The Secret Diary of Boris Johnson Aged 13 1/4 by Lucien Young

The Secret Diary of Boris Johnson Aged 13 1/4 by Lucien Young

 

Publisher: Quercus 48402307._sy475_

Publishing Date: 3rd October 2019

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

Number of pages: 176

Genre: Politics, Humour

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover

| Paperback (out on 28.05.2020)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

**STRICTLY UNOFFICIAL**

‘Deliciously funny and highly impudent’ – Jon Culshaw
The newly discovered diary of Boris Alexander de Pfeffel Johnson, aged 13¼, provides a fascinating glimpse into how Boris, a lazy, bumptious and overweening child, comes to believe he should be Prime Minister. Along the way, we see him hone the techniques and persona that will one day hoodwink a nation.’

***

Extract from 13-year-old Boris’s TEN RULES FOR LIFE:

It’s not lying if you don’t bother to learn the truth. Many people – politicians, for instance – make the mistake of going about laden with facts and statistics. However, when studiously ignorant of the aforementioned, one may argue one’s case with total conviction.

A friend is just an enemy you haven’t yet made. Some say there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’. Well, I say you can’t spell ‘friend’ without ‘fiend’. No matter how dear your chum, you never know what sort of treachery they harbour inside. After all, there are many people who consider me a friend!

Rating:  four-stars

 

The book covers Boris Alexander de Pfeffel Johnson’s time at Eton College, probably already showing all of his true colours. He immediately found himself at home there, with all his privileges and not accepting “no” as an answer. As the class clown, his ability to make others laugh used to get him out of all kinds of troubles, and really, the trashing with the cane from one of the teacher who simply had too much is only an exception proving the rule.

The book brilliantly portrays Boris’s main personality traits and the way he honed them. Getting others to do as he wished must have been the easiest thing in the world for him, and I must admit, it may be a feature really worth an admiration. Other than that I couldn’t spot any changes between Boris here and then, arrogant, liar, showing an impudent lack of respect and bluffing his way all the way through. So nothing has changed really, no?

I loved the mentions of some other characters, such as the former Prime Minister David Cameron or Jacob Rees – Mogg, who used to attend Eton at the same time and whom our main character couldn’t tolerate, which led to some very amusing moments.

It was an undemanding, quick and entertaining read, rounded up with some illustrations that were equally funny. Maybe it was not the highest piece of art but it was for sure amusing and light read, whatever your political opinions. The title suggests that it’s going to be as brilliant as “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole”, apologies, but this comes to mind immediately, and while it was a light – hearted and hilarious read, we can’t compare those two books. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining novel related to current political situation that made me laugh.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

 

44017619Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 18th April 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

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

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: five-stars

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

 

40722212Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 21st March 2019

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

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 19.03.2020)

 

Synopsis:

Maddie and Ian’s romance began when he was serving in the British Army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend Jo in Europe. Now sixteen years later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America.

But when an accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son Charlie; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, the years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of shocking crime.

But what in this beautiful home has gone so terribly bad?

Perfect for fans of The Woman in the Window and The Wife Between Us.

Rating: two-stars

 

“Beautiful Bad” starts with a frantic 911 call and it was a great opening, what with the bloody crime scene and the overwhelming feeling of tension. It then switches to 10 weeks before the murder and we are introduced to the main character Maddie who’s currently finding herself in the writing therapy after suffering a head injury and not being able to remember what has happened. She was told by her husband Ian that she’s slipped but the police believe that domestic violence was involved. And so we slowly learn how Maddie and Ian got to know each other in 2001 through her best friend Joanna – the narrative follows this relationship, as well as other significant events that happened in Maddie’s life and makes us ask many questions: why did Joanna always try to convince Maddie she shouldn’t get involved with Ian? Has Maddie really slipped or has there been more to this accident? And whose blood is it, on the kitchen floor?

The story is told from several points of view. Maddie is a travel writer specializing in the countries of Eastern Europe. Her best friend Jo is a relief worker – but I simply couldn’t buy this friendship, there were no warm feelings, no honesty, the relationship lacked in substance – and she introduces Maddie to Ian (who, I must be totally honest, am not sure, he was – a bodyguard?). Ian had visited many countries that we’d usually avoid visiting, seen things that we’d never want to see and this all has affected him in great ways – he was dangerous and aggressive and also addicted to alcohol. Nevertheless, there was an immediate spark between Maddie and Ian and when the story takes us to the present times we see that they’re married and have a son Charlie. However, their marriage doesn’t look like a bed of roses and all signs point to domestic violence.

