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IT ENDS WITH US – COLLEEN HOOVER

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.
Lily hasn’t had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon, Ryle, everything seems too good to be true.
But as questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.After years of sitting on the sidelines and listening to people go on and on about Colleen Hoover, I decided it was time to give this book a shot.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  Just like so many other readers, I really enjoyed reading this gritty but sweet novel.  And yet, I didn’t really find This Ends with Us to be either an earth-shattering or life-changing read.  In fact, I did…
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TULLY – PAULLINA SIMONS

Tully Makker is a young woman from the wrong side of the tracks. But if Tully gives friendship and loyalty, she gives them for good.
As Tully and her two school friends from very different backgrounds, Jennifer and Julie, grow into the world of the seventies and eighties, the lives of the three friends are changed forever by two men and a tragedy which engulfs them all. Against the odds, Tully emerges into womanhood, marriage and a career. And then life strikes back in the most unexpected way of all...

I am actually sorry to say that I really didn’t enjoy this book – every page making me want to give up entirely on the story.  I don’t think I’ve ever rolled my eyes or scoffed in disgust so much in any book before.

The story follows Tully Makker, a wild young woman, as she navigates a life filled with tragedy and hardship.  The painfully drawn out plot takes readers through Tully’s teen years, where she throws herself into a life of parties, sex and alcohol in the hopes of avoiding her ab…

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY – JANE AUSTEN

When Marianne Dashwood falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

Jane Austen has done it again.  While not my favourite piece of Austen’s work, Sense and Sensibility was a fantastic novel and I really enjoyed it.  As with most of her books, Austen brings the same lively wit which has long characterised her writing and the thorough examination of class systems so often featured within her narratives.


The two elder Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, could not be more opposite in temperament, tastes, and just about every other point, yet there is little that could…

FLYING BY THE SEAT OF MY KNICKERS (THE TRAVEL MISHAPS OF CAITY SHAW #1) – ELIZA WATSON

Why run from your troubles when you can fly instead? 
When Caity Shaw is fired from her job, her sister, Rachel, an event planner, hires her to work in Dublin. However, even four thousand miles from home, there’s no avoiding her pathetic life. 
Caity suffers a series of humiliating mishaps, causing her to lose even more faith in herself. She struggles to earn Rachel’s respect—and to keep Declan, her hot Irish coworker, at arm’s length as he repeatedly saves Caity’s butt and helps boost her self-confidence. 

I don’t know if I’ve ever read something this fun and lively!  Flying by the Seat of my Knickers had it all; stimulating writing and an original plot topped off with a quirky main character.  This is a brilliant read for anyone looking for something amusing and upbeat.  

When Caity is fired from her first proper job, her only fall back is to work for her sister, Rachel, as an event planner in Dublin.  Jumping at the chance to travel, even if it means dealing with her overbearing, worka…

MANSFIELD PARK – JANE AUSTEN

Taken from the poverty of her parents' home, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with only her cousin Edmund as an ally. When Fanny's uncle is absent, Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive in the neighbourhood, bringing London glamour and a reckless taste for flirtation. As her female cousins vie for Henry's attention, and even Edmund falls for Mary's charms, only Fanny remains doubtful about the Crawfords' influence and finds herself more isolated than ever.

I have been ritualistically watching the 2005 version of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park since before I can remember and the book has been begging for me to read it for years now.  The only reason I didn’t get to it before now was because I was worried that I wouldn’t like it and my fantasy would be shattered.  I am happy to say that this is only partially true.  

When a young Fanny Price is taken from home to live with her wealthy Aunt and Un…

HOW I LIVE NOW – MEG ROSOFF

Daisy is sent to England to visit her aunt and cousins she's never met. When her aunt goes away on business and the bombs go off, Daisy and her cousins are forgotten at their farm.
Despite the war, it's a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy's bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and they must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the most elemental way.

I have had a mixed range of feelings about this book.  On one hand, I thought it was a powerful, inspiring story but, on the other, it kind of just pissed me off.

The threat of war is looming all over the world and Daisy is sent from her evil stepmother and city life in Manhattan to live out a simple existence in the English countryside with her cousins and Aunt.  She lives out her time in England in contentment and bliss, forming unbreakable attachments to her new friends.  
In all their time alone, Daisy found herself slowl…

THE LITTLE COFFEE SHOP OF KABUL – DEBORAH RODRIGUEZ

Sunny's pride and joy is her Coffee House, home to the expatriates, misfits, missionaries, and mercenaries. Working alongside her is Halajan, who hides a romance from her traditional son - who faces his own doubts. Into the café come Isabel, a British journalist; Jack, who left his family in America; Yazmina, a pregnant girl left on the street; and Candace, a well-connected American.
As they discover there’s more to one another, they’ll form a friendship that will change an entire country.

“People, even those closest to you, are surprising...Nobody is everything they seem.”
The tale of five awesome women who go out and kick life right in the ass, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul was everything I had hoped it would be and more! Heartbreaking, beautiful, challenging and inspiring, this story questions good and bad, tradition and progress, right and wrong.

Whimsical and energetic, this book practically pulses with rich life, and draws you into the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan. The wri…