The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor / #BlogTour

Guys. I have another blog tour stop for you today. Have you heard about “The Chalk Man” yet? I’m sure you have. This is one of the most amazing and unpredictable books I have ever read and I am incredibly excited to be sharing my thoughts on this novel with you today. BTW, it was published yesterday, so whatever you do, drop it and make sure you’ve ordered it!

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

 

36355177Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 11th January 2018

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

Number of pages: 352

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code; little chalk stick figures they leave for each other as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing will ever be the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out his other friends got the same messages, they think it could be a prank… until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest reader.

Rating: five-stars

So guys,  “The Chalk Man”. One of the most talked about books right now, I am sure you’ve heard about it, it’s impossible to miss all the buzz. But you know what? There are books that are being incredibly advertised and after reading them you’re left thinking “and that was it?”. With “The Chalk Man” it’s not going to happen. No way. Nada. Because this book is going to blow your mind and you won’t be able to put it down. Have my word.

 The first thing that not only took me immediately by surprise but also shocked me a little was the opening – a gruesome discovery in the woods, and right then the scene at the fair. To say it started with a kick would be an understatement, guys. And so the story continued, full of scenes out of this world, and me, sitting there intrigued and my jaw dropping, thinking nothing more intriguing won’t come and being totally wrong. What a bloody brilliant story!

I still can’t believe that it’s C.J. Tudor’s debut novel because the writing style was amazingly good. It was easy to follow and there was not a single moment that I felt confused, even with this complex storyline, it was very descriptive – yes, guys, all the gory details are there, the almost chopped – off  leg, the severed heads and a lot of blood – and while there were moments that I wanted to close my eyes to stop seeing those things, it also somehow worked for me, and I loved this chatty, easy writing style.

There was really much going on, alternating between 1986 and 2016, but in the end everything comes neatly together. The author has a way with describing her characters – she gets into their heads and as a result they don’t have any secrets from us, they were really vivid and alive. Ed was laid – back, scruffy 40 – something, living in a house he grew up in, a teacher, with neither girlfriend, nor wife, nor children. He smoked like a dragon and drank much too much and yes, I know, he may sound not too promising, but Ed was really okay. He seemed so uncomplicated, so straightforward and, in a way, honest and naive, and he was the same 30 years ago – because the story is splitting between past and present. Ed, and all the other characters, his little group of friends, his family, Mr Halloran were exceptionally interesting and with very well developed personalities and well, I personally was hooked when reading about them. They were not straightforward, there was some kind of secrecy around them all and I always had a feeling I’m one step behind them, that I know everything about them but also nothing because in the next moment they were going to say or do something that would totally change my mind or open my eyes.

 The setting was very suitable, the town of Anderbury full of some nasty characters, full of secrets, lies and hypocrisy, violence and bullying. The atmosphere was so dark and this darkness and uncertainty was palpable through the pages. There was just this feeling of authenticity in this book.

I really didn’t know where the story is going to take me or what to expect from it, but that’s okay and it was really great for once to just let the book to take me on a real journey. It was full of questions and what ifs, full of coincidence and hazards. It dealt with many heavy issues, such as dementia or bullying for example. It was totally unpredictable and it kept you guessing all the time because it was so twisty and turny. While we can expect that the story is going to focus on the one thing, on the chalk man, there is much, much more to it and the reveals go on all the way through this novel – amazing! It was complex, it was clever, it was full not only of drama but also of a dark humour and it was really worth all of the buzz, guys. It was unique, a read with a difference, really something that I haven’t read before, and I read really many books. “The Chalk Man” was a multi – layered thriller, full of suspense and elements of mystery that took its time to unravel all the secrets and I can’t recommend it highly enough – no matter if it’s the genre you like or not, give this sharp – observed novel a try, I’m sure you’re going to be totally hooked!

PS. And have you noticed the cover? It’s gawesome!

