Ho ho ho!

Yes folks we have reached December and I am feeling festive. This could be because I have been super organised this year and have nearly all my Christmas presents bought (it helps that I started buying them in August) and the majority of them wrapped. Please don’t feel too envious because this isn’t how I usually do things; usually I am running around on my final payday in a mad panic.

Anywho, before I go into what I managed to read this week and indeed what I plan to read in this upcoming week I have to talk about The Fault in our Stars. I read the book last year and I was broken. Only a few books have ever managed to do this to me; A Walk to Remember and Me Before You are included in this list. This weekend, my mother and I decided to watch the movie. Oh my wow. I spent the last forty minutes a crumbling mess: tears, red face and yes the ever attractive snot bubbles. I must give kudos to the filmmakers because they stuck so very closely to the John Green book. It is absolutely stunning. If you haven’t read the book then read it, then watch the movie. Have tissues handy, you have been warned!

Back to matters at hand, my week of books. This has been a pretty good week for reading. I have read:

Waiting for Doggo by Mark B. Mills

Skating at Somerset House by Nikki Moore

Both of these have been reviewed this week. I have also read:

Yours for Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row by Damien Echols and Lorri Davis (02.12.14)

Losing Heart by Donna Brown (06.12.14)

Cold Feet at Christmas by Debbie Johnson (03.12.14)

This week I plan to read:

It Happened on Broadway by Myra Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer

The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Talli Rowland

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

The Shape of Shit to Come by Alan McArthur and Steve Lowe

Let’s hope it is a good easy reading week.

Ooh and for those who are keeping tally on things, my NetGalley percentage is now up to 29.4% – only 0.6% until I get to 30% – whoop whoop!

Have a good reading week.

L x

Title: Skating at Somerset House

Author: Nikki Moore

Pages: 40 pages

Synopsis

They say that opposites attract but with Holly and Noel it would almost seem their differences are too intense for them to ever find a common ground. Holly is vivacious, a lover of Christmas and tries to find the good in every situation. Whereas Noel is a bit of a Christmas curmudgeon; he scowls, hates anything to do with the festive period and would rather it be summer.

However, they both come with emotional baggage and slowly we see a friendship blossom between the two. Can they put their differences aside to take advantage of their mutual feelings?

Review

I really enjoyed this short story. It is the first in the #LoveLondon series and I genuinely cannot wait to read the rest. What I loved most about it is that it did not feel like a short story. I didn’t feel robbed or let down. I was given what I wanted. The love story blossomed nicely with the classic will-they-won’t-they drama; the misunderstandings and the soft gentle changes made by both Holly and Noel; both of them giving just a little bit more of themselves with each page and bending their views and opinions to allow themselves to experience something great.

This was a warm hearted winter tale that had me engaged from the very beginning. Part of me hopes that the story of Holly and Noel will continue in a fully fledged novel, however, if it doesn’t (boo hiss) I will be more than ok with this being the only story about them because it gave me everything (and more) that I need in a good winter warmer.

Well done, Nikki Moore.

Skating at Somerset House by Nikki Moore is available from the 4th December 2014.

You can follow Nikki Moore (@NikkiMoore_auth) on Twitter and follow the series of short stories with the hashtag #LoveLondon

skating at somerset House

 

Synopsis

When Daniel is left by his girlfriend Clara he is understandably pretty miffed; left with just a goodbye note and the dog that they had recently acquired from Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home Dan makes a decision to deal with the hand the life has dealt him. First stop is to return Doggo.

However, when he realises that the animal shelter have to castrate Doggo as a part of their policy, Dan – in an act of male solidarity – decides to keep Doggo. And with this act an unlikely but beguiling friendship blossoms.

Review

I didn’t really expect to like this book. I’m not a dog person and I suppose this has always rendered me extremely unmoved by mans’ relationship with dogs. However, Mills surprised me with Waiting for Doggo. I think I fell a little in love. Yes, Mark B. Mills has done the impossible. Do I like dogs now?

