Nicola May: "Men are not mind-readers. Men need to be told."

7. From Yours Truly by Kirsty Greenwood (I thought this beautifully summed up the feeling when you have to make or answer a very important, life-changing phonecall) "I hold the phone in my shaking hands, it felt heavy and clunky, like a phone from twenty years ago."

8. From I Heat London by Lindsey Kelk: "That'll do pig!" Angela Clark quoting Babe as she looks in the mirror-just genius!

9. From How to Eat Out by Giles Coren: "plain prawn dumplings, should be thin, opalescent rice skins through which you can just see three small prawns making love, their arses bulging against the dumpling walls like stolen babies stuffed in a pillow case."

10. From The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris: "Do kisses fade like Polaroids if you don't pay attention to them?" Just gorgeous!

So some different quotes there, some of them made me cry with laughter, others made me really think and others are just a generally good message for life! I could go on and on with this theme so if there is a freebie week again, I may well just go for 10 more of my favourite book quotes! Let me know what you chose this week and leave me a link for your top ten...

Thursday 23 May 2013

Guest Review! Girl on the Run by Jane Costello (Jane Costello Reviewnumber 4!)

Big thanks to Lynda for sending me this review to be part of my Jane Costello Marathon!

He's a real catch . . . if only she could catch him up

Abby Rogers has been on health kicks before - they involve eating one blueberry muffin for breakfast instead of two. But since starting her own business, after watching one too many episodes of The Apprentice, the 28-year-old's waistline has taken even more of a back seat than her long-neglected love life.

When Abby is encouraged to join her sporty best friend's running club - by none other than its gorgeous new captain - she finds a mysterious compulsion to exercise.

Sadly, her first session doesn't go to plan. Between the obscenely unflattering pink leggings, and the fact that her lungs feel as though they've been set on fire, she vows never to return.
Then her colleague Heidi turns up at work and makes a devastating announcement, one that will change her life - and Abby's - forever.(less)

Review: I began reading “Girl on the Run” at the perfect time – I was also in the middle of training for my first charity race, just like Abby, the main character. And for a girl like me, who prefers chilling on the sofa with a glass of wine rather than running a 10k every night, it was very easy to identify with Abby.

Jane Costello has got the perfect balance for chick lit with “Girl on the Run” – emotion, friendship, courage, laughs and a little bit of romance all intertwined in a very relatable story.

The reader quickly grows fond of Abby and her eclectic group of employees and friends – rooting for them all throughout the story. Jane Costello’s excellent writing skills ensures that each characters’ strong, personal bond with Abby is highlighted throughout the story and each character – no matter how minor - has their own sub-story and defined personality.

The thread of MS throughout the book is emotive yet informative. We see the struggle to come to terms with this disease, not only from the sufferer, but also their nearest and dearest. Costello subtly portrays the profound, domino effect that illness can have on a close-knit group of friends.

This is the first of Jane Costello’s books that I have read, but it certainly won’t be the last. This is chick-lit at its best as we follow the ups and downs of not only Abby but her closest friends, family and loved ones as well as some great awareness-raising for multiple sclerosis and its sufferers.

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Review! Lucy in the Sky by Paige Toon (Paige Toon Review number 3!)

Settling down for a 24-hour flight to Australia, Lucy finds a text message on her phone from a woman claiming to have slept with her boyfriend, James, four times in the past month. Trapped above the Pacific, she questions everything about their relationship, but when she finally calls him, James reassures her that it was only his friend playing a joke. James is gorgeous and successful and Lucy adores him, yet at her best friend Molly’s wedding in Sydney, she finds herself having doubts and is keeping an eye on Molly's brother-in-law Nathan. Nathan is a happy-go-lucky surfer boy with no prospects, no place to live, and an almost-girlfriend in tow. Suddenly, Lucy finds herself caught between two distant continents and two very different men.

