Wednesday, September 14, 2016


How Not to Disappear
by Clare Furniss
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Release Date - July 14th 2016
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Our memories are what make us who we are. Some are real. Some are made up. But they are the stories that tell us who we are. Without them we are nobody.

Hattie's summer isn't going as planned. Her two best friends have abandoned her: Reuben has run off to Europe to 'find himself" and Kat is in Edinburgh with her new girlfriend. Meanwhile Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin siblings and dealing with endless drama around her mum's wedding. Oh, and she's also just discovered that she's pregnant with Reuben's baby.

Then Gloria, Hattie's great-aunt who no one even knew existed, comes crashing into her life. Gloria's fiercely independent, rather too fond of a gin sling and is in the early stages of dementia. Together the two of them set out on a road trip of self-discovery — Gloria to finally confront the secrets of her past before they are erased from her memory forever and Hattie to face the hard choices that will determine her future.

My Review

As part of my new job I have a summer reading list to work my way through and this beauty was on their. They beauty of my job is reading things I would never read at all, and I think I will be doing that a lot in times to come. But How Not to Disappear really reminded me much of Non Pratt's Trouble that it was indeed going to be a special novel to divulge.

My first book from Clare Furniss tells a truly gorgeous and beautifully written story between two generations on a road trip of self-discovery. Hattie has just discovered she is pregnant and no matter how many times she takes that test, the same result appears and to be honest she doesn't really have a clue what to do. All her friends are away, Kat is off with her all controlling girlfriend that doesn't let he do anything, and her best friend and very more than likely father of the baby is off doing a searching for himself whilst travelling with his long lost father and any girl he can get with. Whilst her mum and soon to be step dad is on holiday whilst having wedding dramas. Add in her pregnancy and your having a teenage meltdown, not to mention receiving a phone call from a friend of her long lost great-aunt Gloria to go a visit her as she is sadly very ill and at a crucial point in her life.

For me the highlight of the book was Gloria, without a doubt. She was just a glowing, unique and vibrant mature lady. With each moment and memory that she shared with Hattie, the more she relaxed into her own character. Each passing page or conversation, it was emotional when you see her struggling to be the person she is trying to remember whilst also being the person that she has had to be because of her condition. The emotions are so raw, scary and delicate even that seeing the life of such an adventurous lady that go and come back so intermittently and also generally witnessing someone going through this on a daily basis. Gloria, never fails to make me laugh, with personality and her insistence to wear heels no matter the conditions and martinis, or gin at any hour. She never fails to try and be the person she really is and for me that is the most poignant moment of the novel.

Together Gloria and Hattie are quite the team both remembering and creating memories. I believed that whilst Gloria told her story, Hattie was starting to create her own. Hattie learns a lot from Gloria, when she herself is so lost in her own life and also the future of the life that is growing inside of her. In a way they both were a like and going through a similar journey but at different stages in their own life. Told through alternating POVs as well as their past and present, it really lends a touching and realistic story-telling of two individuals, generations between them searching and not disappearing within their own lives and living for the ones that will carry their story on. A story that every reader needs to experience.
"I live. I love. I remember. I forget. But still I live. And still I love. Still I am."
Rating - 5 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

REVIEW - BILLY AND ME by Giovanna Fletcher

Billy and Me (Billy and Me #1)
by Giovanna Fletcher
Publisher - Penguin 
Release Date - May 23rd 2013
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Sophie May has a secret.

One that she’s successfully kept for years. It’s meant that she’s had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.

But then she meets the gorgeous Billy – an actor with ambitions to make it to the top. And when they fall in love, Sophie is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy’s glamorous – but ruthless – world.

Their relationship throws Sophie right into the spotlight after years of shying away from attention. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? And most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be discovered and shared with the nation?

 My Review

I stumbled upon this book when I saw an interview with McFly's Tom Fletcher not really knowing that his wife Giovanna was an author and I guess I was very much intrigued to see what this was like. Then I saw this book on Zoella's WHSmith Book Club picks and although I'm not really a massive fan of her generally, it made me even more curious and it quite simply is unputtadownable. 

