Julie and Romeo
by Jeanne Ray
As you might expect a retelling of the Shakespeare tale, or perhaps more accurately, West Side Story, as it's set in New Jersey. (Can you say New Jersey without putting on what seems to you to be a New Joisey accent?)
The protagonists are in their sixties, which makes a nice change but the family problems remain. At first I thought it was a bit boring or predictable but the characters grew on me and I ended up enjoying it. ***
by Janet Evanovich
The latest in the Stephanie Plum series that I just love. The same characters appear in all the stories about the New Jersey bounty hunter and they're great. The stories all involve a number of quirky extras and the destruction of numerous cars. As it's the 24th in the series there is a certain predictability about it; maybe it should be the last one. But then what would I have to look forward to as Christmas present every year?
However if you've never read a Stephanie Plum novel, start at the beginning and you're in for a treat.
Normally 4* but this time ***
by Lisa Owens
Judging by the huge number of reviews quoted on and inside the cover this book was going to be absolutely amazing. It wasn't. I mean it was fine and enjoyable and the narrator is a lovely character but not the laugh-out-loud gem promised.
Clare resigns from her job in order to find out exactly what she's supposed to be doing in life. But can't work it out, and the story revolves around that and the attitude of others.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery
After a few chapters I was about to give up on this translated from the French novel because it seemed to be largely philosophical with very little actual story. But I stuck with it and I'm glad I did.
I like the premise that sometimes you have to hide your real self in order to fit in, and the transformation that happens when the butterfly is released. And when the story really got going I was hooked. So much so that when it got to the end and something I wasn't expecting happened I hurled the book to the floor in disgust. And really there was no need for that ending. I am still cross.
I would have given the book 3* because of what i think was an excessive amount of philosophising but because I so obviously had come to care very much for the characters by the end it's going to be ****.
The Little Shop of Happy Ever After
by Jenny Colgan
If you're familiar with Jenny Colgan's writing you'll know what to expect from this and you won't be let down. Charming, affectionate, easy to read, light-hearted - you name it. Prime holiday reading in fact. Or any time.
This time the story focuses on a redundant librarian who sets up a mobile - in a van - bookshop in a remote Scottish village in very beautiful countryside with the usual suspects for love interest and local characters.
*** and a half
I may have changed my star scale a bit so to explain:
***** Absolutely perfect
**** Very very good
* Don't bother