Book Review On: Letters To My Daughters by Emma Hannigan

 

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About the author (as seen on Amazon)

Emma HanniganLetters to my Daughters is the twelfth novel from beloved and bestselling author Emma Hannigan.

Letters to my Daughters spent four weeks at Number One in the Original Fiction bestseller chart in Ireland on publication in 2018. Emma’s novels The Perfect Gift and The Wedding Promise were also Number One bestsellers in Ireland. The Secrets We Share won the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Epic Romantic Novel award. Emma won Woman of the Year in the literature category of the Irish Tatler Women of the Year awards and was shortlisted twice for an Irish Book award. Emma published her bestselling memoir Talk to the Headscarf in 2011, which was updated and extended in 2017 as All to Live For: Fighting Cancer. Finding Hope and was a top ten bestseller in Ireland.

In 2005, Emma discovered that she had the BRCA1 gene mutation which carries an 85 per cent risk of developing breast cancer and a 50 per cent risk of developing ovarian cancer. In 2007 she was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time and her eleven-year battle with cancer began. As an ambassador for Breast Cancer Ireland Emma worked hard to dispel the fears around cancer and spread hope about new treatments. In February 2018 Emma shared with her readers that her dedicated team of doctors had exhausted all avenues in terms of her treatment. In Emma’s final days, she launched a social media campaign #HelpEmmaHelpOthers to raise €100,000 for Breast Cancer Ireland. Two weeks later, shortly before her death, Emma revealed that her target had been reached.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MsEmmaHannigan

Publication date: 28th June 2018

Publisher: Headline Review

http://www.headline.co.uk

ISBN: Paperback 9781472246493

Ebook 9781472246509

Pages: 464 pages

Genre: Literary Fiction

Format reading: Proof- paperback

Copy provided by: Publisher- Publicist Becky Hunter

Blurb (as seen on Amazon)

Throughout their lives, the three Brady sisters have always been closer to their nanny May than to their own mother, Martha a busy midwife. May always thought of them as her daughters so when she dies suddenly, the sisters are left devastated — especially when they learn that letters intended for them from May with final words of advice and love have gone missing.
But what words of advice could the sisters need?
Beatrice, owner of exclusive wedding boutiques, is busy and fulfilled. Rose has a beautiful daughter, a luxurious home and a thriving interiors company. And Jeannie, married to a wealthy plastic surgeon in L.A., wants for nothing.
Except that each of the sisters carries a secret …
As they gather for the reading of May’s will in Dublin, they must face some life-changing decisions. Will they ever learn the words of advice May had for them and discover who took the letters?
Letters to my Daughters is the spellbinding story about the complicated bonds between women – daughters, mothers, sisters – and how love and happiness comes in many guises.

My Review

I was truly honoured to be asked by the lovely Becky Hunter from Headline Reviews for sending me a proof copy of Letters to my Daughter by Emma Hannigan plus the out of this world biscuits they were truly delicious. Thank you!!letters to my daughter by emma hannigan

I totally adore the summery feel to the cover; with the sea out in the distance; with flying seagulls in the pail sky and the golden sandy beach. There are wild flowers and grass creeping at the sides, providing small splashes of colour. A lady is sitting it a blue and white stripy deck chair, with bare feet in the sand and her flip-flops beside her, writing!

The cover looked like it was painted with water colour paints, giving off a really gentle feel. Emma’s name is written in an elegant fashion in a darker blue, cantered at the top of the cover. The title is in a pink, and works well against the sandy beach behind it.

Martha and Jim were incredibly hard-working and were always busy trying to provide for their three daughters; Beatrice, Rose and Jeannie. They hired Nanny May to take care of their girls while they were working. Martha a busy Mid-wife; always shooting off to some expecting mother about to give birth. She was never around for her girls, and seemed to love her job more. Jim ran a very successful furnisher business, he was always busy but always made time; with Nanny May to attend school plays, sports days etc. Nanny May never married or had any children of her own, but look at the girls as if they were her own. Always there when they had a problem, providing them with love, care and attention, to make up for where Martha lacked.

