[Book Review]: From Notting Hill to New York…Actually- Ali McNamara

From Notting Hill to New York... Actually (Actually #2)GOODREADS SYNOPSIS: Scarlett O’Brien, utterly addicted to romantic films, has found her leading man. She’s convinced Sean is Mr Right, but the day-to-day reality of a relationship isn’t quite like the movies. With Sean constantly away on business, Scarlett and her new best friend Oscar decide to head to New York for the holiday of a lifetime. From one famous landmark to the next, Scarlett and Oscar make many new friends during their adventure – including sailors in town for Fleet Week, a famous film star, and Jamie & Max, a TV reporter and cameraman. Scarlett finds herself strangely drawn to Jamie, they appear to have much in common: a love of films and Jamie’s search for a parent he never knew. But Scarlett has to ask herself why she is reacting like this to another man when she’s so in love with Sean …

So once I finished the first book in this awesome trilogy, I had to keep going to see what happens next, and so I read this book in the space of 6 hours or so because I just couldn’t put it down. It’s one of those books where when you look back to see how far along you’ve read, you don’t realise you’re already past half way.

I would have to say this book wasn’t as great as the first book only because I found the first book had a lot more ‘movie moments’ and ‘movie scenarios’ in it than this one did. Also, as I started to read this book, I found the same pattern was starting to occur as it had in book one and I really didn’t want that to happen because you don’t want to read part 2 in a trilogy only for it to have the same story line, but I quickly guessed where Ali McNamara was going with everything soon enough and so it ended up going on a different path than book one did (to a point anyway), it did still feel a little like de ja vou while reading it.

Again, like book one, being a romantic comedy story, it is very predictable and you can basically guess where everything is going from the first couple of chapters, but even though it’s predictable, you still want to read it, just like you keep watching a movie even after you’ve guessed the plot.

The main character’s from book one weren’t really in this book. New character’s were introduced because Scarlett visits New York to see her dad. While she is still with Sean (which she should be after what she put poor David through in Book one), he doesn’t accompany her to New York until the end, where all the other character’s from book one also come into it -right at the end, but the way they were included when they were and why they were was pretty awesome really. Obviously this trilogy is based on movies, but let’s face it – these big happily ever after romantic gestures don’t really happen in real life – do they?

So it’s onto book number three for me today, I look forward to seeing how it’s going to all conclude and I’ll be back later on to share my thoughts with you all.

❤ MeLzY


[Book Review]: From Notting Hill with Love…Actually – Ali McNamara

From Notting Hill with Love... Actually (Actually #1)

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS: She was just a girl, standing in front of a boy . . . wishing he looked more like Hugh Grant.

Scarlett loves the movies. But does she love sensible fiancé David just as much? With a big white wedding on the horizon, Scarlett really should have decided by now . . .

When she has the chance to house-sit in Notting Hill – the setting of one of her favourite movies – Scarlett jumps at the chance. But living life like a movie is trickier than it seems, especially when her new neighbour Sean is so irritating. And so irritatingly handsome, too.

Scarlett soon finds herself starring in a romantic comedy of her very own: but who will end up as the leading man?

What a great novel! I absolutely loved this book from beginning to end. Maybe the fact that I just love Hugh Grant aswell and have watched Notting Hill a hundred times might have something to do with it, but it was a very clever written novel- definitely unlike any story I’ve ever written, which is always refreshing.

When I first came across it on Goodreads, I read some reviews and they weren’t all that positive, but sometimes you have to read things for yourself and make your own judgement on them, which I’m so glad I did.

This is the first of three novels in this ‘Love’ series and I cannot wait to read the next two!

Reading this made me feel like I was actually watching a romantic comedy, not reading a book and it was just fabulous!
The character’s all played a good part and I think they were all necessary to have in the story, they all contributed to making the story as great as it was.

Being a romantic comedy story, it is quite predicable from the get go but most Rom-Com’s are aren’t they?
For anyone who loves Bridget Jones’ Diary, Notting Hill and Love Actually – then you’re sure to love reading this book. The comparison’s fit in perfectly with Scarlett’s life and she always manages to find herself in a movie situation. It’s very clever of Ali McNamara. A well written novel.

It’s a very easy one day read, not to mention very addictive- I couldn’t put it down!

Stay tuned for book 2 review!

