The Blurb

Lou Clark has lots of questions.

Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.

Or why the flat she’s owned for a year still doesn’t feel like home.

Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.

And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.

Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for – or just more questions?

Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.

Open it and she risks everything.

But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she’s going to keep it, she has to invite them in . . .

The Review

I was scared to read After You by Jojo Moyes, terrified even. You see, Me Before You was one of those books; one of those rare books that comes along and steals your heart. You would think that with the amount of books that I read that it would happen a lot but in reality it is still a really rare thing.

With Me Before You I spent the final 80 pages in an emotional ball covered with snot and tears – not a pretty image, I know – and even though it has been over three years since I read it I still don’t think that I am over the story of Will and Lou.

So, with some trepidation, I picked up After You and started reading and honestly, I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t know what I was expecting but somehow Jojo Moyes has managed to tell Louisa’s story post Will and still retain the dignity of their relationship. I think that was what I was most worried about. I didn’t want the beloved character of Will to just be forgotten about and Moyes managed to walk that thin line of staying respectful to what developed in Me Before You whilst showing that you can (and should) move on after a tragedy.

I loved the twists in the story and the introduction of new characters and how they were woven seamlessly into the narrative.

Overall, After You was an uplifting read that balanced the heartbreak and sadness of Me Before You.

After You by Jojo Moyes is available now.

Follow Jojo Moyes (@jojomoyes) on Twitter.

Title: The Liberty Colouring Book

Author: Various

Pages: 93 Pages

The Review

I’ll start this review with two little life anecdotes. Last year, I was really ill; as a recuperation gift, a good friend of mine bought me my first adult colouring book. I lost myself in the pages colouring each page (I was pretty much bed bound so having something to entertain me was a godsend).

Before this, I worked in a call centre and there were times when customers were rude and aggressive and it would get my friends and I all riled up. So we would bring in colouring pages and pencils to sooth the savage beast within.

Since then, the colouring in craze has swept the nation and adults have remembered the pure simple joy of spending hours colouring in. I know that I certainly have.

Earlier this week I received a copy of The Liberty Colouring Book. It is gorgeous. The handbag sized book features prints that Liberty used on their fabrics over the years, some from special collections and some from the archives. This beautiful collection shows you how high end fashion has changed over the years. Yet what is even more exciting, you can re-imagine the designs to your personal colour preferences.

The Liberty Colouring Book comes with an introduction by Sally Kelly, a fabric designer at Liberty and each print featured in the book has a brief but of information about when the fabric was used. This truly is the most delightful colouring book.

I cannot recommend The Liberty Colouring Book enough. It is pocket sized, the prints are intricate and it will provide you with hours of fun. So buy the book, get some colouring pencils and get colouring.

The Liberty Colouring Book is available now.

With special thanks to Annie Holland from Penguin books for sending me a copy of The Liberty Colouring Book.

The Blurb

*Winner of the 2014 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Business Book*

In the space of ten years, Sophia Amoruso has gone from high-school dropout to founder and Executive Chairman of Nasty Gal, one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world.

Sophia’s never been a typical executive, or a typical anything, and she’s written #GIRLBOSS for other girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success.

Filled with brazen wake-up calls, cunning and frank observations, and behind-the-scenes stories from Nasty Gal’s meteoric rise, #GIRLBOSS covers a lot of ground. It proves that success doesn’t come from where you went to college or how popular you were in school. Success is about trusting your instincts and following your gut, knowing which rules to follow and which to break.

Inspiring, motivating and empowering, #GIRLBOSS will give you the kick up the ass you need to reach your potential.

The Review

Sophia Amaruso is (among a plethora of other titles) the founder of Nasty Gal Vintage; a multimillion dollar company that started out as a little boutique on eBay. In #GIRLBOSS, Amoruso reveals how she managed her meteoric rise in the business world.

If you are looking for a paint-by-numbers, step-by-step guide to business success then you are looking in the wrong place. If, however, you are looking to read in inspirational story of hard work and reaping the benefits of that labour then maybe, just maybe, #GIRLBOSS is the book for you.

