Friday, January 27, 2012

YA Friday: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

When Was It Released?:  3rd January 2012

Where Did I Get It From?: From the publishers in exchange for a review. Thankyou!
Who Published It?: Feiwel And Friends
Number Of Pages: 390 pages

Now I have a confession to make to you all, I'm an absolute sucker for fairy tales. I know, I know, I'm a grown women, I'm supposed to have realised by now that fairy tales never come true, right? I just can't help it though, there is just something about getting lost in a story so far away that from reality that really draws me in. So of course when I heard that Marissa Meyer was writing a retelling of Cinderella with cyborgs I just knew that I had to get my hands on this book.

Cinder is one of New Beijing's best mechanics, but much more than that she is also a cyborg. She is viewed as beneath everyone else and detested by her stepmother who blames her for everything that goes wrong. When Cinder encounters the Prince at the market one morning her whole world is thrown upside down and she becomes involved in a intergalatic battle and an inner struggle much larger than she could ever have dreamed.

Sometimes, in fact sadly more often that not, fairy tale retellings end up being a disappointment as too much emphasis is placed on the original story and not enough on making the story stand out on its own. Well Cinder by Marissa Meyer, was definatly not a disappointment, in fact it was such an interesting read that I was completely drawn into the story and unable to put this book down. I love that Marissa Meyer created such a unique retelling of Cinderella, which although predicatable, as we already know the story of Cinderella, had its own twists and turns. The creation of New Beijing where Cinder lives is so creatively brought to life that I was instantly swept away in this futuristic world of disease, cyborgs and Lunars.

As a heroine, and our very own cyborg Cinderella, I adored Cinder. She is such a strong, smart and totally brave character, who screams independance. She really wants to stand on her own two feet and overcome the obstacles that are placed in front of her. What a role model for any girl reading this novel! All the characters within Cinder stand out in their own right and are multi dimensional with so many different layers, you will constantly be questioning who everyone really is.

Overall, Cinder was an enticing, unique, beautifully written story of disease, heartbreak and evil queens. This is Cinderella on a more gritty level, you definatly won't find any glass slippers or fairy godmothers in this retelling. Cinder is the first novel in the Lunar Chronicles series and I cannot wait to read on with the next book to find out what happens next. I would highly recommened this book to everyone, in fact go out and buy it now, you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winner: Ciara Geraghty Book Bundle

My giveaway to win the fantastic prize to win a book bundle of all three of Ciara Geraghty's books ended on Tuesday. I was astounded by the number of enteries, and want to thank everyone so much for their support. I have now picked a winner a random.

The Winner Is:


Congratulations to our lucky winner Helen, who I have also emailed so that she can claim her prize. Thankyou so much to everyone who entered the giveaway for your support of Chick Litaholic. I will be bringing you lots of giveaways in the future. Please stayed tuned for the latest giveaway, that you will not want to miss, which will be announced on Monday.

The Fat Chance Guide To Dieting by Claudia Pattison: A Review

The Fat Chance Guide To Dieting by Claudia Pattison

When Was It Released?:  29th December 2011

Where Did I Get It From?: From the publishers in exchange for a review. Thankyou!
Who Published It?: Penguin
Number Of Pages: 383 pages

What could be a more entertaining read than the perils of a group of women at a slimming club? After all, you always hear such horror stories about diet groups; they couldn't possibly all be true, right?! And what a fantastic time, around the New Year to have released a book focused around diets, even if completely fiction, it is still the time we are all trying to lose a few pounds after gorging ourselves over the Christmas period.

Holly, Naomi and Kate, all join a slimming club desperate to lose those last few pounds and get healthy. With chocolate and pizza definatly off the menu, the girls form a bond trying to reach their all important goals. With a little push from their team leader Amanda, the women are determined to win the Slimmer of the Year Awards this year. Will the temptations prove too much, with buffet table, ruthless competitiors and many other suprises lurking around the corner?

