[BOOK REVIEW] The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo @ClaireLombardo #TheMostFunWeEverHad

There’s something about family dramas/dysfunctional families that immediately catches my attention but even so I’m very picky because I prefer family dramas set during a longer period of time because I feel like they cover more ground and get more precise or dissect the family better. The Most Fun We Ever Had was that book, it ticked all of the boxes for me. Family life in itself isn’t that much fun but adding to it the ‘getting into the psyche of the characters’, discussing certain topics over decades is what makes it fascinating (at least to me). The Most Fun We Ever Had offers so much brain food with the topics it discusses (familial bonds, affairs, adoption etc) and that’s what I appreciated a lot.

The story revolves around Marilyn and David Sorenson and their four children. It goes from the present (2010s+) where we get to see an ‘arrival of a newcomer’ to the past (1970s+) where we get the story of Marilyn and David. The way Lombardo switches from past to present is gorgeous, she manages to keep us in the loop on all happenings which I appreciated while reading. The way Lombardo writes about siblings is so accurate and fascinating. While reading I highlighted many quotes and my copy is filled with sticky notes. The perception of children is something I was surprised to see in the book whilst reading and it’s something I loved because oftentimes we’re oblivious to how much information children absorb and how much of that information stays with them like a scar, etched in their brain. The main topic of the novel is love. Sibling love, spousal love, parental love. It all stems from Marilyn and David and it was so interesting reading about how their daughters lives are followed by their love. Each one is aware that Marilyn and David are something else, something special, that their love is something special. Their daughters are Wendy, a widow and a bit of a drunk, Liza, an educator who’s pregnant but not sure if the man she’s with is the right one, Violet, a retired litigator who has a new role as a housewife with two boys and Grace, a college-aged youngest daughter who hasn’t been telling the truth to her family. Lombardo presents the reader with a lot of information but does it in a way that isn’t overwhelming because you find yourself wanting to know that information, even more than what you’re presented with.

The novel as a whole works beautifully and presents the Sorensons in all their glory – their failures, hopes and more. I couldn’t stay away from the Sorensons because I always wanted to know more, to get another peek at their lives.

This review is a bit of a mess I believe so moral of the story – read it! If you love family dramas this is a MUST READ.

My rating:

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Claire Lombardo is a fiction writer, teacher, and Post-It enthusiast. Her debut novel, The Most Fun We Ever Hadwas released in June 2019 and debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List. It has been translated or is forthcoming in over a dozen languages, and is currently being adapted for a series on HBO with Laura Dern and Amy Adams co-producing and Lombardo writing.

Claire is a 2017 graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has been the recipient of an Iowa Arts Fellowship, a Sun Valley Writers’ Conference Fellowship, and a Key West Literary Seminar Scholarship. She has taught fiction writing at the University of Iowa and the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio. Her short fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming from, among others, PlayboyBarrelhouse Magazine, Little Fiction, and LongformHer short story, “I Only Want to Talk About the Nice Things,” was one of 2016’s Best of the Net, and was #1 on Longform‘s 2015 fiction list.

Find her on: Website, Goodreads and Twitter.

[BOOK REVIEW] Schrödinger’s Dog by Martin Dumont transl. John Cullen @otherpress

Schrödinger’s Dog is Martin Dumont’s debut novel. Told in first person it follows Yanis, a cabdriver, who is a single parent to Pierre. In the early days when Pierre was younger his dad used to take him everywhere in his taxi and they had fun together – but the one thing they both love most  is diving. Their mutual love for diving is something they both come back to even now when Pierre is in his twenties. Yanis mostly works nights as a cabdriver so that he can have time to see his son during the day. Pierre has friends, he goes out and Yanis can’t always watch him carefully. Yanis and Pierre are great divers, Pierre (because of his age) is even better than Yanis and can last longer underwater. One day when diving Pierre complains that his back hurts and that they should stop – this is worrisome to Yanis because Pierre never complains when it comes to diving. From this moment on, Pierre begins to get worse and ends up in hospital. Yanis does his best to help his son, but at what cost?

Schrödinger’s Dog is a short book but a powerful one. The writing style in it is gorgeous so kudos to the translator! The chapters are relatively short so you can definitely read it in a few hours but the story inside is quite sad. I found Yanis to be so dedicated to helping his son and I loved that about him. I feel like his actions could be justified because if a person is brought into that situation they’d always do things to make their loved ones feel better. I really loved hearing Yanis talk about the times spent together with his son as well as Yanis’ descriptions of what diving means to him, how it transports him. Ah, that ending…

Definitely recommend.

