I’m a self confessed book worm. I love nothing better then being engrossed in a good book. And a good book to me is full of love, drama, comedy and a happy ever after. A rom com in book form if you will!
I pretty much have a book on the go constantly. When I’ve finished one, I move onto the next and currently I am little bit obsessed with Lindsey Kelk’s latest book ‘I heart Forever’. So far I am hooked and seeking any spare moment to read a few more pages.
I hope to review ‘I heart Forever’ once I’ve finished it but until then I thought I would review a couple of books I have thoroughly enjoyed reading recently.
Wilde Like Me by Louise Pentland
(Warning- spoiler alert- I’ll try not to give too much away, but sorry if I do!) .
The first one is Louise Pentland’s debut novel ‘Wilde Like Me’. I will be honest I was a bit sceptical when I first heard Louise was releasing a book. Another Youtuber milking it for more money but when I saw it for sale for £5 I thought you know what, let’s give Louise the benefit of the doubt and give it a go.
Zoella’s books haven’t appealed to me as they look like they are for a younger audience (though I bet I would actually enjoy them!) and I did wonder if Wilde Like Me would be of the same ilk. But no, this book, whilst I think Zoe’s younger fan base would like it too, I think it’s appeal is to a bit more grown up reader.
I didn’t know what to expect from Wilde Like Me, would it be lacking of a plot and have no story arc? Would the character’s be wooden and one dimensional? I’m pleased to say they were not, both to the former and the latter. Louise has created a main character Robin who is a much believable character. A single mum, dealing with the yummy mummies (Or PSM’s, posh school mums) at her daughter Lyla’s school, managing a job, the absence of a love life and her mental health which she calls ‘The Emptiness’.
The story picks at in the New Year with Robin musing over the fact that she has been single and mother to her daughter Lyla for just over 4 years. Robin has the support of her unwavering Aunt Kath, who likes charity shopping, crocheting and bejewelled sandals (reminds me of my own mum!).
The story then rolls into Robins dalliances with the PSM’s at Lyla’s school and being undermined by the chief PSM, Val. I personally feel that Val felt threatened by Robin, who Robin is herself through and through, but I think at this point Robin doesn’t see that and feels looked down upon by Val.
Robin is someone I could imagine having as a friend. She has her dilemma’s such as wondering why her life isn’t like Instagram and her daughter swiping yes to lots of men on Robin’s dating app as Lyla thinks it’s a game!
I have found some books are written in such a way that the dialogue can feel stilted and not flow. I didn’t feel this was the case with Wilde Like Me. I like the dialogue in a book to read as if the characters are real and it’s like I’m watching them have the conversation in my head, if that makes any sense! And I felt I did this with Wilde Like Me, a lot!
There are a number of key themes running throughout, such as Robin’s relationship with Theo. She is swept off her feet with Theo, tall, dark and handsome and smooth as they come, but after some time their relationship sours. This runs alongside the storyline of Robin managing her job as a Make Up Artist and I enjoyed following her journey of growing within her role. Taking opportunities despite her feeling of ‘The Emptiness’ rearing it’s head ever so often.
And Louise has included this side to Robin that I feel many a reader can relate to and that is the topic of mental health. Robin suffers from what she calls ‘The Emptiness’. Robin refers to this as feeling ‘far away and isolated’. When she is ‘consumed by anxiety and loneliness, and just feel so flat’. This feeling crops up throughout the story but through Robin’s journey she gains confidence and learns to stand up for herself.
Robin’s daughter Lyla is written with such delight. Lyla comes across as a thoughtful and at times wise beyond her years child. She loves Robin and I feel Robin is incredibly devoted to Lyla and is always striving to do the very best for her. It’s a wonderful mother/daughter relationship.
Robin also has a few close friends which feature in storylines throughout the book. I won’t go too much into that as I want to leave some bits of the book for you to discover yourself!
I really enjoyed this book as it had the love, drama, comedy and happy ever after that I look for in a book (and I feel confident there will be a second book!). I would definitely recommend you give this book a go. Louise has written a blinder of a debut novel and I’m certain you won’t be disappointed.
One Night in Italy by Lucy Diamond
Another book I have had much pleasure from reading is Lucy Diamond’s One Night in Italy. I have read a handful of Lucy’s other books and I picked this one up in charity shop last month.
I don’t tend to read the blurb on the back of books as I find they sometimes giveaway too much of the story and I like to go in with no expectations and see where the story goes.
Obviously the title ‘One Night in Italy’ give some indication of what the story is centred around; Italy but I went it hoping the book would be as good as Lucy’s previous books.
I’ve found in the past that some authors who have written a number of books can write some great books. But I’ve read some that I simply struggled to finish as the writing style is not consistent with the previous books the author has written.
And so far all Lucy’s books I have read have all been a joy to read. This one included 🙂
The story begins with mother of two Catherine sending off her children to University. Catherine is left feeling bereft as she says goodbye to them, without so much as a back wards glance from her son and daughter.
Upon Catherine’s return home, she discovers a sight she rather wishes she hadn’t witness too. This takes Catherine on a journey throughout the book, where she goes from brow beaten wife and house keeper to her children to a self sufficient woman with the world at her feet.
On this journey of self discovery Catherine meets a group of women, who become a support system for her. An Italian language course brings Catherine together with these women who each have their own drama’s they are dealing with.
Sophie is the course tutor and she has recently returned to her home town of Sheffield from living in Italy upon the news of her fathers failing health. Sophie soon wishes she was back in the Italian sunshine rather stuck in her childhood bedroom with her mother who she has a frosty relationship with.
Anna is another student of the class and she is a journalist for the local paper. Anna has recently discovered her absent father maybe in Italy and she is keen to learn the language so she can help find him when she goes out there.
Each character goes on their own journey to find answers and resolutions to drama’s in their lives. Each character has a warmth and vulnerability to them which I liked. It made them feel more real.
The dialogues between the different characters felt real and believable.
The pace of the book kept me turning each page wanting to find out what each new chapter brought. The book is 474 pages long in paper back, which I think is just the right length, as there are a number of story lines to follow with the central characters and this allowed the story to come to a comfortable ending.
There are some comedic moments, but it’s not go the pop/social media references like Wilde Like Me has to make it feel more modern day relevant.
I really enjoyed this book as I kept turning each page to discover a new development with each characters journey. I also enjoyed that each chapter heading is written in both Italian and English and when the characters were in the Italian classes, there are references to Italian words.
I felt like I learnt a little Italian too.
I would for certain recommend this book, as with the evenings drawing in, this book is ideal for cosying up into. All you need then is some pyjama’s, a hot drink and your set to see in the Autumnal evenings.
I hope if you give these books a go you like them as much as I did. I’d love to know what you thought. Also if you have any book recommendations for me, please leave me a comment below.
Love and Hugs,
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