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on 3 December 2010
I was sucked into Welcome To My World immediately as the full extent of Harri's problems isn't immediately told to us. All we know from the first paragraph is that Harri is not the type of person to lock herself in a toilet, yet that is where she finds herself. We then travel back to the fateful day that sets the night in question in motion and from then on, at the beginning of each chapter we get a snippet about Harri's present situation before diving back into how it all came that Harri found herself locked in a toilet stall. I thought it was such a clever way of writing the novel as it really built up the suspense over why exactly Harri had seen fit to lock herself in a toilet. I'm not the most patient person in the world, and used to have a habit of skipping to the back of the novel to learn how it all ends, and you have no idea how desperate I was to do the same with Welcome To My World. However, I kept my patience in check and was handsomely rewarded come the end of the novel.

But what Miranda really excells at, is that she manages to make her characters so real and she connects us to them so well. I fell in love with Harri from the first line, and she's such a wonderful character that I truly hoped the story would end well for her. The fact that she's a travel agent who has never actually travelled made me feel so sad. I wasn't entirely convinced by Rob, Harri's boyfriend, because he worked away a lot we barely get to see him, and I admit he did seem nice at first but I always had a few doubts about him. The main man for me, though, was the lovely lovely Alex. I loved how he fed Harri's travelling addiction, and I loved how easy-going their relationship was. For me, that was my favourite part of the novel. Alex's mum Viv is a prominent character and really sparkled and Harri's best friend Stella and Aunt Rosemary (who you may recognise from Fairytale of New York as she's Rosie's mum!) add to the cast nicely.

I must admit, I did worry that Welcome To My World wouldn't live up to my expectations, and wouldn't match the fantasticness that was Fairytale of New York but I am very happy to announce that I was wrong. Welcome To My World was just as good as Fairytale of New York. It's true, there's not a lot going action-wise, but for me, I read Miranda's books for the story, for the unravelling of the plot, not for cliched action scenes that appear in a lot of Chick Lit novels. Miranda has a very distinct writing style, and a distinct way of telling a story and for me it's a huge hit. You have no idea how sad I am to have finished the novel as it means a wait of another 12 months before Miranda's next one It Started With A Kiss, but believe me, it will definitely be worth the wait.
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on 27 July 2017
I love all of Miranda Dickinson's books. Her writing is amazing. Thank you for bringing these stories into my life.
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VINE VOICEon 15 January 2011
I was soooo looking forward to reading this, after having thoroughly enjoyed Miranda's debut novel, Fairytale of New York.

This is an even better read than Fairytale and I pretty much gobbled it up in one sitting. Welcome to my World tells the story of Harri, a travel agent who hasn't actually been on holiday anywhere outside the UK yet, which is in stark contrast to her best mate, Alex, who has recently returned home to the Black Country village of Stone Yardley, after extensive travelling.

I loved the structure of this book. When the book opens, something has happened to make Harri take refuge in a cubicle of the ladies' toilets at Stone Yardley Village Hall. Each chapter returns to Harri in her cubicle and then goes onto reveal more backstory until it leads up to the present and takes you from there on to the conclusion. It's an unusual device but one that really works well and each time it lets you digest what's happened to date before the story moves on.

Miranda excels at writing characters, and not just when it comes to the main ones. You get a whole village of them here. She is also very clever at bringing a place to life within her books and making it a character in its own right, something she did exceptionally well with New York in Fairytale of New York. While reading the book, the villagers and vilage of Stone Yardley felt so real that it was almost as if I knew them and was living among them.

As with Fairytale, I felt that the ending was a little rushed, although that could have been partly due to me frantically turning the pages to find out how it was all going to end for Harri!

