If somebody gave you £30,000 and a year to spend this money on reinventing yourself, where would you go and what would you do?
Holly grew up with a loving example of her grandparents’ marriage. When she inherits 30,000 from her grandfather, she wants to spend it on a wedding with her boyfriend of two years and possibly a deposit on a house. Unfortunately, he seems to be more interested in spending time with his mates than committing himself in a marriage to Holly. Suddenly, Holly realizes she’s been taken for granted for too long and has made too many compromises. She leaves Scott, moves back to her Mum’s, and starts thinking seriously about changing her life. Holly draws up a list of things she would like to do in the upcoming year.
Her friends Fiona and Pablo have just bought a house in Andalusia. As one of the things on Holly’s bucket list is living abroad, Holly sets off on her journey to help her friends turn their house in an artists’ retreat and at the same time figure out what really makes her happy. Love isn’t something she expects or wants at this stage of her life.
What I loved about this book is that, although there is a love story, it isn’t central. It is something that happens to the main characters Holly and Matias as they sort out their lives, face their fears, focus on interacting with other people, and discover themselves.
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
‘Wish’ by Chris Saunders is an adorable heart-warming story of a selfless little rabbit who gets three wishes but does not know what to wish for.
He asks his friends Mouse, Fox and Bear what they would with for hoping their advice would help him decide. Mouse would love to be able to fly, Fox craves inspiration to write exciting stories, while Bear would love to go on an adventure in the sea.
After each conversation, Little Rabbit asks himself ‘Is this wish for me?’ Finally, he decides to grant all three wishes he had to his friends to make them happy. His friends are touched by his generosity. I especially loved the words of Little Mouse:
‘By noticing me, you helped me feel tall, treating me as your equal, even though I am small. So if you find yourself lost, forgotten or alone, just look to the sky and I will guide you home.’
They all decide to treat the Little Rabbit to a special surprise and take him on a joint adventure.
The story was very kind and sweet with a lovely message of thinking of others’ needs and wishes before you think about yourself. The illustrations, which are soft and dreamy with gentle colours, help to create a magical world where wishes come true and friends are there for you to share the joy of an adventure.
A perfect bedtime story and an ideal gift for any child, bound to become their favourite.
Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
A young woman gets on the bus and rides out of the big city. She arrives in the countryside, where she is as big as a giant, looming over a tiny house, a garden and her tiny grandmother.
The cabbages and the apple trees are far below. Her grandmother smiles up at her in her yellow hat. The young woman bends down to give her little grandmother a big kiss, and then she smells her grandmother’s cooking. She has returned home. When they sit down at the table, the young woman has shrunk to a child-like size, and the two share a meal together in the garden.
In this gentle,
wordless story Natalia Chernysheva beautifully captures the feelings of
coming home to comfort and memories and of returning to our childlike
A wonderful picture story about home, identity and the importance of family.
My grandfather was a fantastic cook. Whenever my mum was there to visit him and we sat down for a meal, she had this unforgettable expression on her face: pure bliss. I remember trying to understand their complex relationship of a father and a grown-up daughter with her own adult responsibilities. She told me that you are always a child as long as one of your parents (caregivers) is alive and only now I am beginning to understand her words.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Ingram Publisher Services for the ARC provided in return for an honest opinion.
Having just spent a blissful morning reading and playing with my little one, I am really excited to join in sharing our new and old favourite books for children.
Something borrowedand old: The smartest Giant in the town by Julia Donaldson
George wished he wasn’t the scruffiest giant in town
So, one day, he sees a shop selling giant-size clothes, he decides it’s time for a new look. With smart trousers, a smart shirt, stripy tie and shiny shoes, George is a new giant.
But on his way home, he meets various animals who desperately need his help … and his clothes!
I absolutely adore Julia Donaldson’s books. Gruffalo is the most well-known, of course, but there are lots of others, equally kind and entertaining. This one is about being thoughtful, selfless and generous.
Something new-ish: The Cave by Robert Hodgson ( Published in December 2018 by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
There is a cave. A cave that is home to a creature. A creature that never leaves its cave… Because of a wolf.
The wolf tries everything to get the creature to leave the cave, to no avail. But what will happen when he’s finally successful? This is a laugh-out-loud story with a BIG surprise!
