Saturday 30 May 2020

Review: I Knew You Were Trouble by Paige Toon

Sunshine, rock gods, and Hollywood heartthrobs! Jessie Jefferson is back in the next installment from bestselling author Paige Toon—perfect for fans of Holly Smale's Geek Girl, the Jessica Cole series, and Zoe Sugg's Girl Online.

Life as the undercover daughter of a rock god isn't going to be easy. How will Jessie adjust to her old boring life again after spending her summer living it up with her dad in LA? With tough decisions ahead (and not just choosing between two hot boys), can she cope juggling her two very different lives? Summer may be over, but Jessie's story is just beginning…

Review: This is the second book in the young adult series from one of my favourite authors Paige Toon and let me tell you I am keeping my fingers crossed that she has another foray into the world of Young Adult romance again soon because I love this series so much. 
When you know you are dealing with the second book in a series you do sometimes worry that you are in for a bit of a slump in the action, that you are being set up from the culmination of the trilogy in book 3 but this really wasn't the case in this novel. This book has action from the very beginning to the very end. Jessie is up to as much in this book as we saw her get up to in book one only this time she is very definitely doing it across 2 continents. 

This book has also ramped up the romance, can you say love triangle? I loved this added intrigue because a love triangle in 2 different countries is a whole different kettle of fish, This triangle really explores the fact that Jessie's may be the daughter of a rich and famous rockstar but aside from having just lost her mum she is also dealing with first love and the confusion that that can bring. Jessie really does have to deal with a lot in this book she has all of that plus the possibility of singing and school work and a whole new family-wow there really is a lot in this book. 

Safe to say this book does not fall into the second book in a series trap. It has a definite story arc of its own, things really ramp up from Jessie and if you are here because you fell in love with Johnny Jefferson in Johnny and Meg’s stories then there is a decent dose of him too-I loved it and can’t wait to dive into book 3!
To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Friday 29 May 2020

Review: Five Hundred Miles from You by Jenny Colgan

Lissa loves her job as a nurse, but recently she's been doing a better job of looking after other people than looking after herself. After a traumatic incident at work leaves her feeling overwhelmed, she agrees to swap lives with someone in a quiet village in Scotland.
Cormac is restless. Just out of the army, he's desperately in need of distraction, and there's precious little of it in Kirrinfief. Maybe three months in London is just what he needs.
As Lissa and Cormac warm to their new lives, emailing back and forth about anything and everything, finally things seem to be falling into place. But each of them feel there's still a piece missing. What - or who - could it be?
And what if it's currently five hundred miles away?

Review: This book is a lesson in how books can be both wildly romantic but also impressively real life at the same time. It has been too long since I have been immersed in a Jenny Colgan novel and I am so happy to be back in her world once again, this truly was a triumph. 

I absolutely loved the premise behind this novel, the idea of a job swap and living in one another's lives in the best kind of meet cute there could be and both of these characters were the kind of people who needed that change to push them out of their comfort zones and really make them sit up and take notice. I loved watching the journey that Lissa and Cormac both took during the course of this book. I loved all the intricate details they both knew about each other's lives and those we were let into as reader-it felt really special. 

Lissa is a really cool character to get to know because we know she has gone through a trauma, we start the book with that and so seeing how she deals with that instantly lets us into the secret of her character. Then taking her out of her comfort zone and dropping her in the middle of nowhere to sink or swim was really fun. I loved Cormac from the start, I would really love to have met him in real life and he is the person I would really like to see more from in future Jenny Colgan novels. I loved how he handled himself and I really liked watching his journey of bringing some Scottish heart to London. 

The book is a dual narrative of sorts which always make for a quicker read for me but there is occasionally a third voice, a kind of narrator who I can only assume is Jenny Colgan talking to us and this made the book read just a little like a fairytale, I felt it added another level and really appreciated it. I also feel like the setting added another level, I loved the juxtaposition between the Scottish setting and the urban hum of London. Having spent time living in both settings I could feel the difference coming off the pages and this writer’s description triggering lots of memories for me. 

I listened to this book on audio and the narrator did a really great job. When the book had both an English and a Scottish character I was prepared to be let down by the narrator's accents but she did really well with both accents and dialects and so I highly recommend this book to you in whatever format you choose. 

