Book Review: Close To Me by Amanda Reynolds

Format: Paperback, proof copy
Link Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: She can’t remember the last year. Her husband wants to keep it that way.

When Jo Harding falls down the stairs at home, she wakes up in hospital with partial amnesia-she’s lost a whole year of memories. A lot can happen in a year. Was Jo having an affair? Lying to her family? Starting a new life?

She can’t remember what she did-or what happened the night she fell. But she’s beginning to realise she might not be as good a wife and mother as she thought. Continue reading

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9 reasons why I don’t really like my birthday 

This is going to sound like a super weird post and I bet you’re probably all thinking, “wth jenny?” at the title. It’s not clickbait, I 100% mean it, I don’t like my own birthday. I mean obviously when I was younger in Primary School and had swimming parties and McDonalds parties and bouncy castles and the works, birthdays rocked. I wanted it to be my birthday every day! Actually tell a lie, I didn’t, I would always get overwhelmed with all the people and just want a quiet half an hour to myself but you get my gist. Birthday’s were brilliant. Friends, cake, food, presents, balloons, parties. But as I got older, I had a huge change of heart. I distinctly remember spending the first few hours of my 16th birthday in bed crying. So here’s a super sad list of reasons why I don’t really like my own birthday…

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10 Things I Would Save in a Fire

I really love doing fun and personal posts every now and again and I recently stumbled upon Gabriella’s video about ’10 things she would save in a fire‘. This video was intended to be done as a video ‘tag’ but as you’re well aware that I definitely, 100% do not do YouTube I decided to make it into a blog post instead! But credit to Gabby for creating the tag in the first place and you can find her video here. I really enjoyed doing this and thinking of the items I would save; it really makes you realise what is sentimental to you and what isn’t and I was surprised by some of my choices. So let’s assume every human in my house is clever enough to get out themselves, with everything left, here’s the 10 things I would save If my house was on fire *but touch wood it won’t be*.

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Book Review: The Sisters by Claire Douglas

25041402Format: Paperback, bought
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: One lied. One died.

When one sister dies, the other must go to desperate lengths to survive. Haunted by her twin sister’s death, Abi is making a fresh start in Bath. But when she meets twins Bea and Ben, she is quickly drawn into their privileged and unsettling circle.

When one sister lies, she must protect her secret at all costs. As Abi tries to keep up with the demands of her fickle friends, strange things start to happen – precious letters go missing and threatening messages are left in her room. Is this the work of the beautiful and capricious Bea? Or is Abi willing to go to any lengths to get attention?

When the truth outs, will either sister survive?

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Man’s Best Friend: A Tribute To All Our Loyal Canine Friends

Last month saw the start of the brand new series of Paul O’Grady’s, ‘For The Love of Dogs’. I don’t know about you but I absolutely adore that show and haven’t missed a single episode since series 1. Paul O’Grady, fellow dog lover, heads into Battersea Cats and Dogs Home in the UK to give us, the viewers, a little insight into the workings of the rescue centre and also the sometimes very grisly background of some of the poor, unfortunate dogs that walk into the centre every single day. As well as extremely informative and eye-opening, the show can often be heart-wrenching and I’ve been known to shed a tear sob uncontrollably at a handful of cases Paul has worked with on the show.

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Happy Birthday to Me I’m Turning 23! (Plus Giveaway)

In case you didn’t guess by the title of this blog post, today, I turned 23. To me, 23 is a big scary number that makes it sound like I should have it all figured out when really, I don’t. For that reason mostly, I’m not a huge fan of my own birthday (other people’s however, I love!) because more often than not you focus more on what you haven’t achieved by the age you turn, rather than what you have. But this year, I thought I’d try and put things a little more into perspective.

happy birthday Continue reading

12 Fun Things To Do With Your Family

If you’re looking forward to spending some quality time with your family, you might want some ideas to help you have as much fun as possible. Depending on what your family likes to do, there are hundreds of options. Here, I thought I’d share with you 12 of my favourite ideas to have some fun!

