27/07/2015

Summer Book Review: Two Fridays in April by Roisin Meaney



MY SYNOPSIS
Imagine This: Your husband died on his daughters’ birthday. He was getting back from his way to pick up a present for her. And well, he died.

Now a exactly a year later, you all are not looking forward to celebrating a birthday. Because that would mean celebrating his one-year anniversary. You are not meant to celebrate his anniversary. You are still mourning. He wasn’t meant to die, how can fate be so cruel?

Apparently, you are not the only one not looking to celebrate a birthday. The daughter cannot, will not get over the fact that, her father died on his way to pick-up a present for her. He was supposed to return on her seventeenth. He wasn’t supposed to die and leave her lost and alone in this world, how the hell does anyone get over survivor’s guilt?

But guess who seems pretty upbeat and is ready to throw up a dinner, get a cake and sing happy birthday? Your unbearable mother-in-law. Well, at least, there’s someone looking up to eating your cake. But all this doesn’t feel right. Why doesn’t that woman own a sympathetic bone in her? Why can she not understand if she’s fecking fantastic and so over her son’s death, you lot are not over his death too? Why does she have to suggest a minor-gathering on a day you’d rather spend staring aimlessly at a headstone and bawling your eyes out?

Unfortunately, you have no idea today, would lead to a chain of events that would teach you to move on, celebrate, and get a fucking life even if your fate has said good riddance to your husband.

Daphne Darling’s life summed up for your delight.

MY REVIEW

I loved, loved this book! So, it’s so obvious I’d be yelling at you to go buy it!

First of all, terrific storyline. I love the whole dark themes this book explores in a very engaging way. A book about loss and dying and mourning could be boring. But not this title. In a day, Woman has rather been flitting through routines without performing them with zest since her husband’s death. And why the hell did he have to be buried in the same grave as his first wife? Why did he have to leave her with a teenager she’s finding hard to connect with? And a mother-in-law who’s as cold, and heartless as, um, a serial killer? Anyway, amazing storyline!── ★

The main characters are fantastic. It’s told in the point of view of four women who need to pick up the pieces after the death of a son, a husband, a father, and a son-in-law. You’d love Daphne for being so… dull (but really, who isn’t after losing their husband), you’d find her relatable if you’ve had to lose someone you love! (Like how I lost my dog and my life would never be the same again!) You’d love Mo, the mother-in-law who’s harsh on the outside, but on the interior she’s warm and does everything with a good thought, but really, who loves an old woman over eighty finding it hard to show remorse and complaining every darn time? You’d also love Una, the daughter who’s grieving her dad’s death, and in my opinion, the boldest of all three women. Isobel is the mother of Daphne who left her when she was only six, she’s worried she’s turning sixty and wondering why she spends her life with the most emotionless man on earth. A star to all these main characters.── ★★

Other main characters are just a delight. There’s Finn, the dead husband who’s ever present in past accounts. There’s Theo, the son of the man who took away Una’s father. There’s the whole bunch related to the man who took away Una’s father you’d absolutely adore. You’d also love Dolly, the dog who someone has to hold on to when another is leaving the house because she’d jump on them and begin licking. There’s Alex,  Isobel’s second husband who probably doesn’t have the right signals that send emotions to the brain, hence is bare. There’s George, Daphne’s stepbrother who’s considerate and sweet with kids. You’d also love Jack, Daphne’s father who backs out of an argument even before it starts whose wife left him for his predictability. A star to all these characters. None redundant, all enjoyable!── ★★★

This is excellent literary piece. It’s hard to find a title that demonstrates literary prowess and experience of the author and still be appealing. This book was all stretched out in a day, yet not boring! You’d love how Roisin connects the dots in each characters’ account explaining your whys and hows to give more depth and understanding to the story. You’d love how Roisin is such a tease, cutting off information, witholding it and supplying it at a later time (in that same chapter, mind you), when she feels it’s most paramount to bring up! Only a writer could admire these attributes of Roisin Meaney. Surprisingly, no backstory is left out, engaging as the present day account.── ★★★★

So this book is not big on OMG-moments, yet it’s hard to put down. You’d find the story engaging, moving and delightful. A star.── ★★★★★

So my rating is definitely a five out of five stars (5/5 stars)!

