Saturday, 28 November 2015

Not Just Another Romance Novel - Lisa Suzanne

Piper loves to read romance novels and she often daydreams what it would be like to date one of the leading men in her novels. They just seem to be much better partners than anyone she’s met in real life. However, it dawns on her one day that perhaps she is spending too much time reading romance novels and not enough time concentrating on her masters psychology degree. She suddenly realises that while her friends have made a start on their thesis’, Piper’s been too busy with her head stuck in yet another romance novel. One day, Piper’s best friend Scott suggests that perhaps she should mix her reading with her thesis and research how a romance novel man creates unrealistic expectations for relationships. Of course she thinks this is a brilliant idea and begins finding men to date for case studies for her project. 

Not Just Another Romance Novel was actually a real surprise for me. I really wasn’t sure how the story would play out and I definitely wasn’t sure that I would be so keen on Piper. I thought perhaps her going on multiple dates with different men would make me dislike her especially when she starts to begin a somewhat series relationship with Dax but she is truly a likable character and completely relatable. Ok perhaps at times she went from 0-100 with her emotions real quick but overall I found her funny and just plain brilliant to read about. 

I absolutely loved the story too. I know I’ve read far too many romance novels for my own good and I’m sure a lot of the readers of this book will be the same. I think it’s only an advantage as you’re already well acquainted with the stereotypical men that appear in these books which Piper uses as her case studies. I’m sure everyone has fallen in the love with characters in books and you will particularly favour a certain type e.g the rockstar and I am sure your favourite is included in the book somewhere. Everything from the CEO to the bad guy to the athlete, even step brother! Even vampires are mentioned! I don’t think if this book was real life, Piper would ever have been allowed to undertake a project like this but regardless of this it was still a great storyline. I really loved the ending too, it really finished off well. Without revealing too much on how it ends it really proves that perhaps boys in books aren’t necessarily better. 

If like me you love your romance novels, this is the book for you! 

Synopsis – 

Is it really wrong to have more than one boyfriend? 

I brought a new one into my bed almost every night. 

From conference rooms to broom closets, I escaped reality with my leading men. Okay, so they were fictional book boyfriends. 

In reality I should have been concentrating on classes while I looked for a living, breathing man to help me achieve my romantic fantasies. It was a friend who suggested combining my passions for romance novels and psychology to generate my Master's thesis research topic: Does the modern day romance novel leading man create unrealistic expectations for a prolonged adult relationship? 

To find out, I’d run a social experiment. I’d be the constant. The variables would be my leading men. I’d date every stereotype in the books, from billionaires to bad boys, rock stars to bikers, dominants, athletes, and…my stepbrother? 

If my research was successful, I'd end up with a degree and maybe even my very own happy ending.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Once Upon A Time University - Savannah Ostler

Once Upon A Time University is the sequel to Happily Ever After High. Although I think it could be read a standalone I think that you will enjoy this book much more if you read both. Once Upon A Time University is still following the story of Albany except this time as the title suggests she's at university. Having defeated her enemy at high school she surely has nothing to worry about at university? Wrong!

I absolutely loved reading more about these characters in particularly Cindy. Cindy (descendent of Cinderella) isn't the nicest person in Happily Ever After High but she really grows as a character in this book.

Whilst reading Happily Ever After High I really wanted to read more about the classes and the all round magical world in which Albany is now a part of. Once Upon A Time University certainly spends more time describing these things and to me that is what really makes this book. Every inch of the university campus is just full of magic so it is very enjoyable to read about it.

The book did have lots of twists and turns to try and keep you off the scent of who the bad guy is. Annoyingly, despite this I did figure out pretty quickly who it was. Did this stop my enjoyment of the book? Not in the slightest! However, as in book one, it was again a little frustrating that the climatic meeting between the pair was so short lived. 

I loved reading more about the characters and although some parts weren't too my completely liking, I'm fairly sure that if you ever loved fairy tales you will love these books! 

Synopsis - 

The enchanting sequel to “Happily Ever After High School”

After graduating Happily Ever High, eighteen year old Albany French was living the perfect fairy tale. She had her very own fairy godmother, a delightfully eccentric grandmother, and her boyfriend was her dream knight in shining armor.

