*BLOG TOUR* Daisy Does it Herself by Gracie Player

Today it is my stop on the fabulous blog tour for Daisy Does it Herself by Gracie Player.

Sometimes, the Last Place You Intended to Go is Exactly Where You Need to Be.

When 26-year-old Daisy’s life in London comes crashing down around her, the only thing she can think of is getting away – far away. That’s how she found herself stumbling off a train in England’s picturesque Peak District – 150 miles from home, with no idea why she’d gone there and even less idea how she intended to get home.

As Daisy explores the gorgeous village of Upper Finlay, she glimpses the possibility of a different life. The Derbyshire Dales offer up new friends, new opportunities, and a distractingly dishy object of attraction in the form of local bookstore owner Alex (and his bumbling Great Dane.) When Daisy discovers Alex’s business is in trouble she steps in to save the day.
But London’s Calling – literally. The life Daisy ran away from is calling her back. Why then, is she so reluctant to heed its call?

Daisy’s got a decision to make: Will she play it safe, and return to what she knew? Or is she brave enough to take a leap of faith and create a bold, new life for herself in the last place she’d ever expected?

Daisy Does it Herself is a sweet, uplifting romantic comedy about the power of self-confidence, friendship and of course love! Fans of warm and witty romantic comedies with a guaranteed happily-ever-after will be entranced.

I am a big fan of romance novels set in bookstores, so I knew I was onto a winner when Daisy Does it Herself popped up. Daisy finds herself in the awful position of being jobless and potentially boyfriend less all in the same day. In shock at how her day has turned out, she gets on a train – and doesn’t get off! Finding herself in the beautiful Peak District, she finds herself stuck with no way home. When she comes across the local bookstore in the quaint village of Upper Finlay, Daisy finds herself a refuge. With a place to stay, and a job in the bookstore, Daisy sets herself a timeframe to work out what she wants from her relationship, as well as what she can achieve in her professional life. With the very handsome bookstore owner literally right downstairs, and new friends being made, Daisy finds herself with some very tough decisions to make!

This is such a lovely, easy read novel. The relationship between Daisy and her boyfriend Phil is worrying and the relationship between Daisy and her mother is almost as bad, so watching her escape them and working out what she wants on her own is quite frankly, refreshing. The added bonus is that she has to make all these decisions whilst surrounded by books! There are worse places to be! This is the perfect light read for a rainy (or snowy if the weather forecasts are to be believed!) Sunday afternoon! So get that fire roaring, grab yourself a hot chocolate* (*feel free to replace this with a glass of wine if you’re not doing dry January!) and settle in with this lovely novel – its the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and TRMBooks for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Author Bio

Gracie is the author of the romantic fiction novel Daisy Does it Herself

Gracie loves to create strong, quirky heroines and hopes to introduce you to your latest book-boyfriend crush.

She makes her home in the stunning Peak District in Derbyshire. Where she lives with her partner — amid ongoing negotiations over the size of her book collection and whose job it is to take out the bins!

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Book Review: New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse by Christie Barlow

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse by Christie Barlow, which is book 9 in the Love Heart Lane series.

‘A letter, a goodbye, and a baby girl whose name will begin with “L”…’

When Heartcross’ resident clairvoyant tells Molly McKendrick to expect a whole lot of scandal and upset to blow in with the approaching winter storm, Molly doesn’t know what to think.

With a baby on the way any week now, and Christmas not far off, the last thing Molly needs is drama, but when she crosses paths with Bree, a sixteen-year-old homeless girl, and takes her in from the cold, secrets from the past flood the present and Molly, her partner Cam, and their son George, are soon experiencing a holiday season filled with unexpected festive surprises…

Imagine my excitement when I found myself in possession of New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse so soon after receiving The New Doctor at Peony Practice!

New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse brings back to us some beloved characters, Molly and Cam, so that we can find out what happens to them next. First featured in Primrose Park, it was wonderful to come back to these lovely characters to find out what happened to them and their lovely son George.

Heavily pregnant Molly is keen to give back to the community, so whilst trying to help Sam at the homeless hostel Molly crosses paths with Bree, a young homeless girl. With Cam working hard at the Old Bakehouse, a baby on the way and now a young girl to help, Molly finds herself in a turmoil. With a snow storm thrown into the mix, there is plenty of drama in Heartcross!