Roisin Meaney’s amazing latest is available on amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn a few tricks on how to be an amazing storyteller as well as good writer. Anyone who wants something that explores dense themes yet ends on a satisfying note should get this book. 

Anyone who wants a title to steal away their summer hours without noticing (because it all happens in a day!) should go pick this title. 

My work not done here! Off to post my review on amazon as well as goodreads.

Sumner Book Review: My Mother's Secret by Sheila O'Flanagan



My Synopsis 
Imagine This: You are happy for your parents! Forty years! That’s a big deal! Forty years of love, forty years of setting the best example for you to follow. Though, really, let’s face it, they set the bar really high when all you’ve been able to handle is some non-serious friends-with-benefits uncomplicated relationships. A few months of orgasmic fun, that is!

Anyway, you are very much sure your parents would love to have a quiet time together. But your older unbearable sis is having none of it. She wants to throw a surprise party for them, inviting friends, family and neighbours. And you’d rather help than have a rolling pin whacked against your head, really. Besides things look like they’d turn up just alright because nobody seems to be complaining. (But perhaps, maybe they are not teetering around town with three tiers of cake or climbing skyscraper ladders to fix up banners).

Except your mum has decided to release a long-kept secret(s). So things are not exactly going to be booze, cutting cake and making speeches.

Roll out your tissues! It’s going to be one heck of a stormy summer party.

Steffie’s life summed up for your delight.

My Review 

I liked this book!

Great storyline. A family book you could get cosy with this summer. So Woman decides on her fortieth anniversary, she can no more live a lie she’s kept for years, and decides she cannot wait another day (why? Why?) to reveal it to everyone during the time her children want to throw her the biggest surprise. During the same time her son is bringing in a girlfriend from Denmark to coax her into marrying him seeing just how happy his parents are. A star!──

A fun multiple character-read! As with all other family books, you’d find yourself scrutinizing, turning over each character finding who you best relate with. You would find your inner, dreamy, lovechild in Steffie. You would find your inner bossiness and unbearable nature in Roisin. You might also find your inner-unsettled and fussy nature in Jenny, the mother. A star.── ★★

Other characters make this book great as well. There’s Summer the cocktail-mixer who’s a bit of a hit amongst the older men of the family. There’s Colette, the cousin who’s dumped three men at the altar. There’s Dave, the brother who’s searching for a right moment to propose. You’d also love the meddling aunts who can’t stand how happy Jenny and Pascal are.── ★★★

OMG Moments would make this a great read for you. OMG Moments you’d really find yourself giggling at. A star.── ★★★★

I liked this book. But I really, really wished I could have loved, loved it. I wanted less predictability, more surprise. On a general note, it a good book. So my rating…

My rating: Four/five stars.

Sheila O’ Flanagan’s latest is available on amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a family read to enjoy this summer. Anyone who wants a multiple-character read which doesn’t make all the characters look the same, sound the same, be the same. Anyone who wants a title with lots of heart, warmth and love should look no further than this.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on amazon, as well as goodreads.

21/07/2015

Summer Book Review: The Good Girl by Fiona Neill




MY SYNOPSIS
Imagine This: You are the mother of three amazing children. Though they hate you for being headmistress of their school who brought into effect the appropriate length of school-uniform skirts and a ban on mobile phones being used in the classroom.

Everything’s going perfect, really. Your husband, a neuroscientist, is being supportive at home picking up your children and having dinner on the table before you get back from work. You admit your working hours doesn’t favour you putting your youngest to sleep but you could work around it.

Then the storm hits. A video is brought to your complaint. A sex video in which your perfect straight-A daughter is the lead actress starring alongside a penis. Then suddenly, everything isn’t as it seems.

Who’s the owner of this penis? Why can’t you take the video off the internet? Why does the world have a fetish for children under the age of seventeen engaging in immoral sexual acts?

Most importantly, why did you daughter do this?—a question which leads to powerful secrets you thought you’d shut the lid on after you began a new life.

Ailsa Field’s puzzling and tragic life summed up for your delight.


