Festive Book Review: A Merry Mistletoe Wedding by Judy Astley

Imagine This: You are in a relationship that's been ongoing for almost a year. You love him. You find his surfer-boy charm irresistible. Though you wish you guys lived in the same vicinity and you didn't have to journey miles for quick, blissful shags over the weekend.
Then he proposes. And you are thrown in a whirlwind of wedding preparations. A wedding that's happening on Christmas!

Your whole family is excited for you. Except your sister—who would have been your maid-of-honour—decides she's not going to put her family through the potential snowstorm risk they might be facing at the decided venue.

You want simple. But your fiance's mum wants extreme—"I'm not traveling miles so I could have some hot-dogs on a bench and return." And suddenly a wedding that's supposed to be quick and easy is looking difficult and stressful.

Hopefully, this year the mistletoe would work its magic again and you are going to have an amazing wedding without breaking-down...

Then your ex who jilted you weeks before your wedding comes back into the scene—precisely a few houses away—with his adorable dog... Uh-oh.

Thea's chaotic, Christmas wedding summed up for your delight.

My Review.
Great storyline. Not, really unique, but enjoyable all the same. What with Thea's parents contemplating on moving out into a low-maintenance home, fearing the prospect they might get old and get put in homes? And also, Thea's sister Emily who's going through post-partum depression. A star!── ★

The main characters are Great. It's told in the point of view of mother and two daughters who have funny voices and different, likable personalities. There's Anna, the mum, who's fearing the prospect of becoming an oldie cliche complete with a home and a giant ball of crocheting thread to knit. There's Emily, worried London is no more a safe place to live because someone stole her pram. You'd also love Thea, who has to scream how much She loves her fiance into the phone so her ex snooping in through the back-gate wouldn't miss a word. A star!── ★★

You'd also love the funny cast of characters! There's Mike, Anna's husband who won't take being called old because he's only in his early seventies. There's also Charlotte, Mike's younger ex who's popping in and out of Emily's home without invitation helping out with the kids and helping herself with all their bottles of wine. There's also Rich, Thea's ex who thinks he can win her back by flashing by with his dog. Star to all these characters and more.── ★★★

A very funny festive read. So I give it a star too.── ★★★★

Though a sequel, it can be enjoyed as a standalone novel. (Not following the stereotype perception about sequels, this sequel is even more enjoying than its prequel.)

My rating:  Four out of Five stars!

A Merry Mistletoe Wedding is available on Amazon.

I recommend this read to anyone who loves their festive titles full of humour, miracles the festive season brings and lots of adorable characters!

My last review of 2015, so a Happy New Year!


Ground-breaking Titles of 2015

Last year, we didn't disappoint revealing the best titles of 2014 that changed chick-lit/women's fiction forever! These books with unique storylines and amazing storytelling would stick on the mind of the reader and just absolutely set his or her standards high on very, quality women's literature! So here's 2015's list:

Two Fridays in April by Roisine Meaney. 

This book focuses on the essence of detailing! Written in a span of just two days and told from the point of view of four amazing women dealing with loss, the writing glows with details that connects all the dots and mysteries from start to finish. 

Good Girl by Fiona Neill 

This book is perfect literature for readers who place more importance on informative titles as it sheds more light on the workings of  the brain and how little secrets can have devastating effects on the happiest of families! Stunning writing with dense themes (objectification of women, deviant teenage behaviour, popularity of sex sites featuring illegal sex with minors) that would shock any reader with an interest in parenting.

Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

A sensational debut featuring one quirky lead's battle with cancer and how she must find a wife for her hopeless husband before she passes on. Beautiful writing that inserts the reader into the lead's pain, her joys and her suffering. I was very uncomfortable reading this book, because every emotion was elevated and depicted so three-dimensionally it cut deep. Beautiful! 

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin. 

A more Funny cancer book featuring a more quirky lead and her large unpredictable Irish family and how they are coming to terms with her slow deterioration. Though this book is not as deep as the previous mentioned title, it has amazing features such as it's humor, heavy reliance on backstory and symbols, and an inclusion of the family as a whole featuring point-of-views from other members. So, yeah, It's worth mentioning. 

A Question of Betrayal by Zoe Miller. 

Fraught with mystery, this is a chilling account of a past marriage that gave one blind man his life's essence and led to a woman disappearance forever. You'd love this book if you are a fan of amazing twists in good storytelling. 

The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson. 

This book has such a fresh, funny writing you wouldn't expect the dark twist till it hits you like a punch in the stomach. Although no one would actually want a punch to their stomach, this book is worth the read. Also named one of 2015s funniest titles, featuring lasting themes I can't give away lest would ruin the twist. 