If you have ever attended a slimming club with the resolve to lose weight, be it Weight Watchers or Slimming World, you will be laughing out loud at Fat Chance Guide To Dieting. While the diet group in the novel is purely fictional, and a little extreme, with all the worst parts of slimming clubs thrown in, anyone who has ever been on a diet will be able to relate in some way. While there are some extremely funny moments within the novel, especially during boot camp, I really enjoyed the way in which Claudia Pattison also dealt with the distress that being overweight can cause to women. Holly, Naomi and Kate, are clearly unhappy in their lives, even though they may put up an affront to the outside world, and I enjoyed reading the events that led them to their weight gain, as is usually the case with women piling on the pounds.

Naomi, Holly and Kate are all three very different women, who are thrown together each trying to reach similar goals. While I liked all the characters, admittedly Holly and Kate a little more than Naomi due to her life choices, I did find all three characters a little hard to relate to. Not due to the fact that they are all trying to lose weight, which I'm sure most of us have been through at some point in our lives, but because of some of the choices that they make in life. There were, however, each very real and I really enjoyed the way the story is told from each friends point of view, therefore giving  a real insight into each of their lives.

Overall, I found Fat Chance Guide To Dieting, to be a fun, light, entertaining read, that dealt with issues women face everyday in a hilarious way. I absolutly adore the cover and think it would be extremely hard to resisit picking this one up off the shelf. I would definatly recommened Fat Chance Guide to dieting if you are looking for a light hearted read. I look forward to reading more from Claudia Pattison in the future.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Manhattan by Ronni Cooper: A Review

Manhattan by Ronni Cooper

When Was It Released?:  22nd December 2011

Where Did I Get It From?: From the publishers in exchange for a review. Thankyou
Who Published It?: Sphere
Number Of Pages: 433 pages

Sometimes, I come across a book that I am sure I will enjoy, but I'm a little reluctant to start. Theres never really any reasoning behind it, other than thinking that I am not going to enjoy it as much as I perhaps would other books in my TBR pile. Well, before I picked it up and started to read, Manhattan was one of those books. Once I started reading, I soon realised that the old saying of "you should never judge a book by its cover", could not have rung more true. (Not that I don't like the cover, I actually do!)

Manhattan centers around three women; Raine, Mei Ling and Stevie who all own the hottest nighclub Manhattan. The story centers around their lives before the nightclub and how they came to be in that position. Raine, was born in Brooklyn and clawed her way up from the bottom to become the queen of the city. Mei Lei. a high class madam, whose American dream started out as a nightmare. Lastly, Stevie, once the lead singer in one of the biggest rock bands, she has now fallen from grace with a secret that could destroy her .Now all three women are about to discover that payback is the biggest bitch of all.

Manhattan, is a novel filled with drama, glamour and the outrageous, reminding me a little of a Jackie Collins novel. The storyline and the characters were so different from the lives of most normal girls, yet you know events like this and people like these, really do exist. I was instantly transported into the lives of Raine, Mei Ling and Stevie from the very first page. The novel is split in narrative, alternating between each of the characters, which gave a real insight into each of their lives as well as their true feelings. The story mainly focuses on each of these women's past and how that led them to where they are in the present day. I really enjoyed learning about each one of these women, and even though who the story is told from changes throughout the nove, it still flows easily and quickly. The music knowledge that Ronni Cooper has, and injects into the character of Stevie, was fascinating, making me feel as though I could have been in the 80's along with these rock bands. I felt this added another layer to the novel that perhaps would not have been there without the depth of the music knowledgeI will warn any readers that do not enjoy any explicit content within their novels, for example sex scenes, that perhaps this is not the novel for you. Ronni Cooper is very frank about exactly what each of her characters get up to, which adds another layer of gritty reality to the novel, which some readers may not enjoy.

Usually, when reading a novel that is told from the viewpoint of more than one character, I find I like some characters more than others. In the case of Manhattan, however, I found that I loved each of the characters as much as the next. Raine is such a strong, independant woman, who even though she has many difficulties and tradegies in her life, still manages to pick herself up and continue on with her life. Mei Ling, may appear vunerable at first, but once it becomes clear the extent of the horror she has been through in her life, her strength really shines through. I found Stevie to be the most relatable, even though she becomes the most well known of the three women, she still stays grounded and most like the normal girl she was in the beginning of the story. I really felt true emotion for each of these characters, while they are all strong, beautiful women, they each have their own inner demons to contend with. At times I felt like crying along with each character as they struggle through the hard times in their lives.

