Title: The California Club
Author: Belinda Jones
Publisher: Arrow Books
My rating: ★★★★★
When I read my first Belinda Jones novel in 2008 I was instantly in love with her style. So far I have read about 5 books written by her and she has never disappointed me. I usually find her characters interesting women that have some qualities I admire, whether they pick up their stuff and go on a road trip or do something else completely, I always end up wishing I had that much courage myself. So when I noticed ‘The California Club’ on a book fair last year, I just had to buy it.
What the book is about
“When Lara Richards jets off to glamorous California, the last thing she’s expecting is to find her old friend Helen transformed from a clipboard-clasping frump into a shimmering surf goddess. The secret of her blissful new life? The mysterious California Club. So the offer of guest membership — one wish, guaranteed to come true by the end of their stay — is one Lara and her friends can’t resist.”
What I thought about the book
The book was everything I had expected it to be, and more. The California Club actually has six main characters, five ladies and one guy. Or five Belles and one Beau, as they describe themselves. Lara is the one who ‘tells’ the story, but as a reader you get a pretty good idea of what the other five are going through. Lara has been in love with her best friend Elliot since forever and even though they’ve known each other for ten years, she has never told him. Now that he is getting married to his girlfriend Elise, she thinks that her chance to get him is over. She is devastated. When she gets the chance to share her true wish, she is scared to actually ask for what she wants and she decides to write something else instead. I am not going to tell you what happens next, because then I’d get into some major spoilers, but I really loved this story. It’s funny, romantic and I loved every bit of it. Once again Belinda Jones has found a way to give her characters the courage they need to change their lives!
When I am reading books I often notice that the author refers to classic English literature books or even Greek mythology. I must admit that I love it when one loves their classics. I have had ancient Greek and Latin at school so I do know most of these stories, but when it comes to English literature I have got some catching up to do. When I was in high school I did read a few books, such as ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’ but that’s about it. Reading these books wasn’t mandatory so I mostly just read Dutch literature back then.
These days I start wondering what I have been missing out on. I want to get to know all these famous stories and why not read a couple of those every year? Two days ago I started reading ‘Little Women’. I have to get used to the way the English is used in the book, but the story is definitely not bad. I also have copies of ‘The Scarlet Letter’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ on my TBR., but I would like to read more. That’s why I want to make a list of English literature books that I want to read.
I have been searching for such a list online, but without success. So I need your help with this. Please let me know which English literature books you’ve read and what you thought. Do you have any recommendations for me?
What the book is about
When home no longer feels like home – where can you go?
When your best friend won’t listen – who can you turn to?
When love makes you feel weak – how do you protect your heart?
With constant fighting at home, Emma decides working at High Street Books and practicing avoidance is the best method to save her from more heartache. She doesn’t expect to meet Jake, the shop owner’s nephew, who makes her stomach do crazy things. But Jake is intent on pushing her away, and Emma must ask herself: Is he scared? Or is he hiding something?
Tastes Like Winter is a story of love, family, and friendship and, when everything is uncertain, trying to figure out where you fit in.
What I thought about the book
Emma is an introvert person with a passion for books. She loves to hide in her own world. Especially now that her parents are fighting all the time and seem to be close to a divorce. Emma starts working at a bookstore to be away from home. There she meets Jake, a mysterious and older student, who happens to be the nephew of her boss. He’s got a bad reputation, but Emma has never seen that side of him and she can’t help falling for him.
I really enjoyed this story. Jake is definitely the type of guy I would fall for. He doesn’t talk much about himself, but he gives Emma books as presents. Those books tell bits and pieces of his story. Emma and Jake have conversations about books, music, philosophy, life and more. I could talk for hours about these topics so I really enjoyed those parts. Of course it’s not cool that Jake is not really opening up to Emma, but that mysterious part makes me want to know what is going on in his mind. It makes me want to get to know more about him.
The story somehow reminded me of the books by Sarah Dessen, because of the dialogues and the way the main characters grew on me during the story. I really think that people who enjoyed books by Sarah Dessen will love this story as well.
About CeCe Carroll
CeCe began writing as an escape from her days as a corporate slave laborer. She grew up splitting her time between the beautiful beaches of New Jersey and the bustling city of New York. Currently, she lives in Massachusetts with her super handsome and talented husband and two adorable, but often-sassy cats. CeCe gets excited easily, mostly about travelling, food, and of course, her first love: books.