I would like to thank the publisher (Other Press) for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and weren’t influenced by the fact that I got this book from the publisher.

My rating:

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Martin Dumont was born in Paris in 1988 and spent many years in Brittany, where he fell in love with the sea. In addition to writing, he works as a naval architect. Schrödinger’s Dog is his first novel.

John CullenJohn Cullen is the translator of many books from Spanish, French, German, and Italian, including Susanna Tamaro’s Follow Your Heart, Philippe Claudel’s Brodeck, Carla Guelfenbein’s In the Distance with You, Juli Zeh’s Empty Hearts, Patrick Modiano’s Villa Triste, and Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation. He lives on the Shoreline in southern Connecticut.

[BOOK REVIEW] Find Me by André Aciman #FindMe @aaciman @faberbooks

I’m one of the lucky ones that got an early copy of Aciman’s Find Me and yes I do realise you want to kill me because you want to read it too! I’ve intentionally kept writing this review until closer to its publication date because of many fans out there who won’t get the chance to read it early like I did (there’s less than a month to go now until its out into the world). Was Find Me what I expected? No, but it’s a sequel I found very satisfying.

Find Me in its first chunk (which is kind of a huge one) is about Elio’s father who upon going to Rome encounters a woman who’ll change the course of his life. The second part deals with Elio and his life as a pianist and the third with Oliver who’s a college professor.

I largely expected Find Me to be about Elio and Oliver so I found myself taken aback with Samuel’s part in the book. I have to say that I enjoyed Aciman adding Sammy to the story because I always found him to be interesting.  Whilst reading Samuel’s part I found so many quotes I highlighted which I’ll share with you below:

“Is it that you don’t like people, or that you just grow tired of them and can’t for the life of you remember why you ever found them interesting?”

“It’s just that the magic of someone new never lasts long enough…”

“Me? Loneliness. I can’t stand being by myself yet I can’t wait to be alone…”

“Each of us is like a moon that reveals only a few facets to earth, but never its full sphere…”

I enjoyed reading Samuel’s part although it wasn’t what I was expecting in terms of the book as a whole. I feel like a huge chunk of it was devoted to him instead of Elio and Oliver but moving onto Elio and Oliver’s parts I can say that they were both satisfying to me. There were a few choices I didn’t like when It came to Elio’s and Oliver’s now lives. While getting towards the end of the book and finishing It I felt satisfied but not entirely of course because if you’ve been a fan of CMBYN you’ll have an ending of your own (or at least I do). When it comes to Aciman’s writing he’s fantastic as always – getting into human psyche and describing our conditions. I always enjoy reading Aciman’s books because they provide such beauty and pain of love and being in love.

“You could just be the dearest person I’ve ever known. Which also means you could hurt me, devastate me actually…”

Find Me by Andre Aciman is a sequel I believe will satisfy Call Me by Your Name fans!

I would like to thank the publisher Faber&Faber for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.

My rating:

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

André Aciman was born in Alexandria, Egypt and is an American memoirist, essayist, novelist, and scholar of seventeenth-century literature. He has also written many essays and reviews on Marcel Proust. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Condé Nast Traveler as well as in many volumes of The Best American Essays. Aciman received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University, has taught at Princeton and Bard and is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at The CUNY Graduate Center. He is currently chair of the Ph. D. Program in Comparative Literature and founder and director of The Writers’ Institute at the Graduate Center.

Find him on:  Twitter and Goodreads

[BLOG TOUR: BOOK REVIEW] Overdrawn by N.J. Crosskey @NJCROSSKEY @legend_press #Overdrawn

I’m a bit late with the blog tour but better late than never! I believe it was Laura Pearson raving about Overdrawn that attracted my attention towards it so I googled it and requested a copy from the publisher. Luckily I’ve been sent a copy to read! Ahh what a story!

Overdrawn is set in a society where when you reach a certain age (which puts you into the old category) there’s a program called Moving On where you can go die peacefully and leave your children with a better future. The system works by using EPs (earning potential) which is determined by your education, health etc. In this society lives Henry Morris whose wife shows signs of advanced dementia which can be controlled with medication but the medication costs and Henry does everything he can to secure that she has her medication but he’s running out of options. Kaitlyn is a young woman who works as a waitress in order to keep her brother, who’s in a coma, plugged on life support for as long as he needs until he wakes up. The chances of him waking up are very slim but Kaitlyn is determined to do whatever to keep him in hospital because there’s still a chance he’ll wake up. One day Henry and Kaitlyn meet in a very awkward kind of way and from then on their lives become linked.