I cried, laughed, shouted and giggled my way through this and now can't wait to read Miranda's next book, It Started with a Kiss, which is out in November 2011.
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on 14 October 2011
I'll be honest, I didn't love this author's first book and I only bought this because it was ridiculously cheap at the time. I am a massive fan of this genre, so I knew what to expect when I started this, and I like to think I'm not overly picky when it comes to this genre- but I did find this a bit dull and overly predicable. I can't really put my finger on what it was I disliked about this book- on paper it sounds pretty great- but it was just nothing special and instantly forgettable. It's a shame really- I would have liked to have seen that this author had developed a bit from her debut. Unfortunately she hasn't- if you've read her first book and like me you thought it was a bit so so then don't bother with this one as you end up with the same feeling after this one too. On the other hand, if you're a fan of this genre and have never tried anything by this author before then you may as well give it a go if it's still selling at the same price as a bar of chocolate. I've certainly read a lot worse in the cheap price bracket on my kindle than this. If the price has gone back up to something resembling a bookshop RRP though then I definitely wouldn't bother- there's plenty of other great stuff in this genre available on kindle to choose from. I feel like this author could write something great in the chick lit genre, but just hasn't quite managed it yet, so I'll probably still keep my eye out for her future work in the hope she improves with practice.
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on 19 November 2014
Welcome to the world of the Miranda Dickinson books. Miranda is a great author and I finally found the time to read another one of her books, so here we go.

Harriet Langton is a dedicated travel agent, who has never ever left the UK. Yes, you heard right a travel agent, who has not at least seen some of the places she recommends to her clients. Her boyfriend Rob is always busy with work, so Harri finds the time to help her best friend Alex to find his true love. She signs him up for a magazine spread, where women can answer to meet the guy.
Harri, of course, is going through these carefully to find the right woman for Alex. But it’s not as easy as it seems, none of them last longer than one date.

Harri is such a lovely character, with so much passion for her job and with a dream to travel to Venice with her true love. Rob however, only takes her camping all the time and there was a thing I didn’t like about him. I couldn’t really figure out what at first, but I had my suspicions soon. I felt really bad for Harri, she deserves a man who loves her with all his heart.

Then, let’s come back to Alex. He’s super gorgeous and he has travelled the world. Now he owns his own coffee shop and I really admired their friendship. They were there for each other all the time… Until, she overheard him saying something to his friend Jack, about her. She wants to take revenge and chooses a real Barbie for him. Unfortunately, the effect is different and Alex seems to be in love…
Harri doesn’t like her at all, but why does it bother her that much? Well, you have to read this book to find out.

Harri also had some great friends to help her go through everything: Stella, Viv (Alex’s mum) and her aunt. I loved them all, especially Viv always looking out for her son.

Let me just tell you that it was always full of drama and at one point she finally took some time off and left the country. I loved the scenes in the end, I couldn’t bare not knowing what was going to happen… Miranda’s writing shows a real and vivid storyline, with some wonderful characters and cute little scenes.
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on 5 February 2011
Love it. Can't wait for her third. Where does she get her ideas from? What an imagination. Don't normally read books like this but as she's locally born I dug in and read her first book and got hooked. This book is as good as first. Well done Miranda.
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on 17 February 2017
*POSSIBLE SPOILERS*

I enjoyed this story, it was an easy read and I enjoyed the writing. Sometimes, though, the characters actions didn't ring true - which made them unbelievable as human beings. For example, at one point the main character 'slumped in her doorway' OUTSIDE her house and sobbed after being handed a Chinese takeaway. Why wouldn't she just walk inside and cry in private? The ENTIRE Chelsea storyline felt like a plot from a different story, and felt very far removed from what the character that had been built up would have done. No way would someone described the way he was 'fall head over heels on first sight' within someone described the way she was.

Overall though, enjoyable.
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on 30 March 2017
Really good book. Love this author!
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on 3 November 2016
A great read as usual by Miranda Dickinson
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on 13 December 2010
Harri is locked in a toilet cubicle in the village hall, hiding herself away from everyone (as she is feeling a bit sorry for herself).

Each chapter starts with Harri in the toilet cubicle. You then go on to Harri's life and how she has got where she is today - sitting in the toilet cubicle.

Harri works in a travel agents and has a lovely boyfriend Rob who she totally adores and is in love with. You have her best friend Alex who can not get a girlfriend, so his mum Viv puts an advert in a magazine and Harri has to try and find the right girl for him. You also have her anut and a few other aswell.

The book does centre a lot around Harri and Alex and it keeps you hooked as you want to know if any girl is every going to be right for him. Also Harri's love life plays a big part in it and in some ways you just know what is coming.

Really good book to cosy up with on a cold night - really enjoyed it and would highly recommend.
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