A new book by Robert Hodgson is about to be published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books (April2nd 2019)
I loved the bright bold colours and the enterprising spirit of the big bad wolf very determined to get his lunch. In fact, I concentrated on the story so much, that I didn’t see the big twist coming! All children who I have read this story so far were delighted with the book.
Here are the
woods. The woods are home to three foxes on a hunt for rabbits. Three
foxes that don’t realize someone might be following them… From the author of The Cave, this is a fantastically funny cat-and-mouse (or fox-and-rabbit) story with a not-so-fluffy twist.
The foxes follow some helpful signs over the tallest trees, under the carrot fields, and through the pumpkin patch, but there’s no sign of any rabbits. What on earth has happened to them? And why are there strange eyes following them from the trees?
Children will love outwitting the foxes—who continually say, “No rabbits here”—by spotting the rabbits in each colorful illustration.
This short colourful story of three hapless foxes on a hunt for rabbits is illustrated in the same delightfully quirky style as the Cave. This time we did expect a twist, but were still surprised and entertained by this cautionary tale of misleading appearances. Kids loved commenting on the foxes’ arduous and fruitless journey as well as spotting the ever-present hunter’s eyes and the cute pink worm who makes its appearance on every page.
Thank you to NetGalley and Francis Lincoln Books for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Something blue : The Blue Pebble by Anne-Gaelle Balpe, Eve Tharlet (illustrations)
Under a daisy Oli finds a pebble. Everyone he shows it to tells him to throw it away. But Oli just knows he’ll find a use for it one day. At last he meets a very sad girl and finds he was right all along. His pebble is special after all.
A lovely story of a boy who isn’t swayed by other people’s opinions about what things should look like or be like. Beautiful watercolours make Olli’s world seem dreamlike and create a special atmosphere.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Independent Publishers Group for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Have you read any of these books? Did you like them? What was your opinion?
We do not need magic to change our world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves
This short and inspiring biography of JK Rowling, the writer who made kids fall in love with reading again, is well-researched and beautifully illustrated in an original paper-cut style. It gave me a much better idea of the writer’s background, tenacity, determination and love of writing. I didn’t know about her mother’s MS illness and the profound effect it must have had on her family. I loved her words on the importance of failure which can help you strip away the inessential. I think a lot of teens will relate to her story of not being accepted into the university of her choice due to her less than perfect academic record.
scheme and the illustrations in this book are just amazing and are so in tune
with the text. I also loved the way JK Rowling’s quotes became marvellous word
This book isn’t just for fans of Harry Potter, who, no doubt, will be delighted. It has some valuable life lessons to offer to every reader.
Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group /Francis Lincoln Children’s Books for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Title: J.K.Rowling: Boss the bestseller list like(Work it, Girl) Author: Caroline Moss Publisher: Quarto PublishingGroup Date: 5th of March 2019
‘Nothing but trouble’ is a light enjoyable read with slow-burn-friends-to-lovers relationship in a college setting. Alice Bailey is a college transfer from New Jersey. She is fiercely independent and self-reliant. Unfortunately, on her first day at Malibu University she almost gets run over by a local water polo champion, rich, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous Reagan Reynolds.
Alice refuses any help. At first, Reagan, whose parents instilled in him a healthy fear of lawsuits, is relieved, then, he begins to feel guilty. When he realises Alice lost her job and might even have to drop out as she is not able to move without crutches, Reagan does everything to win her trust and friendship. They begin to spend more and more time together, but Reagan is convinced his last year of pre-med school is not the right time for getting involved seriously with anybody. There is a subplot about Reagan’s brother and his personal tragedy of battling a drug addiction, while being completely shunned by his parents. Eventually, Reagan does understand Alice is the person who understands him, supports him, occasionally puts him in his place and has long become somebody much more than a friend.I loved the dual POV in this novel. The story seemed so much richer being told from the two perspectives. The characters are well-written, whether you agree or disagree with their choices and their behaviour. At the beginning, Alice seemed way too sarcastic, but as the novel progresses, this quality completely disappears and instead we see a sweet and loyal girl.
