My heart belongs to three little girls :)

If you know me personally, you know I love my family, boyfriend and friends. However in the lat 3 months a little girl has captured my heart and I don’t think she will ever let go, Alexia Sidney Mitchem- Lines was born on the 12th Feb 2012. As much as my sister Summer-Rose and cousin Lola are both my girls, now so is Alexia (Lexi) and I can share things with these three beautiful little girls and teach them things. I was asked to be Alexia’s Godmother on May 10th and I nearly cried, I love her and her mother so much ❤

I know this wasn’t book related but it was so close to my heart I had to share it.

I wish my three little princesses the world

❤ Summer- Rose Evelina

❤ Lola May

❤ Alexia Sidney (below)  Image

While reading Kaui Hart Hemming’s The Decendants.

Image

Many people will know this novel from the major hollywood film starring George Clooney that is being released on dvd this week. I have wanted to read the book for a long time after seeing part of the film in a feature for some awards (there’s so many I can’t remember what I was watching), this storyline really stood out to me, I thought yes this novel is going to be great and to my delight I picked it up for 50p at a carboot sale last weekend.

After finishing my Darcey Bonnette novel, I picked this over another two books and was severly dissapointed, now I am only on chapter 10 out of 44 but I am SO BORED! So I thought okay I’ll give it a chance here is this poor man Mr King his wifes in a coma and he’s struggling to take care of his two girls alone when I first started reading I got that, that’s fine. I also understood that he wanted to be a nobody when visiting his wife he didn’t want to be noticed for his money but alas he’s rich in the paper all the time, we don’t always get what we want. 

As I continue reading however I feel less and less empathy for him and his family. Yes it’s awful that his wife has been so badly injured but the family just gets even more screwed up as you read on it’s seems this man is a total work addict, he barely knows his children hence why he has no idea what to do with them. His daughters are messed up by their parents idiocy, ten year old Scottie is too grown up for her own good and feels that she needs to create stories of humour and wild fun to tell her mother while she is in this state, they have to be these kind of stories as if she were awake she would find them boring. Little Scottie goes as far as hurting herself to entertain her mother and becoming a bully to a little girl who simply adores her. As for older sister Alex, a recovering drug addict for the last 10 chapters she has been nowhere to be seen, she has been shipped off to boarding school by her mother who ultimately made her like this in the first place, she followed in her mothers footsteps of becoming a model, started partying and doing drugs at a young age. The mother who seems is a idiotic drama queen,thriving on the lastest scandal in her life, however Matt King is desparate not to loose her despite his suspicions that she is not who she thought she was that her wild antics outside the house are more than he could of ever imagined. Oh and then there is his decision to get rid of the house keeper/nanny that knows his younger daughter better than he ever will, which she uses to her advantage to stay. 

As you can see I’m not impressed, I ended up skipping through to peak at chapter which is naughty but proves how bored I was, the ending is what I thought and I am sad to say that the film looks a million times better and the characters more approachable. 

This gets a miserable ** 2 stars, seeign as I was so bored I couldn’t read any more of it and gave up.

The Decendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Vintage Books

£6.99  

 

Secrets of the Tudor Court- Darcey Bonnette. A must read for any Tudor fans!!

 

As a young girl Mary Howard waits with her brothers and sister nervously to see her father, the great Lord Norfolk a powerful soldier and a man of high honour. Norfolk picks up the small three year old girls and questions her greatest achievement, to a three year old recent toilet training is what she proudly tells her father. However Norfolk corrects the small child with words that she will be forced to remember for the rest of her life, words that will mar her life, her view and haunt her until her death ‘You are a Howard… Always

remember it’. As we quickly learn throughout Darcey Bonnette’s novel being a Howard, no matter how powerful is a reoccurring curse, not the blessing that is instilled into Mary from the tender age of three.  Bonnette opens the novel with an extreamly violent scene from the eyes of Mary’s mother, Elizabeth Howard, the ‘great’ Norfolk beating his labouring wife, a violent beginning for little Mary, by a man who will constantly rule over her, and chooses as the key chess piece in his games.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I could not get it out of my mind for a single minute of the day (even in my

English Literature exam…oops!), Bonnette has managed to lead you through all of the marriages of King Henry VIII, with the scandal and trivial arguments within court. Throughout the novel we see Mary grow from a young girl, shaking in fear at her parents violent exchanges and the prospect of being sent to court to wait on her cousin the ‘famous whore’ Anne Boleyn, Henry’s first mistress turned wife. Every single detail has been added to the ways of the ‘mad king’, his bastard children, religious and political changes and the reality of the blood thirsty king. Although what happens to this young girl? She is used, beaten, shown horrors of watching her family die before her (three of her cousins, Anne and George Boleyn and young Katherine ‘Kitty’ Howard) at the cruel fate of her father and she falls helplessly in love but all of this, absolutely everything is under the control of the violent and repulsive Norfolk.

