Archive for the ‘Black Swan’ Category

Review: The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes – Anna McPartlin

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin
Publication date: 1 January 2015
Publisher: Black Swan
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780552773744
Length: 368 pages
Genre: Contemporary
Age group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon UK | The Book Depository
My rating: 4 Stars

Here is a truth that can’t be escaped: for Mia ‘Rabbit’ Hayes, life is coming to an end…

Rabbit Hayes loves her life, ordinary as it is, and the extraordinary people in it. She loves her spirited daughter, Juliet; her colourful, unruly family; the only man in her big heart, Johnny Faye.

But it turns out the world has other plans for Rabbit, and she’s OK with that. Because she has plans for the world too, and only a handful of days left to make them happen.

Here is a truth that won’t be forgotten: this is a story about laughing through life’s surprises and finding the joy in every moment.

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes was my last read of 2014 and I couldn’t have found a better book to end the year with. I laughed, I cried, and it completely broke my heart at times – but it’s one of the most beautiful stories I’ve read in a long time.

Anne McPartlin’s sixth novel tells the story of Rabbit, an Irish journalist and single mother to twelve-year-old Juliet, who is losing her fight against cancer. Through a series of flashback episodes we get to know Rabbit as a young girl and follow her journey throughout the years, from her early teens through adulthood. We get to know her family and friends, who have been with her every step of the way, and who are there in the hospice, holding her hand, when Rabbit’s journey comes to an end. We learn about her best friend, Marjorie, and her first – and only – love, Johnny Faye. We get a glimpse into the often chaotic, but always entertaining, days of the Hayes family and Rabbit’s relationship with her daughter.


Review + Giveaway: The Mistress’s Revenge – Tamar Cohen

Cover of The Mistress's Revenge by Tamar Cohen

Title: The Mistress’s Revenge
Author: Tamar Cohen
Publication date: June 27, 2012
Publisher: Black Swan (Transworld Publishers)
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-552-77754-4
Length: 346 pages
Genre: Women’s fiction
Age group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository


You think you are rid of me. You think you have drawn a line under the whole affair. You are so, so wrong.

For five years, Sally and Clive have been lost in a passionate affair. Now he has dumped her, to devote himself to his wife and family, and Sally is left in freefall. It starts with a casual stroll past his house, and popping into the brasserie where his son works. Then Sally befriends Clive’s wife and daughter on Facebook. But that’s all right, isn’t it? I mean, they are perfectly normal things to do. Aren’t they?

Not since Fatal Attraction has the fallout from an illicit affair been exposed in such a sharp, darkly funny and disturbing way. After all, who doesn’t know a normal, perfectly sane woman who has gone a little crazy when her heart was broken?

My thoughts

Do you know those books that start out really slowly and then, when you least expect it, they suddenly turn into something you just can’t put down? The Mistress’s Revenge is one of them. I found the first 75-80 pages a bit slow and uneventful at first and I couldn’t really get into the story. But – and I’m holding my index finger up here – having read the remaining 270 pages, I realise it’s been an inevitable part of the story and it’s necessary for us readers to understand what happened between Clive and Sally and what their relationship was like and why it came to an end.


Review: Twenties Girl – Sophie Kinsella

Title: Twenties Girl
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publication date: January 28th 2010
Publisher: Black Swan (Transworld Publishers)
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-552-77437-6
Genre: Chick-lit

Order from Amazon US  | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

If you suddenly had a friend that only you could see or hear, what would you do?

You could worry that your stressful life has tipped you over the edge and you have lost the plot, big time… you could hide under your duvet, hoping that they would go away… or you could have some fun… You could make your ex boyfriend take you back…You could solve the mystery of the dragonfly necklace, make a fool of yourself many times, get your business back on its feet… You could dance with a gorgeous man who just can’t resist you… And you could just discover the best friend you ever had.

Sophie Kinsella has been one of my favourite authors for at least five or six years – I picked up one of her books, ‘Can You Keep a Secret?‘ a few years back and I fell in love with her style and became a huge fan right away. In the past few year, I’ve read all of her books – the whole Shopaholic series and each novel she published, except Twenties Girl. And now that I was finally able to sit down and read it, I’m more certain than ever that no matter what she writes, it’s guaranteed to be the best book you’ve ever read.

Twenties Girl follows the story of Lara, niece to a millionaire guy called Bill Lington who runs a successful coffee chain all over the world. Lara is an ordinary twenty-something businesswoman who works at a head-hunting company she set up with her best friend Natalie.. right until Natalie decides to disappear, leaving her in the lurch, not having the slightest clue what to do or how to run the company all alone. To make things even worse, her mother has anxiety problems, she just broke up with her boyfriend Josh and to top it all, she has to attend her great-aunt’s funeral as well. At the funeral, Sadie’s (the great-aunt’s) 23-year-old self appears as a ghost but as it turns out, only Lara can see and hear her, no one else. She tells Lara about her dragonfly necklace – something she wore at a time when she was genuinely happy and something without which she can’t rest – and wouldn’t leave her alone until she promises to find out where it is. I could go on and on about the story but I don’t want to give too much away.

Twenties Girl was nothing but pure brilliance. Kinsella’s writing is something that I absolutely adore – you can’t help clinging to every word she says, every word she puts down on paper – it’s amazing. Very witty, sometimes sarcastic and immensely funny, her style is just great. She writes with such ease and depth that she never fails to captivate her readers from the very first page. She managed to laugh out loud and cry almost at the same time and even though the story itself is laugh-out-loud funny, the ending is very emotional.

Along with the great writing style came an amazing plot – even after a whole series and several standalone novels, she manages to write something completely original and unique. What I loved about it most is the characters. Sadie – the ghost – started to annoy me at times but still, her friendship with Lara was something I really liked about the story. If I had to pick a favourite character, it’d either be Lara (because of her sarcasm and witty remarks) or Ed – an American guy who rarely smiles, lives in his own little shell, puts on a tough exterior and doesn’t really open up … until she meets Lara. Ed reminded me of myself in this respect and I found his character easily relatable.

In short, Twenties Girlis a definite must-have: it’s a real page turner that won’t let you put it down. Wonderfully witty, laugh-out-loud funny and highly emotional at the same time, it will definitely stay with you for a long time. Simply brilliant.