At first, it seemed like a flawless freshman year for her at Once Upon A Time University. The campus was magical and enchanted, her classes were extraordinary, and she made surprising new friends.

A chain of unsettling events followed by a twist of fate sends Albany spinning. She is forced to make the most difficult decision of her life- one that could potentially break her heart. The perfect happily ever after was still within Albany’s grasp… or so she thought.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Happily Ever After High School - Savannah Ostler

Happily Ever After High School tells the story of Albany French who is obsessed with fairy tales despite her father banning her from reading them. Life just isn’t the fairy tale she daydreams constantly about and is stuck with attending a high school that she absolutely hates. Then one day thanks to an accident she is taken across the country to live with her grandma and enrolled in Happily Ever After High where all her favourite fairytale characters attend school. 

I so desperately wanted a school like this to exist when I went to school so I absolutely love that a book has been wrote about it. It’s such a brilliant idea and it’s written so well with likeable lead characters. Albany is just a typical teenager and I find her a delight to read about particularly once she attends Happily Ever After High. Despite the school being full of fairy tale characters it is still very easy to relate as some of the characters, in particularly the princesses, draw parallels to normal school life. The secondary characters such as Albany’s grandma, her fairy godmother, Charlie and Ben are all well written and likable characters too which I absolutely love about the book. 

The only thing I didn’t like was the pacing of Happily Ever After High School; all the events in the book take place over a week which is unbelievable considering what a jam packed week it is. I would’ve loved Albany to have settled in more to read more about the wonderful goings on in the school. Even the lessons they have, which seem like a more boring chapter to read, are fascinating. They’re more than just students sitting in a normal classroom. I also would’ve loved to have read more about the relationship between her and Ben. Despite everything developing very quickly it is a thoroughly enjoyable week and I feel that a lot of ages would enjoy reading. 

I really enjoyed reading Happily Ever After High School and I’ve just downloaded the sequel, Once Upon A Time University. I’m very eager to read more about Albany and Ben and all the wonderful magical goings on. 

Synopsis – 

Seventeen year old Albany French wants nothing more than to find her very own happily ever after. She dreams of finding her fairy godmother, going to the ball, and being swept away by a Prince. Much to her dismay, her life is no fairy tale. Albany is just a typical, all American girl who attends an overly crowded public high school. 

An untimely tragedy leaves Albany desperate for a new life. 

She seeks comfort in her eccentric grandmother, Greta. Not only does Greta welcome Albany into her home with open arms, but she transfers Albany to a new school.

But... this new school is not your average high school. This is... Happily Ever After High, the enchanting high school that hosts hundreds of magical, fairytale students. 

Albany is about to begin the journey of a lifetime… as she discovers who she really is, where her family came from, falls in love for the first time, and embarks on a quest to fulfill a prophecy that has been passed on for ages. 

Welcome to Happily Ever After High.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Girl Online On Tour - Zoe Sugg

Almost a year ago now I read Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (or Zoella as she is known on YouTube) and I didn’t really like it. In fact I vaguely remember telling people that I most definitely wouldn’t read the sequel, yet here I am almost a year later writing a post on the 2nd book in the series, Girl Online On Tour. 

Girl Online On Tour continues telling the story of Penny and Noah, however this time it follows Penny around as she joins Noah on his European leg tour. She hasn’t spent any significant time with him since they met in New York so Penny is very excited to get to spend time with Noah. The only difference is this time Noah is surrounded by a very busy schedule, band mates who aren’t so nice to Penny and threatening notes coming from unknown people. Penny thought she’d get to spend lots of time with Noah but life on the road just isn’t what she expected it to be. 

If you’ve read any of my blog posts before you’ll probably realise by now that I’m a sucker for reading books with this kind of plot so I just couldn’t resist reading this book. Unfortunately as I didn’t like Girl Online I should’ve known that I wouldn’t like its sequel. I just hated the characters and I didn’t really like the way it was written. It just didn’t capture me like other books do. I also didn’t like how the book ended, it seems to be crying out for yet another sequel. One thing though, the life on tour does seem very realistic so it does make me wonder if the author has perhaps drawn upon elements of her own life here. 

