Tuesday 30 July 2013

Review: Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop

Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop

Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements
Publisher: Quercus
Release Date: 22/05/13
Pages: 400
Genre: Chick-lit

When Imogen and Anna unexpectedly inherit their grandmother Vivien's ice cream parlour, it turns both their lives upside down. The Brighton shop is a seafront institution, but though it's big on retro charm it's critically low on customers. If the sisters don't turn things around quickly, their grandmother's legacy will disappear forever.

With summer fast approaching, Imogen and Anna devise a plan. Rather than sell up, they will train up, and make the parlour the newest destination on the South Coast foodie map.

While Imogen watches the shop and conjures new marketing ideas, her sister flies to Italy to attend a gourmet ice cream-making course. But can their best-laid plans survive their warring family, tempestuous love lives - and the great British Weather? One thing is for certain - this summer will be like no other.

Firstly how pretty is this cover?! As soon as I saw it I knew I had to buy this book. I've heard great things about Abby Clement's previous book Meet Me Under the Mistletoe so I could not wait to get my hands on this one. When Vivien, Anna and Imogen's Grandmother, dies and leaves them her ice cream parlour, it's a shock for the whole family. Neither Anna or Imogen have any business experience and are already living very different lives.

Anna has just bought her first home in Brighton with her boyfriend Jon. She has a great job, great boyfriend and everything seems to be settling into place for her.

Imogen is more of a free spirit. Having no dreams of settling down any time soon she is happiest when exploring undiscovered corners of the earth. She is spending her time creating a photography portfolio of underwater landscapes and having moonlit walks on the beach. The girls are thousands of miles apart when tragedy strikes.

Once the girls are reunited we get to see how close they are as sisters but also how different their personalities are. It's lovely to see how two people can get on even though they do not have a lot of shared interests. One thing they do have in common however is their love for their Grandma and their aim to preserve their Grandma's legacy.

The book is split into two main parts.The first part deals with the family's loss - how everyone copes individually and as a family. The girls also have to decide whether they are ready to take on the ice cream parlour. Do they have the bravery to embark on this new challenge or will they return to their old lives?

In the second part the girls embark on their ice cream journey. Imogen develops some marketing ideas whilst Anna flies to Italy to learn how to make great ice cream from the experts. I was practically drooling at this part in the story. The ingenious ice cream flavours that were created sounded absolutely gorgeous, Abby Clements described them beautifully. And the setting of Italy - wow! I felt like I was right there with Anna, soaking up the Italian sunshine and enjoying the lovely sights Italy has to offer.

It wasn't always smooth running for the girls, reinventing a business is hard and they had their fair share of ups and downs. It all made the story more believable, it's never easy starting from scratch.

For me this was a fantastic summer read. Abby Clements transported me to a lovely summery place full to the brim with ice cream. However I have a word of advice - stock up on ice cream before you read! I was so desperate for some whilst reading and the recipes in the back of the book sound absolutely delicious.

5/5 Stars

My Song Choice: Down with the Trumpets by Rizzle Kicks
These lads are from Brighton and this is such a summery tune!

Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday 28 July 2013

Showcase Sunday #8

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky from Books, Biscuits, and Tea. It enables everyone to showcase the books they receive each week. To join Showcase Sunday or find out more click here.

Hi everyone! After having a couple of weeks of refraining from buying any books (trying to save my poor bank balance!) I have a good few books to report this week. I'm loving the Kindle Summer Sale at the moment, there's some great books from only 99p and I've definitely been taking advantage of this.

On My Kindle:
April Showers by Karli Perrin
Wicked Wives by Anna-Lou Weatherley
Baby Be Mine by Paige Toon
Summer Stories by Sophie King
What Stays In Vegas by Beth Labonte
Swan by Katherine Hole

I'm making my way through Paige Toon's backlog having only read The Longest Holiday and loving it! I've heard some brilliant reviews of April Showers and Wicked Wives so I cannot wait to get stuck in.

What have you all received this week?

Follow on Bloglovin

Saturday 27 July 2013

Review: 12th of Never

12th of Never (Women's Murder Club, #12)
12th of Never by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Publisher: Century
Release Date: 14/02/13
Pages: 416
Genre: Crime

It's finally time! Detective Lindsay Boxer is in labour--while two killers are on the loose.

Lindsay Boxer's beautiful baby is born! But after only a week at home with her new daughter, Lindsay is forced to return to work to face two of the biggest cases of her career.

A rising star football player for the San Francisco 49ers is the prime suspect in a grisly murder. At the same time, Lindsay is confronted with the strangest story she's ever heard: An eccentric English professor has been having vivid nightmares about a violent murder and he's convinced is real. Lindsay doesn't believe him, but then a shooting is called in-and it fits the professor's description to the last detail.

