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The Shock of the Fall
The Shock of the Fall
by Nathan Filer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely breathtaking..., 30 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Shock of the Fall (Paperback)
My daughters review:
This book is easily the best book I have ever read! I was so drawn to it before even reading it that when I eventually picked it up, I was so emotionally connected that I found myself never putting it down.

'The Shock Of The Fall' follows the story of Matt whose brother sadly dies in a tragic accident when they were young. Since then, Matt's forever blamed himself and his life has been an ongoing damaging sequence causing him to self destruct and lash out. After being told he has schizophrenia, Matt finds himself in a psychiatric ward and having to battle everything he has pushed away. He also spends time in a creative help centre which helps him do things with his day other then sitting in his dirty flat, pulling apart his mind. The story follows him as he paces through the events of the passed and finds himself working towards the truth about what happened that sad night. Unpicking every small detail, Matt's mind flickers backwards and forewords, constantly dragging him to dark places before uplifting him again.

Overall, the plot of the novel was excellent! It was haunting yet so beautifully written. There is enough drama in the book to keep you addicted however the plot is so dangerously scary and true, that it's sad and you just find yourself creating great empathy with the characters as well as picking up on things that may have not been intended for the novel. Nathan Filer has brilliantly portrayed the truth behind mental illness as well as highlighting the definite battle that everyone who suffers with a mental illness goes through, however unintentionally he has also forced the topic of grief into the novel, exposing the reader to relate to something even more common then mental illness.

The structure of the book was brilliant! Flicking through time periods of Matt's life was an amazing technique that Nathan Filer has used to represent how his mind darted backwards and forewords. Some lines being repeated also continues to portray how Matt's mind works as well as making you more connected with the novel because you have just previous read the same line. Also, the idea of changing fonts and adding pictures on just random pages also makes the story a lot more real. It highlights how Matt's story has taken him time to unfold and shows the different locations and emotions of the character instead of just having the story in the same font being told once more. It's a lot more personal this way and creates a good flow to the novel, overall.

I am unaware if this is true or not, but I also feel like Matt's mum has Munchausen's syndrome in the novel at the beginning because of the constant doctor visits as well as punishing him and making him take tablets despite him not being ill. I feel like this adds a lot more flesh to Matt and his mother's character because it can be viewed in two ways: one way being that she has a disorder and is just doing it for the attention or that she is genuinely so terrified of loosing another son she feels like he needs to see a doctor all the time.

Honestly, this book is the best book I've ever read and Nathan Filer has created it so compelling and beautifully. He's really made the novel stand out against previous mental health-based novels that I have read and the story will forever stay with me. Definitely recommend it to anyone!


She Is Not Invisible
She Is Not Invisible
by Marcus Sedgwick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

3.0 out of 5 stars A good thriller, but definitely could be better!, 24 Aug 2014
This review is from: She Is Not Invisible (Paperback)
My daughters review:
I picked this book up on a whim, it was one of the suggestions on a precious purchase from Amazon. However, I feel like the description of the book was more enticing for me then the actual story, itself.

'She Is Not Invisible' follows the story of a girl called Laureth who has been unable to see since birth and lives with her mum, her author father and her little brother Benjamin. Whilst her dad is so busy writing new stories and attending meetings, Laureth has the on going job of answering his emails and replying to die hard fans and companies. However, whilst her dad is away on business, Laureth gets an email read out to her by the computer, that she never thought she would read. Her dad's notebook is with a stranger, in New York City, meaning her dad is in New York and not Switzerland. This makes Laureth incredibly worried and she finds herself taking her brother, her mums money and a fake note to New York City in hope to find her dad. Since he fails to return any of her calls, she makes it her personal mission to follow her dad's obsession and find him healthy and safe. However, once they're in New York, Laureth finds herself battling with more issues other then not being able to see. She begins to think she'll never see her dad again and after a few scary pages in his notebook she finds herself questioning if her dad really did do something stupid.

