Roar- 30 Women, 30 Stories

Roar

How did I get it?:
It was a gift from Beth!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

Have you ever stood at a crossroads, undecided? Have you ever had a moment when you wanted to roar?

From much-loved, international bestseller Cecelia Ahern come stories for all of us: the women who befriend us, the women who encourage us, the women who make us brave. From The Woman Who Slowly Disappeared to The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged her Husband, discover thirty touching, often hilarious, stories and meet thirty very different women. Each discovers her strength; each realizes she holds the power to make a change.

Witty, tender, surprising, these keenly observed tales speak to us all, and capture the moment when we all want to roar.

Thoughts:

It’s really hard to review a book of short stories as it’s such a mixed bag. There are some fantastic stories within the pages and some that I could have done without, although that being said, that’s the case for most short story collections. Instead, I noted down some words as I was reading that I thought best described this book. Here they are:

I think this is a fantastic book to read if you’re looking for short stories that are a little different. They all start with The Woman Who… There was a great range of stories all carrying a message, some that made me stop and think and some that made me laugh out loud!

Would I recommend it?
Yes! 3.5 stars

A collection where I think there will be at least one story that everyone can connect with!

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The Killing Type

The Killing Type: A short story from the bestselling author of My Husband’s Wife

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Penguin Books UK

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

Susie and her sister have never been close. These days they barely speak. So when Danielle messages her out of the blue and begs to meet, Susie knows something must be wrong.

But what Danielle tells her seems crazy. Her husband, Simon, may be a bully, but surely he wouldn’t hurt her?

Then the accident happens. And Susie is forced to rethink everything.

Who is lying?
Who is telling the truth?
And who, really, is the killing type?

Thoughts:

I’m not usually into short stories. I don’t think I’ve read many thrillers that were short stories, so I was intrigued to read The Killing Type. I have enjoyed Jane Corry’s books in the past, so I thought I’d give this story a go. I’m glad I did, because I found it entertaining and easy to whip through. The perfect novella to read in-between stories.

The Killing Type centres around Susie and Danielle. We get the impression that they’re not very close with one another. However, they’re still sisters. There’s some massive drama surrounding Simon, the husband… Then six months down the line, Simon is dead. Who killed him? Did he really try to hurt the sisters? It’s all a bit confusing.

In true Jane Corry style, she whips through the story with twists and turns along the way. It may not be as well developed as you may like, but you can’t really expect that in a short story. It certainly entertained me and that was its intention!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

I’m not usually a fan of short stories but I enjoyed this one from Jane Corry!

Summer Days and Summer Nights

Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to St Martin’s Press

Synopsis:

Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Review on a note:

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Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

The Snow Sister

The Snow Sister

How did I get it?:
I received it from Faber, many thanks to them!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Frost Hollow Hall
The Girl Who Walked On Air
In Darkling Wood

Synopsis:

Ever since her sister, Agnes, died, Pearl has a tradition every time it snows. She makes a person out of snow. A snow sister. It makes Christmas feel a little less lonely.

On Christmas Eve, her father receives a letter about a long-lost relative’s will. Is their luck about to change? In anticipation of a better Christmas, Pearl goes to beg credit at Mr Noble’s grocery to get ingredients for a Christmas pudding. But she is refused, and chased down the street where she is hit by a hansom cab. The snow is falling so hard that they can’t take her home. She’ll have to stay at Flintfield Manor overnight, in a haunted room… Will Pearl make it home for Christmas?

Thoughts:

Emma Carroll does it again with a beautiful short story for children. This book would be the perfect stocking filler for girls age 8+. This story does have Christmas at the heart of it, but mainly the spirit of Christmas. It explores the importance of being surrounded by family rather than having material objects to be excited over. It also has a deeper message about coping with loss, as the main character Pearl deals with the loss of her sister Agnes.

This story is seriously cute. Ever since Agnes died, Pearl makes a snow sister every time it snows, to make Christmas less lonely for her. One Christmas Eve, Agnes and her family wonder if life is going to change as her father receives a letter from a long lost Uncle, leaving something in his will for the family. Pearl goes into the village to beg for some credit to buy ingredients to make a Christmas Pudding. Unfortunately she has an accident and ends up spending Christmas Eve night in a strange room with another family. Pearl wants to make it home for Christmas!

