Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Review of Johnny Be Good - Paige Toon

The bit on the back…

If your boss was the hottest rock star on the planet, would you mix business with pleasure?

I'm Meg Stiles. This is my leaving party. And that song we're making a mockery of? That's written by one of the biggest rock stars in the world. And I'm moving in with him tomorrow.

Seriously! I am not even joking. Well, maybe I'm misleading you a little bit. You see, I haven't actually met him yet...

No, I'm not a stalker. I'm his new PA. His Personal Assistant. And I am off to La-La Land. Los Angeles. The City of Angels - whatever you want to call it - and I can't bloody believe it!

Celebrity PA to wild boy of rock Johnny Jefferson, Meg's glam new life in sun-drenched LA is a whirlwind of showbiz parties and backstage passes. Cool, calm Christian, in town to write his famous friend's biography, helps keep Meg's feet firmly on the ground. But with Johnny's piercing green eyes and a body Brad Pitt would kill for, how long will it be before she's swept right off them again?


I first read this ages ago, after falling in love with Paige’s style in her novel Chasing Daisy. At first I wasn’t sure if I had read them in the wrong order, as Johnny Be Good feels as if it is almost a prequel to Chasing Daisy, it isn’t necessary to read them in that order though – so don’t worry!

I really liked the blurb – working for a celebrity, a really hot rock god no less, a fabulous relocation and the world of showbiz. What else could you ask for? Another male lead? Ok then, meet Christian, the rocker’s best friend.

Meg is about to relocate her life to start a new job as a CPA – celebrity personal assistant. Meg isn’t going to be just any CPA though, but CPA to the ultimate bad boy rocker Johnny Jefferson. I really loved Meg, right from the beginning, although not being able to directly relate to her situation (I wish!), I felt like I could really relate to what she was feeling and thinking. I found her very easy to imagine, all thanks to Paige’s writing.

Johnny is a proverbial bad boy, with a hot body and piercing eyes to match. Meg is instantly attracted to him and it feels as though it’s easy to see why – after all, everyone loves a good bad boy! He pulls Meg into his celebrity lifestyle as she settles into his LA pad and goes on tour with him, experiencing the rock star life first hand.

Christian, Johnny’s best friend, currently writing his biography helps Meg adjust to her new life style and also helps her to learn how to handle Johnny as he leads Meg on the tumultuous journey that is his life.

One of the things that is consistent with Paige is her descriptions of all the locations her characters visit. It really allows the reader to imagine them and go there with the characters which just adds to the ability to empathise with the characters. The emotions and the feelings of the characters are so strong that you feel them with them when you are reading their stories.

This will have you laughing, and crying, as you read about Johnny’s antics and how Meg copes with him. The characters are so vivid that I felt like I was living vicariously through Meg.

If you are looking for a great summer read then stop here. It’s easy and fun to read, bubbling with emotion that will make you fall in love with Paige and her writing style, if you haven’t already.

Erin x

Review of Changing Places - Colette Caddle

The bit on the back…

Sometimes those closest to you can cause you the most harm…

Anna and Rachel Gallagher: two sisters close in age but in very little else. Ten minutes together and they are at each other’s throats.

Anna is the elder – the pretty one, working her way up the career ladder as an estate agent, married to Liam and happy to wait for his assured promotion at work before they start a family.

Rachel, by comparison, feels lumpy and grumpy. Mother to five-year-old Alex, keeping her second pregnancy a secret even from her husband Gary, she is the stay-at-home younger sister, tired and lonely.

Caught in the middle is Jill, forever trying to be peacemaker. She has her own problems, but, with a confident smile and a spring in her step, she tries to take them all in her stride.

But as the sisters try to find a common ground, they find themselves asking, is blood really thicker than water.


This was another first for me after winning this book in a twitter competition. After reading the blurb, I thought this was definitely something I would like and I’m glad that I’ve been introduced to Colette as an author.

The story is told from the point of views of Anna, Rachel and Jill. Firstly, I really like this as it gives you an insight to the story from more than one character and although there are 3 main characters each of them has their own separate story and personality as well as the story tying them all together. The story is told in the 3rd person, which really lends itself to the story as there is more than one character telling it.

