Book Reviews

Blog Tour: The Note by Zoe Folbigg

I’m super delighted to be taking part of this blog tour and I’ll definitely be sharing my review about the book soon.


About The Note

Based on Zoë Folbigg’s true story comes an unforgettable romance about how a little note can change everything…

One very ordinary day, Maya Flowers sees a new commuter board her train to London, and suddenly the day isn’t ordinary at all. Maya knows immediately and irrevocably, that he is The One.

But the beautiful man on the train always has his head in a book and never seems to notice Maya sitting just down the carriage from him every day. Eventually, though, inspired by a very wise friend, Maya plucks up the courage to give the stranger a note asking him out for a drink. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

And so begins a story of sliding doors, missed opportunities and finding happiness where you least expect it.

The Note is an uplifting, life-affirming reminder that taking a chance can change everything…

Goodreads | Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play


An excerpt from The Note, courtesy of Aria

Chapter One

May 2014

Maya has done it. She has delivered three sentences and a friendly sign-off, and now it is out of her hands. She struggles to walk the incline of the seemingly uphill train carriage because her legs are shaking, her mouth is dry, and putting one foot in front of the other takes effort and focus her racing heart isn’t capable of at the moment.

Her legs buckle as Maya slumps into a seat on the other side of a grubby internal door. Which is just as well because she wanted to linger with the last straggles of bedraggled Train People disembarking reluctantly; to make herself invisible to all the commuters she just embarrassed herself in front of. So, Maya lies low with the sleepy people. The people who can’t stand their jobs. The people who are lost in someone else’s life, frantically turning or swiping pages to find out if the girl got the guy, the adventurer made it back to London or the heretic was burned at the stake.

Train Man isn’t a straggler. Every day Maya sees him stand up confidently at the same point on the track, somewhere between the football stadium and the tunnel, as the train snakes towards a new day and a new terminus. Equine legs, strong arms. He throws a grey backpack with two thin brown leather straps onto his back, stands in the doorway and, as the train comes to a stop and orange lights ding, he steps off with pace and purpose. Maya usually walks a healthy distance behind Train Man, tiny sparks flying from her heels, down the platform and through the barriers under the canopy of a reverse waterfall bubbling white and bright above them. The intimate huddle of a metal umbrella for thousands of people who don’t even look up. Train Man always walks straight through the station and Maya wonders what he’s listening to, trying to guess from his gait, not realising he was at four of the six gigs she went to in the past year. Every day she sees him turn right out of the station and walk swiftly, resolutely, into a mist of people down the road. Until she can’t keep up with his long stride, he in Converse, she in heels – or ballerina flats if she needs to be nimble and get to a meeting – and Maya tends to lose him around the big crossroads at the artery by the hospital. But not today. Today Train Man has long gone.

When Maya’s legs buckled and she fell into a dusty seat, she put distance between where Train Man had been sitting, where she had awkwardly stood over him, and into this sanctuary of a cringe-free carriage. Catching her breath, she waits for three minutes until she, Maya Flowers, is the last of the stragglers. Hot face. Thumping heart.

I did it!

In the empty carriage, Maya’s legs stop shaking and she flattens her wavy hair in an attempt to regain composure for no one’s benefit. She takes long deep breaths and calms herself by putting her fingertips against her ribcage to feel her lungs fill slowly.

A tall man in a bright blue short-sleeved shirt that sits pleasingly against Somali skin steps on and starts to throw newspapers into a sack before passengers board the train that will take them north.

Maya stands and tries to stride with Train Man’s purpose. She knows she won’t catch him up today, to see whether he is clutching her note to his heart, whether it’s crumpled in his pocket, or whether he tossed it into a bin. It doesn’t matter for now. What matters is she did it.

Spring sunshine looks down gently and tempers rise noisily in the gridlock of an underpass, but all Maya can hear among the birds and the horns are the words of an American woman in her head.