Every new Queen brings a new challenge for the young Howard

, which by the end of the novel she see’s as a dirty word. The first Queen Mary meets is Catherine of Aragon, a kind woman who ‘earnt fathers resepct’ something which obviously is hard to claim as Mary’s mother (a dedicated lady in waiting to the Queen) declares that God has ‘cursed women’. There is Anne her fun loving yet wicked cousin with a fast and harsh tongue but an obvious love for a king, the softer side of Mary’s ‘Dear Anne!’ and her beautiful much loved daughter Elizabeth, Mary’s only hope that there is goodness in the Howard blood. Anne, who Mary watches as her neck is cut. Next is Jane Seymour who Mary has been brought up to detest, although by her death, sees the goodness the ‘dull’ Queen brought too the kingdom especially for the two Princesses and giving the King his longed for son. Then Anne of Cleaves a poor woman unable to even speak to her ladies maids, who Mary is relieved has been ‘set free, however her young cousin is next in line. Innocent Kitty Howard like her cousin A

nne in a game that power hungry Norfolk works on relentlessly, again another child send to the block who cries ‘Uncle Thomas why don’t you love me anymore’, the uncle she cherished sending her to her death with ‘a single tear’. The last ‘Cat’ Parr, a great and intelligent friend of Mary’s a woman to outlive the King.

Now this by no means is a book of happiness, it is a tale of determination, pain and anguish of being a Howard.. a ‘betrayer’. It can get a little depressing at time but despite this I could not stop reading and w

as intrigued but this beautifully pure girls journey and the dark could that follows and strikes her, her father Norfolk. This man is often depicated as the worst of the worst a terrible man, a murderer, a man driven only by his own triumphs, ruthless and the lowest of the low. However Mary is loyal to her father and despite all he puts her through, she still runs back to ‘her Norfolk’ and this is truly heart breaking even when she is a strong women she must fight for her father…. for the feeling of love she has been craving since the tender age of 12 on her ride towards the court, her new fate. Now as a reader you are supposed to hate Norfolk with a passion after ruining Mary’s every happiness, but this is for a reason as the novel unfolds we uncover things about the tyrant Lord that seem to make sense of his rather Jekyll and Hyde nature and why Mary feels that she must protect him despite all he does. There is no doubt that there are two sides to Norfolk he does not wish to be evil, to harm but well I will leave you to discover why. I will not leave you with all tales of depressing scenes, there are moments where Mary could not be a happier more content woman.

I am trying to wrack my brain now for more things I can say that will not give away the surprises in store. I highly recommend this novel, my Nanna has just brought the second one for me!

 

I give this **** 4 stars, simply because at times I did get a little fed up of being down but it’s still brilliantly written!!!

Available in paperback, although on special offer on Kindle at the moment!!

Secrets of the Tudour Court – Darcey Bonnette

 

 

Review by Chloe Metzger

 

A weekly update.

Hello everyone, 

Sorry I have not put any reviews up lately but my English Lit exam is in 6 and a half days so I am revising like crazy!! 

Two updates though! I am proud to announce that as of today I have officially been asked to become a Godmother to my best friends beautiful little girl!! To celebrate the occasion I will be reading The Godmother by Carrie Adams soon! I am currently reading a new novel about tudors (although the name escapes me right now).

I have also began a new job as a tutor to children, it really has reminded me of the importance of getting children to ENJOY reading rather than being forced to do it in schools! Keep the kids reading good storys!! 

Thank you for your continued support, 

Chloe x 

Before I die- Jenny Downham

Now I had very high expectations when I very excitedly bought this book. I had heard fantastic reviews, everyone who had read it that I had come across ranted and raved about it and young and dying Tessa. The blurb looked okay but oh how wrong I was, I thought this woud be a tale of strength, determination and really living your last days to the full with happiness and laughter. Ok,ok you expect fear, I was expecting her to be scared or upset that is a given but well I’m afraid thats all it was at times, fear and wanting to achieve the unachievable.

I’m sorry to admit I got bored of this book extremely quickly, I forced myself to carry on reading it last night in the end I’m glad I did as parts of the novel were beautifully written, especially any references to nature. However this doesn’t stop my annoyance at the author Jenny Downham, sixteen year old Tessa writes a list of things she wants to do before she dies of terminal leukaemia, sounds like a good plot line right? That’s what I thought but throughout the entire novel we do not see this list at all!!! It may be only me but if you are going to write a whole novel on the idea of a kind of bucket list, then wouldn’t you include the list somewhere in the book itself? However Downham does not give us one, we are left trying to struggle to remember what Tessa has achieved from the list and therefore making it slightly pointless in the first place.

This book is classed as a book for young adults but I wish it wasn’t so teenager like. So number one on the list is to have sex, okay that’s fine but not when Tessa goes to a night club, takes drugs and has sex with some random guy (although remembers to use a condom weheyy!). Another on the list is to get stoned, say yes for an entire day (which actually turns out to be quite sweet) and get famous, yes you read that right..grr. Then throw into the mix an amazingly annoying best friend who is ‘wild’, a runaway mother, a doting father (who I think Tessa treats extremely badly), a very sweet younger brother (who should of had more emphasis put on him instead he ends up running around calling his family bastards?!?) and the boy next door and tah dah! Here we have the main people surrounding Tessa as she is dying.