Review: this was the second novel that I started by Paige Toon but the third novel I finished (life did the annoying thing of getting in the way) and just like her other novels, I was gripped from the word go! Unfortunately the ending was slightly spoiled for me because I read Pictures of Lily before finishing this, Paige Toon's first novel, so take care not to fall into the same trap as I did!

The novel begins with Lucy boarding a 24 hour flight to Australia to see her friends get married but then she gets a text which suggested her boyfriend is cheating on her. There is a lot of tension at the beginning of this novel but this is incredibly effective as it hooks you in straight away, no questions asked. I was dying to see what happened and how the text was resolved and so I was literally raving though the pages. The general pace of the story does slow down considerably when Lucy returns to London, and I think that is maybe why I found my reading pace slowed a little from that point onwards. You are left wondering the whole way through the book, however, which route Lucy is going to take-thrilling!

Lucy as a character was your typical insecure woman. She struggled quite often throughout the novel with the decisions she had to make, but I really enjoyed her fun-loving attitude to life, although I found her too accommodating when it came to boyfriend James. James was a thoroughly dislikeable character. If this had been a pantomime, the audience would have booed as he came onto the stage, showing how cleverly he is written. The real star of the novel is Nathan, I had a total crush on him, he's just so thoughtful and caring and yet has the laid-back surfer attitude which is completely irresistible. As leading men go, he was just perfect.

There were a host of supporting characters as well who, I have no doubt, may crop up in Toon's later novels as I work my way through them. The general theme of escapism which can be found in most of Paige Toon's novels was prevalent too. Overall I thought this was a great read for a first novel and a superb concept to get readers hooked in right from the word go. I would say be prepared for a slight dip in the middle, but that might just have been me! Now it's onto the next instalment from the fabulous Paige Toon!

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favourite Covers of Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I'm afraid I totally do. It helps me know what section of a bookshelf I should go to, whether I'm in someone's house looking at their books or in a bookshop, I know that if I head towards to pastel colours, I'll find something I've read or something I like. There has been times when the whole table display in a bookshop has literally been all pastel colours and also, all books I've read. So I really do like this weeks Top Ten, be prepared for some sparkly pink covers though...

1. I've got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. I was very excited about reading this book when it came out last year in hardback, and then when I discovered I could hold my smartphone over part of the cover and have it come to life I was even more excited. This makes the link between an e reader and a physical book, an interactive cover. The good news is I read the book first before playing with any part of the the cover itself.

2. Girl with a One Track Mind by Abby Lee. I loved the cover of this book, it was the girl standing in just a pair of knickers that instantly drew me to the book and then when I turned it over to read the blurb, I knew I had to read it. Not one for the faint hearted and some may turn the book over and instantly put it back down, but I love the fact that the cover is so open and honest.

3. The Personal Shopper by Carmen Reid-Carmen Reid always seems to be in my top ten lists at the moment. I love the fact that the cover is pink, I love the fact that we have some gorgeous heels on the front, it's just screams "READ ME CATRIONA,"

4. The Emergence of Judy Taylor by Angela Jackson. I love the fact that this novel gives nothing away with this beautiful cover. Of course I love that it is pink, but I honestly could look at this cover all day long it is just THAT pretty!

5. Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith. I love the rich red on this cover. The author sent me this copy and I think the richness of it is just gorgeous. It is another one that gives nothing away about what is between the covers...

6. Anything by Miranda Dickinson. I love all of her covers, they reflect the wonderful optimistic tone of all of her novels and look just that little bit magical, I defy anyone not to want to pick one of these up and stroke it!

7. Jenny Colgan's latest novels. From Rosie Hopkins Sweetshop of Dreams onwards, Jenny Colgan's covers have looked exactly as you would expect them to look, just like they belong in a Sweetshop or a bakery and now her earlier novels have been re-released with newly designed covers to match up to these delicious beauties. I might just have to grab them for myself so I can own the whole collection....

8. Geek Girl by Holly Smale. As I said in my review of this novel, I love the cover. It celebrates the spectacle wearers amongst us and just sums up the whole novel fabulously. I don't need to say anymore, it's just a gorgeous cover!

9. Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger. I could have included all over her covers in the list but I think this gorgeous gold stiletto is my favourite. Lets face it. This whole list could have been books with shoes on the cover, but I was restrained and have only included a couple! Her new novel's cover should be just as spectacular when it comes out later this year...

10. This is hard, I love so many covers of the books I've read... I'm going to plump for Big Girl by Danielle Steel. I love the licking of the spoon on the front cover, even though it did make me hungry every time I picked it up!

Well that's it. I'd love to see what's on your list, if you agree with any of my choices, let me know! This weeks list was easy,nits definitely the one this I dislike about my kindle, I don't get to see the cover when I put the book down...

Monday 20 May 2013

Review! Cupidity by Holly Hepburn

What if Cupid fell out of love with love?

Cupid is exhausted. Modern day matchmaking is tough – people are busy, their hearts are harder to hit and he’s had enough of wall-to-wall romance. And St Valentine has noticed…

Annelise is a Lost Cause. She runs a dating agency but her heart is colder than a penguin’s feet. She thinks love is about compatibility and has no time for passion.

Can Cupid prove to St Valentine that he hasn’t lost his touch by melting Annelise’s heart? Or is it curtains for Cupid?

Review: someone has to make this cute novella into a film! I thought it was such a fun concept, Cupid coming down to earth and people being jaded with love, just the kind of thing that needs to be written about in 2013! For a novella, a lot of action takes place and yet this author has cleverly not written it over a long time period. Cupid knows that he had 5 days to make Annelise learn to love again, and 5 days seems to be the perfect amount of time for this story to cover.

I thought the character of Annelise was very well developed and very realistic, considering both how short this story was and also, the fact that the other characters in the novella were St Valentine, Cupid and another winged assistant. I thought the feelings she had were very realistic too and I found her easy to identify with, even in such a short space of time!

There were moments where I laughed and there were also aww moments. I don't want to give too much away in this mini reviews, but I thought the whole story was really well written. This is definitely something that should be enjoyed with a nice glass of wine of an evening or a cup of tea on a Sunday morning, as I enjoyed it. I found it to be a refreshing love story, full of action and containing a very real message for today's modern society!

Friday 17 May 2013

Review! Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon

'Will you marry me?' I think of you, then. I think of you every day. But usually in the quietest part of the morning, or the darkest part of the night. Not when my boyfriend of two years has just proposed. I look up at Richard with his hopeful eyes. 'Lily?' he prompts. It's been ten years, but it feels like only yesterday that you left. How can I say yes to Richard with all my heart when most of it has always belonged to you? I take a deep breath and will myself to speak...Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn't have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can't forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart - and the heart of at least one of the men who love her. 

Review: I was hooked into this book right from the word go. Given that it starts with a proposal that remains unanswered until a later point in the book, it is hardly surprising! I’ll admit that I was surprised that the book begins in Lily’s teenage years, I was expecting this to be the usual chick-lit formula starring someone my age, but to begin with, and we are taken back to Lily’s formative years, just as she is turning 16. She has found herself in Australia because her mum fell head over heels for ‘another guy’ over there and she really doesn’t want to be. The theme of escapism and distant lands is really strong throughout the entirety of this novel, something which I found to be common throughout Paige Toon’s writing.

I found Lily to be rather a petulant teenager, but she does begin to mellow when she meets some of the animals in the conservation park she begins working at and I found it easier to read from this point. I did dislike her mum, however, she is written as a very selfish character the whole was through the book and I found her relationship with Lily quite difficult to read, even thought it is written so well.

The male ‘supporting’ characters in this book are quite interesting, they seem to be poles apart and yet Lily has strong feelings for both of them at various points in the novel. Ben is laid back and yet level-headed. His relationship with Lily when she was only sixteen made me a little uncomfortable, I have to admit, but later on in the novel, I too had a major soft spot for him! I disliked Richard as a person, showing how well developed he is as a character, but I really didn’t think he was right for Lily. She seemed to be such a free spirit and he seemed so corporate.