What to say!? Overdrawn is such a touching book. The whole idea of the book is something I’ve thought about myself but not to this sort of extreme where the government has the power to force you to move on. The society in which our characters live in is scary and cruel – a place where in order for your children to have a better future you are praised if you decide to literally sacrifice your own. Both Henry and Kaitlyn are such real and raw characters and their stories resonate with the reader. I loved Henry and Kaitlyn’s first encounter especially the part where he left her the tip and sort of woke up something in her. The whole friendship between these two characters was something I loved reading about as well as finding out more about them as a dynamic. I was initially into the idea both Henry and Kaitlyn had but as the story progressed and Kaitlyn got to meet Chloe (Henry’s wife) I got scared about how they’d do what they planned. I loved Chloe as a character so much – such a wonderful intelligent woman who has so much love in her heart. I loved reading parts with Chloe and laughing with her. The couple of chapters towards the end were a bit rushed to me but they were so emotional! I felt such sadness towards the end but also joy [people who’ve read the book will understand]. Crosskey is a wonderful storyteller!

Overdrawn is for readers who enjoy reading stories that have a heart to them, stories that leave you thinking.

I would like to thank the publisher Legend Press for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.

My rating:

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

N.J. Crosskey is the author of Poster Boy (coming April 2019) 20180428_220837and Overdrawn  (September 2019)

A mother of two crazy children, N.J has worked in the care sector for almost twenty years and is now fulfilling her life-long dream of becoming a novelist.

Both titles will be published in 2019 by Legend Press.

N. J. Crosskey is represented by Emily Sweet Associates

Find her on: Website and Twitter.

[BOOK REVIEW] The Furies by Katie Lowe #TheFuries

Ever since I first saw the buzz about The Furies on Twitter I became obsessed with it! It has such a mesmerizing and spooky cover that immediately attracts your attention. I won a giveaway hosted by lovely Laura from SnazzyBooks and you can guess what my pick was! Regarding the look of the book: all I can say is that the UK hardback looks absolutely fantastic!

I’ve finished reading this book over a month ago and just now got around to writing a review for it so if I make some mistakes, apologies! The Furies is Katie Lowe’s debut novel and it’s centered around four girls living in a small town where a strange thing has happened: a girl has been found dead on Elm Hollow Academy’s grounds. Immediately after the prologue we’re introduced to Violet, a new girl who joins Elm Hollow where she meets three other girls who invite her to become part of their group. Robin, Grace and Alex are a very intriguing bunch of girls who Violet finds interesting. As she joins the Academy she becomes enrolled into Art class which is led by Annabel. (As far as I remember) Violet likes drawing things and unrelated to this she gets invited to Annabel’s secret classes on ancient rites and rituals. There she finds the same three girls in her group and learns many things about the dead girl (how she looks like her and how she was Robin’s best friend). The girls begin practicing witchcraft and soon everything they knew changes.

The synopsis other than the cover made me very intrigued because it reminded me of The Craft which is a fantastic movie revolving around four witches and the dark side of magic. Before reading this book I’ve come upon mixed reviews but I did my best to read it with fresh eyes. I really liked the beginning of the book where the reader got introduced to the Academy and the girls. I liked the writing in the book because it gave life to the book. The characters weren’t what I was expecting them to be and at some points in the book I found them to be annoying. I would also mention that judging by the synopsis I was expecting a lot more from the book but it didn’t fully live up to my expectations because I was craving something more – more action, more story, just more. I feel like the synopsis made me expect more from the book in a way and it sadly didn’t fully live up to it. I have to mention that the issue of rape is something I didn’t expect being mentioned in the book and that is great but I wish it was better executed that the character’s psyche was better explored and that the character dealt with it in a better way. In the end, yes, I did find certain things that bothered me but I wouldn’t scare people away from reading The Furies because it was such an interesting read and while reading I found myself reading on and on because I wanted to know more.

Again, my wish to read this book was granted by Laura, so thank you!

My rating:

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Katie Lowe is a writer living in Worcester, UK.

A graduate of the University of Birmingham, Katie has a BA(Hons) in English and an MPhil in Literature & Modernity, and is returning to Birmingham in 2019 to commence her PhD in female rage in literary modernism and contemporary women’s writing.

