A blog tour!!

I am VERY excited to have been chosen to be one of the stops on Fern Britton’s blog tour to mark the release of her book ‘The Postcard’ as a paperback.

The Postcard blog tour banner

I’ve blogged before about my love of Fern (in a slightly fangirling kind of way!) so I was really chuffed about this.  For those of you who don’t know who Fern is (where have you been??) then here’s some info on her:

“Fern Britton is the highly acclaimed author of five Sunday Times bestselling novels: A Seaside Affair, The Holiday Home, Hidden Treasures, New Beginnings and A Good Catch. Her books are cherished for their warmth, wit and wisdom, and have won Fern legions of loyal readers. Fern is likely best known for her years co-presenting ITV’s flagship daytime show This Morning with Philip Schofield. An iconic presenter, she is also hugely popular for her earlier hits like Ready Steady Cook, and All Star Mr and Mrs, as well as being a much-loved contestant in 2012’s Strictly Come Dancing. She recently presented The Big Allotment Challenge for BBC2 in 2014 and again for its second series in 2015, as well as For What It’s Worth, an antiques-based quiz show on BBC1.

Fern lives with her husband, Phil Vickery, and her four children in Buckinghamshire and Cornwall.   To find out more, connect with her @Fern Britton and facebook.com/officialfernbritton.”

 

The book has been read and reviewed – but all is embargoed until my day on the tour!

But to whet your appetite – here’s the blurb about it:

The POSTCARD: Penny Leighton has never told anyone why she’s estranged from her mother and sister. For years she’s kept her family secrets locked away in her heart, but they’ve been quietly eating away at her. When an unwelcome visitor blows in, Penny is brought face to face with the past. And a postcard, tucked away in a long-hidden case, holds the truth that could change everything.

Young Ella has come back to the place where she spent a happy childhood with her grandmother. Now she’s here to search for everything missing in her life. Taken under Penny’s broken wing for the summer, the safe haven of Pendruggan feels like the place for a fresh start. Soon, however, Ella starts to wonder if perhaps her real legacy doesn’t lie in the past at all.”

 

See you back here on July 6th for my review……..

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

One of the categories in my Reading Challenge 2017 is ‘A book with a title that’s a character’s name’ and a friend suggested ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ – but when I said I’d already ready it, she suggested the follow up.  It’s not really a sequel as it’s happening concurrently – but told from the point of view of Queenie not Harold.  (When I’d actually finished the book I noted that the author had described it as a ‘companion’ to her previous book.)

This is the Amazon blurb:

“When Queenie Hennessy discovers that Harold Fry is walking the length of England to save her, and all she has to do is wait, she is shocked. Her note had explained she was dying. How can she wait?
A new volunteer at the hospice suggests that Queenie should write again; only this time she must tell Harold everything. In confessing to secrets she has hidden for twenty years, she will find atonement for the past. As the volunteer points out, ‘Even though you’ve done your travelling, you’re starting a new journey too.’
Queenie thought her first letter would be the end of the story. She was wrong. It was the beginning.
Told in simple, emotionally-honest prose, with a mischievous bite, this is a novel about the journey we all must take to learn who we are; it is about loving and letting go. And most of all it is about finding joy in unexpected places and at times we least expect.”

Firstly – I should probably disclaim that this is the book I’ve been reading recently when I’ve had a lull in reading speed – it’s  taken me a month to get through it.  It’s not that I’ve not enjoyed it – it’s a really lovely book – but it hasn’t made me forego everything else to read it.  If I was to equate it with an ITV drama, it would definitely be Grantchester as opposed to Broadchurch – I love them both, but Granchester would sit on the SKY+ planner for a few days whereas Broadchurch would be watched in real time!!

But back to the book.

It is the story of Queenie – the lady who Harold Fry is walking to visit in his aforementioned pilgrimage.  She is now in a hospice and the book is a mixture of her current life in the hospice, her life when she worked with Harold and then the time in between.

It is absolutely beautifully written – and really evokes all of the various settings, from Kingsbridge in Devon (where my father in law currently lives – so I know a little) to the North East of England (which I imagine to be like ‘Vera’ – I’m totally referencing ITV dramas in this post!!)

I liked Queenie – although felt at times she was a bit of a doormat – but the explorations of her different relationships was done well.  The characters in the hospice were also excellently depicted – and a real mixed bunch.

