Needlemouse by Jane O’Connor / Blog Tour

Needlemouse by Jane O’Connor

 

42080648._sy475_Publisher: Ebury

Publishing Date: 27th June 2019

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

Number of pages: 352

Genre: General Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Time to come out of hibernation…

Sylvia Penton has been hibernating for years, it’s no wonder she’s a little prickly…

Sylvia lives alone, dedicating herself to her job at the local university. On weekends, she helps out at a local hedgehog sanctuary because it gives her something to talk about on Mondays – and it makes people think she’s nicer than she is.

Only Sylvia has a secret: she’s been in love with her boss, Professor Lomax, for over a decade now, and she’s sure he’s just waiting for the right time to leave his wife. Meanwhile she stores every crumb of his affection and covertly makes trouble for anyone she feels gets in his way.

But when a bright new PhD candidate catches the Professor’s eye, Sylvia’s dreams of the fairy tale ending she has craved for so long, are soon in tatters, driving her to increasingly desperate measures and an uncertain future.

Sylvia might have been sleep walking through her life but things are about to change now she’s woken up…

A quirky, charming uplifting novel perfect for fans of Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Sarah Haywood’s The Cactus. The feelgood bestseller about unrequited love, loneliness and the redemptive qualities of hedgehogs featuring the most unlikely heroine of 2019.

Rating: five-stars

 

Sylvia is 52 years old, a spinster and works at the university as a PA to Professor of Educational Psychology Carl Lomax. She’s been working for him for 15 years already, in this time unrequitedly in love with him, patiently waiting for him to finally leave his wife so they can be together. When it finally happens she’s sure it’s only a matter of time for them to get married – well, he takes her to lunch, and he never forgets her birthday, right? The trouble starts with Prof’s new student, Lola, but Sylvia isn’t afraid of a bit of manipulation to remove the obstacles in her way to happiness. But then something happens, and then she falls out with her sister over an old secret that never should see the light of a day and the only thing that she has is the hedgehog sanctuary where she volunteers. Will she be able to eventually come out of her comfort zones, to see reality how it is, to open herself up?

Jane O’Connor has done a great job with Sylvia’s character. Chances are, when you first meet her, you’re not going to like her. She is spiteful, unhappy, unfriendly, hell, she doesn’t like her own niece, and the only person she adores is her boss, Prof Carl Lomax and she would do anything for him. She collects all his small signs and gestures thinking he has the same feelings to her as she has for him – she’s simply in unrequited love with him but she refuses to accept this fact, really she borders on being a stalker. She volunteers at the hedgehog sanctuary because it gives her something to do on the weekends and because it makes her appear nicer to others. And much like hedgehogs, she has been hibernating for years, almost delusional about Lomax, always finding an excuse for his behaviour, her social life non – existent (she was out only when her sister Millie insisted on it).
But. The author, in a brilliant way, reveals Sylvia’s story, all the troubles and traumas she has experienced in her life and that have turned her into person she is today, and really, you’re going to quickly begin to understand Sylvia and like her, feel a growing sympathy for her loneliness, for her being so desperate to love someone! I actually liked her from the beginning, even though she was a bit of a horror, but she made me laugh so much. The supporting characters were also all sparkingly written – the sanctuary owner Jonas, full of hidden wisdom and warm words, “Prof” and Lola, who got what they deserved, and Sylvia’s sister Millie and her daughter Crystal – all full of life and having their own personality, adding tons of depth, reflections and humour to the whole story.

I loved seeing how Sylvia was actually forced by life to change, to rediscover herself, to open up. I actually felt like giving her a standing ovation.

The story was written in the form of diary, so we get only Sylvia’s point of view, and the entries are hilariously honest, especially as she can’t find the happy medium and writes only unpleasant things about all people but one, and that’s, of course, Prof, as she calls him. He, in Sylvia’s eyes, can’t make a mistake, all he does is right and hands off from him to all other women.

