My October Wrap-Up Post!

Thank You FreePiK

For my monthly wrap up this month I want start by taking the time to say a huge thank you to all of you who have ever read a post on my blog, or liked, or commented; to all of you who have share a post that I’ve written on social media; to all of you who have clicked to follow my blog. I have been blogging now since the end of August this year and never expected that anyone would read it. I started my blog because I needed a project, something fun to focus on, and a book blog seemed the perfect thing for a bookaholic like me.

I made it my aim to post something book-related every day and I think I’ve just about managed to keep to that. Mostly I write reviews but I also have my own bookish memories series, I join in with a couple of weekly memes, and I always do a weekly and monthly wrap up post as well. Since the end of August my blog has had almost 1200 visitors, over 2800 views and it has over 600 followers from various places. Last week I earned my Net Galley badge for Top Reviewer, which was a lovely surprise and a real confidence boost.

Through book blogging I have achieved something for me again, I have found something that I can do for myself and I don’t have the words to explain how big a deal that is for me right now (but trust me, it’s a huge deal!). To find that people are reading and sharing my blog posts has given me such a much-needed lift and I am so incredibly grateful.

Thank you so much!


Anyway, on with the books!

I read eighteen books in October and have reviewed seventeen of them (Please click the titles to read the reviews). The list is in the order I read them.

OCTOBER BOOKS 1 OF 3

Dying to be Slim by Abby Beverley

Six Poets: From Hardy to Larkin by Alan Bennett

The Lies We Tell by Meg Carter

Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain

24 Hours by Claire Seeber

The Broken Hearts Book Club by Lynsey James

OCTOBER BOOKS 2 OF 3

The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

The Girl with no Past by Kathryn Croft

One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas by Kathi Lipp

OCTOBER BOOKS 3 of 3

Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin

The Record Store of the Mind by Josh Rosenthal

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

Merry Mistletoe by Emma Davies

Written in the Scars by Mel Sherratt

The Little Bookshop on on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin (my review will be on my blog tomorrow as it’s my stop on the blog tour!)


This month’s reading has reminded my of two of the best things about being a reader and a book blogger:

(1) Discovering authors you’ve not read before and enjoying their book so much you feel compelled to buy all of their previous work right away! This month this happened to me FIVE times!! I read Mandy Baggot, Claire Seeber, Lynsey James and Emma Davies for the first time and have now bought just about all of their previous books. I also read my second Holly Martin book, which just confirmed what a fabulous writer she is and now all of her books are on my Kindle waiting to be read soon too!

(2) When an author you are a massive fan of releases a new book! Mel Sherratt’s new book, which was just released on Friday, is the fourth in her Estate series and I loved it (review here). I have read all of her previous books and they’re all completely brilliant! I bought and read Taunting the Dead back when it was self-published, and have been a huge a fan from that point on!


Which books did you read in October? Have you found any new-to-you authors? Please share with me in the comments below (and feel free to leave a link back to your own blog).

Review: Dying to be Slim by Abby Beverley

I was intrigued by the premise of this novel and couldn’t resist the chance to read it. It’s about Clara who, having been a single mum to four children for many years, turned to food for comfort. Many years later she is married to a lovely man, Jakey, who is a wonderful baker and just wants to make Clara happy by giving her everything she wants, including all the cake she desires. Clara ends up weighing 34 stone and being housebound.

Jakey and Clara have a teenage daughter together, along with Clara’s four grown up children from her previous relationship and although she doesn’t get to see them as often as she’d like she is very proud of the successful lives they have led her to believe they are living. Then one day a strange turn of events gives Clara the opportunity to step outside her body and become Starla, the thin person who has been living inside of her all these years. This leads to her discovering that all is not as she has been told. There are many shocks and surprises in store for her!

I really enjoyed this novel, it was hard to put down once I start reading. I really liked Clara and how her weight issues were handled very sensitively; it felt like quite an insight into what it’s like to be morbidly obese. I enjoyed Starla’s exploits even more though! It was such fun finding out what every member of her family was really like, how their lives were really lived and seeing how Starla/Clara reacted to, and dealt with, it all.

The ending of the novel was a surprise to me, all the way through I’d been expecting something different to happen. The epilogue tied things up so well and was the perfect ending to the novel.

I recommend this book if you’re looking for a warm, fun and heartfelt read about what it’s like to escape your own body and to see the side of people’s lives that you would never normally get to see.

I rated this book 8 out of 10.

Thanks to Troubadour Publishing Ltd and Net Galley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Dying to be Slim is out now and is available on Amazon.