MY REVIEW

Whew! Thank God, I finally let go off this book to write this review informing you to go buy the hell out of it!
Fantastic Storyline. I am so ashamed I have never read anything by Fiona Neill. She’s brilliant… as you all might know already. But this book is something else.  So Woman’s battling to make her life seem perfect. She has everything together. Until the new neighbours move in. And her family would never be the same again. Of course, it’s easy to shift the blame on the new neighbours. But unknowingly, she finds the new neighbours were just a catalyst for what was already bound to happen. Amazing storyline.── ★

This is one of the few well-researched novels out there, people! It has so much info on the innings of the brain I wondered if I’d stepped into a wrong lecture and was being rewarded (not bombarded) with so much enlightening stuff. I also wondered how long Fiona Neill took to cram all that stuff into penning this insightful novel—I imagined her editors persistently emailing her for her first 10,000. Brilliant information on neuroscience, slut-shaming and the woes of the internet age. A star.── ★★

It’s one of the few books that would make you love internal monologue! Told in the voices of a mother reacting to events before and after the catastrophe—in third person, and a daughter giving her honest view of what her parents are not aware of—first person, it’s engaging and captivating!── ★★★

The two main characters were brilliant! You’d love, Ailsa (which for a larger part of the novel I’d misread as ‘Alisa’) , the headmistress and past English teacher for being very reserved, very supportive of her family and mostly being the man in her family when her husband has failed to man up to situations. She’s the kind of mother you’d relate to and adore. Also, there’s Romy, her clever daughter you’d wish was your own… until she makes the dreadful mistake of shattering her future. A star.── ★★★★

Other characters make this book enjoyable as well. In fact, all the characters! There’s Harry, the supportive husband who’s always looking for a compliment on the meals he cooks. There’s Luke, the son with no direction, bringing as many girls as he can home for the night. There’s Ben, the weird, adorable, err, peculiar youngest son who always hoards the last portion of food in his room. There’s Adam, Ailsa’s father who drinks more than he speaks. Rachael, Ailsa’s sister whose love-life is a mess.  There’s the Fairports—the new neighbours who are sex therapists and their sons. A star to all these characters and the ones I can’t mention because of the length this review is bordering on.

This book is suspenseful! Engaging! I read four hundred pages in a day! That’s double my reading limit! I couldn’t put it down even when I had to break to do my laundry—I was balancing it over a box of detergent and a huge pile of clothes. So many OMG-moments at one point I rolled my eyes at the ceiling wondering when Fiona Neill would keep surprising the hell out of me! You read loads of titles about family secrets, but I assure you, they do not come as close! A star!── ★★★★★

My rating: Six/five stars (6/5 stars)! 

Fiona Neill’s breath-taking latest is available on amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a title that would keep them on their toes this summer! Anyone who can handle a little more than enough suspense should go get this title! 

Anyone who wants a book part insightful, part subversive, thoroughly entertaining must run to the bookshops now with the title of this book on their lips—The Good Girl by Fiona Neill (—the good writer! Yeah, I’m cheesy like that!)

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads and shitty amazon who would make me cut a chunk of this review.

Summer Book Review: Nothing But Trouble by Matt Cain




MY SYNOPSIS

Imagine This: You are a pop star! Your base is the UK and your career is about to take off. You have a US record company about to sign you on which means, in no time, you’d be a big star.

But with fame comes Trouble, your new album that’s topping the charts and making your song the in-thing on the lips all girls and gay guys. But you are done with finding a little trouble on your own. Until you are sure it finds you everywhere you go.

You can’t stay away from bad guys who have trouble written all over them. From sexy guitarists, to intense keyboardists and insanely hot drummers. Wherever there’s a bad guy, you latch onto him and his many instruments. ;)

This addiction would get you into a whole lot of trouble than you’ve ever gotten to in the past. And before you have a chance to break out of it, your career would be in tatters for the whole world to see.

Lola Grant’s trouble-laden musical career and life summed up for your delight.

MY REVIEW
Go buy this book if you are up for some non-stop musical fun and trouble—lots of it!

