Kelly’s January Reads

Book Recommendations

As part of my 2021 resolutions I promised myself I would read so much more than I did last year. It’s one of my absolute favourite past times and I usually fly through books one after the other, just devouring pages. 


Unfortunately I fell victim to the constant mindless scrolling through social media on and off all day and just found it so hard to concentrate.


Well no more! Book worm Kel is back and she is here to stay so let’s begin.


So Lucky

Dawn O’Porter



Every woman’s story 

has two sides.


Ruby is a mother 

[She feels like she’s failing]


Beth is happily married 

[She hasn’t had sex in a year]


Lauren Is living the dream 

[Her happiness is fake news]


What if you knew the 

whole truth?


I honestly don’t know where to start...


It took me a good two or three attempts to read So Lucky before I was able to get into it. No idea why. 


Looking back I don’t for a second think it was anything to do with the book at all. More likely just me not being in the ‘zone’ or whatever that place is called that you go to when you want to submerge yourself deep into another world.


Once I really gave it a chance I very quickly fell head over heels in love and finished the entire thing in two days.


The story of three very different women, their strengths, weaknesses and everything in between.


It’s funny, frighteningly honest and a breath of fresh air amongst the stacks of chic lit and domestic thrillers I usually reach for.


I don’t want to trip myself up and spoil anything, which is really difficult because I feel like I could discuss this until ‘The Cows’ come home. 


Funny really as that’s firmly on my ‘to read’ list!


So Lucky whilst incredibly funny also managed to make me want to cry on more than one occasion because I really just felt like I ‘got’ these women. 


I wanted to both hug and scream at Ruth. 


I wanted to shake Beth and tell her to know her worth.


I wanted to tell Lauren to step away from the brand deals and open up her heart to the possibility of being enough just the way she is.


These women could have been my friends. A sister or co-worker. They were all of us.


The perfect start to my reads this month and year!


Mix Tape

Jane Sanderson



Daniel was the first boy 

to make Alison a mix tape.


But that was years ago. 

And Ali hasn’t thought about 

him in a very long time.


Until Dan’s name pops up on her 

phone, with a song from their past. 


Ali can’t help but respond in kind.


And so begins a new mix tape. 

Ali and Dan exchange songs - some new, some old - across oceans and time zones, across 

a lifetime of different experiences, until one of 

them breaks the rules and sends a message...


What if ‘what might have been’ is yet to come?


This one really played out differently to the idea I had built up in my head. Thankfully, I loved it regardless! 


It took me a little while to really gel with the characters as you move between perspectives, time zones and eras but once I had the hang of where I was at any given time I just really wanted more of everything.


Alison and Daniel were just so easy to love, especially as their teenage selves. 


The addition of music to the overall plot was genius and I’m not going to lie, kind of made me swoon a little bit.


Although harrowing and hard to read at times overall I just found it quite a sweet book and look forward to reading more from Jane Sanderson.


Mother Knows Best

Serena Valentino



A tale as long 

and twisted as 

the braided hair 

at the centre of 

its legend.


A girl with magical hair 

taken from her parents 

and confined to an 

isolated tower. Her captor, 

an old witch who acts as 

an overprotective mother 

who knows what’s best.


But what does Mother 

Gothel actually know? 

This account digs deep into 

the past to find out why she 

believes in her heart that 

mother truly knows best.


This is one for the Disney fans out there however, I suggest you go right back to the beginning and start with ‘Fairest of All’ if you want to have even the faintest idea what the hell is going on. 


In case you haven’t guessed already this tale is centred around Mother Gothel, the antagonist in Disney’s 2010 movie ‘Tangled’.


I mean, I’ve read every book right up until ‘Mother Knows Best’ and I’m still slightly confused but almost in a good way? Does that make sense?


Serena Valentino writes her Villains Series in the style of Angelina Jolie’s 2014 masterpiece Maleficent (although to be fair, Serena’s books predate the movie), so if traditional fairy tales aren’t your thing then these are definitely worth ago!


I wouldn’t say ‘Mother Know Best’ has been my favourite in the series, books 1-4 gave me a greater understanding of what the supposed villain’s motives may have been and I felt like the story really added something to the original tale, book 5 just left me a bit tired to be honest BUT I do have a feeling it was all necessary to the bigger picture and that I will look back on it with appreciation as whilst each tale focuses on a new ‘villain’ they are also linked by various side plots and characters.


To be honest though, Serena Valentino could rewrite a restaurant menu in her own unique style and I’d fall in love with it, she’s just magical.


The Other Woman

Sandie Jones



When Emily meets Adam she knows he is the one.


That together they can deal with anything that is thrown at them.


But lurking in the shadows is another woman, Pammie.


Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother.


There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants...


Oh my lord, what can I even say. My heart legit hasn’t even stopped thumping yet. I read ‘The Other Woman’ in one day because I genuinely just couldn’t put the bloody thing down. 


I was sucked in very early on, dying to know what the hell was going on in this awful woman’s head whilst also still not massively warming to the books protagonist.


The whole plot was just utter madness yet still managed to be believable in a way.


Completely different to any of my other choices this month and I’m so grateful to have ended things on a high.


I’m always up for suggestions if you feel like you’ve read something I’d like so throw them at me!

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