My Friday Images: Christmas reads

 

Dying For Christmas cover

 

A bit of a departure from my usual inspiring images on a Friday but as Christmas is fast approaching thought I’d mention some Christmas books, and other book bloggers here on WordPress and Tumblr.  I’m kicking off my Christmas reads suggestion with this beauty, oops, sorry for being so dark, but this one kind of stood out for me. Well it sounds a bit different. Dying for Christmas. A psychological thriller/crime drama which I found via Scatterbooker on WordPress here’s her review link:

http://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/book-review-dying-for-christmas-by-tammy-cohen/

Also I really like the sound of Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares. This made a change from the usual titles that are heavily laden with the words, Mistletoe, Christmas, Snow, yes, you get the picture. It sounds light-hearted and fun,  a YA contemporary romance.

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If you’re hoping for snow then look no further. Came across Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle while I was on Tumblr. Thanks for the recommendation: Books and sugar Quills on Tumblr.

Here’s the link: http://booksandsugarquills.tumblr.com/

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Then while I was searching Amazon I spotted My True Love Gave To Me! Twelve Holiday Stories by a whole lot of authors, some of my favourites there!

 

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Sometimes Christmas can be a bit overwhelming, so why not put your oven gloves away and go On Strike for Christmas? Found this beauty via Girls Love to Read. Here’s the link to her book review:

http://girlslovetoread.com/2014/12/book-review-on-strike-for-christmas-by-sheila-roberts/?tm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GirlsLoveToRead+%28Girls+Love+To+Read%

 

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Okay, I succumbed to a bit of mistletoe love but this cover is just too pretty to resist! The review for this Judy Astley Chick lit, romance offering is at Pages and Tea blog on WordPress. Here’s the link: http://pagesandteablog.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/book-review-it-must-have-been-the-mistletoe-by-judy-Astley/

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Now if you fancy a bit of Christmas romance I’d definitely recommend that you rush over to Sonya Heaney’s blog because she has a whole host of Christmas novels, including those by #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr. I knew a stocking would creep in somewhere! Here’s the link to one of her reviews:

Christmas Reads: ‘Tis the Season by Robyn Carr

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Are you heading home for Christmas?

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Do comment below if I haven’t mentioned a Christmas book you would really like to recommend. Oh, and just in case I haven’t found that Christmas novel for you to read, or gift for you to give, here are some other places to look:

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/22453.YA_Christmas_Reads_WINTER_STYLE_

http://www.burnleyexpress.net/what-s-on/reviews/book-review-christmas-books-for-all-the-family-1-6982004

https://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/here-comes-christmas-2014-holiday-reads-a-shenandoah-christmas/

http://literaryattic.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/6-great-christmasholiday-themed-books/

12 Kids Holiday Book Favorites

My Kyrosmagica Review of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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Goodreads Synopsis:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

My review:

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I just loved Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. A big, full,  book case heart for this one, great cover art, perfect YA novel within. My only regret, that I didn’t read it when I was a teenager myself! Shame I can’t time travel back to do a bit of reading. Anyway I’m still in touch with that side of me, my teenage self is still there somewhere deep in the layers of my enforced adulthood!

The initial idea behind the book, the hidden letters to her crushes, is a simple concept but the way Jenny Han develops upon this and draws us into the story is just wonderful. Lara Jean’s relationship with her older sister Margo begins to change when Margo goes off to University in Scotland and dumps her boyfriend Josh just before she goes.  Lara is shocked, Josh is like one of the family and everyone loves him, and when I say love him, I mean love him. She finds herself now taking the role of “big sister” to her younger sister Kitty, who is wise beyond her years.  I love how Jenny Han expresses Lara Jean’s confusion and distress at her new role by placing her behind a steering wheel and making her face her fears. Okay so it’s a bit of a disaster, she doesn’t manage to do everything perfectly like Margo does but that’s what makes her so endearing. She isn’t Miss Popularity. She isn’t Miss Confident, but none of that matters because she is Lara Jean, and Lara Jean is infinitely more likeable than some overconfident, pretentious girl.  I found the relationships between the sisters so touching, probably because it spoke to me personally as I have an older daughter going off to University this September and both of my girls will be affected by the change. Jenny Han writes about the bonds, and dynamics of  sisterly relationships with such humour and empathy. The fake relationship between Lara and Peter is perfectly written. Peter’s character evolves so naturally.  I can’t find fault with any aspect of the book, the dialogue, and every single one of the characters are so convincing that by the end of the book it was almost as if Lara Jean and her family and friends live and breathe. In the beginning her fake boyfriend Peter doesn’t seem the right choice for her,  but by the end of the book he steals the show from Josh.  There are sad elements of the novel, that tug at your heartstrings but there are also happy and laugh out loud moments. In fact if there is a moral to this story it is that you can rise above the worst things that can happen to you,  (her mother’s death), if you have one simple ingredient, a loving family that pulls together. It just encapsulates life’s up and downs in such a lovely, sweet way. It is without doubt one of my favourite YA novels to date. Oh, and the references to Korean food well that just sealed the deal for me, yum, yum.