Manhattan was a novel that I always expected to like but never expected to love. This is why I was so pleasently suprised with how much I truely enjoyed reading this book. The storyline was so intriguing, intense and fast paced I found myself unable to put Manhattan down, telling myself I would read just one more chapter, before finishing the entire book in one sitting. . If you are apprehensive in any way about reading Manhattan than I suggest you pick this book up straight away, because trust me you will not be dissapointed, and if you already have the book then move it to the top of your reading pile. Trust me, Manhattan is going to blow you away.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that and looks upcoming releases that we cant wait to get our hands on.

This week's pre-publication I really can't wait to read is:

The Great Escape by Fiona Gibson (16th Febuary 2012)

For one weekend only, Hannah, Sadie and Lou are determined to give it their best shot. Hannah’s getting married… and has serious pre-wedding jitters. She adores Ryan but can’t figure out how to fit into his grown-up, family-sized life. There’s that fridge, for starters. That, too, is family-sized, with a gadget on the front that spits ice in her face. More alarming still are Ryan’s children, Daisy, 10 and Josh, 13, who clearly don’t relish the prospect of Hannah, a free-spirited greetings card illustrator, becoming their step-mum.So she fires off invitations to a hen weekend – just the ticket to get her into the marrying mood. Trouble is…New mum Sadie is leaving her twin babies for the very first time with their terrified dad…Lou is unaware that her long-term man Spike is desperate to bundle her onto that Glasgow-bound train so he can hot-foot it round to see his secret fling Miranda…And, unbeknown to the girls, Johnny, their sexy upstairs neighbour from their art college days, is still frequenting those haunts, desperately in need of a little magic to happen.

This sounds like such a fun read that is such to have anyone who reads it laughing hysterically. I cannot wait to find out what escapades the characters all get up to.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: All The Single Ladies by Jane Costello

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that and looks upcoming releases that we cant wait to get our hands on.

This week's pre-publication I really can't wait to read is:

All The Single Ladies by Jane Costello (2nd Febuary 2012)

Samantha Brooks' boyfriend has made a mistake. One his friends, family,and Sam herself know he will live to regret. Jamie has announced he is leaving, out of the blue. He is loving, intelligent and, while he isn't perfect, he's perfect for her - in every way except one: he's a free spirit. And after six years in one place, doing a job he despises, he is compelled to do something that will tear apart his relationship with Sam: book a one-way flight to South America. But Sam isn't giving up without a fight. With Jamie still totally in love with her, and torn about whether to stay or go, she has three months to persuade him to do the right thing. With the help of her friends Ellie and Jen, she hatches a plan to make him realise what he's giving up. A plan that involves dirty tricks, plotting and a single aim: to win him back. But by the time the tortured Jamie finally wakes up to what he's lost, a gorgeous new pretender has entered Sam's life. Which begs the question ...does she still want him back?

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Giveaway: A set of all of Ciara Geraghty's books

Would you would like to win a bundle of books? Well if so, thanks to the lovely Hodder & Stoughton I have a set of all three of Ciara Geraghty's novels to giveaway to one lucky winner. The bundle includes:

  • Saving Grace
  • Becoming Scarlett
  • Finding Mr Flood
You can read my review of Finding Mr Flood here

To enter please complete the form below. The giveaway is open internationally. Winners will be contacted once the competition ends and will have 48 hours to respond, else a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway ends 24th January 2012

Good Luck!

Blog Tour - Stay Tuned by Lauren Clark

Stay Tuned by Lauren Clark

When Was It Released?: 21st November 2011

Where Did I Get It From?: As part of the blog tour for Chick Lit Plus
Who Published It?: Monterey Press
Number Of Pages: 272 pages

When I came across the blog tour for Stay Tuned by Lauren Clark on Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours I just knew this was a book I would love reading. With a mix of the intriguing TV producing world as well as the gorgeous but simple cover, I had to sign up for the tour immediatly, so that I could get my hands on Stay Tuned.