Anna is the oldest sister, in a happy marriage to Liam and forging ahead with her career as an estate agent. She finds herself having to adjust as her plans have to be put on hold and her life takes an unexpected turn. Caught between loyalty and excitement Anna has to make choices which could make or break her relationship and which could completely change her life forever.

Rachel, the younger sister is the stay-at-home mum who is keeping her new pregnancy secret and struggling to come to terms with it. As she struggles daily with the monotony of being a stay-at-home mum and the resentment she is harbouring towards finding herself pregnant again, she must decide to tell her husband and family and also face her fears that her husband might not be as faithful as she once thought.

Jill is the high flying career woman of the three, with no family of her own and no real commitments; she changes her boyfriend as often as she changes her diet (which is often) when they don’t meet her expectations. She is the referee between the sisters as the disagree on the way each of them lead their lives and tries to help them both with their individual situations avoiding her own.

I really liked the 3 characters, and immediately felt like I could relate to Jill and her habit of chopping and changing between this diet and that. I thought that her character was like neutral ground between both of the sisters which really tied the story together.

Anna and Rachel’s relationship is fractious at the best of times and I think this was displayed quite well. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was how quickly their arguments were diffused by one sister acquiescing. Their arguments seemed to be more heat of the moment than lasting disagreements.

At first I wasn’t sure if I felt the story was a bit repetitive with both sisters going through similar scenarios in one aspect of their life, however the story twists to the unexpected and I wasn’t sure what to expect towards the end. I liked how the story ended, each sister and Jill coming full circle and although I wasn’t sure why it was called changing places at first I was sure at the end. Overall I really enjoyed the book and found that I was interested in where the story was going and how the characters were going to end up throughout.

Erin x

Monday, 29 July 2013

Review of Second Time Around - Erin Kaye

The bit on the back…

The path to true love never did run smooth…

With a successful business and two loving children, divorcee Jennifer Irwin is quite content. But when her forty-fifth birthday approaches, Jennifer starts to feel lonely in her empty nest.

Then she meets the handsome and self-assured Ben Crawford and while sixteen years her junior, he sweeps Jennifer off her feet. Knowing the residents of their small town wouldn’t approve, they conduct their affair in secret.

But a secret is never a secret for long in Ballyfergus…


I picked up a copy of this recently when I saw it in the supermarket. The cover is pretty and the subject sounded like something I would usually like – it had nothing to do with the author and I sharing the same name – honest! I like how this book has been given a content guide on the back cover so if the blurb isn’t enough to convince you this is your type of book then this will.

The story is set in Ireland, focusing on the Irwin family and is told from Jennifer, Lucy and Ben’s point of views. I was glad to see this as I have been reading a lot lately and wishing that some books had some perspective from the other characters – so this was an added bonus. I was hooked straight away after reading the first chapter and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it two days later.

Single mother, divorcee Jennifer is starting to live her life for herself again now that her children are grown up and have flown the nest. While being encouraged to start dating again Jennifer’s eyes lock with Ben’s. Their mutual attraction is instant and their relationship flourishes as they start working together in Ben’s new business.

Ben has been in business with his father since the death of his brother. He’s not interested and would have much rather followed his own path in life. Meeting Jennifer is like having his eyes opened to what he is missing in life and he can finally face up to the secret burden he has carried for many years.

Lucy is Jennifer’s 20 year old daughter. Struggling to cope with university and with an addiction she can’t admit, she is on the brink - until she meets Oren. Tall, handsome worldy Oren takes Lucy under his wing and with guidance gifted to him by God Oren helps her on the right path, and to find her calling in life. When Oren and Jennifer clash, the Irwin family are nearly torn apart.

The story is fast paced and full of emotion. There is something in each character that is identifiable making it easy to empathise with them all. The book also broaches two ever present issues in society – relationships and religion. Erin handles both of them with care and ensures the story is thought provoking, allowing the readers to really engage with it. I wasn’t sure how I felt at first as the subject of religion is discussed quite heavily, however instead of being detrimental to the story it adds to it – so don’t be put off! I am sure that this will not be the last of Erin’s books that I will read. If you like Freya North I think you will like this.
Erin x

Monday, 22 July 2013

Review of The Dating Detox by Gemma Burgess

The bit on the back…

If you can't date anyone nice, don't date anyone at all…

Dating is a dangerous sport. So after her sixth successive failed relationship, romantically-challenged 20-something Sass decides she’s had enough.