TechBitch by Jo Piazza and Lucy Sykes. 

It's co-written! It's deeper than its blurb suggests! Portrayed as a fashion book, but it's more than that! Speaks about issues of millenials swooping in for all the boss roles of 21st century jobs, and how technology is creating a huge gap (and lots of benefits) for 20 somethings and the older generations. Lovely. You would enjoy it immensely! 

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. 

Oh, you have never read a book with a most powerful twist till you have picked this. The writing is so good, laden with deep quotes you could keep for your tweets and Facebook statuses. Plus unconventional characters for women's fiction you would adore! Also if you love, your titles highly informative, this book talks of the main character's research on elephant grief (that is not fiction at all) and touches on the protection of these amazing wildlife. A book that supports a Great cause!

Dietland by Sarai Walker

Literary fiction at its finest! Documents the journey of one fat girl from self-inflicted abuse (mostly) to acceptance. Also speaks hard on the world's view of what entails beauty and is capable of sparking a revolution on female sexual objectification in the media. Beautiful book.

By these titles, chicklit/women's fiction would never, ever be the same! Hope for greater works by these women in the next years. 


ChickLOL Awards 2015: Funniest Books of 2015

Last year we brought you this fantastic feature deciding your top Five funniest chick-lit titles of the year! We are back again this year, so scroll through the list to see if you've got any on your TBRs or your Read-shelf.

Funniest Book K:

It's hard for Gretchen Archer to disappoint in her funny, women sleuth series featuring the hilarious Davis Way and cast who'd thrill you with humor along with mystery from start to finish!

Funniest book C

As funny as it was entertaining. Get into the world of Jessica Beam and Matilda Beam, granddaughter and grandmother who mix up both modern rules and very archaic ones to secure them the hottest playboy in town.

Funniest Book I

This book! Not only funny but has an amazing twist that would leave you dropping the book in shock! Follow the life of two friends running from their disastrous lives.

Funniest Book H

A town with no sense-of-togetherness and nothing to their name, reunite by forming a community choir that would change the life of all its members, and the community as a whole. Very heart-warming and incredibly funny!

Funniest Book C

Besides the author being a professional comedian, She writes irresistible funny books with amazing heroines and lots of "punchlines". A newspaper columnist decides to take on a shitty dating advice book written by a cocky asshat and follows all his rules just breaking a few! A thrilling laugh-out-loud read! Funniest book of the year!

I Hope you Get them all because they are actually titles, shortlisted from many to get you laughing and laughing even when whoever you are sitting with on the train is a loud and smelly fatter! 

Festive Book Review: Christmas on Primrose Hill by Karen Swan


My Synopsis 
Imagine This: You have an ordinary job that has become mundane. You live with your dad. You still have the old friends you used to play with since your wee ages—and that's not a good thing!

One accident. And you are an internet sensation! Retweets, favourites, and of course a little dislikes on YouTube by the always embittered and unsuccessful. And oh, a follow from an international star!

Except your boss and your colleagues want you to keep up with this accident to raise donations for a charity organisation for testicular cancer awareness.

You think they are crazy. You wouldn't possibly make an attempt once more to off yourself... even for charity... even for a popstar who would probably unfollow you realizing how boring you really are.

Until he DMs you. Suddenly you'd do anything for charity! Twelve days of Christmas. Twelve dares of Christmas. 

Include finding your missing mother who just upped and left four years ago, and you've got yourself one heck of a holiday season to get it (your life—professional, love and life) all together. 

Hold up, readers! It's going to be a very Nettie Christmas! 

I loved this book!

The storyline is good! After one tragic accident in which Girl comes out in one piece, she's all over London, doing stunts behind a laughable costume and gaining the interest of one popstar who's practically chasing her all over London. Cue in the mystery of her missing mother and you have an engaging formula!── ★

Nettie is so cool. When in her costume. And a pretty normal girl-next-door stereotype when she's out of it. But she makes a lovely lead whose story you want to see through till the end!── ★★

Other characters need to be celebrated too. There's Jules, the crazy, albeit one-dimensional friend who loves to party and likes guys with hot-bods. There's Caro, the tech, gum-chewing colleague who can't stand the presence of a guy a few seconds acting normal. There's also Mike, the boss who's having a hard time controlling all the women, that is, all his employees. You'd also love Jamie, the popstar who's always following our lead but making it look so normal you wouldn't call him a stalker. A star!── ★★★

Plus, there's also the two's romance! A feature I kept looking out for.── ★★★★

Though I immensely enjoyed this read (thanks to the romance), I couldn't really shake off the feeling that it wasn't as great as Swan's previous festive-not-quite-festive title, Christmas in the Snow. Karen's novels are known for their sweep-you-off-your-feet romantic plots with an engaging sub-plot of mystery. But this title's sub-plot wasn't engaging enough—as compared to her previous title's, I should add. Judging it as a standalone, like it is, I enjoyed it. But doing a comparative analysis I'm not sure I can give it all the stars it deserves.

