[Book Talk] Paper Hearts (The Heartbreaker Chronicles, #2) by Ali Novak

Book Details:

Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Sourcebooks)
Read: August 2017

Synopsis:

“I’m sorry,” he said, slowly untying the ribbon that held his mask in place. “It’s just…I didn’t want you to think of me any differently.”

Somehow I kept my mouth from falling open. I knew his face, but my mind couldn’t accept that he was the person looking down at me.

“My real name is Alec.”

Felicity has her entire future planned. Ever since her older sister ran away, she’s had the full weight of her mother’s expectations on her shoulders. So she works hard to get straight As and save for college.

Except sometimes the best things in life are unplanned—like when Felicity meets a handsome, masked stranger while she is volunteering at a charity masquerade ball. She never thought he’d flirt with her. And she certainly never thought he’d turn out to be a member of the world-famous band the Heartbreakers.

Then Felicity uncovers a shocking family secret. Suddenly, she, Alec, and her two best friends are off on a road trip to find Felicity’s missing sister. And she’s about to discover that unexpected turns have a peculiar way of landing her right where she needs to be…

My Thoughts

Thank you to Sourcebooks for a review copy of this book! 

When Sourcebooks sent out an email about upcoming ARCs available, I was a little nervous requesting this one because it was the second book in the series and I was worried that I might not be able to really get into it without reading the first book.

Fortunately, I dove right in and I’m so glad that I did because this book was so good! I absolutely LOVE books where people unknowingly meet celebrities. This one was so much fun because our two main characters, Alec and Felicity, met at a masquerade ball and had no idea who the other was and little did Felicity know that Alec was in one of her favourite bands.

This story could have gone so many different ways, and initially I read the synopsis for what must have been the first version of the story and it seemed so much like any other YA book, but this one had a bit of mystery woven into it, with the disappearance of Felicity’s sister. I loved that certain discoveries led to a road trip and band shenanigans, as well as lots of romance. I love celebrities being normal people in books, and this one was nice because not everyone was falling at Alec’s feet (honestly, some celebrity books have every single person the celebrity comes across knowing who they are and just fawning all over them – it would NOT have made sense with this one in my opinion, since I probably wouldn’t recognize certain members in my own favourite bands.).

I devoured this book in one day and while I thought I wasn’t going to like it, or that maybe it would be too juvenile for me, I totally loved it and it made me want to read more books with music in them because it’s just such a fun part of any book – there are a few song lists in the back and I’m TOTALLY building them up on Spotify so I can listen to them!

It’s so funny, reading reviews of this book it looks like it’s not the popular one in the series so far, so I’m glad that I didn’t read reviews prior to reading this one. Personally, I thought it was a lot of fun and even if it wasn’t totally realistic, it was just a light and fun contemporary that was perfect for a rainy day of reading. And I love that cover! I don’t usually do cutesy covers, but I think that one is adorable.

[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.

[Book Talk] Ember Island by Kimberley Freeman

Book Details:

Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Read: June 2017

Synopsis:

A riveting story of secrets and scandal.

1890: Orphaned as a small child, Tilly Kirkland found a loving, safe home with her grandfather in Dorset. But nineteenth-century England is an unforgiving place for a young woman with limited means and as her grandfather’s health fails, it seems perfect timing that she meets Jasper Dellafore. Yet her new husband is not all he seems. Alone in the Channel Islands, Tilly finds her dream of a loving marriage is turning into a nightmare.

2012: Bestselling novelist Nina Jones is struggling with writer’s block and her disappointing personal life. Nothing is quite working. After a storm damages Starwater, her house on Ember Island, she decides to stay for a while and oversee the repairs: it s a perfect excuse to leave her problems behind her on the mainland. Then Nina discovers diary pages hidden in the walls of the old home. And a mystery unravels that she is determined to solve.

Though the two women are separated by years, Starwater House will alter the course of both their lives. Nina will find that secrets never stay buried and Tilly learns that what matters most is trusting your heart.

My Thoughts

This is only my second Kimberley Freeman book, but oh my gosh, I wish I had ALL of her books so I could binge read them! She is such a great writer, weaving the past and the present together so seamlessly, but still in a way that has you wondering how everything fits together.

The last book I had read by Kimberley happened years ago and I loved it so much — I think I bought this one pretty soon after finishing that one because I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I had other books I was reading but this one kept niggling its way into my head and I finally had to pick it up! Right off the bat I remembered why I loved her writing so much – she sucked me right in and automatically I was curious how the past story fit with that of the present, that of a writer who escapes to an old family house to work on her next novel. I loved that the main character was a writer and I fell in love with Starwater immediately.

This was such an enjoyable read and I loved that it kept me reading late at night. It might have been slightly predictable, but the joy of reading the story and the journey to what I thought might happen in the end was still so great. And only a few chapters in I was researching Kimberley’s other books, seriously contemplating just buying them all because she’s just such a great writer! If I had to compare her to someone, it would probably be the writing of Taylor Jenkins Reid, where you get those dual stories that meet up at some point in the book. This story was addicting and lovely and I’m happy I finally read it!