It is funny, clever, sad, poignant, frustrating, happy and all in all a really nice book.  It just didn’t really excite me – and I feel a bit bad about that.  I also wish I’d read it sooner after I’d read the Harold version – as I couldn’t remember the whole story – and I am sure it was very clever with its interweaving – and I didn’t appreciate that as much as I probably should have!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A turn of events….

Normally my blog is filled with book reviews (even though both of my sisters say they are the posts they don’t read (how rude!) so if it’s a relevant book review to them I actually have to tag them in it!) – but I haven’t done a book review for the whole month of May.  What a turn of events and what a poor show – particularly when I’ve still got LOADS of categories to cover for my 2017 Reading Challenge…….

stack-of-books1

I find that sometimes I can read loads – but at other times real life gets in the way.

But is that because the book I’m reading doesn’t particularly grab me?

Would I make time to read if it was an amazing book?

I almost want to read ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine‘ again (which I completely adored) to see if I prove my point – but would I love it as much second time around?

Anyway – I promise to try harder – as hopefully my book review posts don’t bore everyone else as much as my sisters!!!

 

 

Book Review: Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley

Running Like A Girl

We’ve just been on holiday to Devon – and the owners of the holiday house had a huge selection of books to borrow – and this one took my fancy.  I devoured it in 2 sittings  – admittedly with a glass or two of prosecco whilst sitting on my bum in the April sunshine that flooded the decking late afternoon …..

Here’s the Amazon blurb for you…..

“Alexandra Heminsley had high hopes: the arse of an athlete, the waist of a supermodel, the speed of a gazelle. Defeated by gyms and bored of yoga, she decided to run.

Her first attempt did not end well.

Six years later, she has run five marathons in two continents.

But, as her dad says, you run with your head as much as with your legs. So, while this is a book about running, it’s not just about running.

You could say it’s about ambition (yes, getting out of bed on a rainy Sunday morning counts), relationships (including talking to the intimidating staff in the trainer shop), as well as your body (your boobs don’t have to wobble when you run). But it’s also about realising that you can do more than you ever thought possible.

Very funny, very honest and very emotional, whether you’re in serious training or thinking about running for the bus, this is a book for anyone who after wine and crisps for supper a few too many times thinks they might . . . just might . . . like to run like a girl.”

 

I really liked the writing style – it felt like chatting with a mate.  I also empathised with the large boobs.  I think I was all the more empathetic as my baby sister (she’s not actually a baby – just 6 years younger than me) is running the London marathon on Sunday.  I get super emotional watching it on TV – so what I’m going to be like being a spectator at the course watching someone I love run it, I dread to think!!  I wept a number of times reading this book – it was really inspirational – and I also felt it’s given me some top tips as a spectator and sister / friend of runners. I texted my sister to tell her I’d read an excellent book to prepare for her London marathon – and she replied to say she’d read it last year and loved it.  Great minds and all that!

Whilst the book is fundamentally about the author’s running journey (pun intended, and copied from the book) it also looks at family relationship and also mental health. The mental health element has been of interest to me for some time – as I know running has really helped a friend through his own mental health issues – his website is really inspiring.

There was also some travel – as Alex ran marathons abroad – even if her view of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francicso wasn’t what she’s hoped for!!  When the husband and I went to Boston last year, he had to have his picture taken crossing the finish line (whilst we were out shopping!)

Mark Boston Marathon

The section on  the history of women and long distance running was also really interesting – I am amazed that so recently women weren’t allowed to compete in marathons.  In 1967 Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon (albeit not quite officially, as she’d registered by her initials and not her name – and officials tried to stop her – unsuccessfully – getting round.  Her boyfriend at the time barged the official trying to stop her to the ground).  Then a few days ago – spookily, as I was reading about her – Kathrine ran the Boston Marathon again on her 50th anniversary.  Now that’s ‘Running Like A Girl’!!

It hasn’t *quite* inspired me to run anywhere myself yet (I’m hoping I don’t get too excited on Sunday and over commit to anything!!) but it did make me go off for a march from the house up to the beautiful Baggy Point near Croyde – only a couple of miles, but you have to start somewhere, and Alex herself started with walking – so who knows……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Scummy Mummies by Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson

I have been ill for the last fortnight.  There have not been many silver linings to this but I can think of two:

  1. I have powered through a load of books for my Reading Challenge 2017, and
  2. My lovely Auntie sent me a Don’t Buy Her Flowers package.  I’ve sent these to LOADS of people before, but it was really nice to receive one of my own (we can’t count the Mother’s Day one last year as I emailed the link to my husband directly!!)