As to the ending well let’s just say thank goodness there’s going to be a sequel, or we’d have to get a petition letter out there to Jenny Han super pronto!

I would highly recommend, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,  100%  to readers of YA, Contemporary, romance.

My star rating, well of course it has to be an excellent, well deserved 5 stars!

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DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Buying Links:

Kindle UK: http://amzn.to/2xv3oJF

Paperback UK: http://amzn.to/2y3q9rf

Favourite quotes:

“When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit.”

”If love is like a possession, maybe my letter are like my exorcisms.”   

“I wonder what it’s like to have that much power over a boy. I don’t think I’d want it; it’s a lot of responsibility to hold a person’s heart in your hands.”   

“I delete the picture of him from my phone; I delete his number. I think that if I just delete him enough, it will be like none of it ever happened and my heart won’t hurt so badly.”

“Margot would say she belongs to herself. Kitty would say she belongs to no one. And I guess I would say I belong to my sisters and my dad, but that won’t always be true. To belong to someone—I didn’t know it, but now that I think about, it seems like that’s all I’ve ever wanted. To really be somebody’s, and to have them be mine.”

“If you were mine, I would never have broken up with you, not in a million years.”

Authors website: http://dearjennyhan.com/

Have you read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before? Do leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you.

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

My Kyrosmagica Review of Landline by Rainbow Rowell

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

My review:

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This is the third Rainbow Rowell book that I have read. My favourites up to now have been Eleanor and Park, and Attachments. I still have to delve into the wonders of Fan Girl, (I have heard so many good things about this  coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.)  So I must add it to my TBR list.
Of course  Landline was good, but it wasn’t my favourite Rainbow Rowell book. It didn’t quite have the quirkiness of the characters in Eleanor and Park, or the humour of Attachments. I’m not sure if the telephone landline really worked for me, at times it felt a little bit repetitive, the magic of the time travelling phone  didn’t quite match up to my expectations.

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There were a lot of aspects of the novel that I really enjoyed. At times the story line really touched my heart. Neal and Georgie’s marriage was on the rocks,  and by the end of the book I really felt  for these two characters and wanted them to work it out and be happy.  I enjoyed the role reversal, Neal stayed at home to look after the kids while Georgie went out to pursue her career. Neal was happy with the arrangement at the beginning but nevertheless problems began to show. Neal didn’t fit in to Georgie’s world and Georgie felt left out of the perfect family group of Neal and his kids. Cracks started to show when a wonderful opportunity came up for Georgie to work on a sitcom over Christmas.  She expected that Neil would  agree to have Christmas in Los Angeles instead of going to Omaha, but Neal surprised her by standing his ground. He took the children with him to Omaha, without Georgie. Georgie’s life started to fall apart. Neal made matters worse by ignoring her calls, and Georgie ended up back at her Mum’s house where she used the old yellow Landline in her room to call Neal. What she actually ended up finding is a way to connect with him in the past. Will this be an opportunity to rekindle the original spark of their love, or to set things right?  She started  to question the way that she treated Neal, and wondered  if she had been taking him for granted. She missed her children terribly, and feared that a life without them would be no life at all.  I thought it interesting how she went to live with her mother, behaving like a child herself in need of  the security of her family home. I enjoyed her relationship with her co-worker Seth, and  her family relationships with her mother, step father and sister. Oh and the pug dogs, and the washing machine were a cute touch. You will have to read Landline to see what I mean!  Rainbow Rowell’s strength in this novel is undoubtedly her ability to write about love, families and relationships in a very moving and honest way. Who knows what may have happened in life if you take another path and marry a different person? It is an interesting observation, with no real answers.

My rating:

Overall I enjoyed Landline, and I would give it 3.75 stars.

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My favourite quotes:

“You don’t know when you’re twenty-three.
You don’t know what it really means to crawl into someone else’s life and stay there. You can’t see all the ways you’re going to get tangled, how you’re going to bond skin to skin. How the idea of separating will feel in five years, in ten – in fifteen. When Georgie thought about divorce now, she imagined lying side by side with Neal on two operating tables while a team of doctors tried to unthread their vascular systems.
She didn’t know at twenty-three.”

“Nobody’s lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen – because you love each other.”

“Having kids sent a tornado through your marriage, then made you happy for the devastation. Even if you could rebuild everything just the way it was before, you’d never want to.”

“That’s what Georgie did to him. She pulled the blood to the surface of his skin. She acted on him. Tidally. She made him feel like things were happening. Like life was happening – and even if he was miserable sometimes, he wasn’t going to sleep through it.”

“Georgie, “he said. “I love you. I love you more than I hate everything else. We’ll make our own enough  – will you marry me?”

They are just such so perceptive, wonderfully thoughtful observations about love, marriage, and having kids.

I would recommend Landline to readers of Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit, and Adult Fiction.

http://rainbowrowell.com/

Have you read Landline? Do leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx