12 Jun 2018

Blog Tour: One Summer in Italy (A Review)


When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfill some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…

My thoughts:

It's been a while since I've been a part of any blog tours but when Sabah at Avon reached out about this one, I knew I had to take part. I had read The Wedding Proposal by Sue a few years back and really loved it, so this was the perfect excuse to dive back in. 

One Summer in Italy did not disappoint. I did start this book with quite high expectations and I was hooked straight away - Sue writes the characters so well and you really do feel like they could be walking in the street beside you. 

Sofia's story appears quite simple from the beginning - going to Italy to honour her father - but it soon becomes more complex when other characters are brought in. When Sofia befriends Amy, she becomes protective of the attention she receives and I think we all know someone like Amy - a typical teenager who is kind hearted if not a little naive to the ways of the world. 

I did become quite fond of Levi, so gentle and loving yet strong and masculine. I find sometimes it can be difficult to feel as attached to the male interest as the female protagonist but I found myself being won round by Levi and rooting for him!

Sue really makes you feel like you have traveled it Italy with Sofia, I almost felt like I was sitting next to her. If you need a summer beach read, a pick-me-up or just want to jump into someone else's life for a while, this is the one for you. 

Special thanks to Avon UK for sending me a review copy. You can buy One Summer in Italy here, follow Sue on Twitter and pop over to say hello!

15 Mar 2018

Talking As Fast As I Can... Lauren Graham

Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with Gilmore Girls, like weirdly know scenes inside out kind of obsessed. Having watched it for the first time at 22 I found myself relating more to Lorelai and belly laughing at her one-liners and many, many mishaps. I even have a video saved on my phone of Lorelai falling on a table in Luke's diner after being so embarrassed at kissing Luke - you can't hear the scene in it though, all you can hear is my cackle laugh and snort. So you can imagine how happy I was when Lauren Graham released a memoir - I snapped it right up!

The blurb:
In Talking As Fast As I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, "Did you, um, make it?"
 She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood ("Strangers were worried about me; that's how long I was single!"), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge onProject Runway ("It's like I had a fashion-induced blackout").
In "What It Was Like, Part One," Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay "What It Was Like, Part Two" reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.
Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she's aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls ("If you're meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you've already set the bar too high"), and she's a card-carrying REI shopper ("My bungee cords now earn points!").
My thoughts:
I always thought that Lorelai's humour and wit came from great writers of the show but I think it might have come from Lauren - she is hilarious. Like, laughing out loud at 1am kind of funny. 

There was a lot about Lauren that I didn't know as she is quite a private person in comparison to other lead actresses, especially in the age of social media, and I felt that she shared a lot more than I was expecting. It's clear from the beginning that Lauren has had a very colourful life and it's no surprise really that she has ended up being the smart, successful woman she is now. 

Obviously as a Gilmore Girls fan some of my favourite chapters were the ones which she focused on that period of her life, both the original and A Year in the Life. I loved that the relationships we saw onscreen were clearly similar off screen - Lauren speaks highly of all her co-stars both in Gilmore Girls and Parenthood (which she also starred in for five years). I also found it interesting to learn about the struggles Lauren faced as a young actress, as I think most people assume it is always a glamorous job, when in fact it is mostly the complete opposite. 

Overall, I found this a really fun read and definitely learned quite a bit along the way. It also made me go back to Netflix and flick through my favourite Gilmore Girls episodes. No shame here.

You can buy Talking As Fast As I Can here, and be sure to follow Lauren Graham on Twitter for some good laughs. 


13 Mar 2018

Introduction to Poetry: Milk and Honey

It's been a while now since I wrote a blog post on here so I thought I'd come back and start with something that has become special to me since I last updated. During school and growing up I never really enjoyed reading or writing poetry, I think mostly because I didn't understand it or felt I couldn't relate to the words, but over the past few months I've had a real new-found love for poetry that I never had before. 

I had bought a collection of poems a few years back from a self-publicised lady in LA called AnnaRose Kern after she had shared some pieces on her Instagram. That really was the first time I found myself relating to poetry and after finding the book again recently, I decided to buy Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, a collection that had been in my Amazon basket for literal years. 

Milk and Honey has opened a whole new world to me and I'm so thankful that I'm now seeing poetry for the beauty that it is. I loved that Kaur had separate the collection into categories which makes it easy to go back and find whatever you need in the moment, and every category had something that spoke to me - even if my experience or interpretation was different to what Kaur had intended or felt. 

So if you take one thing from this post, please try something new that you haven't before or have previously thought it wasn't for you - you might just be surprised! And while you're here, let me know what your favourite poetry pieces are and who I should be on the look out for next. 


29 Jul 2016

Blog Tour: No Turning Back (A review)

The blurb:
She only wanted to save her daughter. 
She didn't mean to kill anyone...did she?

When radio presenter Anna Graves and her daughter are attacked on the beach by a crazed teenager, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her baby.

But her life falls apart when the school boy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna's story, until the autopsy reveals something more sinister...

The evidence seems to connect Anna to a decades-old serial murder case. Is she really as innocent and she claims? And is killing ever justified, if it saves a child's life?

My thoughts:

I had no idea what to expect of No Turning Back when it arrived in the post. This is the first book of Tracy Buchanan's that I've read (I know, I'm terrible) and so I didn't really have much to go on, besides the blurb and the reassurance that Buchanan is a great writer. I think this actually worked in my favour, to be honest, as I was able to go in open minded with zero preconceived ideas.

The incident with Anna and the young boy who is killed, Elliot, happens within the first couple of chapters and instantly had me gripped and unable to wait for more. I was hooked straight away, tearing through this book in one sitting - I couldn't put it down!

In the beginning, I didn't really know what to think of Anna, her mental state and general well-being. As I delved further into the story I did find myself questioning her and her motives, not fully trusting her. I did have to keep reminding myself, however, that she had a traumatic experience and that isn't something you get over quickly, if ever.

I really enjoyed the little snippets from the 'Ophelia Killer' case throughout - I was so intrigued and couldn't wait to find out who it was and how the death of Elliot could be connected. I had so many different theories that it seemed to change with every chapter, I'm pretty sure I suspected everyone at some point even though I had absolutely no clue of what was happening and what was coming next. Having said that, I was gobsmacked when all was revealed - the plot twist (well, the last one) is so very clever and well thought out!

I won't go into too much detail as I don't want to give anything away and I think it is more enjoyable to read without any preconceptions. Tracy Buchanan has written a fantastic, thrilling psychological thriller here, keeping readers gripped from the onset - I would not hesitate in recommending this book (I've already thrust it in my sister's face) and I'm now going onto Amazon to purchase her other stories! 

Special thanks to Avon for sending me a review copy. You can buy No Turning Back here, follow Tracy on Twitter and say hello!
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