DBHF

You can tailor the contents of the package for the recipient – and I am very impressed with Auntie Heather’s choices (although I’ve been so ill I can’t face the prosecco yet #shocker)

I’ve already read a couple of the book options – so Scummy Mummies was an excellent choice (although I hope it wasn’t because my Auntie thinks I’m a Scummy Mummy all the time?!?)

Scummy Mummies

Here’s the Amazon blurb:

“A celebration of parenting failures, hilarious confessions, fish fingers and wine!

This is a book for anyone who’s ever dealt with a poo in the pool, cleaned up a sick in the supermarket, or gone to an important meeting without realising there’s weetabix stuck to their bum.

Because let’s be honest no matter how much we love our kids, or how good we are at parenting, everyone’s a Scummy Mummy sometimes.”

This book is hilarious!  Proper laugh out loud funny at times.  In fact I had to stop reading in bed last night as I was concerned my shaking with mirth was going to wake the sleeping husband up and he’d think his luck was in!

As it says up front – this is not a parenting manual at all – but it is a ‘we’re all in this together’ type read.  I also liked the fact that as their children are older it deals with playground politics as well as NCT ones.  The hipster Dads and ‘experts’ sections are very amusing – as are the quotes from parents that the Scummy Mummies have collected on their social media, podcast and stand up travels.

There is quite a lot of swearing – which is bloody fine by me, but could put some people off (but if you’re not good with swearing, I suspect some of the rest of the content would have you reaching for your smelling salts too!)

So that’s ‘A Book With Multiple Authors’ ticked off the list.  Although I did toy with ‘A Book With Career Advice’ purely for the section about not getting dressed for work until after you’ve fed the children breakfast………

Book Review: The Summerhouse by the Sea by Jenny Oliver

I have long been a fan of Jenny Oliver’s books – my husband even bid at a charity auction for my name to be a character in one!  They are escapist, funny and easy to read.  Jenny had tweeted that her new book was available on Netgalley (To quote their home page “We help readers of influence discover and recommend new books to their audiences. If you are a librarian, bookseller, educator, reviewer, blogger or in the media, get started right now by signing in or joining for free.”) I decided to sign up, given I review so many books on my blog now, and thankfully I was accepted and so could download a preview copy for free straight to my kindle.

Summerhouse

Here is the Amazon blurb:

“Every Summer has its own story…

For Ava Brown, the backdrop to all her sun-drenched memories – from her first taste of chocolate-dipped churros to her very first kiss – is her grandmother’s Summerhouse in the sleepy Spanish seaside town of Mariposa.

Returning for one last summer, Ava throws herself into a project her grandmother would be proud of. Café Estrella – once the heart of the sleepy seaside village – now feels more ramshackle than rustic. Just like Ava, it seems it has lost its sparkle.

Away from the exhausting juggle of London life, Ava realises somehow her life has stopped being…happy. But being back at the Summerhouse by the sea could be the new beginning she didn’t even realise she needed…”

The book starts with a bit about Whatsapp – and I think it’s the first book I’ve read which even mentions it – so you can see it’s totally up to date with it’s references, which I love!  Whatsapp / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook feature throughout the book – just as they do throughout most people’s lives – and I really liked that.

The descriptions of Spain are wonderful – and made me want to hop on a plane pretty smartish – and the food descriptions, as ever in all Jenny’s books, are fabulous.  You can almost taste the food.

Ava is a central character that you’re rooting for – and the dynamic of her relationships with family (present and absent), older people in the village and romance-wise are all beautifully explored. I liked the multi-generational aspect of the book a lot.

It was a perfect, easy, escapist read – that would only have been better if I’d been reading it on the beach!

I have to say this is my favourite Jenny Oliver book now and had me proper sobbing at the end.  I would love to know what happens to all of the characters in the future – so fingers firmly crossed for a sequel???

