Chick Lit.

Like any enthusiastic bookworm, I have a pile of books on my bookshelf that I turn to when I just want a care-free, stressless comfort read. These are books that I’ve had in my possession for years, probably that cost about a quid from a car boot or charity shop. They feed my desire for happy endings, and romance. They all get 5/5! This entry is basically a guide to some of the best go-to heart wrenching, terrific chick lit’s.

    image

  1. The first is Bet Me by Jenny Crusie. I bought this book from a used book sale at my local library, it was 20p! It follows the blossoming relationship of straight-laced Min and her charming new beau, Cal.
    She’s curvy, aggressive and loves food. He’s charming, handsome and eager to please. And it all starts with a bet; “I bet you can’t get her to go to dinner with you…” Lighthearted and sassy, this story is the ultimate feel-good.
  2. Then, it is First Lady by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. This was the first story I read of this author before I went on an obsessed rampage on eBay and Amazon. The president’s widow goes on the run and hitches a ride with a family of 3. Single father and his 2 daughters; the ideal hiding place – or not.
  3. Christine Feehan’s Dark Prince is the first one of the Dark Carpathian series and an awesome love story. Raven attempts to find some peace of mind in the mountains but she finds so much more. Mikhail is the dark prince of his people, mysterious and powerful, Raven is helpless to resist him. Romance with a little bit of fantasy. Brilliant. This book is great, but any of this series are great reads.
  4. In The Duke & I, Julia Quinn writes a beautiful story about a strong, young woman who finds passion and love in the strangest way. Set in the picturesque Austen era, where debutantes are many and chaperons are essential, Daphne and Simon’s lust grows into love.

So these are just a few of my favourite love stories. They have the best plots, with just the right amount of sweet and sour. All of them bring something different to the table and each leaves you begging for more. The dynamics in these books are so realistic, it makes you feel like part of the drama. Enjoy.

A xo

Advertisements

William Goldman’s The Princess Bride

If you have seen this film, you will already know that this fairy tale is one of legend. It has everything; fencing, damsels, giants and torture! It is a favourite of mine anyway, so when I saw this book in Waterstone’s, I leaped at the chance to buy it.

It did not disappoint.

the-princess-bride-cover

William Goldman has adapted Morgenstern’s story tremendously, he has captured all the ‘juicy bits’ from the story and bejeweled them to make them extraordinary. The characters are classically heroic and all have great dynamics.

Buttercup is our damsel, common but beyond beautiful and full of goodness, captures the attention of high-roller Prince Humperdink. After losing her only love, Westley; Buttercup insists she’ll never love again and so decides to find a compromise and decides to reach for a better life. Before the wedding, Buttercup gets kidnapped by a Sicilian, a Spaniard and a Giant.

But the three fugitives and the victim are quickly under siege by the Man in Black. And so begins the quest to save Buttercup; through the cliffs of despair, the fire swamp, and the pit of despair. The Man in Black fights for Buttercup and for his life, through all these obstacles and doing us hopeless romantics proud!

I give this story a 5 out of 5 stars!!

Caption from the book

my favourite paragraph ever written

A xo

If you read this and you’re a fan: try watching the film!

Small taster…

The road was quiet. It was the quietest she’d ever known it. As the clouds rolled in casting a dark shadow across the asphalt surface, the wind began to pick up. Fall leaves whirled in the wind, her hair wild around her face and in her eyes. She stood alone at the end of the street, waiting. But she knew not what for.

Carla was alone. She was always alone now. Carla’s family had moved on without her, she only being a far off thought in their busy lives. She stood gazing up at the darkened sky. She hadn’t felt this way in a long time. Dread, the feeling beating at her like the waves crashing on the rocks, wearing away the stone bit by bit. Carla hadn’t felt dread since that night in the dark, that night after the arguments with her parents. She’d walked out of their lives, forever.

