Bridesmaids by Zara Stoneley

Bridesmaids by Zara Stoneley

 

43079139Publisher: HarperImpulse

Publishing Date: 26th April  2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback (out on 11.07.2019)

 

Synopsis:

Meet Rachel, the beautiful bride with BIG plans for the perfect day! The venue is a castle and the dress is designer. It’s just a shame her husband is a rat.

Maddie and Sally have only one thing in common – they both love the same man!

Beth is a newly single mum with a mystery baby daddy. Surely the father isn’t someone the girls all know?

And then there’s Jane, the glue holding them all together, but being dumped doesn’t make her the happiest bridesmaid…especially with gorgeous flatmate Freddie complicating things.

Will the bride say, ‘I Do!’? Or will her bridesmaids save the day…and find love along the way?

The most hilarious, feel-good rom com of the year!

Rating: five-stars

 

“Bridesmaids” introduces us to Jane, who, after having been dumped on her hen night, isn’t so keen on weddings anymore. But when her best friend Rachel asks her to be her bridesmaid, she can’t say no, right? although the situation is rather awkward, as Jane knows a secret about Rachel’s husband – to – be and she really doesn’t know what to do!
The other bridesmaids turn out to be the girls’ school friends Sally, Maddie and Beth, and each of them have a secret of their own. Sally has married Maddie’s high school sweetheart Jack but Maddie still, secretly, loves him with all her heart. Beth is a single mum but won’t say a word about the father of her baby. Will all the secrets see the light of the day? And if so, why? Not at the wedding, right?

The story is told from Jane’s point of view and she is a brilliant narrator, and also an absolutely brilliant character, too often jumping to conclusions but that’s the way she is, putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with five or more, and I love such chaotic heroines! Probably because they’re like me. But back to Jane, who is such a warm, loveable character and her personal journey through the story, the decisions she has finally made, were heart – warming. She is the kind of character that simply makes you proud of them.
But we have a bunch of other, full of life, characters. Rachel, Jane’s best friend, Sally and Maddie and Beth. I loved how complex they were, how funny and how they often tried to put on a brave face to spare the others’ worries. They, like it usually is, had secrets that they kept from each other, but I really truly could understand why they were like this.

The story is full of hilarious moments and events and there were moments that reading it felt like watching a tennis game with your head going right and left, so many things happened and were said. The banter and dialogues were brilliantly light but also, believe me, it was full of feelings, this book, especially when Jane was wondering about her own emotions, and it was also so well written. It was uplifting take on love and relationships, marriage and also betrayal, but especially on friendship that will have you root for the characters and want to slap the others. The author easily pulls you into the story and from the very beginning you feel a part of the group and you’re with the characters through good and bed times.

“Bridesmaids” is written in such a light, chatty way and it was a real pleasure to read it. I’ve read all of Zara Stoneley’s books and loved all of them, and know how funny she can be, but this time the whole story is simply so light and bright and heart – warming and über – funny. It has this special feeling to it that makes you feel better and happier. I can’t recommend this gem of a book highly enough!

 

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The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn / Blog Tour

The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn

 

44230692Publisher: Orion

Publishing Date: 18th April  2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 390

Genre: Historical Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

A buried secret…

Present day: Anna is focused on growing her new gardening business and renovating her late grandmother’s house. But when she discovers a box hidden in a wall cavity, containing water colours of exotic plants, an old diary and a handful of seeds, she finds herself thrust into a centuries-old mystery. One that will send her halfway across the world to Kew Gardens and then onto Cornwall in search of the truth.

A lady adventurer…

1886: Elizabeth Trebithick is determined to fulfil her father’s dying wish and continue his life’s work as an adventurer and plant-hunter. So when she embarks on a perilous journey to discover a rare and miraculous flower, she will discover that the ultimate betrayal can be found even across the seas…

Two women, separated by centuries. Can one mysterious flower bring them together?