Now the girl’s are all grown up, with their own life’s and suddenly Nanny May passes away. Martha and her granddaughter; Ali find her, after Nanny May failed to turn up to babysit Ali. Martha find’s some letters, addressed to her daughters and one for her husband which had yet to be put in an envelope. Martha takes the unseen letter’s and holds on to them, unbeknown to the rest of her family. Why did Martha take the letters? What did she read in her husband’s letter? The whole family is devastated on hearing the sad news and Martha seems cold about the whole thing. but why? Will she ever pass the letters on to their recipients to be able to read.

Martha and Jim have moved from Pebble Bay to Connemara in Ireland to spend out their retirement. Playing golf and visiting friends is welcomed by Jim, however Martha is struggling, and misses being a mid wife. Jim travels back to Pebble Bay alone to hear Nanny May’s will being read. In this time Martha help’s a expecting mother on the side of the road; in labour and helps deliver her baby. She ends up finding out there is a shortage of mid wife’s in this area and asked if she would consider coming back to help out. Will Martha decide to leave retirement and go back to work? even though Jim would object.

At the will reading Jim, Beatrice, Rose, Jeannie and Ali have all been left something to inherit from Nanny May. They also find out there were letters to Jim, Beatrice, Rose and Jeannie, however they can’t be located. A search takes place at Nanny May’s home to no avail. They have no idea where the letters have gone or what is written.

Beatrice is the eldest of the sisters and runs a string of very successful wedding boutiques. Divorced she now lives above one of her newest shops along her dog.  Beatrice has always dreamed of having her very own family, but time is ticking on her biological clock and still no man at her side. She knows she has to make a serous decision about the whole baby thing, but which avenue will she take? Is she truly happy on her own with just her dog for company?

Rose and Jeannie are twins. Rose is married to the reliable Martin and have a daughter Ali. They both run the furnisher business passed to them by Rose’s father; when he retired. Martin seems to be taking more of the rains, going on business trips and meetings, leaving Rose to do the other things. Ali is a stroppy teenager and really clashes with her mother, but has managed to wrap her father round her little finger. This does nothing but adds more strain on Rose and Martin’s marriage. Are Rose and Martin just going through a rough patch or is it something more serious? Is Rose happy in her marriage? Can she find a level with her daughter? Is the business really doing well?

Jeannie is married to adoring Nick a famous LA plastic surgeon and at the top of his game. She lives a life of pure luxury in LA, and Nick makes sure she wants for nothing. He is a bit older than Jeannie but she wanted to have an open relationship. Nick only agrees so her won’t lose her. Jeannie has a shock when she becomes pregnant, only she has known idea who is the father is. She travels back to Ireland to hear Nanny Mays will reading and she realises she misses her family.  Will she be able to work out who the father is? What will Nick say? Will they still have a marriage?

I have to say firstly this was a wonderfully written story, it was a bit emotional knowing it was the last book from Emma; who is sadly not with us any more. I have read one other book of Emma’s and I really enjoyed her writing style and story lines.

Letters to my Daughters; is such an utterly beautiful story. I felt the gentle pace was absolutely perfect with this story line making it a joy to read. I really loved Jim’s relationships with his daughters; it’s the kind of relationship fathers and daughters should have. I found Martha character intriguing because she is very off handish with her children and husband yet she is so kind and caring to her expecting mothers. Emma’s writing shows that there is always a reason why people act the way they do because of the past. I liked that aspect of the story it was very, because it’s so true in life! Another thing I loved was the three sisters relationships, and how they really come together and become their for each other.

I adored every single aspect of this beautiful written story. As I said earlier I had read one book before and this really does top that!

Letters to my Daughters by Emma Hannigan is a wonderful Irish delight and a perfect summer read in my eye’s. I highly recommend it!!!!!

                                                         Marie’s Book Boutique gives

                                        Letters to my Daughters by Emma Hannigan

                                                       A super 5 Sparkly Stars!!!
5stars

 

 

 

Book Review On: The Man On The Roof by Michael Stephenson

 

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About the author (as seen in the Ebook)

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Michael cultivated his love for storytelling on a steady diet of film and Tv, embracing the art across all genres and mediums. He believes that to tell a story is the greatest gift that humanity has ever received and hopes to connect through words both written and filmed. A thoughtful suburbanite, he enjoys writing in every genre and platform. Covering a wide range of subjects, ethnicities, socioeconomic classes and ideals, his writing runs the gamut from silly light-hearted to thought- provoking and sensual to horrifying and captivating. Offering everything from sci-fi to romance, he wishes to supply the reader with indelible experience. He seeks to tell stories in the best possible way in both popular culture and more niche genres. He hopes to soon write for film again, as he had briefly before, and aspires to write screen play for the film adaptation of Captain Planet as he loves the environment and has been an avid vegetable gardener for the last decade.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/filmbooksball

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6653829.Michael_Stephenson

Publication date: 22 June 2018

Pages: 619 pages

Genre: Crime/mystery-thriller

Format reading: ARC Ebook

Copy provided by: author

Blurb (as seen on Amazon)

Someone has been creeping in the dark while the others sleep, and they’ve done terrible, terrible things.