First of all, there’s a great storyline. Matt Cain weaves a story that’s the exact portrait of the entertainment industry laden with sex, drugs and bad guys or just bad back-up singers. You’d love Lola’s story, because just like you’ve wondered why men love bitches, you’ve also probably wondered why you ladies love bad guys. Matt Cain infuses the story of a past drunkard and his gay partner into the mix. He also throws in a revengeful back-up singer who would do anything to stop her moronic swaying and the random ‘Ooh’s and ‘Aah’s in between her lead singer’s songs to ruin her career. Fab storyline.── ★

An entertaining multiple character read. Lola’s perfectly portrayed to be that laidback star with charm who greets everyone with darlin’ and a peck on each cheek. You’d love her for being relatable and not going into the usual eyeroll anorexic phase most celebs are into these days. She eats anything. Just as well as she drinks anything . You’d hate her for being stupid at times committing the same mistakes with her love life over and over again. She’s just your regular pop star who cannot stay out of trouble and stumbling out of clubs wasted. A star to her.── ★★

The other characters are amazing. There’s Harvey, the gay manager who’s always around to save the day. There’s Gloria, the revengeful back-up singer I so much loved, because who doesn’t a girl made as the bad guy. There’s Spike, Harvey’s Nigerian descent boyfriend who also cannot stay out of trouble himself. There’s Freddy Jones, the reporter Lola has an eye for. There’s Jake Hunter, the drummer with a bad boy reputation Lola cannot resist. A star to all these characters and more I can’t mention.── ★★★

The suspense in this book is good. Towards the last hundred pages, you’d be practically at the edge of your seat wishing the author would just put you out of your dilemma. A star.── ★★★★

My rating is a four-point-five star (4.5/5 stars).

Matt Cain’s latest is available on amazon.

I recommend this book for anyone who wants to read fiction based in the music industry. Anyone who needs a title with multiple characters who deliver should pick this. If you are up for a summer filled with lots of trouble and fame go get this book. And if you want something suspenseful, this book is a right pick. This book is very Jackie-Collins, so if you love her too, Matt Cain should be up on your shelf with her.


My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

14/07/2015

Summer Blog Tour and REVIEW: I Followed The Rules by Joanna Bolouri






MY SYNOPSIS
Imagine This: You are thriving as a journalist being a single-mum to your adorable daughter of ten. You’ve been single since you dumped your boyfriend—that’s a long time. And that’s fine, really. Who needs a man when you can have sex?

Except you haven’t had sex in a long time.

Now your column in an online magazine is funny and loved by most of your audience who are not leaving shitty comments about your sense of humour being as boring as your writing. Except when these comments are increasing by the day, you are beginning to get worried. And your editor is beginning to get worried about laying you off. Not that she’d care that much, she could replace you with someone funnier (fresh and younger, but no one’s adding that).

You are forced to base your column on a new dating book which every woman considers a dating bible. But according to you it’s actually shit, and sexist and against all feminist principles. How can you not ask a guy out? How can you not be funnier than a guy on a date? How can you not have sex till it’s the fifth date? How are you always supposed to let the man lead?

But your editor wants you following these rules soon and fast and writing on them every week. Because if you do not you should say bye to the job of your dreams, a regular income and lots of time to fit around your daughter.

Before you know it, you are following these rules to the letter; walking all over Glasgow to get asked out by a man, being less funny on dates, laughing at all his unfunny jokes, never swearing, being called sweet by these guys. Sweet! Sweet?!

Then a chance encounter with the writer of this book you’ve been slagging on your blog complicates everything.

Catriona’s funny, complicated, dating-hellish life summarised for your delight.

MY REVIEW
Joanna Bolouri has done it again! Go buy this book or don’t ever return for book recommendations (ever!)

Amazing storyline! After penning a debut such as hers. A debut which should just be your fifth book. The pressure to deliver a stunning book to assure your success wasn’t a one-time-lucky-thing is high. Yet, Joanna Bolouri doesn’t disappoint in her novel. A star to the storyline.── ★

Another character to love! I loved, loved, loved Catriona! Her voice is fresh, funny, sarcastic, witty. She’s all you need from an entertaining lead! You’d love her for her bluntness. Her tendency to cuss a lot! Her amazingly wonderful motherhood skills. Hell, another character by Bolouri I would want to have brunch with! A star.── ★★

