That’s Paris: An Anthology of Life, Love and Sarcasm in Paris

That's Paris: An Anthology of Life, Love and Sarcasm in Paris Book Cover That's Paris: An Anthology of Life, Love and Sarcasm in Paris
Vicki Lesage
Travel
218

If you've ever traveled to Paris, lived in the City of Light or dreamed of setting foot on its cobblestoned streets, you'll enjoy escaping into this collection of short stories about France's famed capital.

From culinary treats (and catastrophes) to swoon-worthy romantic encounters (and heartbreaking mishaps), this anthology takes you on a journey through one of the most famous cities in the world.

View this cosmopolitan metropolis through the chic eyes of Parisians, francophiles and travellers who fell in love with the city and haven't quite gotten around to leaving yet...

I received a copy of That’s Paris: An Anthology of Life, Love and Sarcasm from the lovely Vicki Lesage. You might remember her name from a review I wrote last year, of her book Confessions of a Paris Party Girl

That’s Paris is a collection of tales, both fictional and biographical, that beautifully describe the details of a city that everyone thinks they know. Diving deeper than the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, baguettes and snooty women, each story is very short, a mere soundbite really, and shines a light on a new aspect of the city.

The stories cover all sorts – from the advertising in the metro stations, to the recovery of a widow; from the musings of a mother missing her expat daughter, to the dark side of the love locks adorning Parisian bridges. Some of the authors call the city home, others have never even read a book about the place. But each contributed to painting a detailed picture of a city that holds so many secrets that one could never hope to discover them all. Even the foreword, by notable author Stephen Clarke (himself an expat living in Paris), was a love letter to the city.

I really enjoyed each glimpse into the city, from such varied perspectives. One of my favourite stories was early on in the book, and described the five tests that Parisians like to put foreigners through when it comes to their particular brand of fine dining. I think I’ve personally made it to level 3, but plan on working my way up to the harder ones!

My only qualms with the book were how very short some of the stories were – I wanted more to sink my teeth into! Also, I sometimes felt a tad discombobulated by the switch between fiction and non-fiction – I might have preferred either one or the other. That said, I did love the diversity of the stories. Lesage herself contributed several, and her mother also wrote one (which was oh so sweet).

For anyone who thinks they know Paris well, or wants to know her a little better, I would definitely recommend picking up That’s Paris. It’s a delightful, easy read that transported me back to a place that I love to explore, and I’m certain that it could do the same for any one of you.

Amazon

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Review: The Divorce Diet by Ellen Hawley

The Divorce Diet Book Cover The Divorce Diet
Ellen Hawley
Chick Lit
241

Abigail loves her baby Rosie, her husband Thad, and food. She takes great joy and comfort in concocting culinary delights to show the depth of her love and commitment to her family. Imagine her surprise when Thad announces, this whole marriage thing just doesn't work for me. Abigail can't believe he really means what he's said, but he does. Abigail and Rosie move back in to her parents' house, where she regresses into her adolescent self. She diets, finds work, and begins to discover the life she really wants, and a man who really wants her.

I received a copy of The Divorce Diet by Ellen Hawley from the lovely Lisa at TLC Book Tours, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Abigail is on a diet. And then her life falls apart. Coincidence? I think not! Diets never end well…

Ok, perhaps it wasn’t the diet that caused all of her problems… Abigail’s asshole husband, Thad (her words, not mine!), played a large part in the demise of her upper-middle-class dream world, when he decided that marriage wasn’t for him. It would seem that he preferred the carefree flings of a single man, above the responsibilities of a husband and a new father. So, Abigail finds herself living with her parents and lying on job applications to hide her serious lack of any job experience. A lover of food, caught in the struggle between enjoying her passion and living the ‘natural’ diet life that her weight loss book insists will change her life, Abigail fights the good fight – but ends up where most of us do, sneaking chocolate cake out of the laundry hamper.

This book follows Abigail as she tries to rebuild her life, and discover who she really is and wants to be. At the beginning of the book, all she really knows is that her beautiful daughter Rosie is the centre of her universe. Throughout, she talks to the guru from her diet book, who insists that her life will be perfect if only she can follow the books advice.

