The Other Sister by Elle Croft / Blog Tour

The Other Sister by Elle Croft

 

 

the-other-sisterPublisher: Orion

Publishing Date: 18th October 2018

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

Number of pages: 304

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

How far would you go…

Gina Mills is desperate to be a newsreader, but her boss – the director of the struggling Channel Eight, won’t help.

Walking home one night, Gina stumbles upon a dead body, and after calling the police, she makes the split-second decision to report the murder live.

When questioned by the police, Gina can’t remember specific details about her discovery, but these memory gaps are explained away as shock.

…to uncover your family’s deadly secret?

But when Gina finds a second body, it’s clear she’s being targeted. But why?

And how is this connected to the death of Gina’s younger sister so many years ago?

Fans of Friend Request by Laura Marshall, Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear, The Mistake by KL Slater, The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland and The Angel by Katerina Diamond will love The Other Sister.

Rating: four-stars

Gina Mills dreams of being a newsreader but right now she’s stuck at her PA job at Channel 8. She has reconnected with her brother, Ryan, after many years of radio silence, following the death of their younger sister Cassie. One night Gina walks home and comes across a body of a young woman. Yes, she does what’s required, calls the emergency number, but also logs into Channel 8 Facebook account and reports the murder live online – this must please her boss, right? But this decision is going to change her life in many different ways, and both good and bad attention comes her way. And then she discovers another body… Is it accidental? Or is someone targeting her? Is it connected with the events from her childhood?

The characters in this book are deeply flawed. They’re not likeable – you may feel pity or sorry for them but I don’t think it’s possible to like them. They’re full of dark secrets, they lie and are putting the blame on other people. But they are wonderfully, brilliantly complex and not straightforward, they are challenging and this is how I liked them to be. The story is told from a few points of view, those of Gina, Ryan, their mother Sharon, and also Adam, the police officer investigating the crimes. Our main character Gina is a very colourful one, and she made me feel confused many, many times. I really wasn’t sure if she’s honest, if she’s playing, or if she really has such a bad luck, and I really liked this, her not being straightforward but complicated and complex.  The story jumps between 1996 and the present and the pieces of information are scattered and slowly – but not too slowly – being dosed to us to eventually show us a picture that I’ve never seen coming.

I think I’ve never before came across this method of murder – to be honest, it made me feel such disgust, and even more so when the author, in a very detailed way explained the motives of those murders. Yes, I can probably see that this modus operanti may rise an eyebrow or two but let’s be honest, finally it was something different, something totally unique and unexpected, and it worked for me.
The writing style is captivating, flowing so seamlessly and effortlessly, in a great and compelling way peeling off  layer after layer, slowly putting the puzzle together, until we reach the finale. On the one hand, I wanted more from the ending, on the other it was great end that – please don’t judge me – made me smile under my breath. Sure, this story could be better in some aspects, there were moments it felt too far – fetched and some of the events and things happened just too conventionally but it kept me hooked and this is what counts.

For me personally this book was better than “The Guilty Wife”. It was a real page – turner that I couldn’t put down – well, I’ve read it in about eight hours, continuing deep into the night and all the time repeating “only one chapter more”. It was dark, twisty and unpredictable psychological thriller. The author has managed to pull wool over my eyes to be honest – I was extremely sure that I know who’s the killer and why and I think I don’t have to mention that I was wrong. Very wrong. I somehow guessed the “why” but not the “who”. I adored the way the author has made her plot so complex, throwing suspicions on different characters, once making them vulnerable and scared and in the next moment adding a red herring  that would change my mind about them. There were so many questions: why does someone murder the women? Why is it always Gina finding them? Is it a coincidence? Is she the target of the killer? What’s going to happen??? It was full of tension and suspense, secrets and intrigues and a totally surprising outcome.