Yet another excellent addition to the Love Heart Lane series, and with an opportunity to revisit characters, I am more than happy to recommend New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse. Christie Barlow certainly knows how to write books that feel like a warm hug – it just makes me want to move to Heartcross and immerse myself in such a lovely community! Definitely go and grab yourself a copy, and cosy up with a blanket and glass of wine and lose yourself in Heartcross!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Netgalley, One More Chapter and Christie Barlow for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Love Heart Lane series

Love Heart Lane (Book One)

Foxglove Farm (Book Two)

Clover Cottage (Book Three)

Starcross Manor (Book Four)

The Lake House (Book Five)

Primrose Park (Book Six)

Heartcross Castle (Book Seven)

The New Doctor at Peony Practice (Book Eight)

BOOK REVIEW: The New Doctor at Peony Practice by Christie Barlow

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of The New Doctor at Peony Practice by Christie Barlow, book eight in the Love Heart Lane series.

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what 

All’s fair in love and…medicine?

Dr Katie O’Neil has only been in Heartcross a few hours when she finds herself already ruffling feathers – not least with medical school nemesis and new colleague Ben Sanders.

Katie’s the woman Ben loves to hate and until now he’d hoped he’d never set eyes on her again but now she’s back – and living next door!

When a charity boat race down the River Heart puts the two in direct competition, sparks fly. The winner takes it all, but who will it be? And will their prize be far more than they were expecting…

It always pleases me when when Christie Barlow releases another novel in the wonderful Love Heart Lane series. Heartcross is full of a wonderful community of characters, so it is certainly no hardship to revisit them all!

The New Doctor at Peony Practice focuses on Dr Katie O’Neil and Dr Ben Sanders, and it quickly becomes apparent that they have met before! Having gone to medical school together, Ben is more than a little dismayed when he discovers that his new colleague at Peony Practice is none other than his nemesis, Katie!

It immediately becomes clear that there are sparks flying between the two of them, and that there really is a fine line between love and hate. With Katie integrating herself in the Heartcross community by immediately arranging a charity boat race, Ben can do very little but get swept up along with her plans. With both Ben and Katie having complicated pasts, maybe they need each, along with their vibrant community, to help them both move on.

The New Doctor at Peony Practice gives us the opportunity to revisit many beloved characters, whilst also introducing Ben and Katie into the Heartcross fold. This is a love story of course; but it’s also emotional, witty and fun. It is most definitely a worthy addition to the Love Heart Lane series! So I am more than happy to recommend this to you all, and if you haven’t already, I suggest you make a start on the rest of this series!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Netgalley, One More Chapter and Christie Barlow for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Love Heart Lane Series

Love Heart Lane (Book One)

Foxglove Farm (Book Two)

Clover Cottage (Book Three)

Starcross Manor (Book Four)

The Lake House (Book Five)

Primrose Park (Book Six)

Heartcross Castle (Book Seven)

Book Review: One Night on the Island by Josie Silver

It is my pleasure to bring you my review of One Night on the Island by Josie Silver.

Cleo writes about love stories every day. She just isn’t living one of her own.

When the editor of her dating column asks her to marry herself on a remote Irish island – a sensational piece to mark Cleo’s thirtieth birthday – Cleo agrees. She’s alone but not lonely, right? She can handle a solo adventure.

Cleo arrives at her luxury cabin to find a tall, dark, stubborn American who insists it’s actually his. Mack refuses to leave, and Cleo won’t budge either. With a storm fast approaching, they reluctantly hunker down together. It’s just one night, after all . . .

But what if one night on the island is just the beginning?

Cleo is a writer who writes about love but is yet to find it for herself. She has a dating column in a magazine, but she is fast approaching 30 and becoming disillusioned by both her life and her work. When her editor sends her to a remote Irish island to marry herself as a way of marking her 30th birthday, she embraces the idea, even if she’s not yet quite sure what it all means. What she doesn’t want however, is the tall dark American man she finds in her rental cottage on arrival.

