New Monthly 5 Book Review

Morning everyone! Welcome to my latest review. 

Other than the 'Poirot' series of books (and TV series starring David Suchet), "And Then There Were None" is my favourite Agatha Christie novel. 

Did you know that this has also been released with the slightly non-PC title of "Ten Little Indians"?? Wikipedia states "Ten Little Indians is an American children's counting out rhyme. The term "Indians" in this sense is referring to Native Americans. In 1868, songwriter, Septimus Winner adapted it as a song for a minstrel show."

You can also find movie adaptations bith titled "Ten Little Indians" (released in 1966) and also "And Then There Were None" - my favourite version stars the Late Oliver Reed and the Late Sir Richard Attenborough. Not to mention the amazing tv miniseries for BBC1 starring Charles Dance.

You get the idea - it has been on TV a lot. Book wise, I love the suspense of it, 7 strangers are invited to an island to stay by an unseen host, where it becomes clear that said host seems to know a lot that appears to incriminate the guests for things that happened in the past. 

I can't describe too much more without spoiling the book for those who haven't read it yet, but the twist at the end is one you just don't see coming, no matter how many times you read it - I've read this so many times and I am still surprised by the end even though I really should remember it by now!

If you haven't already read this one, I urge to you to as soon as possible. You'll be hooked. I give "And Then There Were None" a 5 book score. I love it. 

Enjoy, and as always, Keep Reading! x

 

 

 

Hi everyone, welcome back to my book review page. 

 

My review today is on "Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights" by Carole Matthews.

This book is the follow up to "The Cake Shop in the Garden" and follows the next part of the lives of Fay & Danny, Lija and Stan, along with Edie and new character, Rainbow. 

Much like with "The Cake Shop in the Garden", I found similarities between the events in the book and my own life. Sadly, in the first book (spoiler alert), the death and funeral of one of the characters was a little too close to home for me in that it reminded me a little too closely of that of my own mum. This made me feel sad, but also confused as to how the exact same circumstances could be reflected like that in a book of fiction. With this new book, one of the characters, Lija, her mannerisms and everything, just remind me perfectly of a lovely young woman I work with at my day job, right down to her pronuciations and all sorts. 

Only bad thing with this book is that I now feel like I'm torn between wanting to bake and wanting to trot to Milton Keynes, find this cafe and have a slice of cake, a cup of tea and a sandwich! 

I love the follow on story and the idea of the xmas eve wedding (another spoiler alert) made my heart melt - sounds just like the kind of thing I would plan for my own if I was getting married. 

Carole's books have a way of making the reader feels as though they are involved, not just sat somewhere comfy reading, and I like that, I like that I am made to feel like I am in the same room as the characters. 

This is a cozy book and a really lovely read - even makes me want to go off on a canal in a narrowboat - even though I have claustrophobic tendancies! a clear 4 book score from me - I'll be reading this one again without a doubt. 

Enjoy and as always, Keep Reading!!

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Welcome back to my book review!

As you have already noticed, this review is covering the "Twilight" saga by Stephanie Meyer. Did you know that "Twilight" was Stephanie's debut novel??

The "Twilight" series of novels, which also includes, "New Moon", "Eclipse" and "Breaking Dawn" has made Stephanie Meyer a best selling author for young adults. That is the key word, right there - young adults. 

So before anyone kicks off about what they liked, or didn't like about the books, remember who you are as an individual - do you count as a "Young Adult", i.e. a teenager?? odds are, probably not. This is often the case when it comes to books like this being reviewed. The books are read and reviewed by somebody far older than the intended readership and so the opinion given doesn't fit those that the novels were intended for and can be misleading.

