That Girl by Kate Kerrigan / #BlogTour

So guys, after the Christmas and New year break I am baaaaack! And with the second blog tour of this year, and I am really excited to be a part of this one as I am a great and devoted fan of Kate Kerrigan. Have you read “The Dress” yet? If not, do not hesitate, it was a brilliant, brilliant read! But yes, she’s back with a new novel of hers, this lovely author, and this time she takes us to the London’s swinging sixties! If you follow the blog tour you can read some extracts from this novel and today I am sharing my review of this thought – provoking story.

That Girl by Kate Kerrigan

35678135Publisher: Head of Zeus

Publishing Date: 1st January 2018

Source:  Received from publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover (out on 08.02.2018)

 

 

Synopsis:

You can escape a place. But you can’t escape yourself.

Hanna flees the scene of a terrible crime in her native Sligo. If she can just vanish, re-invent herself under a new name, perhaps the police won’t catch up with her. London seems the perfect place to disappear.

Lara has always loved Matthew and imagined happy married life in Dublin. Then comes the bombshell – Matthew says he wants to join the priesthood. Humiliated and broken-hearted, Lara heads to the most godless place she can find, King’s Road, Chelsea.

Matthew’s twin sister, Noreen, could not be more different from her brother. She does love fiance John, but she also craves sex, parties and fun. Swinging London has it all, but without John, Noreen is about to get way out of her depth.

All three girls find themselves working for Bobby Chevron – one of London’s most feared gangland bosses – and it’s not long before their new lives start to unravel.

 
Rating: three-half-stars

The story follows three young women from Ireland that more or less suddenly find themselves in the London’s swinging 60’s. It is my second book lately that was set in this time in London and I must admit that “That Girl” was much better than the other one – it was fast – paced and, above all, the characters felt realistic, they were so vivid and so easily brought to life by the author. So back to our main characters – they are very different but there is one thing that they have in common – they all run away from something. Hanna’s was probably the most shocking story and I so incredibly fell for her – after her mother has died, her step – father started to abuse her and she lived her life as his prisoner. She could do nothing about it – let’s not forget, it was Ireland and he was a very respected local doctor – until one day, when after coming to her limits Hanna leaves for London, trying to cover her tracks…

Lara is in love with Matthew, she’s always has been, and already envisions them married. However, one day, just out of the blue, Matthew tells her something that shatters Lara’s whole world. To flee the humiliation, Lara decides to leave for London to start a new life there. She quickly finds herself in the big city and I probably liked her most out of the three girls.

Noreen was the one that I liked the least. She was this kind of  person that would elbow her way to the top and it’s not my favourite kind of person. She’s Matthew’s twin sister and Lara’s best friend. She can’t believe what her brother has done to her friend, however after seeing them both, Matthew and Lara, leaving the little town in Ireland to follow their dreams, she gets itchy feet as well and she decides that while she loves her fiancée John very much, she first wants to see and try different life, to taste the freedom – and so she goes to London as well.

All the three girls end up living together in one apartment above the gangster’s nightclub, and initially also working together but then their lives take different paths.

 There were plenty of moments that took me absolutely by surprise and I would never in a million years guess that the story is going to take such turns! It starts telling Hanna’s story and then introducing us to the other girls, and it was so fast – paced that I didn’t have time to think what the three girls can have in common. I think Hanna’s story was the most shocking one, and I liked this girl, I simply liked her and I wished all best for her. Also Lara was my kind of person, she was not afraid to follow her dreams and to try. She wanted people to think she’s a tough cookie but there was also this vulnerable side to her. And as I have already mentioned, Noreen was my least favourite character, while you can admire her chutzpah and determination, especially in the 60’s Ireland, she was too egoistic for me, thinking only about herself and not respecting other people and their wishes.

 It was different to what I was expecting but of course it’s not the book’s fault but I just had a feeling it’s too much of everything. It often felt too far – fetched and the ending felt much too rushed and somehow unrealistic. Everything fell always so neatly in the right places and you just knew that no matter what and how, everything is going to turn OK. I was expecting more depth from this author, and while this book was really great to read I had a feeling that there was tons of potential that was not made use of. It was as if there was an idea but the delivery and conclusion of it was missing.

The author has brought the swinging London perfectly to life and I love all the descriptions of the places and clothes (but again, I had a feeling that the author started something, like That Girl, described few dresses and then it was all. A few comparisons to some models of those times and nothing more. It just often felt that some of the subplots started but weren’t finished, or ended too abruptly). The atmosphere was there on the pages and the characters were changing, turning into people they wanted to be.

 So yes, guys, this book gave me a  headache – I liked it, please don’t get me wrong, but after reading “The Dress” by the same author I was expecting something more deep and complex. “That Girl” was about friendship, about love and relationships, about hurt and betrayal. The book was good guys, it was a mix of suspense, romance, dark comedy but maybe this was my problem because it felt as if the story doesn’t know what it wants to be. However, Kate Kerrigan is a great story – teller and this was a really well written and character driven story set in the swinging sixties in London. The book has it all: fashion, drama, sex, gangsters and crime but in the foreground there are stories of three different girls, Hanna, Lara and Noreen. There is a lot happening and the author mixes perfectly humour with drama, tragedies and funny moments. The author is not afraid to write about abuse and violence but it’s such an integral part of this story, and even if there are some moments with all the gory details for you, it works in this book, and also you have a feeling that it was deserved and couldn’t be different. Recommended!

