How to Find Love in a Bookstore by Veronica Henry (Book Review)

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GOODREADS SUMMARY:

“The enchanting story of a book shop, its grieving owner, a supportive literary community, and the extraordinary power of books to heal the heart. Nightingale Books, nestled on the main street in an idyllic little village, is a dream come true for book lovers–a cozy haven and welcoming getaway for the literary-minded locals. But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open after her beloved father’s death, and the temptation to sell is getting stronger. The property developers are circling, yet Emilia’s loyal customers have become like family, and she can’t imagine breaking the promise she made to her father to keep the store alive. There’s Sarah, owner of the stately Peasebrook Manor, who has used the book shop as an escape in the past few years, but it now seems there’s a very specific reason for all those frequent visits. Next is roguish Jackson, who, after making a complete mess of his marriage, now looks to Emilia for advice on books for the son he misses so much. And the forever shy Thomasina, who runs a pop-up restaurant for two in her tiny cottage–she has a crush on a man she met in the cookbook section, but can hardly dream of working up the courage to admit her true feelings”

MY BOOK REVIEW:

Magical.

Yup, that’s the word for it alright.
Its a simple and heartwarming story about a small town community in which it tells such different stories about its residents and how they are being connected together by an old fashioned bookstore especially by its owner.

I would also like to point out that as a reader, I was entirely and magically pulled into the story by the writer’s captivating words. A highly recommended novel for all the bookworms (and soon to be readers) out there!

And below this, is a collection of some quotes that I’ve highlighted while I was reading this novel. I hope you’re going to like it as much as I did.

“a town without a book shop was a town without a heart.”

“All the diamonds in the world are nothing in comparison. Books are more precious than jewels.”

“A great cookery writer can make you see the dish, smell it, taste it, with no need for a photograph.”

“Only happy people don’t try and make other people feel bad.”

“Brilliant musicians were brilliant because they practiced, not just because they had talent.”

“Reading gave her comfort.”

“There’s a book for everyone, even if they don’t think there is. A book that reaches in and grabs your soul.”

“The great thing about a book shop was nobody thought it was odd if you lingered for ages.”

“life was complicated, that love sprang from nowhere sometimes, and that forbidden love wasn’t always something to be ashamed of.”

“That’s the trouble with books. You can never choose your favorite. It changes depending on your mood.”

“Thank God for cooking, she thought. Cooking never let her down.”

“So that was why people read. Because books explained things: how you thought, and how you behaved, and made you realise you were not alone in doing what you did or feeling what you felt.”

Well that’s it for now. Till my next book review.

Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

 

 

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (Book Review)

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GOODREADS SUMMARY:

The women of the Waverley family — whether they like it or not — are heirs to an unusual legacy, one that grows in a fenced plot behind their Queen Anne home on Pendland Street in Bascom, North Carolina. There, an apple tree bearing fruit of magical properties looms over a garden filled with herbs and edible flowers that possess the power to affect in curious ways anyone who eats them.

For nearly a decade, 34-year-old Claire Waverley, at peace with her family inheritance, has lived in the house alone, embracing the spirit of the grandmother who raised her, ruing her mother’s unfortunate destiny and seemingly unconcerned about the fate of her rebellious sister, Sydney, who freed herself long ago from their small town’s constraints. Using her grandmother’s mystical culinary traditions, Claire has built a successful catering business — and a carefully controlled, utterly predictable life — upon the family’s peculiar gift for making life-altering delicacies: lilac jelly to engender humility, for instance, or rose geranium wine to call up fond memories.

Garden Spells reveals what happens when Sydney returns to Bascom with her young daughter, turning Claire’s routine existence upside down. With Sydney’s homecoming, the magic that the quiet caterer has measured into recipes to shape the thoughts and moods of others begins to influence Claire’s own emotions in terrifying and delightful ways.