Mack, the tall dark American, has escaped to Salvation Island in the hope of creating a photographic exhibition that will surpass anything he’s created before. He has spent years dreaming of following his Grandmothers stories to Salvation Island, but he finally gets the push when he realises he and his wife may be creating a toxic environment for their sons whilst they are separated. What he doesn’t need is some hippy woman in his cottage, intent on marrying herself.

This is a love story, but not in the typical sense. Cleo is a strong, independent woman looking for purpose, and she knows she doesn’t need a man to find it. Mack is a broken man who needs to navigate his marital breakdown whilst ensuring his sons are always his primary focus. They certainly don’t need each other at this point in their lives, but they may just find that wanting each other doesn’t have to mean giving up on their individual dreams.

This was such a lovely story – I loved the remote, harsh landscape of Salvation Island with its tiny community cut off from the rest of the UK. But mostly I loved the characters. I loved that neither one of them wanted to compromise on their aims for the future, and that neither of them had to. Cleo is headstrong and independent, whilst being feminine, loving and empathetic. Mack is a man who is lost and emotional, but with a deep understanding of the need to allow others to grow. The chemistry between them is slow burning, and builds beautifully.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel. This is my first Josie Silver novel, but it certainly won’t be my last!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

*BLOG TOUR* The Christmas Trip by Sandy Barker

I am so pleased to bring you my review of The Christmas Trip by Sandy Barker as part of her fabulous blog tour – its officially Christmas novel season!

Another year has passed and it’s Christmas again. This year best friends Chloe, Jules and Lucy are all loved up but living worlds apart.

Chloe is madly in love with her celebrity beau, Archer, but after a whirlwind year in Hollywood’s limelight, she’s desperate to get away and spend some quality time together.

Jules loves her Melbourne life – and gorgeous winemaker Matt – but a crowded flat share has her longing for a place of her own.

Meantime, Lucy is stuck in a long distance relationship, jetting back and forth between Colorado and London to see Will.

When Archer’s plan to whisk Chloe to Paris goes awry, he surprises her by bringing her friends together for a Christmas to remember…

The Christmas Swap was a standout Christmas novel for me back in 2020, so imagine my excitement when I discovered The Christmas Trip was on its way! I always love a novel that revisits beloved characters, and The Christmas Trip is no exception!

After finding love following the big Christmas swap, Chloe, Jules and Lucy find themselves one year later, living their new realities with Archer, Matt and Will. With big moves, and plenty of travelling, the three of them are looking forward to spending Christmas with their beaus and finally relaxing after what has been a very full on year.

Chloe’s life has changed beyond all recognition as she finds herself living the Hollywood lifestyle with her famous actor boyfriend Archer. After a very fast paced, hectic year, all they want is a relaxing break in Paris – until a volcanic eruption halts all air traffic over Europe.

Jules made the move to Melbourne from Colorado and she couldn’t be happier with her life and with Matt. However she’s finding her flat share a little crowded and craves her own living space.

Lucy is struggling. Whilst she adores her boyfriend Will, the long distance relationship is tough, especially when she seems to be the only one doing any travelling.

When Chloe and Archer’s plans for Paris fall through, he surprises her by bringing her friends to Hawaii so that they can finally enjoy a Christmas all together in the place where they met so many years ago.

I love a good revisit novel – getting the ‘happy ever after’ ending in a romance novel is always great, but we don’t always get the chance to find out what happens next. We all know that ‘happy ever after’ isn’t something that comes easily so actually seeing the bumps in the road after a couple gets together, and seeing how they deal with them serves to make the characters more realistic.

Chloe, Jules and Lucy all have such different stories and relationships, which is what really helps makes this series all the more engaging. They are most definitely not the same, and nor do they try to be. It feels like we’re getting three stories for the price of one, something that I definitely won’t complain about! I like them all as characters, and I feel that they are all relatable and believable. Throw in the beauty of Hawaii and you are onto a winner! Whilst, like Lucy, I was a little disappointed with the lack of snow (I did rather love the Colorado setting in The Christmas Swap), the description of Hawaii definitely left me wanting to visit. It’s just a shame that its unlikely I’ll be seeing Hawaii from a Billionaires mansion!