I’ve raced through the pages, literally. I was totally engrossed in this compelling and gripping story. It was not only the pace that made me read so quickly, it was the plot, the characters , the changing moods and this feeling of uncertainty, of something bad that was going to happen, of simply wanting to reach the conclusion as quickly as possible. It was twisty, but not in your usual psychological thrillers way, Ms Croft has twisted her plot in the most clever, compelling and original way. It was very dark and also very literal, some of the descriptions may be putting off,  but just close your eyes and read further. “The Other Sister” is a book that’ll make you want more and more, to see more and more, to hear more. You’ll feel disgusted but also, in a teasing, sadistical way it won’t be enough for you. It was so refreshingly original, captivating, addictive and be warned –  it’s going to chew you  and spit you out  and yet you’ll still want more and more. Highly recommended!

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No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley

No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley

 

 

40496936Publisher: HarperImpulse

Publishing Date: 19th October 2018

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

Number of pages: 269

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A holiday she’ll remember forever…
It’s the most magical time of the year, and for travel agent Sarah it’s also the busiest! But this year one man threatens to ruin Christmas for Sarah’s customers – Mr Grinch, Will Armstrong.

The Shooting Star Mountain resort is a magical place, and Sarah has fond memories of Christmas here as a little girl – visits to Father Christmas, husky rides in the snow and hot chocolate by a roaring fire. But as the resorts new owner, Will refuses to play snowball or to deck the halls with anything remotely resembling tinsel!

With customers complaining their Christmas is ruined, Sarah decides it’s up to her to convince Scroogey Will just how magical Christmas can be….

But getting Will into the Christmas spirit is hopeless – he is Bah Humbug personified! But as Sarah gets to know him better, she realises that underneath all the gloom is a man struggling with a pain of his own.

With the big day approaching, Sarah realises that the magic and sparkle can wait. This year, she’s going to spend Christmas day with someone special her very own Mr Scrooge…

Rating: four-stars

In “No One Cancels Christmas”, a new festive book by Zara Stoneley that brings back some of the characters from her previous novel “The Wedding Date” but is another stand – alone, we are introduced to Sarah, running her aunt’s travel agency. Following some very bad reviews of one of their resorts, the Shooting Star Mountain in Canada, that promises atmospheric, unforgettable Christmas but, as it turns out, the only thing they offer are cold cabins and no Christmas tree, Sarah decides to fly over to check the situation. Some of Sarah’s most painful, but also most beautiful, memories are connected with this resort. Will she be able to leave her past behind? And to bring back the resort’s high and established reputation?

As always, Zara Stoneley presents us with the most gorgeous descriptions of the characters and the setting. I love Canada and it is my biggest dream to travel there one day, and so I couldn’t be happier to read a book set in there, and even more during Christmas, and the author has done me proud with her vivid descriptions – I could easily picture the landscape covered in snow, the mountains, the snow crunching under your feet and the sun shining.

The characters were all full of live and they were really easy to like – even though it took me some time to get used to Sarah, to be honest. I think she didn’t start in this story too promising, I’m not sure why, I can’t put my fingers on it, she just felt too childish for me, but she’s developed through the novel and I simply adored her enthusiasm and passion, her spontaneity and her bossy ways around the brothers.
Ed has made me feel desperate, though there were tons of charm to him, and yes, I could understand the fascination all the women felt when in his company. His brother Will, the grumpy one, the Grinch, was his total opposite but guys, believe me, you could immediately see that there is so much more to him than meet the eye at first, and I was impatiently waiting to discover what has happened to make him behave like this. He had a great sense of humour, though, our Will, the emails exchange between him and Sarah were absolutely brilliant.
Sarah and Will worked together brilliantly but there wasn’t this sparkle between them that would make me go weak at my knees and all swoony – I am probably spoiled by reading so many books where the chemistry is so well captured – although I am not saying that it wasn’t great. It was, but for me it missed the final touch, and the switch from enemies to lovers happened too sudden for my liking and made it feel a little bit unbelievable.

After Sarah’s friends arrived in Canada the story slowed down for me and wasn’t as entertaining. Yes, there were still some great and hilarious scenes but it started to feel a little too flat and dragging on, especially the blossoming romance. But, having said that, I can assure you that this book was a fantastic, festive read and it brought me tons of joy – it was one of Zara Stoneley’s best stories, to be honest.
It was full of romance that felt even more romantic because of the gorgeous surroundings. The writing style was so, so good, easy to follow, light and inviting, so really, the book has it all – festive mood, gorgeous, wintery landscapes, some lovely huskies and cheeky cat, moody and broody men and brilliant winter Shooting Star Mountain resort in Canada, a quirky and bouncy leading character, was full of hilarious scenes and has a depth – what more would you want? Nothing – exactly! Just grab “No One Cancels Christmas” as soon as it’s out because I am sure you’re guys are all going to love it – it’s full of warmth, hope, snow and humour. Recommended!