I was trying to work out which category in my Reading Challenge I could fit this into!  Firstly I thought maybe ‘A book by an author who uses a pseudonym’ as I though Oliver wasn’t Jenny’s real surname (I checked with one of her best friends, and I was right!!) but then also it could be ‘A book with one of the four seasons in the title’ – but that’s questionable.  Even in the book it is discussed whether it’s summer house or summerhouse!  The layout of the front cover would suggest the former, but the content the latter – so who knows.  It can be one of those books that would fit a couple of categories, and I can move it during the year dependent on what else I read!!

 

 

 

Under 16s Writing Competition for PDSA

I wrote some weeks ago about my eldest daughter having her lost purse returned to her because of the brilliant people at PDSA Pet Protectors who gave the station staff our contact details.  Well, she is going to be featured in their June magazine (although based on the photo it does like it should be a ‘woe is me’ newspaper feature!)

daisy

 

I exchanged emails with the lovely lady at PDSA who sorted the purse out – and showed her my blog post – and she asked if I would be happy to blog about their children’s writing competition – and how could I refuse?!

PDSA

Firstly some background on PDSA:

“At PDSA we believe that every pet deserves a happy and healthy life. We strive to improve pet welfare through preventive care, emergency treatment and education work. We provide charitable vet care across the UK through our 51 Pet Hospitals and 380 Pet Practices, and we help around 470,000 pets every single year. For more information visit www.pdsa.org.uk

And now their competition:

“To celebrate World Book Day’s 20th anniversary on 2 March we have teamed up with award-winning children’s writer Hilary Robinson to launch our annual writing competition.

The competition is open to budding young writers, aged 16 or under, and this year’s theme is Animal Heroes. To help this year’s entrants, Hilary has started the story of Buddy: a pet who comes to live with twins Jess and James when their grandma moves into a care home. It’s now up to the young writers to complete the story – more details can be found at www.petprotectors.org.uk/writing.  

The winner – judged by Hilary – will receive an Amazon Kindle, a signed set of Hilary’s books, and a VIP tour with Hilary at a PDSA Pet Hospital. Three runners-up will each win a signed copy of Hilary’s latest book Flo of the Somme and a special PDSA Pet Protectors goodie bag.

Entries should be around 1,000 words and can be emailed to petprotectors@pdsa.org.uk or posted to: Young Writers Competition, PDSA Head Office, Whitechapel Way, Priorslee, Telford, Shropshire, TF2 9PQ. The closing date is 26 May 2017 and entrants should give their full name, date of birth, email address, plus their membership number if they are already a Pet Protector (our kids club).”

And for those of you not familiar with Hilary – or World Book Day (bane of the life of parents everywhere who have to send their children into school as characters from their favourite book!!) :

hilary_robinson_2014

“Hilary, who is an author, radio producer, broadcaster and feature writer, has written over 50 books for children and is perhaps best known for Mixed Up Fairytales as well as her WWI picture book series, created with War Horse illustrator Martin Impey.  For more information on Hilary Robinson, visit www.hilaryrobinson.co.uk.

World Book Day is designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of and is observed in over 100 countries. It is the biggest celebration of its kind and helps to encourage millions of children to explore the pleasure of books and reading. For more information visit www.worldbookday

I thought it might be a nice thing for kids to do over the Easter holidays – particularly if the weather is pants – and the deadline isn’t until near the end of May, so still plenty of time to get writing!

Now to persuade my 4 under 16s that they want to enter…….

Good luck kids!

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Unpredictable Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell

As you may know, I am doing a reading challenge this year – and whilst some of the categories are easy – others are slightly more tricky!  The first one is ‘A book recommended to you by a librarian’ – now, I rarely go to the library (not because of germs – which was the reason my Nan wouldn’t let my Dad borrow books when he was younger) but because I use my Kindle, or books friends have lent me, so there isn’t much reading space left  to justify borrowing any.  Anyway, one of my friend’s used to be a librarian (I initially typed Libran, which isn’t correct, she’s a Scorpio) and is a big Jill Mansell fan – so I’m shoe-horning this into that category.  I downloaded it after Jill Mansell herself highlighted on Twitter that it was only 99p (in fact, it still is – but today is the last day so you need to move quickly!) – and with my credits from accepting Amazon Prime deliveries later than the next day – it was FREE!

