Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Dedication - Nicola Kraus & Emma McLaughlin.

Published: July 2007
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 356

Buy this book: Amazon US
What if your first love left town, without a word to anyone, days before graduation?  What if he went on to become one of the biggest recording stars on the planet, and every song he's famous for is about you?  What if, after thirteen years of getting on with your life - walking past his face on newsstands, flipping past his image on TV, tuning him out on the radio - you get the call that he has landed back in your hometown for an MTV special two days before Christmas?  What if you finally had the chance to confront him?  What would you do?
This is the dilemma faced by Kate Hollis, a woman on the threshold of her thirtieth birthday, who discovers that the only way to embrace life as a fully-fledged, well-adjusted adult is to re-visit seventeen.
The cover...
The UK cover is simple yet eye-catching.  Half of a girl leaning/pondering on top of an overflowing suitcase, it kind of makes you wonder, where is she going and why?
How did I find out about this book?
I was just looking through the books at ‘The Works’ store and it caught my eye.
What is this book about?
This book is focusing on a girl named Kate and how she has never really gotten over her ‘first love’.  She’s turning 30 and her friend calls her up to say he’s back in town and she basically gets the next available flight back to her home town.
My opinion...
I enjoyed the story of this book, however to find the story it seemed liked you had to read between the lines and make up your own parts sometimes.  To explain, a lot of the wording seemed confusing, which I didn’t like at all.  It was like the two authors knew the story and how it should go but they both had different ideas as to how it should be told and these ideas were combined to make a jumbled up explanation.  If that makes any sense?
Another problem was the explanation of characters.  I like to know a bit about who I am going to be reading about from the beginning and then find out their story as I go along.  This book seems to just jump into the story, with the sequence of ‘present’ chapter, ‘past’ chapter and so on... with the ‘past’ chapters going up in school grades.  The ‘past’ chapters are when you find out who the characters are and what they are all about.
Again, in relation to the wording, it’s like a teenager is writing it, for example when a teenager writes a diary they are not going to think about how they are writing, they just want to get their thoughts etc down before they forget them.  That’s essentially how this book seems, however, the ‘present’ chapters are written in this way also, with some situations bringing up the question of ‘you’re 30, would you actually still act like that?’.   Especially with the beginning: Kate essentially already has her suitcase packed and is ready to go when her friend calls her up letting her know her first love is back in town; which makes me question, ‘where’s the effort?’.
I do like the story though but was not pleased with the ending, I wanted something more.  I am somewhat of a ‘happy ending lover’.  I was expecting more, I wanted more, but it just wasn’t there.  There was even a character mentioned half way through the book once or twice that I was thinking, maybe this is going somewhere, but no, he was never heard of again.   The only thing about the ending was that it brought up how the story came about in the first place.
If you enjoyed this book: what to read next...
Hmmm, I’m totally unsure with this one.  After reading this all I really thought about was reading the Nanny Diaries series, so perhaps that’s a route to go down?  Maybe I’ll come back to this one...

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Love Academy - Belinda Jones.

Release Date: 19 July 2007
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arrow
Pages: 386
Buy this Book: Amazon UK, Amazon US

Amazon Synopsis:
Do you have enough romance in your life?   Journalist Kirsty Bailey would have to answer no. She has the essential starter kit - a boyfriend - but somehow Joe seems to have skipped the vows of for better/for worse and gone straight to for granted.
But then just as she's on the verge of settling for a swoon-free existence, Kirsty's magazine sends her to a majestic Venetian palazzo to attend the much gossiped-about Love Academy... Her undercover mission? To prove her editor's theory that this 'school for singles' is nothing more than an escort agency with a sexy accent and fancy glass chandeliers.   But what if her editor is wrong and their promise of true amore is for real? Will Kirsty be able to resist the kind of moonlit temptations she's been dreaming of for years, or is her relationship with Joe going, going, gondola?   If you think Casanova was a bad boy, just wait until you see what Cupid has in store for Kirsty...

The cover...
The cover is sweet and is perfect for this book.  Not to give anything away, all I way say is that once you read the book, you will know why.  However the hint being "Will Kirsty be able to resist the kind of moonlit temptations she's been dreaming of for years, or is her relationship with Joe going, going, gondola?" from the summary above.

How did I find out about this book?
A while back I didn't have money spare to buy a lot of books so instead I borrowed from a friend and this was one that caught my eye.

My opinion...
Although parts of this book confused me, for example, the Italian phrases, I still found this book to have a clear story to tell.

There are two main things that I loved about it.  The first being that every chapter started with a quote, whether this quote be about love or about Venice (the location of the book).  I love quotes, and I found each quote to be a hint for what was to come. The second being that fate is a recurring aspect.  As a big believer in fate, I found this book to be really heartwarming, I guess the romantic in me made it more enticing also.

Although the book did give a lot of description, most of this was on the location of Venice.  There was not much description on the characters to give the reader the full effect.  However, in my opinion, I still warmed to the main character of Kirsty, the charming Dante, and the 'unromantic' Joe.

To end, I think that this is a book that could keep you happily content whilst sitting on a beach on holiday in the sun.

If you enjoyed this book: what to read next...
Near the end of this book, another of Belinda Jones' books titled I Love Capri is mentioned, with the bringing back of the main characters and from reading some reviews on this book and from the advice of my friend, it seems like this is a good book to read next, to find out exactly who the main characters are and how they came to be the ones getting married in The Love Academy.
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