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On the Bright Side by Hendrik Groen / #BlogTour

Hi guys! Not so long ago, because it was July 2017, I read and incredibly enjoyed “The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old” – you can read my review here. When I heard that there is going to be a second diary, I really couldn’t wait to reconnect with the lovely, full of chutzpah and life characters and there really was no question if I’d like to be a part of the blog tour – of course! For Hendrik – anytime!

On the Bright Side: The New Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen

 

35997475Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 11th January 2018

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

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Biographical Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover

 

 

Synopsis:

The new diary from one of literature’s most beloved octogenarians.

On The Bright Side picks up where The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen left off, at the care home of the anarchic Old-But-Not-Dead Club where Hendrik and his friends are determined to enjoy their autumn years full of optimism. Written with his characteristic charm and humour Hendrik proves, yet again, that age is simply a number.

Rating: four-stars

 

Oh, it was a real joy to read book 2 in the Hendrik Groen’s Secret Diary series – I had no idea that I missed him, his octogenarian club and their antics so much! I love Hendrik’s spirit, his plans for the future and his dark humour. If you don’t know Hendrik yet, he’s 85 years old and lives in a care home in Amsterdam. He and some of his cronies founded the Old But Not Dead club, arranging day trips and also visiting differently themed restaurants for food sampling. And they are not as innocent as they might seem, they are causing a lot of troubles in their care home – they really have a spirit!

This is a real diary, as Hendrik writes about his days and the things that happened in the care home. He’s the first to cause a mayhem but there is also this gentle, vulnerable side to him – he has experienced so many things in his life, also some of the most sad ones, and he really knows what he’s talking about. He may be old but he has a spirit and reading about him is like reading more about a school boy. His friend Evert complete him in a perfect way, as he’s the more naughty one, and they both together are unstoppable duo – whenever they appear, there is a mischief and laughter. But there is also a great depth to all the characters, they have experience, they have souls, they have great personalities.

I think this time the books speaks even more loudly to you because you like the characters so much, you keep your fingers crossed for them, and there is now the more serious case of declining health, the looming presence of death. It may sound darker, and it is darker, and more sorrowful read, but there is still a lot of charm to it and it tugs at the heart – strings.

This book is full of dark and intelligent humour but there is also the more serious and poignant side to it, perfectly hidden under all this humour but not to overlooked. It deals with things that we often choose to ignore with humour, wit and gentleness, and the author really does a great job with describing the older age in such a forthcoming and entertaining way (kudos to the translator here as well, as the translation is absolutely brilliant!). I think I enjoyed this second part in Hendrik’s memories better, even though it was a little more on the darker, more serious side but still it was a great entertainment.

It is a story about enjoying life, full of emotions and feelings, filled to brims with outrageous escapades and poignant moments. It’s about not giving up, about dignity of old age, about friendship. Touching and very up – to – date, mentioning events and issues that are our present, it was a great pleasure to read. Recommended!

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Faking Friends by Jane Fallon / #BlogTour

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

Faking Friends by Jane Fallon

 

36158853Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 11th January 2018

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

Number of pages: 448

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Best friend, soulmate, confidante . . . backstabber.

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: five-stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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After You by Jojo Moyes

After You by Jojo Moyes

 

25255376Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 24th September 2015

Series: Me Before You #2

Source:  Purchased

Number of pages: 407

Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

Rating: five-stars

Back in 2012 I read “Me Before You” and I still remember how powerful this book was, and what a snotty mess I was after finishing it. Three years later “After You”, the sequel, was released and even though I bought this novel immediately I haven’t read it – I’m not sure why, maybe it was lack of time, or maybe fear that it’s not going to live up to my expectations, because “Me Before You” was a really exceptional read. But lately I have won “Still Me”, the third book in Lou’s adventures, and it prompted me to read “After You” – and boy, I loved it. I simply loved it.

