Synopsis

Holly Jefferson is a lonely woman. Her life consists of spending time with her dog, working in her cake shop and being the charity case of her older sister Martha who worries that Holly spends too much time alone.

The reason Holly is lonely is because she is a widow. Her husband Charlie died nearly two years earlier and in that time Holly has managed to alienate nearly everyone in her life. She has a routine of eat-sleep-work and it is the only thing that is getting her through the hard and lonesome days and nights.

However, after a chance cake delivery Holly meets someone who shakes up her world. Holly, begrudgingly and tentatively allows Ciaran Argyll into her world and it is through his tenacity and determination that Holly comes back to life.

But will the memory of her dead husband stop her pursuing happiness?

Review

Chick-lit often gets a bad name. Mainly from those who would consider themselves serious writers and in turn those who consider themselves serious readers. It is assumed that if a book has a light and fluffy cover or if it has a happy ending then it can’t at all deal with serious issues or be in anyway important literature. Those who think that are both prejudiced and wrong. Chick-lit is wonderful. There, I’ve said it and I stick by it.

Since You’ve Been Gone is the debut novel from Anouska Knight, an author she was brought to light by winning a talent competition featured on ITV’s Lorraine and Since You’ve Been Gone is a wonderful example of good chick-lit. It has everything you could want – a strong yet bruised by life heroine; a dashing yet misunderstood hero and a colourful supporting cast of characters to boot.

The comfort that comes with this book is that you know that the guy is going to get the girl. Yes, along the way there are going to be wacky misunderstanding and misconceptions between the two and yes there will be a few moments when you will yell “kiss him, you fool” at the book but that is what makes chick-lit the perfect read.

Knight has managed this beautifully. She makes you fall in love with Cairan along with Holly. When Holly feels guilty that she is betraying the memory of Charlie, her dead husband, you too feel her guilt and shame. Equal to all of that you desperately will Holly and Cairan to be together with all your might.

The good thing about chick-lit is that the majority of the time there is a wonderful happy ending. Anouska Knight will not disappoint her fans.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Anouska Knight is available in the UK. It will be available in America from July 29th 2014.

since you've been gone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Anouska on Twitter – @AnouskaKnight

Synopsis

Faith and Diego are from completely different worlds. Faith is the all-American princess; dance captain; student helper and daughter of the local pastor. She is considered to be one of the good girls; the girl who won’t let you down. However, this hasn’t always been the case. Underneath the long skirts and good deeds lies Faith’s deepest darkest secret; a secret she cannot let anyone know otherwise her world will come crumbling down around her.

Tattooed and buff, Diego is the living perception of a gang member. He has, however, left his gang lifestyle both in Cuba (where he is originally from) and in his past. The past has a funny way of creeping up on you though and whilst he battles everyday with trying to make a life for himself in America he is also battling with a local gang who are trying to recruit him as a member. Throughout all of this he is haunted by the memory of what happened to him and his family in Cuba and what made him and his father run away to America to begin with.

Beside their social differences both Diego and Faith have more in common than they originally thought and it is no surprise that they are attracted to each other. Can they be together or will their differences drive them apart?

Review

Before You is a classic Romeo and Juliet-esque romance; the two young lovers torn apart by outside influences. You could dismiss this book and say that you have read it all before but you would be foolish to do so.

The reason that Before You is so different from all the rest is due to the verisimilitude of the storyline. Gang culture is a fervent issue in America – especially among American youths – so the setting instantly draws you in. The storyline being set among high school students reminds you how difficult being young and in love can be, the pressures that you face – from your peers, teachers and parents – add on to that the instability of knowing who you are or who you are meant to be just adds another layer of intrigue to this story.

Besides all that, you really root for these characters to make it. There are some truly heart-stopping moments in this novel and Hart really manages to toy with your emotions but that is what makes it great.

I loved Before You. It is a good (an at times heartbreaking) novel of the power of love. You should read it and if you don’t…well more fool you.

Before You by Amber Hart is available from July 29th 2014

before You

Synopsis

Amalia is living the dream; renting an apartment in New York (albeit a flat share), working towards her degree; she has great friends and a gorgeous boyfriend and plans to spend the summer in Brazil. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, falling for her friend Michael probably wasn’t the best idea. However, as she pushes her feelings for Michael aside the rest of her world crumbles around her. Her boyfriend Nick dumps her, she systematically argues with her friends and she starts neglecting her college work.

On the plus side, Michael starts showing her some attention…even though he has a girlfriend.