Lindsay doesn't have much time to stop a terrifying future from unfolding. But all the crimes in the world seem like nothing when Lindsay is suddenly faced with the possibility of the most devastating loss of her life.

Lindsay is back! But there's no rest for the wicked - soon after giving birth to a gorgeous little girl Lindsay is lured back into work with possibly her biggest murder cases yet. She has to deal with a crazy professor who thinks he can predict murders that haven't happened yet and a high profile case involving an american football player who's girlfriend has turned up dead. Lindsay has to learn how to juggle her new family life with the job very quickly. With the help of her friends, will Lindsay be able to strike a balance before devastating losses happen in either of her worlds?

We tend to follow the girls of the Women's Murder Club separately in this book. As well as following Lindsay we see Yuki dealing with a court case involving a man accused of murdering his wife and child, Claire is facing suspension after a body goes missing from her office and poor Cindy is having serious relationship problems with Rich. I missed the girls meeting up regularly in this book, there was not a lot of communication between them. I always love it when the girls come together, they are all really supportive of each other and can often solve cases with each other's help but they didn't tend to do much sharing in 12th of Never.

I do enjoy the short chapters that James Patterson and Maxine Paetro create in their books. I find it very engaging and a lot easier to keep up with the story line. I also like how the short chapters allows Patterson and Paetro to switch viewpoints, it keeps the pace of the book high whilst peaking the reader's interest level. Overall 12th of Never was good and well worth a read but not my favourite of the Women's Murder Club books.

3/5 Stars

My Song Choice Drops of Jupiter by Train
To me this song is about getting out there into the big bad world, and all the girls in this book do just that.

Follow on Bloglovin

Saturday 20 July 2013

Review: Digital Fortress

Digital Fortress

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
Corgi (Transworld)
Released: 1998
Pages: 510
Genre: Suspense, Thriller

When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant and beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage ... not by guns or bombs, but by a code so ingeniously complex that if released it would cripple U.S. intelligence. Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Susan Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but also for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves.

This is absolutely my guilty pleasure! I have read this book many times and it never gets old for me. Susan Fletcher is a cryptographer for the secretive agency NSA. She has to cancel her romantic weekend away with fiancĂ© David when there's an emergency at work. And this isn't just any emergency - this could rock the foundations of American security agencies. Susan is the only one with a fighting chance of saving her agency, her country and the love of her life. 

I think Susan is a fantastic character in this book. She is very much a woman in a man's world but she has worked hard to achieve her post as head cryptographer. Susan has definitely proved herself to the people she works with.

I definitely don't want to spoil the plot for the people who have not read this book. Dan Brown creates a book which is not predictable in any way, there are twists and turns where you do not expect them. The plot is intriguing and I didn't want to put this book down. I think it must be the mathematician in me but I loved reading about all the codes the characters had to deal with. I found it really interesting that codes have been used by a variety of people including Julius Caeser. 

Overall this is a fantastic thriller and my personal favourite of Dan Brown's books. Definitely worth a read if you have read Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series.

5/5 Stars

My Song Choice: On A Mission by Gabriella Cilmi
Susan herself is a woman on a mission so this song fits perfectly for me.

Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday 18 July 2013

Review: Revenge Wears Prada

Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns

Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger

Publisher: Simon and Schuester
Release Date: 20/06/13
Pages: 432
Genre: Chick-Lit

Almost a decade has passed since Andy Sachs quit the job “a million girls would die for” working for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazine—a dream that turned out to be a nightmare.

Andy and Emily, her former nemesis and co-assistant, have since joined forces to start a highend bridal magazine. The Plunge has quickly become required reading for the young and stylish. Now they get to call all the shots: Andy writes and travels to her heart’s content; Emily plans parties and secures advertising like a seasoned pro.

Even better, Andy has met the love of her life. Max Harrison, scion of a storied media family, is confident, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous. Their wedding will be splashed across all the society pages as their friends and family gather to toast the glowing couple. Andy Sachs is on top of the world. But karma’s a bitch. The morning of her wedding, Andy can’t shake the past. And when she discovers a secret letter with crushing implications, her wedding-day jitters turn to cold dread. Andy realizes that nothing—not her husband, nor her beloved career—is as it seems. She never suspected that her efforts to build a bright new life would lead her back to the darkness she barely escaped ten years ago—and directly into the path of the devil herself...

The Devil's back! Andy has spent 10 years Devil free but how much longer can it last? Andy and enemy turned best-friend Emily create a brand new bridal magazine - The Plunge. With Andy finally working for herself and having full creative control, everything seems to be falling into place. She has the perfect job, the perfect fiancé - what can go wrong? The answer is: a lot! Andy's relationship is not as great as she first thought, rumours are rife about Max and his ex-girlfriend and Andy doesn't know what to believe. And just when Andy thinks her life couldn't get any worse, in walks Miranda Priestly. Emily begins to push for Miranda's support for The Plunge but with Andy being completely anti-Miranda how will the magazine partnership work out for the girls?