I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all. Whilst you could read The Christmas Trip as a standalone, I’m not sure why you would want to – so grab yourself a copy of The Christmas Swap (feel free to check out my review!) and get yourself into the Christmas spirit by reading these two novels back to back! Immerse yourself into the lives of 3 very different best friends, and enjoy their journeys to find love, and what happens next!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Sandy Barker and Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Amazon CA

Amazon US

Kobo

iBooks

Nook

Google Play

Author Bio

Sandy is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob. 

Sandy lives in Melbourne Australia with her partner, Ben, who she met while travelling in Greece. Their real-life love story inspired Sandy’s debut novel One Summer in Santorini, the first in the Holiday Romance series with One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins. 

The series continues in That Night in Paris and A Sunset in Sydney and there are two more to come in 2022. Her standalone novel The Christmas Swap celebrates her favourite time of the year, and next up is The Dating Game, a laugh-out-loud romcom set in the world of Reality TV.

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*BLOG TOUR* Just Say Yes by Maxine Morrey

I am very excited to bring you my review of Just Say Yes by Maxine Morrey, on day one of her fabulous blog tour and publication day!

Wedding planner Madeline lives in a picture-perfect thatched cottage, in a picture-perfect English country village.
There’s only one problem – dream cottages take a lot of work, and with a leaking roof, and not enough money to pay for it, what Maddie needs now is a big wedding to plan.

So she’s delighted when she takes on the wedding of Californian heiress Peyton, to all-round good guy Patrick.  She’s less delighted to find out that she’s going to have help – from the admittedly gorgeous, but equally maddening, tall, dark and handsome best man Lorcan.

The wedding is set to take place in a castle in rural Ireland, and so, in no time, Maddie and Lorcan are on their way to Ballalee. Life hasn’t always been easy for Maddie, and work has become her refuge. But soon the warmth and humour of Lorcan’s Irish family and friends start to chip away at Maddie’s walls.  And as the big day approaches, it might be time for Maddie to focus less on her clients’ love life and more on her own…

I’m always excited when I find out Maxine Morrey is releasing a new novel – she hasn’t written anything that I haven’t loved yet! I am pleased to confirm that I was not disappointed with Just Say Yes!

Madeline is a wedding planner, with a business that has really suffered thanks to the recent global pandemic. Money is tight, so she really needs her business to start taking off again if she doesn’t want to find herself swimming in her cottage every time it rains! Maddie is ecstatic when she finds herself planning a wedding for American heiress Peyton to her beloved Irish fiancé Patrick. When she finds out that the best man Lorcan is on hand to help, she’s less than impressed. She needs this wedding to be a huge success, and the last thing she needs is the distraction of a tall, dark and handsome irishman.

With the wedding set to take place in Ireland, Maddie finds herself in the small village of Ballelee with Lorcan. After spending so much time alone, Maddie finds herself drawn into the warmth of a tight knit village – maybe she really does need more in her life than just her work.

This is such a great novel – Maddie is a great character. She is a strong, ambitious woman despite the trauma that she hides. She has built up her own business, and she has created the life that she lives. All of this has made her a little isolated though, most definitely not helped by the pandemic.

Lorcan is the tall, dark and handsome – what’s not to like? To make him even better, he is kind, caring and all about his family and friends. He’s the man I am more than happy dreaming about, and he makes the perfect leading man!

I am more than happy to recommend this novel – it’s a great light hearted romance with some wonderful characters. I loved the Irish setting too, it really made me want to visit Ireland as soon as possible! So if this sounds like your kind of book, then I recommend that you immediately grab yourself a copy and curl up with a lovely chilled glass of wine! Once you’ve finished Just Say Yes, I highly recommend that you go and visit Maxine’s back catalogue – check out my blog for my many reviews of her wonderful novels!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Maxine Morrey and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of such a fabulous blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Author Bio

Maxine Morrey is a bestselling romantic comedy author with twelve books to her name including #NoFilter and Things Are Looking Up. She lives in Dorset.

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Bookbub

*BLOG TOUR* Hideaway in Iceland by Victoria Walker

Today it is my stop on the fabulous blog tour for Hideaway in Iceland by Victoria Walker!

PR executive Anna Mortimer has clinched the deal of a lifetime for the hottest celebrity couple to have their wedding covered by a glossy magazine, but when things don’t go to plan and she loses her job, will a well-timed invitation to visit Reykjavik be the perfect distraction while she decides what to do next?

