I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Karen Clarke – ARC Review

I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Karen Clarke

Series: N/A

Publisher: Bookouture

Published October 14th 2019

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Holidays

Pages: 268

Format: ARC

Buy: Amazon 

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

The weather forecasters said the snowstorm would miss the eastern seaboard. They were wrong. When Ally Henderson’s flight from Southern California to New York City for Christmas gets diverted to the tiny Midwestern town of Bethlehem, she’s desperate to get back in the air and back to the Big Apple. But with all the airports closed, she’s forced to rely on Midwestern hospitality to wait out the storm. And she soon le

Last Christmas, Nina gave away her heart – only to have it broken. But this year, at her family’s cosy café, could she find a second chance at love with someone special under the mistletoe?

Nina Bailey loves Christmas. Except this year she doesn’t. Because it turns out that her husband-to-be has been cheating on her – and her beautiful wedding ceremony in the snow is cancelled.

She’s not really in the mood to be jolly, sing carols, or go anywhere near gingerbread men – in fact, what Nina wants is to avoid the whole thing. So she’s come to stay at her Aunt Dolly’s cosy café to nurse her broken heart.

Nina is determined to get through Christmas with no tinsel, no fuss – and definitely no flirting. So when she arrives and meets infuriatingly handsome Ryan Sadler, with his gorgeous forest-green eyes, she is not best pleased. And when Nina overhears him making fun of her, she is furious. (There might have been an incident with a koala onesie and a spilled bottle of milk, but that really wasn’t her fault!) So despite the spark between them, and the fact that he can whip up a fabulous dinner faster than she can say Michelin star, romance and Christmas are off the menu this year.

Unfortunately, Aunt Dolly hasn’t quite got the message, going to great lengths to provide a proper British Christmas for her beloved niece: a true home away from home. With sparkling lights adorning every wall and a tree to equal the Rockefeller Center’s and, yes, mistletoe above every doorway, can Nina resist the magic of Christmas – and stick to her no-romance rule?

This heartwarming romantic comedy will have you reaching for eggnog, roasted chestnuts and gingerbread cookies! The perfect festive book to read curled up in front of the fire, for fans of Sue Moorcroft, Holly Martin and Debbie Johnson.

Nina just had a really bad breakup when she was about to get married. To get away from it, she travels to the charming French village of Chamillon to spend some quality time at her aunt and cousin and focus on her new career as a travel blogger. Romance is far from her plans, but her aunt Dolly is trying to set her up nonetheless with her son’s best friend Ryan. He is also staying at their house and is also going through a tough breakup. As first impressions go, let’s just say they didn’t hit the jackpot, but will Dolly’s skills as matchmaker change that?

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Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune – Review

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
Series: N/A
Publisher: Tor
Published September 21st 2021
Genres: Fantasy, LGBTQ+, Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy with TJ Klune’s signature “quirk and charm” (PW) about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.

Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this absorbing tale of grief and hope is told with TJ Klune’s signature warmth, humor, and extraordinary empathy. 

This follows Wallace Price, a bit of a scrooge that manages a big law company. He dies shortly after the beginning of the book.

Then he is dead and the story follows his ghost in what could be described as the last station before the afterlife. He meets Hugo the ferryman, who is responsible for helping these souls cross, and the reaper Mei – and then we have Nelson and Apollo, who are souls that haven’t crossed yet.

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Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

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Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
First published November 4th, 2014
Genres: Poetry, Feminism, Nonfiction
Pages: 204
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.
The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. Milk and Honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

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Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

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Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
Series: N/A
Publisher: Harlequin
First published July 25th, 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery, YA
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Series: N/A
Publisher: Pocket Books
First published February 1st, 1999
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, YA
Pages: 232
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

“I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they’re here. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It’s like looking at all the students and wondering who’s had their heart broken that day…or wondering who did the heart breaking and wondering why.”

Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

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Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer

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Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer
Series: Wires and Nerve #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published January 31st, 2017
Genres: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Sci-fi, YA
Pages: 238
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the series.

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Moonrise by Sarah Crossan (ARC Review)

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Moonrise 
by Sarah Crossan

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens

Expected publication: September 7th, 2017

Genres: Contemporary, YA, Verse

Pages: 400

Format: ARC

Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

‘They think I hurt someone.
But I didn’t. You hear?
Coz people are gonna be telling you
all kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.’

From one-time winner and two-time Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this poignant, stirring, huge-hearted novel asks big questions. What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?

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Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Series: Standalone
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published May 30th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, YA, Romance
Pages: 385
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Fangirl 
by Rainbow Rowell
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
First published September 10th, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, YA, Romance
Pages: 459
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She would rather bury herself in the fanfiction she writes where there’s romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible …

A tale of fanfiction, family, and first love

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 
by Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1
Publisher: Scholastic
First published April 15th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, YA, Romance
Pages: 420
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she’s ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control…

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