SEPTEMBER WRAP UP

SEPTEMBER WRAP UP


Appuntamento in Terrazzo

  • AUTHOR: Felicia Kingsley
  • TOPIC: Novel
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Rating: 5 out of 5.

My second book from Felicia, read in Italian, is just as good as the first one I have read, and i am on a mission to read everything from her.
This take is particularly funny, as it takes place during the year that changed our world: 2020, lockdown, pandemic. But it gives a positive note to it, as it is a story of resilience and love, giving us hope that even in the worst time, we can find something to dream and live for.

The Italian Government has just announced a month lock full lockdown: no one is allowed out, everyone stays in. Didi just came back to visit her family from Germany and is now stuck with her workaholic father, her mother who discovered social media and its conspiracy theories, grandpa and her younger sister who plays wanna-be influencer. While Alex next door just found out that his influencer girlfriend of 10 years, has been cheating on him for a long time. So her is stuck with her, trying to keep his homicidal thoughts at bay.
The only respite seems to be the terrace, and this is where Alex and Didi meet. Hesitant at first, they make of this tiny space their meeting place, and as the days pass, they look forward to each other’s company more and more. When the building opens up the rooftop to allow access to residents one at the time for an hour a day, they break all rules, and they treat each other with surprises and made up dates to spend more time together, dream about what they will do once lockdown ends, and fall in love in the most unexpected times of all.


Fly Away

  • AUTHOR: Kristin Hannah
  • TOPIC: Novel
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Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have made the mistake of watching the Netflix series before reading this second part of Firefly Lane, so obviously it was interesting to discover the discrepancies.
But this didn’t take away from the fact that I loved this book as much as I loved the first one.
An emotional novel of life, hope, addiction, loss, motherhood, family, and most importantly, forgiveness.

When Kate looses her battle of cancer, everyone around her falls apart. She was the glue of her family and the stronger one of the Tullyandkate duo.
Despite Tully’s promise on Kate’s death bed, she is unable to keep her word to look after Kate’s children, and when Marah, the eldest, disappears while under her care, Tully looses all control.
Addicted to antidepressants, she barely survives a car crash leaving her in a one year coma.
During this time though, something miraculous happens, as this tragedy brings everyone together.
Johnny, Kate’s husband, puts aside his feelings of disappointment towards Tully and stands by her side with his whole family.
Marah comes back, gives up her addiction and the young man that led her astray.
And Cloud, now Dorothy, Tully’s long lost mother, reappears clean, changed, and ready to share her story and to finally do the one thing she was never able to do: be Tully’s mother.


The Memory Keeper

  • AUTHOR: Jenny Hale
  • TOPIC: Novel
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Rating: 5 out of 5.

They should make this book a movie. I am a secret admirer of Hallmark, and while reading this book, I just felt like I was inside one of their movies. Such a feel-good story, not only of love, family and friends, but also of second chances and finding the path that was meant for you. And especially this last part hit home: when you have that feeling inside of you that you are not doing what you meant to be doing. Thank you @jhaleauthor for this gem.
Hannah is a workaholic living in NYC, turning 35. To celebrate, she planned a surprise trip to the Barbados with her boyfriend. Once she reaches the airport, three things happen that will throw her plans off-course: she catches her boyfriend with another woman; her mom calls telling her that her Gran is in hospital; a snow storm hits NYC and flights are cancelled. But fate comes to the rescue this time with Georgia, a woman on a mission to find her birth parents; and Liam, an old school friend from home. Liam has a rented car, and they embark on a journey to reach Hannah’s home town. Once there, aside Gran’s recovery, the most pressing issue is her beloved flower shop, The Memory keeper: it’s drowning in debt but she doesn’t want to let it go. Despite her parents pushing her to give up, Hannah is torn to keep her Gran’s wishes and with Georgia’s help and creativity, they embark on a mission to bring it back to life. During this time, she reconnects with Ethan, her childhood best friend, and develops a relationship with Liam, which is rocky at first: he lost his wife to cancer, and has a son Noah who he is struggling to bond with. But Hannah’s determination is unstoppable, now that she realized she found her path and her home. She resigns from her job, brings the shop back in business, gives a job to Georgia and helps Ethan and his wife reconnect with their lost dreams. The only thing missing is Liam. When Hannah discovers that he has been hiding that he is the owner of Gran’s shop and responsible for increasing the rent, all seems lost. Will Hannah be able to keep the shop and live her happily ever after?


People We Meet On Vacation

  • AUTHOR: Emily Henry
  • TOPIC: Novel
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Rating: 4 out of 5.