It was very emotional but also entertaining read, sometimes uncomfortable because it tells things how they are. A bitter – sweet novel that is going to make you cringe and then laugh in the next second, brilliantly intersperses sadness and seriousness with plenty of humour and funny situations. I loved the idea for this book, I loved the characters, and the plot is unique, fresh and the way it was written was brilliant, Jane O’Connor has such a great way with words, I can’t believe it is her debut novel. The snippets of information about hedgehogs were a frosting on the cake. I personally thought that all of them have fleas and it turns out that’s not true for example. Altogether, “Needlemouse” had believable characters and was a thought – provoking story. It was full of twists, turns and heartfelt revelations and it vividly captured the vulnerability of the main character. A great novel about re – evaluating your life, coming out of hibernation, written with poignancy and care. An absolute must – read and I can’t recommend it highly enough!

 

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

needlemouse-tour

 

Advertisements

Almost Adults by Ali Pantony

Almost Adults by Ali Pantony

 

41956650Publisher: Ebury

Publishing Date: 24th June 2019

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

Number of pages: 320

Genre: Women’s Fiction,  Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback (out on 08.08.2019)

 

Synopsis:

The struggle is real…

Ever managed to kill a succulent after just a few days?
Got seven reminder letters on the kitchen table because you forgot to pay your council tax?
Become a hot mess who’s falling apart because they’ve been broken up with?

Nobody told Mackie, Edele, Alex and Nat (aka the MEAN Girls) that life was going to be this way. They’re busy navigating the joys of adulthood – getting their shit together, breaking up and making up, moving out and moving on. This grown up stuff is hard but at least they’ve got each other.

Welcome to the world of adulting.

Rating: three-stars

 

Mackie, Ed, Alex and Nat (or, as they call themselves, MEAN Girls) are all starting to feel that they definitely should have their lives together. They’re all in late twenties, all have been friends for many years, and now they try to figure out how to be an adult, and what does it involve. Firstly, Nat’s boyfriend of seven years, ends their relationship, with no warning. Alex is scared her boyfriend is cheating on her, Ed is still living with her mum and lying about how well her job search is going, Mackie is trying to get out of the job she’s just got. Are all the changes going to challenge their friendship`?

What really worked for me in this story was the friendship between the girls. It felt real and honest, they were there for each other but it didn’t feel too forced or unrealistic or overdone. It was genuine, with ups and downs, like in real friendships, it was comforting and spirit lifting. Each of the four girls was unique, with their own voice and experience, and they brought the best to the relationship. Individually they are all a real mess, but together it seems they can conquer the world, and I loved this feeling.

The book is told from all four points of view and the author has really well pulled it off and the characters tell as it really is, highlighting all the highs and lows of being an adult. But I wanted to tell, this is life, right, so please just pull yourselves together and stop feeling sorry. I mean, there were some funny moments, sure, and the girls were not flawless, they were making mistakes, so it should be a relatable, engaging read, but maybe I’m simply too old for such book already? Sure, we all have moments when we really don’t know what to do with our life, when we feel we are adults by mistake but I simply expected more from this story. And, I think, something different – more fun, more humour, more hilarity because, once too much, it felt like the characters were only unhappy and complaining all the time. What’s more, I didn’t care about the characters, I wasn’t sure what the book wants to tell us – I probably simply didn’t click with it as I expected to, and hoped to, based on the brilliant synopsis.

I liked the message in “Almost Adults”, that really it’s not all about having a man in your life but about finding yourself and this what makes you happy. It was a story about true friendship, with its ups and downs, about making mistakes and learning from them and realising that being an adult doesn’t mean you must have everything figured out. The dynamics between the girls were so well captured and the writing style was light – hearted, and I am already looking forward to reading more from Ali Pantony.

 

The Passengers by John Marrs

The Passengers by John Marrs

 

40718386Publisher: Del Ray

Publishing Date: 1st April 2019

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

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback (out on 30.05.2019)

 

Synopsis:

Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide.

When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.

The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?