As someone who has been on a perpetual diet since age seventeen, coupled with appetite suppressants, gym regimens and metabolism boosters (thanks PCOS, you’re not making it easy for me!), I know all too well the voice of the diet guru. It’s the voice in my head that tells me that I shouldn’t be buttering my bread – or eating bread at all. It’s the voice that says I don’t need a sugar in my bitter coffee, and reminds me not to eat grapes, because they used to fatten up my great-grandmother every summer. It’s also a voice that I regularly ignore, against my better judgement, which comes with a sharp reprimand from the guru and a side of guilt. Every time Abigail laments the use of fake butter, questions the validity of refried beans, and scoffs at the notion of a healthy ‘beanadilla’ for lunch, I understood her perfectly.

As well as empathising with her battle with the diet guru (and inevitable realisation that she’s better off loving herself for who she is), I was rooting for Abigail to overcome her lack of confidence and figure out how to turn her talents and passions into a career. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for, really?

It took a little while to get used to the somewhat fragmented style of writing, as Abigail banters with the voice in her head, but it was so relatable that I overcame the initial clunkiness to realise that the writing style closely resembled my own thinking – and that of women all over the world, I’m sure. It was the overall message of the book that really appealed to me. That diets (even when lauded as a ‘lifestyle’, not a diet) aren’t sustainable – or fun, that women need to love themselves as they are, that everyone else should love them as they are too – and that if they don’t, they’re not worth having around. This is the eternal struggle of my life. I liked the kinship I felt for Abigail, and it positively impacted how I saw the book. Perhaps if you’ve never felt the need to diet, or never dated/married a scumbag, you may not enjoy it as much as I did, but I definitely recommend it!

Amazon | Book Depository

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REVIEW: Discern by Andrea Pearson

Discern Book Cover Discern
Katon University
Andrea Pearson
Young Adult
294

Nicole Williams is an Arete—a fourth child with magical abilities—yet no matter how hard she tries, she can’t Channel her power. In fact, she seems to be the only student at Katon University who fails at magic.

That doesn’t stop magic from finding her. It starts with possessed books and cursed spiders before moving quickly to freaky shadows and magical currents. Nicole turns to her best friend for help, along with fellow student Austin Young, who is considered by all a magical rarity. He also happens to be the hottest guy on campus and just might be interested in her.

Nicole soon finds herself competing to be included on a university-led expedition to Arches National Park. She is determined to show everyone, but mostly herself, that she does belong. Yet, to qualify for the trip, she must produce at least a speck of Wind magic, and that appears to be impossible.

As the competition progresses, Nicole wonders if she’s making the right choice—especially when she learns that the strange fossils they’ll be studying in Arches might not be as dead as everyone thinks.

I received a copy of Discern by Andrea Pearson in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Discern was set in a universe just like ours, except that the fourth child born to a family is born an Arete – born with magical powers. It was a fascinating concept, and immediately intrigued me. Arete’s begin to show their power at around age sixteen, and can choose to attend magical universities where they can hone their focus. Their hair will change colour, to mark which power they possess.

Nicole is an Arete, and in Discern begins her studies at Katon University. Newly blonde, and with wind power, Nicole struggles to focus her magic at all, but that doesn’t stop her from being drawn into danger as magical objects keep appearing in her bag, and her professor leads an expedition to investigate a series of disappearances at an ancient site. Instead of a study trip, the expedition turns into a fight for survival.

I loved the premise of this book, and the characters. The idea was fascinating, and I was keen to learn more about the history of Aretes, and how they fit into the world. I also wanted to know more about the mythology surrounding the creatures that Nicole and her friends battle on their expedition. However, Pearson stopped short of providing that information. I’m not sure whether more will become clear as the series progresses, but I sure hope so! Without those details, the story felt a little forced – Nicole was thrown headlong into a whirlwind series of events, but as the reader, I didn’t really feel like everything fit together.

This book played on my mind for days after I finished reading it. Despite the holes in the world building, I’m excited to read the next instalment, with the hope that Pearson settles in and the sequel is more meaty.