 

Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop by Portia MacIntosh

Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop by Portia MacIntosh

 

 

51ox8tjo2ol-_sx311_bo1204203200_Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 8th October 2018

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

Number of pages: 208

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

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Blast the Michael Bublé, wrap your hands around a cinnamon latte and enjoy this warm, hilarious Christmas novel!

Ivy loves Christmas. As owner of Christmas Every Day, the year-round festive store, you’d expect nothing less!

The only thing missing in Ivy’s life is a dash of romance – something her twin sister Holly will not let her forget…

When her mother passed away, Ivy vowed to take over the running of her mother’s store and keep the Christmas spirit alive in the idyllic seaside town of Marram Bay.

But all this changes when an enigmatic businessman moves to the town, threatening to bulldoze her beloved shop to make way for holiday complex.

Can Ivy save her shop before Christmas? Could there be a different side to the newest resident of Marram Bay that would make all her Christmas wishes come true?

The brand new laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from bestseller Portia Macintosh. Perfect for fans of Zara Stoneley and Tilly Tennant.

Rating: four-stars

 

 Ivy and Holly are two very different twins – while Holly hates Christmas, Ivy lives and breaths Christmas. Their mum has started a Christmas shop that is open all year round and after her death Ivy takes it over – and she couldn’t be happier to work there. However, the shop is now in danger, as the owner of the building is selling up and moving away. Smooth operator Seb enters the scenes here – he wants to buy the place, demolish the shop and build something else there. Moreover, he’s very charming and it looks like the whole Marram Bay is under his spell. Ivy tries everything to raise the money to keep her shop – but can she save it? 

I thought we’re going to hear more from the characters from the first book in the series but except for one or two scenes including Lily and Prue there was nothing more – this book totally focuses on brand new characters that I immediately grew fond of. I loved Ivy – she was probably one of my most favourite characters ever, such laid – back and relaxed and full of the greatest one – liners, and so, so realistic and real! I really felt as if I can reach out with my hand and touch her.  

An open all year round Christmas shop – isn’t it a brilliant idea? And it was only the first festive thing in this novel. We then have twins Holly and Ivy, all the festive food you can think about, decorating trees, Christmas Festivals, Santa shenanigans … and yet it was not too festive overwhelming, thanks god, however a brilliant start to all the festive books slowly coming my way, tadah. It was full of brilliant, incredibly funny scenes and the tasting the Christmas Cake will probably stay with me forever, as well as the kissing booth and golden retriever, to name only a few.  

Portia MacIntosh has a talent to create characters that are full of life and that rarely give up but are also realistic, and it was the same this time as well. Ivy, living and breathing Christmas, was so optimistic and so bouncy and it was impossible not to like her. I absolutely loved the way she was thinking and how fair she was, she wanted to save her shop but she was also willing to take another look and see other options – however, I also loved the fire in her and that, even though she’s seen those other options, she always came up with brilliant ideas to help her keep her mum’s heritage. She was smart and funny and not taking herself too seriously. Her sister Holly was an absolute opposite of Ivy re: Christmas but as likeable as Ivy. The one and only Gaz and his never – ending attempts to chat up a girl and on the other hand such a lovely Santa. And Seb with his Lamborghini and plans, such enthusiastic and down – to – earth – all of them, as well as the supporting characters, were absolutely fantabulous and incredibly easy to like, even if they were planning on demolishing some beloved shops or trying to sabotage those plans. 

There was of course a hidden depth to it, and it had some very poignant moments, but on the whole it was a funny, entertaining novel. The banter between the characters was so natural and easy, the writing style was light – hearted and I was hooked from the very first page till the end. It was heart – warming and oh so romantic without being too saccharine. A lovely story about families, relationships, chances and finding what it really is what you want from life. It was not too complicated and a little predictable but full of other perks that made me appreciate it so much. Don’t be surprised when you’ll feel like curling up in front of your fire – place with a cup of hot chocolate and looking to put your Christmas lights on when reading “Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop”! Truly recommended.