“There was a man on your roof,” claims curmudgeonly lane-hermit Herbert McKinney. Then, he initiates an unprovoked fight with a local punk. Drama escalates when that punk’s dead body is found hanging at mid-street one August morning—a boastful killer messaging their next prey. All fingers point to Herbert as the culprit. Soon, the five couples he calls neighbours come under suspicion, too. When lead detective Cady Lambert divines blackmail as the motive, eyes cross to find who hides the most shameful secret. Husband versus wife, friend versus friend, the shiny suburban veneer of innocence has been forever tarnished. As hidden deviousness boils from their pores, there lurks a thief, a pill addict and a sadist—secrets worth killing for.

Now, as the man on the roof helps guide justice and watches devious neighbours slip in and out of sleepy houses, confusion and questions persist. Who dies next? What have they learned? Who is becoming a monster? Who already is one? And just how many secrets can a small group of multi-ethnic Ohioans have? Only one cemented truth exists: the killer will kill again.

A tension-building psychological mystery-suspense thriller, The Man On The Roof propels the reader through a tangled, volatile and suspenseful thicket of deception, murder and friends, inviting the reader to discover the murderer and who hides which lie.

My Review

The Man On The Roof by Michael StephensonI would just like to say a massive thank you to Michael Stephenson for getting in touch with me, asking me to read, review and kindly providing me with an ARC Ebook of his book.

My first impression of the front cover for The Man On The Roof, is that it’s giving off a creepy feel before I’ve even started to read!!!! The cover is misty and dark showing a crescent with a siloet of a man on the roof of one of the houses. Light is reflecting casing a shoot of light across the cover. The title is in red and stands out well, adding to the creepy dark feel. The author’s name is in white at the bottom of the cover. All in all this cover has me feeling kind of alarmed at what I was going to be reading, but in an interesting kind of way. if that makes any sense at all!!!!!

I have never read any of Michael’s previous books so I had no idea what to expect. However judging by the cover I have prepared myself for a spine-chilling ride!!!!!!!!

In a Ohio cul-de-sac, where dark secrets are kept hidden from each other and their fellow neighbours! All the residence all have children except for one couple, and are all ‘friends’ accept from the lonely grumpy old man. The family’s spending time in each others homes, and having days out together; they even have key’s to each others houses. But each of them have a dark secret to bear.

The old man declares he has seen a man on the roof of one of the houses, but they all think he is looking for attention and is lonely; after losing his wife.

One morning a young boy is found murdered on the cul-de-sac, the police are called and an investigation as to why and who would murder this young boy. All the residence find themselves suspects; making all their lives being looked at under a microscope. The residence claim they haven’t really had many dealings with the victim. But are they telling the truth? What dark secret’s are they hiding? Are they all really squeaky clean? Why was the boy murdered? Who is the man lurking on the roof?

The story comprises of being written in the third-person and anonymous first person (the suspects in the murder investigation!) I found this really interesting narrative to read and as you read further you can kind of work out which suspect is who.

The Man On The Roof by Michael Stephenson is a spin-chilling, twisted story, which had me on the edge of my seat! He has included a lot of detail in this book; which was really great for giving the reader a clear picture of the setting and surroundings. I feel the story was very cleverly written, I really didn’t see the ending coming at all! (maybe because I was a bit creeped out!) There are so many twists and turns in which this book takes providing the reader with chilling mystery and anticipation. I would however say to anyone contemplating picking this book up in does cover things of an adult nature and is quit a heavy story, so would be unsuitable for a young person.

                                                       Marie’s Book Boutique gives

                                     The Man On The Roof by Michael Stephenson

                                                                   4 Sparkly Stars
4 stars

 

 

My Mid-Year Update On The POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2018

Hay guy’s

Gosh I can’t believe we are halfway through the year already! Doesn’t time just fly by ( I swear time goes faster when you get older!!!)