‘What’s the worst that can happen?’

Maya smiles proudly as she passes a bin and gives a cursory glance into it.


About The Author

folbigg_zoe-colour.jpgZoë Folbigg is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001 and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK, Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style, and Style.com. In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the-world trip with ‘Train Man’ – a man she had met on her daily commute. She has since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons. This is her debut novel.

Website: http://www.zoefolbigg.com/
Twitter: @zolington
Facebook: @zoefolbiggauthor


You can check out the rest of the tour here:

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ARC Review, Book Blog, Penguin U.K. Books

ARC Review : The Break

Book Title : The Break
Book Author : Marian Keyes
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : September 7th 2017


You know you’ve come across a good book when you don’t really want it to end, even though it’s almost about 600 pages. 

Reading The Break have left me with all different kind of emotions, some relatable and some not. It was super easy to fall in love with it as it had the most realistic prose, plot line and characters.

A heart warming tale, set in Dublin, our Protagonist, Amy, receives one of the worst news of her life. Her husband, Hugh, who fell into a deep depression after the loss of his father and best friend, decided to take a “break” and leave for six month backpacking in Asia.

The first part of the book was ok for me. I used to force myself to pick it up as I believe the whole process of Hugh leaving and Amy dealing with it was a bit prolonged. It was also a bit whiney for my taste.

But as soon as things picked up and we got into the plot, it got interestingly hilarious! I wasn’t able to put it down. I was so keen in finding out what will happen.

Will Amy take Hugh back after six month?

Will their relationship change? Mind you, Hugh was on a mission to sleep with other women as well. (I know, right! *rolls eyes)

Will Amy herself change?

What will happen to the rest of the family? 

Their girls? 

Three daughters left behind and a husband gone is a lot to deal with. Amy finds herself struggling between her emotions, what’s right and making sure her daughters are not affected.

Overall, I would totally recommend The Break whether you are a women’s fiction fan or not. It’s definitely worth the read. You’d find yourself so into the story and rooting for choices of your own.

What would you do if you were Amy?

Thanks to @penguinUkbooks for this book, which was given in an exchange for an honest review.
 

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : Ugly Love

Book Title : Ugly Love
Book Author : Collen Hoover
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : August 5th 2014


This was an OK plot line with OK characters and which made it an OK read!

My fourth #coho book and as much I enjoy a light read between my somewhat heavy readings, there are far better ones to pick from.

There wasn’t much of a plot line. Two who just met with mutual attraction decided their relationship is going to be all physical. No emotions whatsoever. The story just focused on that.

It was a fun, enjoyable read. I found I have laughed a lot. I just did wish it was a teeny bit deeper than it is with more character depth like her other books. .

All in all. As I said, an ‘OK’ read.

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : Maybe Someday

Book Title : Maybe Someday
Book Author : Colleen Hoover
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : March 18th 2014


“People don’t get to choose who they fall in love with. They only get to choose who they stay in love with.”

This was a really enjoyable read. It was one of those books where all you could think of when you are at work is to return home, cozy up in bed and read.

This was my Third CoHo book (having read November 9 and Confess) and I think I liked it the best from all three. It wasn’t over dramatic, it didn’t have that mushy-mushy dialogue and it was more to the realistic side.

I kind of also related a lot to the book having gone through something similar. I was reading and paying attention to every word, every detail to grasp what was going on and to check if it did make sense.

I didn’t agree with a lot of choices, was frustrated by the characters in some situations and I wanted  different reactions most of the time.

I think I lived the book more that read it. 😀 It made me think, it got me depressed, it gave me hope but all in all, I am completely glad that I have come across it and read it.

I would recommend the book to YA readers who are looking for a great drama/romance/friendship kind of stories.

Book Blog, Penguin U.K. Books

ARC Review : Fierce Kingdom

Book Title : Fierce Kingdom
Book Author : Gin Phillips
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : June 15th 2017


Do you know that feeling when you pick up a less than 300 pages book, and say “Hey! That’s a breeze, I’ll finish this quick!” and then it feels like you are forever reading it!