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

Thursday 28 May 2020

Book vs Movie: Little Fire Everywhere by Celeste Ng


Review: Wonderland by Juno Dawson

What happens when you fall down the rabbit hole? The compulsive must-have follow-up to CLEAN and MEAT MARKET from bestselling author Juno Dawson
Alice lives in a world of stifling privilege and luxury - but none of it means anything when your own head plays tricks on your reality. When her troubled friend Bunny goes missing, Alice becomes obsessed with finding her. On the trail of her last movements, Alice discovers a mysterious invitation to 'Wonderland': the party to end all parties - three days of hedonistic excess to which only the elite are welcome.
Will she find Bunny there? Or is this really a case of finding herself? Because Alice has secrets of her own, and ruthless socialite queen Paisley Hart is determined to uncover them, whatever it takes.
Alice is all alone, miles from home, and now she has a new enemy who wants her head...
A searing exploration of mental health, gender and privilege, from the most addictive YA novelist in the UK today.

Review: Well this really was a wild ride into Wonderland. This Alice in Wonderland retelling is not for the faint-hearted and this definitely contains care warnings for Self harm, suicide, mental health, sexual assault and drug use. But this book fearlessly tackles issues facing young people today head on and its cast of characters is like no other. If you love books with diverse characters and not your cookie cutter YA contemporary characters then this one is definitely for you. 

I really found Alice intriguing as a main character and I think there is nothing better for an author to make me intrigued by their main character. She is a unique individual and fits the bill of unreliable narrator. She seems like she is snarky and wants to be unlikable but really she is going through a hell of a lot of things as well as just those issues facing every single teenage girl in the world and so it is impossible not to fall in love with her. As a teacher I felt very protective over her but as a reader I loved the adventures that she went on. I feel like I still don't fully know her as a person and I quite like that to be honest. 

I mentioned that this book contains drug use and it is that drug use that over exaggerates this particular Wonderland. I feel like this author sat down and thought, well what if Alice had a crush on the white rabbit and that's why she followed them, what if there was group sex in wonderland, where do Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee land on the spectrum of sexuality? I am just amazed by this world that Juno Dawson has built. 

Not every escapade and every drug fueled party was for me but boy could I appreciate the intricacies of the storytelling and the weaving of the plot and if you want to read something really different and completely daring then this book is for you. 

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

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Guest Review: A Wedding at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

Escape to Everdene Sands, where the sun is shining - but is the tide about to turn?
Robyn and Jake are planning their dream wedding at the family beach hut in Devon. A picnic by the turquoise waves, endless sparkling rosé and dancing barefoot on the golden sand . . .
But Robyn is more unsettled than excited. She can't stop thinking about the box she was given on her eighteenth birthday, and the secrets it contains. Will opening it reveal the truth about her history - and break the hearts of the people she loves most?
As the big day arrives, can everyone let go of the past and step into a bright new future?

Review: How nice to be back in the little Devon seaside town of Everdene, with its line of beach huts down by the shore. Veronica Henry has charmed me with many books centred on these little home from homes and I feel full of anticipation at the thought of beginning another such story. Add to that the promise of a wedding in such an idyllic setting, and I couldn’t wait to get started.

The story centres primarily on Robyn, who is preparing for motherhood and her marriage to Jake. Plans are going ahead for the small wedding to be celebrated at Jake’s family’s beach hut; it promises to be a happy and informal day. However, Robyn has other things on her mind as well. There are some secrets about her past, clues to which are contained in a box she has been keeping unopened for most of her adult life. It suddenly seems important to her to open the box and discover those clues, but she is uncertain of the consequences for herself and others if she does.

I have read and loved all of Veronica Henry’s beach hut stories, but this is undoubtedly the most emotional one so far. Robyn’s story is so moving that it had me in tears several times. The book is really well written, dealing as it does not only with the wedding aspect, but also with the history of other marriages and with relationships past and present. It is filled with strong, lifelike characters and with totally believable situations. As you can probably tell, I loved this book and would highly recommend it to other readers; fans of Veronica Henry will of course be drawn to it, and those new to this author will undoubtedly look for more of her work afterwards.

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

Tuesday 26 May 2020

Review: The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can't seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a 'take me home' look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker's owner reaches out. He's a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: he wants Tucker back.
Well, Sloan's not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can't deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There's no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: with his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?

