Sunday, 4 November 2007

More Books

Whilst I'm talking about books, I should mention the books I read on holiday. I'll talk about them in the order I read them.

Cuban Heels by Emily Barr
Maggie moves to Brighton after splitting up with her long-term boyfriend, and, unable to find a job, starts work as a lapdancer. Failing to make any new friends, she writes letters compulsively, and the highlight of her day is the sound of the morning post being delivered. Maggie gradually becomes obsessed with the married couple, Jessica and David, living next door. Jessica has given up work after having a baby, and is finding life as a full-time mother very difficult. Just as she persuades David that she should return to work, he is asked to take a sabbatical from his management-consultant job. He's always longed to travel, and convinces Jessica that they should spend six months in Cuba, learning Spanish. Maggie, deciding she too wants to travel, follows them to Havana, where the horrors of her past - in particular her young sister's violent death - begin to haunt her. And as Maggie starts to break down, she tries to take over Jessica's life...

My friend recommended this book to me. She said it was one of her favourites and also my boss raved about it and as I was going to Cuba I thought why not!
I'm so glad I did. Not only is this book extremely well written it's not at all what I though it was going to be. It's very un-nerving in places and does make you think.
I do completely recommend it and understand why my friend classes it as one of her favourites, I would happily say it's one of mine too. A very powerful read.

Wish You Were Here by Phillipa Ashley
This is a classic romantic story of star-crossed lovers who just can't seem to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A very young Beth and Jack met, fell passionately in love and had a whirlwind engagement several years ago in Corsica. But when they got back to the reality of their everyday lives in the UK, Jack mysteriously ended their relationship and Beth was left alone and heartbroken. What a cad. Or was he? When Beth, all grown-up and newly engaged - again - ends up working for Jack by a bizarre twist of fate, they start to unravel a string of misunderstandings that drove them apart. But it's too late to try again - or is it?

Being a huge fan of Phillipa's first book DECENT EXPOSURE I was extremely excited to read WYWH and it didn't let me down. Phillipa manages to make her characters completely believable, I especially loved the characters of Beth's father and sister. She also has a way of making her leading men completely irresistible and I fell in love with Jack the minute we met him.
Although it was my first day on holiday with a lot of things to see and do, I couldn't stop reading it and read it within a day. I'm huge fan of Phillipa's writing and would recommend it to anyone. In fact I've just lent it to my friend!

You Had Me at Halo by Amanda Ashby
Holly Evans has just seen her body laid to rest. Now she would like to move onto the afterlife. But apparently she has some mortal baggage to unload first, starting with the matter of how she died. Her heavenly shrink isn’t buying that she didn’t kill herself and says she must return to earth to straighten things out. The thing is, she needs to borrow the body of computer geek Vince Murphy to do it. Oh, and although Vince was supposed to have vacated the premise, he apparently never got the memo.
Now, Holly has forty-eight hours to resolve her issues while sharing arms, legs, and…other things … with a guy she barely noticed while she was alive. But the real surprise is what life has to offer when you have only two days to live it.

As books go, this has to be one of the most imaginative books I've read in a long time. Very clever, very funny with a heroine you'd love to have as a friend.
Again, I read this book in a day and it kept me guessing right through. With most books you can usually guess the ending, but with this one there was no way I could guess what would happen to the lovely Holly at the end and was so pleased it was a happy one.
This is a great debut from Amanda, she writes with such warmth and with great humour - I'm really looking forward to her next offering.

Confessions of an Air Hostess by Marisa Mackle
Bestselling Irish writer Marisa Mackle comes to "Little Black Dress" with a hilarious, romantic and page-turning book about the air hostess to end all air hostesses...Poor Annie. Dumped by her boyfriend via text this morning while en route to the airport, she can think of better things to do than stand on a plane demonstrating emergency procedure and pointing out low-level lighting to hundreds of uninterested passengers. But what's a cabin-crew gal to do when her love life hits turbulence? Annie bravely resolves to keep smiling through her fake tan - while there's still a plane to catch, there's still pastures new to discover. And one of these days she's sure to really meet Mr Right. Isn't she? A great love story and a fantastic, loveable heroine combine to make this a romantic novel that's simply not to be missed.

Now I fully respect writers and never like to review anything badly - I always try and be positive but I really couldn't get in to this book. I don't know why, but I think it might have been my fault. I'd read three books so quickly and think I needed a break. So I made the decision to stop reading it. I love Little Black Dress and I don't want to put anyone off this book. I honestly think I was just booked-out by this point. So I will be picking it up again soon and will be giving it another go. I'm sure I'll love it and I'll keep you posted. It's had some great reviews on Amazon, so I honestly think it was me!

Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella
Becky's life is blooming! She's working at London's newest fashion store The Look, house-hunting with husband Luke (her secret wish is a Shoe Room)... and she's pregnant! She couldn't be more overjoyed - especially since discovering that shopping cures morning sickness. Everything has got to be perfect for her baby: from the designer nursery... to the latest, coolest pram... to the celebrity, must-have obstetrician. But when the celebrity obstetrician turns out to be her husband Luke's glamorous, intellectual ex-girlfriend, Becky's perfect world starts to crumble. She's shopping for two... but are there three in her marriage?

Now, this wasn't on my holiday list to read. I'm a huge fan of the Shopaholic series, it's just this one came out in hardback and as all of my collection is in paperback, I stopped myself buying it when it first came out. (Which was very difficult to do, but I'm quite anal!) I honestly wish paperbacks came out sooner, I hate hardbacks. Anyway, the airport do special paperbacks and this was on the table, so I bought it.
It's very rare that you love every single book in a series, but Sophie Kinsella manages it somehow. The first in the series was the reason I fell in love with chick-lit. Becky and Luke are a fantastic couple and I absolutely love, love, love following their ups and downs!
I don't think I need to recommend this book as I'm sure everyone loves the Shopaholic series!

Basically a great selection of books, which only added to the fun I had on my holiday.


Amanda Ashby said...

Awh - thanks, Sally! I'm so pleased you enjoyed Halo and I'm glad you were guessing until the end. I'll let you in on a little secret - I was guessing as well because when I started writing the book I had no idea what was going to happen!!!!

Sally Lawton said...

Really? Wow, well it certainly was the most perfect ending and I truly loved it. xx

Phillipa said...

Sally - I'm really pleased you liked WYWH as it's always scary when a second book comes out.(trembles) Unlike Amanda, I had an idea of what was going to happen - well, some of it anyway!

Sally Lawton said...

No problem Phillipa, it was wonderful and I'm really looking forward to your next one :-)

Mary said...

Thank you so much for posting your book information. I'm going to pick up "Wish you were here". I love romantic stories. I'm so hooked!

I just read a new author who you might like. His name is Rob Costelloe. I think you'd like his work.

Check it out and enjoy!

Mary :>)

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