19 Dec 2020


Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie) by Cecelia Ahern

 From naughty children to rebellious teenagers, Rosie and Alex have stuck by each other through thick and thin. But just as as they're discovering the joys of teenage nights on the town and dating disasters, they're separated. Alex's family move from Dublin to America - and Alex goes with them. For good.

Rosie's lost without him. But on the eve of her departure to join Alex in Boston, Rosie gets news that will change her life forever - and keep her at home in Ireland.

Their magical connection sees them through the ups and downs of each others lives, but neither of them knows whether their friendship can survive the years and miles - or new relationships. And at the back of Rosie's mind is whether they were meant to be more than just good friends all along. Misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck have kept them apart, but when presented with the ultimate opportunity, will they gamble everything for true love?




Published:     8th November 2004
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source: Owned



On a whim, I decided to start reading and re-reading Cecelia Ahern's novels.  I have read some a very long time ago but there are some that I can't remember whether I have read or not and what better way to solve that than to work through all her novels starting from the earliest to the latest.  Now, I know this is not the first novel by this author (the first being PS I Love You) but I have deliberately not picked up that one first as I want to read that just before I read Postscript later on.  I had come to realise that I had definitely not read this one!

In this story, we mainly follow Rosie with Alex as a 'nearly' main character.  They are best friends at school, grow up and lead very separate lives which could have been very different if they had just chosen to be together rather than live their lives in separate directions.  

I loved this story.  Not only was the story addicting but the format of this novel was interesting to follow.  It is not set out as a straight forward novel but set out in a series of emails, notes and instant messaging.  Its been a long while since I had read a novel in this format and I loved it.  

For me, the relationship between Rosie and Alex was very real, rather than an exaggerated and unrealistic one that is sometimes found in novels like this one.  Not everything always goes according to plan and sometimes a character will make the wrong decision and have to deal with the circumstances of that, which also means upsetting the other friend.  No, I didn't always like Rosie because some of the decisions she made were just frustrating but then again me, as a reader, could see the whole picture but maybe she couldn't and made the best choice she could with what she knew at the time.  

I am so glad that I started with this one.  A truly beautiful realistic story.






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13 Dec 2020

Book Review / First Date by Sue Watson

She’s been waiting her whole life to meet a man like Alex. But he’s been waiting too. And once he has her, he’ll never let her go…

Hannah has done everything to make sure her life is safe and secure. A long way from her unstable childhood growing up in foster care, she’s content with her sweet, little, messy apartment and her satisfying job as a social worker. She quietly worries that, aged 36, she might never fall in love. But otherwise her life is where she wants it to be.

Until, encouraged by her best friend to join a dating app, she meets Alex. He’s irresistibly handsome. He loves the same music as her. The same food as well. They both dream of travelling the world but agree they’d be equally happy escaping to a cottage by the beach in Devon. Both of them would love to own a Labrador one day. It’s like he’s made for her. It’s like he’s too good to be true.

Hannah’s friends aren’t so sure about him. But Hannah thinks he’s perfect.

Which is good. Because Alex knows she’s perfect for him too. In fact, she’s exactly the girl he’s been looking for…

And nothing Hannah’s done to make her life safe will ever be enough.


Published:    16th October 2020
Publisher:  Bookouture
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned




So, I was in the mood to read a thriller and decided to pick up a random one that I hadn't heard before that had just come out this year.  Maybe I might have found a new favourite author or a new book that I enjoy.  I have to be honest and say that it was completely the cover that drew me in.  I never even read the blurb, leaving the story to be a surprise.  

We follow Hannah in this story who joins a dating app and meets Alex.  All seems to be going well  but maybe he is could be too good to be true.  Also, it appears that Hannah is being stalked and things may be turning scary very quickly. 

This was such a fun read and although the plot was very predictable and I guessed pretty much the whole story from near the beginning, that didn't stop me enjoying going along for the ride.  I really enjoyed this author's writing and will certainly pick up more from this author. 






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12 Dec 2020


Book Review / Ford County Stories by John Grisham

 In his first collection of short stories John Grisham takes us back to Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of his first novel, A Time to Kill.

Wheelchair-bound Inez Graney and her two older sons, Leon and Butch, take a bizarre road trip through the Mississippi Delta to visit the youngest Graney brother, Raymond, who's been locked away on death row for eleven years. It could well be their last visit.

Mack Stafford, a hard-drinking and low-grossing run-of-the-mill divorce lawyer, gets a miracle phone call with a completely unexpected offer to settle some old, forgotten cases for more money than he has ever seen. Mack is suddenly bored with the law, fed up with his wife and his life, and makes drastic plans to finally escape.

Quiet, dull Sidney, a data collector for an insurance company, perfects his blackjack skills in hopes of bringing down the casino empire of Clanton's most ambitious hustler, Bobby Carl Leach, who, among other crimes, has stolen Sidney's wife.

Three good ol' boys from rural Ford County begin a journey to the big city of Memphis to give blood to a grievously injured friend. However, they are unable to drive past a beer store as the trip takes longer and longer. The journey comes to an abrupt end when they make a fateful stop at a Memphis strip club.

The Quiet Haven Retirement Home is the final stop for the elderly of Clanton. It's a sad, languid place with little controversy, until Gilbert arrives. Posing as a low-paid bedpan boy, he is in reality a brilliant stalker with an uncanny ability to sniff out the assets of those "seniors" he professes to love.