I think the book had a good initial plot idea. I liked the coincidences that her dad was so obsessed with and how it made his notebook interesting. However, sometimes it found that the notebook parts of the book were kinda confusing and really threw the plot off. I understand that this may have been intended, but at the same time, I feel like it made me loose sense of the book. Admittedly, I thought the idea of having the main portolan is blind was a great technique because it meant that you were reading the story through other senses other then being able to see it. The technique also meant that the scarier scenes of the book were more thrilling because you feared for Laureth and her brother.

Overall, the book was okay...but it wasn't great. There were a lot of things that could've been different and more exciting. The ending kind of lacked originality or any kind of thickness to round off a reasonable plot, but I guess if you're a sucker for happy endings then you will like the ending. I just think the whole coincidence of the ending was ironic and could've been better.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to read it...or read anything. I think if you've read more heavy things with harsher plots then you won't enjoy it as much because you'll be expecting so much more.


If I Stay
If I Stay
by Gayle Forman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good But Could Be Better, 20 Aug 2014
This review is from: If I Stay (Paperback)
My daughters review:
I was drawn to this book after seeing the movie trailer and was determined to read it before seeing the film. It's not the type of book I usually drive myself too, and the type of book that I wouldn't maybe find enjoyable.

'If I Stay' follows the story of Mia, a seventeen year old who loves the cello, loves her boyfriend Adam and finds herself in awe of classical music despite her parents punk obsessions. After a terrible accident in the morning, just like that, Mia ends up being the only survivor in her household family. However, whilst in the state of being unconscious, Mia finds herself drifting around the ICU and watching her family members react as well as hearing the shock of the truth from the nurses. She also has to watch her boyfriend break down as well as witnessing her best friend fight any emotions. She's in no way a ghost, but she's just floating around, trying to figure out how to end it all and get out of here. Inevitably, Mia finds herself feeling like giving up and almost pleads for her body to stop fighting and just cave in. Mia revisits parts of her past and tells them to herself for comfort, remembrance. But truthfully, will she find the strength to carry on and continue fighting?

I loved the plot of 'If I Stay' and felt like the book started really well. I loved how the drama of the overall story was at the beginning, making the story fast paced. I think the technique of putting the drama in one of the first chapters was an interesting technique also, because it didn't allow the reader to create any bond with any character, so the reader would just continued to read the book to find out if they cared, if they were upset, if they were distraught over it. Personally, this made the story more interesting because you saw the characters unfold after the tragedy and found yourself connecting more and more to the death of Mia's parents as well as fathoming emotions about her brother, Teddy.

The characters were fleshy enough to give you a good opinion of them and they all contrasted each other beautifully. Honestly, Mia's dad was my favourite. His adoring character as well as realism was really relatable. Although he wasn't a 'typical' dad he was pretty cool and made the story unfold better when Mia was remembering things her dad had told her. His punk and music love was adoring and made me really connect with him, resulting in me connecting with Mia more because I felt sympathy towards her situation. I also loved how the dad was more considerate of others feelings rather then Mia's mum, who was a punk chick but tough as anything. The contrasting characters throughout the novel made it a roller coaster that continued the fast pace theme which allowed the readers to be interested for a long period of time.

Truthfully, I did get a few tears in my eyes over this novel. Especially when Adam is pleading for Mia to stick around, and when the announcement of her brother's death is confirmed. The book touches your emotions harshly. It made me laugh and made me cry, sometimes even in-between one sentence, which is tough for a lot of books. I felt emotionally connected to this book through and through.

I wish I could rate the book higher, but the thing that really let it down, for me anyway, was the ending. I loved the fast pace throughout the novel, like I've said, but the ending was really rushed and made me rethink the overall story. I knew of course, that it would just be too obvious that she wasn't going to follow through with her choice and die, that it'd be a happy ending where she woke up, however it ended on a cliffhanger and seemed too fast paced. I got to the end of the page and went 'oh' because I was so confused at the idea that it was over. That being said, I am aware there is a sequel, and I know most authors use the cliffhanger technique to persuade you to buy the second book and read on. However, there were other alternating ways it could've gone that still would've tempted me to read the sequel.