Will Amalia be able sort her life out?

Review

Firstly, let me say this book had a lot of potential. It has a classic storyline of girl-has-boy, girl-loses-boy, girl-finds-new-boy as she discovers something about herself. The problem is that I failed to care about the characters because the plot was undeveloped. Everything happened at warp speed and there was not enough processing time given.

For example, Amalia was completely in love with her boyfriend but then by the end of chapter one she was in love – not just was attracted to – another character. So whilst we are meant to believe that Amalia was in love with Michael she seems overly devastated when Nick breaks up with her. It was inconsistencies like this (and plenty of others) that made the book uncomfortable to read.

Besides this, the text was littered with silly spelling mistakes that broke my concentration. A reader should not spend time correcting the grammar of the writer.

Overall, the book had potential to be something light hearted and enjoyable, however, due to inconsistencies in the text I found it to be an underdeveloped story that needed much more work before publication.

What Happens to Men when they Move to Manhattan? by Jill Knapp is available July 24th 2014

Men Manhattan

Hudson has it all figured out. He is going to be a doctor; he already has his admissions interview with the Dean of the University of Mississippi. Everything is going according to plan However, when Leila pulls into Hudson’s fathers mechanic shop, he knew his life was changed forever. He couldn’t say how or why but he knew she was special.

Bree is a drifter. She wanders up and down lonely highways night after night thumbing for a lift. She keeps herself to herself, distancing herself from her past. She is a tough kid with protective emotional barriers surrounding her. That is until she meets Leila. Leila somehow brings out the truth in Bree. Bree swiftly learns that no matter where you run to your past will always be one step behind you.

On Elliot’s prom night he is nearly run over by Leila. He is already having a pretty crappy night but being run over takes the biscuit. Leila is the driver that nearly mowed him down. That night she becomes his saviour convincing him not to give up on love. She pushes him into a series of wacky adventures (much like the ones that happen in the 80s movies that he keeps referencing) to try and win the heart of the girl he loves.

Sonia feels likes she is betraying the memory of her boyfriend. Sam died of a brain haemorrhage but his family have kept Sonia at the heart of it. However, Sonia feels guilty because she has fallen for another man. So now she is torn between her new boyfriend and her ex’s family. It all comes to a head when they are both taking part in the wedding of Sam’s sister; it is too much for her to take so Sonia runs away. During her turmoil she bumps into Leila who becomes a confident and a superhero trying to get Sonia back to the wedding.

Firstly, let me say I loved this book, not only the unique and quirky stories that were in it but also the clever style in which it was written. I loved that Leila, who was clearly the protagonist, was presented as a secondary character in the lives of the people she met.

What I also loved was that all the characters all had something missing. Something that they were searching for and that it took Leila, who was arguably missing for the largest thing, to help the other characters to find/realise it. The stories had a clever fluidity about them.  It is almost a book about the kindness and good nature of strangers along with the surprises that the people that you love can give you.

What can definitely be said is that YA is currently kicking ass in the fiction world.

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid is available from August 1st 2014

Lets Get Los

Due to my excessive gluttonous nature when it comes to all things book like I excessively clicked the request button on NetGalley and ended up with a butt load of books to read. Yes, I know that I have an over flowing kindle and no less than four book shelves but hey I have learned my lesson the hard way…kind of. Ok, so yes I keep checking NetGalley for the latest offering but really I think we can all agree that this isn’t my fault. It is in fact the fault of the publishing groups that keep on saying yes to me (if any of you are reading this please don’t stop…I love you).

That being said I have decided to take control. I have seven books that I am going to try and read over the next week that are due for release and hopefully if I get those read I will be able to go back to the list of books that have already been published but I have yet to review them.

The books on this week’s list are:

Men Manhattan

 

 

 

 

 

What Happens to Men when they Move to Manhattan? by Jill Knapp

Published:   24th July 2014

Lets Get Los

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Published:   29th July 2014

before You

 

 

 

 

Before You by Amber Hart

Published:   29th July 2014

since you've been gone

 

 

 

 

Since You’ve Been Gone by Anouska Knight

Published:   29th July 2014

The atlas of us pb font

 

 

 

 

The Atlas of Us by Tracy Buchanan

Published:   31st July 2014

Where Kive ies

 

 

 

 

Where Love Lies by Julie Cohen

Published:   31st July 2014

what-would-mary-berry-do-978144725349501

 

 

 

 

What Would Mary Berry Do? by Claire Sandy

Published:   31st July 2014

 

Wish me luck J