Leftovers

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A novel about friendship, hope and the power of pasta from the bestselling author of Pear Shaped.

According to a magazine, Susie is a ‘Leftover’ – a post Bridget-Jones 30 something who has neither her dream man, job, nor home. She doesn’t even own six matching dinner plates.

According to her friend Rebecca, Susie needs to get over her ex, Jake, start online dating – or at least stop being so rude to every guy who tries to chat her up.

But Susie’s got a plan. If she can just make it the 307 days till her promotion and bonus, she can finally quit and pursue her dream career in food, then surely everything else will fall into place. If only her love life wasn’t so complicated…

A sharp, witty and refreshing novel about love, friendship and enjoying what’s left on the table.

My opinion: I was really looking forward to reading this book as I had loved Stella Newman’s last offering, Pear Shaped. This book is all about Susie who is single, in her thirties, hates her job and is really trying to find her next step in life.

Susie lives in London, is surrounded by smug marrieds and friends who are more interested in their boyfriends, and works in the cut throat world of food advertising. Her passion is food. Mostly cooking, and eating it. She has a theory that there is a pasta suitable for every occasion, and is a dab hand at making things out of leftovers!

In truth I was a little bit disappointed by this book. I didn’t feel that engaged with Susie and felt a little bit of déjà vu through out the story. I did enjoy it, and will continue to read Stella Newman’s work, this one just didn’t quite hit the nail on the head for me. Although it did make me very hungry!

My rating: An enjoyable 3 stars.

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The Nearly Weds

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What’s the worst thing that could happen to a blushing bride? To somebody warm, loving, and fun – like Zoe Moore? When she finds herself jilted at the altar by her fiancé Jason, Zoe knows she doesn’t deserve this heartache and humiliation. Unable to face the pitying faces of her friends and family, Zoe takes drastic action: she flees to America. Specifically, to Boston, where she takes up a post as nanny to five-year-old Ruby Miller and her little brother Samuel.Ruby and Samuel have lost their mother in an accident. They may as well have lost their father, too, for Ryan Miller is so wrapped-up in his grief that he barely notices his two attention-starved children. As Zoe sets about tidying up Ruby and Sam’s home, and injecting some fun back into their lives, she finds herself gaining their trust and love. At the same time, Zoe grows more and more frustrated with Ryan’s bullying behaviour, and his shameful neglect. Whatever happened to the loving man she keeps hearing about from his neighbours? Zoe can’t find any sign of him.

The only thing saving Zoe from despair is the small, close-knit group of British nannies who quickly befriend her. There’s boisterous Trudie, man-mad but hiding a painful secret; Sloanie traveller Amber, who sports a Buddhist tattoo that, unbeknownst to her, reads ‘Batteries Not Included’. And chilly, tight-lipped Felicity, whose cut-glass voice gives little away. But will these new friends be able to save Zoe, when she discovers that the past isn’t all that easy to escape, no matter how far you go?

My opinion: I love Jane Costello’s books and had managed to hide this one away for a rainy day! I flew through this in just under two days and enjoyed every minute of it.

This story is about Zoe who decides to take up a job in the US as a nanny following being jilted at the church by her fiancé Jason who she thought was he love of her life. Zoe has lived a very sheltered life up until this point, so moving out to the US is a huge, scary adventure for her!

The writing was quick witted and as funny as ever. The story is full of shenanigans and awkward moments, but is also romantic and feel good. I have to say, Zoe’s mother was infuriating, and at some points I wanted to punch her right in the face!

All in all a fab book and I can’t wait to read Jane Costello’s new book! I know what I will be buying to go on holiday!

My rating: 4/5

The Mystery of Mercy Close

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Helen Walsh doesn’t believe in fear – it’s just a thing invented by men to get all the money and good job – and yet she’s sinking. Her work as a Private Investigator has dried up, her flat has been repossessed and now some old demons have resurfaced.

Not least in the form of her charming but dodgy ex-boyfriend Jay Parker, who shows up with a missing persons case. Money is tight – so tight Helen’s had to move back in with her elderly parents – and Jay is awash with cash. The missing person is Wayne Diffney, the ‘Wacky One’ from boyband Laddz. He’s vanished from his house in Mercy Close and it’s vital that he’s found – Laddz have a sell-out comeback gig in five days’ time.

Things ended messily with Jay. And she’s never going back there. Besides she has a new boyfriend now, the very sexy detective Artie Devlin and it’s all going well, even though his ex-wife isn’t quite ‘ex’ enough and his teenage son hates her. But the reappearance of Jay is stirring up all kinds of stuff she thought she’d left behind.

Playing by her own rules, Helen is drawn into a dark and glamorous world, where her worst enemy is her own head and where increasingly the only person she feels connected to is Wayne, a man she’s never even met.

My opinion: Let me just start by coming straight out with the fact that I love Marian Keyes. Her books are always so well written, funny and have more substance than your average chick lit. I also think that she is hugely inspirational as a person.

Anyway, I had this book for Christmas and it has taken me forever to read, not due to the content of the book, but the fact that the hardback is massive and also pretty heavy! I may have become a bit lazy since getting my Kindle! I finished off the last 200 pages last week sat in the sun on the one day of Summer we had in Wales.

Yet again, Marian has produced a cracker! We pay another visit to the Walsh family, this time to Helen who has turned her hand to private investigation, and her world seems to be eroding slightly around her.

The story has the theme of mental health and we hear about the darkness that Helen experiences during a period of depression, and how she fights it. It is starkly honest about how shit it is to be depressed and I imagine that Marian as drawn on her own experiences to write this account. Saying that, it is not a depressing book. It is truthful, yet quite light in tone. Mental health issues are not stigmatised in the book in any way, and I think goes some way to breaking down barriers to talking about depression.

The story is funny, has a sprinkling of romance, and a great big dollop of Mammy Walsh, who I am pleased to say hasn’t changed a bit! A fab read that has luckily just been released in paperback. It would be great as a holiday read!

My rating: A big fat 5 stars!

Welcome to Sheli reads!

Hi, my name is Sheli and I love to read! I have set this blog up to write reviews, give recommendations and post fun stuff about books.

I also write reviews at Reading in Progress and receive books for review as part of the Lovereading reader panel.

I have a few reviews that I will post over the next few days as I build up the blog, and will aim to post at least twice a week.

This picture pretty much sums me up.

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I’m also on twitter. Follow me at @shelireads.

I look forward to getting to know you and please comment or email me. I love receiving feedback and emails!