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January 2019

    ARC, book review, books, ebooks

    Book Review: The Fallback by Mariah Dietz

    The Fallback

    Ever since the start of this year, I have suddenly found myself out of the reading rut that I have been stuck in for the longest time. I had felt it slowly weaning off at the end of 2018, but something about the feeling of a fresh start that comes hand in hand with a new year has done wonders for ability to relax and peel myself away from simply binge-watching Netflix for an entire day and feeling so sluggish and disgusting by the end of it.

    I have no doubt that this will all change once my final semester at uni gets fully under way and I am up to my eyeballs with books to read and words to write, but for now, I am reaping the benefits. And that is why I am so glad that the second book I read this year was such a winner.

    About the bookThe Fallback

    By Mariah Dietz

    Publish date: 10 January 2019

    Genre: Contemporary Romance

    Page count: 465

    (ARC provided for review purposes)

    SynopsisBreaking up is hard to do.

    It’s even harder when you’re not expecting it.

    Brooke Jensen is a planner. Not only in her personal life but also professionally as one of the most sought after event planners in Chicago.

    But, when the ideal life she built for herself, complete with handsome, long-term boyfriend and perfect apartment crumbles, she realizes there are some things you just can’t plan for.

    While trying to start anew from her best friend’s guest room and discovering the best doughnuts in the city, an idea sparks to life when she meets Levi. He’s intriguing, funny, and shockingly good-looking, and what had been a few stray thoughts becomes a new passion for Brooke, a blog detailing learning how to be single. The project introduces Brooke to new people and experiences, and keeps returning her back to Levi.

    But, Brooke learns kismet may have been wrong when she learns Levi is the last person she should be interested in.

    Falling for the wrong guy once has Brooke hesitant to start a new relationship, but Levi is quickly proving that The Fallback might be even better.

    TheFallback_banner

    My thoughtsI want to start off by saying that Brooke is a truly wonderful character. I have started writing this review mere minutes after finishing the book, and so it is all so fresh in my mind. I found her strong-minded and motivated, caring and generous, and just an all round great gal, to be honest. I really loved her commitment to work. Sure, she worked herself into the absolute ground but I couldn’t help but admire her ability to juggle a million things at once and be so successful in her field. It is rare to read about a working woman who is doing so well, and it was pretty inspiring actually.

    Now lets talk about Levi. If you read my feature last week on book boyfriends and how they give us an unrealistic outlook on love, but I adore them anyway – then Levi is exactly who I had in mind at the time, although I didn’t realise it yet. I only wish he was introduced slightly earlier in the book. It was around the 20% mark into the book that he first appeared, I think, so I felt like I was just kind of waiting for him to pop up before then. But, not to worry, because he more than made up for it.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed Mariah’s writing style. It was clean and easy to read, and not overrun with clichés (which is one of my absolute pet hates). It is a pretty long book at 465 pages, but I absolutely flew through it in no time at all. The characters were developed well, and I had such a clear image in my head of how I expected them to be. I really loved the dynamic between Brooke and her best friend Felicity. It reminds me of my own friendships and living with my best friend while being at university, which is the most fun. Admittedly, neither of us have young kids running around, but it is how I can imagine our friendship to be in ten years time.

    One other thing that I did pick up – as I am sure many of you would if you are like me – is how crazy it was that Brooke’s blog managed to get so popular so EASY. She doesn’t do anything in terms of promoting, she simply sits down and writes a post when she feels like it about whatever interesting thing she has done now. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely sounds like a blog I want to read. But, the way that she talks about it really just being for her and she doesn’t think she has much of an audience, and then all of a sudden she seems to be getting amazing recognition from it?! This is rather nit-picky of me though, and probably not something the majority of people would pick up on if they didn’t have a blog themselves and therefore didn’t realise just how much work goes on behind the scenes every day. And if that is the only real gripe I have, then that is not bad going.
    About the Author.pngMariah Dietz lives with her husband and three sons, who are the axis of her crazy and wonderful world in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    Mariah grew up in a tiny town outside of Portland, Oregon, where she spent most of her time immersed in the pages of books that she both read and created.

    She has a love for all things that include her family, good coffee, books, travelling, and dark chocolate. She’s also obsessed with Christmas ornaments and all things Disney.

     

    Amazon US

    Amazon UK (available on Kindle Unlimited)

    Goodreads

    Author website

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    FEATURE | Are our book boyfriends giving us an unrealistic outlook on love?

    what makes a good book 1I have no shortage of so called “book boyfriends”.

    These are the boys – or men – that you read about in books and think ohhhh I’ll take three of those, please. They are ruggedly handsome, with messy hair and The Jaw (as my dad calls it – apparently the male lead in movies always have a prominent jaw line? I hate to admit it but I kind of see his point and it really does make me laugh).

    As someone who has been reading romance novels for a very long time now, starting off light and simple all those years ago with the classic Jacqueline Wilson novels and slowly progressing into the steamier alternatives of contemporary romance and the delightful fantasy romance of Sarah J. Maas, I am no stranger to this idea of the ~ultimate luuuurve story~.

    You know the one. There is either a ‘meet cute’ situation, or a hate-to-lovers epic story, or even a friends-to-lovers, but they all pan out the same way. They meet (or re-connect), get to know each other, their first impressions of each other were probably wrong, something comes along that derails it for a short time (an ex, a lie, a wrongful assumption) before they realise they are just right for each other and absolutely cannot live another day apart and off they prance into the sunset.

    So where is this in real life?

    The closest I get to a romantic story is a drunken snapchat from a boy with barely legible typing of words that I shall not even repeat.

    Where is my Rhysand, my Cardan, my Heathcliff, my Darcy, my Grey (lol), my big story? (Ok, maybe not Cardan. He’s a bit of a dick isn’t he. BUT, I haven’t read The Wicked King yet and I can’t wait to hate to love him more)

    I mean, I guess I am only twenty one years old. Maybe it just hasn’t come along yet. But I also think I am kidding myself on if I think it will ever be anything like I have read in any book.

    We have to remember that these men are fictional characters. As much as we really wish they did, they don’t exist in real life, and they never will.

    So are our book boyfriends giving us an unrealistic outlook on love?

    I would say they are. For years I have imagined this perfect love story that I am finally mature enough to know will never happen, but a girl can still dream, right?

    There lies the problem, though. I love reading them! I love pretending that this could happen to me or someone I know someday! I want to live in that fantasy world where men act like that! I want to end all my sentences in exclamation marks to express my pure and utter joy!

    (In fairness, if it happened in real life, I would probably be cringing and saying wondering if he was being serious.)

    But will I keep reading these books till the end of my days?

    Abso-freakin-lutely.

     

     

    Edit (14/1/19): Something occurred to me last night, after posting this blog post. I don’t know if it was something I read on Twitter and subconsciously took in as I scrolled mindlessly, but it popped into my head that this post isn’t the most inclusive. I think it is important to check ourselves and call ourselves out when we find ourselves wrongly missing out an important bracket, or there will be no real and positive change in the future. I talk about book boyfriends in this post, because that is how I see it in my head. But, this doesn’t apply to everyone reading this I am sure. I thought about going back through the post and changing the language to be inclusive of all sexual orientations, but decided that I wanted to write this instead after noticing my mistake. The feelings that I talk about throughout this post are universal, I’m sure, no matter whether it is your book boyfriends or book girlfriends that consume your thoughts. What’s important here is that we are all day-dreaming and enjoying reading and having our love/hate relationships with this fictional characters. Ok. That’s all. Make sure to check your writing too, and everything else you say online and in person.

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    A 2018 Re-Cap

    photo-1482329833197-916d32bdae74Happy new year everyone! I know we all say it every year, but I really can’t believe 2018 has already been and gone. So much happened throughout the year, both for me personally and across the world, but at the same time, it also feels like it has absolutely flown in.

    2018 saw me start my fourth and final year at university. I definitely don’t feel ready to (hopefully) graduate in a few months time – I should still be that little fresh-faced eager first year who hasn’t a clue what is going on around me! My flatmate for the past three years also went off on her year abroad to Spain, so it has been a very different few months living with my school friend who took her place in the flat. I also started a new part-time job in September working behind the bar in my student Union, a job I absolutely adore. It is a surprising amount of fun working with only other students, serving students. Working nights doesn’t bother me in the slightest either, probably because I am a night owl anyway.

    My sister, her husband, and their three young children also visited in the summer. They live in America so it was an absolute delight to catch up with them properly and hear “Aunt Holly” coming out of their little mouths. At Easter, I spent two weeks on the east coast of Spain in a small town called Los Alcazares, which is the third time I have visited there now. I really love it there. It isn’t super busy, and everyone seems to know each other. Our favourite bar owner remembered us, and we would sit and drink the ridiculously large measures of gin into the small hours of the morning, chatting to the staff and the ex-pats who frequented it too.

    I also turned 21 just last week. I am officially an adult. To be honest, I was always kind of forgetting that I wasn’t already 21 because my friends’ birthdays are all earlier in the year so they have been that age for a little while. But still, it is pretty exciting, even if I do feel like I have to get my shit together now. And I can legally drink in America!! As if I haven’t been drinking in Scotland for years… Speaking of which, wow hangovers are a BITCH now that I am old.

    All in all, it was a pretty damn great year. There were many lows as well of course, many moments of self-doubt, lack of motivation, and generally feeling like shit. But, I am looking forward to 2019, and everything that it is set to bring. I hope to look at myself in the mirror and think, ‘actually, you’re not too bad.’ I hope to put in my best effort possible into my final semester, so I don’t come out the other end wishing I had done more, or tried just that little bit harder. I hope to graduate from university with a grade that I am proud of. I hope to plan what I am going to do next, which may include applying to study for my masters. I hope to do so some solo travelling, most likely to visit my best friend on her year abroad. I hope to be adventurous in the summer too, and maybe even work in that little part of Spain that I love so much. I hope to continue to write for fun, whether that is here on my blog, or articles for The National Student. I hope to read for fun, and not just because I have to attend a class on that book or topic.

    Here’s to all of us having another great year.

     

     

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