As the sisters reconnect and learn to support one another, each finds romance where she least expects it, while Sydney’s child, Bay, discovers both the safe home she has longed for and her own surprising gifts. With the help of their elderly cousin Evanelle, endowed with her own uncanny skills, the Waverley women redeem the past, embrace the present, and take a joyful leap into the future.

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MY BOOK REVIEW:

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen was the first novel that I’ve read by her and it was such a wonderful and magical story. Kind of reminds me of that old movie entitled “Practical Magic” starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. Well it’s not the same story but the whole concept of old magical spells, and a small town community was somewhat a bit similar. Anyway, I’m usually not keen on reading novels in which its genre is all about magical realism. But I must say, the book was definitely amazing.

Furthermore, it’s the kind of tale that emphasizes the importance of having one’s family to support you through thick and thin. And that’s what the characters of Claire and Sydney have shown its readers – the value of being supportive and loving to one another, and even though that their childhood days was a bit tough, and as sisters, there was some kind of strain into their relationship. But time has shown them the importance of sisterhood, and giving love a chance to be a part of their lives.

Well speaking of romance, which was more like a secondary theme into story, was such a giddy and additional treat in the novel especially when it gets to the part about Claire and Tyler’s not so unusual love story.

Moreover, the author has written it in a style that’s entirely simple and catchy for its readers.

Then as I’ve already written, it’s a story that deals with something in the world of fantasy and magical realism; like the moving apple tree, and what would happen to that person when he/she would try to take a bite of the apple from that particular tree. Plus including its strange community!
Another thing that I’ve also observed as a reader was that the story seems so real that things like that could happen. However, after reading the whole the book, it just got me thinking, “Hey, it’s just a story but how nice it would be if it can happen in real life!”

And I tell you guys, this novel will truly make you fall in love of its author Sarah Addison Allen, and would entice you to read the rest of her books!

 

Well that’s it for now. Till me next book review.

Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

 

 

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Book Review)

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GOODREADS REVIEW:

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

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MY BOOK REVIEW:

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a heartwarming and delightful novel to read. The kind of book that you will certainly recommend to every readers out there, and would love to read all over again.

The thing is that I’ am so not into historical fictions (especially when you’re talking about the “German Occupation”). But unexpectedly, I really enjoyed my time getting into the world of Juliet Ashton and the residents of Guernsey. A story that I was looking out into my Goodreads account from time to time – including its ratings and reviews. However, it really took me awhile to give this one a try (years actually). So a few weeks ago, I’ve decided to buy a second hand copy of the 1st edition on eBay for a very good price, and I’m just glad that I took the risk of buying the novel because it was totally worth it.

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For the story wasn’t just unforgettable, but also a very well written historical and epistolary novel. Plus, the way the book was written by its two authors, Mary Ann Shafer and Annie, Barrows, was somewhat easy on the eye, and affable to its readers. Making them feel like they were being transported in a different era of bookworms and writers. A world in which the simple pleasures of reading gives comfort and solace to those people who were unfortunate to experience such hard and difficult times.

And I must say, as a reader of this wonderful tale of a young authoress who’ve found such new friends, family, and home in a small island, I find the story entirely charming, witty, smart, and sweet. Honestly, there a lot of words to describe it. Well apart from that, I would also like to point out that it was a very insightful one to read because it gave me an idea on how each individual (including its society) were changed during and after the war. Moreover, some knowledge of the famous books and authors in the early 1900’s. Hmm, I guess every generation has its own taste of books and genre.
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Then another thing that made me so happy about the book is that the film adaptation is officially on its way starring Lily James (Downton Abbey), Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones), Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), and Matthew Goode (Downton Abbey). For more updates on the upcoming movie you can just check it out on IMDb.com, and at present the current status is filming.

So the excitement was really there when I’ve first heard the news, and I just hope that it’s going to be a well-made film adaptation.

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Well, that’s it for now. Till my next book review.

Thank you so much for reading.

