The Colour of Shadows – Phyllida Shrimpton

The Colour of Shadows
Love, Lies and Secrets
Phyllida Shrimpton

Sometimes you have to let go of everything to find out what you have.

Saffron is looking for family photos in the attic when she finds a secret that’s been kept from her for ten years, a secret that blows apart everything she thought she knew about her family.

Furious with her father, she leaves home. But when Saffron’s friends fail her it turns out she has nowhere to go. As bit by bit her life falls away, Saffron must uncover what’s important to her – but can she find a way to forgive her parents?

IMG_9712

The Colour of Shadows is Phyllida Shrimpton’s second young-adult book but the first that I have read and I really enjoyed it.

There was a leading theme of homelessness in this book, and I think this is what drew me in the most. It is an increasing problem in the UK with its awareness becoming more prominent. This book has opened my eyes not only to the extent of the problem but also what it must be like for those who are faced with this battle.

Saffron was the leading character who, after discovering a family secret, leaves home. Without her friends help she finds herself living on the streets.

The book is written from both Saffron’s, and her friend Tom’s viewpoint. My favourite character however, and possibly the most realistic, was Maggie, a woman who had spent most of her life living on the streets.

Although I enjoyed this book, and its twists and turns, I don’t think that it was overly realistic. I’m not sure that in reality the characters, especially Saffron and her family, would have acted in the ways that they did. However, like I have said it didn’t stop me from enjoying the book.

Advertisements

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K – Sarah Knight

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K
How to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like
Sarah Knight

The surprising art of caring less and getting more

Are you stressed out, overbooked, and underwhelmed by life? Fed up with pleasing everyone else before you please yourself? Then it’s time to stop giving a f**k.

This irreverent and practical book explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame, and guilt – and give your f**ks instead to people and things that make you happy.

From family dramas to having a bikini body, the simple NotSorry Method for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f**k and spend your time, energy and money on the things that really matter.

IMG_E9462

The main sense of this book is to prioritise the things and people that mean the most to you, and spending all your time and energy on those, rather than worrying or giving a f**k about the small things and those things that aren’t really that important to you.

I have to say that this book has had quite a profound effect on me and I wasn’t that far into the book before I could feel my thinking change, and now having completed the book I would say it has almost been ‘life-changing’.

Sarah Knight covers all aspects of life in this book, big and small. The tone of the book was like Sarah was a friend who was giving me a good kick up the backside and sharing their enlightenment.

The one thing I would say is that if you find expletives offensive, then this probably isn’t for you.

This will be a book that I pick up again and again, as well as recommending it to anyone that will listen.

2018 Review and 2019 Goals

2018

2018 was a great year for me in terms of books, I read some great ones, I started this blog up, I joined a great blogging community, I took part in my first 24 hour readathon as well as a summer reading challenge and exceeded my reading challenge of 30 books.

Here is a list of the books that I read in 2018.