Tessa herself has not been portrayed brilliantly at all, I really felt little sympathy or connection to her at all. Yes she is a young dying girl with a right to feel unhappy and wanting to do this her way but she just came across as terribly selfish to absolutely everyone around her, I was especially annoyed at the way she treated her father who had done nothing but good for her and obviously loves her so much, if this relationship had been expanded then maybe there would of been more to like about Tessa. Although that said there is obviously a deep connection between her and her younger brother Cal, although he to, is not always well portrayed.

My favourite part of this story and possibly to me the most heart breaking is the relationship between Tessa and Adam now that did start to hit a chord (although I did not cry once at this novel and I cry at EVERYTHING sad. There is an obvious love and devotion between these two and the part where they have sex have been portrayed so,so beautifully. Although, alas there are things that irritated me beyond belief, the pointless part where Adams mother is severely depressed (adds nothing to the story) and how because of this relationship Tessa now starts putting goals on the list she knows she will never achieve!! That upset me a lot, it felt as if Downham was setting Tess up to break her own heart.

Unfortunately I wanted to put this down a lot, I forced myself to carry on and I am glad I did in the end. Unlike ‘Ways to live forever’ by Sally Nicholls which I read when I was about 13, I could not put it down and still have in my head although the plots similar it just has more soul in it think, now that is an amazing book!  I know, I know it is highly debated that people should not compare books to others but there are some quite big similarities between Before I die and ways to live forever and some equally big differences. First of all these are both children diagnosed with a type of lukemia, who make lists of things they want to accomplish before they die, they both have a younger vunerable sibling, a daring (and amazingly annoying in the case of Before I die) best friend who pushes them to do what they need too (although again I feel that Zoey gives up on her half way through) and a parent who supports them constantly, but another who cannot really cope very well. However a vital difference is although both children know they are dying the both handle it very differently, it seems to me that Tessa does kind of just give up, I know she would have a right too but the majority of people I know who have had terminal cancer, even a personal sort of relative, the lovely auntie Margret was happy did not give in even near the end. I understand Tess being unhappy but it just sort of got boring after a while, especially when the quote from Heat magazine on the front said ‘it will make you happy to be alive’.

 

For this I only give 2 stars **, I really wasn’t that impressed with it compared to other books I have read that surround a dying person.

Before I die by Jenny Downham

David Fickling books

£6.99

Review by Chloe Metzger

 

Before I Go To Sleep- S J Watson

Before I Go To Sleep is SJ Watson’s debut novel…..well I cannot wait to see what comes next!

I must say this is a truly stunning debut, a novel that really keeps you guessing and surprises you again and again. As for all the media hype, it is truly truly deserved. SJ Watson is an absolute genius and has managed to create pure gold, a marvellous debut full of twists, turns and surprises that you would not expect, exactly what I would expect from a novel like this!

When Christine wakes up, she has no idea what world awaits her, as far as she knows she is still young, free and single although is extremely worried to wake up in bed with a man she does not know and thinks there could be a possibility of an angry wife coming home . As Christine soon discovers things are not what they seem, the man in bed is her husband and the older woman in the mirror is her. As the day progresses Christine needs to be taught the basics of her own life, including the fact that every time she goes to sleep her memory is wiped and she has to face the harsh reality of this every single day after a terrible accident many years before.

While getting used to things again, Christine gets a call on her mobile ( while wondering how on earth to use it) from a Doctor who seems to know everything about her, but warns her not to tell her husband about the call. Slightly confused she agrees to meet him and begins to learn this early on that her husband has not been entirely truthful.

Christine begins keeping a diary, which she will reread each morning recalling things she has learnt beforehand and being able to finally not rely so heavily on the one person around her, her husband although with this newfound blessing there is also a curse things are not quite adding up. As memories begin to come back in shards, Christine understand that there are vital people missing in her life and things she has not been told, where is the best friend she had years ago who she knows would of never left her, what did she used to do? how did she really come to be like this? Only one person knows the answers to this question but Christine has worked out that for some reason she is being lied too….

I’m afraid thats as far as I can go without telling you the surprises that occur!! Super exciting stuff, I loved reading this book and I could give it 1000 stars and I don’t think it would be enough! I’m a tiny bit dissapointed with the ending but the plot line was so good I can let it slip!

***** 5 stars! Go and buy your copy now!!!

and to think I only picked this up out of interest!

Before I go to sleep by S J Watson

Doubleday books

£12.99

Review by Chloe Metzger

A quote and a note!

I have began to notice that gradually my audience is beginning to grow!, So firstly I would like to say a great big welcome to my more international friends!

Hola! Bonjour! Ciao! Howdy! Hello! etc! 

 

I would also like to share a quote with you from what I believe is one of Britains most influential writers. It is not about books but more about modern society and it really did make me smile 🙂 

 

‎” ‘Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her.
I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain…

I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a womanI hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’

‘Well,’ I said, slightly non plussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’

What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced mythird child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!

I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. “

-JK Rowling

P.S New review coming either today or tomorrow 

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