Monday 29 December 2014

Review - Bridget Jones Mad About The Boy by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones: Mad About the BoyBridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Pages - 386

Publisher - Jonathan Cape

Blurb from Goodreads

What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s thirtieth?

Is it better to die of Botox or die of loneliness because you’re so wrinkly?

Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating?

Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?

Is it normal to be too vain to put on your reading glasses when checking your toy boy for head lice?

Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant?

Is it normal to get fewer followers the more you tweet?

Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood?

If you put lip plumper on your hands do you get plump hands?

Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day?

Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in—Warning! Bad, outdated phrase approaching!—middle age.

My Review

Oh how I have missed Bridget! I have read the previous two books and watched the movies countless times so I couldn't wait for this book. Sadly I had heard the spoiler, which incase you have not, I will not repeat here. This of course gave me a heads up I may not enjoy the book but I decided to go in with an open attitude approach, since I had left it on the tbr for a long time.

We open in 2013, 18th of April & it is a Thursday. She is true to form sticking to the diary format and upon reading the first page, the reader, isn't disappointed, well I wasn't. Bridget is dating again, only this time she is in her fifty first year and the object of her affection is Roxster, thirty years old, fit, lean, young and utterly attractive. Whilst trying to keep her diary up to date, she is juggling a toyboy, two young children, trying to follow dating rules, not focus on the past, learn twitter & texting etiquette, keep her weight in check and get the kids to school in one piece. The introduction also gives the reader a headsup briefly to Mark Darcy. We then head back, to one year ago and the build up to present day, Bridgets trials and tribulations, done in a humerous or frank entry to her diary.

The first few pages and chapters, it was like sliding into your old favourite slippers. Bridget is humerous, bumbling her way through one mishap after another. Never fitting into that perfect sized dress, focusing on her weght loss and often failing to maintain her weight. However, once I got into it I noticed, quickly, that Bridget had changed to quite a different person. She still has the humour and I don't mean her age rather, just about every thing else. Her circumstances have completely changed she is not focused on her job pursuits in the way she has done previously. Her home and financial situation again has completely changed and I, for one, found that something I could relate to previously.

I think bringing children into the story was a downside, Bridget is still scatty and trying to impress the male species fumbling through dating, with two children it just didn't seem right with the added background. Sorry to be vague but I hate spoiler reviews. Of course parents date but Bridget has quite a unique take and recent sadness that it just didn't fit. There seemed to be two themes for me, the original funny Bridget trying to do all the things, with the addition of mother duties now, and a serious theme that, whilst not the main focus, certainly brings the overall feeling down. Even Daniel Cleaver, who still is a naughty boy in a mans body is still in the story, however even he has some adult catastrophy issues that ruined so much. You can't do heavy themes like that in a comedy, well I don't think you can and I don't think it had its place in Bridget Jones.

I would love to reach out to Fielding and beg her to make this book a Dallas moment, you know when Bobby was magically in the shower as it was all a dream. Make book four about Bridget and Marks wedding and all the silliness that can and does go wrong. The inlaws, cousins from abroad, families meeting and clashing, the dress disasters, I imagine it to be something like bridesmaids but funnier and all about Bridget.

I think the one thing we all loved about Bridget was her likeability, how we could relate to her, imagine ourselves doing all the silliness she does. This book was just so far removed from our original Bridget and her ordinary circumstances it really pulled the book down for me. I thought I would hate the book, I didn't but I disliked it for a lot more reasons than just the change in Bridgets relationship status. 2/5 for me this time, would I read another Bridget Jones diary? If the third one was disgarded as a dream and we go back to Bridget in her 30s, where we left her, then yes I would. Otherwise I think no, it was just too sad in some parts although I did enjoy reading the diary entries and Bridget trying to grasp dating, twitter and other disasters.

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Saturday 27 December 2014

Review - All I Want For Christmas by Amy Silver

All I Want for ChristmasAll I Want for Christmas by Amy Silver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 days

Pages - 325

Blurb from Goodreads

Twelve days and counting...