Rating: five-stars

In Victorian England, Elizabeth Trebithick is to continue after his death her father’s search for a very rare and dangerous plant in Chile. A plant that has the power to heal but also to – in inappropriate hands – to kill. It is of course unknown for women in this era to travel around the world, but Elizabeth is determined, and together with her maid Daisy sets off on a journey. A journey that will bring many changes to her life, but also a journey that is full of danger – Elizabeth is aware that she needs to find the plant before another pioneering botanist of those days will find it and sell it to the highest bidder.
In 2017 in Sydney, Anna Jenkins’s grandmother has recently died and left her granddaughter a house that Anna is right now renovating. She discovers a notebook, a mysterious metal box and inside she finds wonderfully preserved book of watercolour sketches of plants, a photograph and a bag of seeds. Here starts another journey – to discover the owner of the paintings and the truth about the seeds, and so Anna travels to Cornwall, where more family truths and secrets are being unearthed.

As it usually happens, Elizabeth, in Victorian England, was a much more colourful and quirky heroine that Anna in the present, and her story had pepper, as well as she had. She was ahead of her times in the way she was thinking and venturing on the journey, but there was also feminine side to her. She was determined and passionate.
There were more layers to Anna that we could think at the beginning, and yes, in comparison to Elizabeth she could be perceived as the weaker one but I think we should give her a chance, as there are many personal issues waiting to be unpacked. I had a feeling that the more she was discovering, the more open she became, and grew in confidence, and this is what she needed so much. Anywise, the author has captured both characters’ personalities in a great way, she outlined them really well. But we also can’t forget Daisy, Elisabeth’s servant, the unsung heroine of the tale. She was so loyal, always in the background but you could always count on her and the promise to Elizabeth was immediately honoured.

This story is told in dual frame narrative, and we travel through times and the world, from 1800’s Cornwall and Chile and back to Sydney in 2017. I enjoyed all of the settings, Kayte Nunn can truly bring her settings and characters to life but I think that it was Chile that was the most colourful, exotic and it simply swept me away. The way the story intertwined and played out was absolutely brilliantly done, I loved how the subplots were merged together and the author has connected them masterfully.

This book had a great feeling to it, it was simply a joy to read it. I’m not going to consider if Anna was a disgrace to today’s feminism, oh no, because I’ve seen the biggest picture and I’ve appreciated the story on the whole. Yes, sometimes the descriptions of the flora were perhaps too detailed and took too much pages but it was about the botanist’s daughter, so of course we could expect them in this novel. You can easily see that the author knows what she’s writing about – she herself has a personal interest in botany, and it reflects in the story through the passionate and vivid descriptions of all kinds of flowers. I am not a person with green thumbs, unfortunately, but the way the plant based medicines, the botanical medicine gaining momentum were described was very interesting, not too academic but with a passion and love.

“The Botanist’s Daughter” just hit the right note for me. Maybe it was not full of life – changing twist but there was enough adventure to keep me glued to the pages, and there was a moment or two that simply made me gasp and say out loud “oh no…!” The story moves along fast and briskly, the characters are vivid and coming to life on the pages and they have depth to them, there is a lovely romance or two and a great family mystery. It was brilliantly researched and the botanical details was plenty and lush, and what’s most important, it was absolutely not predictable – there are some tips and ties but I can only say this now, looking back, as they were really well hidden. It was surprising how dark it was during some parts, but it only added tons of significance and depth to the story. This book was a brilliant cross of historical fiction and present in dual narration and it simply ticked all the boxes for me. And let’s not forget the gorgeous cover of the book. It’s exquisite, with beautiful birds and flowers and blue. Highly recommended!

 

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If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon

If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon

 

41149815Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publishing Date: 16th May 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

The brand new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author Paige Toon. The perfect summer read for 2019!

Angie has always wanted to travel. But at 29, she has still never left her small mining town in the Australian outback. When her grandmother passes away, Angie finally feels free to see the world – until she discovers a letter addressed to the father she never knew and is forced to question everything.

As Angie sets off on her journey to find the truth – about her family, her past and who she really is – will enigmatic stranger Alessandro help guide the way?

Rating: five-stars

“If You Could Go Anywhere” introduces us to Angie, who always wanted to follow her mother’s footsteps and travel all over the world. She was known in the town as the one always asking people “if you could go anywhere, where would you go?” However, the circumstances didn’t allow it. Angie lives in Coober Pedy in Australia, a mining town, where her grandfather used to work before he died in an accident. Angie was left only with her grandmother, as her mother also died, shortly after giving birth to her. Her plans to travel have been delayed after her grandmother fell ill and Angie had to look after her. After her death she discovers something that is going to change her life and her whole world and prompts her to set forth on her first travel to Italy.