Ned Nokes has just left the safety of the biggest boy band in history to go it alone. With the eyes of the world on him, he escapes to Iceland in search of solitude. He makes friends with people who don’t know who he is but after a lifetime in the spotlight, can he trust anyone who isn’t on his payroll?

Visit Iceland at its most beautiful as autumn turns to winter and find out whether the magic that helped Anna’s friend Rachel find her happy ever after, is still there…

I was very excited to get my hands on this novel, after previously reading Snug in Iceland which I loved! Despite not yet making it to Iceland in real life, immersing myself in Hideaway in Iceland felt like I really was revisiting Reykjavik!

It was lovely to catch up with Rachel and Jonas, as it’s always lovely to find out what happens to characters after a story ends. However it was also nice to finally be introduced to Rachel’s friend Anna and find out what her story is.

When Anna finds herself jobless without any prospects in London, she finally takes the plunge and heads to Iceland to catch up with Rachel who has embarked on a new life in Reykjavik with her beloved Jonas.

Ned Nokes was a member of one of the biggest boy bands in the world. He is desperately trying to find himself outside of the confines of his group, but with the paparazzi and media always on his tail, he really needs to find somewhere in the world that he can get lost. After settling on Reykjavik, he finds himself able to be himself. No one recognises him as Ned Nokes, famous singer so he finds himself able to relax and work out exactly what kind of music he wants to make for himself.

Naturally Ned and Anna meet in the beautiful setting that is Iceland. What I really enjoyed though is not just that this is a love story – it’s also a story about two individuals who are attempting to forge their own paths in life. They don’t need each other, but the support they have for one another is really wonderful to follow. They are both equals in the story, and whilst the path of their relationship is definitely not smooth, you can’t help but root for them!

I am more than happy to recommend this novel – the setting is stunning and the characters are sweet, loving and ambitious – what’s not to like?! So grab yourself a glass of wine and a blanket, and curl up with this lovely novel!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Victoria Walker and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Author Bio

Victoria Walker has been writing romantic fiction since a visit to Iceland in 2014 inspired her first novel. As well as writing, she spends her free time dressmaking, knitting and reading an inordinate amount of contemporary romance, occasionally punctuated by the odd psychological thriller and saga.

In the past she has worked as a cinema projectionist, a knitting and sewing tutor and has owned a yarn store, all things which will no doubt appear in her books if they haven’t already.

Victoria lives in the Malvern Hills with her husband and occasionally her two adult children.

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Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long, but I have finally read Where the Crawdads Sing – so I am very pleased to bring you my review.

For years, rumors of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.

I am more than a little late to the Where the Crawdads Sing party. My bestie loved this book, and insisted that we go and see the newly released film adaptation. Naturally I thought I should read the book first, which didn’t exactly go to plan.

So I really struggled when I first picked up this novel – after 10 days of reading, I went to see the movie having only finished Part One: The Marsh and I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to finish it. To say my friend was disappointed was an understatement. Add my inability to finish the book to the slew of negative movie reviews, we went to the cinema feeling a little dejected.

I am pleased to confirm however that you can confidently ignore the movie critics! I loved the film, it was an emotional watch, set against a stunning yet eerie backdrop. I cried, and I suddenly felt compelled to rush home and read Part 2: The Swamp! I was not disappointed – with a renewed enthusiasm I devoured the second half of this novel. Delia Owens descriptions of the swamp are hauntingly beautiful. The feeling of isolation flows from her words, pulling you into the marsh with Kya, the shunned marsh girl who against all odds survived the wilderness alone, with only nature for company. The characterisation is beautiful; as a mother my heart breaks for Kya as her childhood becomes increasingly isolated and lonely, and she has to grow up far too fast in order to survive.

A murder trial runs throughout this novel, but plays second fiddle to Kya’s story as she learns to survive and live in a wilderness that many much braver than she could not survive.

If you want a novel rich in atmosphere, haunting yet beautiful, with stunning characterisation, then this is the novel for you. If, like me, you had ignored the hype about this novel and just added the novel to your TBR pile – please pick it up and get reading. You won’t regret it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Review: The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen

I am so pleased to bring you my review of The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen.