Review: I loved the mixture of romance, humour and sex in this novel. I really enjoyed The Friend Zone and so enjoyed a similar tone in this novel and knew what to expect in terms of the level of romance in proportion to the story and the sex. 

I loved the way this book kicked off, if there is ever a hook for a novel then having a dog jump through your sun roof is it. I laughed and laughed the beginning of the book and I felt like we really got know Sloan quickly because of that. I loved Sloan as a character because she is a woman who was very confident and self assured but then had this gadgetry take place and got knocked down because of it. She has worked hard to build herself back up and her friends have been there for her to help he do it but it is so hard to overcome such grief. 

Then we have Jason. I really love the way we got to meet Jason as well. he is simple and unassuming and we know the link her has with Sloan right away, but as well get to know him further I jst fell more and more in love with him. I really liked him as a character, sure he has his faults but I feel like he was in the right place at the right time when it came to what was best for Sloan. 

As I have already mentioned, there is a really good balance of humour, sex and romance in this novel and the sex is really really hot. I like when we actually have sex on the page the the author not hold anything back and Abby Jimenez really doesn't hold anything back when it comes to her sex scenes. I love the setup and I love the aftermath as well so if you are someone that needs a bit of pillow talk afterwards, you've got it in this book. 

This novel was really fun, I listened on audio and it was very well narrated. If you're looking for a romantic escape right now with a good amount of sex and humour thrown in, this book is the way forward. 

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

Interview With Bella Osborne Author of Meet Me At Pebble Beach


Monday 25 May 2020

Blog Tour: Review of Percolate by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino @BestEverYou @lovebooksgroup

Today is my stop on the tour for Percolate by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino. I have a review for you today and if you like the sound of that you can click here to order your copy now. I also have a reading vlog over on my Instagram today so you can also check that out! Don't forget to stop by the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews.

Here's what it's all about...

Do you have a voice inside you saying that you want something different? Do you feel like you're searching for something better, even if you don't know exactly what it is? When you hear words like consciousness, purpose, light and awaken, do you wonder how they apply to your life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, have no fear - this book is here to help! It provides simple, clear and understandable thoughts for a growing consciousness, even in a time when people are questioning everything from guiding principles to social structures.

In our fast-paced world, Percolate stands as a metaphor for how to move forward with growing awareness:
To wake up to what is possible without losing sight of the simple and practical things that already exist
To let your heart and mind brew powerful ideas, and your spirit float to the top like foam
To live your best life and thrive
Most importantly, to never give up

Grab a cup of joe, put your feet up, allow the steam to rise, and let your heart's desire surface. Ah, can you taste the magic as you bring the authentic best you to the world?

Review: Well this was a really different read for me. I was totally attracted to it because of the cover and my love of coffee but I was then drawn to the concept of a self-help book based on the concept of coffee percolating and using that analogy throughout the book for self reflection and self improvement.

This book is broken down into small manageable sections which means that it is easy to pick up and put down and each section is clearly delineated so that ti is easy to look back and reflect. It also give your practical things to do and actual calls to action. Those calls to action could be sitting and reflecting, writing something down or picking some things from a list to work on.

Most sections of the book were easily adaptable to my situation and also qere relevent to the times we find ourselves in right now. There were a couple fo sections that didn't resonate with me, particularly those on 'healthy living' i felt like some of the ideas in that section conflicted with some of the self-acceptance ideas in other sections. One section that I found particularly helpful was part of the 'Choose a Bolder Brew' section, taking inventory. There is a self evaluation in this chapter broken down into areas of life and then there is space to write down accomplishments at the end of the self evaluation. I liked the sentiment of this section and I liked the practical aspect of it too.

Overall this was a good book to push me outside of my comfort zone, I loved the coffee analogy throughout the book and the 'Coffee Break' moments peppered in between chapters.

About the Author

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is one of America's foremost personal and corporate development consultants. She is the creator of The Best Ever You Network (or Best Ever You), a leading multimedia provider of lifestyle and self-help content. While participating in the Harvard Business School for Leadership program, Elizabeth serves as a Leadership Advisor for the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute.
In 2020 Elizabeth joined Sally Huss to create the best-selling children’s book A Lesson for Every Child: Learning About Food Allergies. Living with life-threatening food allergies for many years, Elizabeth added her personal experience and her expertise to the project. She also sits on several boards of organizations and foundations that bring awareness to this life-threatening condition.