Amazon

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REVIEW: Pink Prosecco by Traci Andrighetti

Prosecco Pink Book Cover Prosecco Pink
A Franki Amato Mystery
Traci Andrighetti
Mystery
274

For Franki Amato, life in New Orleans is anything but “The Big Easy.” When she met handsome bank executive Bradley Hartmann, she knew she’d finally found a man she could trust. But she can’t say the same for his sexy new secretary, who is about as trustworthy as Mata Hari and every bit as seductive. Meanwhile, Franki’s best friend and employer, Veronica Maggio, has named her the lead investigator in the murder of a gorgeous cosmetics CEO who was found lying dead in the master bedroom of a historic plantation home.

Now the pressure is on Franki to figure out what a bottle of pink lip gloss and the legend of a pink diamond have to do with the bizarre killing. The problem is that the plantation is notorious for being haunted, and Franki is less than enthusiastic about the prospect of meeting a ghost. Adding to her stress, her Sicilian grandma is up to her usual meddling antics—this time planning Franki’s engagement to Bradley before he’s even considered popping the question. As Bradley grows distant and plantation employees begin dropping like Southern belles during a sweltering summer, Franki turns to a psychic with a phobia of ghosts to solve the mysterious murders and her own relationship fears.

I received a copy of Pink Prosecco by Traci Andrighetti in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

When a book begins with a woman stalking her boyfriend and displaying some serious jealousy, you never know how it will turn out. Luckily, the second instalment of the Franki Amato Mystery series quickly threw in a cast of quirky characters and an unusual mystery, the likes of which led me to like the first book in this series so much. I reviewed Limoncello Yellow earlier this year, and enjoyed the unlikely mystery, so was pleased when the second book came out – and I wasn’t disappointed.

Private Investigator Franki’s jealousy turns out to be well founded, as her boyfriend’s new secretary isn’t what she seems to be. But Franki can’t focus on unveiling this woman’s true colours, because she has several other mysteries on the go – involving historic plantations, a moon-loving medium, poisonous plants, and a best friend (and boss) who is definitely keeping a secret. I like they layers of mysteries in this book; they add intrigue, and keep the story moving quickly.

I felt the first book in the series was a little better at giving life to Franki’s best friend, ex-stripper land lady, and unusual co-workers. While Prosecco Pink did bring to life some unususal characters, and did a great job at describing the weird and wonderful New Orleans, I did miss the detail in some of the main characters.

That said, the unexpected mystery kept me guessing until the end, and the underlying mysteries had me hooked too – and that’s really what you want in a mystery novel! Definitely check it out if you prefer your chick lit with a side of crime, or your mysteries with a hint of girl power!!

Amazon

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REVIEW: The Beauty of a Second Chance by Lori Jones

The Beauty of a Second Chance Book Cover The Beauty of a Second Chance
Lori Jones
Chick Lit
366

Sixteen years after their European adventure, ex-fashion models Star, Joanne and Casey reunite over lunch and realize they have a lot to talk about.

On Star’s wedding day, her mother-in-law drops a bomb that threatens her marriage and future security. Joanne becomes a reluctant volunteer out to protect a park against development while hesitant to lower her guard for love. Casey struggles to find a job while trying to be her daughter’s friend instead of enemy, and wonders how she can get her son’s Little League coach to play fair.

Now, older and wiser, will these three women use this second chance at friendship to help one another find success and happiness.

I received a copy of The Beauty of a Second Chance by Lori Jones from the author herself, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion.

Star, Casey and Joanne are three grown women who have been a little beaten down by life; be it vengeful mothers-in-law, piggish baseball coaches, or smarmy politicians. When these three ladies cross paths after years without seeing one another, their days of modelling in Italy seem very far away. However, they soon pick up where they left off, and together they face their battles and come out stronger on the other side.

Individually, I really liked the characters and their stories. I felt they were very relatable, particularly Casey’s. I think I understood her the most; difficult teenager, a run of bad luck, not enough money, and some dreadful men in positions of power… all things I could understand. I felt each woman’s story started from a place that didn’t leave me hanging if I hadn’t read the first book (Growing Up Beautiful, about the girls when they met in Italy, during their modelling careers), and came to a satisfying conclusion.

I did feel, however, that their stories could have overlapped a little more. Jones didn’t go into much detail about exactly how they rekindled their friendship; they sort of just bumped into each other one day, and were besties again the next. They also only occasionally turned up in each others stories, to add a line or two of advice. It didn’t kill the book, but I would have loved a little more detail there, to add some more depth!