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Faking Friends by Jane Fallon / #BlogTour

Hi guys! Hope you all had a great start to the new year! I am incredibly thrilled today to kick off my 2018 blogging with a blog tour for the brand new and shiny Jane Fallon’s novel, “Faking Friends”. I love Jane Fallon’s novels, they are always so thought – provoking and not at all straightforward, they make you think but also they are full of the dark and ironic humour, and “Faking Friends” is just what I wanted it to be. The book is out this Thursday and really, guys, no matter what, just go, buy it, read it, incredibly enjoy it and thank me later for recommendation!

Faking Friends by Jane Fallon

 

36158853Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 11th January 2018

Source:  Received from publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 448

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Your best friend stole your fiancé. Do you run away and hide, or start planning your revenge?

Find out in Sunday Times bestselling author Jane Fallon’s BRAND NEW novel, Faking Friends.

‘I’ve just finished this . . . it’s FABALISS. I was SO GRIPPED’ Marian Keyes

Best friend, soulmate, confidante . . . backstabber.

Amy thought she knew everything there was to know about her best friend Melissa. Then again, Amy also thought she was on the verge of the wedding of her dreams to her long-distance fiancé.

Until she pays a surprise trip home to London. Jack is out, but it’s clear another woman has been making herself at home in their flat.

There’s something about her stuff that feels oddly familiar . . . and then it hits Amy. The Other Woman is Melissa.

Amy has lost her home, her fiancé and her best friend in one disastrous weekend – but instead of falling apart, she’s determined to get her own back.

Piecing her life back together won’t be half as fun as dismantling theirs, after all.

Rating: five-stars

So guys. I love Jane Fallon books. So much that her last release made it to my Top Ten reads of 2017 the previous week. So I guess you won’t be surprised when I say that I was incredibly excited to receive “Faking Friends” and to start reading it. I was sure – and I wasn’t wrong – that this book is going to live up to my expectations and the author is going to deliver a sharp, genuine and brilliantly funny story.

 Yes, I must admit, the first part of the book is a little on the slow side but it doesn’t mean that it was not a good read – because it was brilliant! Then, later on, with this typical Jane Fallon’s skilfulness, she starts to deliver twist after twist and different points of view. The writing style is, as usually, incredibly chatty and engaging and I was quickly immersed in the characters’ lives and I wanted either to hug them or to bang their heads together.

 I loved the ways of revenge Amy has decided on. There were two possibilities how this is going to develop – the author could either deliver or totally overdone it, and I am incredibly happy to report that it’s not the later one! The ideas were fresh and not too far – fetched, they were carefully planned and clever and the more you get to know our protagonist’s “best” friend, the more you want Amy to succeed – well, at least it was in my case. There was not a single moment that I felt bad for Mel and Jack, and in my opinion they don’t deserve any sympathy to be honest. But the question was, will Mel and Jack get their come comeuppance?

When the story suddenly changes the point of view, it took me a little by surprise and I was confused for a moment, as I wasn’t sure who’s speaking now. However, quickly  I found out who this is and later on, when the perspective was changing again, it took me only a sentence or two to know which character’s perspective it is now. Maybe adding a name of the character as a title for the chapter wouldn’t be a bad idea?

Parallel to the main story, we also get to know the history and background of Amy and Mel’s friendship, and trust me, guys, if I were Amy I’d ditch such friendship immediately. She only now starts to realise that Mel has never been a real friend, that she could never count on her and the more I got to know Mel, the more I disliked her. Even though our Amy was also full of flaws, in contrast to Mel she was a real angel but there were moments I wanted to shake her and tell her to run away from this toxic friendship as quickly as possible. I think all of us know at least such toxic person as Mel, and we know how their work, and once Mel realises she’s busted she doesn’t tuck in her little tail, oh no, she causes even more trouble – it was the moment that I thought, oh no, Amy, what now? I wanted Amy to succeed so much and – and it doesn’t happen to often! – I just wanted to get somehow into the pages of the book to warn her. To say that I was afraid for Amy would be an understatement, Mel has scared the hell out of me, guys. Yes, you can say that the characters were a little too black and too white, that one was the devil and the other was the angel but if you look a little deeper into their personalities than you can also see that there was some insecurity in Mel as well and that there was a little (A LITTLE! And it’s fully understandable!) bitterness and meanness to Amy, but in my eyes this only made them feel more realistic and true. However, I admired Amy and her calmness and patience. I really am not sure how I’d react in such a situation but Amy for sure had the guts. She also had a heart in the right place because revenge here or there, but she didn’t feel the satisfaction. I was team – Amy all the way.

But this is not only a novel about revenge and the author skilfully and effortlessly adds some subplots that make the book unputdownable. It was a brilliant chick – noir, a read with some edge to it. It was a brilliant, sharp – observed story about friendship, love, betrayal and – yes! – revenge and what happens when it all goes wrong. It shows that no matter what, you’re strong enough to pick up the pieces of your life and keep your chin up. It was unpredictable and unique and  enjoyed every single moment. This book was realistic and down to earth, the events and situations were so believable and possible to happen and it was probably what made the story so hooking. And Jane Fallon is a great story – teller, she really knows how to draw you in! Highly, highly recommended!

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