The Unpredictable Consequences of Love

Here is the Amazon blurb:

“Jill Mansell’s bestseller THE UNPREDICTABLE CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE is an unforgettable tale of sunny days on the beach, Cornwall in the summer and secrets about to be revealed. Perfect for readers of Lucy Diamond and Veronica Henry.

In the idyllic seaside town of St Carys, Sophie is putting the past firmly behind her.

When Josh arrives in St Carys to run the family hotel, he can’t understand why Sophie has zero interest in letting any man into her life. He also can’t understand how he’s been duped into employing Sophie’s impulsive friend Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited.

St Carys has more than its fair share of characters, including the charming but utterly feckless surfer Riley Bryant, who has a massive crush on Tula. Riley’s aunt is superstar author Marguerite Marshall. And Marguerite has designs on Josh’s grandfather…who in turn still adores his glamorous ex-wife, Dot…

Just how many secrets can one seaside town keep?”

 

This is a lovely easy read, following the lives and loves of a number of main characters all based around St Carys in Cornwall.

Excitingly (I know, I need to get out more!) some  of the initial part of the book is set in Birmingham, where I live – although actually in Aston, which is definitely not where I live – but it’s still nice for Brum to get a name check, even if Tula can’t escape it quickly enough!!

I liked all of the characters, and you were rooting for there to be happy endings throughout the twists and turns of the storylines.

The setting in Cornwall is great – you really get the feel  of the place.

It was also very poignant that I read this the same night as Rio Ferdinand’s documentary on ‘Being Mum and Dad’ was on – not a major storyline in the book, but still seemed a spooky coincidence.

This isn’t high brow literature – but is a perfect, escapist read which I devoured in less than 24 hours in my sick bed (I was asleep for quite a lot of those 24 hours too!).

I was excited to see Jill’s next book was also set in St Carys – and so thought it might carry on where this one left off – as it would be fabulous to see how the characters developed – but it looks like the new book is based around new people, so guessing the old guard may only get a fleeting mention rather than being a full sequel.  But I will definitely be reading more Jill Mansell in the future – so thank you ex-librarian friend for the top tip!!

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Love of the Game: Parenthood, Sport and Me by Mark Chapman

I feel like I’ve ‘known’ Mark Chapman (although he will always be Chappers to me) forever. From when he was the sports monkey on the Sara Cox show, through the Chappers and Dave era, and then to being a sports presenter on MOTD2 and the BBC Rio Olympics coverage.  I knew we were a similar age (from some Googling he is exactly 5 months older than me – but the same school year – although not sure why I would even think that relevant when we’re both 43?!) and I remember weeping when he phoned in to tell Sara and the team that his first child had been born (but I was 6 months pregnant with my first child at the time, so blaming that squarely on my hormones!)

Anyway, when he was shamelessly plugging recommending his new book on Twitter at the end of last year I downloaded it.  And promptly ignored it on my Kindle for months.

But I’m doing a Reading Challenge this year, and one category is ‘bestseller in a genre you don’t normally read’ – and whilst I’m not sure if this hit the bestseller lists – it’s definitely a genre I don’t normally read – so I decided to give it a go.

 

The Love Of The Game

 

This is the Amazon blurb:

“BBC sports presenter Mark Chapman is no longer in his physical prime. There is an argument to suggest he has never been in his physical prime. Now in his forties, he is facing a world of knee replacements and ever-expanding waistlines, whilst his children are thriving.

There is huge pride that they are doing so well, mixed with a fair amount of jealousy that actually they are better at a wide range of sport than he ever was. He is passionate about sport and it has played a huge part in his life. His parents encouraged him from a very early age and he wants to pass the baton on to his son and daughters. Although there is every chance he might drop it and have a massive strop instead. He is also very aware of the huge changes in sport today compared to when he was growing up; and he is determined that his own attitude to his son and daughters’ sport – be it football, netball, cricket or gymnastics – will be exactly the same. And he wants to shine a light on grass roots sports – the incredible and largely unsung contribution that volunteers make in the sporting community, without whom – for example – no professional footballer would be in the game today.

Funny, touching, passionate about sport and parenthood, Mark Chapman paints sport as a touchstone for everything important: growing up, becoming a parent, enjoying family time, getting old, learning how to win (and how to lose gracefully), the legacy we all hope to leave our children; in short, life and all that goes into it.”