It's Bea's first Christmas with her baby son, and this year she's determined to do everything right. But there is still so much to do: the Christmas menu needs refining; her café, The Honey Pot, needs decorating; and she's invited the whole neighbourhood to a party on Christmas Day. She really doesn't have time to get involved in two new people's lives, let alone fall in love...

When Olivia gets knocked over in the street, however, Bea can't help bringing her into The Honey Pot and getting to know her. Olivia's life is even more hectic than her own, and with her fiancé's entire family over from Ireland for Christmas, she shouldn't be lingering in the cosy warmth of Bea's café. Chloe, on the other hand, has nowhere else to go. Her affair with a married man has alienated her friends, and left her lonelier than ever.

But Christmas is a magical time, and in the fragrant atmosphere of The Honey Pot, anything can happen: new friends can be made, hearts can heal, and romance can finally blossom...

My Review

It's 11 days until Christmas, we open on Tuesday the 14th of December with Bea. Bea has a wee cafe that is popular, more so in the rush to Christmas, its not decorated and she needs to sort her Christmas menu. She is having a big party on Christmas for the people at a loose end and this year is her first with her wee boy. Bea is coming to terms with everything that has happened, it has been a rough year for her but she is getting on her feet and keeping busy.

Olivia meets Bea after being knocked over outside the shop, Olivia is distracted and distressed. She is recently engaged and has some major reservations, her fiance's family is coming to her for Christmas, she could do with a friend right about now.

Chloe, beautiful, slim, self obsessed and rude meets Bea and Chloe, starting off on the wrong foot. The trio are the main focus for the book, split into small chapters, labeled clearly so you know whose story you are following which is not only nice but makes for easy reading. As the story progresses we peel back some of the layers and get a better understanding of the ladies and where they are in life. There is some personal growth, romance, sadness, friendship, love and family themes to name just a few. It is a nice wee read for Christmas, quick to get through - I had to dip in and out as course work allowed, I could have read it easily in one sitting.

It is my first dance with this author, I would certainly read her again, 3/5 for me this time. Pleasant enough read with enough going on to keep you engaged.

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Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas you lovely people!

This is just one of my jumpers that are out for December :) Apologies for the lack of reviews posted and indeed the lack of visiting to your lovely blogs. I have been so caught up in university work that reading, for pleasure, has taken a back seat. Even putting my Christmas decorations up, which are always 12 days before, was late. However, now it is Christmas eve, our decorations are up, most of the presents are wrapped and I have made a small dent in the assignments that are due.

The amazon giveaway still has just under a week left on it so if you haven't already, you can still enter. As long as you have an email address you can enter.

A little heads up on a fabulous wee facebook book club group, with authors and bloggers has been created and I am sharing the owners post for anyone interested. *Reposting for Tracy Fenton* "If any of my facebook friends love reading I set up a new book club on facebook 2 months ago and already we have 850 members. We also have huge big name authors involved in Q&A's including Elizabeth Haynes, Linwood Barclay, David Nicholls, Chris Carter, Mark Billingham, Julia Crouch, Charity Norman, Julie Cohen, Joanna Rees plus loads more." - It is called THE Book Club and is a secret privacy set group, you can find it via Tracy.

Now let me share some of my Christmas pictures with you all. We bought the cat a Christmas jacket, didn't think for one second I would actually get it on her and yet she let me put it on her. She is so very cute in it!

My mother always loved tacky and over the top decorations, as a result I have also embraced this. My house is covered in mismatched tinsel, even the bathroom has not escaped. When I saw this Santa seat, well I couldn't help myself, much to my o/h horror :P

We had a beautiful wee robin come visit us, I put out food so he comes by a fair bit however I can never quite catch a picture of him, I got one this day.