I was so happy to check back in with Andy 10 years on. I desperately wanted to know what had happened to her. It was nice to see that she'd settled down and had a job that she loved - I think she deserved at after her year with Miranda. I was surprised to find that Andy and Emily were now friends, I was definitely not expecting that reunion. Emily and Andy didn't leave on the greatest terms when Andy got sacked! Emily had not changed that much since working for Miranda, she was still very much in control but Andy didn't seem to mind, that is why The Plunge worked so well - Emily had everything organised. It seemed at first that Emily had finally reached the same stage as Andy: she hated Miranda - this didn't last long. Emily seemed to completely forget how bad Miranda really was!

The parts of the book with Miranda were amazing! It was interesting to see how Miranda treated the girls now they were successful. She was definitely more of a suck-up around them but you could always see the real Miranda peeking through. I really enjoyed this book, it was lovely to spend a bit more time with Andy and see where her life would lead. I loved that I couldn't predict what would happen. I loved reading about Miranda, I actually wish she was in the book more, she really was such a character.

If you want to find out how Andy is getting on, this is a brilliant sequel that will have you thoroughly entertained, the twists and turns are written brilliantly by Lauren Weisberger.

4/5 Stars

My Song Choice: Devil Woman by Cliff Richard
Every time Miranda walked into a room I found myself singing this!

Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday 7 July 2013

Showcase Sunday #7

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky from Books, Biscuits, and Tea. It enables everyone to showcase the books they receive each week. To join Showcase Sunday or find out more click here.

Hi everyone! I hope you are all enjoying this glorious weather, I sure am. I have spent the best part of the day basking in the sunshine and reading my book, it has been wonderful! I have received a range of books this week:

Books Bought:

Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements
The Foster Husband by Pippa Wright
Midsummer Magic by Julia Williams
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

I am currently reading Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop and I'm so glad I have ice cream at hand whilst I'm reading it. The Age of Miracles is the first book I've bought in Richard and Judy's Book Club, I really am a bit behind!

On My Kindle:

The School Gates by Nicola May
Sunshine With a Chance of Snow by Carole Matthews
The Perfect Murder by Various
The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain

The first three books were freebies which makes these purchases even more sweet. The Perfect Murder looks like a fantastic read for a crime story quick fix!

I hope you all have great weeks!

Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday 4 July 2013

Review: The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 6/10/03
Pages: 360
Genre: Chick-Lit

High fashion, low cunning - and the boss from hell.

When Andrea first sets foot in the plush Manhattan offices of Runway she knows nothing. She's never heard of the world's most fashionable magazine, or its feared and fawned-over editor, Miranda Priestly.

Soon she knows way too much.

She knows it's a sacking offence to wear less than a three-inch heel to work - but there's always a fresh pair of Manolos in the accessories cupboard.

She knows that eight stone is fat. That you can charge anything - cars, manicures, clothes - to the Runway account, but you must never leave your desk, or let Miranda's coffee get cold. That at 3am, when your boyfriend's dumping you because you're always working and your best friend's just been arrested, if Miranda phones you with her latest unreasonable demand, you jump.

Most of all, Andrea knows that Miranda is a monster boss who makes Cruella de Vil look like a fluffy bunny. But this is her big break, and it's all going to be worth it in the end.

Isn't it?

The Devil Wears Prada tells the story of Andrea Sachs, recent college graduate who stumbles across a job as Miranda Priestly's junior assistant. Miranda Priestly is the editor of Runway magazine and has a mighty reputation. Andy finds herself in a job that 'a million girls would die for'. As Andy gets dragged further and further into Miranda's world of Starbucks's coffees, six-inch heels and designer brands she hasn't even heard of, she finds it more and more difficult to separate her work and social life, how will she manage with the boss from hell?

This book rings true with all those people out there who have disastrous working relationships with their colleagues. Seeing Andy struggle through the ridiculous tasks Miranda sets her allowed me to see my life is really quite peachy! What I really liked about this book was Andy's attitude. Yes, she had a good moan on occasion but what woman doesn't?! Andy is the only one who isn't sucked in by Miranda's status in the fashion world and I found this really refreshing. Andy has a very sarcastic sense of humour, and I loved it. I'm very sarcastic myself so I could totally relate to Andy.

All in all I would recommend this book to anyone who needed to escape for a few hours. You get a unique look into the world of fashion. As Lauren Weisberger herself worked at Vogue, it leaves you wondering how much of this is based on her time there, and I loved trying to guess if Lauren witnessed any of the hilarious situations Andy ended up in!

4/5 Stars

My Song Choice: Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall
This song is in the film and it instantly reminds me of The Devil Wears Prada when I hear it.

Follow on Bloglovin
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...