Melissa Moore, a TV producer for the WSGA news, constantly has to deal with issues during her work day, but no-one expected a fist fight to happen during the ten o'clock news. When the glamourous Alyssa Andrews punches her co-anchor, Melissa is first on set to do anything to save the reputation of the show. After both anchors are fired Melissa agrees to temporaily take on the role, alone with a brand new makeover to tranform her from producer to presenter. While Melissa wows the viewers, her personal life is falling apart with a mother who is out of control, a stalker and a husband who is away from home more and more.

Stay Tuned was an enjoyable look into the crazy world of a newsroom producer. Lauren Clark has previously worked in TV and her knowledge and insider information added an extra layer to the story. While Stay Tuned is purely fiction, I found it interesting to see what really goes on behind the scenes of a news programme. And trust me, it is a lot crazier than you would ever believe. The pace of the book does start out a little slow over the first few pages, however once I got into the story my interest was piqued and kept throughout the remainder of the novel. Stay Tuned is extremely well written, with Lauren Clark setting the scene so well that I felt as though I could have reading about a real person rather than a fictional character.

While at times I did find Melissa a little difficult to relate to, perhaps because of how different she is from how I am, I did find her extremely likeable. She came across as a very realistic character, with insecurites and flaws, which I found refreshing to read about. My favourite character, however, has to be Candace, Melissa's best friend, who always seems so positive and full of life. Her constant quoting of Dr Phil, had me laughing the whole way through.

Overall, I found Stay Tuned to be a unique and quick read, that could easily be devoured in the space of a weekend. Stay Tuned is a real feel good book that will have you smiling long after you have turned the last page. I would reccomend Stay Tuned and I am looking forward to reading more from Lauren Clark in the future.

Monday, January 9, 2012

January TBR Pile

To start off the New Year of blogging, I decided to revert back to one of the posts I used to feature on Chick Litaholic, which is my To Be Read Pile each month. In the past I have tended to deviate greatly from my intended reading pile, however with the New Year and new resolutions I plan to make a list each month of books to be read and stick to it. Of course there will be times when I won't be able to do this completly. I doubt I will read everything in my pile, I'm always overly ambitious in that respect, but on the whole I will try my best to read the books in my list each month.
Books Mentioned:

The Hating Game by Talli Roland
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Any Dream Will Do by Maria Duffy
Manhattan by Ronni Cooper
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Stay Tuned by Lauren Clark
Switched by Amanda Hocking
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
Recession Proof by Kimberly Lin
The Stag And Hen Weekend by Mike Gayle

What are you reading this month?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas At Tiffany's by Karen Swan: A Review

Chistmas At Tiffany's by Karen Swan

When Was It Released?:  18th November 2011

Where Did I Get It From?: From the publishers in exchange for a review. Thankyou!
Who Published It?: Pan Macmillian
Number Of Pages: 400 pages

Once I became aware of Karen Swan's latest novel, Christmas At Tiffany's it automatically became a must-read book. The cover is beautiful and the title really enticed me into wanting to read the book straight away. As soon as Christmas At Tiffany's arrived I curled up on the sofa with a steaming mug of hot chocolate ready to delve into Cassie's journey.

When Cassie married her teenage sweetheart she was far too young. Now ten years later her marriage is left in taters after being betrayed by her husband. With her life up in the air and no idea of who she is anymore Cassie is determined to find happiness again. Cassie begins a year long adventure with her three best friends, taking her from rural Scotland to New York, Paris and London. Cassie tries out each city in her search to track down the life she is supposed to lead and maybe even the man she is supposed to love.

While the idea for the story was nothing unique or original, I have to admit that the idea of Cassie being cheated on then spending the next year exploring exotic locations and finding herself at the same time, really appealed to me. After all, I'm sure many of us would love to be able to start anew with our lives and be able to figure out exactly what we want to do. I really enjoyed reading about Cassie's adventures in New York, Paris and London, which had me instantly wanting to be able to do the same journey myself. My favourite city to read about had to be New York, which is focuses on most throughout the book, Karen Swan's witty humour had me laughing and then the next moment the intensity of Cassie's emotion had me on the verge of tears.