So my rating: Four stars (judged with Christmas in the Snow!) but definitely a Five-star read when considered as a standalone.

Christmas on Primrose Hill is available on Amazon. Go get it along with Christmas in the Snow if you haven't read that one too.

I recommend this book to anyone who's a fan of festive novels that are not excuses for authors to just get in a Christmas tree and some mistletoe and just add a bit of a storyline. A book that can be read anytime of the year despite it being a festive read! You should also get it if you are a fan of Karen Swan (or not!)

My work not done here. Off to post my reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads


Festive Book Review: A Proper Family Christmas by Chrissie Manby



Imagine This: You are part of London’s Yummy-Mummy nation. Which means you’d definitely be part of London’s affluent. Your house is Downton Abbey standards, your vacations are glamorous and your Christmases are well… very grande.

If only your teenage daughter would realize what class entails and would stop dressing like a ho. If only your teenage daughter’s mind isn’t preoccupied with going to the hottest parties, staying online all the time slagging you off to her followers, and dating boys already in college. Boys with bad reputations.

But that’s fine, you’d do all you can to protect your daughter and keep advising her to stay off drugs and alcohol. Until during once concert, your daughter goes against your advice in the hopes of becoming highly ecstatic.

Now she needs a kidney. And sadly, you and your husband are no match to donate. You have no option but to trace your biological mother who gave you away when you were young.

Turns out, your biological family are huge, loud, and very not… proper not-the-kind-of-people you’d want yourself or your daughter to be associated with. But it’s alright, all you need to do is to convince them you really want to be part of the big, happy, working class picture, so you could nick a kidney.

Meanwhile Christmas is approaching. And although there’s nothing to look up to this year, you are praying for a Christmas miracle. A proper family kidney not a poorer family’s Christmas.

Annabel Buchanan’s sometimes tragic, sometimes hilarious and always sensational Christmas summarised for your delight.

I loved, loved this book! There’s certainly no way you should miss reading it this Christmas like I did last year (L)

Chrissie Manby is fab! One thing about family books. You cannot help but put your 
family into situations in the story and see how you would react if it were happening to you. You cannot help but make a running commentary as you read noting who’s being too much of a bitch and who’s just plain crazy. That is to say, the storyline is so relatable! I mean, who wouldn’t want to find themselves hunting for a kidney when they could be making (hectic) Christmas preparations!── ★

You would love the two main women placed side by side. Annabel Buchanan who is uptight, considers herself not-a-snob but within is such a snob, who chairs committees and loves to keep appearances but is so sweet at heart—even if sometimes she’s faking it. Ronnie Benson, who’s proud of her family and wouldn’t want to have them any other way though sometimes she wishes she could have a more upscale kitchen and pay the bills with less working hours, who’s harsh on the outside and is quick to voice her opinions despite them being not sweet at all. A star to these main characters. You’d find yourself judging the two, wishing you had the perfect personality trait that is a merge of both extremes, and just simply siding with one over the other. But mind you, Ronnie isn’t afraid to show you the finger if you do not choose her side.── ★★★

Other characters are just brilliant. There’s Richard, Annabel’s husband who loves to hang out in his own cellar and look forward to weekends alone with his wife when his daughter away. There’s Mark, Ronnie’s husband whose cellar is down at a pub’s and considers the perfect weekend as one away from the family drinking with his wife’s dad and her granddad. There’s Sophie, Ronnie’s Goth daughter who’s at the age where texting boyfriends and finding her family embarrassing are her highlights. There’s Izzy, Annabel’s privileged daughter who’s about to die and has suddenly become a machine for popping out Hallmark stuff and fortune-cookie shit about carpe-diem-ing. There’s Jack the little boy of Ronnie who’s at the age where Doctor Who and Minecraft seem like the best conversation starters during family dinners. There’s Granddad Bill, who burps popular rhymes and songs (and makes you wonder how [crazy] you'd be if senility sets in). Trust me, lots of fun characters I could go on and on about.── ★★★★

You would love the voice in which this novel is told. I loved it. Very Mary-Alice-Desperate-Housewives-y; funny and nice to listen to—in this case, read.── ★★★★★

I see no reason why this book shouldn’t be given a five-star, because it’s amazing (5/5 stars).