The Dating Detox is born. No men, no break-ups, no problem.

The result? Her life – usually joyfully/traumatically occupied with dates, clothes and vodka – is finally easy. Chastity rocks. No wonder nuns are always singing. Everything falls at her feet. Especially men.

Will Sass break the rules? Why does fate keep throwing her in the path of the irritatingly amusing – and gorgeous – Jake? Will she ever roll the dice and play again? Or is a love-free life too good to risk losing?

For the post-Carrie Bradshaw, post-Bridget Jones, post-credit crunch generation of singles, life isn’t beautiful, a bitch, or a beach. It’s a party.


The story follows 28 year old Sass as she embarks upon a dating sabbatical after being dumped for the 6th time. She has sworn herself in with the help of best friend Bloomie and dedicates herself to sticking to the sabbatical rules for 3 months. She takes hold of her men-free life with two hands. Until Jake, gorgeous, funny Jake. Her dating sabbatical rules didn’t account for meeting someone she might actually like. Sass has to decide if her sabbatical has run its course or if Jake is just another guy likely to break her heart.

This is the first book by Gemma Burgess I’d read and I really enjoyed it. I kept it, so that’s a good sign that I liked it enough to probably want to read it again. It is written in the 1st person, only ever as Sass, the main character which I really liked as a change from books being written in the 3rd person. I am guessing that it is Gemma’s preferred style as her other book A Girl Like You is also written in the 1st person. I also find that when a story is in the first person it’s like seeing the story from their eyes as opposed to watching the characters and the story unfold around them.

Sass is very easy to like and imagine as just an ordinary girl and as I’ve said it is easy to see everything through her eyes as the story unfolds. One of the things I enjoy most about reading is escaping into someone else’s world for a couple of hours and I found it really easy to do that with this book. The only thing that I wasn’t too sure whether I liked or not about it being written this way was that Sass quite often talks and has conversations with herself. Some of her conversations could equally have been had with her friends. Although I can’t relate to her dating drama I’m sure there are loads of girls who could empathise with Sass having been in the same situation.

After starting the sabbatical Sass comes more into her own and becomes increasingly self-assured as the no men rule seems to have a positive effect on the other aspects of her life. Sass is easy to relate to in the other aspects of her life as there is no glamour or billion pound bank balances and appears to face the same issues as your everyday girl would - job worries, fashion worries, money worries. Inspiration for Sass’s career has obviously came from Gemma herself who worked as a copywriter in advertising in London.

The story is mainly set in London with brief stints in the English country side and New York. I might have mentioned before that London is one of my favourite places so that really appealed to me; however Gemma knows New York inside out, where, I later discovered, she lives, which made it easy to picture when I was reading it. The only thing I would have liked to see in the book was maybe a chapter from Jake’s point of view, other than that I thought this was a really good, funny (I think I actually did laugh out loud at one point) read.

Erin x

Review of I heart New York - Lindsey Kelk

The bit in the back…

It's official. Angela Clarke is in love – with the most fabulous city in the world.

Fleeing her cheating boyfriend and clutching little more than a crumpled bridesmaid dress, a pair of Louboutins and her passport, Angela jumps on a plane, destination - NYC.

Holed up in a cute hotel room, Angela gets a New York makeover from her NBF Jenny and a whirlwind tour of the city that never sleeps. Before she knows it, Angela is dating two sexy guys. And, best of all, she gets to write about it in her new blog (Carrie Bradshaw eat your heart out). But it's one thing telling readers about your romantic dilemmas, it's another figuring them out for yourself …

Angela has fallen head over heels for the big apple, but does she heart New York more than home?

Continuing with the theme of “the first book I’ve read by”, this was the first of Lindsey’s books that I had read and is also the first in the “I heart” series. One of the things that drew me to it was the title and the cover. I haven’t had the fortune of travelling to New York (yet) but I love reading about it, so this seemed like the perfect read for me. I read it quite a while ago but kept it on my book shelf, especially for the situation that I found myself in, wanting to re-read it.

It starts off with a fast paced, funny insight into Angela’s life before New York. She is at what could possibly be the makings of the worst wedding of all times when she finds her long term boyfriend Mark with his pants around his ankles in the back seat of their car, engaging in some extracurricular activity with his tennis partner.