Dinner Party by Tracy Bloom

Dinner Party by Tracy Bloom

 

 

40794610Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 26th September 2018

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

Number of pages: 330

Genre: Humour, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Never has an unexpected guest caused such chaos!

Three couples take it in turns to host a monthly dinner party.

Beth, Sarah and Marie have been friends forever. Now they are grown up, with busy lives, busy husbands, busy kids… but they still find time to meet up over dinner once a month. A cosy, comfortable gathering of happy couples – or so they thought.

Until one night, someone brings along a last-minute guest whose wife has just left him.

Simon is standing on the doorstep in floods of tears. While the women do their best to console him, their husbands feel the need to mark their territory.

And as Simon becomes more involved with the group, his presence changes everything these three couples thought they knew about each other, leading to a final dinner party that no-one will ever forget.

From Amazon chart bestseller Tracy Bloom, Dinner Party is a funny and moving read that will make you see your marriage and friendships in a whole new light… and make you think twice about inviting your best mates round for dinner. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes, Nick Spalding and Gill Sims.

Rating: three-stars

Beth, Sarah and Marie have been friends since school. Now, once a month, they and their husbands, that truly don’t have anything in common except their wives being friends, meet at one of their places for a dinner party, that usually run without mishaps and in a nice atmosphere. However, this time, when it’s Beth and Chris’s turn, he forgets to tell his wife that he has invited his new friend Simon. Simon and his wife have just split up and he’s been since heartbroken. To be honest, nobody is too happy with the new addition but when he arrives, the three female friends find themselves drawn to him, which doesn’t go unnoticed by their husbands. As the time goes on and the dinner parties as well, Simon becomes more part of their lives, however his presence also causes chaos and misunderstandings that eventually lead to a very dramatic finale.

There are six main characters in this book – yes, you could say it’s a lot, but they’re all so different and right from the beginning you get the feeling who is who and to whom they belong. All of them had perfectly distinctive voices, they had their quirks, flaws and secrets, some of them were too perfect and too snobbish, some of them really overdid with their love of dips – it was funny at the beginning but then it stopped being funny and started to feel irritating. Each chapter is told by a different character and all of them have a chance to tell us their thoughts, which was a brilliant way, as it was really great to see how each of them perceive the particular situation or what they really think.

Due to short Q&As at the end of each chapter between a journalist and one of the characters we quickly get the sense that something big has happened. Yes, it did, but it took the whole book to get to the point – a little too long for this story, to be honest, but I also understand that should it have been written differently, there wouldn’t be the grande finale that the author presented us with. However, it just felt too short and too rapid in comparison to the whole story. On the other hand, it was truly surprising and unexpected what has happened at the end.

It was an interesting, sharp – observed read that for me lacked in the final touch, the wow – effect and the idea of mixing stories of three different couples was a brilliant one, and adding then an extra person to this mix was even better, as it was for sure going to steer problems and troubles, but it was not developed. I was all the time asking myself: and? Please don’t get me wrong, I love Tracy Bloom, but this time I actually wasn’t sure what she wants to tell us with this novel. It is also billed as a “LOL Romantic Comedy” however for me it was neither LOL nor romantic nor comedy. However, I DID enjoy the book. Even though I didn’t sympathize with the characters, they were very well drawn and felt realistic. Why didn’t I sympathize with them? Well, first of all, I truly wasn’t sure why they’re calling themselves friends, I didn’t feel any bond between them, even between Beth, Sarah and Marie who have known each other since school, and well, Tony did admit, on many different occasions, that he actually has nothing in common with Chris and Duncan. They had many issues with each other and actually, they weren’t friendly, they were nasty and jealous of each other.

This book is written in this lovely, light Tracy Bloom’s writing style that I so much adore. She also for sure can create a bunch of regular, relatable characters with real problems and get them into some complicated and often hilarious situations. There is also so much depth to this story, as it touches upon love, betrayal, friendship and second chances. It makes me really sad that the book didn’t work for me as much as I was sure it’s going to, but Tracy Bloom stays at the very top of my auto – buy authors, I will read whatever she writes.

