Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Book Reviews and Recommendations

A few recommended summer reads...

The Beach Cafe - Lucy Diamond

I bought this book for my holiday, hoping for a relaxing and light chick-lit. It was very easy to read and was a chick lit to a certain extent, but it did have more substance to it than I thought it would and I enjoyed it more for that. It's about a woman called Evie who has always felt like the black sheep of the family, never having got going career-wise and still unmarried, compared to her successful (yet not very nice) sisters. The story follows her journey as she inherits a beach cafe after her aunt dies and decides to set up a new life and make a go of running her own business on the Cornish coast. It's a book that is about finding yourself and about being happy in your own skin. It makes you think about people and how you can't measure success by comparing yourself to others, and about relationships and love (both family and romantic). I would definitely recommend reading this book this summer.

Girl On A Train - Paula Hawkins

There has been a lot of hype about this book for a long time so I finally decided to read it. As you'd probably expect, it is quite a tense read. It's told from different perspectives, changing character every ten pages or so which I love. It's a bit strange and none of the characters are likeable, but it soon gets you hooked and you know you're not being told the full story by any of them. I thought this book started off very strangely. I was like ‘I’m not sure I like this woman’ and wondered where it was going for a while. Because I didn’t like any of the characters, I wasn’t really that gripped at first and I only started to get into it just before half way through. I did get into it though; it was a page turner and I did really enjoy it by the end, reading it very quickly.

In terms of the whodunit, I kept changing my mind and trying to work it out (to no avail!) all the way through. It became clear very early on that all the main characters were obviously hiding things.  I suspected everyone at some point or another, it really kept me guessing. So, I didn’t see the twist coming until close to the end. I liked how the author kind of fed it to us drip by drip. This meant that although it was a shock for me, it was one that was given to me slowly and continuously, making it a real page turner. In the actual climax I actually gasped out loud and was reading it with my hand over my mouth! It was so vivid and shocking. It felt like a film in my head. I think that it will probably be made into one.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, although it did take me a little while to get into. I particularly loved the fact that it was told from so many first person narrators and that their characters and true personalities only fully came to light the closer to the end we got. It’s a keeper for me!

P. S. I Love You - Cecelia Ahern

I know this isn't exactly a recent book but I've only just got around to reading it. I love Cecelia Ahern and I have now read all of her books (this was the last one on my list). I've got to say I prefer her earlier books to her later ones, as they seem a little bit more magical somehow, but that's just my opinion. P.S. I Love You was one of her first, and I think it is a brilliant book that had me laughing and crying A LOT. It's a fantastic capture of grief and how a normal woman copes. It sounds depressing but it's really a brilliant book with some great characters, and I felt like I could really relate to Holly. It's not that similar to the film either, I'd definitely recommend reading it as it is much better and just different! I finished it within two days, I was totally gripped and couldn't put it down!

Chocolat - Joanne Harris

This book surprised me with how gripping it was. I've seen the film many times but never expected the book to be as good. I don't know why I thought that, as the books are usually better than the films, but this film was so good, with such a great cast, that I didn't want it to be ruined. I had nothing to fear as the book was very good. Warning: reading this book will make you want to eat chocolate and drink hot chocolate- I even bought squirty cream and marshmallows to go all out and drink it whilst I read!

It's a story about Vianne and her little girl Anouk, who travel around the world, staying in different villages and setting up a chocolate shop. The village they choose to stay in in the story is a very traditional French village, where everybody knows everybody and the church rules the roost. This is where the problem arises as Vianne chooses to open her chocolate shop at the start of Lent, sending the village into turmoil and creating a war between church and chocolate.

After I'd finished I watched the film again. It's quite different to the book actually, they do change quite a few things, but both versions of the story are very good so it's like have alternative scenarios/ endings. The film is currently on Netflix if you fancy watching it by the way. I must say I prefer the film ending though! And Jonny Depp in it is rather perf! Overall I'd recommend both the film and the book.

Emma- Alexander McCall Smith

I love the original Emma by Jane Austen so was intrigued by this modern take on it. As I'm sure some of you are aware, a series of contemporary authors are rewriting the Austen classics to celebrate 200 years since their publication, and this is one in that series. I must admit I haven't read any of the other modernised Jane Austen novels, although I know I won't be able to resist Pride and Prejudice when it comes out! Let me know if you have and if you'd recommend any of the others!

Although this book is set now, it is actually very true to the original story. It simply replaces old fashioned customs with the modern equivalent, such as a mini cooper instead of a horse and carriage, or Teaching English As A Foreign Language for a job, gap years and university. It works well and all the scenarios and characters are the same, even including portrait painting, picnics and dinner parties.

The main difference to Austen's Emma is that this one starts earlier so we read more of the early days about Emma's parents and them growing up, and only really meet Emma quite a while into the story. Also, the ending differed slightly to the original, but much for the better I think. Overall, McCall Smith's Emma kept me entertained and interested all the way through, despite knowing what was going to happen. I would definitely recommend it to fans of the original!

What do you think about these books? I'd love to hear your thoughts if you've read them!

Do you have any book recommendations for me? 

Rosy x

Leave me a comment below or tweet & instagram me @rostinted and find me on Facebook at Ro's Tinted! I'd love to hear from you and receive your book recommendations! 


  1. SO nice to see a post like this! I love the girl on the train, it was different to anything I've read before and I was actually surprised by 'who dunnit' at the end haha I couldn't believe it, and I love p.s I love you! xxx

  2. I've heard so many things about Girl on a Train (is it like Gone Girl? The cover reminds me of Gone Girl!) thanks for these recommendations I'm always looking for new reads!

  3. I loved Girl on the Train - mostly, I was just so fascinated by how crooked all the characters were. Chocolat is one of my favorite movies -- and summer seems like a brilliant time to pick it up. I've been reading the 'How to be Parisian wherever You Are' book this week, that's a fun one if you're looking for something different :)

    xoxo - Kelly

  4. I really enjoyed The Girl on the Train, apparently it's being made into a film.

  5. I am on a big Cecelia Ahern binge at the moment. I went off her for a while because, unlike you, I wasn't too keen on the magical elements of her stories. However, after reading The Book of Tomorrow, I am after falling in love with her again.


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