Overall, I’d say this would be a great beach read. It was definitely good to see some happy endings for these down-trodden ladies!! Even though it made total sense as a stand alone, I’d like to read the first book too, just to see what the ladies were like as teenagers!

Amazon 

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REVIEW: My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White

My Own Mr Darcy Book Cover My Own Mr Darcy
Karey White
Chick Lit, Young Adult
289

After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth's life changes when Matthew Macfadyen's Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love.

During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren't Mr. Darcy enough. Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she's dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she's forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

I received a copy of My Own Mr Darcy by Karey White in exchange for a review and my honest opinion.

I’ll be honest, I initially had mixed feelings about this book. It’s premise was that protagonist Elizabeth fell for Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy on the big screen – and then refused to settle for anything less than a carbon copy in real life. I know that everyone loves the dashing Darcy (I prefer the Colin Firth version myself), but there’s a difference between wanting someone who ardently admires you, and refusing to entertain the idea of anyone who isn’t tall, dark, and brooding.

If the intention of the book was to illustrate that what you think you want isn’t aways when you need, then I can understand it a little better… I grew up thinking I’d end up with a certain type of man, based on what my parents expected, what the movies showed me, and the men I’d been raised with. In reality, the guy I’ve ended up with is nothing like I expected, in great ways, but it still took some adjusting to! So, I guess I could emphasise with Elizabeth after all.

I was frustrated that Elizabeth would fall for a man based solely on the fact that he was tall, dark, and aloof. His physical and superficial similarities to Darcy seemed to blind her to the fact that he was actually snobby, condescending and, frankly, a bit of a douche! Meanwhile, even though her roommate forced her to go on ten dates with a guy, she dismissed him immediately because of his sandy-coloured hair and easy-going disposition – crazy!

As the book went on, and Elizabeth started to realise that maybe she had taken her Darcy-obsession to ridiculous heights, the story became much more enjoyable. As her design career and supportive relationship with Chad progressed, I started to root for her! I also enjoyed the role the secondary characters played; I was appropriately appalled by the bitchy ex, fell in love with the kind-hearted couple who gave Elizabeth her first job, and felt the energy of the indie bookstore (even if it was owned by the not-so Darcy love interest).

In the end, I did find myself enjoying the story, it just took awhile for Elizabeth to get me onside. For Pride and Prejudice lovers out there, particularly those who have an unhealthy obsession with finding their own Darcy/Macfadyen, this book could definitely be worth checking out!

Amazon | Book Depository

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REVIEW: Dangerous Denial by Amy Ray

Dangerous Denial Book Cover Dangerous Denial
Amy Ray
Thriller
212

Denying the past proves deadly for BK Hartshaw and Trevor Mayhew in this gripping noir novel where nothing is as it seems.

BK is a rising star at a public relations firm, and tonight's charity ball should be a high point in her career. But a closely guarded secret threatens to destroy her chance for happiness with the only man she's ever loved... a man who is also hiding a deadly secret.

Trevor has tried to put the past behind him, pretending it never happened. But the conniving father he's been running from for years has finally found him--and is determined to settle the score once and for all.

BK and Trevor's deeply buried secrets are about to catch up with them--and everyone they know and love. Who will pay the ultimate price for their dangerous denials?

I received a copy of Dangerous Denial by Amy Ray, from TLC Book Tours, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Dangerous Denial dealt with some fairly serious issues that, unfortunately, affect far too many young people growing up. Domestic abuse, neglect, body shaming, teen pregnancy, abandonment… Trevor and BK share no connection throughout their childhood, other than their both having to deal with things that no child should have to. My heart ached, particularly for Trevor, as their parents slowly destroyed their innocence.

As the story progressed, Trevor and BK were freed from the clutches of their parents – but the damage had already been done. The teens struggled to trust others, and strove to control all that they could. Although they were far happier than they had been in their childhood homes, they were never free of their pasts.

The story picks up the pace midway through; where the first half of the book focused more on things from Trevor’s perspective, the latter half is mainly written from BK’s point of view. Lives are in danger, and it’s unclear exactly how their childhoods have really affected the characters. Has the damage been too great to overcome, and can a person who has suffered at the hands of someone so evil ever grow up to be anything other than evil themselves?