Other characters make this book kicking too. There’s Kierran, the funny friend who’s quite sure men who play golf are not right for her friend. There’s Rose, the play-date mother who’s always lonely and offering to meet up. There’s Helen, the sister who’s always forcing Cat to sit through dates with weirdoes and would club anyone who insults Michael BublĂ©, because he’s a fucking god! There’s Peter, the annoying ex you’d love to hate! There’s also Guy Wright the writer of the Dating Book who infuriates our lead. You’d also love Dylan, the adorable one-night-shag and Grace, daughter who’d just make you want to get yourself knocked up and say, To hell with men, I have my adorable, witty, smart daughter. These characters and more(!!) are amazing and not redundant in anyway. A star.── ★★★

This book is fast-paced! You wouldn’t be able to put it down. I read it all in a day (that’s even because I am a slow reader!). The only time you put it down would be when you realize you need to change out of your underwear—because the chemistry of the lead characters is so electrifying!── ★★★★

It’s funny. I assure you, there’s no paragraph that wouldn’t get you grinning or cackling with laughter. Even if there’s one, you’d find yourself thinking back to the jokes that made you laugh so hard then you’d be laughing again. A star.── ★★★★★

My rating: Five out of five stars!

Get this book on amazon, people! And get her debut too if you’ve not read it—just because it appeared on all the good lists on this blog!

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a lead they would adore! Anyone who wants an actual Laugh-out-loud book (—you know, most books tagged this way are not really, but this is different!). Anyone who wants another title from Bolouri as shedoesn’t disappoint! The perfect beach read.


My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads and amazon.

Book Review: The Reluctant Celebrity by Laura Ellingham





MY SYNOPSIS
Imagine This: Your ex-boyfriend who dumped you has turned famous. Now he wants you back and is putting your name up in all the tabloids.

You are pissed at him. All you need is a quiet life in the country with your new house you are trying to renovate which the villagers believe is haunted.

Tabloids are asking of your whereabouts. Guys everywhere are confessing you broke their hearts. You are now the girl every Londoner wants to date. Even bartenders in the little village you’ve retired to, want you.

Your ex-boyfriend though, wouldn’t stop pursuing you till you come around. Because just as his single inspired by you has become number one on every chart, you are number on his heart.

Jules’ papped life summarised for your delight.

MY REVIEW
Great storyline. See above. When I read the blurb of this book I knew I wanted to read it. Nothing like a title about a girl who gets famous overnight for breaking a pop-star’s heart and running away from the tabloid gossip and the paparazzi. A star to the storyline.── ★

The main characters are good. Jules is just your relatable girl-next-door character who doesn’t admire a life of being papped. Guy Rawson, the celebrity model now-turned musician is also a favourite. Throughout the book you’d be rooting for these characters to sort out their mess and live happily ever after. A star.── ★★

Other characters you’d love are Terri, the interior designer who’s quite funny. There’s also Rich, the bartender who has the hots for our lead, and his dog, Max who’s always jumping on strangers. Oh, and there’s also a funny newspaper man in the country. And a model who fancies herself as too cool to hang out with everyone. A star to these characters.── ★★★

I liked this book. But I wish I ‘loved, loved’ it. I felt the writer could have done more with the story. I wish it wasn’t so predictable. I wish it was more than OK,

So my rating: Three out of five stars.

You could get this book on amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a title based on the fame-theme with lover-boy pop-stars and heroines you’d find relatable.


My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

06/07/2015

Summer Book Review: Dietland by Sarai Walker

                                                                22749796



MY SYNOPSIS
Imagine This: You are overweight, obese, huge, big. But never fat. Anyone could call you anything but fat.

You are tired of people poking fingers at you, mothers using you as an example to ward their little girls off ice cream, no guy would ever want to marry you, or fuck you, or kiss you. To the world, you existence is unnecessary. And for so long you have begun to believe it. All the nasty things people and the media refer to you as. It doesn’t help that you work for a glamorous teen magazine. Your life has been one big (literally) criticism after another.

But all this is going to end.  Soon enough. Because in a few months you are going to do the surgery to transform you from being overweight, obese, huge, big (—anything but fat!). And soon, you’d be what society approves of every woman to be!

But then an encounter with a girl you realize has been stalking you changes your life forever. It all happens too fast. Next thing you know, you are hanging out with a group of interesting women who wake up every morning and show a finger to what society expects them to be, and be anything they want to be! By their daring lifestyles and their influences on your own life, you are persuaded to take on some challenges that would deem you ‘beautiful’.