First of all, I don’t think you can read “After Me” as a standalone – I think you just have to read the previous book to understand how much Will meant to Lou, why she’s in such a mess in this book, that begins 18 months after the previous story ends. 18 months is a long time, right, people change, people move on, people try their best at coping, and it was all so moving – to see how they try to cope with their emotions and feelings.

Lou and her family are wonderful, brilliant characters, her parents (especially her father) and sister adding a touch of so much needed humour. There were some new characters introduced to us in this story, of course – the Moving On Group, a group that Lou was so reluctant to go to, determined not to make friends with those people, and who in the end turned out to be such important part of her life. They provided many moments of sadness but also of laughter and their stories just tugged at your heartstrings.
Even though Will is dead, his presence was so very strong in the book but the author has done a great job here, because I personally think she allowed us to mourn over him, together with Lou, in this story, and then to slowly let him go, to slowly start to accept the fact that he’s no more. I also think that the author has put Sam facing a great challenge – it was impossible not to compare him and Will but in my opinion Sam has won – he’s a great character, with a brilliant personality, a no nonsense approach and a heart made of gold, and even though I was always Team Will, I liked Sam from the very beginning – even when Lou has misunderstood and we thought he’s a different person. There is also one very important new character, and while I know some people despise her, and – I must admit – I also lost my patience with her a few times, Lou has done brilliantly with her, she understood her and her feelings so perfectly well.

This book was a perfect mix of humour and sadness, of hope and feeling pathetic. It was emotional, and moving, close to life and simply beautiful. Jojo Moyes captured all the feelings and emotions of her characters and beautifully put them into words. It was an extraordinary read about moving on but not forgetting. It felt real and it was written with so much gentleness. It made me cry and it made me laugh, and this laugh made characters’ pain bearable, the pain of moving over, of hurts sneaking up on you, of feeling unloved. It was emotionally charged, and about healing, about learning to believe in yourself again. Jojo Moyes knows exactly how to get to the core of your emotions and feelings, and there were moments that hit me really hard, that were shockingly painful but they were also powerful and beautiful. I can’t put into words how well the author has got into her characters’ heads and how well she described their feelings – I was totally invested in Lou’s story and I highly recommend “After You” to you!

 

 

Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher

Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher

 

35164060Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 16th November 2017

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

Number of pages: 389

Genre:  Women’s Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Lizzy and Ian have been a couple since their first day at university. Now, after celebrating a decade together, everyone thinks they’re about to get engaged. A romantic escape to Dubai is the perfect moment, but instead of the proposal Lizzy hopes for, Ian reveals he’s not sure he even wants her anymore.

Lizzy is heartbroken. But through the tears, she realises this is her chance to seize the opportunities she missed as Ian’s other half. But what does she want? How much of her is really Lizzy, and how much was Ian’s influence? Determined to discover who she is at heart, Lizzy sets out to rediscover the girl she was before – and in the meantime, have a little fun . . .

Rating: three-stars

 

In “Some Kind of Wonderful” we meet Lizzie, who’s been with Ian for ages – that is, since Uni, and the only thing that she misses is proposal and a wedding. On a trip to Dubai Lizzie is convinced that Ian is finally going to propose – however, as the popular saying goes, tell God about your plans and he will laugh, and indeed, the opposite happens and, devastated, she flies back home as a single woman. She needs now to come to terms with this totally new situation, to lick her wounds and to find herself afresh.

What I liked in the story was the fact that it was not about desperately finding a man and feeling complete with him at your side but about a journey from being a part of a couple for as long as Lizzie remembers to discovering what it is she really loves in her life. Perhaps the delivery was the problem here, as the story didn’t really keep my attention, and Lizzie herself was not so easy to immediately like – for me at least. I understand you can’t pick yourself up just like that, recover and just go on after such an unexpected break – up, that you need time to bounce back but Lizzie was mostly acting like a child and not an adult. However yes, as the book progresses, Lizzie became much more likeable and endearing woman and in the end she started to feel like a friend to me.
I also had problems with the other characters, and especially Lizzie’s sister Michelle – I know all about the sibling’s rivalry and so on but there is rivalry and there is a spite and such a love – hate relationships between siblings just don’t work for me in books, I’m sorry. However, I did like the ending for example, maybe usually I’m not a great fan of open endings but this time it worked really well and I’d love to hear what options did Lizzie choose for herself.