I confess, I’ve never heard about Coober Pedy and its people living in the dugouts. To be honest, I couldn’t imagine it, people living in caves, I mean, how? But of course people’s best friend Google was very helpful, and I’ve spent a fascinating few hours surfing through different pages and looking at photos of the dugouts – they are not only homes but there are hotels, churches, swimming pools… everything! Have learnt something new again, and it’s a brilliant feeling.
Also, the whole fictional community in Coober Pedy was simply great. They stick together, they support and they know everything about each other but not in this nosy, patronising way, no, it’s simply because they care. It was crystal clear how much Angie means to all of them and how much they mean to Angie.

Angie is such a straightforward characters, and I think it is due to the fact that she has spent all her life in Australia. But it doesn’t mean that she’s naive or silly, oh no, she’s a lovely and clever girl who took the opportunity and learnt a lot from people from all over the world who came to work in the mines. I loved her fresh look at the world, at her enjoying everything in such a fresh, genuine way.
Alessandro was another matter. I must admit that at the beginning I liked him much more than at the end. Sure, I know where he was coming from, I understood his feelings, and his secrets were heart – breaking but simply, this dark side of his just didn’t sit with me. This blowing hot and cold – yes, I know he didn’t want any commitments, he didn’t want to hurt anybody but did he think it through that being like this he does hurt people? Nevertheless, he was a complex and complicated character, just like I like it best.

I really enjoyed the fact that Paige Toon takes us on the tour through Roma and other parts of Italy, and that we can admire them through the wide – opened eyes of Angie but it was not too touristy – hope you know what I mean. Sometimes authors focus so much on describing every single thing in towns, on discovering the hidden places that you have a feeling it’s not a story but a tourist guide. Well, with this book it was not the case. When we near the end, the story significantly gains momentum. I don’t mean that it was slow – paced, because the pace was really great, there was all the time something happening, but because of the art of the events it felt like a roller – coaster ride at the end. It made your heart palpitate as you know that there is not much time left and you can’t be sure of the outcome.

It was a beautiful and romantic journey full of feelings and emotions. A magic story about learning to let go and to trust again, about friendship, family bonds and forgiveness. The extra bonus was the gorgeous setting of Italy and the brilliant and spot – on descriptions of the Italian family, big and loud and full of heart for everybody. I must admit that this time the story and the writing style reminded me a little on Karen Swan and her novels that I simply adore, there was also the element of mystery in “If You Could Go Anywhere”. Paige Toon also deals with the issue of mental health and of feeling guilty, and she does it in a great, gentle way, and I really appreciate the fact that she decided to write about this topic, it’s important and too often ignored, so hats off to the author for this – and I so liked the fact that this time it was a male character with the mental health problem, the author showing that the men can also be vulnerable, that they have feelings and that they can suffer for so long, and that it’s even harder for them to do something, to open up, to confess. I don’t know why but I have a feeling that this book is somehow a little bit serious in tone that the previous novels by Paige Toon. I mean, they were always dealing with serious issues as well but this time it just deals with such deep and pulling at the heart strings issues – another brilliant work from Paige Toon that I highly recommend!

 

Him by Clare Empson / Blog Tour

Him by Clare Empson

 

36155709Publisher: Orion

Publishing Date: 4th April 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 352

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Big Little Lies meets 13 Reasons Why in this dark and suspenseful debut from a stunning new talent.

It all started with … HIM.

Catherine has become mute. She has witnessed something so disturbing that she simply can’t speak – not to her husband, her children, or her friends. The doctors say the only way forward is to look into her past. Catherine needs to start with Him. Lucian.

Catherine met the love of her life at university and was drawn into his elite circle of privileged, hedonistic friends. But one night it all falls apart and she leaves him, shattering his life forever.

Still, fifteen years later, Lucian haunts every one of Catherine’s quiet moments, and when they are unexpectedly reunited, their love reignites with explosive force.