Carla was a normal teenage girl. She was clever, popular in school, the apple of her parents’ eye, the oldest sibling. She had a plan for her life and her parents made sure she stuck to it. That Monday morning she dressed for school as usual. Her uniform laid out on her bed by her mother, pressed and ready. Carla showered thinking of the mundane drivel which would be the highlight of her friends’ day; who’s dating who? Who was seen with whom at the cinema? Who was in detention for smoking behind the bicycle shed? She knew she would have to listen to all of this and pretend to care, all day long, passing comments and faking a smile. She lathered her thick brunette mane and rinsed as she considered her essays due in that day. Carla knew absolutely that they were all perfect. She’d spent weeks on them, re-reading them over and over, spell-checking and editing every day. Her school work was her prize. All her friends didn’t believe that she did it alone, without help; she was destined for greatness her teachers said. Carla knew she was. It was all in the plan.

Carla dressed making sure her striped tie was knotted exactly right and her blazer had all her favourite pens in the inside pocket, ready for when she needs them. She buckled her shoes and straightened her socks, heading for the stairs. She met her mum, dad and young sister eating breakfast in the kitchen, her dad was hidden behind a large newspaper, her mum bustling around the coffee machine and her sister doodling in her school book. None of them much noticed that Carla had entered the room. She sat at the breakfast bar and studied them inquisitively over her mug of steaming black coffee, savouring its addictive aroma, she laughed inwardly.

Susan and her husband, David, were the typical husband and wife. He went out to work whilst the housewife stayed home ensuring all was ready for the breadwinner’s return. Susan was a member of the PTA and women’s church group and always wore pearls. David was quiet and liked to play golf on the weekends with his corporate team; he was a banker, or an investor, or something; Carla wasn’t really sure, only it was to do with money, lots of money. They didn’t really talk about his work. At the dining table her mum would tell them about her day, grocery shopping, the ladies’ lunch and all that, they would ask Carla about school and her classes, they would chat with her little sister about her music lessons and how she liked school; things of no consequence, nothing intimate. Susan and David had no idea what was happening in Carla’s life and Carla liked it that way. After all, she was 16, she was allowed to have some secrets.

G.D. Falksen’s The Ouroboros Cycle: A Cautionary Tale for Young Vampires.

I have finished The Ouroboros Cycle: A Cautionary Tale for Young Vampires by G. D Falksen. Due to my poor concentration and busy schedule, it took four weeks, but it has a fabulous crescendo. Leaves you begging for more!

image

Falksen has wisely kept the lead character from the first book; Babette, now known as Varanus; following the beginning of her journey into immortality.

The chapters alternate between two exciting stories. Luka’s in the east end of London and Varanus on family business on the Yorkshire Moors. Both are equally as thrilling and full of twists and turns. The characters’ personalities come to life with each page as we learn more about them. Ekaterine’s sense of humour is infectious and lightens the gothic elements in the story.

Luka’s life in the east end of London is grimy, action-packed and gang-filled and coincides with the time of ‘Jack the Ripper’. Falksen describes the location fabulously, right down to the accents. With the help of his pub landlord and prostitute friend Cat, Luka begins to bring peace to his territory, putting a stop to criminal activity and abuse.

Varanus travels to the desolate Yorkshire Moors with Ekaterine. She must settle her grandfather’s will with her distant cousins and fight for her inheritance but soon finds they hold a secret of their own. Her adventure at unraveling the mystery is gripping.

Enter: Friedrich. Babette’s son. A medical man himself, he has followed in the footsteps of his mother. Head strong and good hearted Friedrich brings a warmth to the story, and makes an end with a stunning twist you don’t see coming.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars- I enjoyed the first book more! But it was a good read. And the illustrations are awesome!

image

A xo

The Ouroboros Cycle, Book 1: A Monster’s Coming of Age Story is available to buy on Amazon

The Ouroboros Cycle, Book 2: A Cautionary Tale for Young Vampires is available to buy on Amazon