The Furies is her first novel.

Find her on: Website, Goodreads and Twitter.

[REVIEW] Enigma Variations by André Aciman @FaberBooks @aaciman

Aciman’s short story collection Enigma Variations title comes from Edward Elgar’s piece called Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma), Op. 36 (1898), better known as Enigma Variations. I wasn’t aware of this connection until I finished the book and googled the title. I’ve spent about 40 minutes listening to Elgar’s piece and I just love it! It’s so beautiful!

I honestly don’t wish to butcher the synopsis of this short story collection so I’ll post the synopsis I found on Goodreads: “From a youthful infatuation with a cabinet maker in a small Italian fishing village, to a passionate yet sporadic affair with a woman in New York, to an obsession with a man he meets at a tennis court, Enigma Variations charts one man’s path through the great loves of his life. Paul’s intense desires, losses and longings draw him closer, not to a defined orientation, but to an understanding that ‘heartache, like love, like low-grade fevers, like the longing to reach out and touch a hand across the table, is easy enough to live down’.” I feel like this synopsis sums up the book wonderfully and if I tried to do it I’d ruin its magic.

Enigma Variations consists of five short stories dealing with love, loss, infatuation and more. Aciman has the ability to masterfully showcase human emotion through words. In reading Call Me by Your Name  I’ve noticed that Aciman’s so skilled in entering the human psyche and making the reader infatuated with words they’re reading. Although his stories are often sad Aciman writes with such precision that it feels as if he’s softening the ‘blow’. I have to say that the first two stories were my favourite because I loved Aciman’s writing in them the most and the way he described the village as well as the tennis court were perfection to me! By reading this review you’ve probably guessed that I adore Aciman’s writing style and the way he has with words so I’ll bore you no more with that. If I dive deeper into the analysis of each story I feel like I’ll ruin it for future readers so I won’t be sharing anything further but I have to say that Enigma Variations was a phenomenal read where although each story has about 50 (or more) pages it contains everything that satisfies the reader – from wonderful writing to a brilliantly crafted main character.

Fans of Aciman will definitely enjoy reading this short story collection and even if you’re not familiar with Aciman, you’ll fall in love with his writing in Enigma Variations.

Many thanks to the publisher Faber&Faber for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and weren’t influenced by the fact that I got the book from the publisher.

My rating: 

Add ‘Enigma Variations‘ to your TBR:  

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André Aciman was born in Alexandria, Egypt and is an American memoirist, essayist, novelist, and scholar of seventeenth-century literature. He has also written many essays and reviews on Marcel Proust. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Condé Nast Traveler as well as in many volumes of The Best American Essays. Aciman received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University, has taught at Princeton and Bard and is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at The CUNY Graduate Center. He is currently chair of the Ph. D. Program in Comparative Literature and founder and director of The Writers’ Institute at the Graduate Center.

Find him on:  Twitter and Goodreads

[BOOK REVIEW] The Rapture by Claire McGlasson #TheRapture @FaberBooks

Having read both Clare and Amanda’s amazing reviews of The Rapture by Claire McGlasson I knew that this book would be for me! Luckily, I got my copy from the wonderful publisher Faber&Faber and I have to say that I loved reading it!

The Rapture is a book revolving around The Panacea Society, an English cult which existed back in the 1920s, and one particular person called Dilys who’s a member of the cult. The cult was founded by Mabel Barltrop, better known as Octavia, who was self-proclaimed as the Daughter of God. The cult consists of mostly single ladies and Dilys is the youngest member in her mid twenties. One day she meets a woman named Grace and invites her to visit The Panacea Society and find out more about it. Grace soon becomes a new recruit and begins living in the Society as help. The friendship between Dilys and Grace becomes stronger and closer as time passes and while that is going on the Society begins to change. Each person has something to hide. Dilys, once a full-blown believer, now becomes suspicious as to how the Society actually works.

I read The Rapture in two sittings – it was captivating, interesting and compelling. The story being based on truth is quite interesting as well! I loved the atmosphere in the novel, the whole unease surrounding the cult. Dilys as a character was very interesting and I found her to be well-written because her psyche matched her actions. I also liked how the author included some queer aspects into the novel making it much more interesting to me! I really loved the descriptions of Dilys’ feelings for Grace. The Rapture being a book that surrounds around a cult felt very eeire and I was at times scared for Dilys and was anticipating her next actions. The story in itself included many revelations that I liked and gasped at some of them because I was not expecting that. The author addressing Octavia as Her in the book sent shivers down my spine because you could sense that Octavia is someone who’s in charge. The ending of the book left me feeling satisfied which I appreciated although I wouldn’t have predicted it’d end like that because in my mind I had something darker as the ending. There is no particular reason why I’m giving this book four out of five stars but it didn’t feel like a five star read although it was a great and compelling one.

