Saturday, 5 February 2011

What I've been Reading:

'From Notting Hill With Love... Actually' does precisely what it says on the cover.  Even before this plopped through my Amazon-shaped letter box, I knew I would love it. (Who says I never look forward to anything?! Alright, me, usually) It didn't disappoint.  Okay, so I knew who the main character was going to find her Happy Ending with right from the start, but then half the enjoyment of rom-com movies is already knowing this, and wanting it to happen and just revelling in the sheer pleasure of watching it all unfurl before our eyes.  This was just lovely.  And at one point I even cried (no, not even at the ending - that was predictably, perfectly Happy) real, proper tears.  This is unusual for me.  Not since Marian Keyes' 'Is Anybody Out There' have I been known to shed a wet one - and that was the ending.  So to have me proper weep mid-way through a book must be a sign of it's goodness.

 'The One That Got Away'  was a real test to read with one hand in front of my eyes.  As the title suggests, the whole premise is a 'what if'... which reminded me of Emily Giffin's 'Love the one You're With' (like, NOW, not THEN) book, but any similarity in my head stopped there.  It' felt like a continual cliffhanger and the voices in my head were screaming "No, no, don't do it - can't you SEE what will happen?" virtually all the way through.  Talk about heart-in-mouth moments.

And speaking of the FAB-U-LOUS Emily Giffin (whose first book, 'Something Borrowed' is currently "in-the-can" (which is movie-speak for has been made I believe) and a trailer imminent... not that I'm obsessed or anything *I LOVE YOU EMILY!*  her latest book 'Heart of the Matter' is just stunning.  I knew it would be.  See - another eagerly awaited which didn't disappoint.  The characterisations are so spot-on and so disarmingly diametrically opposed that half the admiration is in how brilliantly they are woven together to produce such a flawless piece of art.  yes, it's art.  At it's finest.  Get it, read it.  You'll be drooling for a back catalogue of Ms Giffin's works. Seriously.

It's taken me a while to get round to reading 'Avalon High' which has more to do with the 'system' in the room we fondly to refer to as the 'Study' (it's the smallest room of the house stacked to the rafters with books, paper, more books, leads that lead precisely nowhere and yet more books, you get the idea...).  And although The Girl has always referred to this as her favourite read of all time, I just wasn't convinced by it's very loud pink and shouty cover and the fact it's got some kind of Girl Warrior wielding a sword on the outside.  Don't get me wrong, I like Teenage fiction, I just though this might be pushing it a bit.  But the minute I read the opening bars of Tennyson's "The Lady of Shallott" I  realised I'd died and gone to Literary Heaven. This was poem that got me through my A-levels.  If it hadn't been for the Willows whitening, the Aspens quivering and the bower eaves entombing the fair maiden who was cursed from looking out of her window onto Camelot, then I'd have given up mid-term.  For 2 years I was the Lady of Shallott.  Sometimes I still am. And the story was just lovely. It brought back all my hormonal feelings, in a good way and made me feel happy.  And a book that can transport and evoke such feelings HAS to go to the top of the pile.

Rowan Coleman has been a 'Friend' on Facebook for ages and I've watched as this book has evolved, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on 'The Happy Home for Broken Hearts'.  It was just perfect. Just as lovely as the cover suggests.  As you can see - that's back and front... although I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't actually a pushbike used in the story (I don't think, anyway).  I loved that the Main Character was so ordinary and had self-doubts and issues way above the norm, and I loved that her Hero (which, once again, you kind of knew right from the start he would be) was equally so realistic and loveable.  And as one who doesn't ordinarily *heart* children characters, Charlie was a breath of fresh air.  He didn't whine, he didn't demand, he didn't distract from the lovely flow of the blossoming storyline and in fact he was an essential part and I could have hugged him to certain death.  I didn't want it to end, and it disappeared rather too quickly - like a Pavlova on a Summer's Day.

Currently I'm reading Sharon Osborne's Revenge' which, once again is another *DJABBIC* book.  it's rather cleverly covered in silver-dust and I'm sure Sharon must've had the diabolically hapless housewife in mind for her reading audience as this is a book which will NEVER gather dust because it's already stuck fast to it in a lovely shimmery way.
I can't believe how far through it I already am - only 4 days in.  It's a bright, breezy, fun read and although the characters aren't brilliantly sculpted, the story doesn't really warrant too much depth.  And  one of them, I'm almost sure has a definite Simon Cowell feel to him.  It's a  page-turning mood-enhancer... and it's got plenty of hot sex if you like your read a bit spicy - rather reminiscent of  the early Bonkbuster.

So that's where I am.  How 'bout you?


Karen said...

I love Lucy Dawson's books, they all have a real edge. I enjoyed Notting Hill ... too. I haven't read anything by Emily Giffin - must give her a try :o)

Debs Riccio said...

I'm def going to have to get a couple more Lucy Dawsons after this one. Oh, and thanks for stopping by, Karen, and Following. I've been catching up with your blog posts - LOVE the one about the friend of a friend who *doesn't do (fiction) books* - fab stuff!

Karen said...

Thanks Debs, your blog is pretty fab too :o) The friend was in shock recently as her husband had bought her a novel for Christmas - she was planning to give it to the charity shop!!

Ms Mac said...

I LOVE Emily Giffin too! First thing I'm going to do in New York is buy a copy of Heart of the Matter to go with the rest of her books I have.

(I think she sends out book plates with signatures if you request them on Facebook. But I'm too shy.....)