My main problem was that I simply couldn’t connect with the characters and the plot. It felt as if the first – and very huge – part of this book was an introduction, and then came the sudden end that, at least for me, wasn’t that surprising. Yes, the writing style was beautiful and lyrical almost and it had me under its spell but I wasn’t hooked to the story itself. The characters were not likeable, and I know, you don’t have to like the characters to enjoy the book, of course you don’t have to, but here it simply didn’t work like that – I still need some kind of emotional depth, foothold, I want to be able to immerse myself in the story and characters’ lives, no matter if they’re likeable or not – and I missed this here.

There was a lot happening in this story but still it felt too superficial to me. I’ve never connected with the characters, haven’t been on the same wavelength with them and I mostly felt impatient with the way the story was built. It touched upon many heavy and difficult issues, and I always appreciate that, of course. There were lies, toxic friendship, secrets and also murder, and the author has presented us with the terrifying accounts of the civil wars in different places of the world as well. There were some twists and turns on the way but they didn’t blow me away – and honestly, the unravelling of all of them and the secrets has been overshadowed with presenting the reader with tons of information that, as it turned out, were simply not necessary. Nevertheless, it was interesting psychological story. It was descriptive, and written in a beautiful writing style, with complex – maybe too complex – plot and full of flawed characters. Even if it didn’t work for me it might be a perfect read for you, so just give it a go.

More Than a Feeling by Cate Woods

More Than a Feeling by Cate Woods

 

41213431Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 27th December 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 432

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

‘Cate Woods is laugh-out-loud funny and life affirming’ Closer. The second novel from Cate Woods, author of the laugh-out-loud bestseller Just Haven’t Met You Yet.

In her twenties, Annie Taylor was sorted: she had her dream job, an amazing social life and was happily single. She had bags of confidence and played up her likeness to a young Barbra Streisand in turbans and winged eyeliner. Annie knew exactly who she was, and her future looked bright and full of adventures.

Life, however, hasn’t turned out quite how she expected. Now 33, Annie is living with her boyfriend Luke and is a stay-at-home mum to their baby daughter, Dot. The promising photography career has petered out, and with it her confidence and creativity. And when Luke does the unforgivable, Annie finds herself suddenly, terrifyingly, on her own. With the help of her group of loyal friends, Annie faces the challenge of building a new life for herself and Dot – while at the same time trying to reconcile the glamorous, carefree Annie of old with the knackered mum-of-one she sees in the mirror today. Is old Annie gone forever, or could this finally be the chance to find herself once more?

Rating: three-stars

Annie Taylor lives in London with her partner and their four – months – old daughter Dot. She used to be a fashion photographer and spent her time between work and partying. However, this changed after a family tragedy. When she thinks she’s come to terms with her life and plucks up the courage to be happy, she finds out that Luke has been cheating on her. Annie leaves, and now it’s a question of what it is she wants to do with her life – get a job, find a place to live, rediscover the old Annie…?

The characters were relatively well drawn, though, to be honest, I didn’t feel any connection with them. The way Annie changed, from the colourful, wild and free bird into the cautious, prudent person after her parents died didn’t feel too natural, and I really had a feeling she doesn’t feel comfortable in her own skin. It took her a lot of time to eventually realize what it is she wants, however all the dilemmas and wondering and comparing the Annie from then and the Annie from now simply didn’t sit with me and they didn’t correspond with Annie. It was as if the death of her parents was simply an excuse, though I’m not sure from what. I also understand there must have been the will they/won’t they cat and mouse play, to make the story unpredictable and excitable, but oh my word, guys, I beg you… Half of the book was about Annie wondering what to do, even though it was obvious what she should do and what Luke is up to.