Rating: three-stars

 

“The Passengers” takes us to a world with self – driving cars… You don’t have to do anything, you are a passenger that simply sits in the car. Traffic congestion, pollution and accidents has gone down significantly. The cars are, of course, unhackable… That is, until one day, the system IS hacked. Eight “passengers” are on their way to different locations when suddenly they’re told their cars are taken over and soon they’re going to die in an accident. The governing body that oversees the driverless cars and the whole of AI technology are contacted and they, as well as some of the normal people serving in a jury, are to choose who of the 8 people should be saved and why. It is all, of course, streamed to social media and the general public also gets involved. The race against time begins – is it possible to save those people?

There was a great cast of characters. Among the passengers we have a refugee woman, an Indian woman with a family that was abused by her husband and who doesn’t speak English, a wife and husband of ten years, both in two different cars, a pregnant woman, a famous actress, an army veteran and a young man who’s down on his luck. Each of them is trapped, their routes being taken over, their destination programmed. After two and a half hours one of them will live, while the rest will die. A group of jury members, who are actually investigating who’s at fault when there is a car accident and people die (and it’s almost never the car’s fault!), are dragged into the hacker’s game. The only jury member who makes a stand against the hacker and the other members is Libby, a mental health nurse with a great dislike of the driverless cars.

It was a great story about manipulation and the dangers of technology. It was horrifying to see how easily you can manipulate people, showing them this what you want them to see, and actually how people react, where their morals lie, how easy it is to led them. I was very involved in the characters’ lives though I didn’t allowed myself to judge them, waiting for the outcome. And the fact that the author actually didn’t care which of the character should die, not falling onto pieces over them, was a great and refreshing change. He also brilliantly captured the mob mentality on social media and on the streets.

But. And there is a “but”, sadly. For me the book has a great premise, it started brilliantly and the development was also great, though I must admit that there were already moments that it seemed to me that the author had a great idea but then wasn’t sure how to direct it furthermore, how to bite it to make it thrilling. And then came the end that was a disappointment for me. I was expecting a mind – blowing, fireworks ending but it simply felt flat and not complete, not wrapped up. It seemed as if the idea petered away, and I’m really sad about this as I was hoping for so much more from John Marrs. Don’t get me wrong, please, I was hooked to the pages, I vibrated together with the characters, I wanted to punch some of them in their faces and kept everything crossed for the others, and then it was as if the balloon has deflated. Sadly.

But altogether, it was a fast – paced and full of twists and turns story and although it touched upon some difficult and thought – provoking issues, it was an easy read, surprising you with the development of the story. The author has brilliantly captured the future world – he made it scary and dangerous and it really freaked me out to see that people not only allow the electronic devices decide for them but they’re also not afraid to play with other people’s lives. It was accomplished and unsettling and I am so truly sorry and also sad that it didn’t work for me – I wanted to love this book but I also wanted more substance and better execution. However, I know there is so much potential in John Marrs’ writing, his books are original and unique and I’ll be reading whatever he writes in the future.

 

One New York Christmas by Mandy Baggot / Blog Tour

One New York Christmas by Mandy Baggot

 

 

42180340Publisher: Ebury Press

Publishing Date: 15th November 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adults), Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A festive break in New York

Lara Weeks is planning the perfect Christmas with her long-term boyfriend Dan until he drops a bombshell. I don’t know my Christmas plans yet. I think I need some space . . .

Pooling their funds together, best friend Susie persuades Lara to head to the Big Apple for a festive trip. In the snow-clad streets of New York, will it be break-up or breakthrough this Christmas? And will Lara get her happy-ever-after with the man of her dreams . . . or will she stay single for the season?

 

 my-review

Mandy Baggot’s Christmas offerings are always a treat, well, there wouldn’t be Christmas without her book, no? “One New York Christmas” has exceptionally gorgeous cover and it teams together two of the best things: well, yes – Christmas, and New York. It takes us on a journey from a rural, peaceful Appleshaw in Wiltshire to the city that never sleeps, and moreover, at the most wonderful time of the year. Lara, our main character, loves her town and she also loves Christmas, and is looking towards it, especially as she’s going to spend it with her boyfriend, Dan. Dan,  however, has other plans and decides they need “a break”, during which he’s going to travel to Scotland. With another woman. Here you go. Lara’s best friend Susie decides that Lara needs to make Dan jealous, and to do she needs to start tweeting some celebrities and get a reply from them (this is the bit that I didn’t fully get, to be honest, as I wasn’t sure how should it help). They both end in New York, in the company of Seth, an actor from Lara’s favourite series, who’s much more than meets the eye.