Deciding to completely remove herself from the situation Angela ups and leaves heading to New York in only her bridesmaids dress and pricey Louboutins. The story follows Angela as she meets Jenny and goes on to meet handsome, dependable Tyler and bad boy rocker Alex.

Angela finds herself thrown back into the dating game, not once but twice with both Tyler and Alex vying for her attention. Tyler, the suit, treats Angela like a princess and this allows for some faith to be instilled in her that not all men are dogs like Mark. Then she meets Alex, who doesn’t love a good bad boy I ask? I was instantly attracted to Alex with his band, rocker image and total ease with himself. He makes for a really good book boyfriend and the interactions between Angela and both boys lets you really get involved in Angela’s story.

Angela starts to make a life for herself in this new, exciting city, landing a job blogging about her new life with a popular fashion magazine. She has to juggle dating two men and hope that neither discovers the other by reading her blog.

When Angela is faced with an opportunity that she might not be able to refuse she must decide whether her New York life is more suited to her than her London past. The story is filled with suspense as she must decide what path her future will follow and which handsome New Yorker does she heart more?

Although it might not be quite realistic that you would find yourself flying off to New York in a bridesmaid dress, Angela’s character makes it believable. She is just an ordinary girl which I think makes it really easy to engage in the story and follow her through it. Angela has found herself in a new city, living for herself and making decisions purely with herself in mind. She is apprehensive which really comes across, it makes you as the reader feel the apprehension alongside her and imagine yourself in that situation. One of the other things I really enjoyed was being able to see the city through Angela’s eyes as she starts to explore her new home.

I would definitely recommend this as a great summer read, fun and enjoyable and easy to lose yourself in the story. The characters are great and the story keeps you guessing right to the end.

I heart Hollywood is the next in the series.

Erin x

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Review of On Dublin Street - Samantha Young

On Dublin Street – Samantha Young

The bit on the back…

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul.

On Dublin Street is the first offering by Samantha Young that I read. I read it back at the start of the year and then re-read it straight after. I have recently re-read it again after I downloaded the novella Until Fountain Bridge which centres around two of the supporting characters in On Dublin Street. This was recommended to me after the hype that surrounded Mr Fifty Shades himself and his story.

The story is about Jocelyn, living in Edinburgh after fleeing her tragic past in America. I instantly liked her strong will, feistiness and determination which was revealed throughout the story as she relives her buried past and tries to deal with it as it makes its way into her future. She keeps her feelings to herself and guards them carefully until she moves in with Ellie and meets her brother Braden.

Braden is instantly likeable; he has that whole sexy, cocky, “I know I’m hot and I know you think so too” thing going on. I really liked his character and although the story is from Joss’s perspective it is easy to see how he feels about his relationship with Joss and where he wants it to be, through his dialogue with Joss. Looking back it feels as though some of the story, although all from Joss’s perspective, has been told from Braden’s, which is testament to how well written the story is.

Their story develops as Joss lets her guard down and lets Braden in. Braden wants to get to know all of her including her dark past, and what has made her who and the way she is. Their relationship grows and faces stumbling blocks as Joss struggles to open up. I really enjoyed the story between the characters and ended up falling in love a little bit with Braden along the way and his passion for making things work with Joss, and the intensity of his feelings towards her.

The story is set in Edinburgh, although with reference to the states where Joss lived in her early years. At first I wasn’t sure what to think about the fact that it was set in Scotland, being Scottish myself. It’s not often that books I read are set in here. I will admit that the only time I imagined them speaking with a truly broad, albeit stereotypical, Scottish accent was when real Scottish dialect shone through in some of the dialogue between the characters. I did, however, enjoy knowing what streets and different locations were being referenced in the story and found it even easier to imagine the setting.

In terms of the other characters that surround Joss and Braden I found it really easy to like them and believe them as part of the whole plot. I liked that Joss’s lack of immediate family was countered by the loving network surrounding Braden and Ellie; it gave quite a contrast but also made you think about where Joss was heading as a character in her relationship with Braden.

If you enjoy a really well written, contemporary romantic story with some depth and darkness to the plot and its characters then this is definitely for you. Fans of E.L James will definitely enjoy this. I have gone on to read Down London Road and Until Fountain Bridge which both feature secondary characters from On Dublin Street – I really liked this as it lets you keep up to date with the main characters from the previous story. A brilliant read for your holidays if you haven’t been already as it will keep you hooked, and turning the pages until you find yourself finished. At least when you do finish it you won’t have to wait for the next instalment. If you are reading this and have already enjoyed it I would recommend you read Until Fountain Bridge straight away!