The story felt very repetitive and slow, I eventually found myself skim – reading, skipping passages to finally arrive at some action. I also had a feeling that the author has just tried too much, with everything – characters that in the end turned out very stereotyped, with plot that didn’t bring anything new, with humour that unfortunately felt much too forced and didn’t make me laugh. I couldn’t wait for Annie to FINALLY, EVENTUALLY make up her mind, at anything at all. The way she always hoped everything will sort itself out till the next time was annoying – she was 31years old, for God’s sake, you can’t live avoiding confrontations or hoping that all the bad or uncomfortable things will melt away in the air. So sadly, very sadly, I didn’t enjoy this book as I hoped I’m going to, and Cate Woods’s debut novel “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” was much, much better. But the book altogether was not bad, oh no, guys, don’t get me wrong. It was funny, it had its moments, actually when I couldn’t sleep last night I’ve remembered something from the novel that made me smile, and the author is a brilliant story teller, she writes in a vivid and descriptive way and she delivered a light – hearted story full of your usual trials and tribulations, ups and downs. The plot felt tired but there was a lot of potential and I am already looking towards Cate Woods’s third book.

 

Darling Blue by Tracy Rees (re – post)

Happy publication day, Tracy!

Darling Blue by Tracy Rees

 

39289997 Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 1st November 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 576

Genre: Historical Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback 

 

Synopsis:

Blue lives a charmed life. From her family’s townhouse in Richmond, she lives the life of luxury and couldn’t want for anything – well, on the surface at least.

Then on the night of her twenty-first birthday her father makes a startling toast: he will give his daughter’s hand to whichever man can capture her heart best in the form of a love letter. But Blue has other ideas and, unwilling to play at her father’s bewildering games, she sets out on her own path to find her own destiny…

Rating:  four-stars

“Darling Blue”, set in 1920’s London, follows the story of three women – Blue, Midge and Delphine and their families. It starts at Blue’s 21st birthday – her “coming of age”, when her father announces that the possible suitors should woe his daughter by letters. While marriage is not what Blue is looking for at the moment – she’d rather focus on her career as a writer – she’s horrified. But what is done is done and what is said is said and soon Blue receives a few letters that are going to change her life.
Soon after her birthday she meets Delphine, who has escaped a very abusive marriage – she never wants to return to her previous life but is it possible? However, no matter what, Blue and her family takes Delphine under their wings.

Tracy Rees takes us again on a journey in the past, in a different time – zone again. This time it’s Richmond in London in 1920’s and, as usual, she presents us with beautiful, vivid and rich descriptions of the setting, the weather, the clothes and she easily captures the atmosphere of the times, and she pays a great attention to deatils and has a great eye for them. It was, on the surface, a light – hearted story with lovely and kind characters, but deep down touching upon some serious issues, such like bullying or post – natal depression. To be honest, such depth and seriousness really surprised me, especially after the light beginning, but Tracy Rees has already got me used to the fact that she’s not afraid to write about some more sensitive stuff.

This book follows stories of three different women. Blue’s real name is Ishbel and she’s adored everywhere. Her stepmother Midge has problems of her own and she has a huge secret. But as much as you could think it’s going to be about Darling Blue, it equally focuses on the lives of Midge and Delphine, and it was a great move, to be honest, as those two women add tons of significance to this book. In my opinion, they were simply better developed and rounded than Blue, although please don’t get me wrong, she was also an interesting character that had something to say, and her desire to work and be independent was adorable. On the other hand, she was a little too self – absorbed and I had a feeling that she likes when the whole world is running in circles around her. But there was enough empathy in her, she was a great friend and open person and it was not hard to like her.
But altogether I only had a feeling that the characters were just too simple for such an author as Tracy Rees – they were either perfect and incredibly kind, or awfully unpleasant, and sometimes this just felt unrealistic.

Basically, it was a story about one year in a family’s life, though a very turbulent one. Mostly, it was well paced though there were some moments that if dragged a bit. Also, as much as I love a happy end, here it left me feel a little insatiable as the actions of one of the characters were forgotten quite quickly and quite easily, and she was welcomed back to the family without a word, and it was this little bit unrealistic, non – credible and little bit rushed, and I also had a feeling that maybe the author didn’t have a better idea how to solve this particular subplot? Also, as much as I appreciated the mysteries in this book, I quickly guessed what was going to happen. I also had a feeling that there was a very long build – up to them and then, when it finally came to the revelations, it was too rapid and not dealt with, just done and forgotten.