The Rapture is a spine-chilling and fascinating book about a woman living a cult who slowly begins to find out that not everything is what it seems.

I would like to thank the publisher Faber&Faber for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written here are my own and weren’t influenced by the fact that I got this book from the publisher.

My rating:

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Claire McGlasson is a journalist who works for ITV News Anglia and enjoys the variety of life on the road with a TV camera. Her role gives her access to high-profile interviewees, and takes her behind-the-scenes at places that she’d never ordinarily get to go. But the biggest privilege of her job is spending time with people at the very best, and very worst, times of their lives and helping them to tell their stories. She lives in Cambridgeshire with her favourite people – her husband, daughter and son.

Her first novel, THE RAPTURE, which is based on true events in an Edwardian women’s cult, was published by Faber in Spring 2019. McGlasson’s debut novel about a real-life cult, set in 1920s England, is being turned into a television series after Hillbilly Television optioned the rights.

Find her on: Goodreads and Twitter.

[BOOK REVIEW] Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov is a book I’ve wanted to read for quite some time but what pushed me to finally do it is My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell coming out to the book scene as well as Putney by Sofka Zinovieff because they are a response to Lolita. I wanted to know what was so controversial about Lolita and then I found out.

I think we all know what Lolita is about but if not here’s the skinny – an older man called Humbert Humbert becomes infatued by a twelve/thirteen year old girl called Dolores Haze or Lolita. From the moment he sets eyes on her on his tenants garden he becomes obsessed with her beauty. What happens later is that Humbert Humbert in his pursuit to win Lolita over does many many things which set a chain of events. I feel like that’s quite a good non-spoilery, if-you-wish-to-know-little-about-the-book description.

I won’t go into length with this review because there’s a lot to go through so I’ll just feature some key points that I found interesting. Before going in I honestly had no idea what to expect because I had in mind that since it was written in 1955 it wouldn’t be that controversial but I was wrong. Having read the book I now get why the public reacted to it the way they did – it is a very controversial subject to write about [especially at that time]. I didn’t expect certain scenes to be described with such precision and depth e.g. sexual parts. I found this book to be very well written and I love how Nabokov made the character of Humbert Humbert somewhat real in a sense that you can see that Humbert is a well-educated man whose actions are so wrong. I feel like if this book were written now it would cause a different sort of reaction because nowadays people don’t shy away from writing the goriest, darkest things. I found the first part of the book to be most compelling but the second part was something I found to be very dry and uninteresting in a way. This will sound weird but I expected more from the story in a way. The ending was something I found to be quite meh. What can one say in the end – it’s an interesting read but definitely not for everyone.

My rating:

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, also known by the pen name Vladimir Sirin, was a Russian-American novelist. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist. He also made significant contributions to lepidoptery, and had a big interest in chess problems.

Nabokov’s Lolita (1955) is frequently cited as his most important novel, and is at any rate his most widely known one, exhibiting the love of intricate wordplay and descriptive detail that characterized all his works.

Lolita was ranked fourth in the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels; Pale Fire (1962) was ranked 53rd on the same list, and his memoir, Speak, Memory (1951), was listed eighth on the publisher’s list of the 20th century’s greatest nonfiction. He was also a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction seven times.

[BOOK REVIEW] Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin @TitanBooks #OtherWordsforSmoke

The synopsis for Other Words for Smoke reminded me of The Diviners by Libba Bray with its supernatural element. Having read the book, I can still say that it gave me The Diviners vibe which I loved!

Other Words for Smoke centers around two twins – Mae and Rossa – who spend two summers with their aunt Rita and her teenage ward Bevan in an unusual house. Having spent two summers in the house they’ve been looped in on its happenings. During their first summer with Rita and Bevan, Mae finds out that they’re witches who also have a talking cat… but that’s not all, evil lurks in this house in the form of a spirit that lurks behind the wallpaper called Sweet James. Sweet James has an effect on Bevan and he whispers things he can do for her but only if she brings him gifts. Mae begins to fall for Bevan, not knowing what secrets she holds, and Sweet James becomes intrigued by the new flesh that has come to the house.