A good book nonetheless with a thick plot line and enough drama-filled twists to keep you reading.


It's Kind of a Funny Story
It's Kind of a Funny Story
by Ned Vizzini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Raw and Real!, 14 Aug 2014
My daughters review:
First of all, I just want to say how upsetting it was to hear that Ned Vizzini's depression got the better of him last year when he sadly committed suicide and took his own life. Ned's stories and truth about mental health disorders were so real and knowledgable for everyone out there, that my thoughts go out to his family and his loved ones.

It's Kind Of A Funny Story, I believe, is taken from one of Ned's personal experiences where he spent five days in a psychiatric hospital. However, the story follows a fifteen year old named Craig whose battling depression and finding it hard to come to terms with the 'shift' that should be happening, but its not. After a scary night of suicidal thoughts and suicide hotlines, Craig checks himself into the hospital and voluntarily signs up for a programme where he has to have a stay in a psychiatric unit. However, there is a twist. Craig is merely a teenager and the hospital can only hold him in the adult unit, which means for Craig, he's about to embark on a lot more mental health disorders and discover that a lot of people are 'messed up'. The story follows Craig finding himself and finding what went wrong as well as high-lighting issues for other patients within his hospital. It shows the raw highs and lows of depression as well as the oh-so-annoying stage of feeling like you're not depressed, blaming others, blaming yourself and of course assuming that the issue has gone away. But in the end, Craig finds that the issue itself was right in front of him and easier to change then he though.

The plot overall was good and really portrayed the truth of depression and mental health and the psychological effects of it and how controlling it can be. Ned beautifully described how manipulative mental health disorders can be for you, especially depression. The therapist meetings were real and raw, stimulating the truth of how every patient feels when they enter a room with someone whose going to write down your life. All of the characters were fleshy enough without overpowering Craig for you to make a good assumption and opinion of them. Although at some stages it seemed to be too clichéd and too stereotypical about Craig's life (oh no there is another suicidal teen with bad friends and a crush) it is actually a lot more solid then that and really makes you reiterate your previous opinion. The story is hard to put down because the plot is so solid and breathtaking. There is drama but not too much which means the story is manageable.

As someone who suffers with mental health disorders, depression included, I find that the book is really relatable, also. It really expresses the truth behind it and how psychologically damaging the disorder of depression can be as well as highlighting the truth of how different it is for everyone else. There are regrets within Craig's character which is also relatable for other people. I believe this book would be a nice and interesting read for someone who doesn't even suffer with a mental health disorder nor know someone who does, as its knowledgable and could clear up a few misunderstandings. These type of books are hard to write unless you have been through it yourself, so Ned's own experiences really shine through here and are able to answer various questions someone whose not a suffer may have.

Overall, the book was amazing and I am glad I got around to reading it, despite the negative reviews I have read beforehand.


Wonder
Wonder
by R J Palacio
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tugs on your heart strings, makes you laugh and makes you cry. Utterly amazing!, 11 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wonder (Paperback)
My daughters review:
Wonder is the type of book that made me constantly go 'aww' and have tears welling in my eyes. It follows the story of ten year old, August, who was born with a disorder that makes him unlike everyone else. August has had to deal with people staring at his appearance ever since he could remember, whether they were in the street, at home, his sisters friends or even professionals. He's always had to hide himself away because there were people constantly doing a double take to stare at him once again. It definitely doesn't help that his parents protected him so much and homeschooled him, so he was unaware of friends and the harsh truth of everyday life. So when they make the drastic change to send August to a normal school, August feels his heart breaking with anxiety and worry. Before he knows it he is shoved into a school where there are bullies, friends and jerks. Although August finds some friends along the way, people are still not getting used to him. And August feels like he has to hide away for ever.

This book was beautifully compelling. I love the structure of the book, too. It adds a definite twists to the plot of the story, as you read everyones perspectives on August and find out what everyone else is feeling compared to his usual fear of socialising. It also adds a new feel to the book when you're reading the backstory of his sister and how she is tossed aside for August as you're gradually building up on everyones view on August and how people see people. There are chapters in the perspective of friends also which allows you to understand whats going on behind August's back when he's joining this school and thinking everything is really working out for him.