But they can’t move on from what happened all those years ago. In fact, uncovering the truth will cause their lives to implode once again. This time, with disastrous consequences.

my-review

 

15 years ago, Catherine met Lucian and they fell in love – beautiful, honest, passionate love. But then something happens Catherine breaks up with Lucian – without an explanation – and she disappears from his life. But, even though she marries Sam and they have two children, she can’t forget Lucian. Fast forward to present, four months ago something horrible happened to Catherine, something that caused her to shut down entirely, to stop talking with Sam and the children. What happened when she met Lucian again?

The story jumps between past and present. 15 years ago Catherine and Lucian were at the university, then we have 4 months before (before this something really bad happened?). Catherine is in a hospital now, not being able to speak after “this” happened, and the author has done a great job of getting into Catherine’s head, bringing all her fears, feelings and emotions to life. The switches in time may sound confusing but they’re really not, I was always able to keep track of the plot. However, it is a story that develops in a very slow way, so be prepared for this, and I think it wins from not adding many incredibly twists and turns but focusing on the complex, assured plot.

Catherine, Lucian, Liv and Sam were likeable and relatable characters while Lucian’s group of friends was simply awful and, let’s be honest, a little stereotyped, those posh kids at Bristol University, snobbish and privileged. This mix of different personalities was, though, really great but I’d love more depth to them all. However, with them all so different, it was only a matter of time before this all was going to explode, right? For their secrets to be revealed and I’ve been waiting impatiently for this to happen.

I’ve missed Jack’s point of view, his motivation – why was he like this, what was it that made him want to be like Lucian. There was too little depth to his character and I simply couldn’t get his obsession. Also, the fact that there was a mystery, a secret was absolutely brilliant, however in my opinion it took too long to reveal it. From the very beginning we are made aware that something really bad had happened, it is mentioned in almost every single chapter, especially those told from Catherine’s point of view, and you know how it is, sometimes less is more, sometimes it’s advisable not to hint so much and let the reader wait till the very end because they can start to feel frustrated and the whole good idea simply loses on tension and suspense.

“Him” was a story of unconditional love, guilt and obsession. It was a dark and tragic tale of love that’s gone wrong and toxic friendship. It’s a slow burner and is rather character driven but it’s gripping. It felt very mature in terms of literary and it’s a splendid debut novel written with sensitivity and skill. It’s more social drama than psychological thriller for me, but whatever the label it was a gripping, absorbing and heart – wrenching story, very atmospheric, sad and thick with nostalgia.

 

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Our Life in a Day by Jamie Fewery

Our Life in a Day by Jamie Fewery

 

41878858Publisher: Orion

Publishing Date: 18th April 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 304

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

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Our Life in a Day is a breathtaking, ten-year love story told in twenty-four individual hours – for fans of One Day by David Nicholls, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and The Note by Zoe Folbigg.

The rules are simple. Choose the most significant moments from your relationship – one for each hour in the day.
You’d probably pick when you first met, right?
And the instant you knew for sure it was love?
Maybe even the time you watched the sunrise after your first night together?

But what about the car journey on the holiday where everything started to go wrong?
Or your first proper fight?

Or that time you lied about where you’d been?

It’s a once in a lifetime chance to learn the truth. But if you had to be completely honest with the one you love, would you still play?

For Esme and Tom, the game is about to begin. And once they start, there’s no going back . . .

Rating: three-stars

 

On their 10th anniversary, Esme has created a game for Tom – for each hour of the day he should choose a significant moment from their relationship, so altogether there should be 24 of them, no matter if they’re happy or sad – but they must be important. So Tom, albeit reluctantly, goes back as far as 2007 where they met at the party and together with him we see the best and worst part of their relationship.
The moments Tom has chosen are not listed in a particular chronological order, and maybe it’s better, because there was this surprise effect. It was truly interesting and intriguing to follow those moments, wondering why Tom chose them and not different ones.

The book started great, it had me hooked and hold my interest, but then it somehow went downhill and I really wasn’t sure where it was heading. In the end I found myself skipping some passages without a feeling that I’m missing on something – maybe it was simply too sad and too depressing for me? I know this is life the author wrote about but on the whole the story felt too disheartening, without hope.