This book was written with a light humour and it was easy to read and light – hearted. It was comfortable and cosy, and you don’t always need great dramas in the books. However, as much as I like Giovanna’s lovely and gentle writing style, there was just too much of unnecessary details and not enough concentrating on the main plot points. But it was a book, that ticks all the boxes for a nice, lighter read, with enough substance and a lot of potential.

Altogether, it was an easy and relaxing read that – unfortunately – won’t stay with me for longer. It was not complicated and the pace was slow – the first half of the book was about Lizzie trying to come to terms with what happened and the second half was about Lizzie trying to redefine herself, to find herself anew and outside of a relationship. You read the book, and read it, waiting for something special to happen, and before you realize that there is nothing special, you’ve already finished the story. Giovanna’s other novel “you’re the One that I Want” stays absolutely my favourite book by her, it just seems to me that there is something holding her back from writing another such lovely book, but I am sure that fans of this author are going to adore “Some Kind of Wonderful”.

The Place We Met by Isabelle Broom

The Place We Met by Isabelle Broom

 

34890012Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 30th November 2017

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

Number of pages: 406

Genre:  Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Lake Como, Italy, New Year’s Eve. The perfect place to fall in love? Or the perfect place for everything to fall apart?

‘Utterly romantic’ Adele Parks, bestselling author of The Image of You

Lucy may have suffered her fair share of bad men, but now she has Pete. Finally, a man worth sharing her favourite place with, Lake Como. That’s if she can put mysterious phone calls and glamorous ex-girlfriends out of her mind.

Taggie is rushed off her feet, but distraction is exactly what she needs to forget why she fled England and the sadness she left behind. She certainly doesn’t have time for infuriating stranger Marco. A man is the last thing she needs right now.

Lucy and Taggie might not know it, but their lives are about to collide. The New Year might begin with fireworks – but how will it end?

Rating: four-stars

In Isabelle Broom’s newest release “The Place We Met” we are introduced to two main characters. Taggie works as a tour guide in Lake Como after escaping London and a heart – break. Lucy loved Lake Como as a child and decides to take her new boyfriend Pete there for Christmas and New Year. The two, at first sight, different women that don’t know each other do share something in common and they don’t know that their lives are going to change soon.

I, of course, loved the setting of Lake Como at around Christmas and New Year, the author is already known for gorgeous places she’s choosing for her stories but I think she could work on creating her characters better, more developed, more interesting – settling for the characters took me a little longer – probably because it took long for the two different characters and two different stories told alternatively to eventually overlap and find something in common.

But again, Isabelle Broom is perfect when it comes to the settings and describing the places, with all the gorgeous little details, places known only to the insiders, things to discover, but when it comes to action the books start to slow down and feel flat – with the exception of Isabelle’s debut novel, “My Map of You”, which I incredibly loved and which stays currently my favourite book by this author. “The Place we Met” felt mostly very slow, concentrating hard on the setting and bringing the beauty of Lake Como at Christmas to life – which, BTW, the author has effortlessly brought to life – but it lacked on pace and more complex plot. I also had some problems with the plot being build up to something much bigger and shocking than what Taggie’s secret turned out to be. However, there was much warmth to the story and in the end I found myself surprised how much I enjoyed reading the book, and it left me with a smile on my lips.

Altogether, it was a bitter – sweet story about finding peace with your past, about love and hope, and I think it is Isabelle’s second – best, after “My Map of You” of course. The writing here is lovely, full of emotions, evocative. The plot is tad predictable and I would love it to be more complex and more mature but I am sure that soon I’m going to get it from this author. In the meantime I can only heartily recommend this book to you all, guys.