Poppy and Alex couldn’t be more different. But despite this, they have been best friends since college. When Poppy moved away from their home town to pursue a life of travel, and Alex stayed back to finish his studies, they agreed to spend every summer holiday together, discovering a new place each time. And each year, this is the time they most look forward to. Poppy has everything she wants, but she feels stuck. And when prompted by her best friend to think about the last time she has been truly happy, her memories always take her back to time spent with Alex. The only thing is that the last time they spoke, was two years ago during their last trip together in Croatia. With nothing to lose, she contacts him to plan their next trip, and surprisingly, he agrees…and she has a week to fix everything. Taking Alex’s brother wedding in Palm Springs as the perfect time to meet up, things are awkward at first, and they take an unexpected turn when they both put their guard down and confess their love to each other. But when the week is over, it’s time to go back to reality, and a last-minute misunderstanding seems to threaten their newly formed bond: do they want the same things? is love enough? It will take a few therapy sessions for Poppy to untangle her feelings and to realize that home is not a place, but a person: Alex. 


Why Mummy Swears

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

  • AUTHOR: Gill Simms
  • TOPIC: Novel

Gill Sims did it again! My second book from her series and if possible, it’s even better that the first.
I have laughed with other books this year, but THIS is legendary! You will literally never stop.
For those out there who are mothers, this is a must read. And for those who aren’t, just read it for the fun of it!
You will thank me later.
In this episode, it touches on how motherhood is not perceived as a full-time commitment, and on the old society way of thinking that women should always be responsible for everything when it comes to house hold and child care.
And how utterly tiring and distressing it can be to try and juggle it all, between a house, a dog, a husband, the kids and full-time job. How often women are not entitled to be able to feel like their own person, with dreams and desires, and are expected to drop everything to take care of everyone else first. How having a job can drive women into guilt, thorn between wanting a career and being the best mothers and wives, they can be. How often husbands and partners contribute to this feeling, by thinking their job are more important and that women should do it all. How marriage is a partnership where duties and responsibilities should be shared as a team.
Of course, Gill takes everything to excess to make it more fun, but I am sure that unfortunately many women are experiencing this day in and day out. But the bottom line is: women never give up, and no matter how unhappy or tired or lonely or disheartened, they always make it work and pull it off in the end.


The Hidden Beach

  • AUTHOR: Karen Swan
  • TOPIC: Novel
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Rating: 5 out of 5.

@swannywrites is in my top 10 favorite writers and again she didn’t disappoint. Though it took me a bit to warm up to the story, I was glued to the pages as usual, by the end of it. She has this magical way of creating suspense and mystery in any story, with a sparkle of love on top. That’s why she is one of the bests!
Bell has been babysitting for Hanna and Max for 3 years, taking care of Linus and the twin girls. But then one day, she picks up a call that will change everything: Hanna’s husband is alive. Turns out that Linus’s father is not Max, but Emil, who was in coma for the last 7 years due to an accident and was never meant to wake up. But he did, and he is part of the most influential family in Sweden. While things become tense in the household, they move to the summer house, where Bell manages to breathe and have some fun, and even a one-night stand with a stranger who shares a big loss just like her: losing someone they love. Suddenly, trying to forget him becomes impossible when Hanna, submitting to Emil’s threats, asks Bell to spend the summer with Linus in Emil’s house, to allow the two to reconnect. And it turns out that her stranger in Emil. Wanting to leave but having to stay, Bell is torn by Emil’s quest to get his family back no matter what, hurting everyone on his way, denying what they felt together. But when Hanna makes an undeniable move on Emil, Bell returns angry and confused to the girls and Max. It will take Emil’s sister intervention to bring his memory back, realizing that his quest is irrelevant: Max and Hanna were already back together before the accident, and when they all meet on Emil’s birthday, the truth that comes out is a shock they will all take a long time to recover from. So much so, that Bell sails across the world to NZ to escape…but will it be enough distance to forget Emil?


The Float Plan

  • AUTHOR: Trish Doller
  • TOPIC: Novel
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Rating: 4 out of 5.

@trishdoller what a gem of a book! Thank you for this uplifting story of love, grief, survival and discovery. Loved it!
Since Anna lost her fiancé’ Ben to suicide, she has been lost. On the day they were supposed to sail for a trip around the world, she does the unthinkable: she drops everything and everyone and decides to sail the route they were supposed to discover together. From early on she realizes it’s no easy feat for an inexperienced sailor, and when she is saved from a drunken night by a stranger Keane, she struggles to believe he is the sailor she was looking for. While they start the journey together, they both need to come to terms with their own demons and past, but all seems easy around Keane: handsome, kind, funny, and though supporting all of her planned trip decisions, also takes her out of the beaten track, allowing her to discover places that weren’t on Ben’s list. Afraid at first that it’s too early to move on, the growing feelings between them are too difficult to hide. And just when they finally fall for each other, Keane receives the call he was waiting for: a proper sailing gig. And leaves. Feeling stronger than ever, Anna sets on the last and most difficult leg of her journey, realizing that she can live without Keane, but just doesn’t want to. Luckily, Keane feels the same.