Erin x

Review of Billy and Me - Giovanna Fletcher

Billy and Me – Giovanna Fletcher

The bit on the back…

Sophie May has a secret.

One that she’s successfully kept for years. It’s meant that she’s had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.

But then she meets the gorgeous Billy – an actor with ambitions to make it to the top. And when they fall in love, Sophie is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy’s glamorous – but ruthless – world.

Their relationship throws Sophie right into the spotlight after years of shying away from attention. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? And most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be discovered and shared with the nation?

I will be honest, one of the main reasons I picked this up was because it was written by Tom from Mcfly’s wife, bit of a daft reason for buying a book I know, but loads of girls (without offending any guys that have bought it!) will have picked it up for the same reason. I really liked the cover, it looked interesting and the usual for what I would normally choose when picking a book. This is Giovanna’s first novel, so wasn’t at all sure what to expect. Reading the blurb I was quite intrigued as the story seemed to have some good chick lit qualities to it, girl meets guy, girl falls in love, promise of ups and downs and hint at a happy ending – what more could you want from chick lit?

The story follows Sophie as she works in her local café serving cupcakes and sharing her days with the ladies of the village. It flicks between past and present revealing more information about Sophie and how her character has turned into the character she is in the present in the book. Billy turns up in the village as part of the cast of a film set in the village. Their relationship develops with them falling for each other the story then follows how their relationship develops and the struggles they have to face in a couple where one half is a celebrity.

At first I found it quite difficult to get into the story, it is quite slow to start setting the scene and really getting the readers acquainted with Sophie. I found it quite hard to like Sophie, for all you get to know her and her story; her character is quite weak and sometimes hard to believe. What I did find easy to believe was Sophie’s secret which was an on-going theme throughout the story, although it wasn’t a gripping secret when it finally was revealed, so I was a bit disappointed when it did come to light.

Billy walks into Sophie’s life as a customer in the café. His character was easier to imagine than Sophie’s however his characterisation was also quite weak and he doesn’t seem to have much personality. I found that the further into the story I got the less I actually liked him, the opposite of what you would expect for the romantic hero.

The plot itself is quite good following their relationship as it grows and as they face troubles as a couple. I found it quite easy to believe that the bumps they hit along the way in their relationship would be the same for a celebrity/non-celebrity pairing. I found that the story was slow in the beginning but then really rushed when it came to Billy’s overly (unbelievably so) romantic fairy lit first date to them moving in together, and then rushed towards the end when news from home means Sophie has to face up to losing someone close to her all over again.

I would have been good to see some chapters from Billy’s point of view because it’s sometimes quite difficult to see the story from his angle and how he sees his relationship with Sophie developing.

Overall I wasn’t sure what to expect from the book, and it is only Giovanna’s debut novel. The characters could have been a bit stronger and the story could have been a bit more focused on the early relationship between Sophie and Billy without as much preamble in getting to know Sophie. I’m looking forward to reading what Giovanna will write next and to see how her style develops as she makes, as I’m sure she will, a prominent standing for herself in the chick lit genre.

Erin x

Review of Heir Untamed - Danielle Bourdon

Heir Untamed - Danielle Bourdon

The bit on the back…

Desperate for work to avoid eviction from her Seattle apartment, photographer Chey Sinclair accepts a rare opportunity to travel abroad and photograph Latvala Royalty. Encountering the Royals for the first time, Chey experiences an instant attraction to Mattias, second in line to the throne. He's charming, confident—and taken.

During a horseback ride to clear her head, Chey finds herself in a scuffle with Sander Fisk, head of security. Rugged, determined and sharp tongued; Sander is infuriating as well as intriguing.

Faced with conflicting emotions and a mystery unfolding in the castle, Chey must decide between men: a Prince of Latvala, or an arrogant rogue.

She discovers the hard way that this particular fairy tale was more than she ever bargained for.

Heir Untamed is the first in the Latvala Royal series. It was recommended to me by a friend after she read the first 3 in the series on holiday. After she briefly described the outline of the story to me I knew it was something I was likely to enjoy. I downloaded the book to my kindle and started reading straight away. This is also the first of Danielle’s books that I’ve read so wasn’t sure what to expect based on other books.

