Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Welcome back everyone, we move from a Christmas love story to an award-winning fiction novel. I was given this one for Christmas last yr and was sceptical about reading it but lots of people I work with assured me I’d love it.

The way people raved about this book I expected it to be profound and almost soul inspiring. Yet I was left hanging without ever finding out what was going on with Eleanor. It’s obvious something is wrong, but it’s never explained what it is.

For a book that felt like it was going to have a strong message around mental health awareness it felt like it missed the mark by a long way. Other than the fact that she suffers yet also feels many of the same feelings as others there’s nothing unique or informative about what she’s going through. I would’ve loved to have found out what exactly she was suffering with and then seen those around her support her in a way that shows mental illness can’t hold you back.

In the end the only reason I finished the book was because I’d been assured that all Eleanor’s oddities would be explained because it’d be shoved in my face so much it’d be impossible to miss. If I had have known that I wouldn’t get any answers I would’ve DNF. But I was assured all the answers would be given to me.

If you’ve read it and can help me out, please do. Because I honestly think there was so much missing.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Saturday I'll be reviewing A Cosy Christmas in Cornwall by Jane Linfoot.

Wrapped Up for Christmas – Katlyn Duncan

Welcome back everyone, we’re only in October but we’re already seeing some of the Christmas new releases making their way into our reading lists.

In this case it starts off in America and spans a whole month leading up to Christmas with a young girl suffering a massive heartbreak because her boyfriend had been cheating on her. She goes home to spend time with her family and regroup over the Christmas season.

Leading into the season of giving it’s nice to read a sweet romance that embodies being with family, getting oneself onto a better path, forgiveness and giving back to others. Katlyn balances these aspects of the Christmas time in one story in a way that allows us to truly relax and enjoy it.

I read this one over a few days and found it to be a calmly relaxing read that I was able to emotionally buy into, without becoming emotionally stressed as the story progressed through its peaks and throughs. For those coming into the Christmas season with a busy schedule but still want a nice, sweet romance, this could be a great book for you to keep up your reading.

If you’re a dog lover like me, you’ll especially love the doggy love that is shown throughout this love story.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Perils of Autumn by Rusty Blackwood. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Coming from a small town in Western Massachusetts, Katlyn Duncan always had her head in the clouds. Working as a scientist for most of her adult life, she enjoyed breaking down the hows and whys of life. This translated into her love of stories and getting into the minds of her characters.

Currently, she’s a full-time author and freelance writer. When she’s not writing, she’s obsessing over many (many) television series’.

She currently resides in Southern New England with her family. Check out more about her writing and current TV addiction in her newsletter, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

SCBWI & RWA Member.

You can find Katlyn on her various social media including Pintrest and BookBub.

Giveaway - Win a book of your choice from Book Depository up to the value of $25 (open internationally)


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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome, so long as The Book Depository delivers to your country.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Wrap Up – September

After having a great time off in Vietnam last month, I spent a good chunk of this month off work sick. And I don’t meant the sick where I could relax and read. I mean I type where I was stuck on the couch barely able to put two words together. So I watched A LOT of TV!

I also had my birthday this month. My family kindly bought me the Outlander series so I can read those and compare the books to the show.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I took the plunge and got my grey hair situation fixed. By dying it greyer!

Hehehehe

Let’s just say my partner wasn’t impressed. He wanted me to hide them. I quite like it though, what do you think? Can you even tell in the photo?

(Please excuse the shitty jumper and trackies, it’s still cold and since I’ve been studying so much I’ve been staying comfortable.)

I’ve had the quietest month in some time review wise. I’ve been pretty busy with study and I didn’t want to stress myself out so I put myself on a ban for new tours the involve reviews. I just couldn’t sign up for more and stay sane while trying to get back to healthy.

My Fav

OMG this is a hard one! My two 5 star ratings are so very different… I guess I go with the one I could see there being more of? And could imagine what the sequel would be like?

Which is A Different Time by Michael K. Hill brought to me by The Write Reads Ultimate Book Tour.

I loved reading this was literally finished it in one night. I was also immediately fan girling with David and a few others over how it ended.

Clue, you’ll need tissues ready!

I really do think you should read this if you’re even remotely a fan of romance.

But I really also want to give a shout out to Rewrite the Stars which I had the publisher reach out to ask if I wanted to read it. It totally doesn’t do anything that I expected and I think it broke a few tropes. So I hope you hop on over and check that out too!

My Least Fav

I need to preface this with the fact that Babe Driven isn’t actually that bad. There’s just less depth, thought and overall brain engagement compared to the others.

If I was voting on which was my least favourite easy read, this definitely wouldn’t be the one sitting here right now.

But it really was just that, I great easy read that fed you little bits of info at a time without it being overly complex.