The Saga, as it has come to be known is a teenage love story, albeit one between a human girl and a vampire. I like the story that has been written, and yes there are some flaws, but in the scheme of things, the flaws aren't bad. Yes there are times I'm sat reading the books and literally saying 'get a grip' or 'what were you thinking?' before I remember that this is fiction! That aside, you have to understand that the books are written from the point of view of the human girl - Bella. So while her reactions to things may not be the same as mine would be, or yours, this is a teenage girl experiencing her first love and we can all - irrespective of gender or age - relate to how that feels. Yes, it can be irrational and yes, it seems that Bella is ridiculously clingy at times, but she also shows that she'll fight for what she believes in and that can be an admirable quality to have. 

When Edward leaves Bella after an incident at the start of "New Moon", I actually get frustrated with Bella and her reaction - this is the part I generally will sit and say 'get a grip, pull yourself together' but of course, like I say, this is a story from her perspective, so yes, Edward's treatment could seem a little harsh. Either way, much like with first love, we can all relate to first heartbreak and understand that we would all react in different ways. (When I split up with my ex-fiance whom I had been with for 5 years, I binge ate and was single for a full decade before I met my current boyfriend but that's just me - I have self esteem issues). I do understand Bella's need for solitude, to try and understand herself why she has this gaping hole in her life - self imposed though - she is so tuned into Edward and hia family, that Bella forgets herself and her other friends, she forgets to maintain her own personality and her own being - this is why Edward leaving her feels so much worse than it perhaps was. Bella doesn't know who she is without Edward and this is evident from her actions in "New Moon" and why she is so fast to jump on a plane with Alice when Alice sees Edward going to the Volturi (spoiler alert for those who have not read the books yet). 

I think this is where Bella's realtionship with Jacob comes into it - Bella is trying to work out who she is on her own and whether she is actually anybody without Edward beside her and Jacob (at first) is the brother Bella doesn't have. Of course, things change and Jacob sees his relationship with Bella as something more, something that Bella isn't ready for. 

"Eclipse" is a book where you start to see a new side to Bella. She has come out of the other side of the whole Edward leaving thing and she's proven to herself that she has the fight in her to protect those that she loves. In declaring that she's 'switzerland' to Edward and Jacob, she's clearly saying that if they want to be with her, they treat her as neutral territory and not to fight around her - notice how quick they both listened to her?? I admit, the part in the movie, just after Bella punches Jacob and he's telling Charlie why it has nearly come to blows with Edward is hilarious - the straightfaced delivery and deadpan expressions make me laugh every time - but I digress. What I'm saying here is that you finally start to see a little more backbone with Bella, she's finding her own corner and defending it. 

Lastly, "Breaking Dawn" a book of 2 halves, pre vampire Bella and post vampire Bella. I admit, this book asked a few more questions that it answered, and the possibilty for spin offs in regard to the history of some of the other characters that appear to help as witnesses is amazing - but surely I am not the only one who really wants to know what happens with Jacob and Renesmee?? I had heard of another novel coming out to this affect, but It may have been a falsehood - I'm just not sure. I actually like to see Bella transformed - her character is much stronger and there just seems to be more to her than a clumsy teenager scared to get any older in case she ends up looking too much older than her boyfriend. The only question I ask is this - why does it take so long for a family of vampires to cotton on to what it is that's needed when Bella is pregnant, as in Blood? Am I the only one that would have thought this would have been an obvious thought from the beginning, or at least when Bella really started looking awful?? Just always seemed silly to me that you have a house full of vampires, a girl pregnant with the child of a vampire, and yet the one food source that nobody considers until it is a snide comment on Jacob's behalf is Blood. 

All this being said, I do like the books, they are an easy read and I do like the story and the characters. Heck, I wouldn't mind living in Forks myself!

I'm giving the series a 4 book score purely on the basis that I do like them a lot and I've read the books countless times (I am not a Young Adult either!). If I was to score them as individual books, I think the lowest score would go to "New Moon". I just don't like the Bella portrayed here, not in the first part of the book anyway. 

As always, this is purely a guide. Enjoy what time is left of your holidays and as always, stay safe, and Keep Reading!! xx

Hi everyone!, 

Welcome to my new review. This one is for "Sunshine at the Comfort Food Cafe" by Debbie Johnson.