Thanks so much to Elizabeth for stopping by the blog today.

Saturday 23 May 2020

Guest Review: Ben Stokes Firestarter By Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes is not cast in the same mould as the vast majority of English cricketers. Fiery, combative, gladiatorial - he plays the game hard and with great gusto. He is an all-rounder who bats, bowls and fields at full throttle.
Stokes impresses with his physical stature and muscular brand of cricket. He doesn't back down, smashing the next ball for six, bowling his 90 mph "chin music", or taking a breathtakingly full-stretch catch at backward point.
Whether it's thrashing the fastest ever Test century at Lord's or the quickest ever Test double-hundred by an Englishman or destroying the Australian batting at Trent Bridge, Stokes plays the game he loves with his heart on his sleeve and with 100% effort and commitment. Cricket fans adore him for it.
His very first book focuses on the pivotal moments in his life and career so far. These episodes are vibrant, emotional, poignant - revealing the man in three dimensions, red in tooth and claw. From being forged as a young boy in New Zealand, to moving to Cumbria at the age of 11, to playing county cricket for Durham and then onto the England team, this book provides a riveting insight into one of the most exhilarating figures in sport today.

Review: This is the autobiography of the England cricketer Ben Stokes. Born in New Zealand, he moved to Cumbria aged 12 with his family when his father, a rugby league coach, was appointed as coach of Workington Town.

The book describes his childhood, firstly in New Zealand and subsequently in Cockermouth in Cumbria. Having been a keen sportsman since his earliest childhood, he was soon selected for representative cricket teams in Cumbria, before signing a professional contract with Durham County Cricket Club. He made his debut for the England One Day International Team in 2011, and for the England Test Match Team in 2013 during an Ashes Tour in Australia. It was during this tour that he scored his maiden Test Match century. His further cricketing exploits and his family life are described.

This book was published in 2016, so the author’s performances only up until the end of his season through injury in the summer of that year are described. It is a must read for all cricket fans and gives an insight into his personality and competitive spirit. His achievements during what would turn out out to be a remarkable summer of 2019 are described in a further book (and will be the subject of a further review).

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

Friday 22 May 2020

Review: The High Moments by Sara-Ella Ozbeck

Scarlett makes mistakes – over and over again.
She’s not perfect, she has a tricky relationship with her mother and is desperate for people to like her.

She repeatedly goes back to the people that hurt her, no matter how badly.
She moves to London with no plan (of course), but manages to land a job at a modelling agency. Finally, she’s getting her life on track, but the fashion industry is a murkier place than she had imagined. 

She changes herself to please others.
Just as she starts to find her place, Scarlett’s life begins to spiral. But at least people know her, she is starting to become someone. And surely it’s better to be someone – even if it’s someone you hate?

With a vein of dark humour at its core, The High Moments offers an astute, often stark look at the fashion industry and the issues you can face as a woman in your twenties.

Review: This book felt like The Devil Wears Prada meets Sweet Bitter and I loved it. I love the format of this book, the fact that it reads a little like a diary with some new year's resolutions at the beginning and notes to self throughout and then we always know what day and kind of time of year it is following the fashion calendar. 
Scarlett is a prickly character and not everyone is going to love her but you will definitely find her intriguing and want to watch as she tries to better herself but kind of ends up going into self destruct code. Scarlett is definitely a follower but likes to think that she is a leader and so older readers, like myself will definitely feel like they want to take care of her and look out for her even though she is intent on the path she is taking. 

This book is definitely not for the faint hearted, there is a lot of sex and drug use and Scarlett’s life isn’t always pretty to watch. There are some  very questionable choices on almost every page but that’s what makes it compelling reading and once you start you won’t want to stop turning those pages. 

I loved being in this world of fashion, the cut throat world that it was and living in it vicariously through Scarlett. I loved getting to know her and watching her grow and learn as the book went on and I definitely loved the gritty edge that this book had. This is coming of age meets literary fiction and was such a refreshing read. 
To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Thursday 21 May 2020

I Read 11 Books in a Week? Reading Vlog: Bout of Books Readathon


Review: Meet Me a Pebble Beach by Bella Osborne

Regan is holding a winning lottery ticket.
Goodbye to the boyfriend who never had her back, and so long to the job she can’t stand!
Except it’s all a bit too good to be true…

When Regan gets pranked, she finds herself jobless, homeless and boyfriendless in one fell swoop.
Luckily her friendly seaside community provides a beacon of hope, proving to Regan that sometimes you really can rely on the kindness of others – and one local in particular, a handsome fireman called Charlie, helps Regan realise that this could be her chance for a fresh start.
Armed with a list of ways to change her life, Regan decides it’s time to step out of her comfort zone. Because – as Charlie knows all too well – life is for living . . .