The plot overall, was definitely a shocker to me. I knew that August had a facial disorder which meant his appearance was altered slightly, however I never thought it involved all the heartache and uplifting that this book offers. There is a mixture of fights, truth, upset, heartache and even death at one point, which are all struggles of someone whose growing up, but even worse for someone whose different to everyone else. Its enchanting to read how August copes with it all and how strong he is when someone calls him names, and it definitely tripped my emotions whenever someone was harsh or offensive. The ending also had a great thriving feeling to it, and it made me feel really happy. All of my emotions spilled out at one point because I felt like I was emotionally connected with August.

R.J Palacio has definitely worked well to build her characters. They're fleshy enough to make you grasp valid opinions as well as having enough back story and detail to make you connect with them emotionally. Also, I found that the alternating perspective also allowed you to re-evaluate the story, which as a really nice touch. Honestly, I felt very sorry for August in this book and felt like crying alongside him as well as punching everyone who had upset him and R.J Palacio has beautifully presented the feelings of bullying, insecurities as well as harsh disorders.

I'd recommend this story to anyone, really. Any age, any gender. I feel like sensitive people would find the emotional connection powerful but I also feel like people who aren't connective to characters at all would still sympathise with August and all of the other characters. I feel like this book is going to go in the direction of The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time because it has that same sort of feel, although being different. Absolutely loved it!


My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
by Annabel Pitcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.36

5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!, 9 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My daughters review:
My Sister Lives On The Mantlepiece is set five years after the 9/11 bombings and is told in the perspective of ten year old Jamie, whose sister sadly died in one of the London attacks. After the death of his sister, Rose, Jamie's whole family has fallen apart. His mum and dad argued so much over Rose's death that in the end the two of them split, leaving Jamie with a drunk dad, a runaway mum and a heartbroken sister, Jas, who was twins with Rose. Jamie, being only ten, hasn't yet felt the heartbreak over his sisters death, and truthfully - he's more annoyed by it. Annoyed at how his family continue to suffer when Rose is no longer there. Annoyed with how he doesn't seem to exist when someone talks about Rose. And he's also annoyed by the ongoing racism that his father distributes towards Muslims because of the attacks. Jamie's had enough of it all and things get even worse when he moves to the Lake District, away from London, to a new school. With no friends, Jamie just relies on his cat for comfort, but inevitably Jamie finds new found comfort in a young girl named Sunya who is in fact, a Muslim. Jamie struggles with balancing his heartbreak at home with his new torment at school and often bullies himself for allowing him to get close to a Muslim girl when 'Muslims killed Rose'. Jamie is just determined to carry on living. He doesn't miss his sister nor is he guilty about it. He just wants people to forget and accept that life comes to a shocking end, but it takes another heartbreak for that to happen.

I have read Ketchup Clouds by Annabelle Pitcher and I was amazed yet slightly disappointed because I thought it would be amazing, however My Sister Lives On The Mantlepiece was a work of art that I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved how it targeted racism towards other religions as well as highlighting the truth about the stereotypes people set today towards religions. I loved how it was written in the perspective of a ten year old boy who was supposed to be heartbroken, when in reality, he's confused and just wants to live his life. I also love how it signified the truth about broken homes and the dismantling impact that alcoholism and affairs can have on a family as well as the impact of death on a child. Annabelle has amazingly presented the theme of death and grieving beautifully and has shown signs how it effects different people by subtly mentioning it.

I think the layout of the novel is amazing as well, as it is written without any speech marks and whenever someone talks, it is in italics. I believe this is due to the idea of it being a conscious stream of thought from Jamie which makes perfect sense and allows you to understand the mind of a ten year old. There were a few swear words which kinda shocked me considering that they were supposedly ten, however, I think it highlights the area and the upbringing of the children. It allows you to see whose nasty and whose nice without being forceful and making you believe certain things. I also love how Annabelle added things that normal ten year olds would say, like comparing things to super heroes and stuff, because this makes you remember what Jamie's age actually is and allows you to rethink what he's going through and be more emotionally connected.