Today is a little up date on how I’m getting on with this year’s reading challenge!

popsuare reading challange prompt list

Here’s the list of the prompts I have already completed!

1.A book made into a movie you’ve already seen

The besr exotic marigold hotel by deborah Moggach

3.The next book in a series you started.

Madam Tulip and the bones of chance front cover

7.A book set in a country that fascinates you.

The Villa by Rosanna Ley

8.A book with a time of the day in the title.

The Sunday Lunch Club Book Cover

16.A book about mental Health.

Stand Tall Little Girl

17.A book you borrowed or that was given you as a gift.

the chocolate lovers wedding by carole matthews

19.A book about or involving a sport.

Must try harder by paula mcguire

20.A book by a local author.

Last letter home by rachel hore

27.A book set on a different planet.

things we learn when we're dead front cover

30.A book with characters who are twins.

book cover for valintina

34.A book published in 2018.

The Magic of Stars Cover

So far I’ve only managed a total of 11, from this years challenge. I must admit I thought I might have completed more by know! I think I had better get reading don’t you?!?!

Are you also doing the POPSUGAR reading challenge this year? How are you getting on? If you have any recommendations for any of the prompts that I haven’t completed? Please do get in touch!!!! They would be greatly welcomed!!!!!!!!

Book Review On: Stand Tall Little Girl by Hope Virgo Plus A Guest Post From Hope Herself

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About the author ( as provided by the author)

Hope VirgoHope Virgo, is the author of Stand Tall Little Girl and a leading advocate for people with eating disorders. Hope helps employers such as schools, hospitals and businesses deal with the rising tide of mental health issues. She is also a recognised media spokesperson having appeared on various shows including BBC Newsnight, Good Morning Britain, Sky News and BBC News.

Website: hopevirgo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Hopevirgoauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/HopeVirgo

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/hopevirgo1

Publication date: 6th March 2017

Publisher: Trigger Press

http://www.triggerpublishing.com

(Info found in the book)
Proceeds from all Trigger Press books go directly to The Shaw Mind Foundation, a global charity that focuses entirely on mental health.
http://www.shawmindfoundation.org
Mission Statement
Our goal is to make help and support available for every single person in society, from all walks of life. We will never stop offering hope. These are our promises.

ISBN: Paperback: 978-1911246152

Also available in Ebook format.

Pages: 240 pages

Genre: Mental Health/ Eating Disorders

Format reading: Ebook

Copy provided by: author

Blurb (as seen on Amazon)

For four years, Hope managed to keep it hidden, keeping dark secrets from friends and family. But then, on 17th November 2007, Hope’s world changed forever. She was admitted to a mental health hospital. Her skin was yellowing, her heart was failing. She was barely recognizable. Forced to leave her family and friends, the hospital became her home. Over the next year, at her lowest ebb, Hope faced the biggest challenge of her life. She had to find the courage to beat her anorexia.

In Stand Tall Little Girl, Hope shares her harrowing, yet truly inspiring, journey. Through her letters and diary entries, Hope tells us how she fought from rock bottom to beat the ‘friend’ that had controlled and nearly destroyed her life. The story of Hope’s recovery will inspire countless others.

My Review

I must first say thank you to the lovely Hope for asking me to read, review and provide me with the Ebook for Stand Tall Little Girl. I felt really honoured you asked. I also want to say another thank you to hope for writing a guest post called Getting I the mind of an Anorexic (which will follow from my review!)

Stand Tall Little Girl

The cover for Stand Tall Little Girl by Hope Virgo is a very simple on with a blue backing and a siloet of a young lady standing tall! I quit like the different fonts used for the title, and the way it looks like it’s helping her to stand tall. All in all I think it’s striking and grab’s the eyes attention.

Stand Tall Little Girl is a book where Hope Virgo, tells her harrowing journey from the beginning of an eating disorder; Anorexia right through to being in recovery. Using diary entry’s from Hope’s diary and entry’s of her mother’s account. By including entry’s from her mother, it gives the reader a chance to understand how it felt for her as well as Hope.