Except no one told you these challenges would be difficult. No one told you you’d be waking up one morning putting on make-up, wearing knee-length dresses at the risk of society perusing your bulbous thighs, no one told you you’d be going out on blind dates, getting yourself mocked by everyone. How on earth could this way of living make you feel beautiful?

As if all the above is not enough, you find yourself entangled in a messy plot involving a guerrilla group of women terrorizing female-offenders. You can’t afford to have the FBI breathing down your neck. You need this surgery more than a feminist group or prison.

Plum Kettle’s ridiculed, complicated and soon-to-be-dangerous life summarised for your delight.

MY REVIEW

I loved, loved this book! So you know in my review I’d be yelling in your face to go buy this book and, in the process, get your own kind of beachbody this summer!

First of all, This is a debut? This is a debut!? What the….── ★

The storyline is off the hook! It’s just one storyline with so many layers that would surprise and intrigue you! Every section (mind you, not chapter) of this book is divided into a new story line that you never saw coming! So Girl working for a teen magazine is FAT, unlike all her glamorous colleagues who whizz by! Girl wants to have surgery to transform into the kind of woman women hate and men want to fuck. Girl is made to undertake a series of challenges that would make her consider herself ‘beautiful’. But can she stand the lure of becoming the girl society wants to be?── ★★

That above is not all the book is made of. The writer pushes real boundaries. Expressing admirable feminism that would change your perception of society’s view of women, the porn industry, the beauty industry. This book is the kind of book that transforms the reader (it did me!), men, women! I believe this book should be a staple of every home! The kind of book Lady Bug should make into a classic fairytale to teach girls from a younger age they should be everything they want to be (and not what society expects them to be)!── ★★★

Plum, the main character is my kind of girl! (Oh, don’t worry, I do share). You might not understand her reasons for wanting to undergo surgery unless you have experienced the predicament she’s going through—only if you’ve been in her shoes can you relate. But really, Sarai Walker does a good job to make you, the reader, be in her (Plum’s) shoes, feel her pain, know her wants. I wouldn’t say she’s the kind of character for a certain kind of woman—by just being a woman you’d love her! Even I am not a woman so making that statement surely means Plum Kettle has the tendency to win every reader over! Her development is so stunning you would want to rush to Brooklyn to hug her. That said, she felt so real!  A star to her.── ★★★★

Other characters in this book are also amazing! I was so in love with Verena, the woman responsible for our character’s change. You’d love Marlowe the ex-American sweetheart who walked out of Hollywood and decided to never go back (because really, a Hollywood career ends when girls do not want to be you and no man wants to fuck you). All the women in Calliope House—the house filled with the women who leave on their own terms—would be much-loved mostly for their individual projects to change the world’s view objectification of women! Leeta, the stalking girl would also be a favourite and a major reader-interest in the novel. There’s also Julia, the secretive Beauty Editor. Other minor characters representing figures of society that mock women who are not considered ‘beautiful’ enough would be adored(?) A star to all the characters in the book, none were redundant!

The writer’s style is amazing! I love how she reported the attacks of misogynistic characters in this novel by the Guerrilla Group (I even loved the font she used! Yes, I am weird). This part of the story held my interest so much. It’s one of the parts responsible for transforming me.── ★★★★★

A star goes to the humour—wouldn’t call it hilarious, but it’s funny.  The mystery, the suspense! Marketers of this book link this book to getting beach bodies, but I worry what beach body you’d get when spending majority of the time knitting your brows together(!) focused on this book! So engaging!── ★★★★★

My rating: Six/Five stars (6/5 stars). (Not mathematically possible, I know. But I run this blog).

It’s a debut to go get on amazon. It’s a debut to go buy this instant!

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a piece of the new age of debut writers who are breaking bounds! Anyone who wants a book that would change their idea about a lot of things and inform so much on a lot of things too. Anyone who wants something to keep them glued to their sun loungers should go get this book—no need for fake tans, please.


I entered this book not expecting anything other than entertainment, but boy do I feel transformed. That’s why my work doesn’t end here. Running over to goodreads and amazon to spread the Hashtag Dietland fabulousity!