What’s Coming

OK. So October. I’ve got a few reviews scheduled. And that’s about it…

I’m going to have a crazy month trying to finish off 5 assessments for two units and starting the last unit for my Diploma. (OMG I’m getting so close!) As I’m writing this I’m taking a break from preparing a webinar presentation using software I’ve never used before. Lets just say it has been trying experience and I’m super nervous for how the trial will go on Monday.

Also, I’m stressing coz my footy team is in the Grand Final and I dunno if they are going to win… I’ll add a bonus pic at the end IF we win… Fingers crossed!

My 2019 Goals

I’ll start with the positive. I’m only 11 books away from my increased reading goal of 85 books this year. So I feel like I’m on track to smash that out of the park as well. And I’ve realised I have a few Aussie male author’s books on my Kindle that I haven’t read yet. So I’ve got some options to be able to finish the Aussie Author Challenge.

The series reviews don’t like they will get finished this yr… I’ll see how I go for next yr lol!

And let’s just say that I’m back to the start for my weight goal… I mean… I haven’t weighed myself recently. Coz why would you when you’ve spent the last month sick and unable to exercise, then it’s your birthday so there’s lots of food and alcohol involved?

I’ll just try and pick this back up next month…

MY BOYS DID IT!!! 2019 AFL PREMIERS!!! GO TIGES!

Intimate Strangers – Lasairiona E. McMaster

Welcome back everyone, I feel like I’ve had some emotionally charges romance reads this month and today is no different. I mean. Wow. Just wow!

Talk about an emotionally draining read!

If anyone wants to see how an emotional rollercoaster should be written, I suggest reading this book and making notes. I really wasn’t expecting it to be QUITE so dramatic. Especially throughout the whole book.

Given that Lisa met someone online I was anticipating there to be a certain level of emotional stress leading up to them meeting for the first time. But that was just the start of it! There were a few other hits in there as well as the comedic release you need during those highly charged moments.

Lisa’s sarcastic and confident (even if she doesn’t feel it most of the time) attitude made her highly amusing. Especially when we also got to read along with the conversations she was having in her own head. As we only follow her, we don’t get to find out what’s going through AJ’s head.

In this case I really don’t think having AJ’s side of events is needed. There are quite a few stories where you need both sides. However, the way Lasairiona has written this means it’s perfect as it is. And having AJ’s side would probably just ruin it.

I’m scheduled to review the follow up book The Good in Goodbye in December. So make sure you subscribe to my mailing list if you want to know the moment that review goes live!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Wrapped up for Christmas by Katlyn Duncan. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did - with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself 'home', with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

Cold Attraction – Zoe Ashwood

Welcome back everyone, I bet you weren’t expecting a review today!

Well neither was I!

Zoe gave me the heads-up last week that she had a new release ready to be read and reviewed and I just so happened to be finishing up another book and am way ahead of schedule. So, I figured why not throw in a surprise review for you! Especially since this was released YESTERDAY! So it's really fresh off the press for you.

Zoe has written paranormal romance and sweet romance before, and I will admit to preferring the paranormal romance. But I think that has more to do with my ambivalence to sweet romance than anything else. With the new series being an alien romance, I was hoping it’d lean back towards the style I like.

Right from the start it was infused with political intrigue, sexual attraction and verbal sparring. We come in after Adriana and Taron have already had a kiss that was interrupted so there’s already some history. Meaning we skip all the awkward meeting, will it, won’t it initial kind of insecurities.

With some handy gadgets that translate any language spoken to one the wearer understands, Adriana and Taron skip a lot of potential misunderstandings that happen when people speak different languages. I was left a little confused when he understood some sayings, but not others. I mean, people from another language probably don’t understand any of my Aussie sayings and phrases, so how is it that an alien species understand half of them?

Do I seem to have some weird love of alien romance? Apparently, I do!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be back to my regular Monday reviews, this time with Intimate Strangers by Lasairiona E. McMaster.

Rewrite the Stars – Emma Heatherington

Welcome back everyone, you might have noticed that I’ve been slowing down in the Rach Random Resources tours lately. Good news is that that means I can spend more time reading and reviewing books I requested from Netgalley or from my own TBR pile.

The title of this book suggested to me that someone, or multiple someone’s, were going to be trying to re-write their love story or correct a bad choice or set of circumstances that’d happened earlier in their life. In a way, this is right. But in other ways it’s so wrong.

Many of us face the inevitable “what if” question all the time. This book explores that following a single character (Charlotte), her relationships and general life choices over the span of like 10 years. To most people I believe we’d agree that Charlotte made the right choices. But all she can see is the “what if I’d gone with him” and “what if I’d never done this”.