1.      Some Kind off Wonderful – Giovanna Fletcher

2.      Hygge and Kisses – Clara Christensen

3.      Wedding Night – Sophie Kinsella

4.      Happy – Fearne Cotton

5.      The Place We Met – Isabelle Broom

6.      Brain Freeze – Tom Fletcher

7.      Never Mind the Bullocks – Vanessa Able

8.      Every Note Played – Lisa Genova

9.      Her Mother’s Daughter – Alice Fitzgerald

10.  The Kicking the Bucket List – Cathy Hopkins

11.  The Love of a Lifetime – Melissa Hill

12.  The Art of Not Falling Apart – Christina Patterson

13.  Five Years From Now – Paige Toon

14.  Eve of Man – Giovanna and Tom Fletcher

15.  Love Will Tear Us Apart – Holly Seddon

16.  My Heart Goes Bang – Keris Stainton

17.  The Juniper Gin Joint – Lizzie Lovell

18.  The Secrets of Primrose Square – Claudia Carroll

19.  The Little Teashop of Lost and Found – Trisha Ashley

20.  Chasing the Sun – Katy Colins

21.  Wilde Like Me – Louisa Pentland

22.  Wilde About the Girl – Louise Pentland

23.  The Gatecrasher – Madeleine Wickham

24.  The Wedding Girl – Madeleine Wickham

25.  Dashing Through the Snow – Debbie Macomber

26.  Happier Thinking – Lana Grace Riva

27.  The House of Hopes and Dreams – Trisha Ashley

28.  The Lemon Tree Café – Cathy Bramley

29.  Happier at Home – Gretchen Rubin

30.  The Time of Our Lives – Jane Costello

31.  Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper – Debbie Johnson

32.  Meet Me at the Cupcake Café – Jenny Colgan

33.  Christmas at the Cupcake Café – Jenny Colgan

34.  When I Fall in Love – Miranda Dickinson

35.  Miracle on 5th Avenue – Sarah Morgan

36.  A Very Merry Christmas – Holly Martin

37.  Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland

2019

 My 2019 reading goals are:

·         40 books

·         Complete Harry Potter readalong

·         Complete a 24 hour readathon

·         Try different genres

·         Take part in blog tours

November Books

I have just sat down to write this month’s reviews feeling like I had a great reading month, it turns out I actually only completed one book. That being said I do, however, feel like I am coming out of my reading slump, which is only a good thing headed into Christmas and all the festive books available.

During November I also started another book, When I Fall in Love by Miranda Dickinson, which I am over halfway through. I am really enjoying this book and am looking forward to sharing the review with you next month.

The book I read in November was Christmas at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan. This followed on from the last book I had finished in October, Meet Me at the Cupcake Café and was just as enjoyable. Find a short review below.

My plan for December is to complete my current read and two other books. I hope to get the reviews of this up before we enter the New Year so that I can do a year review of books at the beginning of January as well as setting out my goals and challenges for 2019.

IMG_9219

Christmas at the Cupcake Café
Jenny Colgan

This book continues the story of Issy and Austin that we met in Meet Me at the Cupcake Café a year after we left them. The second instalment was just as good as the first with a load of Christmas spirit thrown in.

We see all the great characters return from the first book, Pearl, Louis, Caroline, Darny and Helena as well as the main characters Issy and Austin. Their lives have all moved on with a new set of challenges facing each of them.

I would imagine this book is more enjoyable if you have read the first of the Cupcake Café books, so would recommend doing that rather than reading this as a standalone. You get a much better sense of the characters from the first book and this one follows that story on.

Another book I have really enjoyed this year and has certainly helped me to start getting into the Christmas spirit.

October Books

During September I definitely lost my mojo and this impacted all aspects of my life including reading. October was a much better reading month, I certainly started to feel I was getting back on track, although not quite there yet. This month saw me complete four books, however, the reviews to these are not as in-depth as some have been previously. However, November may not be the month that things get completely on track here as I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month (I will be featuring a post about this soon).

The first book that I finished was Happier At Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life by Gretchin Rubin. The review of this book I am going to post in a separate blog, as I feel there is much more I would like to talk about around this book.

The other books I completed over the month were; The Time of Our Lives by Jane Costello, Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper by Debbie Johnson and Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan and a short review for each of them are included below.

IMG_8789

The Time of Our Lives
Jane Costello

This was a great summer read, however not the best book that I have read this year. Although there were moments of fun and the characters were great I also found that the book seemed too cliché that it made it quite repetitive and I am not sure I enjoyed that side of it. I am normally a fan of cliché, especially in a chick-lit but for me this time it didn’t work.

This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book at all. There were moments of hilarity and I really liked the main set of characters. As much as I enj4oyed reading it, it is not a book that I would be rushing back to, but I will be looking at reading more of Jane Costello’s novels.

IMG_8824

Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper
Debbie Johnson

I absolutely loved this book. Not only is the cover of this book adorable, so was the story inside, the perfect festive romance. Both of the leading characters, Maggie and Marco, were well-rounded characters and you were rooting for them from the beginning. Not only did I love the main characters in this story but also supporting the characters. This book was full of fun, festive cheer and romance. What more do you need on this cold, dark evenings?