Although I wouldn’t call this book amazing, I did find it very enjoyable and it offered me escape when life was hectic. I love how the author has gorgeous writing skills and certain scenes she created made me escape this world. The twin characters were great although annoying at times but that’s understandable since they’re almost-teenagers (if not already). The whole mystery surrounding Sweet James was so enjoyable to read and creepy as well! I loved reading about Bevan and the trance in which Sweet James put her in order to get his way. I found the storyline to end very abruptly because I wanted more from it – I wanted to be lost in it fully. I felt like certain parts ended abruptly which made me frustrated because I was enjoying them. I love how the author included an LGBTQ+ character to her story and made us experience that feeling of first love. The story in itself was very enjoyable for me and I really had a great time reading it.

Lovers of fantasy, magic, witchy kind of books will definitely devour this book!

I would like to thank the publisher Titan Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written here are my own and weren’t influenced by the fact that I got this book from the publisher.

My rating:

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Sarah Maria Griffin lives in Dublin, Ireland, in a small red brick house by the sea, with her husband and cat. She writes about monsters, growing up, and everything those two things have in common. Her first book, SPARE AND FOUND PARTS, is out now.
Find her on: Goodreads and Twitter

[BOOK REVIEW] Naturally Tan: A Memoir by Tan France @tanfrance #NaturallyTan @EllieCrisp

Queer Eye is one of those shows you just adore watching and whilst watching you start falling in love with the cast. For me, Tan is the one I immediately fell in love and whose story I was interested in learning more about – and I got the chance to do that because of the awesome publisher! If you haven’t seen Queer Eye on Netflix yet then I highly recommend it because it’s so good and because of the brilliant cast –Tan, Antoni, Karamo, Bobby and Jonathan.

Naturally Tan is Tan France’s memoir where he tells us many stories – from his upbringing to him being cast as the fashion expert on QE. The UK hardcover is so gorgeous because underneath the jacket you also get illustrated Tan as well as on the inside of the book you get a lot of drawings [for each chapter] which are amazing!  In Naturally Tan, Tan talks about many things he’s gone through in his life – from racism to stardom. One thing I especially like is that Tan is someone who, when a situation asks for it, doesn’t shy away from telling it like it is – we get many instances where Tan speaks up described in the book e.g. Tan had to deal with an awful boss. Besides Tan’s life story we get some fashion advice from him as well as do’s and don’ts. Tan doesn’t shy away from talking about real issues e.g. racism where he [since he was a child] went through a lot of mental analysis on what to do, how to act when faced with racism. Whilst on the subject of race issues – Tan tells the reader that in his life he’s had twenty-four incidents where he had to stay longer at the airport to answer a few more questions such as when’s the last time you’ve visited Pakistan? when’s the last time you held a gun? [I’m paraphrasing these questions]. I’m glad that in his memoir Tan deals with those tough questions because they are issues still! This book made me feel so happy while reading because of many lovely stories Tan shared about his life. We also get more info on how the whole casting process of Queer Eye went and how Tan met Antoni, Bobby, Karamo and Jonathan! I also wanted more of Tan – more from his stories because I felt like some were very short and ended abruptly. I would’ve loved to know more about his childhood and him and his family [yes, he provides this information but I wish it was done more in-depth].

If you’re a Queer Eye and/or a Tan France fan then this is definitely a must read! I honestly think that every reader will find something interesting in this book. Some life lessons and a lot of lovely stories that will warm your heart! [I’m now obsessed with Tan and his husband – so cute!]

I would like to thank the publisher Virgin Books (Ebury Publishing-Penguin Random House UK) for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written here are my own and weren’t influenced by the fact that I got a free copy from the publisher.

My rating:

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Tan France has been a successful fashion designer behind-the-scenes for over 15 years, and now steps into the spotlight as the star of Emmy-winning makeover hit, and Netflix re-boot, Queer Eye. Surrounded by an all new cast, France is the witty wardrobe wiz leading the charge in the fashion department and is ready to make America fabulous again one makeover at a time. This experience is so much more than just new clothes to the British born fashion advisor however, it’s about real-life issues, changes and acceptance on all sides. The epitome of style and class, Tan is the creative mind behind successful brands including the popular ladies clothing lines Kingdom & State and Rachel Parcell, Inc. Prior to his personal success as a designer, he spent his summers working in his grandfather’s denim factory while he secretly enrolled in fashion college in preparation to start a new chapter as a fabulous design star.

Find him on: Website, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram.