#Review! The Little Pieces of You and Me by Vanessa Greene (@VanessaGBooks) @LittleBrownUK

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Blurb.

When life as you know it changes, will it define you, destroy you or make you stronger?

Best friends Isla and Sophie made each other a promise a long time ago: to never let life pass them by. Years later, Isla is in love, living abroad and fulfilling her dreams. But for Sophie, things haven’t turned out the way she was expecting and she hasn’t achieved any of the things she and Isla talked about.

And then, in one sudden moment, life irrevocably changes for both women.

Isla and Sophie have hard decisions to make but above all else they must face up to the uncertainty that lies ahead. It’s only when they realise that this is easier together, two friends standing side by side, that each woman can embrace whatever the future holds for them.

What does TWG think?

Did you ever make a list when you were at school, about things you wanted to achieve when you grew up? For those who did and didn’t lose their list, how many things did you tick off the list? I’ll admit, it never crossed my mind so it was lovely to read a book where people have actually written a list like that. Sophie and Isla both wanted to live their lives like a constant bucket list by ensuring everything was ticked off. However, Isla seemed to be much more determined to live by her list than Sophie…for now anyway. Based on the blurb, I assumed that the story was going to be about two friends that go through a LITTLE bit of heartbreak. I was not mentally prepared for what the two ladies ended up facing.

A lot of the book was centred around Sophie and Isla’s list of dreams, as well as working out WHY Sophie wasn’t becoming tick happy when it came to her own list. Then, out of nowhere, the entire storyline got turned upside down. Isla went from being the life of the party, to wondering whether she would even be able to party. Everything Isla thought she knew was no more, and the only certainty in her life was that realising that everything was now uncertain..

The way Vanessa wrote about such an eye opening situation, was outstanding. Having gone through (and going through) similar situations to Isla, her heartbreak affected me in many ways. I thought I would cry, but I didn’t. Instead, Vanessa’s realistic portrayal of a devastating circumstance, left me numb and heartbroken. Never have I ever had a storyline make me feel like that, and it’s not a bad thing either. It just goes to show that Vanessa quite clearly did her research on the situation and knew it would affect her readers in a multitude of ways. For me, all the above is proof of a very good writer.

Usually when books cover such big storylines, the finer details are often not as fine as they should be; apart from this book. Vanessa seemed to have all the minor details down to a fine art as nothing seemed out of place within the storyline.

The only thing that irked me about ‘The Little Pieces of You and Me’, was how quickly a situation went from very negative to rather positive. For me, I found that part to not be overly realistic as it seemed to downplay the credibility of the topic in general.

However, despite that, I did enjoy the storyline and the very different personalities of each character. It was lovely to have such diversity across the book as I never knew what one of the characters would come out with next. Especially Isla!

Overall, The Little Pieces of You and Me is a really heart warming tale; which focuses on the true meaning of friendship through the good times and the bad. Vanessa has created two best friends which a lot of readers are going to aspire to be like, and that in itself is a talent.
A really poignant, and warm storyline which will stay in your mind weeks after you have finished reading it. It’s still in my mind a month on.

Thank you Little Brown.

The Little Pieces of You and Me by Vanessa Greene, is available to buy now from Amazon UK

It’s TWG’s turn on a very special tour for a very loved author. #TommyVcancer!

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I have been staring at my computer screen for the last ten minutes, trying to find the right words on how I can start this particular blog post. I mean, how can my words help? Honestly? They can’t do much except help spread awareness. TWG is part of a very special blog tour that has been organised for a very brave man named Tommy Donbavand, and his family. Tommy was diagnosed with throat cancer in March of this year, so this tour is to raise awareness for Tommy, his family, and the battle he is up against. Several of the tour stops are hosting giveaways and at the end of the tour on the 30th June between 8pm-9pm, Vivenne and Chelley will be hosting a Twitter chat. To get involved in any of the Tommy chat and discussions use the hashtag #tommyvcancer!

You’re probably wondering right now how you can help, yes? Well here is how:
Paypal Link.
Patreon Link.
Tommyvcancer Website.

About Tommy.
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Tommy is the author of the popular 13-book Scream Street series for 7 to 10 year olds, published by Walker Books in the UK and Candlewick Press in the US. His other books include Zombie!, Wolf and Uniform (winner of the Hackney Short Novel Award) for Barrington Stoke, Boredom Busters and Quick Fixes For Kids’ Parties (How To Books), and Making A Drama Out Of A Crisis (Network Continuum).
In theatre, Tommy’s plays have been performed to thousands of children on national tours to venues such as The Hackney Empire, Leeds City Varieties, and Nottingham Playhouse. These productions include Hey Diddle Diddle, Rumplestiltskin, Jack & Jill In The Forgotten Nursery, and Humpty Dumpty And The Incredibly Daring Rescue Of The Alien Princess From Deep Space. He is also responsible for five episodes of the CBBC TV series, Planet Cook (Platinum Films). As an actor, Tommy played the Clearlake MC in the West End musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story for over eight years, in addition to roles in the movies Zombie Love Stories (where he battled hordes of Scottish undead) and Going Off Big Time (where he was beaten up on a bouncy castle). A veteran of pantomime, he has portrayed just about every comic character from Abanazer to an Ugly Sister. Tommy lives in Lancashire with his wife and two sons. He is a HUGE fan of all things Doctor Who, plays blues harmonica, and makes a mean balloon poodle. He sees sleep as a waste of good writing time.
Visit Tommy’s Website here.
Follow Tommy on Twitter here.

Another reason for the blog tour is to shout very loudly about Tommy’s books because, as mentioned above, he has written a number of books for the YA/child audience and I am about to tell you about just one of them! It was incredibly hard to choose a book to review for this tour as Tommy has written so many incredible books.

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Buy Tommy’s books here.
‘ “AAAYYYOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWW!” Stunned awake by piercing screeches from next door, Jamie, newly arrived in the neighbourhood, is certainly experiencing the scream in Scream Street. Favel has an infected tooth and Dr Skully fears the worst – the young banshee needs medicine, and fast! With the help of Luke, Resus and Cleo, Jamie must track down the ingredients for a life-saving remedy. But the four friends are dicing with death: if they’re not careful, Favel won’t be the only one biting the dust…’

I will hang my head in shame for a few seconds because I hadn’t read any of Tommy’s books until this tour! However, I had heard of them over the years, especially with the TV shows. I think ‘Scream Street: Wail of the Banshee’ has got a fantastic amount of detail with enough events throughout the story to keep young minds entertained! What is even better, is that this book is part of the Scream Street series, so once any YA/adults have finished reading this particular book, there is many more to choose from!Scream Street: Wail of the Banshee’ has excitement and mystery running right the way through it. Nothing too scary but enough to make the mind wander. I may be 26 but it certainly made my mind wonder!
Tommy’s writing captures the essence of the story and the magic that is there in front of you if you look hard enough, and believe. The enthusiasm that he has incorporated through his own words, into the story, is mind-blowing. Because the book is intended for younger minds, although many adults will enjoy it I’m sure, Tommy has still managed to create a flurry of light-hearted fear within the story. If i’m honest, I never thought that was possible to do, but it is. The story even has skeletons, but he makes them funny skeletons. I am in awe of this man’s talent and I urge you to buy several of these books for your own children, or for any child that you know. If your child isn’t a bit reader, I am sure that will change once these books are read!


Thank you to Viv at Serendipity Reviews and Faye Rogers for allowing me to be involved in such a special tour. Thank you to all of The Writing Garnet’s readers for reading this post and supporting Tommy and his family at such a difficult time in their lives.
I will leave you with one more thing. TOMMY KICK CANCER’S BUTT. #TOMMYVCANCER!

 

 

The years of loving you – Review

The years of loving you –  by Ella Harper.
Published
19th November 2015 by Harper Collins Publishers (Avon books)
ISBN: 978-0-00-758184-9
Available on Amazon in multiple formats (paperback and kindle).

‘What if your first love was your only love?

When Molly is diagnosed with a life-changing illness, it feels like her whole world has come crashing down. She hopes the news will make her marriage to Sam stronger. But why does Molly always call Ed in a crisis?

Ed, the very same Ed that Molly fell in love with at a party when they were teenagers, underneath a star-filled sky. Then life took them in different directions.

Molly starts to question every decision she has ever made. What if they could turn back the clock? When the only certainty they shared was each other….’

Stop for a moment and think about YOUR life. Have you ever had to break devastating news about yourself to any of your loved ones? Or have you been the one to receive the terrible news, getting told that lives will never be the same again? Yes? Thought so. Me too, except that I was the one breaking the horrible news…..multiple times. So was Molly…
The story begins in the present, lots of laughing, drinks and a hint of tension. Throughout the story you not only follow Molly’s life, you follow Ed’s life as well. Ed and Molly have known each other for many years, they share a history and a connection so deep that they have remained friends right into their adulthood. Ed has had a troubled life with secrets and problems he is too embarrassed to tell anyone, even Molly. Unfortunately for Ed, his life comes crashing down and he ends up making one of the biggest mistakes of his life….
Molly is married to Sam, a man who has his eyes firmly focused on the prize….his business. Molly has to compete with it, even when she has to sit down and break the news to him that she has a chronic illness. An illness that will not only change her life, but her loved ones lives too. They will see her grieving over a life she has lost, whilst also trying to adapt to a life that is unpredictable…very unpredictable. Unfortunately, Molly finds herself battling with extra problems and becomes lonelier than ever.
Who will come through for Molly in her darkest times? Sam, or Ed? Or nobody?
The book stood out for me because of the illness situation. I had to find out how other people reacted to life changing news. Why? Because I relate to it in more ways than one. I have multiple chronic illnesses. Reading about what Molly went through and how other people reacted to the news, had me in tears. It’s a topic that people don’t want to talk about and I am very pleased to find Ella Harper putting it in her story. It is real life. People go through it every single day. Personally I found that to be my connection to the storyline and to the characters. Also, I was hooked on finding out whether the girl got the guy, or the guy got the girl!
In every chapter there is something that will grab your attention, whether it’s something funny, or sad. Ella Harper’s style of writing is very engaging and I found myself in the story like I was someone watching everything unfold right in front of me. Depending on your beliefs about certain situations within the story, you might find yourself siding with a certain character and their own decisions. I know I did. ‘The years of loving you’ is an emotional rollercoaster of a book because it takes you on a journey of love, life and self discovery. Personally, I found the ending to just appear, like it was too short, and I think that is because I was incredibly engrossed in the gripping story that I didn’t realise it was coming up!
Ella Harper has managed to capture the soul of each character, bringing them to life in a way that I have never experienced before. A wonderful book that will bring out every emotion possible. A book that will open your eyes to different eventualities, good or bad. A book that will make you think anything is possible. Ella Harper, thank you. It has been an absolute pleasure to read and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.