I didn’t think the last twist (the last 5%) was completely necessary or overly realistic, but it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the book.
I will be definitely looking forward to more novels by P.Dangelico.
Someone once told me that you have two families in your life – the one you are born into and the one you choose. Yes, you may get to choose your partner, but you don’t choose your mother-in-law. The cackling mercenaries of fate determine it all.
From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was
kept at arm’s length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even
after marrying Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’d been
But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the
community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving
family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.
was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide
note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in
the family is hiding something…
My friends gave this book such mixed reviews, that I approached it with a bit of apprehension. What I worried about the most was that I won’t be able to engage with the story, that it won’t provoke any strong emotions. Well… For the first half of the book I just hated Diana for her inability or apparent unwillingness to give her children the support they needed. Then, gradually, I began to see the other side of the story and started thinking about my own parents and parents-in-law, our numerous quibbles as well as happy moments nobody can take away from me.
Everyone, no matter how old they are wants their mother’s approval. And everyone, no matter who they are, wants their mother-in-law’s…
Every mother needs to know her children can survive on their own when she is gone. Every mother-in-law finds it impossible to reach a perfect balance in her relationship with her daughter-in-law.
I loved Sally Hepsworth’s style: her catchy metaphors and her attention to detail. The mystery element of the story was utterly gripping, I just kept reading compulsively, even though by the end of the book it was clear that there were so many possible culprits with so many motivations, that it was impossible to guess and it probably didn’t matter. What mattered was how and why you end up being so misunderstood.
In social psychology there is a term: the Actor Observer Bias. We readily attribute other people’s actions to their predispositions/ character. On the contrary, we acknowledge the role of external factors, the situation, the circumstances, in shaping our own behaviour.
In her own mind, Diana’s intentions are good. Okay, sometimes she feels she really knows better, having lived through hardships and having made her life a success. But all she can do is watch in dismay how all her attempts to share her feelings somehow go astray.
Another thing I kept thinking about, which I am not going to go into in this post, is how a suicide affects the surviving family members and how impossible it is to predict its consequences.
This book made me think about my own relationships and the endless potential for miscommunication and misinterpretation of other people’s intentions.
The casual eye doesn’t see everything…
Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin’s Press for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
Chloe Piper is the mysterious author of a racy bestseller novel based on the village gossip her ex-husband used to bring her from the local pub. Now her marriage is suddenly on rocks and Chloe moves to a new house, quite isolated but with stunning views and friendly neighbours.
Chloe suffers from a severe social anxiety disorder – even shopping in a crowded supermarket is out of question.
One evening, in an alcohol-induced leap of courage, Chloe joins The Singleton Club, owned and managed by her neighbours. Step by step, she faces her fears, gets to know the members of the club, tries out new activities she would have never tried otherwise and makes great friends. There are romantic developments as well, although they do not seem to take as much prominence in this book. I really enjoyed reading about Chloe’s new life and her newly-found belief in herself. The characters are well-developed and with the exception of William are all likeable. The humour is kind and gentle and makes you grow fond of and sympathize with the characters, rather than laugh at their predicaments.
Thank you to NetGalley and Canelo Digital Publishing for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Did you know that the material used to make firefighter helmets and bulletproof vests was invented by a woman?
Brilliant Ideas From Wonderful Women: 15 incredible inventions from inspiring women is a brilliant tribute to fifteen amazingly creative women whose inventions made our world a better and safer place to live in. Car heaters and windshield wipers, Wi-fi, Bluetooth and GPS, sea flares and life rafts, diagnostic tests and syringes -all of them were invented by women. Millions and millions of mothers can spend happy hours playing, interacting, raising their children instead of spending half of their life on mindless housework drudgery thanks to dishwashers, nappies and washing machines.
I loved the way this book lets us discover the story behind the inventions and how hard these women had to fight to get their ideas accepted. Children should grow up knowing these names: Margaret Wilcox, Marion Donovan, Stephanie Kwolek, Hedy Lamarr to name just a few.
Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group Wide Eyed Editions for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Title:Brilliant Ideas From Wonderful Women: 15 incredible inventions from inspiring women
Authors: Aitziber Lopez, Luciano Lozano
Published by: Wide Eyed Editions Quarto Publishing Group