Quite early on I could completely relate to the book – I remember propping up a small baby to watch the final of the 2003 Rugby World Cup because it was history in the making (not realising quite what an exciting game it would be, and that England winning would make it all the more historical!)

I could also empathise with the coaching of a child’s team – as my husband coached our son’s rugby team for a while – and the politics involved with children’s sports is crazy!  My sister and brother in law are heavily involved in my nephew’s football club – and have been for years – and it is such a massive commitment, and often unappreciated.  My brother in law is also in the Chappers mould of subbing his own son more than any others as he doesn’t want to appear biased! I also  got in to trouble going to watch my nephew play by screaming ‘encouragement’ a little too loudly and agressively (this was before my own children were playing competitive sport) – I’d forgotten I was at the side of a bit of grass in a Hampshire park and not in the stands at Villa Park!  Equally our eldest son and daughter were disappointed there was no corporate hospitality for under 8s footie, as they were used to that when watching Aston Villa #firstworldproblems

The attempt at doing a bun for a gymnastics competition also had me amused – my husband is exactly the same when it comes to doing our girls’ hair – despite being a father to 3 girls (thankfully the eldest being a teenager means she can do her own hair now!)  In fact he said to me the other day that nothing could happen to me ever, as there is no way he could do their hair into buns for their ballet exams!

The book is written with humour and emotion – and seemingly honesty about parenthood and the trials and tribulations of it, generally with a sporting bent.  I did get a bit choked up at times – and had a full on cry at the bit written by Chappers’ friend whose son is autistic and not into sport at all.

To enjoy this book I think you need to be a parent and enjoy sport – but if neither of those apply to you I’m not sure why you’d even consider the book anyway given the title!?! An enjoyable foray into someone else’s parenting world, which I really liked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

The Cows

I was very lucky to be given a sneak preview copy of this – Dawn O’Porter’s first foray into writing for adults after a huge success with YA fiction.   It’s sat on my Kindle for months as I’ve kept being given ‘real’ books to borrow, and I feel pressured in to reading them first as they sit on my bedside table in a huge TBR pile just looking at me.  I started this last night in the bath for 2 hours due to hideous medical condition and finished it today having had to languish horizontal for hours. I think the only upside from an abscess and cellulitis in the stomach is being able to read without feeling guilty (and the fact that it’s killed my appetite #weightloss)

“Fearlessly frank and funny, the debut adult novel from Dawn O’Porter needs to be talked about.
COW [n.]
/kaʊ/

A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd.

Women don’t have to fall into a stereotype.

Tara, Cam and Stella are strangers living their own lives as best they can – though when society’s screaming you should live life one way, it can be hard to like what you see in the mirror.

When an extraordinary event ties invisible bonds of friendship between them, one woman’s catastrophe becomes another’s inspiration, and a life lesson to all.

Sometimes it’s ok not to follow the herd.

The Cows is a powerful novel about three women – judging each other, but also themselves. In all the noise of modern life, they need to find their own voice.”

 

‘THE COWS’ IS FABULOUS!!

I don’t want to tell you too much – as it twists and turns through the lives, loves and livers of Tara, Cam and Stella – and there are some fundamental things in the story that if you know beforehand will definitely distract from the enjoyment of reading it.  A couple of times I was literally gobsmacked (which doesn’t happen often for me!).  I would definitely recommend reading this as soon as you can after it’s published so that you’re not at risk of spoilers.  I’ve just Googled reviews and some people practically tell you the entire story – DO NOT READ THEM – much better to come at it not knowing what to expect (Why do people do that in reviews? Seems a bit selfish to me?)  I can also see this being made into a film / TV series, it just cries out for it.

If you are a bit of a prude – then this may not be the book for you.  Be prepared for real life ‘adult humour, strong language and scenes of a sexual nature’ (obviously read in the style of a TV announcer) It definitely put me in the mind of the TV series Catastrophe in  that it puts ‘normal’ things into a fictional setting that you don’t often see – masturbation, periods, abortions – nothing is off limits.

The main characters are all very different – but all beautifully written, and you really feel you get to know Tara, Cam and Stella well.  The clever way their stories interweave is done brilliantly – as is the use of modern interactive tools like blogging / Tinder / Youtube etc.  Just all feels really relevant.

So there you go – a definite recommendation from me – although #dontfollowtheherd…….