My biggest problem here was Esme, I think. I simply couldn’t warm to her and couldn’t accept her demanding attitude. It looked like she was deciding about everything, as if Tom had nothing to say. Everything was good as long as it was Esme’s decision. Sure, Tom also wasn’t perfect, they were both full of flaws, which is great, because who isn’t, but Esme was one of a kind, came across as spoiled and egoistical. Esme doesn’t suggest, Esme demands, and in comparison Tom seems very weak. And while this book was very character driven, and I couldn’t connect with the characters, I had problems with warming to the whole plot, to engage with the story. However, I appreciate the way the author has described and developed his characters. Esme and Tom had their own distinctive voices, their own strengths and weaknesses. There were many moments that I wanted to shake them badly, at Esme being so stubborn and at Tom for keeping the truth from her. But I didn’t feel invested in their lives.

What I liked in this book was that it felt so very realistic and down to earth in the way Tom and Esme’s relationship was working. Sometimes it was good, sometimes it was tense, just like in real life. The writing style was really good – it was easy to read, flowing seamlessly, with vivid descriptions, bringing feelings and emotions to life. It was a story pulling the good and the bad from real life. It provided us with a realistic, brutally honest, bittersweet view of a relationship. It is not a light read, and I think I expected it to be, but I’d say the opposite, as it deals with heavy subjects. It felt raw, real and genuine, without sugar-coating things, telling how it is.

 

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

 

44017619Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 18th April 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 05.03.2020)

 

Synopsis:

Tiffy Moore and Leon Twomey each have a problem and need a quick fix.

Tiffy’s been dumped by her cheating boyfriend and urgently needs a new flat. But earning minimum wage at a quirky publishing house means that her choices are limited in London.

Leon, a palliative care nurse, is more concerned with other people’s welfare than his own. Along with working night shifts looking after the terminally ill, his sole focus is on raising money to fight his brother’s unfair imprisonment.

Leon has a flat that he only uses 9 to 5. Tiffy works 9 to 5 and needs a place to sleep. The solution to their problems? To share a bed of course…

As Leon and Tiffy’s unusual arrangement becomes a reality, they start to connect through Post-It notes left for each other around the flat.

Can true love blossom even in the unlikeliest of situations?
Can true love blossom even if you never see one another?
Or does true love blossom when you are least expecting it?

Rating: five-stars

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I really wasn’t sure how it’s possible that “Tiffy and Leon share a bed. Tiffy and Leon have never met” but it turned out that yes, it is possible. They are flatmates – with a twist. Leon needs some money to pay the solicitor, Tiffy needs a flat after her final break – up with Justin. Leon is in the flat only during the day, as he works night shifts at the hospice. Tiffy is in the flat during the evening and night, as she works in publishing as an assistant book editor. So they start to share a one bedroom flat and they never have to meet! That’s it! They start to leave post – it notes for each other about bin days, leftover food etc, but slowly those notes evolve into something deeper and more intimate. They start to have a connection. And then they meet…

You know it, when you had a feeling that you’ve simply clicked with the book, right? Well, I clicked with “The Flatshare”. This was an epic, beautiful, romantic love story that had this “something” that makes a novel absolutely outstanding for you. I started reading “The Flatshare” actually not knowing what to expect but hoping that it’s going to be something particularly beautiful, and I was hooked right from the beginning.

The characters in this book were immediately likeable and believable, and not only the main characters but the group surrounding Tiffy and also Leon’s family who added so much depth and perspective to this story. I loved Tiffy from the word go. She’s quirky, she’s smart and has brilliant one – liners, and simply feels human, especially as she has to overcome her personal obstacles. She’s trying to move on from her recent relationship and slowly comes to realise, how abusive it was, and the word gaslighting comes to mind here. I have kept everything crossed for Tiffy, I wished her all the best in the world and it was a real, real joy to see her growing in confidence in some matters.
And Leon as well. He’s a bit withdrawn, on the quiet side but he has so many valuable qualities. He’s currently campaigning for the appeal of his – presumably – wrongly convicted younger brother who is now in prison. And he’s also trying to track down the long – lost love of one of his patients in hospice. At the beginning I had some problems with the chapters told from Leon’s point of view, they were specifically written, but quickly I got used to his voice and was actually happy that he had this distinctive tone.