G D Falksen’s The Ouroboros Cycle: A Monster’s Coming of Age Story

G D Falksen is a great writer. The story has depth and this book is a real page-turner. Falksen, the ‘steampunk’ writer has produced a masterpiece. I loved it from beginning to end!
Babette is the granddaughter of William, a well-known mogul in French society, who holds dark secrets. Unlike other young women of her time, she is enthralled by literature and knowledge not gowns and frills. Babette is sought after by Alfonse, a beastly colonel after her entree into society. However, she falls for Korbinian, a dashing Baron from Germany. And this is where the trouble starts.
More than anything else, this story is one of love but has excited twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing. Falksen introduces interesting character dynamics, set in a time when society kept very much to the expected. The dynamic between Babette’s father James and her Grandfather is complicated; William is disappointed with the James has become but ignores this through love and Alfonse seeks matrimony to Babette, although he cares nothing for her but adheres to his father’s insistence on the union.
There is an underlying hint of feminism in Babette’s role. She demands equality in a male-led profession, breaking societal rules by attending university and by marrying a man for love rather than advantage.
I give this book 4 stars out of 5. It is so different, refreshing and makes the reader quickly chose sides when the trouble starts.
What I also loved about this book, that every chapter has a beautiful illustration. Each one very well drawn in a dark, steampunk-ish style that complimented the story fantastically.
A lovely story, that will keep you hanging onto every word, wanting more when it ends. But don’t worry! The sequel is also available- The Ouroboros Cycle, Book 2: A Cautionary Tale for Young Vampires.
A xo

Cecelia Ahern’s The Book of Tomorrow

So, review number two.. Hey! That rhymes.

Tamara Goodwin is a spoiled teenage girl. Living with her mother and father in a fancy big house in Dublin, with her en-suite shower with a plasma TV, she could want for nothing. Then a tragedy occurs and she finds herself stranded at nowhere and not happening, so far away from her old life.
Spending time with her estranged relatives is not her idea of fun, so when the travelling library rolls up, Tamara jumps at the chance to escape. Finding a magical book that tells her more than just a story.

The depth of the characters draw the reader deeper into the story and as Tamara is forced to confront the questions in her life, we’re along for the ride. The twist and turns in this story keep you guessing, right up to the very end with a shocker you just won’t believe. The characters Tamara meets on her journey of self discovery and her relationships with them are complex; Ahern brings them alive as though they could climb right off the page.

The way Ahern describes the castle and the grounds in the story and Tamara’s reaction to it, the reader can feel how she relates, as though she is the ruin, she is the secret garden and the woods. Let’s the reader see a vulnerability to this story’s heroine which is refreshing.

Although I found it slow to start, the more I read the more curious I became and the puzzle becomes more enticing until I was dying to finish the book to uncover the answers to all the questions. I give this book 4 out of 5.

Main Points:

  • Fantastic read
  • Sucks the reader in with a delicious puzzle
  • Great characters
  • Unpredictable

Quotes from this book that I love:

“All families have their secrets, most people would never know them, but they know there are spaces, there are gaps where the answers should be, where someone should have sat, where someone used to be. A name that is never uttered or uttered once and never again. We all have our secrets.”
“I think that most people go into bookshops and have no idea what they want to buy. Somehow the books sit there, almost magically willing people to pick them up. The right person for the right book.”
A xo

Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver

Ok, so bare with me. I haven’t written a review since I left uni and God, that was 3 years ago now.. so here goes..

 
A love story. A lonely teenage girl looks for friendship in her wolf. What she actually finds is a great deal more. Full of drama, excitement and a little humour, I couldn’t put this book down. Stiefvater describes the complex relationships of Grace and her parents, Grace and her friends and Grace and Sam so you feel a part of her inner circle. 
 
The way Grace feels about her wolf; dependence, loyalty, awe, is written in such a way that it makes you feel like this is an ancient love, like Romeo and Juliet or Anthony and Cleopatra. Grace and Sam understand each other and that is conveyed in the lovely way Stiefvater has written this story; like Grace and Sam are the ultimate and the rest just fall around them.
 
Definitely a page turner, I couldn’t put it down. Sam’s responsibility to his friends gets you shouting out at the book as you read. The twists and turns in the story make reading this a rollercoaster ride. It is written so the chapters alternate from Sam’s point of view to Grace’s. But this doesn’t make it confusing or hard to follow. It gives the reader an insight into both lives and how one character affects the other so drastically. 
Aimed at the Young Adult/Teenage audience, this story has a – sort of – ‘Twilighty’ feel to it; an impossible love, drama, teenage boys. So if you loved that series, you definitely want to read this one! The story finishes in such a way that it’s not quite a cliff-hanger but you still want to read what happens next. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. 
 
Main points: 
  • Page turner
  • Good plot
  • Lovable characters
 
Quotes from this book, that I love: 
“A life is measured by moments like these.” – Sam to Grace.
 
 
 
Linger is the next book in this trilogy.
A xo