Because Mummy Said So by Shari Low / Blog Tour + Guest Post

Because Mummy Said So by Shari Low

 

35820113Publisher: Head of Zeus

Publishing Date: 25th January 2018

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

Number of pages: 352

Genre: Parenting & Families, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback (out on 07.02.2019)

 

Synopsis:

The era of the yummy mummy has finally gone and in order to celebrate this, Shari Low has taken a baby wipe to the glossy veneer of the school of perfect parenting and written Because I Said So to show us the truth about motherhood in all of its sleep-deprived, frazzled glory. This is a book that every experienced, new or soon-to-be parent will relate to – well, hallelujah and praise be those who worship at the temple of Febreze.

For over a decade, Shari wrote a hugely popular weekly newspaper column documenting the ups, downs and bio-hazardous laundry baskets of family life. Because I Said So is a collection of her favourite stories of parenting, featuring superheroes in pull up pants, embarrassing mistakes, disastrous summer holidays, childhood milestones, tear-jerking nativity plays, eight bouts of chickenpox and many, many discussions that were finished with the ultimate parental sticky situation get-out clause… Because I Said So.

My Review

“Because Mummy Said So” is close to life, painfully realistic and hilarious read. It is a compilation of short essays the author has written for her column and they tell us about life with two young boys, about being family – in a very realistic and brutally honest way. Oh yes, Shari Low really tells how it is – that life with young children can be very, very embarrassing but she also shows the soft side of such life, of being a part of family and how richer and fuller your life becomes when the children arrive. 

I am also a mum and I’ve also experienced many, many embarrassing moments with my daughter so I could really relate to those essays.However, I don’t know if it’s because Shari Low is a writer that she can simply better notice such situations or her boys are much more accident prone than my daughter because I can’t remember SO many embarrassing situations in my life.   

I could really relate to this book and often identify with it. Some of the stories were funny however some were a bit hit or miss for me, and some felt a bit too overdone but altogether it was a nutshell manual of how it is to be a parent nowadays. The writing style is light and engaging and funny. I would recommend it if you’re a parent and in need of a good laugh and to see that you’re not alone. Refreshing and eye – opening, showing that the era of perfect mothers is truly and really over – hallelujah!

GUEST POST:

I don’t think we’ve ever lived in more judgemental times. With social media, reality TV and glossy advertising campaigns, it seems like we’re constantly surrounded by examples of impossibly fabulous lives.

Not that having a skewed idea of perfection is a new concept.

Growing up, I always thought being a writer would be an impossibly glamorous life. I wanted to have the excitement of a Jackie Collins heroine, wear leopard print on a daily basis, and live a scandalous existence being wooed by heartthrobs who hung on my every word.

And did I mention I’d have twelve nannies for my perfectly behaved children, who would think I was the best mother ever?

Sorry. I’ve always been both shallow and deluded. It’s a personality flaw.

Of course, the reality bore no resemblance to those adolescent fantasies. I didn’t start writing until I was thirty, when – by some miracle – I managed to get a book deal and found out I was pregnant on the same day.

Ah the thrill! Followed by the wonderful but daunting reality check of real-life motherhood. Two babies in two years later, ‘excitement’ was getting through a whole day without at least one child being sick on me. The only ‘scandalous’ activity was smuggling them into a fast food restaurant for some chicken nuggets and pretending I’d fed them organic rice cakes. My dealings with leopard print involved a costume for the school show, hastily constructed with six hours notice, and David Attenborough wouldn’t have been impressed with the results. Those nannies and the perfectly behaved children? They never materialised. Instead I got two hilarious wee boys, and the husband and I muddled through, careering from one parenting mishap to another. Oh, and absolutely no-one hung on my every word. In fact, by the tenth time I’d asked them to brush their teeth in the mornings, I began to wonder if I was invisible.

However, I loved every minute of it. Even the ones that came with sleep depravation and a toxic laundry basket.

Along the way, I wrote more than twenty novels and a weekly column about the perils of parenting.

You see, I’m not afraid to admit it. My name is Shari Low and I’m an imperfect parent.