After reading this I found that it follows on from Cold Feet at Christmas, I have not read this book and it didn’t stop me from following the story in this book. Now I know though I will be looking to read the first book and more of Debbie Johnson’s books.

IMG_8851

Meet Me at the Cupcake Café
Jenny Colgan

This was definitely my favourite book this month, I loved it. From the start it was full of warmth and I fell in love with Issy straight away. This book is full of great characters, Issy, Austin, Pearl, Louis and Helena, and they all play vital parts in the story of this book. The Cupcake Café, even through the pages of the book, was a warm and welcoming place and there were plenty of twists and turns in making sure it would remain that way. I smiled from the first page all the way through till the large. Recommended with a large cupcake for company.

Not only was this a great book, but it is also full of recipes, and I can’t wait to get baking. I have also started straight away the follow-on book Christmas at the Cupcake Café.

September Books

So I have been rubbish at this blogging thing since completing the Summer Reading Challenge. I have also not read anywhere near as much as normal. In September I only completed one book. Hopefully normal service will resume this month.

The book that I completed was The Lemon Tree Café by Cathy Bramley. This was another great read and near the top of my list of favourites that I have read so far this year. The full review will feature below. I also started another book during September, Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin, the review for this book will feature in a separate post.

IMG_8610

The Lemon Tree Café
Cathy Bramley

The Lemon Tree Café was great and filled with so much warmth. This book makes you want to both go out and enjoy the sunshine and to cosy up with a blanket.

The inspiration for the café and the family links to Italy brings the sunshine and warmth to the book combined with the lovable characters especially that of the main character Rosie Featherstone and Nonna.

There are many twists and turns throughout the book, with an underlying love story as well as a strong sense of family.

This is the second Cathy Bramley book that I have read and I will definitely be reading more.

The House of Hopes and Dreams – Summer Reading Challenge Week 6

How is the 6 weeks over already?!

Over the 6 weeks I have read 9 books and completed my first 24 hour readathon. There are reviews for each of them in my previous posts as well as a post about my readathon experience.

I have finished the challenge reading a book by the same author as I did in week 1. This time it was The House of Hopes and Dreams by Trisha Ashley, which just like the first one I read was brilliant and I will be definitely be reading more of her work. A full review will be posted below.

Here is an overview of the books I read and the rating I gave them out of 5 stars.

• The Little Teashop of Lost and Found Trisha Ashley ꙳꙳꙳꙳꙳
• Chasing the Sun Katy Colins ꙳꙳꙳
• Wilde Like Me Louise Pentland ꙳꙳꙳꙳꙳
• Wilde About the Girl Louise Pentland ꙳꙳꙳꙳꙳
• The Wedding Girl Madeleine Wickham ꙳꙳
• The Gatecrasher Madeleine Wickham ꙳
• Dashing Through the Snow Debbie Macomber ꙳꙳꙳꙳
• Happier Thinking Lana Grace Riva ꙳꙳꙳꙳
• The House of Hopes and Dreams Trisha Ashley ꙳꙳꙳꙳꙳

I have really enjoyed taking part in this summer reading challenge and it has inspired me to not only start this blog but also to set myself some more reading challenges, the first will be another 24 hour readathon in October.

IMG_8511

The House of Hopes and Dreams
Trisha Ashley

In The House of Hopes and Dreams we meet Carey Revell who unexpectedly inherits Mossby, the Revell family home and Angel Arrowsmith a stained glass artist who has been living contentedly with her partner.

Both their lives are turned upside down and Carey comes to friend Angel’s rescue and they both move into the rundown Mossby where they set to restore the building but they continue to discover more secrets that the house holds.

This book is full of warmth, fantastic characters, twists and turns and a deep family secret to get to the bottom of.

As with other Trisha Ashley novels I have read, you get completely absorbed into the Angel and Carey’s stories as well as the legends that surrounds Mossby.

There are a host of supporting characters, some more involved than others, but they all bring another layer to the story.

Needless to say I loved it and will be reading more of Ashley’s novels.