This is book is almost written as if it were in diary form, because it is written entirely from Lily’s point of view and this makes it incredibly easy to read. It also means that as Lily grows up, you get to know her in more and more depth and she begins to feel like a friend to you, adding immensely to the enjoyment of the book. The way the book is structured, split into two time periods, then and now, ten years apart, works really well and meant that there was a clear division for me as a reader to a kind of ‘before Ben’ time and ‘after Ben’ time. Paige Toon also brings in characters from her other books which I really liked, but if you haven’t read Lucy in the Sky, you should probably read that first because otherwise, they ending will be spoiled for you!

This was the perfect read for a hot bank holiday weekend and I got through it pretty quickly because of the strong voice and the author’s writing style. This is the third book I’ve read by Paige Toon and I’m already thinking about which one to read next!

Thursday 16 May 2013

Review: The Longest Holiday by Paige Toon

He's smiling down at me with tears in his eyes as I say my solemn vow:
'I, Laura, take thee, Matthew, to be my lawful wedded husband…' I thought I would never feel like this about anyone ever again. Not after my first love… Not after the heartbreak and the loss and the trying to pick myself back up again… Then I met Matthew, and I know that he has my heart forever: my perfect, gorgeous, adoring Matthew. And then I wake up. And I remember that he's not perfect. He's so far from perfect that my heart could surely collapse from the pain that instantly engulfs me…

To say Laura is unlucky in love is an understatement. Her first boyfriend died in a horrific accident, and now she's just discovered that her husband of six months has been hiding a terrible secret. Devastated and unwilling to face reality, she escapes on a girls' holiday to Key West with her best friend Marty. But a deep and instant attraction to a sexy Cuban scuba diver takes her completely by surprise. When her two weeks in the sun come to an end, Laura doesn't want to go home again. But she can't run from real life forever. Can she?

Review: I was lucky enough to have my copy of The Longest Holiday signed by Paige Toon right before a scorching bank holiday weekend, so I knew that I had made the right choice in electing this to be my first read at the beginning of my Paige Toon marathon!

The story begins with three friends travelling to the Florida Keys. We soon discover, however that main character Laura isn’t just there for a jolly good time, she’s there because of a betrayal on the part of her husband. Just how he has betrayed her and what she is going to do about it is revealed as the story goes on… I think this was a great choice of storyline for a summer read. It was totally unexpected and you never knew how Laura was going to react as each obstacle was put in her way during her time in Florida and her time back home. I think that some tough issues were dealt with and it was a brave move turning what could have been a story about three friends having a good time and then facing possible issues when they go back home to a story of a holiday that turned into a mission of self discovery for one of the characters.

The characters in question are three strong female characters. Laura’s two friends Marty and Bridget don’t play too big a part in the whole novel but they are key to wrapping up events at the end and they are supportive of their friend, which is admirable and also realistic. I found Laura a little difficult to like through the entirety of the novel but this shows how well written she was, that her indecision made me question her personality as I was reading. Laura’s husband Matthew and sexy dive-instructor Leo are the main male characters. I have to admit, I liked neither of these characters and this did take away, somewhat, from my enjoyment of the book.

The majority of the book is written from Laura’s point of view, in her voice but then a twist in the tale means that Leo then takes over and we get to hear some of the story from his point of view. I though this worked really well. This twist happened at a time where I was wondering where exactly the story was going so I thought this was excellent timing on the part of the author. It also worked really well because, as a reader, you never really know what’s going on in Leo’s head and so to have the final section of the novel told by him was a real gift!

Overall this is a great summer read and you will definitely be left wanting to retrace Laura’s footsteps in Florida! I did start to wonder where the story was going at one point but as I say, Toon turned this around with a dramatic twist; readers should definitely prepare themselves for this! If you are a fan of Paige Toon, you will find her usual ‘escapism’ style in this novel. If, like me, this is your first dabble into the world of her writing, this novel works great as a stand alone work and a brilliant read for sitting in the sun with!

