My February Bookish Wrap Up!

Please note: if you don’t have the time to read through the post, the pics link to the reviews! Enjoy:)

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So it’s been a good February, reading wise, maybe better writing-wise, as I finally put aside something I’ve been working on for a long time, that has been giving me no joy, and have started on a new story instead. I felt better the second I made the decision, as it was like pulling teeth, and although I’ve been set back a few months I’m really excited to see where the new story takes me:)

In terms of books, Valentines was very much in the air, with me finding myself very happy on reading the next of The Star and Sixpence series by Holly Hepburn, Valentine’s Day at the Star and Sixpence, which was really good, although it didn’t quite beat Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence, one of my top Christmas reads, and continuing with me finding a short gem from Fiona Gibson, author of As Good as it Gets called The Valentine-Free Zone. I was honoured to be part of Samantha Tonge’s ‘How to Get Hitched in 10 days’ blog tour. How to Get Hitched in 10 days was the perfect short story for those who are fans of their rom coms that have multiple characters and many misunderstandings and was beyond enjoyable, although in a different way to Game of Scones, which I had read last year.

 

As you can see from above it was a month where I mostly back to a few fave authors, with The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft being almost as enjoyable as The Girl With No Past, which was a five out of five read for me. I also rediscovered Virginia Macgregor, whose second book ‘The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells‘ was as unputdownable as ‘What Milo Saw.

I was very taken with the bewitching Smart Girl by Rachel Hollis, although I decided it might be for a different age-group to myself. I became a fan for life of Erin Lawless, as I wrote my review for ‘Somewhere only we know,’ a rom com that visits the emigration office to see if the vibrant Nadia will be deported, got to meet a group of zany friends that made me laugh out loud in ‘Friends Like These,’ jumped out of my comfort zone to investigate the 7/7 bombings in The Theseus paradox by David Videcette(I also posted an excerpt), and finally, but perhaps most excitingly, I had a blogger interview with the beyond lovely Sharon, from the brilliant Shaz’s Book blog. Not a bad month, actually!;)

Smart Girl by Rachel Hollis

Smartgirl

 What they say:

Brilliant designer Miko Jin is a hopeless romantic. She’s spent most of her life falling in love over and over again…with the men she finds in the pages of her favorite novels.

When Miko meets Liam Ashton, it’s love at first sight. At least, for her. Sure, the two of them are polar opposites, and yes, he seems to be dating someone new each week. But Miko knows what true love is and that you can’t rush it—after all, what she lacks in real-world experience, she makes up for in book smarts. With novels as her guide, and her best friends by her side, she knows she can get Liam to love her back. But just like any good romance novel, fate has a few plot twists in store. Will Miko get her own happy ending? Will she find the strength to stand up for what she deserves even if it means breaking her own heart?

The Review: I read this book in front of a roaring fire one night in a silent house and to say I devoured it, or that it was a treat, would be a huge understatement. I am so torn on this one.  I’d say you could heavily fall into beautiful, larger than life, smart descriptions and that its one for everyone, but the truth is its not as I would feel it was for a younger audience but anyway, more of that later.

Miko is an interior designer with a flair for the unusual. Her outfits are planned according to what she wants to tell about herself: “Today’s outfit says pretty, flirty, romantic.” This continues throughout the book and it was exquisitely done, we straight away got a glimpse into both her mood and attire, although the author still has a flair for describing it.

The lead character, Miko, an avid reader and kooky fashion follower, was so under the spell of Liam Ashton, her best friend’s brother and so willing to do anything for his love that all I could think of was how young and innocent she seemed. From the moment I read that the lead’s way of getting her possible love’s attention is to act out some of her favourite romantic scenes I was a bit worried and as a result of that, I’m pretty sure that a lot of people in my age group (I’m 35) could find this book overly dramatic in places, and may not all the references, but for people they can get past that, and can instead just enjoy the ‘wonderfully weird’ ride, then I think they’d love it.
And there were a lot of references to books I haven’t read, the ‘All Souls trilogy’ ‘Fault in Our Stars, Twilight … (I know, I know, they’re all books I should have got to!), which are more marketed at a younger age group (I am aware I sound like a granny!) but conversely that makes this book to be most definitely someone’s dream.

The descriptions are larger than life, there’s pieces on various art pieces,locations, as she works as an event’s organiser and this was another place the book excelled for me.

I loved the breathtaking romance, seen through the innocence of Miko and I have to warn you there’s some love scenes that are steamy and yet magical in the way that they are delivered. The cynic in me took the magic with a pinch of salt as I saw her love story through her friends’ eyes but then romance won out. As for the friends, they were great, the gruff Max and excited, Landon, although I have to say there were times some of their phrasing (and the use of the word ‘Girl’ and ‘oh gods) so much) grated on me and just made me feel old.

Apologies if this is a horrendous review, but as I said I’m so torn. All in all, very much too hip and funky for me, and yet a gorgeously written, bright book that, the the right hands, will bewitch and spellbind. Maybe I was just not in a good headspace, but I don’t think so, as I did delight in much of it. Personally I’d market it more as a young adult book but then that’s just me.

This is the third book in the Girl’s series and while I read and it worked (see above review;)) as a standalone, I’d say if you feel you’ll like it, go for the other two first, they seem to delve into her friends’ lives which I’d say is a treat. Oh Gods now I want to read them! Final conclusion: This is definitely going to be someone’s book of the year. Thanks to Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.
Rating 4/5 (or maybe 5/5!!!)