The idea with the post – its was ingenious. For the first few months of living together Tiffy and Leon communicate via notes left around the flat. They start with the dates of the bin days and leftover food but over time they start to pick up on each other’s moods through the little cues they leave around the flat: the half – drunk cups of tea or coffee, the unwashed dish, and slowly the correspondence gathers depth and intimacy. I loved how they open up to each other in their post – it notes, how honest they are and how attentive they are, paying attention to the smallest details.

The pacing was perfect, all the time there was something happening. The build up for the characters to meet was brilliant. It took its time but it was so necessary in my opinion, and it was so enthralling, this waiting for them to actually meet in person. I was completely invested in Tiffy and Leon’s lives. Beth O’Leary’s writing style is so, so vivid, chatty and charismatic.
The book was full of so incredibly funny moments, guys, they had me chuckling to myself, and as I am currently struggling a bit with my mental health it isn’t so obvious that something funny will make me smile. Well, this book did it, so already for this it deserves a standing ovation from me. But it is also very emotional – but not too wishy – washy – and it works perfectly well with all those humorous moments, scenes and witty dialogues. And the author handles the heavier issues with a lot of understanding and gentleness.
“The Flatshare” was an uplifting, charming and comforting novel. Actually, it has everything I have expected from it and much more and I can’t believe that it’s the author’s debut. It has a brilliant, likeable and believable characters, wonderful storyline that feels so fresh and unique. I loved it totally and I can’t recommend it to you highly enough!

 

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The Time of Our Lives by Portia MacIntosh

The Time of Our Lives by Portia MacIntosh

 

44073128Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 12th April 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 235

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback (out on 11.07.2019)

 

Synopsis:

Love is in the air…?

Luca is used to being the ‘single one’ at weddings – it happens, when all your other friends are engaged, married or taken. But when she bumps into Tom, her friend from university who broke her heart into a million pieces, she finds herself wondering what could have been.

It’s ten years later, surely she should be over that Tom by now? So why is he looking even more gorgeous than ever – and why doesn’t he seem to be able to keep his eyes off her either?

And as the champagne flows and old secrets resurface, Luca realises that perhaps the time to take a chance on love and life is…now?

The laugh-out-loud new novel from bestseller Portia Macintosh!

Rating: three-stars

 

Luca is fine. Or isn’t she? Attending another wedding of her uni’s friend she realises that she’s always the single one, another are engaged/married/otherwise romantically occupied. She starts to feel that time moves on while she stays in place. When she also meets Tom at the wedding, her ex/not ex – boyfriend, she starts to think and evaluate her life.

The story actually unfold on a wedding day, and it was incredibly how much can happen in a day – well, especially when you are as accident – prone as Luca, that is. The present intertwines with flashbacks to the past and we slowly get to know the characters and their lives as a group. Also, it turns out of course that there are, and were, many secrets, misunderstatements and plays. So as much as Luca is our main character, the others play as important role in the book as she is, because they helped to shape her. However, maybe because of the relatively huge number of characters, I had a feeling that they were not good enough developed. They were there, but there was not enough depth to them and to be honest, I haven’t felt connection with them. I think Luca tried to be über – cool and nonchalant in her life. She was your normal, everyday girl, sharp – mouthed and generally happy with herself but I couldn’t warm completely to her, to be honest, not sure why.

The humour this time was also not so Portia MacIntosh – it felt too flat and there were moments that probably were supposed to be funny, like with Luca suddenly being a bridesmaid and the bride’s wishes and requests but it only felt too overdone. I also think she tried to make it a sitcom – like rom – com, with flashbacks and hilarious situations but, unfortunately it didn’t work.

From the author like Portia MacIntosh I was simply expecting something better, ambitious. I was left with a feeling that she herself didn’t connect with the story at all, it scratched below the surface, was without a depth. There were some moments that saved the book for me though on the whole I was really hoping for something deeper, with the MacIntosh’s hallmark humour and sharp observations. Altogether, “The Time of Our Lives” was a light – hearted, easy and fairly straight – forward and predictable read but nevertheless a read that will keep you reading. The pacing was right, the dialogues dynamic and it dealt with the fact that you should fight for things that you feel will make you happy.