Following her natural instincts, Amoruso took her love of vintage fashion and took it right to the bank but she didn’t do this with a business degree or knowledge of the fashion world. No, Amoruso did it by following what she felt was right and with a (some would say) foolhardy determination. Along the way she learnt the ropes, knew what would sell, how to sell it, putting the customer first and also the power of social media Amoruso’s natural business acumen oozes off each and every page. You don’t think it is a coincidence that the title has a hash tag in it, do you?

One thing is for sure is that Sophia Amoruso is an inspiration. I hadn’t even finished it and I started believing that I could reach my goals and that I hadn’t fully realised my potential yet. Amoruso may not have set out to become the poster child for success but she has garnered that role through her perseverance and uncanny ability to understand the fashion market.

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso is available now.

*Many thanks to Annie Hollands from @penguinrandomhouse for sending me a copy of #GIRLBOSS to review.

List of the LostTitle: Life of the Lost

Author: Morrissey

Pages: 128 Pages

The Blurb

‘Beware the novelist . . . intimate and indiscreet . . . pompous, prophetic airs . . . here is the fact of fiction . . . an American tale where, naturally, evil conquers good, and none live happily ever after, for the complicated pangs of the empty experiences of flesh-and-blood human figures are the reason why nothing can ever be enough. To read a book is to let a root sink down. List of the lost is the reality of what is true battling against what is permitted to be true.’ Morrissey.

Penguin Books is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of List of the Lost, Morrissey’s extraordinary novel, on 24 September.

The Review

Oh man.

I was really excited that Morrissey was releasing a book. I was excited for all the wrong reasons. I love The Smiths, I loved Morrissey’s autobiography, I love the myth of Morrissey. It hurts me to say this but Morrissey – the author of fiction – is awful. I don’t mean a little bit terrible, I mean this book – List of the Lost -brings awful to a whole new level.

I would love to be able to explain the plot of the story to you but unfortunately it got lost beneath the dirge of words used elsewhere. The narrative was so erratic I couldn’t find any understanding at all. The only parts that seemed to be clear happened to be when Morrissey broke free from character voice and inserted his own thoughts and opinions – believe me, it was blatant when this happened in the story. I think my issue with this is that as a performer and therefore (in a sense) a public figure, Morrissey has a platform to vent and rant to his heart’s content. He needn’t have interrupted his own story with his personal agenda.

Music wise, Morrissey is a lyrical god; as a novelist Morrissey leaves a lot to be desired.

List of the Lost by Morrissey is available now.

The Blurb

A laugh-out-loud romance from the bestselling author of the Shopaholic series.

Meet Audrey: an ordinary teenage girl with not so ordinary problems.

Aside from her completely crazy and chaotic family, she suffers from an anxiety disorder which makes talking to her brother’s hot new best friend a bit of a challenge.

But Audrey has a plan to help her face her fears and take on the world again. First stop: Starbucks.

The Review

Shhh. Come closer. I’ve got a shameful secret to tell you. Are you ready? Ok, here it goes. I have never read a Sophie Kinsella book. Ever. Until I read Finding Audrey, I was a Sophie Kinsella virgin.

What a book to pop my Sophie Kinsella cherry.

Finding Audrey is about a young girl called Audrey (funnily enough) who has suffered a major setback in life. An incident so bad that it made her leave school and spend time in an institution for her mental health and anxiety problems. Now Sophie doesn’t really go out, she doesn’t communicate with anyone but her family and her therapist and she refuses to take off her sunglasses both in and outdoors, come rain or shine.

It is safe to say that Audrey has issues.

The story, although having mental health at its core is a really uplifting story about the slow and everlasting process of healing that mental health sufferers go through. The added element of it being a young girl who is suffering kind of hits a nerve; mental health isn’t singularly centred on a particular gender or age or social group. It can happen to anyone.

I really enjoyed reading Finding Audrey. Kinsella’s easy style of writing is engaging. The one thing that I wanted more from the story was to know the details of the incident that caused the mental health decline in Audrey. However, as much as I want to know I also completely understand why the reader wasn’t given details. In real life issues that lead to mental health problems can’t be quantified and what one person sees as a massive issue others may feel that it is trivial. Kinsella made a smart move by not revealing everything…as much as I am nosy and want to know.

This is a great story for anyone who thinks that they may be suffering from anxiety but also for anyone who may not have an understanding of mental health problems.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella is available now.

Follow Sophie Kinsella (@KinsellaSophie) on Twitter.

Finding Audrey