Lara was such a colourful, interesting character, and I liked her from the very first mention that she’s a lorry driver. I mean, how clever? How many lorry driver female characters have you met? Exactly! What I also liked in her was the fact that she just bitten the bullet and wasn’t afraid of trying, confronting, seeing – it was so refreshing, after so many heroines that simply bury their heads in the sand and wait for the problems to somehow disappear. Also, she was not a skinny – minnie swishing her blond hair around type of character, she was more of a tomboy – the lorry driving! – which made her seem a much more stronger person that she in fact was, but she wanted us to see the stronger version of her as well. I adored her passion and her love to her family. If you think about it, she’s really a kick ass, our Lara, fierce, bouncy and almost fearless. She’s not afraid of climbing trees, she rescues animals and she stands for herself or the things she believes in. Well, unless it comes to her love life. Then she lost her head, which is only understandable.

I also really appreciated the character of Seth, who, for once, was full of uncertainty and vulnerability, and was not a macho or too full of himself. There was warmth to him and I truly fell for him and I just wanted all the good things happen to him. His story added tons of seriousness to the book but the way Mandy Baggot tackled his issues was really great and she brilliantly captured him, and his coming out of comfort zones and confronting the past.

The supporting characters, both in the US and back in England, blend in brilliantly and complement each other in a great way.

I simply loved the descriptions of New York. They were so vivid and full of details and the fact that the city was seen through Lara’s eyes for the first time made it even more exciting and beautiful. The author has so easily transported us to New York, brought this place to life, made it jump off the pages.
The story, however, dragged a little too much for my liking. I wanted action and things happening, and I got too much of the characters’ inner indecisions and monologues, and it bothered me a little. Lara was also an adult and well, I just don’t get this whole checking and showing and posting your life to the social media, to looking for comfort there, looking on Facebook at what it is your boyfriend is doing, checking there your relationship status – I mean, do I live in reality or do I live through social media? No, thank you. And I also missed this Christmas vibe – yes, the book was festive enough but this sparkle, this vibe wasn’t there. It was also this little bit too predictable, you could see things coming a mile off, but oh well, yes, I could live with this. Also, referring to Aldo as “almost – brother” made me grit my teeth – either he was a brother, or not, no matter if he was adopted or not. And the regular reminders of Lara being so unusually a truck driver were not so necessary. Mandy Baggot’s writing style is like a hot chocolate, drawing you in and you simply want more and more of it. It’s easy to follow, inviting and full of humour – though it took me some time to get into the book, no reason probably, just one of the things, and as I’ve already mentioned, it was a little too slow, especially at the beginning. It gained speed a little more in New York, when Lara and Seth started sight – seeing.

Altogether, “One New York Christmas” was a festive, funny and romantic read, full of unforgettable scenes, both funny and poignant. It’s not as good as Mandy Baggot’s “One Wish in Manhattan” that was a fantastic, festive novel that I loved with all my heart, but it’s a nice enough, light – hearted book with a hidden depth. A lovely story about family dynamics and following your heart, full of heartbreak, hope, romance and happiness, it’s a great way to cosy yourself in a blanket on a dark, cold evening. Recommended!

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

img_3751

 

The Pets at Primrose Cottage Part 4 by Sheila Norton

The Pets at Primrose Cottage: No Place Like Home by Sheila Norton

 

35269557Publisher: Ebury Digital

Publishing Date: 15th February 2018

Series: Pets at Primrose Cottage #4 (read my review of part 1 here,  part 2 here , and part 3 here )

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

Number of pages: 78

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

Synopsis:

PART FOUR of a serialised novel – a charming and romantic story about living the simple life and the joy of animals.

