Jenny Colgan – Rules

Description: Maggie loves teaching English at beautiful Downey House but she is less keen on planning her wedding to dependable Stan. Instead, she’s working on ignoring her crush on David McDonald, who teaches English at the local boys’ school.
Just as Simone and Fliss have become friends, Zelda arrives to upset everything. Zelda is loud, glamorously American, and she’s full of ways to improve life at boring school. Soon, quiet, mousy Simone is undergoing a makeover. And Fliss is about to jeopardise everything to impress a boy.
In a new year at school, the girls of Downey House will be breaking all the rules – and not all of them will escape unscathed.

 

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I was a little worried about whether I was going to like this book after reading the first book of the series the other day. I enjoyed this much more as the characters developed a lot further and it was easier to get into. I liked that Jenny tries to bring in important issues for teenagers such as anorexia and underage drinking, but I don’t think they were explored as thoroughly as they could have been. Saying this, they are only short books so it was enough for the length that it is. I also liked hearing about Maggie’s love life and her various dilemma’s. It’s still always interesting to realise that teachers are only people too!

Check out my competition to win a copy of the first book ‘Class’ which ends on the 28th Feb 🙂

 

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Competition!

As I wrote a review the other day on Jenny Colgan’s first book of her series ‘Class’ I thought I’d do a little giveaway for someone to win a copy! I just started the second one last night so hope to post a review of that one soon.

The books are about a girls boarding school in Cornwall and follow the lives of the pupils and the teachers as the school year goes on. For a chance to win leave a comment below telling me what kind of books you usually like to read and also include some way to contact you should you win eg email address or twitter. The giveaway will end on the 28th February and is open to UK residents only – Good luck!

 

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Please note that for me to be able to run a giveaway the copy of the book may not always be brand new.

 

Jodi Picoult – Keeping Faith

Description: When Mariah White catches her husband with another woman, her life starts to fall apart. And when her daughter, Faith, begins to confide in an imaginary friends, Mariah’s own brush with insanity starts to take on a darker meaning.
Then Faith appears to start performing miracles, and all at once the situation is spiralling beyond Mariah’s control. Is Faith truly seeing God? Or is she just a troubled young girl seeking refuge from her parent’s divorce? When it comes to matters of faith, it’s hard to know who to believe…

 

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

I adored this book whilst I was reading it. I think it took me about 4 days to get through, all of which I was working so I read this every available second that I had. Food in the microwave? Read the book. Boyfriend coming down the stairs to let me in? Got the book out. I really struggled to put it down. Faith is a 7 year old girl who starts ‘seeing God’ after her parents divorce, even though they aren’t a religious family. Her father brings another woman home, and Mariah and Faith walk in on them. Mariah’s mother Millie is present a lot giving us two mother-daughter generations to compare. As always in Picoult books, there’s a court scene (this time over custody) and a legal battle. In her books I feel she uses the witness box well as a chance to ask us as the reader direct questions, and give us the opportunity to ‘pick our side’ if we can.

I won’t go into the story too much as I don’t want to give anything away, but what I love about Jodi Picoult books is that you have to work out your own opinion. At no point is she saying that this child is or isn’t seeing God, we are just presented with what happens and left to decide.
I’m quite an open minded person and I’m fascinated with ghosts and previous lives. I think there are too many stories that can’t be explained to just rule it all out. I wonder how someone’s perception of the book would be different if they were deeply religious, or perhaps needed proof of something before they could believe it was true? I love the other questions that this brings up – How do we define a good mother? A Good father? What causes us to change opinion of someone?

I would definitely recommend this and would love to hear your thoughts on it if you do.

Jenny Colgan – Class: Welcome To The Little School By The Sea

I absolutely adore Jenny Colgan. I practically swallow her books whole with how quickly I read them. In fact I’ve read two just in the last week, and the rest I’ve got on my bookshelf which have all been read about 3 times! So I was surprised to hear that there were any books of hers that I hadn’t read as I thought I’d crossed them all off my list. I came across two books of hers which I hadn’t read – one was called The Little Shop of Happy Ever After (which I’ll post about soon) and a series called Class. These were originally released under the author name of Jane Beaton, but she’s re-released them under her name as it was confusing readers.

class-by-the-seaI read somewhere that her idea was to write a boarding school style book for adults that miss the days of reading Mallory Towers (which were excellent books may I add!). The main character is an English teacher from Scotland who moves to Cornwall to teach at a posh boarding school. Her boyfriend obviously isn’t too happy so we get to read into their relationship through the book (always interesting – I’m so nosy!). She doesn’t fit in straight away and the pupils are a lot different to her class back home. We hear a little about the lives of the other teachers which is where the ‘for adults’ part comes in but we also hear what the girls at the school get up to as well.

There were a few characters I really liked but it’s not a particularly lengthy book so I didn’t feel I had time to get to know everyone enough. As this is a series she will be publishing more so hopefully this will be corrected! The next one in the series is called Rules, and it’s already sitting in the little reservation shelf of the library waiting for me to go pick it up.

On goodreads the book has a 3.9 rating out of 5 and a lot of great comments. It’s an easy book to read so I would definitely recommend this for something light, particularly if you like the Mallory Towers sort of books. However of all her books it’s not one of my favourites.

On another note, whilst checking some information for this book I happened to notice that Jenny Colgan is bringing a new book out on the 9th February called The Summer Seaside Kitchen. Eeeeek!!

First Post!

I have recently rediscovered my love of the library. I never forgot it was there, but it’s so easy to buy books on amazon now for 1p + delivery that it was actually a lot more effort to go out of my way for a visit. Now though I walk past a library on my way to work! They even run a free reservation thing where you can look up what book you want on their website, and if they have it they’ll put it on a shelf with your name on to take home. So I don’t even need to spend ages searching for a particular one I want. Plus library books = FREE! Only people who know how much I love to read will understand how much this excites me. In fact I’ve even been told before that I get this look on my face when I get a new book which just happens to be the same look I get when I see a puppy. and OMG I LOVE PUPPIES!!

I’m on this website too called Goodreads which is amazing because you can look up any book you want and it tells you about the book, the ratings readers have given it and where you can buy it. And, get this, the coolest bit is your virtual shelves such as ‘to read’, ‘reading’etc so you can keep track of everything. You can also set yourself a reading challenge so this year I’ve set myself the goal of 100 books. Yes, I know that’s quite a lot and to be honest I probably won’t meet it but I do read quickly and I never said they had to be long books…

So welcome to my blog anyway! You will probably have gathered that there’s going to be quite a bit about books on here – I’m hoping to tell you a bit about what I’ve read and how I’m doing in my challenge! I also love crafts, cooking, weddings and lots of other random things I will probably bore you to death about. So feel free to hang around for a bit… Or don’t. Ya know, I’m fussy.

NOOO PLEASE COME BACK

xx