As Hope discovers her ‘Best Friend’ Anorexia, she show’s a real clear and raw insight into just how much it affects, controls the decisions she made. Having a longing to please, and was constantly try to please her ‘Best Friend’, by being the best she could be. Which lead Hope to deceive all those around her.

When is becomes seriously ill she get’s admitted to hospital at the young age of 17. This is where she spends the next year of her life, away from her friends and family. Hope’s shear determination during her time in hospital, as she discovers her ‘Best Friend’ isn’t really her friend at all, but is destroying her body, organs and her whole life.

Hope takes the reader through all the therapy’s she try’s, her ‘triggers’, coping meninism’s and shows how many up’s and down’s to get and stay in recovery for Anorexia. I found this to be very informative in helping understanding of this truly destructive disease.  She writes’ her account with such raw honesty, so expect it to be an emotional read, I certainly found I was crying when I read.

Stand Tall Little Girl is a raw and heart-breaking account of Hope’s journey with Anorexia. I have read a couple of book’s on this subject, as I know someone suffering and I want to try to understand; Hope has done just that! I feel like I have some understanding, so thank you Hope from the bottom of my heart! Her message is simple ‘just keep talking’ however hard it may be. Offering hope to those who are not only going through Anorexia themselves but to family and friends.

I really think Hope’s book would be really beneficial for fellow sufferers, friends and family because however hard it is to read, she offers insight, hope and understanding of this mental illness. This young lady has done an amazing and brave thing sharing her story with the world, and is a true inspiration.

                                                   Marie’s Book Boutique gives

                                               Stand Tall Little Girl by Hope Virgo

                                                                  5 Sparkly Stars5stars

Next is the guest post from Hope

Getting in the mind of an Anorexic

Watching someone suffer with anorexia is heartbreaking. There is no glitz or glamour but instead it can rip families and relationships apart as it feels like a mountain that is impossible to climb.

I met my best friend anorexia when I was 13 years old. She was everything I needed and I relied fully on her. I was scared of losing people round me but I knew I could fully rely on my anorexia. She would never leave me. That value and purpose that she gave me was just what I needed. She comforted me at night when things felt too tough, gave me this sense of glory when I missed meals. She was exactly what I needed to get me through my life… or that’s what I thought…

Over the next four years I managed to hide this relationship from anyone else. I didn’t want to share her with anyone and I didn’t want her to be taken away from me. Over that four years I had to become so much more secretive and devious so that no where would interfere. As my parents realised something was wrong I found new ways to trick everyone round me. I lost a lot of my dignity at times shouting all the time, causing family rows. I left havoc wherever I went. It never really hit me the impact I was having on those around me until my Mum told me about a time when Samuel had got so upset about me being unwell and the situation. My mum did her best to protect my siblings but it wasn’t really possible to shield everything.

The penultimate night before I was admitted to a mental health hospital my sister and I went to the cinema to see “Ratatouille”. I had half my dinner stuffed in to my jacket, a fortisip drink that I had switched the context to so it was just water but I felt like a normal girl on the way to the cinema. Looking back I feel awful with how o was to my sister. I could barely stand up at this point and she kept trying to help. But I didn’t want her help to stay up right. I didn’t want anything to support me.

When you are watching someone struggling with their brain and with that anorexic voice it can feel so frustrating. The fear that you might say something that will make it worse or the fear that you aren’t doing enough. And the sheer utter terror that you can’t actually fix that situation.

The thing about anorexia, for me especially, was that it took a complete hold over me towards the end. I convinced myself I was still in control but the reality was I wasn’t. The months leading up to my hospital admission were a nightmare and even when I look back on them I still can’t believe how they all happened. I still don’t know where I had the energy to keep going.

I don’t have all the answers but wanted to emphasise five things that really helped me:

  1. Making happy memories away from food: the months before I went in to hospital my Mum and I would go for these long walks. We didn’t talk about food but there were times when I was able to share my worries and frustrations with her. These walks are happy memories for me away from the conflict and stress of meal times and it is these things that kept me going.

