Silver Bay – Jojo Moyes

silver bayTitle: Silver Bay
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Hodder
Format: Paperback
Pages: 392
My rating★★★★✫

I had planned to read this one in August, but with the birth of Marcel (and the e-books I read when I was at the hospital) that didn’t really work out. So I read it in September instead. After reading a couple of thrillers and young adult novels, it was nice to read a romantic novel again.

The reviews of this book on Goodreads really vary from one another. It seems like people who love the most famous books by Jojo Moyes are not much of a fan of Silver Bay. This is my first book written by Jojo Moyes, so I have nothing to compare it to. I liked the story a lot, so if her other books are even better, that is a good thing.

What the book is about

Liza McCullen will never fully escape her past. But the unspoiled beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves—if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah. That is, until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt’s hotel.
The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and distracting eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbors her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love—never deserve to love—again.

For his part, Mike Dormer is expecting just another business deal—an easy job kick-starting a resort in a small seaside town ripe for development. But he finds that he doesn’t quite know what to make of the eccentric inhabitants of the ramshackle Silver Bay Hotel, especially not enigmatic Liza McCullen, and their claim to the surrounding waters. As the development begins to take on a momentum of its own, Mike’s and Liza’s worlds collide in this hugely affecting and irresistible tale full of Jojo Moyes’s signature humor and generosity.

What I think about the book

At first it was all a bit confusing. I am generally not a fan of books with multiple points of view, because it takes a bit longer to get to know the main characters of the book. Once I had read a few chapters and got to know the characters I started to like it more and more.

The story itself might not be super original. Liza is a beautiful yet complicated woman with secrets to hide. I was really curious what happened in her past, but it takes a while to find that out. Mike is planning a business deal and is not completely honest with the people of Silver Bay. It’s not a surprise that the two of them fancy each other and that things get complicated. I do think that cliches exist for a reason, because it just works.

As a reader I fell in love with Silver Bay, the people and the whales & dolphins. Living a life as a ‘whalechaser’ sounds amazing to me. Being out at sea every day, living with such great people around you, who are more like a family than just workmates. I would love it. That also meant that, even though I liked Mike, I didn’t like the business plans that has company had for Silver Bay. I felt sorry for the people and the animals in the sea and I didn’t want that special place to change one bit. So I was a bit angry at him for not being honest. I also wanted Liza to speak up and tell her story… Sometimes people need a bit of drama to see what’s really important, right? This story was like that, but thankfully the characters did see reason in the end so it all worked out in the end.

Now that I’ve read Silver Bay, I will definitely put more of the stories that Jojo Moyes has written on my to read list.

Tell Me Tomorrow – Lynda Bellingham

tell me tomorrowTitle: Tell Me Tomorrow
Author: Lynda Bellingham
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pages: 471
My rating★★★★✫

I got this book as a present for either Christmas or my birthday, so it has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while now. It seemed like a good idea to add this one to the list for Paperback Summer.

What the book is about

Meredith has it all: a fabulous career, a beautiful daughter, and a lovely home, but she has no one to share it with. Behind this tirelessly successful facade lies the story of a woman who struggles to keep love in her life.

When Meredith’s daughter, Anna, starts making the same mistakes as her mother, the closest relationship Meredith has begins to crumble around her.

Can Meredith hold on to the career that drives her, and the one relationship she treasures? Or is she destined to be alone forever?

What I think about the book

This book is all about the relationships between mothers and daughters. I wonder if there are any relationships more difficult than that. Especially when things don’t always go as planned. In this book you’re not only meeting Meredith, the main character, but also the three women before her and her daughter Anna. All of these women have a secret of their own, which they eventually share with their daughters when the time is right. Even though the times are changing, the struggles of these women stay the same and their history seems to repeat itself time and again.

I must admit that, even though I liked the story from the beginning, I had to get used to the way it was written. At some points the story is really being told instead of lived through the women in the book. Not my favorite style of writing. That being said, the story itself was interesting enough to keep reading.

Of all the women in the book, Meredith’s part takes up most of the story. After we learn about the lives of her grandmother and mother, the story goes on with Meredith. She grows up on her parent’s farm and then moves to London to go to school. There she meets her best friend Oliver. Meredith isn’t lucky when it comes to love, but as a single mother she has good friends and a wonderful family to rely on. She is very focused on her career. She has started at a catering company and eventually ends up writing books and being a show host in the television world. When her daughter Anna has some news to share and her career seems to fall apart, Meredith has to gather all her strength to keep going.

I loved how this book takes you through time. Showing the differences for women growing up in different periods in time. I have always been a fan of the sixties and seventies myself, so it was lovely to read what London was like in those days while Meredith moves there and starts life on her own.

It took me about two weeks to finish this book, reading a small part of the book every time I picked it up. I am glad I did read it though as the story is very beautiful. It may take some time to get through this book, but it is definitely worth your time.

A Perfect Mess – Zoe Dawson

A Perfect MessTitle: A Perfect Mess (A Perfect Secret #1)
Author: Zoe Dawson
Publisher: Blue Moon Creative
Pages: 367
My rating★★★✫

Since I will be joining the Paperback Summer soon, I decided to pick another book on my Kindle for now. I scrolled to the books that were still on there (50+ e-books are still waiting for me there, so maybe I need a Kindle month as well) and picked A perfect Mess quite randomly. I got it as a freebie on Amazon a couple of months ago, but saw that it is still available for free at at the moment.

What the book is about

I know what you did last summer.

Aubree Walker, the perfect girl most likely to succeed, is sure there’s only one person who knows what she did.

Booker Outlaw, one of the three Outlaw brothers—all identical, all gorgeous, all from the wrong side of the tracks, and all pure bad boys. He was always the unpredictable one, the one who would be brash enough to make it big self-publishing horror novels on the internet. He promised never to tell, but everyone knows you can never trust an Outlaw.

Then a year later, in the middle of the night, she receives a phone call at Tulane. Her aunt, who took her in after her mother’s death, is in a coma under suspicious circumstances. Now she has to face that one person who knows all about what she did that summer—sexy Booker.

Returning to Hope Parish to be with her aunt, stirs up all those ugly memories. When Aubree starts getting threats, she can’t help but wonder if what she did last summer was tied to her aunt’s “accident.” Afraid, she turns to the only person who knows the truth and Booker doesn’t hesitate to offer his broad shoulder for her to lean on. But Booker has a secret of his own that could crush their fledgling relationship.

As the hot, sultry summer days move on, she finds that even a perfectly smart girl can lose her heart to a perfectly bad boy. What is she going to do when someone starts asking questions Aubree doesn’t want to answer? She’s knee deep into a terribly dangerous, wholly life changing, who-can-she-really-depend-on perfect mess.

What I think about the book

The story starts at a fast pace. I was kind of expecting a romantic, contemporary story with some sort of dramatic personal secret that would be exposed, but soon it became clear that there was more to this secret. The book seemed to be a bit thriller like, there was someone watching Aubree and sending her mean text messages. The reader doesn’t know what she has done last summer. It is only clear that Booker was there with her when it happened.

The book shows both the point of view of Aubree and Booker. That was nice, because it shows you that both Aubree and Booker like each other and would like to get to know the other one better, but for their own reasons they think it would be a bad idea to get involved in a (committed) relationship. I really did like to see how their contact changes throughout the story and I was really hoping they would finally get together.

I liked the story, but I do have some ‘complaints’ about it as well. The content of this book is not clean at all. I really don’t mind it when there is sex involved in a romance novel, but in this case I had to get used to the way Booker is thinking about Aubree. Nothing was left to the imagination and in my opinion that didn’t really add anything to the story. I am not a prude, but I think that scenes where you can fill in the blanks are way more sexy. This seems to be an issue that I have more often with new adult novels.

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2016 Reading Challenge
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