I also love how at the end, there is a small segment called Jasmine which allows you to read how Jas, Rose's twin, is coping with the death of her twin. And it's amazing how she appears to be really strong on the outside when in reality she is hiding a few things and trying to cope on her own. I think this is a really nice touch and compels you for a short amount of time.

Overall, the story is amazing, the plot is hard. It's honest and serious but with hints of humour. I think it can be relatable in the way of a broken home, bullying, death and alcoholism, which are all strong subjects that need to be covered, but Annabelle does it without making it too dramatic or too packed with drama. The story is enticing and compelling. It's really gentle to read too because the vocabulary is colloquial towards a ten year old. It definitely tickles your emotions and makes you wonder a few things. A brilliant story!


The Wedding Planner's Daughter: From the Heart
The Wedding Planner's Daughter: From the Heart
by Coleen Murtagh Paratore
Edition: Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars It Kinda Dragged On, 6 Aug 2014
My daughters review:
I really disliked this book. I thought that the more books I read from the Wedding Planner's Daughter series, the better it was becoming, but this book for me was a let down, slightly. I don't think I'll be continuing to read the series.

In the fourth instalment of Willa's life, Willa is going through a dramatic and awkward time in her life. Willa's best friend, Tina, seems to be leaving her for Ruby, Tina's old friend. Willa's new friend, Mariel, seems to be attached to Willa's boyfriend, making Willa jealous. Whereas, Willa's boyfriend, JFK, seems to be getting everything wrong or Willa seems to be getting everything wrong. As well as the friendship mishaps, Willa is still going through the torment of her mothers miscarriage and the upset over her recent friend leaving town. However, things start to look better for Willa as she is planning a wedding on her own as well as finding a stray dog which could be something of a comfort to her.

I feel like this book was kinda pointless in Willa's life and development as a character. It just seemed to highlight more issues of her town, Cape Cod, and seemed to just portray a trouble-ahead feeling for the characters Willa loves. Maybe this book is there to merely tempt readers to buy the next book and read it, however - I didn't feel like it was worth it and was in no way tempted to purchase the next book. It wasn't appealing enough to make me want to read on, let alone purchase another book that I may or may not enjoy.

Willa's character had been developing nicely in the previous book I had read on the series, and had made me warm to her through her new achievements and her hopes, however the previous books seemed too romance-based. Whereas, this book just seems to be based on nothing but the start of something, but as I have said - it just wasn't tempting enough. I understand that it's a light read that you can just kinda read and then let go of, but it seems to drag on and constantly repeat things. I found with this book there were a lot of repetitions of the previous books, a little bit more detailed compared to the previous books where they just touched on past events. I also felt like this book was a lot more sad and a lot more 'woe is me' when I was reading it. Things were going wrong and Willa's world was crumbling around her, but it seems like there wasn't enough drama. It just made it seem like Willa was having a silly little sulk over nothing.

A younger reader may enjoy this book, but it just wasn't for me. I feel like the previous book was a lot stronger. And I believe that a die hard fan of the series may find this book interesting as I believe it's designed to be a part one of the next book, however it just wasn't tempting enough for me.


The Wedding Planner's Daughter: Star-Crossed Summer
The Wedding Planner's Daughter: Star-Crossed Summer
by Coleen Murtagh Paratore
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Could Be Better, 5 Aug 2014
My daughters review:
I preferred this book to all of the other books that I have read of The Wedding Planner's Daughter series.

Star-Crossed Summer is the third instalment of Willa's life and things couldn't be better. Finally, her and her crush are together, her mum and her step-dad are expecting a baby and Willa is planning a wedding for two people. However, when a mystery girl appears out of nowhere Willa finds herself getting jealous, a little too quickly, and that things may be turning upside down. And after an adventurous few weeks, she begins to see her whole world crashing around her, where things couldn't be worse.

