Something BeautifulTitle: Something Beautiful

Author: Amanda Gernentz Hanson

Pages: 220 Pages

Publisher: Pen Name Publishing

The Blurb

Cordelia and Declan have been best friends since they were three years old. By the time they hit middle school, Cordelia—Cord, to Declan—is already feeling the blackness in her life as depression takes hold. Their mutual attraction to each other leads to a serious high school relationship, one with their foundation of friendship at the forefront. Cordelia seems to have her mental health under control. All appears to be well.

However, when Declan starts to accept his own fluid sexuality, it sets something in motion in their lives that is both beautiful and tragic as they learn to love each other for who they are.

The Review

There are some stories that just help you pass the time away, and there are some that you get mildly sucked into and then there are some stories that take your breath away. Something Beautiful took my breath away.

It focuses on the lifelong friendship of Cordelia and Declan. They are destined to be together. However, life makes things difficult for them. Declan deals with his sexual fluidity, Cordelia deals with her mental health. Even though life throws spanners into their lives the one constant that they have is each other. Something Beautiful is the story of two people who need each other. And it is stunning.

The non-linear multi-perspective narrative keeps the reader on their toes and heightens the tension throughout. Something Beautiful is, at times, un-put-down-able.

This is definitely one book I will be recommending to my friends.

Something Beautiful by Amanda Gernentz Hanson is available now.

For more information regarding Amanda Gernentz Hanson (@amandamaregh) please visit www.amandagernentzhanson.com.

For more information regarding Pen Name Publishing (@PenNamePublishing) please visit www.pennamepublishing.com/home.

4 Stars

windfallTitle: Windfall

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Alice doesn’t believe in luck. Alice believes in love. Mostly that she’s been in love with her best friend, Teddy, for the last three years. When she buys him a lottery ticket for his birthday and he wins 32 million dollars, they are thrown together with the world at their feet. Teddy decides that he will spend his money committing random acts of kindness and who better to go on that adventure with him than Alice? In the process they get to know themselves and each other better than they have before, but money can’t buy you love…

The Review

I love Jennifer E. Smith books. I have not yet read one of her books that I haven’t fallen in love with and Windfall is no different.

Windfall imparts the message that money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness. When Teddy wins millions on the ticket that Alice bought him, he thought it was the answer to all of his prayers but he soon realises that his fortune carries a responsibility. That responsibility is to be true to who you are and not allow money to change that.

Whilst Windfall is about responsibility it is also an insight into how fortune and wealth can change relationships; Teddy and Alice’s, Alice and her dead parent’s, and Teddy and his father’s.

Jennifer E. Smith weaves a brilliant story together that is full of heart. It is warm and engaging with memorable characters and problems.

Windfall by Jennifer E Smith is available now.

For more information regarding Jennifer E Smith (@JenESmith) please visit www.jenniferesmith.com.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

4 Stars

You know what? 2017 started out pretty bad book-wise. I didn’t feel I was in my groove – a large part of this was to do with my internet connection. I had transferred from TalkTalk to the Post Office Broadband. Worst mistake of my year – a very costly mistake too! It took 4 months and £300 in excess charges to get it sorted and finally I went with Plusnet – best decision ever. After that I found my groove and I feel that my reading rhythm was found Huzzah!

So I read 191 books this year (possibly 192 because at the time of writing I am halfway through a book that I could finish today. Ah bygones, it will be the first book of 2018) and some of them have been epic. I am going to try and narrow it down to a top ten but that may be impossible. Obviously, I am writing this in real time rather than reflective because I have no idea how this is gonna pan out.

Wish me luck!

Top Ten Reads of 2017

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • The Cows by Dawn O’Porter
  • Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
  • One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  • A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson
  • The A – Z of Everything by Debbie Johnson
  • The Girl’s Guide to Summer by Sarah Mlynowski
  • Freshers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Ok that was tough but I actually managed to do it. Go me!

So yes, my favourite book of 2017 was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I was genuinely blown away by this book. It was a phenomenal read that I have recommended to all the bookish people in my life.

For that reason, I am giving away two brand new copies of the book. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is:

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your favourite book of the year
  2. Follow me on Twitter (@LJBentley27) and Retweet the competition post
  3. Follow me on Instagram (@LisaTalksAbout) and like the post of The Hate U Give
  4. Comment on the picture
  5. Follow me on Facebook at /LisaTalksAbout

For each thing you do you will earn an entry into the prize draw. This is for the UK only.

Good luck and I hope you have a very bookish 2018.

Lis x

Happy New Year!

So 2017 wasn’t especially great. It wasn’t especially bad either so it was really just a nothing year. There were some really good times spent with my family. My little niece is growing up to be a really funny little girl. I’ve managed to read 191 books. I set myself an initial target of 52 which came very easily to me. As the year went on and I read more and more I would have liked to reach 200 but ah well. Nine away isn’t too bad.

The bad times came in the form of a hospital stay. My Ulcerative Colitis flared up again. I was only in for a few days but it knocked my body so much that I was off work for two months recovering.

Overall, I can’t complain.

2018 is looking to present some new challenges. I will be working specifically with weak readers trying to bring up their reading ages and help them to fall a little bit in love with reading…even if I just get a little bit of ‘like’ with reading I will feel like I have won.

I’m going to reset my 52 books a year as a book challenge on Goodreads.

I’m not going to make resolutions this year because they are easily breakable. I am making plans. I plan to start learning sign language. I plan to continue to donate the physical books I read to different places – either to friends or to the library in the school I work and I plan to enjoy napping more.

Most of all I plan to be happy!

Happy 2018 people.

Lis x

 

Crazy Stupid LoveTitle: Crazy Stupid Love

Author: Cassie Rocca

Pages: 215 Pages

Publisher: Aria Fiction

The Blurb

Are there written rules on how to find a soulmate? Or is it better to trust the hands of fate? A hilarious romance perfect for the fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin.

After enduring a string of dead-end relationships, Zoe Mathison has made a decision – to find a man who truly appreciates her. But this is turning out to be more complicated than she expected. Fed up of being surrounded by insufferably happy couples in love, her mission to find the perfect man starts to become an obsession.

Eric Morgan is pushed to his limits. Hopelessly in love with Zoe, who sees him as nothing more than a best friend to lean on, he can’t bear seeing his hopes of romance crushed every time the sculpted pecs of a younger man comes along. But when a new girl appears on the scene, he is determined to prove that he can push his infatuation aside and move on. But is it as easy as it seems?

In the romantic and bustling city of New York, will Zoe and Eric‘s hilarious misadventures attract Cupid’s arrow?

The Review

I really wanted to enjoy Crazy Stupid Love. I loved the books predecessor A New York Love Story. I loved revisiting the previous characters Cade and Clover and seeing how they are getting on but I genuinely didn’t like the main character in Crazy Stupid Love. Cassie Rocca had made her protagonist really unlikable.

Zoe Mathison came across as spoiled and demanding. I kept yelling at the book that Eric was a fool for liking her. Because I really didn’t warm to the character I found myself unwilling to pick up the book to read.

Not my favourite.

Crazy Stupid Love by Cassie Rocca is available now.

For more information regarding Cassie Rocca (@Cassie Rocca) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction) please visit www.ariafiction.com.

2 Stars