All of the characters are such fun women that I found myself instantly wishing I knew. Kelly and Anouk are such stylish, sophisticated women, who seem to have everything that they could ever want. My favourite of the friends has to be Suzy, whose life is the most realistic of the three women, being happily married with a child on the way. While Cassie was a little naive at times, with her being new to each city, I did find myself feeling compassion for her throughout. I really felt for the way in which her husband has cheated on her and the emotions that she is put through as a result. Even though I loved all three women, my favourite character in the book was Henry, Suzy's brother. He was witty, adventurous and most importantly down to earth in comparison with many of the other characters.

Christmas At Tiffany's has been marketed as a Christmas themed book, while there are a couple of Christmas elements within the story, I found the Christmas aspect to be a little lacking. I do enjoy spending the month of Decemeber reading every Christmas themed chick lit book I can get my hands on, so I have to admit I was a little disappointed. While this was a downside, it does mean that this book can be read at any time of the year. The prose was a little misleading and jumpy, at times I would turn the page expecting the chapter to continue, only to find that it had ended abruptly, without any warning. This left me feeling as though the novel did not flow quite as well as I would have liked.

While the Christmas title is a little misleading, I would still highly reccomend Christmas At Tiffany's. Karen Swan's writing is beautiful and the way in which she delves into female friendships and the depth of these bonds is unparalled in chick lit. While her the descriptive way she brought the destinations of New York, Paris and London to life were so well done I found myself transported to each location instantly. I will be looking out for more from Karen Swan in the future.

It's A Vets Life by Cathy Woodman: A Review

It's A Vets Life by Cathy Woodman

When Was It Released?:  10th November 2011

Where Did I Get It From?: From the publishers in exchange for a review. Thankyou!
Who Published It?: Arrow
Number Of Pages: 400 pages

When I was younger, growing up in the countryside, I always wanted to be a vet. I love animals and constantly begged my mum and dad for a pet. Sadly one never came and my dream of being a vet quickly diminished when I realised I can't handle the sight of blood. My love of animals, however has continued, and upon finding a set of books about, you guessed it, a vet living in the countryside, I just could not pass up on reading them.

Maz Harwood loves her job as a vet, even if it does mean long hours and dirty conditions. She is planning to marry fellow vet, Alex, at Christmas and already had a gorgeous baby boy George. Lately though, things for Maz have been stressful with having to juggle her plans for the weddng and her family. Maz decides to try and improve the situation and take matters into her own hands, which doesn't go quite as well as she had hoped. Maz begins to think she will need to miracle in order to rekindle the love her and Alex once shared.

While It's A Vets Life is part of a series of books by Cathy Woodman, you do not need to have read any of the previous books to enjoy the latest installment. While it is always best to read all the previous books, I found it reassuring that no important parts of the story would be missed. Anything mentioned from previous novels is described in detail so you don't become lost at any point. Cathy Woodman's insight into the world of being a vet, as she herself was once a practicing vet, adds an extra layer to really bringing the clinics in the book to life. I really enjoyed that she was able to add this realism to the world that she has created in It's A Vets Life. Creating this quaint countryside village and community had me wanting to move to there immediatly. The way in which she is able to deal with writing about a rocky relationship, as well as other emotional incidents that occur while creating empathy yet not making the story too sombre with the witty humour she adds, had me hooked.

Many of the characters from the previous novels were brought back in It's A Vets Life, which added the familiarity of reading about characters you already know. Maz is a character you will begin to really care for as you get to know more about her and her life, being a really compassionate and generous character. I did find that my feelings towards the character of Alex changed during the course of It's A Vets Life. In the previous novels I found that I really liked Alex and the relationship that he has with Maz. However, through the course of this novels my feelings towards him changed, as his selfish actions towards Maz became more promient. As for Old Fox Gifford, I still found myself disliking him with a passion. He is selfish, sexist and set in his ways, unable to listen to anyone elses views or opinions.