And the big star, is older than me. It is held together by quite a bit of tape, glue and staples. I love that even though my mother is no longer with us, we still have some of her decorations we can put out and she so loved Christmas.

I won't be on tomorrow so would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year. Here is to getting lots of wonderful new books, happy times with family and to new friendships. Thank you so much to my blogger friends who have recommended me so many new books, shared their love of reading and to all my followers and visitors who always come back, take part in the giveaways and leave comments.

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Review - The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell

The Death of BeesThe Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - <3 hours

Publisher - Harper

Pages - 320

Blurb from Goodreads

A riveting, brilliantly written debut novel-a coming-of-age story with the strong voice and powerful resonance of Swamplandia! and The Secret Life of Bees—in which two young sisters attempt to hold the world at bay after the mysterious death of their parents.

Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved.

Marnie and her little sister Nelly are on their own now. Only they know what happened to their parents, Izzy and Gene, and they aren’t telling. While life in Glasgow’s Hazlehurst housing estate isn’t grand, they do have each other. Besides, it’s only one year until Marnie will be considered an adult and can legally take care of them both.

As the new year comes and goes, Lennie, the old man next door, realizes that his young neighbors are alone and need his help. Or does he need theirs? But he’s not the only one who suspects something isn’t right. Soon, the sisters’ friends, their other neighbors, the authorities, and even Gene’s nosy drug dealer begin to ask questions. As one lie leads to another, dark secrets about the girls’ family surface, creating complications that threaten to tear them apart.

My Review

I have had this book on my TBR for ages and picked it up last night as it had Christmas in it, the story was not anything like I was expecting. The blurb packs a punch immediately "
Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved." The story starts in Winter, just before Christmas with Marnie, 15 years old and her younger sister Nelly. The chapters are split and titled by the person who is talking in that chapter which makes for easy reading, despite their being a few voices telling their tale. As well as Marnie & Nelly, Lennie comes into the tale, he is the pervert next door, nosey and always watching, which causes concern for Marnie in case he sees them burying their folks. As the tale progresses we see there is more to Lenny than first suggested and we hear the tale from the perspective of the three main characters.

This is a great read, despite the dark content within it, murder of ones parents, abuse of the children, a pedophile next door, drugs, underage sex and thats just a few of the topics covered. Marnie is trying to cope with keeping up appearances so the authorities don't find out the girls are home alone, food, bills, education, keeping some semblance of a normal life. Nelly is a unique wee character, she is socially awkward, has no filter and sees the world in a unique light which cause Marnie concern and irritation in equal measure.

Lennie is a threat to the girls secret being exposed, between his nosey window watching and his wee dog constantly digging up their garden. However as the story progresses, the girls form a relationship with Lennie and he offers them support in ways they couldn't have imagined.

It is a story that is hard to put into one box, it covers a lot of content, is set in Glasgow so has some fresh language, swearing and behaviours that some people may find uncomfortable or upsetting to read. Whilst there is abuse, it is not heavily centred or described in the book, however it is enough for you to be aware it has taken place.

This is a fantastic, strong, gripping, dark and somewhat humourous in places, debut novel. I had never read this author before, got through this in under 3 hours, in one sitting and would certainly read more by this author! 5/5 for me this time and I would recommend it to anyone to be honest, certainly worth checking out and I will seek out what else is on offer from this author.

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Tuesday 2 December 2014

Decembers Giveaway is an Amazon voucher

The season of jolly is here! I am going to do an Amazon giveaway, a £5 voucher. I may try and add another wee additional themed giveaway in the next week or two.

As always, the competition will run until the end of the month. Entries can be gained by filling out the Rafflecopter, the more options you complete, the more entries you have. Please note, the entries are checked upon drawing a winner, any incomplete will be disqualified and another winner chosen, sadly this has happened a few times. No postal address required but the mandatory box will be for the email, this will be kept confidential and deleted after the competition, so I can send your voucher upon the draw ending.

Good luck everyone and as always, thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!

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