The Echo Wife

  • AUTHOR: Sarah Gailey
  • TOPIC: Novel
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Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this novel, but I was pleasantly surprised! I loved it!@gaileyfrey kept me reading, and on the edge, never knowing what was coming next: exactly the way I like it!
Evelyn is a famous genetic researcher, who just won an award for her scientific breakthrough. But while all at work is great, her personal life isn’t. Coming from a broken home, now her own is broken too: her husband left her for another woman. This would be something common if it wasn’t that Nathan has used Evelyn’s Caldwell Method to clone Evelyn herself and make Martine. Things get complicated when Evelyn receives a call from Martine out of the blue, and when they meet, Evelyn cannot believe her eyes: Martine is pregnant. Something that shouldn’t even be possible. And it all reaches a new level when Martine murders Nathan and drags Evelyn into it. Left with no other choice, they together make a new Nathan using the same method used to make Martine. But when her baby is born and everything seems to finally be going smoothly, a macabre discovery sets things off again: the real Nathan has made 12 attempts to make Martine, and all the clone bodies are buried in her garden. Decided to find a way out, Evelyn stages Martine’s death to save her, but that means leaving the baby behind. Luckily clone Nathan is not so different than the real one, and appears at Evelyn’s doorsteps asking for help with the baby. Just when you think there is a happy ending, the last words of the last pages will make you think otherwise.


The Switch

  • AUTHOR: Beth O’Leary
  • TOPIC: Novel
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Rating: 5 out of 5.

I loved Flatshare and The Switch didn’t disappoint. Just simply equally amazing, funny, witty, cute. @betholeary is definitely up there with my favorite authors now.
Leena is forced to take a sabbatical after failing at a big presentation at work due to an uncommon panic attack. Eileen, her grandma, is almost eighty, newly single and in search of love, but complains that her rural city lacks eligible decent single man. So they decide to swop lives for two months: Leena needs to decompress and Eileen needs a bigger pool of eligible man, which should be no problem to find in London. The only issue? Leena hasn’t seen her mom Marian since her sister Carla’s passing, and on the long list of duties that Eileen left her, “taking care of Marian” is high on the list. While both take time to settle, Eileen seems to be doing brilliantly in London, winning over all the neighbors, all of Leena’s friends, finding a fling and even starting events for the elderlies in the common area of the building. Leena, on the other hand, is taking a bit longer to be accepted by the elderlies of the small town and to deal with reconnecting with her estranged mother, but luckily there is Jackson around, a single dad her age that she meets while fulfilling Eileen’s long list of duties. A great distraction from her non-present boyfriend Etienne. When the time is about to run out, and Jackson confesses his feelings, Eileen discovers that Etienne has been cheating. But Leena is not ready to listen. Only when put in front of the hard truth, she will take the courage to follow her heart: leave her job, set up her own company with her best friend, move back to Yorshire where she belongs, and kiss the man that really deserves her. While Eileen discovers that the man she needed, was right across her fence the whole time. 


Shall We Tell The President?

  • AUTHOR: Jeffrey Archer
  • TOPIC: Novel
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Rating: 1 out of 5.

My third book by Jeffrey Archer, and the last part of the Kane & Abel series. I was so looking forward to see how the story ended, because I absolutely loved the first two books. But unfortunately, this sequel was a great disappointment. I just finished reading and I am still questioning what was the point of this last book? The first two were filled with stories and anecdotes of life, it had a meaning…while this one was an odd recount of an assassination attempt to President Kane. And really the summary is useless, because nothing else happened but this, in the whole book. While the focus should have been on the main character and outline her life as President ( in line with the style of the previous two books ), it was everything but: she was barely touched upon during the whole story. So disappointing.


The Soulmate Equation

  • AUTHOR: Christina Lauren
  • TOPIC: Novel
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Rating: 5 out of 5.

I can’t tell you how much I have been waiting to read this book! @chirstinalauren did it again! What an amazing read, I could barely put it down! Funny, witty, innovative! I would give 10 stars if I could. Make sure you read it!
Jess is a single mom trying to juggle her free-lance statistics job, trying to forget the fact that her mom is an addict and never present and her kid’s father was never in the picture. Luckily, she can rely on her grandparents and her best friend Fizzy, whom she works with daily from their favorite cafe. Here is where she meets stubborn and stuck-up River, a genetics doctor who is about to launch a new dating app: what if you could find your soulmate based on your genes? Initially skeptical, on a whim she submits her results, and her world changes forever. She got a 98% match with someone, and this never happened before in the history of GeneticAlly. The catch: her match is River. Both incredulous and shocked, after much thinking and with a much-needed monetary incentive for Jess, she agrees to trial a relationship with him for 3 months, in the name of science. With time, feelings grow between them with each passing day, and the ever present question for both of them is: is it really true? or is the pressure of the 98% convincing them that they are falling in love? When Jess stumbles accidentally on their genetic reports, she discovers that they were altered…and even though River proves to be innocent, his reaction to the discovery seems to be putting their newly born love into grave danger. Can they still love each other and be together after this shocking discovery? I guess you will need to read to find out!

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