The Importance of Being Aisling byEmer McLysaght & Sarah Breen / Blog Tour

The Importance of Being Aisling

by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen

 

 

41433629Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 15th November 2018

Series: OMGWACA # 2 (read my review of Book 1 here)

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

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

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

You can take the small-town girl out of the big city – but can you take the big city out of the girl?

Job. Flat. Boyfriend. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Aisling (seems) to be winning at life. But life has other ideas.

Fired. Homeless. Dumped. Tick. Tick. Tick

When everything comes crashing down around her, moving back in with her mam seems like a disaster.

But might returning to her roots provide the answers Aisling’s looking for?

Rating: five-stars

In “The Importance of Being Aisling” we’re back with our beloved character created by two authors, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen, and I couldn’t be more happier to be reunited with her. She’s still deeply grieving after the tragic loss of her beloved Daddy but she tries to go on – well, she’s back with John, so it’s not so bad, right? However, she’s being made redundant at PensionsPlus. Elaine and Ruby are getting married, so she’s forced to look for a new place to live which in Dublin is simply impossible. To top it all, yes, she’s back with John, but where is this sparkle…? The butterflies…? Her mum is not coping well and it looks like she’ll be selling the farm. Might Aisling need to go back home, to Ballygobbard, then? How will she cope with mum, unemployment, John being in another city? But maybe Ballygobbard can offer her more than she thinks is possible?

 I love Aisling, I think it is impossible not to love her. She’s so nice and so kind and also so genuine in being nice and kind, there is not a drop of falsity in her and this makes her an outstanding character. I love that she’s so proud of being herself, of her heritage, of coming from a little town in Ireland, and I love her sense of humour and simply the way she is. She knows how to party and she knows when she should stop, she knows probably all recipes in the world and I’m sure she also knows how to get any stain out. 

There are so many brilliant things happening in this book, guys, we can’t say that Aisling’s life is boring, oh no. She’s made redundant so she needs to consider what to do next, her relationship with John is not this what she was thinking it is, there is the cracking and epic visit to Las Vegas and she’s always able to get up, shake off and built a new life for herself, and I simply adore her for this. Aisling is such a queen of being organized, I am sure that no matter what can happen she’d be prepared for it and have it in her bag.  I loved how important her family and friends were to her and how much she stressed it, it doesn’t happen often that the characters REALLY put them first and act according to this.  She’s such a brilliant friend as well, the girls are so supporting and they can count on each other, and it feels so genuine, honest and real. This friendship is actually one of the best points in this book,  going strong and it’s certain, and it is so lovely the girls are always open to people becoming their friends, and taking it all, with ups and downs, supporting each other’s backs. They’re all the kind of characters that I’d got to know and love with all my heart in Marian Keyes’s books – the Irish families and people are the one and only in the world, they respect each other but also mercilessly pull their legs, their humour is so sharp and intelligent, their observations so spot on and life approach so relaxed – and I’ve got all of this in this book, and it was so brilliantly entertaining. 

It was a great joy to be back with Aisling, and I really hope there is more of her to come. She’s so practical and so serious in being practical, it’s simply impossible not to fall for her. She’s funny without trying too hard to be too funny, which only makes it so entertaining, and the way she takes all things so seriously  is overwhelmingly heart – warming. I personally think that what makes Aisling such a brilliant, exceptional character is the fact that maybe we are not complete Aislings ourselves (although…),  but there is much of Aisling in every single one of us. 

It was actually really hard to write this review because there was not a single thing in this book that I didn’t like! I loved the characters, I loved the setting, I loved the events and I adored the humour – what’s more to love, right? “The Importance of Being Aisling” was a brilliant, uplifting story about trials and tribulations in life, about friendship and family and being there for each other, also touching upon some heavier issues this time – there is the short but expressively written issue of bullying, domestic violence and sexual abuse which I appreciated so much and I think the authors tackled in the best possible way. This book, as well as the character of Aisling, was heart – warming, uplifting, funny and poignant. The supporting characters were a huge part of this novel and they were equally comic, craic, believable and they felt so full of life good people. A special and magnificent novel about girls’ power and women’s empowerment and sisterhood, inspiring and so important nowadays. I hope for many more Aisling’s stories to come!