Summer Book Review: A Question of Betrayal by Zoe Miller






MY SYNOPSIS
Imagine This: Five years since your parents died and you are not in grief mode. Heck, even if you are you do not want to admit it. Their death has created a giant hole in your life, as well as your heart. You find yourself not committing to anything in your professional life, or your social life. You are just staying alive, not so much living.

The only one person you valued in your life has packed out and left. Mostly because you drove him out, and partly because you are not exactly the type to communicate your feelings or even revisit the night of your parents’ death.

Apparently, secrets buried deep are bound to surface. You find out your mum, who so much claimed to be in love with your father was cheating on him when she was a newly-wed. Now this man she had an affair with has something important to tell you. Of course, you do not want to meet him—what with your own fears and your inability to believe your mum did the unthinkable.

Except this man hasn’t anytime left. He’d be dying soon. If he dies, he dies with all his secrets. You tell yourself you wouldn’t see him. But then you man up and fly to Switzerland.

Of course, you have no idea what you are in for. One secret leads to another and another becoming a whole mess of complications you can never believe an easy-going person such as your mother would put away these ghosts in her pasts for such a long time.

But be careful, there’s someone out there who doesn’t want you to uncover these secrets. Because doing so would lead to their demise, and they’d rather have you silenced forever.

Carrie Cassidy’s complicated and messy life laden with secrets and dark pasts summarized for your delight.

MY REVIEW
GO BUY THIS BOOK!

First of all, Zoe Miller carves a complicated storyline that looks simple from reading the opening hundred pages (or so). A storyline I rolled my eyes at, I must admit, thinking this might be so predictable, you know what secrets would be revealed…. Blah blah. But then I forgot Zoe’s excellence, her very rare talent of making the reader carve out their own storyline and throwing the reader off course with shocking revelations that make her titles hard to predict anymore. All I am saying is, this book doesn’t seem as easy as it is on first glance. And the storyline you might be creating for it, would be so different from what you find out! A star!── ★

Secondly, there’s great character development. It was hard to fall in love with the main character at first, because I found her so dull. At times I’d closed the book and wonder what was off with Zoe’s lead character this time (as I very much loved the main characters of her previous title). But when our lead begins to face her fears, begins finding joy in little things, begins living and learning to confront all stages of grief, she leaps off the page and become lovable—one every person who’s gone through the loss of someone they loved (five years earlier!) can relate to! A star.── ★★

Other characters make this book great too. There’s Mark, the adorable guy our lead has hurt so much you could feel his anger simmering over the pages with any argument they have. There’s Sylvie, our lead’s mum who for most of the story we think she’s someone else till she surprises us and leaves us shocked. There’s Beth, the timid Beth whose inactions you would find yourself enraged by, but she inadvertently becomes the smartest and bravest character in the book. There’s Adam, the bad guy who’d do anything to make sure Carrie doesn’t discover past secrets. A star to these characters.
Zoe Miller offers a beautiful portrayal of Ireland in the eighties and Ireland now you cannot help but adore the past and present narratives of this book. Heck, for most part I adored the past when our lead wasn’t delivering in the opening pages.── ★★★

This book is laced with romance and some very good love-making that is so sensual (and not the tacky kind you’d find yourself skipping). The mystery would get you so confused you’d find yourself wondering why you ever tried predicting its outcome anyway. And the suspense… marvellous!── ★★★★

These are one of the many reasons I love Zoe Miller: she shows chick-lit/women’s fiction can embrace other genres without totally altering their chick-lit/women’s fiction sense. Beautiful.── ★★★★★

My rating: I am tempted to slash half of the stars I intended for the book because it really began at a slow pace. But upon further deliberations, I found out its pace was relevant and significant to our lead character’s development. Her growth wouldn’t have been significant, if the story wasn’t plotted that way. So five stars!

Zoe Miller’s amazing and different(—you always want that in a book!) story is up on amazing. Just go get it!

I recommend this book to anyone who loves their women’s fiction with a slice of dark. Anyone who wants something to keep them on their thinking feet trying to connect dots before the writer reaches her resolution should go get this! Anyone who loves Zoe Miller should go get this book as she doesn’t disappoint!


My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads as well as amazon.