I found it interesting that Ray included the story of Trevor’s parents, and how they became who they were, but nothing was said to explain why BK’s mother acted the way that she did. That said, knowing how Trevor’s father had manipulated his mother even before he was born just contributed to my hatred of the man – he really was despicable.

The book escalated slowly, and the lives that the characters are trying so hard to build are threatened by the darkness they’ve tried to escape. Everything comes to a head with a sudden twist, which of course I won’t give away! That said, I did guess the twist ahead of time… to be honest, it frustrated me a little, and the ‘red herring’ of the book could have been incorporated  little differently.

I found this book very intriguing. It was a thriller based on a foundation of very serious issues, which created a background that thrillers often don’t give their readers. I’m excited to see what Ray comes out with next!

Amazon | Book Depository

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REVIEW: London Eyes by Frances Thompson

London Eyes Book Cover London Eyes
Frances Thompson
Travel Fiction
451

London Eyes is a collection of short stories set in London.

Written by Guardian Top London Blogger Frances M. Thompson, London Eyes is a compilation of thought provoking contemporary fiction inspired by the sights, sounds and souls of the world's most popular, and some say greatest, city.

Meet the Wizard of Elephant & Castle who stirs a secret ingredient into the cocktails he serves in his bar, follow newly-divorced Georgina in The Tourist as she goes on a bus tour of the city... after twenty-one years of living in London, and find out how and why one young woman uses the busy streets of the City of London to disappear in An Invisible Girl. In A to Zed two truanting teenagers find out more about a Shepherd's Bush gangster than they expect, and in Angel you begin to understand the lengths some people go to to avoid loneliness in London. Travel across the capital's vast metropolis as you learn the reasons why Mick is London's most flirtatious cabbie in Keep the Change, and discover what it is that keep The Ghosts of London Underground trapped in the abandoned Tube stations below us.

London Eyes is a collection of short stories for the Londoner, the London-obsessed, or the one time visitor who dreams of arriving or returning.

I received a copy of London Eyes by Frances Thompson from the author, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion.

London Eyes was a collection of short stories that exposed the real London, and it’s quirky inhabitants; magic bartenders, eccentric single women, the elderly, taxi drivers, and even a cat. Each story showed a different angle to one of the many aspects of the bustling city, be it a new neighbourhood, the iconic red bus tours, or an out of the way pub.

Rather than writing about a tourist’s London, I feel Thompson deliberately avoided any clichés, and stuck to slightly more obscure stories – perhaps at times too obscure – the finer details of which hinged on things unique to London, like the cyclists battling the congested traffic, or it’s signature public transport. I think locals would enjoy reading about the neighbourhoods that don’t usually feature in London stories.

I liked the wide variety of perspectives covered in the stories. The characters covered such a huge range – including that of a cat, which I enjoyed! The use of such different characters clearly reflected the bustle of London. Personally, I loved the sweet story of an elderly couple who regularly leave their nursing home to attend the weddings of strangers in churches that they admire – and check them off their bucket list of wedding churches to experience.

My problem with short stories is often that I’m left wanting more information about the people I’m reading about. In this case, I was usually happy with the little snapshots that I was receiving – however, there were a few stories that I felt need another tiny bit of information, just to complete them. That said. I feel that they were written to be ambiguous on purpose, perhaps to illustrate that not everything is as it seems in London, but it was still a little frustrating.

On the whole, I enjoyed Thompson’s take on a collection of short stories celebrating London. Each story was so different, and at times even bizzare, that I never knew what to expect. The creativity in coming up with so many different vignettes was great, and I really appreciated the different perspectives on London. It was a collection that I think avid travellers would appreciate as much as London locals would.

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REVIEW: ‘Life is Swede’ by Claire Duffy

Life is Swede Book Cover Life is Swede
Claire Duffy
Travel Fiction / Thriller
234

Regan moves halfway across the world to start a new life with holiday fling Anders, and blogs daily about her ups and downs settling into Stockholm and struggles to connect with Anders' tight knit group of friends. 

When one of them is found dead during a weekend away in a remote cabin, the police quickly zero in on Anders as the killer. Regan sets out to clear his name, and details her investigation for her fascinated readers - unaware that the killer is reading her blog, and watching her every move. 