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Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen

Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by

Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen

 

38885462Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 3rd May 2018

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

Number of pages: 368

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

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

‘There aren’t enough words for how much I love it’ Marian Keyes

Everyone knows an Aisling:

Loves going Out Out, but secretly scared of liquid eyeliner.
Happy to drink the bar dry, but will bring her own coaster if necessary.
Would rather die than miss a cooked hotel breakfast, but can calculate the Points in a Snickers at fifty paces.

Aisling’s the girl with a heart of gold, but a boyfriend who still hasn’t made a peep about their Big Day even after seven years.

But then a disastrous romantic getaway shows Aisling that it’s time to stop waiting around and leave John behind for the bright lights of Dublin. After she’s wailed her way through Adele’s Greatest Hits, that is.

Between glamorous new flatmates, a scandal at work and finding herself in a weird love square, Aisling is ready to take on the big city. So long as she has her umbrella with her.

Rating: five-stars

Apparently there exists a Facebook book called Oh My God What a Complete Aisling and it is so popular that the creators of this group, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen have decided to write a book about Aisling – and I salute them for doing this, because this novel was one of the warmest, funniest and poignant stories ever – thanks girls for bringing Aisling to my life. I’m not Irish, and have never been to Ireland (yet! I promise!) and the closest I’ve ever been to an Irishman were probably Marian Keyes’s books, and it is thanks to her novels that I truly fell in love with Irish style of life and humour, and yes guys, Aisling was the best that could happen to me right now – I completely adored this book and the characters.

For all the uninitiated, Aisling is apparently a typical Irish country girl who never skips hotel breakfasts (well, she paid for them!), loves her Daddy, going Out and Out Out, and her boyfriend of seven years, John. As far as Aisling is concerned, they will get married soon, build a big house and have children. However, it turns out, John has other ideas. Ouch.
Aisling soon finds herself moving in with her glamorous colleague from work, Sadhbh in Dublin city centre and is being introduced to a very different life – glamorous and hedonistic. With the help of her new – and old – friends Aisling starts to realise what she really wants from her life.

Aisling, and also all of the background characters, were so very well developed and there was so much depth to them that I really did care about them and what happened to them. I kept my fingers crossed for them, I had fun with them at the pubs and bars and I cried with them, and believe me guys, it doesn’t happen often that I feel so much invested in characters’ lives, so it’s a sign of truly brilliant characters. Aisling’s personality and life approach was brilliantly captured and the authors brought her so easily to life!
I really liked the friendship between Aisling and Sadhbh and Elaine. I must admit that I was all the time worrying the girls want to make fun out of her, that there is something very bad going to happen but it turned out I was wrong and it was a real friendship, no matter what, through thick and thin. They were always there for the fragile Aisling, they helped her to face family dramas and crises, they wiped away the tears as she struggled to get over John. I can’t, to be totally honest, understand some of the reviews saying the characters in this book were under – developed because in my opinion they were brilliantly drawn and Aisling, even though not changing, was still broadening her horizons. And well, I never wanted her to change – she was just my kind of a girl and well, some of her antics were very familiar to me. Oh yes! What I absolutely adored was her family and her relationship with her parents – it made me laugh out loud and it made me cry crocodile tears, it was beautifully written and I simply loved it. She was so open and friendly and I loved the way she embraced her new friendships and how – maybe not exactly voluntarily and with some scepticism – she danced to techno music and went on a Berlin city break.

The only thing that bothered me a little was the various number of Irish words, phrases and references but it was only a minor blip and oh well, if I was so bothered than I could look it up, right.

“Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling” was completely my kind of read, blending humour with poignant moments, light and fluffy but also with some hidden messages, with this brilliant, clever Irish humour. I absolutely loved that there was no meanness in this story and that people took Aisling as she was – because why shouldn’t they? It was affectionate and with a grain of salt, kind, funny, genuine and honest, and with character that I think we can all relate to on some level. Under the cover – up of light – heartedness there was much, much more to this story, it was full of depth and emotions and be prepared to drop a tear or two as well. Sharply observed, tackling so many topics that are close to our own hearts – I simply loved it and can’t recommend it highly enough!

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