Besides the new warmer feelings I have towards canines I also really enjoyed this story. It was interesting to read a break up story from the male perspective. I think that throughout the years I have read books with a female protagonist who has been hurt by the unsavoury activities of her boyfriend and I have always sided with the girl – ovarian power and all that hoopla. It was interesting to finish a book and think that actually, we girls aren’t necessarily that great either.

I may be reading too much into this but I also liked the parallel between Doggo and Dan. Both were being castrated by their situation. Doggo because he was a dog – no other reason but Dan by all the outside factors – his ex; his new boss; his burgeoning feelings for Edie. It was a clever allegory.

Overall, Waiting for Doggo has been one of my more enjoyable reads of the year. It wasn’t too hefty or taxing. It was just an entertaining read. I give it two hearty thumbs up.

Waiting for Doggo by Mark B. Mills is available now.

Waiting for Doggo

Synopsis

Francis is not well. He is pale, losing weight and perpetually getting nose bleeds. His mother is determined to find out what is wrong with him. When it is discovered what is wrong with Francis, his whole life changes.

Review

In Bloom is heartbreaking and wonderful. It would be far too easy for me to say “if you liked The Fault in Our Stars or A Song for Jackson Dawes you will love this” – easy, but true. In Bloom is of the same ilk of novels focusing on the internal battles of being young juxtaposed with the external battles of a serious illness. However, what I can say is different about In Bloom is the wit a charisma with which it is written. It is very funny.

Matthew Crow has taken a very difficult topic and created a story with some lovely light moments and that should be celebrated. His characters are brilliant. From snarky teens to crazy mothers Crow has them all. The personal dynamics between the cast are brilliantly played out to help highlight the exhaustion of not only the main characters (those living with leukaemia – Francis and Amber) but of the family members (Francis and Ambers mothers’), how cages can be rattled due to the stress and worry of it all and how we can snap at the wrong people. Crow also finds the warmth that develops from these encounters and how people will pull together in times of crisis and sadness.

What I do love is that we are currently in a phase where YA literature is being released and at the heart of the books is a contentious and (oftentimes difficult) subject that is helping teach young readers not only empathy but also about life. Life is hard and scary and some things you cannot control. And sometimes bad things happen to good people. This is the over-riding feeling I got from reading In Bloom. So, basically, this book is brilliant and everyone should read it.

In Bloom by Matthew Crow is available now.

You can follow Matthew Crow (@Mizzlecrizzle) on Twitter

 

Synopsis

Francis is not well. He is pale, losing weight and perpetually getting nose bleeds. His mother is determined to find out what is wrong with him. When it is discovered what is wrong with Francis, his whole life changes.

Review

In Bloom is heartbreaking and wonderful. It would be far too easy for me to say “if you liked The Fault in Our Stars or A Song for Jackson Dawes you will love this” – easy, but true. In Bloom is of the same ilk of novels focusing on the internal battles of being young juxtaposed with the external battles of a serious illness. However, what I can say is different about In Bloom is the wit a charisma with which it is written. It is very funny.

Matthew Crow has taken a very difficult topic and created a story with some lovely light moments and that should be celebrated. His characters are brilliant. From snarky teens to crazy mothers Crow has them all. The personal dynamics between the cast are brilliantly played out to help highlight the exhaustion of not only the main characters (those living with leukaemia – Francis and Amber) but of the family members (Francis and Ambers mothers’), how cages can be rattled due to the stress and worry of it all and how we can snap at the wrong people. Crow also finds the warmth that develops from these encounters and how people will pull together in times of crisis and sadness.

What I do love is that we are currently in a phase where YA literature is being released and at the heart of the books is a contentious and (oftentimes difficult) subject that is helping teach young readers not only empathy but also about life. Life is hard and scary and some things you cannot control. And sometimes bad things happen to good people. This is the over-riding feeling I got from reading In Bloom. So, basically, this book is brilliant and everyone should read it.

In Bloom by Matthew Crow is available now.

You can follow Matthew Crow (@Mizzlecrizzle) on Twitter