I found the actions that Old Fox Gifford, takes about half way through the novel, to be quite disturbing. It was definatly not something that I saw coming, nor did I expect it to happen. While I knew that it was an integrial part of the storyline and a turning point for some of the characters, the incident was not something I particularly enjoyed reading about. Nor did I really fully understand why it happened as it did. The actions taken, however, did not take away from my overall enjoyment of It's A Vets Life.

It's A Vets Life has both characters you will find yourself caring about, and a storyline that will have you laughing and crying throughout. The Otter House books are a great series and I cannot wait to see if Cathy Woodman will continue on with these books. I really hope so. If you haven't picked any of these books up yet then I would highly reccomend that you do.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday : Nine Uses For An Ex Boyfriend

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that and looks upcoming releases that we cant wait to get our hands on.

This week's pre-publication I really can't wait to read is:

Nine Uses For An Ex-Boyfriend by Sarra Manning (2nd February 2012)
Hope Delafield hasn’t always had an easy life. She has red hair and a temper to match, as her mother is constantly reminding her. She can’t wear heels, is terrified of heights and being a primary school teacher isn’t exactly the job she dreamed of doing, especially when her class are stuck on the two times table.

At least Hope has Jack, and Jack is the God of boyfriends. He’s sweet, kind, funny, has a killer smile, a cool job on a fashion magazine and he’s pretty (but in a manly way). Hope knew that Jack was The One ever since their first kiss after the Youth Club Disco and thirteen years later, they’re still totally in love. Totally. They’re even officially pre-engaged. And then Hope catches Jack kissing her best friend Susie…

After reading and loving You Don't Have To Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning, last year, and loving her edgy fresh take on chick lit, I am excited to read her latest novel Nine Uses For An Ex-Boyfriend. I love the synopsis and cannot wait to see Sara Mannings take on the cheating boyfriend. The cover is also gorgeous and really pops.
What books are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Ten Books I'm Excited To Read in 2012

I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday The Broke and the Bookish post their top ten lists on various topics: Top Ten Tuesday page

This weeks topic looks at the Top Ten Books I'm Excited to Read in 2012. While there are so many books I cannot wait to read released this year, narrowing this list down was an extremely difficult task:

1.I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella - Sophie Kinsella is one of my favourite authors, therefore any novel she writes will always be highly anticipated by me. That aside, I think the storyline for I've Got Your Number is a really interesting one. Poppy loses her engagement ring and her phone all in one day, yet she finds a phone belonging to someone else. Poppy decides to keep the phone but the owner, Sam doesn't appreciate her reading his messages and wading into his personal life. I think this sounds like such a fun read and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

2. I Heart London by Lindsey Kelk - After reading and loving the rest of Lindsey Kelk's I Heart series, I'm excited for the latest installment. I Heart London, will take readers to one of my favourite cities London and I'm looking forward to seeing what situations Angela finds herself in, in this novel.

3. The Patchwork Marriage (UK) / Another Piece of My Heart (US) by Jane Green - Ever since reading Life Swap when it was first released a few years ago, Jane Green has been my all time favourite author. I have since then read everything she has published and loved them all, meaning that now I am desperatly awaiting her latest release, The Patchwork Marriage. The only thing I don't like about Jane Green's novels is that they always have different titles across the pond. It gets me confused!

4. Construct A Couple by Talli Roland - After reading Build A Man a couple of months ago and finding it to be my favourite read of the entire year, I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am for the prequel; Construct A Couple. Serenity was such a fantastic character and I cannot wait to see how her relationship continues in this next novel. Talli Roland has also become one of my favourite authors, with her unique storylines, quirky characters and quick wit, every book she writes just gets better and better.

5. These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen - Sarah Pekkanen's has such a way of capturing the characters emotions that whenever I read one of her books I am taken on an emotional journey so raw it feels as though I am someway involved in the journey too. Her stories always delve into the reality of marriage and These Girls is no exception, with the story centering around a husband wanting to rewrite the rules of his realtionship with his wife.

6. Isla And The Happy Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - After reading Anna And The French Kiss do I really need to explain my reasons for wanting to read more from Stephanie Perkins?! The story and characters Stephanie Perkins created in Anna And The French Kiss were so beautiful and romantic that I would happily read anything Stephanie Perkins writes, without even reading the synopsis.