2. Having people reminding me that even though I am eating they know I am not 100% fixed! This is so important to do because a lot of people will worry that just because someone is eating means the anorexia has gone. But that isn’t the reality. Our weight may go up but it takes much longer for our minds to catch up.
3. When people are worried about me and my weight they ask: In 2016 I relapsed managing to hide my struggles for about 4 months. I knew I didn’t want to get unwell again but at the same time I was massively struggling on how to ask for help. Luckily people around me asked me directly and I felt able to admit I wasn’t okay. It was hard saying I was struggling again and I felt like a complete failure that I had let them all down but having a life line offered to me allowed that honesty. If you are worried about someone please do check in with them!
4. Being able to send a text saying “I feel like shit” and know that I will be taken heard. For me this is so important as it allows me to voice my struggles without having to show I am not okay with food.
5. Having someone to check in with about how much I am having. This is a silly one to most people who haven’t had an eating disorder and I am completely envious of people who just know how much to eat. I don’t have that luxury so it is good to have people who I can check in with if I am worried about portions
And if you don’t know what to do please don’t be afraid to ask! I know there is so much worry about knowing what you should and shouldn’t be saying. I don’t expect people to know everything or have all the answers but having someone to trust, check in with and someone who won’t give up on me is vital. Recovering from anorexia isn’t always easy but it is one hundred percent worth fighting for.

Thank you Hope for writing an honest guest Post today on Marie’s Book Boutique!

 

 

 

 

Book Review On: Must Try Harder by Paula McGuire

 

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About the author (as seen in the book)

Paula McguirePaula Mc Guire is an adventurer, speaker and author, but most of all she’s a trier.

For 30 years Paula lived under a rock, somewhere on the outskirts of every social situation, suffering crippling anxiety, panic attacks and depression that would eventually rob her of even the most basic freedoms. After decades of medication and intervention, adventure became Paula’s personal therapy in 2012, when she became Paula Must Try Harder, trying 17 commonwealth sports, exposing her to constant fear and enabling her to fight her way back into the world.

Ever since, Paula has terrified herself daily in the name of recovery, and now spends all that nervous energy challenging herself to wild exploits and encouraging others to allow a little fear into their days. From skinny- dipping and flying a plane to going shopping on her own , Paula’s adventures have covered the bizarre and the banal, and demonstrate that living a happy, full life with anxiety really is possible.

Website: paulamusttryharder.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PaulaMustTryHarder

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pmusttryharder

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/pmusttryharder

Publication date: 23rd April 2018

Publisher: Trigger Press

http://www.trigger-press.com

(Info found in the book)

Proceeds from all Trigger Press books go directly to The Shaw Mind Foundation, a global charity that focuses entirely on mental health.

http://www.shawmindfoundation.org

Mission Statement

Our goal is to make help and support available for every single person in society, from all walks of life. We will never stop offering hope. These are our promises.

ISBN: Paperback: 978-1-911246-85-5

Ebook: 978-1-911246-86-2

Pages: 216 pages

Genre: Mental Health

Format reading: Paperback

Copy provided by: Publisher

Blurb (as seen on the back of the book)

Paula McGuire’s world was shrinking. Bullied as a child and plagued by excessive social anxiety, she had become a recluse. Unable to even go into a shop on her own, Paula’s life was effectively over before she hit thirty.

But then something changed. She isn’t even quite sure what. But after years of running away from life, Paula decided to grab it by the balls…

She didn’t do anything to difficult to start with- just learning all 17 Commonwealth Games sports! After that, she threw herself into naked life modelling, astronaut training and coming next, Paula plans to swim all around the United Kingdom. At the time of writing, Paula can’t swim… somehow that isn’t discouraging her one bit!

Must Try Harder tells the remarkable story of a life transformed by facing up to all your fears. Paula’s funny, heartfelt, and above all, inspiring story shows us that we each have the power to do amazing things.

My Review

I must say a massive thank you to Katie from Trigger Press for contacting me, asking if I would read, review and for sending me a paperback of Must Try Harder by Paula McGuire.

When I read the blurb of this book I know it was going to be an emotional read, but also offering hope to fellow suffers.

I really like the brightness of this cover, which I really thinks makes it a book to pick up. The cover shows a swimming pool with someone about to jump off the board into the water. I like the different font’s used in the title, another eye-catching factor.

I wasn’t wrong there! Must Try Harder is a book split in two half’s. The first part is called Anxiety; where she shares things like her typical day and how her social anxiety has affected every part of her life. Paula’s struggles as she self mediates with over the counter medication, and she shows how her relationships suffered too. Part two Adventure; where Paula tells the reader how she throws herself into learning 17 Commonwealth Game Sports amongst other things.