Review: Well this was a wonderful story. Whether you did this novel as four separate parts or devoured the entire things as a whole I am sure that you loved getting to know Regan and travelling around Brighton as much as I did. This book does have something for everyone, a cosy coffee shop, a glamorous travel lifestyle, the idea of starting over and just a touch of romance for more than one of the characters. 

Regan was a great character to spend this novel with because she really does start off with a nice life and then loses it all within a click of her fingers. We get to see her at rock bottom and get to see how she copes with that. I love the fact that we never quite knew what she was going to do next and I love that she was a slight fly by the seat of her pants type of character because it meant that she could be tempered by some of the other more organised characters around her in the cast of the book. 

Obviously I loved getting to know the other characters in this novel too. They weren't always perfect but they provided a good sounding board for Regan and they were there to help her and bolster her endeavours in life. My favourite secondary character was Elivs, by a mile. I think that dog really came along when we needed him most and I loved watching life change for him as much as it did for Regan. 

The setting of this book was great because Brighton is a seaside town but  town that has a whole lot more than just beach about it. It allowed Regan to think big and yet have that wild beach there to ground her at the same time. I would love to see how some of the other characters went about town

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

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Guest Review: Maybe One Day by Debbie Johnson

What if you had the chance to find a lost love?
Jess still thinks about the man who disappeared from her life seventeen years ago, and the tragedy that tore them apart. So when she discovers a hidden box of letters in her mother's attic, Jess realises that the truth about why he walked away has been kept from her all this time.
Jess sets out to follow the faded postmarks across the country, determined that her journey will bring her closer to him. As each clue falls into place, Jess discovers new things about herself - and the man who once broke her heart. Maybe she can find him. Maybe their love story isn't over.
Maybe one day, they will be together again...

Review: As a big fan of Debbie Johnson’s writing, I was keen to sit down and make a start on this latest book. Just reading the cover had me looking forward to an interesting journey. As soon as I started reading, I knew that this was a story that was going to have me coming back for more, that is if I could bear to put it down. It did, indeed, prove to be a compelling tale that took me on an amazing trip and a quest for a lost love.

The story begins with Jess returning to the home that she shared with her mother after attending that lady’s funeral. She goes up to the attic in the company of her cousin, Michael, to start the gargantuan task of sorting through years of collected belongings. The story of Jess’s life unfolds as photograph albums are discovered and the contents examined. It is only when a previously unseen box containing letters and cards comes to light that Jess discovers that her parents had been lying to her for years, parting her from the love of her life, Joe. Although it has been seventeen years since she saw him, Jess knows that she must attempt to find Joe, even though it means reliving the tragedy that tore them apart and almost destroyed her. What follows is an incredible road trip spanning continents in which Jess, Michael and one of Jess’s oldest friends meet up with many interesting people whose lives have been touched by Joe, but with him always a step further on.

Sounds like a cliche I know, but this book really took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. During the course of Jess’s epic journey, she encountered people and stories that touched my heart as much as it did hers and those of her travelling companions. I had to admire their tenacity. Many times on their quest I would have given up, but they were constantly there for each other offering encouragement to carry on. I was so engrossed in the story, that several times I found myself anticipating a breakthrough in the search only to feel really let down when once again they hit a brick wall. What good writing from Debbie Johnson. I loved the way in which the picture of Joe developed as the story progressed through the recollections of others in a series of tales. He sounded a lovely character. I have to say as well that I thought the story had a magnificent ending; I didn’t see it coming. I would highly recommend this latest book from a very talented author; tissues may be required.

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

Blog Blitz: The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce by Tom Gillespie @tom_gillespie @lovebooksgroup

Today I am part of the blog blitz bringing you details of The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce by Tom Gillespie. The book will be published on July 21st and you can click here to pre-order your copy now.

Here's what it's about...