Yes, it is another book that would be deemed to be a chick lit, but I really liked this one. So easy to get into and read, i quite literally read it in one day! I loved the storyline and how it kind of played into my day job a little (can't say anymore on that). This is a really sweet book that you can lose yourself in for a few hours. 

If there is a message coming from this lovely book, it would be to not let life get in to the way of what you want to do and who you want to be with. If you want to be together, you'll find a way!

The only shame, is that the recipes aren't provided for the cakes featured at the cafe - I would have liked to try some of those myself!

A 4 book score from me, I loved the book and would read it again for sure. 

Enjoy, and as always, Keep Reading!

Hey everyone, Welcome back to my reviews. 

This time, I'm doing another group review of a book series as opposed to one stand alone novel. 

If you haven't already guessed by the title, This review is based on the "Fifty Shades of Grey" series and its counterpart series, by E L James - NOT ME btw!! I'm Emma Louise James, Not Erika L James. 

Anyway, onto the review. Where to begin?? Anyone who has read the "Fifty Shades" series will completely understand where I am coming from when I ask 'What were you thinking??' 

I'm not just talking about the spelling and grammar issues (it won't be the first time I've wanted to send a book back marked with a big red C-, must try better on it), but what I'm talking about is the fact that one of the main characters is a pompous numpty who for all intents and purposes wants everything his way or else and a female lead with the backbone of a gnat. For goodness sake, really? Ugh, gives me shudders. 

Of the original series, the first book is the worst. You should only read this as a way to get a brief understanding as to what on earth is actually going on. The best bit (yes, I believe there is a best bit) is actually the transcripts of the characters emails to each other - finally the girl shows some sign that there is a backbone hiding beneath the fluttery lashes and bouts of "oh my". (Let her inner goddess stick that in her pipe and smoke it!). No really, the way Ana writes her emails, with that sarcastic backbite is actually funny, and like I say, shows she has a little backbone afterall. If only she would show the same thing when she is meant to be face to face with Christian.

Then, if you have survived the first book and think you're brave enough to keep going, you have "Fifty Shades Darker". Not quite as bad as the first book and seems to have a little more story to it. In doing my reading for this review, as I have read the first book a while ago and didn't fancy dragging myself through the torment of that again, I skipped straight to this on, and I'm glad I did - I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not reading the first one, but then I had read it before so already knew where the book was going. 

I feel with Darker, Erika has started to understand her own characters a little more and starts to be a little more confident with Ana's character and show other sides to her other than how she has been up to now. That being said, there is still a ways to go and that has to be remembered. 

Lastly, in the original series, you have "Fifty Shades Freed". Of all of them, as bad as they all are, this one is the better of the 3. Yes, there are the occasions that I needs to remind myself that these are fictional characters and that I cannot therefore, get them in a room together and give them both a slap around the chops and tell them both to get a flaming grip (in my very British manner). That said, this book is at a level that I can tolerate for a quick read. I don't know whether it is because Ana is now working as an editor at SIP and therefore has found her niche, or the fact that her marriage to fifty himself seems to have mellowed him out a little I don't know, but this one I don't mind reading. 

An aside to this, I know some people like the movies and some hate the movies, but don't forget what they are based on, that's all I'm saying. 

So, the counterpart series as I've been calling it. Grey, Darker and (eventually) Freed. Hard to say, but I actually prefer the books written from Christian's point of view and I can't help but think that if the series had been written in this fashion from the beginning, it wouldn't have been so bad. Darker was a better read for me too, especially seeing the helicopter incident from his perspective, the action side of it. But as the saying goes, to each their own.

All in all, I'm going with an overall 3 book score. They're ok as something to read. Think once in a blue moon, you've just finished reading Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey and you need something light to bring you back to the present day.

So, If you need a giggle, (not meant to be the case, but if you know me, you know what I'm like) and you need something quick to read that isn't over taxing on your mind, this is the series for you!

Enjoy, (or not), but whatever else you do, stay safe and keep reading ! xx