“Darling Blue” is a book that isn’t mostly about actions and events but mostly about characters, feelings and emotions. They are written in a gentle and captivating way that makes the pace bearable and I was actually glued to the pages – yes, waiting for something to happen, as I could feel with my whole body that there is something going to happen, but at the same time perfectly entertained by the distinctive voices of the characters. It was a great historical fiction about family, love, friendship, grief and forgiveness, with a great sense of period and written in a beautiful, colourful and detailed way that is going to sweep you off your feet for a few hours. While “Amy Snow”, Tracy Rees’s debut novel remains still my favourite of hers, I can say that with “Darling Blue” she’s following closely. Recommended!

Darling Blue Blog Blast poster

Darling Blue by Tracy Rees (Blog Tour)

Darling Blue by Tracy Rees

 

39289997 Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 1st November 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 576

Genre: Historical Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 01.11.2018)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Blue lives a charmed life. From her family’s townhouse in Richmond, she lives the life of luxury and couldn’t want for anything – well, on the surface at least.

Then on the night of her twenty-first birthday her father makes a startling toast: he will give his daughter’s hand to whichever man can capture her heart best in the form of a love letter. But Blue has other ideas and, unwilling to play at her father’s bewildering games, she sets out on her own path to find her own destiny…

Rating: four-stars

“Darling Blue”, set in 1920’s London, follows the story of three women – Blue, Midge and Delphine and their families. It starts at Blue’s 21st birthday – her “coming of age”, when her father announces that the possible suitors should woe his daughter by letters. While marriage is not what Blue is looking for at the moment – she’d rather focus on her career as a writer – she’s horrified. But what is done is done and what is said is said and soon Blue receives a few letters that are going to change her life.
Soon after her birthday she meets Delphine, who has escaped a very abusive marriage – she never wants to return to her previous life but is it possible? However, no matter what, Blue and her family takes Delphine under their wings.

Tracy Rees takes us again on a journey in the past, in a different time – zone again. This time it’s Richmond in London in 1920’s and, as usual, she presents us with beautiful, vivid and rich descriptions of the setting, the weather, the clothes and she easily captures the atmosphere of the times, and she pays a great attention to deatils and has a great eye for them. It was, on the surface, a light – hearted story with lovely and kind characters, but deep down touching upon some serious issues, such like bullying or post – natal depression. To be honest, such depth and seriousness really surprised me, especially after the light beginning, but Tracy Rees has already got me used to the fact that she’s not afraid to write about some more sensitive stuff.

This book follows stories of three different women. Blue’s real name is Ishbel and she’s adored everywhere. Her stepmother Midge has problems of her own and she has a huge secret. But as much as you could think it’s going to be about Darling Blue, it equally focuses on the lives of Midge and Delphine, and it was a great move, to be honest, as those two women add tons of significance to this book. In my opinion, they were simply better developed and rounded than Blue, although please don’t get me wrong, she was also an interesting character that had something to say, and her desire to work and be independent was adorable. On the other hand, she was a little too self – absorbed and I had a feeling that she likes when the whole world is running in circles around her. But there was enough empathy in her, she was a great friend and open person and it was not hard to like her.
But altogether I only had a feeling that the characters were just too simple for such an author as Tracy Rees – they were either perfect and incredibly kind, or awfully unpleasant, and sometimes this just felt unrealistic.

Basically, it was a story about one year in a family’s life, though a very turbulent one. Mostly, it was well paced though there were some moments that if dragged a bit. Also, as much as I love a happy end, here it left me feel a little insatiable as the actions of one of the characters were forgotten quite quickly and quite easily, and she was welcomed back to the family without a word, and it was this little bit unrealistic, non – credible and little bit rushed, and I also had a feeling that maybe the author didn’t have a better idea how to solve this particular subplot? Also, as much as I appreciated the mysteries in this book, I quickly guessed what was going to happen. I also had a feeling that there was a very long build – up to them and then, when it finally came to the revelations, it was too rapid and not dealt with, just done and forgotten.

“Darling Blue” is a book that isn’t mostly about actions and events but mostly about characters, feelings and emotions. They are written in a gentle and captivating way that makes the pace bearable and I was actually glued to the pages – yes, waiting for something to happen, as I could feel with my whole body that there is something going to happen, but at the same time perfectly entertained by the distinctive voices of the characters. It was a great historical fiction about family, love, friendship, grief and forgiveness, with a great sense of period and written in a beautiful, colourful and detailed way that is going to sweep you off your feet for a few hours. While “Amy Snow”, Tracy Rees’s debut novel remains still my favourite of hers, I can say that with “Darling Blue” she’s following closely. Recommended!