My weekly tales were a fight back against that illusion of perfect motherhood, a giggle for those in the same boat, and a rude gesture in the direction of those who judge us mums for making mistakes.

Now, my very favourite episodes are all together in Because Mummy Said So, a collection of memories spanning pregnancy to the day my eldest left home last year. Sniff. Every hilarious disaster, crisis, and mortifying moment is in there.

It’s a pick me up for the exhausted new parent, a giggle for mums who are navigating the minefield of the school years and a bit of nostalgia for the empty nesters.

And most of all, it’s a funny, real life distraction from all those impossible, manufactured images of perfection.

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I Invited Her In by Adele Parks

I Invited Her In by Adele Parks

 

 

39084613Publisher: HQ

Publishing Date: 20th September 2018

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

Number of pages: 384

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

A gripping story of friendship and betrayal from international best-selling author Adele Parks

‘I invited her in… and she took everything.’

When Mel hears from a long-lost friend in need of help, she doesn’t hesitate to invite her to stay. Mel and Abi were best friends back in the day, sharing the highs and lows of student life, until Mel’s unplanned pregnancy made her drop out of her studies.

Now, seventeen years later, Mel and Abi’s lives couldn’t be more different. Mel is happily married, having raised her son on her own before meeting her husband, Ben. Now they share gorgeous girls and have a chaotic but happy family home, with three children.

Abi, meanwhile, followed her lover to LA for a glamorous life of parties, celebrity and indulgence. Everything was perfect, until she discovered her partner had been cheating on her. Seventeen years wasted, and nothing to show for it. So what Abi needs now is a true friend to lean on, to share her grief over a glass of wine, and to have some time to heal. And what better place than Mel’s house, with her lovely kids, and supportive husband…

This dark, unsettling tale of the reunion of long-lost friends is thoroughly gripping exploration of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.

Rating: three-half-stars

Mel and Abi used to be best friends but then Mel dropped out of university due to her unplanned pregnancy. They haven’t seen each other for over 17 years – Mel has given birth to a son, Liam, is now married to Ben and they have two daughters together. Abi has done well in her job – she’s been living a celebrity lifestyle in LA with her husband Rob. However, she’s now divorcing him, after finding him in bed with another woman. This is when Mel receives an unexpected email from her former friend and immediately invites her over, opening the doors of her home and her own heart. But – did Abi get in touch because she really needed her friend, or is there more to this than meets the eye?

This book is full of sharp observations and it brilliantly captures different kinds of relationships. What I enjoyed probably most was the fact that the author presents us both sides of the story – I must admit, it takes a lot of time to learn what Abi’s hidden agenda was but I simply guessed it in the meantime, and well, yes, it may change your mind a little about her character. The alternating perspectives of not only Mel and Abi, but Mel’s husband, son and his girlfriend provided much deeper account of what’s happening and what the characters really think and feel, and you really start to think who is the real victim in this story – because there are always two sides to each story.  It was the moment that I started to feel very sorry for her. The next strong point of this book is of course Adele Park’s writing style. She writes with ease and in interesting way.

However, the characters lacked depth, I expected them to be much more three – dimensional and relatable. I didn’t care for them and I was not as invested in their lives as I’d like to. Yes, some of their decisions made me feel real desperation but I wasn’t emotionally connected to them. 

The problem is, when the book is so strongly advertised and it gets brilliant quotes that you start reading it with incredibly high expectations – especially when it’s written by such a fantastic author like Adele Parks. I read this book at the same time as I was reading another novel with exactly the same subject matter – old friends coming back into your life and turning into a very challenging one to say the least – sadly, any of those book was this what I was hoping for. Last year I read Claudia Carroll’s “Our Little Secret”, a book with the same keynote, and I can still remember how much tension there was in her novel, how much I hated the antagonist, how much I vibrated and felt all kinds of emotions – this is what I so missed in “I Invited Her In”. In my opinion, the idea was here but it lacked in development. Somehow, I just couldn’t fall for Mel, I couldn’t sympathise with her, the story itself was too predictable for my liking and to be honest, there was not any twist that would make me go “wow”. The end also seemed too rushed and just too happy – endish. I’m sorry, I really hoped I’m going to love this story. don’t get me wrong, it was not a bad book, it’s far away from it, it’s probably my expectations being set really high. It was maybe because the “thing” happening was not SO very controversial, at least not for me, that it left me a little lukewarm.

