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The Beach Cafe – Lucy Diamond

The Beach CafeTitle: The Beach Cafe
Author: Lucy Diamond
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 490
My rating★★★★

After reading the first two books in the Shifters series, I was in the mood for something else. Not because I didn’t like the series, but I just figured it had been a while since I have been reading a chick lit novel. I found ‘The Beach Café’ on my Kindle and decided to read that one first.

What the book is about

Evie Flynn has always been the black sheep of her family – a dreamer and a drifter, unlike her over-achieving elder sisters. She’s tried making a name for herself as an actress, a photographer and a singer, but nothing has ever worked out. Now she’s stuck in temp hell, with a sensible, pension-planning boyfriend. Somehow life seems to be passing her by. Then her beloved aunt Jo dies suddenly in a car crash, leaving Evie an unusual legacy – her precious beach cafe in Cornwall. Determined to make a success of something for the first time in her life, Evie heads off to Cornwall to get the cafe and her life back on track – and gets more than she bargained for, both in work and in love…

What I think about the book

At the start of the story I was quite annoyed by Evie and her attitude. You inherit a wonderful beach cafe, so go for it? The place sounds like a dream come true to me. Who cares about the opinions of others, especially that boyfriend who doesn’t seem to get you. I would never be able to have a relationship like that. I would have ran away screaming way before that point. So here’s what I was thinking: Girl, if you don’t like your life, just quit and go somewhere else! I just had the feeling that she was going to change and I wanted to see how that would happen, so of course I didn’t put my Kindle down. Instead I kept reading.

That was a good decision. Once she had made up her mind, Evie turned out to be a wonderful and compassionate woman. She is really trying to make a success of the Beach Cafe and while doing that, she is touching the lives of so many other people around her. Her beloved aunt Jo would have been proud of her for how she is handling things.

After an initially bumpy start The Beach Cafe turned out to be a lovely and light summer read. A great book to take with you on a beach holiday or for your own sunny balcony or garden.

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

FangirlTitle: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 461
My rating★★★★★

When I heard the title Fangirl for the first time, I honestly had to think of my friend Fabi. The world of fanfaction is not one I am really familiar with, I don’t think I have the ‘fangirl’ gene myself, but to see others soooo in love with certain characters is quite intriguing. She is the one who has told me all that I know about that world. It has made me curious. I have always wanted to know what that would feel like, so that was the first reason for me to pick up this book. It has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while now, so it was about time to actually read it.

What the book is about

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

What I think about the book

I just loved reading Fangirl from the very beginning. I immediately fell in love with Cath as the main character, but the other characters (her twin sister Wren, her dad, her roommate Reagan and of course Levi) are great as well. The story is easy to read and I was sucked into her new world at college immediately. Somehow it made me feel like I would love to go back to college myself, because the fiction writing classes Cath is taking sound amazing to me. (Maybe I should just search for such a class myself, they are probably available for non-college students as well)

Cath has trouble fitting in at college, she loves being on her own and tries to avoid contact with other if it’s possible. Well, she has gotten pretty good at that. I can relate to that until some extend, but not entirely. I love being on my own, but I need people around me as well. But, with all that Cath has been through in her life and with her mother leaving them when she was young, I can imagine that she’s scared to get too attached to other people. Her drive to be independent is one I do understand, as is getting lost in fiction. With this novel it felt like I was actually sitting next to Cath on her dorm room bed, listening to the stories she’s writing and the thoughts in her head. I like that.

So what else can I say? Other than that the book was way too short for me (come on, I want to read more!) I have no negative feedback. All I want is to lay my hands on more books written by Rainbow Rowell, so that I can see if they are just as good as this one. Yes, I am excited!

As for writing fanfiction… I still don’t think it’s something I would do. I would love to be able to create my own world and my own characters. Not that I am any good at it, but I am willing to give that a try.

Lexi’s Pathetic Fictional Love Life – Jo Noelle

Lexi's Pathetic Fictional Love LifeTitle: Lexi’s Pathetic Fictional Love Life
Author: Jo Noelle
Publisher:  Little Box Press LLC
Pages: 283
My rating★★★✫✫

I got a review copy of this book via Ebooks for Review. With this book I really just fell for the title. I think Lexi is an awesome girls name and well it just made me curious. I like reading about high school girls who are finding their way. Maybe because I never really did take those steps myself until I was in college?

What the book is about

Lexi Middleton has been socially invisible to her classmates, but starting her junior year, that’s going to change. First, she’s determined to hook a boyfriend, ensuring dates with flowers and possible kisses on the doorstep. Second, she wants to be a writer for the school paper, even though it freaks her out to think of everyone judging her by her punctuation and metaphors.

High school is difficult enough—keeping up her grades, dealing with increasing sibling rivalry, and trying to stay out of the way of her personal nemesis, Amberlee—but when Lexi catches the eye of her long-time crush, she also becomes the focus of mean-girl tactics.

Caught between who she was and who she wants to be, Lexi must decide how to confront a bully, and choose who to let into her heart.

What I think about the book

Lexi’s Pathetic Fictional Love Life is a typical young adult novel. I definitely enjoyed reading this book, but it took me a while before I got into the story. The book is made out of both the story of Lexi Middleton (and her friends) mixed up with the story she is writing for her creative writing class. In the beginning I didn’t really enjoy the story about Lina and Tanner that Lexi was writing and I wondered if it was even important for the book. I kept on reading because I was wondering if those two stories would come together in the end and they did, in a way.

So yes, the story did get better and throughout the story Lexi develops into a better version of herself. She falls in love with the right guy, she gets to know her sister Tif better than she ever did and her friends give her a few nudges in the right direction. Yes, this girl can stand up for herself. How? I am not going to spoil that. You’d have to see that for yourself.

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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Roxanne has read 0 books toward her goal of 50 books.