From the very first page I was intrigued and interested in Paula’s journey, she shows how unimaginable crippling her social anxiety has affected her life and all the people around her. I must say I shed a few tears, certainly not out of pity but understanding in a relatable sense. I felt kind of connected to Paula while reading like she was sitting on my sofa chatting to me, which made it very easy to read. I love the way in which Paula has not only written with pure emotion but also she has added some humour with her witty writing which definitely adds a lighter note.

Paula has offered great insight in to this mental illness by sharing her journey with the world, offering hope, understanding and undoubtedly inspiration to other suffers. I loved reading Paula’s shear determination to learn to live with anxiety and the way she pushed herself to do new things. She is such an inspirational lady indeed!!!

Defiantly something I’ve taken from reading Must Try Harder is that there is hope, and the inspiration to push one’s self every day! I’m for one am glad Paula has shared her journey with us and hope’s it help’s anxiety suffers to see that you can still have a life!

I would 100% recommend Must Try Harder to any one suffering with anxiety! Paula is an inspiring lady!

                                                      Marie’s Book Boutique gives

                                                Must Try Harder by Paula McGuire

                                                                  5 Sparkly Stars

5stars

Physical books or e-readers? My thoughts!

Afternoon guy’s

Physical books or E-readers that is the question?!

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I have to say for me personally I’m kind of sitting on the fence on this one! I enjoy reading both physical books and my Kindle, each for their own reasons.

For physical books, I particularly like the actual holding a book and the turning of the pages and the sound the paper makes as it turns. Ahhhhhh bliss!!!! This was the reasons I fell in love with reading and books in general, back when I first started my reading journey in 2006. I did a post about my reading journey which you can check out Here

Another thing that I like about books is getting to use a pretty bookmark! Which I kinda like to do when ever I start a new physical book. Now who doesn’t like a pretty bookmark?!? (Of which I have many!!!!!!!)

The next action I’m about to admit to may seem strange to some… so please don’t judge me guy’s?!? If it’s a brand new book, I give them a sniff…I adore that new book smell! See told you it was strange!!!! Am I alone on this one? Please say I’m not the only one? Is it strange?

But with upside’s to things, there’s always downside’s isn’t there? I think physical books can certainly weigh a bit, if your carrying them around in your bag all day. And say your close to the end of a book, you’d have to carry your next read around as well, weighing down your bag! There’s also the chance that your bookmark might fall out, losing your page. This has happened to me on the odd occasion; which is so annoying isn’t it?!?

Now for e-readers… what a marvellous invention they are! I didn’t get my Kindle till a few years after I started reading. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about them, because I felt like I was betraying physical books! ( that sounds silly now I’m saying it!) But as I used it, I become incredibly fond of my little Kindle. These wonderful devices enable us bookworm’s to carry around our very own library, which is how I like to look at it and what a great feeling it is… wouldn’t you say? It’s more books than anyone could carry in actual physical books… can you imagine you’d need a trailer to do that!

There’s no chance of losing you page because it saves your page for you. Bonus!! You don’t have to fear when you’re so close to the end of a book to starting another…because you’ve got loads to choose from! I know you losing the physical turning of the pages like with actual books, which is a downside I suppose!

I have personally found that when I’m reading on my Kindle I don’t know how this happens but I seem to read a lot quicker on my Kindle than when I read a physical book. Does anyone else find this?

Now the only down side for me personally is… I’m pretty shocking at charging it. So running out of charge when you’re at a practically good bit, is to put it politely is annoying!!!!! Meaning I have to wait to get back to that juicy book!!!! (Shame on me, but I’m pleased to report I’m getting better at putting my Kindle on charge! Yay!!!!)

If anyone was to ask me to choose either one or the other, I’m afraid I really couldn’t pick one. I like them both, they both have down points and good points as with anything.  Physical books and my Kindle work for me!

How do you guy’s feel about this? Are physical books you favourite? or Do you prefer you e-reader? or are you like me an appreciate them both? Please do get in touch, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Book Review On: The Greatest Love Story of All Time… by Lucy Robinson

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About the author (as seen in the book)

Lucy Robinson

The Greatest Love Story of All Time… is Lucy Robinson’s debut novel. Prior to writing Lucy earned her crust in West End theatre production and then factual television, working on documentaries for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five. Her writing career began when she started a dating blog for marieclaire.co.uk where she entertained readers with frank tales from her laughable unsuccessful foray into the world of internet dating. Lucy was brought up in Gloucestershire surrounded by various stupid animals. She recently conducted an early mi-life crisis in South America where she met The man who, while nice did rather ruin the ‘dating’ part of her dating blog. Lucy now lives with him in South London. She is writing her next novel while working on various television projects and plotting a return to academia.