The Snow Sister is bittersweet at points, but as I mentioned has a beautiful well written message which will appeal to many young readers and adults as well!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A beautiful Christmas message!

Fairy Tale Friday: The Frog King OR Iron Heinrich

Thanks to Luna for making Fairy Chrissi!

Thanks to Luna for making Fairy Chrissi!

My Fairy Tale Friday feature will start with highlighting some wonderful fairy tales. The first collection of fairy tales that I am going to use is Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales for Young And Old. I’m kicking off this feature with The Frog King also known as Iron Heinrich.

The Frog King/Iron Heinrich was so familar to me, but I certainly didn’t read the Brothers Grimm version!

The story involves a beautiful Princess (of course) who lost her golden ball in the well. A frog helped her out, but only if she promised to have him her as a companion- to love and to cherish and care for. The Princess agreed to get her ball back and didn’t think the frog would hold her to her promise. He did though, and went to find the princess so he could dine with her and sleep next to her. The King holds the Princess to her promise despite the princess moaning about the frog’s ugliness!

The part I didn’t remember was the Princess throwing the frog against the wall in frustration and this beheaded him, which turned him back into a Prince. He had been enchanted by a witch and the Princess had broken the spell. Then comes a strange part in the fairy tale, where the next day the Prince’s servant comes to take him to the palace, as the Prince and the Princess are travelling, the coach cracks. The Prince believes its breaking down but his servant tells him that the noise is the bands in the servant’s heart, which cracked when the Prince was suffering, and that seem to continue to crack now the Prince is happy.

Of course, this story is so familar to many. I remember the version I read involved the Princess having to kiss the frog to turn him back into a Prince. I think this is definitely the more child friendly version! Disney’s The Princess and The Frog is loosely based on this story. I think the Brothers Grimm’s version makes you think… Philip Pullman notes the moral implications of the repulsive frog turning into a handsome Prince which he believes becomes a metaphor for central human experience!

Next Fairy Tale- The Cat and The Mouse Set Up House!

Love Hurts

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Random House Children’s Publishers UK

Synopsis:

Malorie Blackman brings together the best teen writers of today in a stunningly romantic collection about love against the odds. Featuring short stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers from stars such as Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak and Patrick Ness, and with a brand-new story from Malorie Blackman herself, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak.

Thoughts:

I was SO excited about this book. However, I was a little disappointed when I got to it. I thought that this book was going to be original stories from some authors that I loved. There are some great original stories in there, but they’re few and far between. What I actually found was that I skipped a lot of these stories- either because I had read them already and didn’t feel like reading them again…or I have the full book waiting to be read and I didn’t want it to spoil it.

I don’t want to put people off this book though as the extracts from the authors I love like Malorie Blackman and Patrick Ness are such high quality writing- it’s just not what I wanted from this collection of short stories. James Dawson’s original story is good and well worth reading.

This book would be perfect for those wanting to dip into some of these author’s writing or to read the original content that there is. I love the range of diversity there is within this collection.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Some good original content, but don’t expect to go into the book with fresh, new material from all of the authors! 

Marly’s Ghost

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- many thanks to Electric Monkey/Egmont Publishing

Synopsis:

When his girlfriend Marly dies, Ben takes a painful journey through Valentine’s Days past, present, and future.

Thoughts:

Oh my goodness, I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. It was absolutely heart warming, much like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens from which this is re-imagined with a Valentine’s Day twist.

Marly’s Ghost is a short read which doesn’t take you long to devour. I felt its emotional impact from the beginning, right through to the middle and the end of the book. I couldn’t believe that I was drawn in so quickly. It’s surely a sign of a great writer when I became emotionally attached to a character in such a short space of time. David Levithan made me feel Ben’s grief. I felt his grief and understood how he never thought he could love again.

Ben tells us his story, of how he hates Valentine’s Day after losing Marly. He couldn’t bare to see people in love or share their feelings about others with him. Ben just wanted to be alone. One night, Marly visits him and tells him that he’s going to meet three ghosts of past, present and future. These ghosts take him to the past, present and future and much like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Ben learns that he needs to embrace those people he has left in his life before it’s too late.

Marly’s Ghost made an incredible impact on me. I really enjoyed the twist on the classic Christmas tale. This will become a favourite of mine for sure.

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

A beautiful, quick, well written read.