The Break by Marian Keyes

The Break by Marian Keyes

 

34511798Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 7th September 2017

Source:  Purchased

Number of pages: 576

Genre:  Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Amy’s husband Hugh isn’t really leaving her.

At least, that’s what he promises. He is just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. For six-months Hugh will lose himself in south-east Asia, and there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.

Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet . . .

It’s been a long time since Amy held a briefcase in one hand and a baby in the other. She never believed she’d have to go it alone again. She just has to hold the family together until Hugh comes back.

But a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? And will Amy be the same woman?

Because falling in love is easy. The hard part – the painful, joyous, maddening, beautiful part – is staying in love.

Rating: five-stars

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Hello? One of the hugest Marian Keyes’s fans speaking: yours truly. For years she’s been probably my favourite author ever. I wasn’t lucky enough to receive an ARC of Marian’s new book “The Break” and being declined to read this title on NetGalley has broken my heart in thousands little pieces, but no worries guys, I’m a tough cookie and already had the book on pre – order.
I have no idea how this author does it but when you read her books you feel like a part of the story, like a part of the characters’ lives. Her stories, also “The Break” as well, are heart – breakingly sad and funny at the same time, they are down to earth, realistic, incredibly wise, brutally honest and so cleverly funny. I’ve never had a problem to fell in love with her characters and to keep everything crossed for them.

We are introduced to tons of characters in this story. Tons, guys! But fear not, you are to quickly learn who is who and why and to whom they belong. First of all, Amy’s family is huge, very huge, and all of her siblings has their own spouses and children. Then we have her friends, private and from work, then we have her children and their friends and boyfriends, and Hugh’s family… And believe me, I loved all of them! I adored Amy from the very beginning and wanted to hug her so much and tell her that everything is going to be ok (hopefully). She goes to her own limits, trying to cope as a suddenly single parent, juggling work, life, family and thousands of problems that start to pile on. Even though she’s devastated, she still picks herself up and goes on. However, she was not alone on this journey, there were her sisters, her family, especially her mother and her feisty daughters who kept her upright and supported her in their own ways – sometimes it was not what Amy needed right now but nevertheless it was wise and honest and they all wanted the best for her. Amy’s personality was so uncomplicated, she was happy with all things she got from life (well, of course except with her husband going on sabbatical, that is), she was so true to life, confident and insecure, with a great sense of humour, honest and true to her words and a huge ability to enjoy the world. Hugh was so selfish but I also couldn’t help but fell for him as well, and there was such an overwhelming feeling of grief and sadness in him, and the author so well nailed all of those feelings and emotions that made him tick.

The pacing in this story was great – it was a rather long book but there was never a dull moment and before you know it, you’re deep into it. The flashbacks gave us a chance to get to know more about Amy and Hugh’s relationship and what made them tick so great. The houseful of females provides great entertainment, brings thousands of shenanigans, and the normal, everyday problems that all of us has to deal with and I absolutely loved it!

Marian Keyes’s style is inimitable and there is Marian Keyes and then for a long, long time nothing else. She’s written “The Break” in her usual light, witty and insightful style and even when she writes about deeper and often taboo topics it’s forthcoming and not judging. She’s one of the few that can write about abortion, depression, suicide without offending anyone and getting the balance between sad and funny brilliantly.

“The Break” was full of dramas, small and huge, and brilliantly captured family bonds. It touches on some more serious and some lighter issues. It is first of all about love, but also about death and grief, health issues, patchwork families and how they work, betrayal, temptations and also your everyday troubles and issues. It’s about overcoming those troubles and staying strong. It’s about choices. It was compelling, emotional, complex and so wise! A book with unforgettable characters that’s going to stay with you for a long time after you’ve finished reading it, with plenty of emotional but also plenty of this incredible Irish charm and humour. Highly, highly recommended!