Personally, this book was much better then the previous books in the series. Willa has developed into a much more relatable character. She's not all fabulously kind, she has feelings of anger that are a lot more genuine then the previous emotions portrayed in the earlier books. Also, the dramas in this book are a lot more relatable to the typical teenage girl, which is nice and refreshing. There is a girl who wants to steal your boyfriend and the heartbreaking drama that happens to Willa's mother, Stella, and her step-dad, Sam. There is also a lot more heartache towards the grieving of Mr Tweed, as the family adjust to him passing on.

Again, there isn't a massive link to the previous book, because a lot of this book comes from its own story etc, however if you wanted all of the facts and to follow the decent back story, then reading the previous book would be a good idea. But this is a good technique because you don't feel like you're re-reading the previous book nor are you missing out when you have the subtle overviews of the previous book.

The characters were a lot more fleshy and yet again, you could present your own opinion of them without loosing the authors own ideas of the book. I like how the character of JFK has definitely changed in personality, and you're often questioning whether or not he is right for Willa and if he was the one who kissed Mariel etc. The jealousy is a definite relatable factor for all young girls, and Coleen has presented it beautifully. I also love how in this situation you begin to question whether or not Tina was lying.

The quotes at the beginning were refreshing and nice, but honestly - I sometimes skipped over them. I wanted to read this book in a hurry as it's a small book that should be a light read, and some of the quotes took up most of the page. However, the quotes that I did read were simple, cute and related to the upcoming chapter. All of the chapter titles were beautiful, and I love the metaphors behind Mum's throwing the sunflowers out and following the 'Sunflower road'.

One downside to this book is that I feel like the beginning drags on sometimes and that the end is rushed. A lot of the ending chapters are very short and come to an abrupt end. I'd have loved to have learnt more towards why Tina thought JFK kissed someone else, but to fit in other endings for other situations, that chapter was over too quickly. I also feel like the ending wasn't as predictable, but at the same time it was slightly naive of Willa to just accept that someone has lied to her, whether it was Tina and JFK.

Overall, I feel like this book is ideal for a younger reader. Someone who is growing up and is in that awkward stage of their life. At the same time though, I think some young readers may struggle to get into it all as the book is actually very metaphorical and can be slightly hard to process sometimes. I do like the fleshy setting of Cape Cod and all of the quotes behind the story and the romance side, but I am glad this story isn't completely romance-based like the previous books. There are a couple of weddings, but its not as bridal and fake as the previous book. It just seemed too lad-di-da for me beforehand. But this book is definitely different and I like it. I appreciate that I am not the target audience, but at the same time I did slightly enjoy this book. There were a few chapters that were slightly irritating to me, but purely because I had connected with Willa and wanted to find out what was happening elsewhere, yet we were stuck in a smaller drama.

I do like how Willa's character is kind hearted as well as being dreamy too, because it shows good morals towards younger readers. But at the same time I would've loved to see her grow more, fight a little. Not in a negative way, but just to give her a more daring side would be interesting for me.


The Wedding Planner's Daughter: Playing Cupid
The Wedding Planner's Daughter: Playing Cupid
by Coleen Murtagh Paratore
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could be better, 4 Aug 2014
My daughters review:
I definitely preferred this book to the first book in the Wedding Planner's Daughter series. I felt like this one was much more realistic and had a stronger story line.

'Playing Cupid' follows Willa after her mothers job meltdown and her new marriage with the poet-next-door Sam. Sam and Stella own the Inn where Sam originally live and Willa is in the heated moment of being a teenager. She has her best friend, a sneaky sly almost-enemy but not quite and her first crush. Willa has the everyday struggles of being a teenager whilst all the adults in her life are happy. Her Nana has been married to Mr Tweed for a while and her mother is happy with her new husband. Which may explain why love is so important to Willa...love and growing her boobs 'at last'. However, just when things couldn't get tougher, Willa finds that her local library is closing down and she finds herself in the midst of it all. She has to think of a way to raise money that will also keep all of her school friends interested as well as keeping the crush, JFK, happy whilst following the rules set by her mum. And even worse then that, everything seems to go wrong - including a heart shattering loss.