“I Invited Her In” was an interesting story about friendship and boundaries, about revenge, secrets, lies, jealousy and forgiving and it’s to my regret that I’m not in the minority that raves about it. However, it was a satisfying read that I’m sure the hard – core fans of Adele Parks will love. It was well written, I really liked the writing style and the author has a great way with words and altogether, I was intrigued to see how it was all going to play out.

The Rise and Fall of Becky Sharp by Sarra Manning

The Rise and Fall of Becky Sharp by Sarra Manning

 

 

39844198Publisher: Harper Collins

Publishing Date: 6th September 2018

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

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A hilarious contemporary retelling of the classic society novel, VANITY FAIR, featuring the irrepressible Becky Sharp

Beautiful, brilliant, ruthless – nothing can stop Becky Sharp.

Determined to leave her poverty-stricken roots behind her, Becky Sharp is going to take every opportunity offered to her to climb to the top. Whether it’s using her new BFF Amelia Sedley to step up into the rarified world of London’s upper classes, or seducing society’s most eligible bachelors, Becky Sharp is destined for great things – at any cost…

From London to Paris and beyond, the world is there for Becky’s taking – even though some people are determined to stop her along the way…

Rating: four-stars

This story follows Becky Sharp – a runner up on Big Brother, nanny, Instagram influencer to eventually become a philanthropist. But Becky worked hard for all of this – or did she? Relying only on herself, that is until she senses a chance and someone with more money… or another someone, with even more money? Using other people or simply being ambitious? I haven’t read the original “Vanity Fair” so I am probably in the minority that won’t be comparing those two books, and also I didn’t recognise any of the scenes and couldn’t compare the characters, but I’m sure there are similarities, and also, even without reading the “first” book, I can assure you that I totally adored this modern take on “Vanity Fair”.

Even though I was not particularly found of the characters! However, I fell for Becky and I felt sorry for her and in the next second I simply hated her. Becky was incredibly intriguing character, and Sarra Manning has so brilliantly captured all of her attributes! She was a champion of disguising her true self and so you could never be sure which of the faces you’re going to see; she for sure knew how to behave in a particular company. It depended on the person she was with and how influential they were. I don’t think we have ever come across Becky’s true colours guys, she has provided regular doses of the level of sincerity and really, I think, no, I am sure that the only person she cared about was herself. She was a master of using people and sweet – talking them. Yet – she was likeable! I might have not loved her but I had feelings of warmth and somehow I wanted to protect her. Weird, no? She schemes and manipulates in a perfect way and yet you just want to cheer her on. She truly knows what she wants and doing anything just to get her way, actually almost always getting what she wanted. She’s unbreakable.

Sarra Manning’s writing style is brilliant. The pace of the novel in fast and there are twists and turns that you’ll never see coming. The plot was hooking, I couldn’t wait to turn the page to see what’s going to happen. There were moment that it was ridiculous and hilarious, as well as some of the very colourful characters that really made me feel all kinds of emotions.

This book could go on and go, it was a kind of never – ending story, and personally I would love to see what Becky has got herself into – I think it ended in one of the most exciting moments, and our Becky implied that she’s not to rest on her laurels, oh no. But also, this end was not satisfying for me – there was a huge build up but then I had a feeling that it turned into … nothing. So really, if Ms Manning were to write a sequel to “The Rise and Fall of Becky Sharp” I’d be probably the first one in the virtual queue to read it.

“The Rise and Fall of Becky Sharp” was a book full of scandals, rich people and celebrities, revenge, coincidences. It was partly really bonkers crazy but this is why I enjoyed it so much, as it sat with this book so well. It was sharp and brutally honest about modern life and current priorities. It was juicy and relying strongly on social satire, and Sarra Manning has brilliantly portrayed this what makes it this satire – demeanours, the mentality, the greed and self – obsession in this Instagram era, celebrity obsessions, being famous because of being famous. It’s full of sharp and so fitting and relevant observations – highly recommended!