Jane Costello ‘The Time of Our Lives’

If you enjoy light, easy-to-read romantic comedies then Jane Costello’s books are probably a good choice.

This novel tells the story of Imogen, a single mother trying to juggle life and work, when she heads out on a girls holiday to Spain with two of her friends. Whilst there she meets the gorgeous Harry and also undergoes a series of misfortunes… leaving her wondering: will this holiday be the time of her life or a complete disaster?

Easy to read, this book should be light and enjoyable. However, I have to say that found Imogen’s life far too stressful to be able to enjoy. She seems to be a magnet for chaos, and everything that can possibly go wrong on this dream holiday does. For this reason, the book actually left me feeling stressed, when all I was looking for was a little light escapism.

Some might enjoy the humorous aspects, but personally it left me a little cold. A bit of a disappointment.

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‘The Lie Tree’ – well deserved award winner

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Faith’s family move to the island of Vane, where her father’s unusually secretive pursuit of natural science lead to his death in highly suspicious circumstances. In order to discover the truth, Faith places her trust in the Lie Tree, feeding it with a growing range of dangerous untruths. She soon discovers that both lies and truth contain hidden dangers for everyone…

The Lie Tree is a brilliant story: a supernatural historical adventure would probably be the best way to describe it. I enjoyed it from the first to the last page and am now keen to read some of Hardinge’s other stories. I completely forgot that this was written for young adults; it’s a plot that is engaging for everyone.

I particularly enjoyed the fact that the story had a strong female protagonist; Faith rebels against all the rules that society sets into place for her, and makes her own decisions.

I’d highly recommend this book. It’s well written, exciting and thought – provoking from cover to cover!