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Anyone for Seconds? by Laurie Graham (Blog Tour)

Anyone for Seconds? by Laurie Graham

 

 

41214153Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 23rd August 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 352

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 07.03.2019)

 

 

Synopsis:

‘Why is Laurie Graham not carried on people’s shoulders through cheering crowds? Her books are brilliant!’ MARIAN KEYES

The laugh-out-loud sequel to Perfect Meringues – can former queen of the kitchen Lizzie Partridge claw her way back into the nation’s hearts?

Life has been going downhill for ex-TV chef Lizzie Partridge ever since she spectacularly ended her television career by throwing a chocolate mousse at the host of Midlands This Morning. Her partner Tom has left her, Nigella and Jamie have got the cookery world sewn up, and now her restaurant reviewing column – her last bit of work – has been cancelled. Surely the only way is up from here?

In a desperate bid for sympathy and attention she runs away, from the gas bill and the mouse under the sink, and in wet and wintry Aberystwyth she experiences a brush with her past and a glimmer of new prospects. And when her nephew – now a TV producer – has the bright idea to reunite her with her former nemesis and target of the mousse attack in a new show, it seems like things could be going Lizzie’s way again after all!

Rating: five-stars

Lizzie Partridge used to be a chef on a morning TV show but, after a very spectacular grande finale, she was replaced. But Lizzie usually never gives up and keeps going. However, we meet her when she hits a low point after being fired from a magazine that she writes recipes for. Feeling low and taken for granted, she decides to go missing to see how long will it take before her friends and family start to look for her. She maybe hasn’t been successful in this matter but during her short break she meets new people and some changes are to come. She might be 64 year old, she might be jobless and a little overweight, she might be single and her mother might rely only on her brother, but Lizzie is determined to achieve something in her life.

And I though, go girl! Show them!

Where has Laurie Graham been hiding my whole life, I’m asking myself guys. This book was so right up to my street, and the author has written loads of books and I am really, really surprised that I haven’t heard about her before – my bad. I should go and hide under a rock. Although, at the beginning, I was dead sure that I’ve read this author before, heck, that I’ve read the first book about Lizzie as it came so familiar to me. But no. I haven’t – although I’ve read a book very similar in plot. But not so good! And yes, “Anyone for Seconds?” follows adventures of Lizzie Partridge, a woman with the sharpest tongue ever and the best one – liners and replies and thinking on her feet I’ve seen in a very, very long time. I haven’t read the previous book but I didn’t have any problems to just pick up and go on.

Lizzie was a fabulous character. She was strong and determined, she complained, she was unhappy, she was an attention – seeker, she was also a drama queen, but she was so normal in all of this, so true and honest. I loved her dry humour and the way she’s seen the world and things – not only good things but she could be cynical as well. She’s seen things just as they were. Her habit of creating newspaper headlines out of things people did around her was simply great. All the characters were hilarious, but in a good way. They were impressively described and very well rounded and it was so easy to see what make them tick. They were all so different but every single one has a great and huge personality.

It was a really funny read with some much more serious and poignant moments that were so well balanced into the story. In a very amusing way we were able to experience all of the ups and downs in Lizzie’s life, the good and bad that happened to her and guys, it was impossible not to fell for Lizzie – immediately. Laurie Graham’s writing style is unbelievably sharp and she takes no prisoners, she has a great comic timing, and she always knows when to add a word or two to either break the ice or make the scene even more hilarious – not everybody can do this as effortlessly as Ms Graham. I actually had a great feeling about this book and well, it worked out. There was a great feel – good factor to it and even though our main character is older than our usual heroines, I still could relate to her on many levels and I think we just share the same sense of humour. It is this kind of book that the more you read, the more you want and I was really disappointed when the novel came to an end.

Altogether, “Anyone for Seconds?” was one of the sharpest, incredibly spot – on observed novels that I had a pleasure to read, guys. Story about new and old love, about friendship and family relationship, but also about never giving up, about living your life to the full and watching fur conventions and your best friend in a panto. It was refreshingly honest, it made me bitterly laugh at the realistic and brutally honest observations and now when I’ve discovered Laurie Graham, I’m going to go through the whole back – catalogue of her books – I really don’t know why she doesn’t receive more of the deserved recognition, guys. Highly recommended!

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