  1. Have a Picnic

A picnic with the family is a cheap and cheerful way to spend time together. Head to the park or one of your favourite outdoor locations. You can even have one in the garden! Make a selection of snacks and you’re good to go. Don’t forget to get a chiller to make sure nothing goes off! Continue reading

15 Things That Make Me Happy

15 things

I found this post on Amanda Green’s blog who took the idea from Suzie’s post and I thought it was a lovely idea so I wanted to give it a go myself. I think it’s a great way to spread some positivity and writing about these things definitely made me feel happy! Continue reading

Book Review: With Love at Christmas by Carole Matthews

with love at christmas carole matthewsWhat it’s about:

Can the imperfect family really have the perfect Christmas?

Juliet Joyce adores Christmas. She loves the presents, the tree, the turkey, the tinsel.. just everything! Already the festive spirit is upon her, which is just as well as this Christmas things are starting to get a little out of hand. Her son, Tom is out of work and bringing home a slew of unsuitable partners; pregnant daughter Chloe and her little boy have moved back in; Juliet’s father, Frank, is getting over a heartbreak of his own and Rita, her eccentric mother, is behaving more erratically each day. And has the chaos got too much for Juliet’s husband, Rick?

With the big day fast approaching, Juliet hopes that she can stop everything spiralling out of control, because the only thing she wants is her family all around her and her home to be filled with love at Christmas.

CharlooDividerReview:

Now this book was an absolute joy to read. Despite the fact that I probably read it at the most inappropriate time of the year (slap bang in the middle of summer..) it 100% dragged me into the Christmas spirit and left me wishing that winter and Christmas would just hurry up! This story is about a delightful woman called Juliet who adores every aspect of Christmas. She wants the decorations to look perfect, the food to be wonderful but what she wants most of all is for her whole family to enjoy the big day. However, with a family like Juliet’s, that proves harder than it seems. This was such a laid-back, easy-going book I quite easily read more than half the book in one day and not only that, it was incredibly entertaining and left me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. I think what made this book such a success was that it was so relatable. It’s mostly written from Juliet’s point of view so you learn to appreciate how difficult it is being a wife, mother, grandmother and a carer all in one. Throughout the book, she faces a series of very real problems along the way, ones which the majority of us will probably have to deal with at some point or another. From a mother with advancing Alzheimer’s to the passing of a loved one and her son’s unemployment and string of unsuitable partners. Juliet faces them all with such grace and dignity (apart from spraining her ankle in an attempt to ravish her husband), which I think makes her an inspiring and perfect main character.

Some of the ridiculous scenarios Juliet and her family find themselves in did make me wonder if some of it is based on true stories, which is something I’d love to ask the author about if I ever got the chance. Every family has their moments, but you would need some imagination (or own experience) to come up with some of the situations that occur during the book. This book really does tug at emotions you never knew you had and I’m not afraid to admit that it brought a tear to my eye at times. Everything’s just so much sadder when it happens at Christmas, don’t you think? The characters and their personalities are described so well you really begin to get a feel of what it’s like living with these people, some more pleasant than others. Each character has their own story and problems in their life and they were all described very well, which I liked, with Juliet being the centre of it all. With her kind-nature and her ability to always find the best in people, it’s no wonder her entire family (plus a few who are not) always come to her for help, guidance and assistance. The chapters are all very short as well so it’s very easy to get lost and just keep reading.

This is a very warm, feel-good story full of fun, happiness, festive spirit and the occasional tear. Carole (and Juliet) also manage to teach you a few valuable life lessons along the way, the main one being to never forget how important family is. Especially at Christmas. If you haven’t already, I would definitely recommend picking up a copy in time to read for Christmas! Seeing the world through the eyes of Juliet, you begin to feel like a part of their family and by the end of the book I genuinely missed the shenanigans of the dysfunctional yet loving Joyce family.

I didn’t know this but the Joyce’s feature in another of Carole Matthew’s books called, ‘The Loving Feeling’ so I’m quite relieved that I can visit them again in what will no doubt be another fun-filled read.