A spiralling obsession. A missing wife. A terrifying secret. Will he find her before it’s too late?
When Dr Jacob Boyce’s wife goes missing, the police put it down to a simple marital dispute. Jacob, however, fears something darker. Following her trail to Spain, he becomes convinced that Ella’s disappearance is tied to a mysterious painting whose hidden geometric and numerical riddles he’s been obsessively trying to solve for months. Obscure, hallucinogenic clues, and bizarre, larger-than-life characters, guide an increasingly unhinged Jacob through a nightmarish Spanish landscape to an art forger’s studio in Madrid, where he comes face-to-face with a centuries-old horror, and the terrifying, mind-bending, truth about his wife.

About the Author

Tom Gillespie grew up in a small town just outside Glasgow. After completing a Masters in English at Glasgow University, he spent the next ten years pursuing a musical career as a singer/songwriter, playing, recording and touring the UK and Europe with his band. He now lives in Bath with his wife, daughter and hyper-neurotic cat, where he works at the university as an English lecturer. Tom writes long and short stories. His stories have appeared in many magazines, journals and e-zines. He is co-author of Glass Work Humans-an anthology of stories and poems, published by Valley Press. Visit Tom at

Tuesday 19 May 2020

May 2020 Unboxing and Book Haul: Exciting Book Mail from Publishers!


Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people...

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal's office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance-and Papi's secrets-the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they've lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi's death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Yahaira and Camino are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.


Review: I absolutely love Elizabeth Acevedo’s writing. Her way with poetry and prose is just stunning and I love listening to her books because I love the candor of her writing. I did this book on audio and some of the poetry was just beautiful in places. The whole thing is written in verse but some sections read more like a traditional poetic style than others. Obviously the fact that this book is written in verse does make this a quick read but I do recommend listening to the audiobook if you can because having this style of writing read to you is just so beautiful. 

This book is all about identity, it is at heart and soul of the text. I loved watching our two main characters discover themselves and learn more about their identities as the book went on. Their idea of their family identity changed as the plot thickened as well as their identity in relation to their heritage, There is discussion of the differences between where you were raised versus where you come from and how that differs from the way you comport yourself in everyday life and I really like that this writer went deeply into this issue. 

If you have read books by Elizabeth Acevedo before you will know that she creates strong female characters and I loved reading about Yahaira and Camino. They are so different and yet so similar. I love the fact that they both have a strong sense of self and have built themselves a support network. Both of them have insecurities and fears though and so they are also united in that. I was so desperate to find out if these young women would ever meet and what that would be like and I think that is because I found them so intriguing as characters. 

I highly recommend this novel and really recommend the audiobook. 
To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Review: Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin

A dark, witty page-turner about a struggling young musician who takes a job singing for a playgroup of overprivileged babies and their effortlessly cool moms, only to find herself pulled into their glamorous lives and dangerous secrets....

After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for wealthy infants on New York's Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.
There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her flawless life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the stylish women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.
Filled with humor and shocking twists, Happy and You Know It is a brilliant take on motherhood – exposing it as yet another way for society to pass judgment on women – while also exploring the baffling magnetism of curated social-media lives that are designed to make us feel unworthy. But, ultimately, this dazzling novel celebrates the unlikely bonds that form, and the power that can be unlocked, when a group of very different women is thrown together when each is at her most vulnerable.

Review: I knew very little about this novel going into it and sometimes that’s the best way. I have to admit that this was a cover buy and then I got an audio copy from my library and so I listened to this one over the course of a weekend. I loved it. 
This book has it all, New York society intrigue, mystery and drama drama drama. I liken this one to Candace Bushnell’s New York based novels with the added dangerous element of Liane Moriarty. Imagine what havoc could be wrought by an upper west side playgroup and the Mums and babies that belong to it?

We as readers are obviously outsiders of the group but we have Claire on our side who is also an outsider and so we kind of get to enter the group with her. This book alternates perspectives between Claire and Whitney and we get a little look into some of the other mommy’s lives too. You can imagine what kind of a window that is. Claire is a great character to spend the book with because she is much more normal like you and me and not a member of that society but will she get sucked in?

There is drama and backstabbing galore in this book and it also has the added element of social media to it which just adds another dimension and another way everything could come crashing down. 

I think fans of reality TV will enjoy his one because we get a rare glimpse into this society but at the same time it is also a good book for those that like just a touch of crime or mystery to their contemporary novel. I am honestly blown away by this book and will be recommending it to everyone. 
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