❤ MeLzY

[Book Review]: The light between oceans – M L Stedman

The Light Between Oceans

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS: After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

When this movie came to the cinema, I wasn’t all that interested in it from what the previews showed and so I didn’t go to see it or even want to read the book.
But then I was given the book as a gift and figured I might as well see what it’s like.

I found the first few chapters to be very slow and couldn’t quite grasp the story. This could be because the story was set in the early 1900’s, I’m not sure. But I kept at it and was happy to find that the story got a lot better when Tom and Izzy met and moved to Janus together. That’s basically where the story begins and starts to get interesting anyway.

It was a story like no other I’ve read before and a great first novel for M L Stedman.

It’s a touching story. I wouldn’t say it’s sad or an emotional read (well it wasn’t for me) but I felt sad mostly for the little girl Lucy/ Grace. She is the one that was caught up in the middle of it all and it was just a hard situation for all involved to be in. It makes you wonder what you would do yourself if put in that same situation.

I look forward to watching the movie adaption to this book!

What did you think of this novel?

❤ MeLzY

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!!

The years seem to be flying by faster each year, so when Christmas comes back around I normally take a while to get into the Christmas mood because it feels like we only just got over the last one and the next one is here again already.

But this year, I don’t know why, but I am more excited about Christmas and am doing more ‘Christmasy’ things to enjoy it more.

Every year we drive to the Cascades in Mt Annan to walk the streets and look at all the beautiful Christmas lights the majority of the houses in that area do. It is such a beautiful place to go and get into the Christmas spirit, as well as walk around and admire all the hard work and so much effort everyone puts into making their houses sparkle with so many lights and decorations. I just love it!








So if you want to see some magical Christmas lights but don’t want to drive far for only one or two houses, then go to The Cascades in Mt Annan where there are so many houses lit up, it will take you an hour or more to see them all! It is well worth the drive!

Also this Christmas, for the first time ever, we went to Carols by the lake in Mittagong. I had never been to any Carols before and wanted to go this year to see what it was like. It was a great turn out, with so many people there, it was really great to see the Community get together and support the carols.

The atmosphere was a great experience, but unfortunately Sydney being Sydney with 4 season’s in one day, did just that and the night was freezing! We are in Summer but that night felt like we were right back in the middle of Winter again, which was a shame because it made the night quite uncomfortable and so we left early but the carols that we did see were lovely.

I would love to know what Christmas events you have been to this year?

❤ MeLzY

2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge completed!

Image result for goodreads reading challenge

This was 2016’s Goodread’s Reading Challenge stats:

Participants 2,967,917
Books Pledged 139,430,243
Books Finished 35,838,342
Avg. Books Pledged 46
Challenges Completed 11,702
Time Left 26 days

I am very happy to say that I have completed my challenge of 20 books and am very proud that I met my own goal.

These were my 20 books that I read this year:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
One with you – Sylvia Day
Sense & Sensibility – Jane Austen
Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Shopaholic book series (8 books)- Sophie Kinsella
Me before you – JoJo Moyes
After you – JoJo Moyes
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Two by Two – Nicholas Sparks
The girl on the train – Paula Hawkins
Behind closed doors – B.A Paris
The devil wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger
Revenge wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger

I have reviewed each one of these as I read them, so feel free to browse through my blog and read them.

Out of these 20 books, I would have to say the most enjoyable thriller to read was Behind Closed doors for the simple fact that it was a very intriguing novel to read. It had me hooked from the first page until the very last.
The girl on the train was a close second for the same reason as the first. I think next year I will be reading more suspense/ thriller novels as I find them more captivating and can’t put them down until it’s finished!

The most enjoyable fiction novel I read this year would have to be Me before you. It was so heart-warming and inspirational. It was also the saddest novel I read this year.

For the most enjoyable classic novel, I think I enjoyed Tess of the D’Urbervilles the most because it was easier to read than the others. The story was more entertaining aswell and I found it easier to follow than the others. Although Pride & Prejudice was a close second.

And the most enjoyable adult fiction novel I read this year was One with you – not only because it was the only adult fiction novel I read this year but because I absolutely loved that book series and couldn’t wait to read the final book in the series.

I can’t wait to start my next book challenge next year, which isn’t that far away! But for this year, that’s all my reading done and dusted. I hope you enjoyed my book reviews and I look forward to sharing more reviews with you all again soon!

❤ MeLzY