I received a copy of Life is Swede by Claire Duffy in exchange for a review, and my honest opinion.

If readers picked this book up without reading the blurb, they could be forgiven for thinking that Life is Swede was expat-fiction. In fact, it isn’t until halfway through the novel that the psychological thriller aspect came into play. However, weirdly, it worked!

Written in blog post form, and in part (the non-murder part!) derived from Duffy’s own experiences as an American expat living in Sweden, the reader gets an immediate insight into Regan’s thoughts. Her blog also evolves with her as the story progresses; gradually the anonymity she initially tried for falls away and nicknames give way to real ones. I found Regan’s introspection very interesting; she often looks back over what she has blogged, and considers how her view of a situation at the time influenced her perceptions of people she met.

Having experienced Sweden myself, I found myself smiling as I recognised the thought that the Swedish people are insanely beautiful – there really are a huge number of tall, blue-eyed, blonde people.

Just as Regan begins to settle into Swedish life, people start dying, and her boyfriend is arrested. Suddenly everyone is under suspicion.

Duffy kept me guessing until the very end; I wasn’t sure who the bad guy was (although I had my suspicions), and I definitely didn’t expect the twist that she threw in at the very end – Duffy kept it fresh!

This was a great first novel. I’m excited to see what Duffy comes up with next (she’s currently releasing another psychological thriller in parts, called Identity). In the meantime, she can be found blogging over at The Grass is Dancing!

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REVIEW: When Girlfriends Let Go by Savannah Page

When Girlfriends Let Go Book Cover When Girlfriends Let Go
Savannah Page
Chick Lit
537

A novel about love, self-discovery, and realizing sometimes you have to let go. 

Jackie Kittredge is the consummate drama queen living the charmed life. She’s enthusiastic, outspoken, and is always looking for a good time. At twenty-seven she’s got a swanky Seattle townhouse, a wealthy husband, a designer wardrobe, the best of girlfriends, and a calendar filled not with meetings and deadlines, but spa appointments and happy hour reminders. On the outside, she’s got it all. 

On the inside, though, Jackie’s charmed life isn’t as it seems. She’s seeing a therapist, battling the demons of coming from a broken home and a past of promiscuity and heavy drinking. She can be selfish and demanding, sometimes even wearing her best friends thin. And now her marriage—what she thought could be her solid foundation—is on the rocks. Her husband Andrew spends nearly all his time at the office (and possibly with his secretary), and apologizes for his absence with lavish gifts and empty promises. 

Miserable and desperate, Jackie questions if her marriage is worth fighting for. Then a string of events begins to put things into perspective…into a perspective she didn’t quite anticipate. With her best friends by her side and some tough love, Jackie finds herself not only asking if she’s where she belongs, but if she’s who she’s supposed to be. 

This is a passionate story about having to answer some of life’s most important and difficult questions. It’s a story about fear, courage, and personal growth. About what happens when girlfriends let go. 

I received a copy of When Girlfriends Let Go by Savannah Page in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Another instalment in the “When Girlfriends” series, When Girlfriends Let Go follows the first five books that chronicle the lives of six girlfriends in Seattle. All very different, each book focuses on one girl and the dramas she is facing at the time. This book centred around flighty, loyal, self-involved Jackie – and her fear that the only solution to her marriage trouble could be divorce.

Having read and reviewed the fourth book in the series earlier this year, I’m glad that I was already familiar with the characters. Otherwise, the many distinct characters would have been quite confusing. That said, I didn’t really connect with Jackie. Throughout the series, she is described as selfish and spoiled, in part due to her difficult childhood. While I can empathise with her past and how it may affect her personality, I struggled to come to grips with her lack of desire to do anything other than shop and socialise. That frustration overcame my understanding of her desire to fix her marriage. All too often it seemed like she was being childish and creating drama for dramas sake.

My other issue with the book was its length. Page took a long time getting to the crux of the story, and was at times overly descriptive, describing every outfit worn, etc. I think the book could have benefitted from being a little shorter.

On the whole, as a part of a series, this book is a good chick lit read. I’ll be picking up the seventh and final instalment, as I really like some of the other characters and want to find out how the girls are going.  But, as a stand-alone novel, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Amazon

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