One of the hazards of litigating against people in a small town is that one day, long after the trial, you will probably come face-to-face with someone you've beaten in a lawsuit. Lawyer Stanley Wade bumps into an old adversary, a man with a long memory, and the encounter becomes a violent ordeal.

Clanton is rocked with the rumor that the gay son of a prominent family has finally come home, to die. Of AIDS. Fear permeates the town as gossip runs unabated. But in Lowtown, the colored section of Clanton, the young man finds a soul mate in his final days.

Featuring a cast of characters you'll never forget, these stories bring Ford County to vivid and colorful life. Often hilarious, frequently moving, and always entertaining, this collection makes it abundantly clear why John Grisham is our most popular storyteller.

Published:     3rd November 2008
Publisher:  Bantam
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source: Owned


I was very intrigued to read this book, as it was the first set of short stories that I had come across from John Grisham (I am not sure if he has done any more).  I do have to admit that I don't usually pick up short stories as they are not normal a format that I get stuck into or have had any luck enjoying but I did with this one.  

If I had to pick a favourite, I would have to say that would have to be the story of Clanton who is the gay son of a prominent family in town.  He has come home as he has contracted AIDs and as it seems this story is based earlier than the modern medicine that we know today there is nothing else that can be done for him to help him get better.  Most of the town are scared of him and stay away including his family, but Clanton stays with a lady who takes him in and looks after him until the very end.   This story was just heartbreaking.  






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6 Dec 2020

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Book Review / A Funny Thing... by Michael J Fox

Michael J. Fox abandoned high school to pursue an acting career, but went on to receive honorary degrees from several universities and garner the highest accolades for his acting, as well as for his writing. In his new book, he inspires and motivates graduates to recognize opportunities, maximize their abilities, and roll with the punches--all with his trademark optimism, warmth, and humor. In A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future, Michael draws on his own life experiences to make a case that real learning happens when "life goes skidding sideways." He writes of coming to Los Angeles from Canada at age eighteen and attempting to make his way as an actor. Fox offers up a comically skewed take on how, in his own way, he fulfilled the requirements of a college syllabus. He learned Economics as a starving artist; an unexpected turn as a neophyte activist schooled him in Political Science; and his approach to Comparative Literature involved stacking books up against their movie versions. Replete with personal stories and hilarious anecdotes, Michael J. Fox's new book is the perfect gift for graduates.


Published:     13th April 2010
Publisher:  Hatchette Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone Non-Fiction
Source: Owned




Honestly, I don't normally pick up non-fiction books.  Not that I dislike them in anyway but I often find that I just can't get into them as much as I would if it was a novel.  However, I make the exception when there is an autobiography about someone that I like or admire.  Although this book came out back in 2010, I hadn't realised it had and it was only when I was browsing books online that it came up.  

In this biography, Michael J Fox talks about his life and his career as an actor.  It also mentions his health issue as well.  I always find it fascinating to find out more about his someone became who they are today, especially if he is an actor like Michael J Fox who I have followed in movies for so long now.  

This book read more like a short story / speech given by Michael J Fox rather than a full blown biography, which I was hoping for, but nonetheless it was very fun to read. 








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2 Dec 2020

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Book Review / Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

Shimmering with suspense and emotional intensity - takes readers on a hunt for the truth about a man and his memories, and about both the heartbreaking fragility and enormous strength of love.

Nicholas Sparks is our very best chronicler of the human heart. His stunning first novel, The Notebook, has been given by friend to friend and lover to lover all over the world as a testament to the timeless power of love. But if we thought he could never again move us so deeply, he now shows us he can-in a story that renews our faith in destiny...in the ability of true lovers to find each other no matter where, no matter when... Message In A Bottle

Thrown to the waves, and to fate, the bottle could have ended up anywhere. Instead, it is found just three weeks after it begins its journey. Theresa Osborne, divorced and the mother of a twelve-year-old son, picks it up during a seaside vacation from her job as a Boston newspaper columnist. Inside is a letter that opens with:

My Dearest Catherine, I miss you my darling, as I always do, but today is particularly hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together...

For "Garrett," the man who signs the letter, the message is the only way he knows to express his undying love for a woman he has lost. For Theresa, wary of romance since her husband shattered her trust, the message raises questions that intrigue her. Who are Garrett and Catherine? Where is he now? What is his story? 

Challenged by the mystery, and pulled to find Garrett by emotions she does not fully understand, Theresa begins a search that takes her to a sunlit coastal town and an unexpected confrontation. Brought together by chance-or something more powerful-Theresa and Garrett are people whose lives are about to touch for a purpose, in a tale that resonates with our deepest hopes for finding that special someone and everlasting love. 

Published:     1st April 1988
Publisher:  Warner Books
Goodreads :  Click Here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned



I can't tell you the number of times I have read this book over the years, but if you were counting fingers you would run out of them!  Message in a Bottle is one of those books that I just keep coming back to time and time again.  There's just something bittersweet about it but also romantic.  Romantic fiction, more particularly of the dramatic kind, was my first book genre love and they say you never forget your first book love!  

What I love the most in this story is the story of Garrett.  He has loved and lost in the most tragic of ways and we now see him meeting Theresa and it just might be possible that he could find love again - twice in a lifetime.  Beautiful story. 






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