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to here what made it on your list, just leave me a comment and I'll visit and find out!

I quite like this week's Top Ten because I think some books don't get enough credit for dealing with the tougher issues as well as they do... Some of the books deal with tough issues in general and some just deal with issues that I found tough to take.

1. Dearest Rose by Rowan Coleman. I thought that this was such a wonderful book and it's won an award to prove it! It deals with the issue of domestic abuse so so well. Normally I find this personally tough to deal with in a book and have had to stop reading books because I've felt too uncomfortable to carry on reading, but Dearest Rose portrays the feelings involved so realistically and yet, without sensationalising anything. Rowan Coleman asked people on Facebook to share their experiences of domestic abuse with her and used these to write her novel in such a sensitive and touching way. The book in awesome in itself, all the tough issues that it dealt with aside, but I could make this just every item on the list!

2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I spoke in my review on here about how this books deals with the issue of how someone gets on with their life, or doesn't, after an accident. Normally I find it a struggle to cope with a book where I know that there is a strong risk that the main character may not make it to the end of the novel, but this novel is so cleverly written using various different narratives that I really enjoyed reading it as a beautifully written novel, rather than a book that deals with such a difficult issue.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. A book that deals with cancer and death in teenagers is a brave book to write, but again, this book is so beautifully written that you hardly notice the risk of death for any of the characters in this novel. You can look back at my review of this one two, if you want to find out what else I thought about it...

4. All the Single Ladies by Jane Costello. This deals with the issue of alcoholism. It deals with it very well also, and recognises the fact that things don't just get better over night, they take time. It mixes the serious moments dealing with this issue in with some of the comedy moments in the book and so this works really nicely. I reviewed this book recently so feel free to take a look!

5. Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes. I read this book just under ten years ago, but I could always re-read a Marian Keyes novel! This deals with the issue of drug addiction, and again recognises the fact that things don't just get better overnight, it shows Rachel's addiction and also how those around her manage/don't manage to cope with what she is going through at the same time.

6. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. This deals with the issue of depression incredibly well. It doesn't just cover the depression itself, but the effect on those around you, and also the consequences that ebing mentally ill can sometimes have. This is something that I read all at once because I found it so interesting as well as entertaining.

7. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I found this book quite an uncomfortable read but something that covered the issue of depression really well as well. There was some controversy recently when an anniversary edition of the book was released with a new cover. The cover was criticised for being too bright and 'jolly' something which people thought was inappropriate for a book dealing with such a lot of darkness...

8. Big Girl by Danielle Steele. Perhaps a bit different from the other books on the list, but I found that this book covered the feelings associated with being overweight really well. It covered how it can feel to be rejected by peers and colleagues because of your weight and how strange it can feel when someone is attracted to you and wants to be with you despite you being overweight. This author also covered what it was to be a yoyo dieter and I think that whole thing was actually a really good (and quick) read!

9. The Secret Shopper Affair by Kate Harrison. This books deals with the issues of what it is like to be a new mum, living on your own and fast running out of money. I think it is fabulous the way Emily gets revenge on some of the people in her life whilst getting herself back on her feet again. Its a really entertaining read at the same time as dealing with this difficult issue!

10. I'm going to finish as I started, with another Rowan Coleman novel-The Happy Home for Broken Hearts, the blurb says it all really... "Ellie Woods spends her days immersed in the escapist pages of the romantic novels she lovingly edits. But her reality is somewhat less rose-tinted. Once upon a time, Ellie had her 'happily ever after' moment when she married her beloved Nick, but fifteen years later her husband's tragic death leaves her alone with their soon-to-become-a-teenager son, faced with a mountain of debt, and on the verge of losing the family home." This book was utterly fabulous and I enjoyed every single second of it, despite it covering all of these big issues.