[Book Talk] Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Book Details:

Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Read: December 2017

Synopsis:

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

My Thoughts

Thank you to Random House Publishing for sending me a digital copy of this book for review. As you all know, I adore Sophie Kinsella and always look forward to reading her new books. Naturally, once I got my ARC of this I had to dig in and I loved it immediately! It had a bit of a Shopaholic vibe to it, especially the earlier books, but still had that seriousness of her newest books. I loved Sylvie’s character and I also loved how this book wasn’t about finding love, even though it kind of is.

Being a married person, reading this book did make me realize that it is kind of scary to think of how long marriage is – though I don’t think I’m quite as worried as Dan and Sylvie were in this book. I loved how they searched for new ways to keep the magic of their marriage alive and through that search they discovered more about each other than they had expected.

This book didn’t quite have the feel of her last book, which I completely adored, but I still really enjoyed it. I did wonder where it was going to go and was surprised with how the book turned out – it definitely wasn’t what I had expected! As usual, though, this book had me laughing and it left me wanting to remind my husband of how much I love and appreciate him. So this book is really a love story, but more of a love story for people who might feel like “till death do us part” is a daunting amount of time.

This was definitely one of those stories that I gobbled up in no time and as usual I finished it wanting more books from Sophie Kinsella. I loved her acknowledgements at the end to her readers and it really cemented in me why she’s one of my favourite authors.

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[Book Talk] Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

Book Details:

Format: Ebook
Source: Borrowed
Read: July 2017

Synopsis:

Were you a sherbet lemon or chocolate lime fan? Penny chews or hard boiled sweeties (you do get more for your money that way)? The jangle of your pocket money …the rustle of the pink and green striped paper bag …Rosie Hopkins thinks leaving her busy London life, and her boyfriend Gerard, to sort out her elderly Aunt Lilian’s sweetshop in a small country village is going to be dull. Boy, is she wrong. Lilian Hopkins has spent her life running Lipton’s sweetshop, through wartime and family feuds. As she struggles with the idea that it might finally be time to settle up, she also wrestles with the secret history hidden behind the jars of beautifully coloured sweets. Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams – a novel – with recipes.

My Thoughts

With the exception of her book shop book, Jenny Colgan definitely hits the mark when it comes to books that give me cravings! From bread to cupcakes to candy, whenever I read one of her books not only do I get lost in the story, but I also have MAD cravings. I think I cook something whenever I read her books, which is a good thing! Honestly, I’m scared to read her chocolate shop book since I do love chocolate!

Anyway, this book was just so good, so sweet, and perfect for the summertime. I absolutely adore stories where the main character has to uproot to a new city or country and leave the life they thought was perfect for something completely different. This is such a great story of finding what you want in life, finding your own happiness, finding love (which is always my favourite), and also finding family. We kind of get a glimpse at Rosie’s mother and her family, as well as Rosie’s best friend back in London, but mostly it’s a story about Rosie and Lillian and I loved seeing how they got to know and love each other as the story went on.

And not only that, this story is written in a way I love, with the past being wrapped together with the present. Lillian originally ran this sweet shop and we get her story and learn why she’s the way she is and see how it mirror’s Rosie’s story. I loved how the old met the new and how old friendships were remedied, love was found (and not the way I thought it would be), and friendships were made. Honestly, what I love about Jenny Colgan’s books is that they show a reader how it’s possible to leave your life and go somewhere different and you’ll still survive. It might not be totally realistic but it’s still a whimsical story that will appeal to people who love tales of finding yourself, where you’re almost a fish out of water.

I love love love Jenny Colgan’s books and can’t wait to read more of them, especially her Christmas books. AND she has a new one coming out this year and it’s just going to be fantastic, I know it. Seriously, if you haven’t read any of Jenny’s books, get on it. They’re fantastic and I promise you’ll fall in love.

[Audiobook Talk] The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

Audiobook Details:

Format: Audiobook
Source: Bought
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Length: 12 hours 10 minutes
Read: March 2017

Synopsis:

An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app.

When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.

My Thoughts

This was so much fun! I had some Audible credits left towards the end of last year and got this one because of the high rating and the fact that one of my favourite narrators, Katherine Kellgren, was narrating.

It was great! Katherine is a phenomenal narrator and just added so much life to the story and it was kind of like The Devil Wears Prada and it kind of made me think of when I eventually (but hopefully not) go back to work and how crazy out of the loop I would feel with technology and social media. I mean, I love my social media but I am FAR from a pro at it.

I loved Imogen’s character and how she still clung to the “old fashioned” way of doing things, with face to face meetings, phone calls, and just caring about the people she does business with rather than doing everything as fast as she could, with as much proficiency as possible. I loved how she adapted to the “new” way of doing things and figured out how to fit into the new business world.

Seriously so much fun – I’m glad I got this one!

Audiobook Notes: 

Like I said above, Katherine was fantastic! I read a few reviews that said she took something away from the story, since she can be quite dramatic in her readings, but I love her so much. Seriously, I would listen to Katherine read me grocery lists because she just cracks me up with the way she brings out the humour and emotion in a story. She just knows how to make the characters come alive!

But don’t take my word for it … read some other reviews! 

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