Noah is a complete and utter tool. He was arguably the best thing about Girl Online so I hate how much I despise his character in the sequel. In the first book he really tries to sweep Penny off her feet and you  got a sense of how important family is to him. Then in Girl Online On Tour he gets so absorbed in the whirlwind life of being a rock star that he forgets who and what is important to him. I think more so than ever the age gap between the pair is apparent too, for example Noah goes out partying with his band mates in the evening leaving an underage Penny at a hotel. I really do not understand how Penny forgives him so easily and although he somewhat redeems himself, in my opinion it still doesn’t take back the things that he did. 

I absolutely love the fact that the book again touches on anxiety though with Penny suffering with it. With someone in Zoe Sugg’s well known position to a younger audience I do think that it’s brilliant that it highlights anxiety and the day to day struggles that come with it. As much as I didn’t like the book I think Penny’s character is great for a teenage audience to read about, she really grows as a character and I did enjoy the lessons she learns along the way. 

If you loved Girl Online I am sure you will love Girl Online On Tour too. This book definitely seems to be capturing teenagers interests in reading again which can only be a good thing but unfortunately it just wasn’t my cup of tea.   

Synopsis – 

The sequel to the number-one bestseller Girl Online. 

Penny joins her rock-star boyfriend, Noah, on his European music tour. Penny's bags are packed. When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can't wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend. But, between Noah's jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she's really cut out for life on tour. 

She can't help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot . . . and her blog, Girl Online. Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?

Broken Resolutions - Olivia Dade

When I read the blurb of Broken Resolutions it really appealed to me and after reading I can safely say it didn't disappoint. Penny has had her heart broken enough times to know that she wants to stay away from men which is exactly why she makes a New Year’s resolution to stay away from men for the entire year. Then just as she’s settling down to read a good book on New Year’s Eve she receives a desperate plea from her work friend asking her if she can host the singles event at the library. Reluctantly she agrees and little does she know she’ll have to work harder than ever to avoid breaking her New Year’s resolution before the New Year even begins, thanks to event attendee Jack.  

Why have I never read a book that is set in a library before? It’s such a brilliant idea and it’s clear that the author has spent a lot of time in a library as it’s so well written. I loved all the book references and the idea that they’re hosting a singles night based with book based games is such a great idea for a book. I absolutely loved the two main characters Penny and Jack too and as they were both so reluctant to attend the event it’s enjoyable to read how they both end up gelling with each other. 

If you can’t tell already I really enjoyed reading Broken Resolutions. My only real complaint is that it was just too short! Personally I would've loved for the relationship between Penny and Jack to have developed a little slower. However, for a short novel the pace moved ok I just would've liked more as I was enjoying reading about the characters so much.

Despite the length, I can't express how much I enjoyed the relationship between Penny and Jack. They're both such like minded people and even as a reader you can't deny that they have an obvious attraction to each other. Without revealing too much the book provides some extremely sweet moments, the odd raunchy scene and some real laugh out loud moments it's pretty much everything you want from this genre of book!

I think everyone who reads can relate to Penny. All she wants to do is stay at home in her pyjama's and read a good book but instead her friend Angie ropes her in last minute to cover for her at the library's singles night. Penny's reactions to this are so relatable and it truly is great to read about her effort to get through the singles night.

Ok, so the book was extremely quick moving and I would've liked to read more but I really did enjoy reading Broken Resolutions. I loved the characters, I loved the storyline...basically I just loved this book. A must read in my opinion! 

Synopsis -

Romance has never had a happy ending for librarian Penny Callahan, who could write the book on cheating, heartbreaking liars. So she’s made a resolution: no men for the next twelve months. If she can just get through the library’s New Year’s Eve singles night, she can return home to her pajamas and a good book. But when she finds herself checking out a hot hunk with an irresistible smile, an evening in the stacks becomes a lot more tempting…

Reclusive author Jack Williamson never should have trusted his mother. Even though he’s trying to avoid being recognized, she guilts him into attending a dating meet-and-greet—where an adorable librarian makes him question his lonely lifestyle. Is this just a fleeting, flirty scene? Or could love be the next chapter for them both?

Broken Resolutions is released 8th December.