In a small village of Rosefont Hill, Surrey Sophie May is incredible shy, after a very emotional ordeal in her childhood - her grief over her father and problems with her mother at home, she has felt very reserved and basically held off all of her dreams of travelling and going to university because of it. However a small, quaint little tea shop of the hill saved her more than she could ever imagine. When Billy Buskin, teen heartthrob actor ends up in Rosefont filming as Darcy in Pride and Prejudice he really didn't know what to expect of a small town. Probably something very boring to everything else he has in London or LA. But when he enters the little tea shop, he didn't know that a slice of lemon drizzle cake is the only thing he was going to enjoy but also the person who served it. 

I loved Billy and Me, have I said that!? You really are drawn right fro page 1 and you can't put it down. Fletcher has such a way with words but also how infectious the types of characters their were. I adored Billy and Sophie, it was how a passion for something else both drew them together but also filling the void that they've lived with all their lives. They were literally suited each other two a tea. Despite all the "famous stuff" it was evident that their would be trouble ahead but nothing that a cup of tea and a slice of cake won't help. But for me, Molly was my favourite character, owner of the Tea on the Hill, she has literally saved so many lives including Sophie's, mending Billy's and influencing so many other villagers including Sophie's mum at finding love. Molly is just such a character really, she is the town's gossip as well as being the most loving, caring, vibrant personality of the entire book. It's what every village and ever novel should have. Molly is basically the Guardian Angel of Billy and Me! Her shop Tea on the Hill is where love begins, thrives and has infinite possibilities. 

It's been a long long time since I read anything like this and it was such a refreshing change. What I loved about it was the innocence of it. It was just your simple, heart-stopping and beautiful romance between a girl and a boy who quite simply found each other.  I really did love it. The characters, the story and also the setting it really was a sweet and cute romance that you can't help but curl up with. Oh and some tissues maybe in order to sob into at the end. It's your perfect escapism.

Rating - 5

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

HOT NEW YA COMMUNITY by Simon & Schuster called...

Twitter: @hashtagreads

Hello Everyone, I haven't been around much as I'm enjoying my time off. But Simon & Schuster asked me to post about their wonderful community for the fans of YA just like me. So don't stop reading when you hear about competitions and big authors such as Cassandra Clare on your screen. 

YES YES YES!!!! If you haven't heard of it already then now you have - right now! It’s a great place for readers to find out about the latest YA reads, hear more from their favourite authors, read exclusive material and enter the hottest competitions.
If you love the Shadowhunter series by none other than Cassandra Clare, the romantic musings of Morgan Matson, Going on a Royal Journey with Amy Alward or enjoying the horror that is Darran Shan's Zom-B series which has recently gotten a makeover, then this is the place for you. 

You can get all this in your inbox like right now people - #Hashtag Reads are launching their brand new newsletter and you can even win your height in books!!! How awesome is that!!! All of these authors straight to your inbox. 

What about the likes of hearing about new releases like Nerve that has recently been released as Motion Picture as well talking about a The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid which I really can't wait to read myself. 

If that doesn't convince you then I've have just finished reading Claire Furniss's How Not to Disappear  and can I say how amazing, emotional and raw that book was. It really opens your eyes to seeing the world and making decisions and choices in a new light. Discovering a life's journey. 

Displaying Gloria-quote-Twitter-1.jpg

To round off my post here are some of my favourites from Simon & Schuster that I've adored over the years, they include Waiting for Callback - I absolutely love this mother/daughter authored book who created the musings of Elektra and can't wait for book 2! After binge reading Morgan Matson last year she is my "go to" author every year. And destined to be more than friends, Emmy and Oliver was a great contemporary of 2015!

Oh and did I mention a competition such as winning your height, yes your height in books!!! 
So I would look no further and sign up right this second!! Like right now so GO GO GO!!! and Don't forget to stop by their media channels and website to see that I'm really not kidding. 

Twitter: @hashtagreads

Happy Reading and Speak to you all soon. 

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