Reading is a Great Comfort

Reading books is such a great comfort from all the stress especially when you’re also feeling kind of burned out and all. Making you at ease and enlightened with such great wisdom, knowledge, and inspiration from what you’ve just read. A profound thought as to why it is such a beautiful hobby. So read, whatever different kinds of reading materials that you could get your hands on. Cause it is our source of food and relaxation into our minds.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (Book Review)

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Anne Frank’s extraordinary diary, written in the Amsterdam attic where she and her family hid from the Nazis for two years, has become a world classic and a timeless testament to the human spirit. Now, in a new edition enriched by many passages originally withheld by her father, we meet an Anne more real, more human, and more vital than ever. Here she is first and foremost a teenage girl—stubbornly honest, touchingly vulnerable, in love with life. She imparts her deeply secret world of soul-searching and hungering for affection, rebellious clashes with her mother, romance and newly discovered sexuality, and wry, candid observations of her companions. Facing hunger, fear of discovery and death, and the petty frustrations of such confined quarters, Anne writes with adult wisdom and views beyond her years. Her story is that of every teenager, lived out in conditions few teenagers have ever known.

Summary by Goodreads.com

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Oh what a mind of a young girl! Well, I understand Anne Frank’s views of the world. For she was only young but there is also a sense of maturity within her every time I go further into reading her diary. In which I tend to feel like I’m being transported into her world. A world where there was so much fear, pain, hatred, and suffering. But even if that were the case, she still believes it to be a beautiful place to live into.

Actually, reading the first half of the book was sort of dragging for me. The reason is that Anne seems so childish! And I was like “What is wrong with this girl?”

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But I was totally wrong about her. For when I was into the second half of the book. That’s when I’ve realized that despite all the negative things that keeps on happening around her – inside and outside the Annex. She still remains to be more positive and strong; encouraging herself to stay firm no matter what. Moreover, I truly admire her for being so true to her faith in God, and believes that there is a divine purpose as to why such things just keeps on happening into her life. A young girl with a beautiful mind and a true heart.

So as I’ve finally reached into the last few dates of her diary, I was getting way more intrigued especially since I’ve already known what had happened to her. But what I wanted to know was her thoughts during her last few days at the Annex before they were captured. And as ever, I was totally surprised to all the things that she has written into her diary.

And when I’ve finished reading the book, I was utterly speechless. Moreover, I had a hard time sleeping that night. I guess, my heart was truly aching for a child in which the world has deprived her of the chance to live it as to the way as she wanted to be. But it was not given to her; so painful and so sad.

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Also, her diary has made me appreciate my life even more; though each and every one of us experiences such different kinds of sufferings into this world. But hers was a kind of suffering that I myself wouldn’t know if I have the strength and courage to experience, especially after she and her family were captured; their experience during their captivity were far too painful than the ones that they’ve encountered inside the Annex. Plus, I still have goose bumps whenever I think about it.

Oh Anne Frank, thank you so much for sharing into the world your innermost and positive thoughts; the idea of to appreciate life every single day. Although, there were some things that were written that were a bit shocking. But now that I think about it, it’s quite normal to think that way. For we are only humans, and that we are perfectly imperfect. And lastly, you’ve truly shown us that despite all of your sufferings into this world, you were truly true to yourself and to God.

Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

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Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire (Book Review)

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GOODREADS SUMMARY:

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

MY BOOK REVIEW:

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire is your typical story of a good girl falls for the bad guy. But that’s how the author would want its readers to think of as they would start reading into the story.

Well I have to admit, when I’ve started reading its first few chapters of the book, I actually did find the story a bit disturbing. I guess it’s because that even though the whole concept of it was sort of typical, it’s just way too intense for me. I also find their arrangement of their friendship turned to lovers to be so weird, (you’ll know it when you read it).