The story is about Chey, a photographer struggling to make ends meet in Seattle. It follows her as she travels for work as the photographer for the Latvala Royal family. I liked Chey instantly; her character seemed down to earth and easy to relate to. Chey meets Mattias. He is second in line to the throne and appeared to me as Latvala’s answer to Christian Grey – all enigmatic charm and seductive looks. I liked him instantly, I found him really easy to imagine and liked the relationship between his character and Chey.

Sander Fisk, head of the Royal Family’s security team, is the other main character in Chey’s story. He is arrogant, rude and definitely determined. Chey’s relationship with Sander develops throughout the story and although I couldn’t see him as the mercurial fifty, he definitely had an air of George of the Jungle, albeit clothed, about him.

The story is set in the fictional country of Latvala. Danielle’s detailed description of the country really brings it to life. It appears as quite medieval and really made me think of Monte Carlo. I read a lot of other books where the locations are purely fictional but due to Danielle painting the country’s image so well it feels as though it is real.

The story gets off to a quick start which I think made it really easy to get into, it was fast paced throughout and is full of twists and turns in the plot including an absolute corker of a twist near the end. I can remember sitting with my jaw hanging open as I re-read what was written and then quickly read on to find out how the story continued.

I have already downloaded the 3 others in the series which follow Chey’s story as it continues in Latvala. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a fast paced, easy to read, well written story. If you are looking for a holiday read then this would be perfect, the characters are easy to like and it’s easy to immerse yourself in their world.

Erin x

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Review of Ellis Island - Kate Kerrigan

Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan

The bit on the back…

Sweethearts since childhood, Ellie Hogan and her husband, John, are content on their farm in Ireland—until John, a soldier for the Irish Republican Army, receives an injury that leaves him unable to work. Forced to take drastic measures in order to survive, Ellie does what so many Irish women in the 1920s have done and sails across a vast ocean to New York City to work as a maid for a wealthy socialite.

Once there, Ellie is introduced to a world of opulence and sophistication, tempted by the allure of grand parties and fine clothes, money and mansions . . . and by the attentions of a charming suitor who can give her everything. Yet her heart remains with her husband back home. And now she faces the most difficult choice she will ever have to make: a new life in a new country full of hope and promise, or return to a life of cruel poverty . . . and love.

This is another book I’ve had on my book shelf for a while and have only just got round to reading it. I was drawn in by the cover of the book and my interest was further peaked when I read that it was set in New York – a place I’ve always wanted to visit. As I’ve had it for a while I had to re-read the blurb to remind myself what the story was about and was pleasantly surprised. . It was also the first novel of Kate Kerrigan’s that I’ve read and I really enjoyed it.

The story is about and narrated by Ellie, an Irish girl struggling to find where she fits in in a 1920s Ireland. The story follows her as she falls in love with John and as she goes off to New York to earn money to pay for John’s war wound medical expenses. She has to choose between freedom in the thriving city or the constraints of tradition at home in Ireland.

The story starts when Ellie is only young. This allows you to watch her grow which made it really easy to see things as she did and relate to her. She is near my age as well which made it even easier to empathise with her.  As it is completely narrated by Ellie it allows you to get to know her really well and feel as though you are close to her. She is a strong character; this really shines through as she journeys to America and becomes a modern woman in a man’s world. I took from the story a theme of hope and inspiration, if there is something that you want from life some elbow grease can get you there. Every page I turned I was hoping that everything would turn out the way Ellie wanted it to be.

Although the book is set in the 20s it is timeless in that the issues she faces and choices she has to make apply to the modern woman forging her way into the world from child hood. It is a nice break to read a book that is not set in the modern day; it allows you to completely escape into a different time.

The two main settings for the story are in Ireland and New York. Each drawing a stark contrast of the other, as they were at that time. In Ireland poverty is rife and money is scarce, whereas in New York business and technology are thriving. Kate’s description of the two really allow you to immerse yourself in the story which I really like as I think it makes for a much better read if you can really imagine the surroundings the characters are in.

Ellis Island is the first instalment of the trilogy. I have already downloaded the next book “City of Hope” and am looking forward to reading that too. After enjoying this as much as I did I would definitely recommend Kate’s other novels which I will also be looking to read.

Erin x