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.

Then comes spring – CeCe Carroll

then comes springTitle: Then comes spring (Tastes like winter #2)
Author: CeCe Carroll
Format: Kindle
Pages: 159
My rating★★★★✫

In 2014 I have read CeCe’s first novel Tastes like Winter. This month her new book Then Comes Spring has been published. It’s another story about Emma and Jake, the characters I fell in love with in her first book. When CeCe asked on Twitter if anyone was up for reading a review copy I told her I’d love to.

What the book is about

At seventeen, among the shift and collapse of family and friends, Emma fell in love. Jake came into her life and saw her in a way no one else did. But Jake was battling his own demons and with each step forward came several steps back.

Four years later, Emma has changed. When she left High Gate so her mother could pursue a new career in Colorado, things were left open ended with Jake. Emma hoped their fragile bond would grow stronger despite their distance, but life doesn’t always work out that way.

Hardened by a broken heart, Emma ditches hopes and dreams in favor of safer choices. But when Jake appears back in her life, she must decide what she wants, what she needs, and what she can’t live without.

What I think about the book 

I really liked the book. It was fast paced and I could have read it in one sitting if only I could have had my normal concentration. The book is slightly different from Tastes Like Winter. First of all the setting has changed. Since the story continues four years after the last one ended, a lot has changed. Emma moved on to a college in a different state and she seems to be a whole different person. No longer is she the dreamy and introvert girl who spends lots of time locked up in her room with a book, she became a young woman with a goal in life, future plans and friends to hang out with. She is still serious when it comes to her classes, but knows how to enjoy herself. She even fell in love again and feels ready to let a new guy in to her heart. Brandon. Her safe choice. A good guy. Or so she thinks.

When Jake enters the scene again, Emma is shocked. Everything she has been working for over the past four years, seems to fall apart in that second. At first she tries to stay away from Jake, but she can’t. She wants to be his friend, she is curious as to what he has been up to. Wouldn’t we all want to know? I mean, a first love, there is a certain thing about that. They will always be a part of you. So yes, by hanging out with Jake, Emma is playing with fire. Who will she pick? What will she do?

Even though the outcome might not be such a surprise, it was well written and I really enjoyed reading about it. The struggles in Emma’s head are very realistic. What about the future? What if I won’t like the job I will be getting after college? What kind of relationship do I want? There are so many choices that we’ve got to make at the age of 21 that it does freak you out sometimes. That sounds quite familiar to me. I do wonder what Emma’s future will be like and what she will be like five years from where she’s at now. Maybe we will get another story from CeCe Carroll, and otherwise I will just have to guess where it will go from here.

Making your mind up – Jill Mansell

Jill Mansell Making your mind upTitle: Making your mind up
Author: Jill Mansell
Publisher: Headline Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 436
My rating★★★★✫

In the past I have read a few books by Jill Mansell which I really enjoyed, but somewhere along the way I started to read other books and somehow I had not picked up any of her newer books. Since I saw a live interview at the Manuscripta book event here in Utrecht in September 2014 I really wanted to start reading her books again, so I picked this one up at a book fair somewhere in the past year and decided to read it for Paperback Summer. After all I do think a bit of romance is great summer reading material.

What the book is about

Lottie Carlyle isn’t looking for love when she meets her new boss, Tyler Klein. Living in a beautiful cottage with her two adorable – sometimes – kids in an idyllic village in the Cotswolds, on good terms with her ex-husband and with friends all around, she’s happy enough with her lot. But Tyler’s perfect for Lottie and quickly she falls for him – and he for her. Unfortunately, there’s a problem. For reasons that are totally unfair, Lottie’s children HATE Tyler. When a rival for Lottie’s affections comes on the scene in the shape of charmer Seb, the children adore him, and he’s certainly a distraction. But he’s not Tyler – and he’s not even at all what he seems. Lottie’s got a problem – but thanks, in classic Jill Mansell style, to a tobogganing accident and a delicious series of mix-ups, all will be revealed and true love will find a way.

What I think about the book

I really needed to get into this story and that took me quite a bit. I am a slow reader, because of my pregnancy, and with the short chapters and many characters that are involved it took me a while to get to know them all. Once I did it was all lovely and I finished the book quite fast.

What I really love about Jill Mansell’s style is how the events in her books are so realistic, it could happen to anyone. That way you can relate to all the characters. I also felt many different emotions while reading this book, especially the male characters were quite annoying sometimes and I got quite mad at them for the things they did. Nope, not going to spoil anything here.

In the end, everything falls into place, which is another thing that is typical for a Jill Mansell story. The characters get what they deserve and there’s always room for a couple of ‘they lived happily ever after’ moments.

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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
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