As for its two main characters, Travis Maddox is a very complex character. For he’s so intense and full of surprises! Mysterious? Maybe. He may look disastrous on the outside, but the real Travis is a guy who is extremely smart and so passionate especially when it comes to those people that he truly loves. As for Abby Abernathy, now that’s a character that I was totally deceived of. At first, I actually thought that she’s the kind of girl who is totally innocent and doesn’t have any idea of the ways of the world. But I was totally wrong about her. And after getting an idea of these two characters, it really made me think that looks can truly be deceiving.

So even though that I really had a roller coaster ride and had such mixed emotions while reading this book, it was still such a good story to read; but definitely not the kind of story that I would want to go back into. And it is so weird that most of my friends who’ve already read this book really had a great time reading this. I guess I’m just the exception to the rule. I don’t know. But one thing is for sure. The concept of the story is definitely not my typical cup of tea. Although it’s true that there were some similarities from E.L. James’ Fifty Shades Trilogy (which is one of my favorites), but this novel entitled Beautiful Disaster wasn’t able to capture me as one of its avid readers of the story of Travis and Abby.

But just because I wasn’t captivated into the story doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good one. As I’ve already written, it is a good story. And since I’ve already planned to write a review about the book, so might as well write an honest review. It’s just my opinion and I hope you understand. I may not have enjoyed it as much as I wanted to. But for sure, there are quite a number of readers out there who’ve been totally hooked into reading it.

Thank you so much! 🙂

 

 

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson (Book Review)

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Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a Regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to follow her heart. It is Wuthering Heights meets Little Women with a delicious must-read twist.

-Summary by Goodreads.com

MY BOOK REVIEW:

As they always say, one could never predict the unexpected, for I have never truly expected to really like Julianne Donaldson’s second novel entitled Blackmoore. I think it was in the year 2013 that I got an eBook copy of this novel. And at that time, I’ve just finished reading the Edenbrooke which was also written by the same author. I’ve wanted to read it ever since it was published but I just got caught up in so many books to prioritize in my reading list, and along the way it was totally stocked-up in my lists of “To Read Novels”.

It was a year later that I’ve finally decided to read the book. So I started reading its few chapters, which I’ve noticed that this novel has some concepts that had be taken out in some classic novels that I’ve read before like Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey, which were both written by Jane Austen and The Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott.

The novel Blackmoore talks about the blossoming romance of Kate Worthington and Henry Delafield (which is your very typical kind of love story). They were childhood friends in the beginning, and then as they grew up into adults it blossomed into a romantic sort of friendship. It is a common one, but what made this love story so catchy to the readers is that sense of thrill and excitement that one would expect as you go along into the story; that as a reader, you just can’t get enough of them that you really wanted to finish it all the way, and that is why this novel is such a page turner. I’ve also noticed when I started reading this that the main heroine Kate does seem like a mystery to me. There are some things about her that I just can’t get enough of. Of course she might seem like your typical Jane Austen heroine, a woman who is smart and kind. But she’s a bit feisty in some ways. She’s a head strong kind of woman and so full of strong-willed independence, and that’s what I really like about her. As for Henry, he is a very honorable gentleman. Moreover, he has turned out to be one of my most favorite male characters. He’s charming, kind, smart, and he’s someone who is not afraid to fight for what he truly believes in especially in the name of love.

And as a dreamer of being a wanderer, it made me realized that nothing is impossible when one would dream of seeing the world. Even if there are people, or some circumstances that are trying to tide you up from that dream. But for as long as you believe in yourself and would truly work hard for it, then surely in the near future such a dream would truly come true. Actually in my case, it finally happened a few months ago, which made me grateful for the experience, and more determined than ever to continue in pursuing and living that dream.

Edenbrooke and Blackmoore may be the only two novels that I’ve read that were written by Julianne Donaldson. But hopefully soon, I will be able to read her other novel entitled the Heir to Edenbrooke. For it’s been awhile that I’ve read such books by authors who still writes a good and charming “Proper Romance”, the kind of Romance that reminds us of the good old writing styles of Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Charlotte Bronte and many other classic romance writers. And this is truly a must read for all the fans out there of Classic Novels.

Thank you so much for reading. 🙂