At six, she’s memorising the dictionary. At seven, she’s correcting her teachers. At eight, she spins the globe and picks her favourite country on the sound of its name: Burundi.
And now that she’s an adult, Augusta has no interest in the goings-on of the small town where she lives with her parents and her beloved twin sister, Julia.
When an unspeakable tragedy upends everything in Augusta’s life, she’s propelled headfirst into the unknown. She’s determined to find where she belongs – but what if her true home, and heart, are half a world away?

How has it taken me this long to read this novel?!

Augusta Hope had always been different to other little girls – she has been devouring information ever since she can remember. Naturally that didn’t make her the most popular person at school, and she finds that she never truly fits in. Her beloved twin, Julia, couldn’t have been more different; sociable, lots of friends, a boyfriend – and an unwavering love for her sister Augusta.

When tragedy strikes her family, Augusta finds herself feeling more lost than ever. Her childhood fascination with the country of Burundi may just lead her to find her place in the world.

This is a dual story novel – Augusta Hope is of course our main character, but we also find ourselves following Parfait, a young man from Burundi who has to navigate a very different world to the one that Augusta finds herself in. This is a rich story of love, life, tragedy and overcoming adversity. Two wildly different stories interwoven together, it really draws you in. Neither Augusta or Parfait are characters that I can relate to in my every day life that but that doesn’t stop you wanting more for them both. I was utterly engrossed in this novel from start to finish – the characterisation is excellent, and the dual storyline means you really get to immerse yourself in two worlds that are so distant from one another yet so perfectly linked. My first thought when reading about Augusta was Eleanor Oliphant – I can definitely see a parallel between these two quirky, awkward characters. That’s where the comparison ends though, with this novel focusing on love, grief and really finding your own path in life.

I have no hesitation in recommending this novel – it is not a light, easy read but it is a novel that really seeks to immerse you in the story of these two rich characters. Let yourself be drawn into their stories, and let me know what you think!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Book Review: Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of Ann Napolitano’s Dear Edward.

A transcendent coming-of-age story about the ways a broken heart learns to love again.

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles: there are 192 people aboard. When the plane suddenly crashes, twelve-year-old Edward Adler is the sole survivor.

In the aftermath, Edward struggles to make sense of his grief, sudden fame and find his place in a world without his family. But then Edward and his neighbour Shay make a startling discovery; hidden in his uncle’s garage are letters from the relatives of other passengers – all addressed him.

Following the passengers’ final hours and Edward’s unique coming-of-age, Dear Edward asks one of life’s most profound questions:

What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?

Well this is a novel with all the feels! I’ve actually had this book for quite some time, and I chose to read it whilst on holiday. I was struggling to commit to my next read, and chose this purely because my son is called Edward. I didn’t re-read the blurb, trusting that I wanted to read when I first got it, so I would still want to read it now. I can’t believe it took me so long to pick it up.

Edward Adler is a twelve year old boy, moving cross country from New York to Los Angeles with his mother, father and brother. There is nothing extraordinary about him – until he survives a plane crash when no one else does.

This is a coming of age novel, following Edward as he tries to correlate who he once was, to who he is growing up to be. His grief is sympathetically portrayed as he navigates a world without his family, often comparing his age milestones with that of his beloved lost brother.

The growth of Edwards relationships with his Aunt, Uncle, and neighbour Shay are beautifully described, and really draw you into his world as he navigates the new life he finds himself in. Upon finding letters in his Uncles garage, all addressed to him, these relationships deepen as they support him in working through his grief.

This is an emotional novel; given its subject it could never be anything but emotional. But it is sympathetically written – I believed that I was following the thoughts and feelings of a confused young boy who had lost everything he knew in just a few short moments. I was able to fully immerse myself in this story, and I couldn’t help but want the best for Edward. This is very much a character-driven novel; Ann Napolitano sets the scene but the characters are very much as the forefront of this story, which really helps you to become invested.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel – it is both heart-wrenching and uplifting. Whilst the central theme is grief, it is not a depressing novel at all. It is about learning to really live, rather than just survive.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Just as a little addendum – apparently Dear Edward is being made into an AppleTV series – this will definitely be one to watch! A great cast has been announced, I look forward to seeing how this wonderful book translates onto the small screen.