7. A Million Suns by Beth Revis - Usually I am not a big fan of sci-fi fiction, however Across The Universe by Beth Revis, managed to change my mind a little. I was swept away on the Godspeed in Amy's life and cannot wait to find out what happens in the next book in the series, A Million Suns.

8. Promised by Caragh M O'Brien - The first Dystopian novel I ever read was Birthmarked by Caragh M O'Brien, which was the first book in the Birthmarked series. It really opened my eyes to the Dystopian genre and made me excited to read more. Prized was the second book in the series and, in rare fashion, was just as good as the first book. Now I cannot wait to see how Gaia's journey will continue and whether the third book will be able to live up to my expectations.

9. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa - I think perhaps every person who has ever read any of the books in The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa is absolutly on the edge of their seats waiting for the first book in her Blood Of Eden series, The Immortal Rules. While the new series will be focused on Vampires,  a slight change from the world of Fey, it is still paranormal, and therefore I am expecting big things from this book.

10. Where We Belong by Emily Giffin - I adored Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed and Something Blue and so I am excited for her next novel, Where We Belong. I love how the cover continues the trend of her previous novels and I'm sure I will be devouring this one in no time at all.

After compiling this list I know cannot wait to get my hands on all these novels. I don't want to have to wait!! Which books are you excited to read in 2012?

The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon: A Review

The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon

When Was It Released?:  10th November 2011

Where Did I Get It From?: From the publishers in exchange for a review. Thankyou!
Who Published It?: Hodder and Stoughton
Number Of Pages: 480 pages

After hearing so many great things about Lucy Dillon's novel Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts, as soon as I was presented with the opportunity to review her latest novel The Secret Of Happily Ever After, I jumped at the chance. I have no idea why I have not previously read any of Lucy Dillon's books, however this is all set to chance after devouring and falling in love with The Secret of Happily Ever After.

Anna's dream since she was a little girl was to run a bookshop, and her dream has just come true. She loves being surrounded by the childhood classics she has always loved and it helps that it gets her away from her rowdy stepchildren. The neglected bookshop is brought to life and Anna and even her best friend Michelle, who does't believe in true love is swept along. But when secrets from Michelle's childhood threathen to come back to haunt her and disaster threatens Anna's home. They both begin to wonders if maybe their fairytale endings aren't exactly what they had dreamed of.

From the first page I was captivated by the setting of the picturesque, quaint, village of Longhampton. Lucy Dillon does such a fantastic job, describing the setting that I found myself instantly wanting to pack up and move to a cottage in Longhampton with at least one or two dogs in tow. I loved the community spirit that all the inhabitants of Longhampton seemed to have, pulling together and helping each other out in difficult situations, something which would only ever happen in a village in the countryside. I especially enjoyed that Anna and Michelle work in a bookstore, and Anna's love for books was ever present throughout the novel. Very rarely in books are the main characters even seen to be reading, let alone to have the passion for them that Anna has.

Having the story told from two different viewpoints, both Anna and Michelle's, really added extra depth to the novel and meant I became extremely invested in both of their lives. Many times in novels I find myself routing for the lead characters, however it is rare for me to become as invested in a characters wellbeing as I did with Michelle and especially Anna. At times I even wanted to step into the pages and give Anna a great big hug. She is such a kind, caring character, who is always putting others, in particular her husband and step children above herself. Her only real joy came in the form of the bookstore and her dog, Pongo. The addition of dogs within the story, really added to the country lifestyle and by the end of the book I found myself wanting to have a dog of my own. Michelle, also had her hard moments, and while she may appear tough on the outset, once her layers were removed and really started to care for her too.  The only character I did not like was Phil, Anna's husband. I found that he was selfish and did not care at all about Anna's feelings or needs.

The Secret Of Happy Ever After, was one of my favourite reads of 2011. The story was beautifully told, the characters ones I found difficult to forget long after I finished reading, and my emotions swept away with the pages. Many times I found myself almost on the verge of tears, which is very rare when reading a book, and then the next second laughing out loud. This is the perfect book to read on a cold winter night. I have already recommeneded this book to all my friends and family and would definatly recommend it to you too.

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