Website: http://www.lucy-robinson.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lucyrobinsonwriter

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Lucy_Robinson

Publication date: 12th April 2012

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: Paperback 978-0241952986

Available in eBook, Audiobook and AudioCD

Pages: 512 Pages

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Romance

Format reading: Paperback

Copy provided by: Borrowed

Blurb (as seen on the back cover)

It’s Fran’s thirtieth birthday and things are good.

She’s bluffed her way into a Very Posh job and her outlandishly handsome and talented boyfriend Michael is escorting her to the Ritz with a bulge the shape of a ring box in his pocket.

But something has gone wrong. Very wrong. By the end of the evening Fran is howling in bed with a bottle of cheap brandy and one of Michael’s old socks.

In her quest to figure out, why her life has suddenly gone down the pan, Fran comes up with a fail safe plan: Live like a badger, stalk a stranger called Nellie and cancel her beloved Gin Thursdays in favour of drinking gin every night. But then Fran’s friends force a very different plan on her and it’s nowhere near as fun. How could eight dates possibly make her feel better?

My Review

the greatest love story of all time front coverI really like the simplicity of this cover, from the cream backing to the black colour of the title and pale blue of the author’s name. The lady on the sofa, look’s heart-broken in her PJ’s, with tear drenched tissues littering the floor beside a bottle of gin and a tub of ice cream. A missives looking cat sits on the back of the sofa watching his train wreck of an owner.

Lucy Robinson is a new author to me, and I kind of knew I would like her work especially after reading the blurb.

Fran, has just had her heart-broken on no other night than her 30th birthday by Michael; who she thought was about to pop the question. He say’s they need a break, and have 3 month’s apart, to work out what they really want.

Fran, falls apart by lucky for her she has good friends to pull her through, they all see this as a time for Fran to find out what she really want’s out of life and love. Dave, Leonnie and Stefania think’s she should get back out there, and challenge her to have eight dates in the three month’s she is apart from Michael and after all that if she still wants Michael back that’s up to her. Fran reluctantly agrees, if only to get her friends off her back. And Fran’s dating profile is born!

In the mist of all the dates Fran has a growing suspicion that Michael is with another woman; which drives her to great lengths to find out who she is? But what will she find out? if anything? Has she got the right end of the stick? Is Michael really with another woman? What length’s will she go to? What do her friend’s think of her behaviour?

Also while this is all going on Fran has to deal with her alcoholic mother; who’s been having an 17 year affair with an up and coming Conservative. Fran pleas with her mother to stop her drinking, only for it to fall on deaf ears. Will her mother’s affair continue the more and more the married man comes in the lime light? Can Fran get her mother to see she has to stop drink?

Dave and Fran work together in Journalism, both incredibly good at their roles. But since her split with Michael, she has let her work slide some what and doesn’t go unnoticed but her boss. Then to put they bitter cherry on the cake, her employers employ Michael’s best friend; who steps in while Fran was away. Will she be able to work with her ex’s best friend? What is Dave’s response to her work slipping? Can Fran keep a job she has worked so hard for?

The Greatest Love Story of all time by Lucy Robinson, is a book that has me laughing so much I had tears rolling down my face, had me crying with sad tears and there were a lot of Oo’s and Ahhh’s. What a truly eventful book Lucy has certainly packed it all in there, which I thoughly enjoyed. I really struggled to put it down if I’m honest, it was only when my hand was hurting that I put it down; which is a testament to Lucy’s writing!!!

Fran’s character, reminded me a bit like Bridget Jones, but a bit more scatter and madder! She let’s her imagination run away with her quit a lot in the book, which was comical. I adore her all her close friends, they were all so eclectically different.

Seriously people, give this book a go, it is a hoot! I can’t wait to discover more of her books to devour!

                                                    Marie’s Book Boutique gives

                       The Greatest Love Story of All Time… by Lucy Robinson

                                                       Super 5 Sparkly Stars
5stars