You should go purchase Chrissie Manby’s A Proper Family Christmas now because chances are by Christmas she might have released a fab book everyone would be raving about and you’d feel left out.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants something that would remind them of their very happy Desperate Housewives days. Anyone who wants a family read to cosy up to. Anyone who wants something funny. Or anyone looking for something warm and appropriate for the holidays.

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


Blog Tour: Follow Me by Angela Clarke

The thriller everyone's been talking about this fall is making a stop here on the blog! We have a short Q&A from the author you should read breezily (Thanks to her humour!)

Q: What is your favourite crime novel and why?

A: Oh! Such a hard question! There are so many amazing crime writers today – I wouldn’t like to pick. I’m going to wuss out and go for a classic: I’ll always love Agatha Christie. Her murder mysteries are the book equivalent of sinking into a warm bubble bath, whilst sipping a glass of Prosecco, and scoffing chocolate truffles. A total joy.

Q: Is there a book you love so much you wish you’d written it?

A: Probably The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. It’s a gorgeous, historically resonant, literary book based on the Greek myth of Patroclus and Achilles. It made my heart sing and ache, and moved me to tears. It’s so far from everything that I write I can’t help but put it on a pedestal. It won the Orange Prize for Fiction (2012). I was lucky enough to meet Madeline Miller at a signing, she’s a softly spoken superbly intelligent woman. An incredible writer.

More info on the book?

See the (chilling) blurb: The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.

But this is no virtual threat.

As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.

Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they outrun their own past?

Time's running out. Everyone is following the #murderer. But what if he is following you?

My REVIEW should be out soon! The blurb was a giveaway that I should read this book!


Festive Book Review: The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah

Imagine This: You are forty and in a hospice. 

There's a lot you can do in a hospice without keeling over from boredom. 1: Listen to the loud juddering breaths of your cancer next-door patient.  2: Stare at the walls of your room idly waiting for your nurses. 3: Invite family over and have a blast.

Probably the last option. The most tempting of all. Except you'd die before you speak to the 'family that bought the earliest train ticket to dumping you in this shithole. 

But it's not that much of a shithole is it? There's a nurse who regularly stops by to check (up) on you. There's the family of the cancer-patient waving warmly and—sometimes—sitting in to have a chat with you if they are not going haywire for the health of your neighbour.

But, really there's not a lot to do holed up in bed, all day, everyday, waiting for your last breathe. Of course the thoughts of your past threaten to catch up with you. But you can't have that. You can't think of all the moments you fucked-up your life.

Then one day, your favorite nurse stops in, and introduces the Game that would bring your past right next to your present with a cuppa in hand. A Game that would bring up thoughts of WHO you could have led a clean life for but DIDN'T. 

Ivo's almost-ending life summed up for your delight.  


I liked this book!

Storyline amazing! Guy in hospital thinking of all the times in his past from childhood till adulthood till he met YOU(—not you), naming every body part from A to Z and telling the stories associated with them to keep you(—really mean you this time) engrossed. Lovely──★.

A beautiful narrative. Told in first person-point of view with a dash of second person for when he's referring to YOU. Some parts are so irregularly breathtaking, they read like poetry. A nice incorporation. Prose and poetry all merged into this delight. A star!──★★

Oh, you'd love Ivo! Amazingly unique voice. Perfectly resembles his character. It's a sad thing though for him life is ending at forty. A star.──★★★

OK. Let's take a second to praise all the other amazing cast. A quirky book with a quirky set of characters to match. From Laura, the annoying sister who wouldn't act her age as the oldest. There's Mal, the friend who you'd hate with a passion. There's also Becca, the hot black girl with an amazing skin and body (who everyone loves). There's Ivo's mum—funny as hell! Mr. Miller, the teacher who despises Ivo for being part of the naughty sniggering bastards at the back of the class. There's also Kevin, the threesome of Ivo and Mal who outshines Ivo in the naive and hopeless department. Sheila, the amazing nurse also deserves a honking from my klaxon. And of course, there's YOU. A star to all these delightful characters.──★★★★ 

My rating:  Four/Five stars.
Ivo's beautiful story can be found on Amazon. Big-ups to James Hannah for penning this heartwarming/renching debut.

I recommend this to anyone who loves their fiction with the death, hospice, cancer, kidney failure theme. If you want a book with a quirky cast, oh go for this! A perfect read for this season, a book that topics on kindness and love, forgiveness—attitudes you'd need in large store this holiday season for when that crazy aunt drops by to get on your nerves!

MY work not done here. Off to post my review on Amazon as well as Goodreads