With Emma’s past threatening to ruin her life in quiet Crickleford, she’s running out of options. If people – especially Matt, her reporter friend – find out her secret, it might force her to leave the place she’s come to think of as home.

When flooding strikes the town while Emma is looking after an elderly couple’s dog, she has to take her biggest risk yet – but could this be the one that blows her cover for good? And if it does, can Crickleford – and Matt – ever accept Emma for who she truly is?

Rating: three-stars

And so here we come to the final instalment in the “Pets at Primrose Cottage” series, which is a pity actually, as it was a nice and relaxing read and I grew fond of the characters, both human and animal ones.

There was – again – a lot of focus on Emma’s pet sitting and events that happened in the village, such as flood, and I was afraid that revealing Emma’s big secrets will get overshadowed but no, it was delivered in a very nice way and it didn’t feel too rushed or too short. However, and I must add this, in comparison to the huge built – up in the last three part, the reveals of both secrets didn’t take me so much by surprise. It was something that I was expecting and to be honest I was hoping for a great surprise, an explosion, something that would hit me and leave me unconscious for a few days. But no – those were mediocre secrets. To be frank, I was also a little disappointed with Emma. First all people in the cafe got to know what’s her problem is, and I mean ALL PEOPLE, because the whole village was there, and all people wanted to help, and Emma says she feels actually OK now everything is out and she doesn’t want to do anything with this problem. I mean, hello? First she’s blaming herself for everything, thinks about herself “stupid” and when everything is out she wants to do nothing about it. I thought, well Emma, I was expecting more from you. I mean, she didn’t have to go to university, and it was great she felt good in her own skin but she’s just condemning herself for limitations in my humble opinion. However, standing ovation to Emma for the way she has treated some of the people in her life, I always knew there is fire in this girl.

As always, the writing style was incredibly engaging and easy to follow, descriptive and warm. The ending was brilliantly happy – ever – after and I really liked it. All the questions were answered in this part and everything came smoothly to an end, all the loose ends of the plot and conflicts are neatly wrapped up. Altogether, it was a feel – good novella and enjoyable read.

The Pets at Primrose Cottage Part 3 by Sheila Norton

Pets at Primrose Cottage: Trust Your Heart by Sheila Norton

 

34846988Publisher: Ebury Digital

Publishing Date: 18th January 2018

Series: The Pets at Primrose Cottage #3  (read my review of part 1 here and part 2 here )

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

Number of pages: 80

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

Synopsis:

PART THREE of a serialised novel – a charming and romantic story about living the simple life and the joy of animals.

Emma Nightingale finds she’s accidentally becoming something of a local celebrity in the small town of Crickleford, and it seems that everyone wants her to look after their pets.

While looking after a hamster, she accidentally uncovers a mystery that threatens to draw even more attention to her. With nowhere to turn, soon Emma will have to make a decision that could cost her everything…

Rating: four-stars

 

And so The Pets at Primrose Cottage series continues with part 3, “Trust Your Heart”. In this part, as opposed to two other ones, there is a lot happening, however it still doesn’t explain much about Emma’s previous situation and I’m afraid that the last part will feel too rushed as the author will have to wrap all the threads of the subplots neatly together. But let’s wait and see.

I think this is also the funniest part yet, especially with the hamster adventures, and with the fish troubles. It of course brings back the characters that we’ve got to know but I only hope that the unappetizing Rob won’t enter the scenes anymore, he’s incredibly annoying and I am really not sure what’s the point of his advances. Emma is promising to tell this all his wife but it’s the same as with her lies – she promises to stop and it never happens. However, in this part she’s plucks up the courage to open a little to Matt and I must admit that his reaction disappointed me – and let’s be honest, were the stories that Emma told before so life – changing and significant? And well, hello, there was no talk about relationship before, so why to react so strongly? Probably because he has something to hide as well (oh boy. I fear that the fourth part is going to be longer as the three parts together, everything just accumulates). I also am not sure if I understand Emma’s allegation’s towards her family because when her sister visited her at Primrose Cottage, they were both so well around each other, they enjoyed each other’s company and there was not a feeling that there is something wrong between them.