WWW Wednesday (September 30th)

I hope I get this right as it’s my very first time joining in with a meme on this blog!

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws this week are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m reading now… (currently reading two books so I’ll share them both)

Dying to be Slim by Abby Beverley, it’s completely different to what I was expecting but I’m very much enjoying it.

Here’s the blurb:

By the age of eighteen, Clara finds herself a single mother to two sets of twins. With her own mother absent from early childhood and the death of her father in her late teens, food becomes Clara’s crutch. Several decades on, Clara has a new partner and a fifth child. She oozes love and pride towards her flawless family, despite the fact that she is now thirty-four stone and housebound.
An unusual turn of events presents Clara with the ability to step out of her own body and, stumbling upon a problem within her ‘perfect’ family, Clara sets off in search of a solution. Far from finding answers, however, Clara encounters complications which question all she has ever believed to be true about her children, their partners and her man.
Thrust into the world outside her cosy home, Clara becomes confused to the point where she is barely able to distinguish truth from the perceived fantasy that is slowly becoming a reality…

AND

Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain. I started this late last night and only managed a couple of chapters but it’s already got me hooked!

Here’s the blurb:

When the pretending ends, the lying begins . . . Molly Arnette is good at keeping secrets. As she and her husband try to adopt a baby, she worries that the truth she’s kept hidden about her North Carolina childhood will rise to the surface and destroy not only her chance at adoption, but her marriage as well. Molly ran away from her family twenty years ago after a shocking event left her devastated and distrustful of those she loved. Now, as she tries to find a way to make peace with her past and embrace a healthy future, she discovers that even she doesn’t know the truth of what happened in her family of pretenders.
Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain, the bestselling author of The Silent Sister, is a fascinating and deftly-woven novel, that reveals the devastating power of secrets.

The last books I read were…

bright stars

Bright Stars by Sophie Duffy, which was excellent. Once I got into it I found it hard to put down, and now a day after I finished it I still keep thinking about it.

Here’s the blurb:

Four students are involved in a tragedy that rips their friendship apart. What happens when they are reunited 25 years later? 
Cameron Spark’s life is falling apart. He is separated from his wife, and awaiting a disciplinary following an incident in the underground vaults of Edinburgh where he works as a Ghost Tour guide. On the day he moves back home to live with his widowed dad, he receives a letter from Canada. It is from Christie.
Twenty-five years earlier, Cameron attends Lancaster University and despite his crippling shyness, makes three unlikely friends: Christie, the rich Canadian, Tommo, the wannabe rock star and Bex, the feminist activist who has his heart. In a whirlwind of alcohol, music, and late night protests, Cameron feels as though he’s finally living; until a horrific accident shatters their friendship and alters their futures forever. Christie’s letter offers them a reunion after all these years. But has enough time passed to recover from the lies, the guilt, and the mistakes made on that tragic night? Or is this one ghost too many for Cameron?

AND

Breaking away

Breaking Away by Anna Gavalda. A wonderful book that really celebrates the relationships between siblings.

Here’s the blurb:

On a car journey to a family wedding, Garance reflects on how adult life, with its disappointments and responsibilities, has not always gone to plan for herself or her three siblings. But just around the corner lies the chance for them to revisit their younger, carefree selves. A touching, funny and insightful story by one of France’s most successful authors.

What I’ll Read Next…

The Clasp By Sloane Crossley, which I was lucky enough to receive an arc for and am so looking forward to reading.

Here’s the blurb:

Reunited for the extravagant wedding of a college friend: Kezia, the second-in-command to an eccentric jewellery designer; Nathaniel, the former literary cool kid now selling his wares in Hollywood; and Victor, who has just been fired from a middling search engine. They soon slip back into their old roles – Victor loves Kezia. Kezia loves Nathaniel. Nathaniel loves Nathaniel.
In the midst of all this semi-merriment, Victor has a bizarre encounter with the mother of the groom that triggers an obsession over a legendary necklace. Lacking employment or any other kind of tie, Victor leaves New York in search of the jewellery, supposedly stashed away in an obscure small-town chateau. And, in a bid to save him from ruining whatever is left of his young ambitions, Kezia and Nathaniel set out to find him.
Heartfelt, suspenseful and told with Sloane Crosley’s inimitable spark and wit, THE CLASP is a story of friends struggling to fit together when their lives haven’t gone as planned and of learning how to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s fake.

AND

After You by Jojo Moyes, which I treated myself to and am so excited to read. I adored Me Before You so I have high hopes for this.

Here’s the blurb:

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?
Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.
Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .
For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.