I really liked how Charlotte explored these choices and the impacts they’ve had on her life today. Both in the way that they’ve given her a great life, but also in the ways that she missed out on opportunities to be with her family when they needed it.

Even though things hit a kind of bad patch towards the end, I loved how Charlotte reconnected and found out what would have happened if she’d made a single choice when she was younger. By doing that, it felt like she was able to finally put those questions to bed and follow her dreams, and her heart, to the happily ever after she deserved.

That emotional rollercoaster of what if’s was so easy to relate to that I couldn’t help but feel like I was involved in her decision-making as I read it. Even the way the final decision was written left everything in the air as to what choice she’d made. So much so that I needed to re-read it to make sure I had interpreted it right.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Intimate Strangers by Lasairiona E. McMaster.

A Summer to Remember – Victoria Cooke

Welcome back everyone, after doing a book vs movie comparison on Friday I’m back to reviews! Today it’s another tour (because what else have I been doing for the past few months?) with Rach Random Resources.

Although the book starts out quite sad with Sam having lost her husband, we quickly move on to how she’s doing like 8 years after his death. She’s moved to London from her sleepy hometown, found new friends, gotten a cat and is in her dream job.

The only problem is her world is starting to change and she’s finally got the opportunity to go to America for the summer as part of a work exchange program. While she’s there she discovers new friends and finds a new joy in life that leaves her worrying about other factors. While this sounds all well and good, she needs to go home and that makes it emotionally gripping.

I found myself constantly asking “what if?” to everything. All her decisions, all the talks, all the backtracking. Everything.

Although the ending didn’t have a certain fact I was certain would be there, it was amazing as well. I found myself impressed that Victoria held back from adding that one little thing in the happily ever after, unlike so many authors. By doing that it made it feel much more inclusive and real to me.

That real element of her storytelling is something that was woven throughout, but that I hadn’t realised until I got right to the end. I love it and I hope she continues to bring it into her writing.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Rewrite the Stars by Emma Heatherington. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, 'The Secret to Falling in Love,' in 2016.

Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.

Giveaway - Win A Summer to Remember by Victoria Cooke and chocolates (UK only)


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*Terms
and Conditions
 –UK
entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The
winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and
will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7
days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative
winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as
part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be
shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This
will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the
prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the
data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

The Worst Couple in the World – Holly Tierney-Bedord

I couldn’t fit a review into my schedule what with my study and everything. But I wanted to make sure you know about Holly’s latest book (RELEASED TODAY!) to give it a chance.

No longer content to just be Snappigram sensations, folk hop singers Zeke and Angelique are ready to move up from coffee house performances to the big stage. With songs like “Uh Huh, Future Baby Mama” and “Don’t Worry About the Bills, Little Missus” there’s pretty much no way they can fail.

But if their musical career takes off, will it leave their love behind?

This satirical novella about an over-the-top fame hungry duo is for fans of David Sedaris and Don DeLillo.

BUY IT NOW!

US
UK
AU

Author Bio

Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of over twenty books ranging from serious women’s fiction to romantic comedies, domestic thrillers, humor, and cozy mysteries. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

You can check out Holly on her various social media channels including Pintrest, BookBub and LinkedIn.

Giveaway – Win a $5 Starbucks Gift Card (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –US entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Brooklyn – book to movie comparison

Welcome back, today’s thoughts are on a different topic to Monday’s review of A Different Time, and I hope you enjoy them.

When I had a sick day off work, I took the time to give my body a rest from the stresses of study and blogging and watched like 3 movies and slept a whole heap. As part of my Netflix random scrolling until something caught my eye, I saw Brooklyn.

You may remember that I didn’t really enjoy this book towards the end so you’re probably wondering “why would you watch the movie of a book you didn’t really like?” Well as it turns out, in this case I think the movie is better than the book.

I know! I’m a book lover, I’m meant to say the book is ALWAYS better!

But in this case, I can’t say that. All the stuff I didn’t really like didn’t really come across in the movie. She didn’t feel like she was cheating on her husband. Just enjoying a trip back to her home country.

However, there were a few times in the movie where thing’s didn’t make sense. That was because they’d cut scenes out from the book as they always do. But that meant when she got pulled off the floor of work, why she got enrolled in a bookkeeping course, why her boyfriend kissed her on the doorstep and a few other things left me going “wait what? O that’s right! This happened in the book!”

For those people who haven’t read the book I bet they were pretty confused. Because it did feel like some gaping holes had been left open that probably should have been filled a bit better.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed what I think is my second TV/Movie to book comparison. I promise more will be coming! On Monday I’ll be doing a bit of a promo for a book that’s being re-released under a different name with some changes. You’ll need to come back to find out what it is!