Overall, I feel like the story of this book was stronger then the previous instalment in Willa's life. The characters were fleshier so you could make your own opinions and flow naturally with the book. I also feel like the actual plot was more exciting as it wasn't based strictly on love and heartache. It was more real, as it touched on everyday teenage struggles as well as the struggle of falling in love etc. It wasn't solemnly based on love, yet love was subtly added which was a very nice feature. I like the quotes at the beginning of each chapter, but these ones seemed a lot more related to the book then the first book quotes were. It was hard to assume what was going to happen when you read the quotes beforehand in the first book, but in this book it's not as brain tickling but it still doesn't give it away. It's a nice preview, something that keeps you guessing.

I really loved how the characters have adapted as well. A lot of authors fail to represent their characters as they grow. Clearly here, Willa is slightly older and although it's not been ten years plus, she's still growing and Coleen has successfully shown the subtle changes without throwing the character off and making you rethink about what the character once was.

Although this is part of a series, I feel like you don't have to read them all to get the general understanding of Willa. A lot of the previous book was mentioned in this book but in small doses so you weren't completely re-reading it, which means you don't have to relive a book but you also don't have to read it to understand it. I feel like the first book isn't important towards this book, only that it's another tale from Willa's perspective.

I love the homely setting of Cape Cod and how it's not all beaches in this book. You see a lot more of Willa's library loving side, the side where she helps out around home and in shops. I also think its a relief to see the mother of Willa, Stella, bonding again with Willa and making amends etc.

Personally, the first book wasn't for me it. It was too romance based, but I did enjoy this book. It's a light read and I got through it in a day, so it wasn't too difficult to process all of the story. I think younger readers and any young teenage girl would enjoy it. Not sure about guys though, if I'm honest.


The Wedding Planner's Daughter (The Wedding Planner's Daughter #1) by Paratore, Coleen Murtagh (2006) Paperback
The Wedding Planner's Daughter (The Wedding Planner's Daughter #1) by Paratore, Coleen Murtagh (2006) Paperback
by Coleen Murtagh Paratore
Edition: Perfect Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars It kinda sucks..., 3 Aug 2014
My daughters review:
I decided to re-read this book recently as it was a childhood book that I had never fully understood or enjoyed, so I thought that maybe the second time around: I would be able to enjoy this book.

The Wedding Planner's Daughter is about a girl named Willa who lives with her mother, the wedding planner, in her mothers home town called Cape Cod. Her mother was heartbroken the day after her wedding, and she found herself resenting love. So after the birth of her daughter, Stella, decides that its time to not fall in love again and she often heads on the run when she has found someone who could be close to romantic. Willa has found that her mothers running and hiding techniques are taking a toll on her, so when she gets the opportunity to move closer to her Nana and other friends, she takes the chance. After settling in, she realises that things are going better then expected. Her mother has a solid relationship, her Nana is engaged, she has her own best friend and is even getting her first crush. However, things turn sour too quickly and Willa finds herself being forced to run away. Just when everything was going good...

I feel like this book was a little too romance-based for me. I liked the idea of the daughter being heartbroken over her fathers death yet still wanting a father, and I loved the idea of the mother falling in love but then remembering that her husband sadly died so she didn't want her heartbroken - so she leaves. But I didn't like how the story kinda dragged on. It felt like there was so little going on for an extended period of time. I also found that there wasn't enough detail or hard evidence that made me gather valid opinions of the characters in the story. I just felt forced to like some and dislike others. A lot of the story was also predictable, and not even predictable in the way that made it interesting, more of: oh, that happened - move on.

I do appreciate that this book is for younger readers and such, but at the same time I wanted to enjoy it. I also appreciate that this book is supposed to be a light read and something you can sit in the sun with, but there wasn't enough drama for my liking. I think a young reader who prefers to be less harsh reality and more happy ever after, would enjoy this book.


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