The story was flowing so very nicely and it made me smile and I enjoyed it. However, all the time I have a feeling that it would work much better as w full – length novel, not all books can be split into series and in my opinion this is such a book, and it just losing too much. But I, of course, will be reading the final instalment, I have to know all the answers. “Trust Your Heart” had some romance in it, some buried secrets and altogether it was enjoyable, quick read.

One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill by Mandy Baggot

One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill by Mandy Baggot

 

34322561Publisher: Ebury

Publishing Date: 16th November 2017

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

Number of pages: 448

Genre:  Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Isla Winters loves Christmas – especially the parties! Prosecco-infused everything is her ideal start to the busy festive season, and she can’t wait to wow her contacts in international construction throughout the month of December. But everything changes when she’s given a new remit: right-hand girl to the head of the New York branch.

Chase Bryan’s marriage has fallen apart. Given a secret project, he moves to London for the holidays with his two young daughters, hoping to dive in and ignore the distractions of Christmas. Problem is, he’s been saddled with Little Miss Candy Cane.

Isla’s wheelchair-bound sister, Hannah, lives life to the max. Isla’s unofficial second job is to keep her sister from trying to take over the world – but what will happen when Hannah starts to pay attention to Isla’s love life? One moment in Notting Hill could change everything…

Join Isla and Chase in a sparkly, festive London, where a little winter magic is just around the corner.

Rating: five-stars

I really think that Mandy’s Christmas offers are much better than her summery ones – not stating that the summery are not worth reading, though, nono, far away from this, but “One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill” is a book that is going to give you a very happy feeling. There is already plenty of festive feeling in this novel, and oh my god, let’s not forget the cover! It’s gorgeous, and so Christmassy, and it glitter! I could look at it all the time.

I immediately warmed to all the characters. Loved the fact that one of the leading ones was Hannah, sitting in a wheelchair after an accident – it doesn’t happen often that your main character is disabled like this. She was a lovely person, full of humour, she had of course better and worse days but it’s totally understandable, and she was full of determination and optimism. Isla was a person that you couldn’t not like, I think. She was a great carer of her sister and whatever she did, she did it with a view of Hannah. There was a passion in her, she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, she loved her job and life generally and you could feel the good vibes that she was radiating through the pages. She was feisty and bubbly and didn’t look for romance, but then Chase enters… mmm. He has two daughters, is a workaholic, suffers with self – doubt and has a wicked past and yet he is brilliant. He is capable to admit when he’s made a mistake and he knows he’s not perfect. There is an incredibly romantic side to him, he gleams warmth and I just liked him very, very much.
All the other background characters, especially Chase’s daughters, were so brilliantly developed, full of life and heart and such a great positivism – I felt warm when reading about their adventures, their problems and troubles and loved how they tried to work the best possible ways for them.
There was a brilliantly captured chemistry between Isla and Chase. It was realistic, genuine, not too pushy and so relaxed, and it was a real pleasure to see how it developed, in which direction was it going to go. I really enjoyed the love stories in this book (because there were more, yes!), they were great romances, not too wishy – washy, not too meh, and I liked that it also included the families of the characters’ involved.

I loved the setting of this book, London, and more specifically, Notting Hill. You could say you know all about Notting Hill but then you start to see it again through the eyes of the total newcomers, Maddie and Brooke, Chase’s quirky daughters, and the author brings all those places so easily to life.

The end seemed much too rushed for my liking, the things were incredibly quickly wrapped up and if you think how long it took to build up to them then the ending may be a little disappointing, and just this little bit too far – fetched. I mean, “we saved Notting Hill”…? But it worked well in this book, don’t get me wrong, it was just tad unbelievable for me. Altogether though, “One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill” was a lovely, warm and funny Christmas romance and I absolutely adored this story, with its quirky characters, embarrassing moments, cheeky teenager and that dealt with serious issues in a lovely, gentle way. The story interwoven many sub – plots and touched upon many issues, and there were all the time many things happening, so no single moment flat, guys, but that is great! It was easy and light – hearted and written with a lot of heart. Highly recommended!