Yes! That’s the case with this one.

A fast read. It’s a thriller. It should get you all gripped up, all tensed and on the edge of your seat. Sadly, this book was none of those.

It talks about Joan who after a normal visit to a zoo, finds herself locked up in there with her son while there were some shootings going on. She sees dead bodies all around and glimpses a man with a gun. This is when she realizes that she needs to hide till she finds a way to make it out of there alive along with her son.

I was very interested in this book when I read the synopsis, and immediately asked for a copy to read and review. It started out real well. The situation was very well described. It’s not every day you get locked up in somewhere with your son while some psycho is out there with a gun shooing off just about everyone.

I was actually very impressed with the writing, the descriptions, the plot and the psychological side of the story. I think it would have made the perfect thriller but it lacked that intense whodunit and why vibe.

I found myself yawning a couple of times, forcing myself to pick it up and if it wasn’t for the three hour bus ride, I don’t think I  would have bothered finish reading it or maybe I would have skimmed right through it to reach the end.

And ah Yes, The end! I wasn’t at all a fan of how it was all wrapped up – which wasn’t really. The story already had many loop holes, so I didn’t appreciate the ambiguous ending where we need to draw our own conclusions. I usually love endings like that but it just didn’t work with this one. This one needed a confirmed conclusion from the author herself.

Overall, I wouldn’t be rushing to recommend this one and I’d ask Thrillers fan, or anyone really, to read it at their own risk.

Thanks to @penguinUkbooks for this book, which was given in an exchange for an honest review.

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : The Muse

Book Title: The Muse

Book Author: Jessie Burton

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Publication Date: July 26th  2016

“I’m doing the absolute opposite of giving myself away. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll be completely visible. If the painting sells, I’ll be in Paris, hanging on a wall. If anything, I’m being selfish. It’s perfect; all the freedom of creation, with none of the fuss.” ― Jessie Burton, The Muse

I was a bit reluctant to pick this one up as I have read Jessie Burton’s previous book “The Miniaturist” and was quite disappointed with how the whole story was wrapped up after having such a great plot.

If not for a book club I’m part of, I don’t think I would have picked it up soon, though I did promise myself that I would give the author a second chance. And that I did.

A painting was found and the mystery that lies behind it came to life. I truly loved the interlocking stories that was set in the 1930’s and the 1960’s concerning this painting. We come across different characters and personalities which was the perfect ingredient to add to an engaging plot line.

I would totally recommend this book if you are a fan of historical fiction, mystery and art. I would also advise not to judge this book by The Miniaturist especially if you weren’t so keen on it.

 

Book Blog

Book Review : The Devotion of Suspect X

Book Title : The Devotion of Suspect X
Book Author : Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith (Translator)
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : February 1st 2011


I’m a very big fan of fast paced book, thrillers and plots with twists. So it’s no wonder I was hooked up real fast with The Devotion of Suspect X.

It was super easy to get into the story, not the names though! (I literally had to note down who is who and what they are doing at the beginning of the book.) Having got through that, it was an extremely enjoyable read and a hard to put down book.

We get introduced to Yasuko, her daughter, her simple quiet life and a neighbor whom she had only shared a few moments with. When her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, all peace she has known is gone.

Enter the Tokyo police and detectives trying to make sense, put together the events of that particular day and solve one of the biggest crimes out there.

This was a standalone read. You do not need to read the past ones as they are not part of a series. There is also no reference or mention to the previous books.

Having praised the book and giving it a four stars, I have to mention my “but” about it. I’ve never been a fan of translated books, and though this book is brilliantly genius, it did feel a bit dry sometimes and I’m blaming it on translation.

Overall, I would totally recommend this book, have you pick it up right now and go on endless discussions about it.