The Lost Guide to Life and Love by Sharon Griffiths

6816065Title: The Lost Guide to Life and Love

Author: Sharon Griffiths

Genre: Romance, Chick Lit

Number of Pages (Paperback):  340 pages

Date Published: September 1st of 2009

Publisher: Avon Books

Synopsis (via GoodReads page here):

Follow food writer Tilly Flint as she discovers her roots, her sense of adventure and the secret to happiness in this timeless, inventive tale for fans of Eva Rice and Elizabeth Noble.Do the answers to Tilly Flint’s future lie in her past?In a nightclub full of the rich and famous, a glamorous model leaps from a window and escapes into the night. Food writer Tilly Flint – on a rare date with boyfriend Jake – is sole witness to her flight. Little does she know the chain of events set to unfold…The following week, Tilly and Jake have the last of many arguments, leaving Tilly alone in the wild Pennines landscape where she’s on assignment. Terrified yet strangely exhilarated, she investigates the area – and finds more than a few surprises.Intrigued to learn that, as an only child, she has family in the area, Tilly starts to dig deeper, discovering her great grandmother’s past and the eerie parallels with her own life. As she explores the treacherous moors, she stumbles across mysterious pieces of cherry-red ribbon. What do they signify? And who is the strangely familiar face in the local pub?Then a chance encounter with celebrity Clayton Silver leads Tilly into a high-octane world that spells danger. Can the ribbons from the past be a lifeline in the present?

Rate: 4 of 5

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That’s right. I gave 4 stars for a chick lit. Yes. Me. I can’t believe it, too. I don’t get how I loved it. I just did. Read on and you’ll find my ramblings about it. Be warned, there are some cringe-worthy parts hahahaha.

Let me start off with the physicality of the book. The cover is stunning with a subtle hint on the contents of the book. It’s so artsy and cute! On the other hand, the title is a bit misleading…there was no guide or anything that I had been looking forward to reading. Just pure, normal novel.

The characters are in tip-top shape, I must say. The vivid writing of the author really did the story well, it helped paint the pictures of characters better and just made me think of their characters and reactions all throughout the book. Keeping on that note about vivid writing, I will also add how beautiful the food description is. I was hungry half the time! The writing really did convince me that the main character is a food writer/reviewer.

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The main character, Tilly, is so lovable that even though there were parts where you won’t normally find yourself as a regular person in the world (e.g. a superstar falling for Tilly)  I didn’t really feel that jealousy and rage that I often have when the character is already way off the reality of life. But, yes, I won’t lie at the beginning of the story I thought that “A soccer superstar going to fall for an average girl? YEAH, SURE.SURRRREEEEE.”  But hoooobooooooy.

I can’t believe I’ll ever love Chick Lit again. I mean, really. I lost faith in the whole romantic thingy when I was almost in the end years of college. I still am actually. But oh my goodness, the story on this one is really not something that I’ll end up reading or even believing–but how the hell did this made me want to believe in love again? *insert cringey face here* Just the fact that this made me ache and smile and laugh at some point in the story is such a good sign both for the book and for myself. LOL. Now I know I still have a heart.

The history snippets of their family and lineage is good, too. I liked how it all tangles together and just flow smoothly. What I just can’t handle is (WARNING SPOILER AHEAD) the romance between Grandma Allen and the photographer. Why you gotta do this to my heart?! WHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYY. Why did the photographer have to die?! WHY. WHY. WHY. WHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYY.

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I’ve often found myself picking up a Chick Lit  and then just hurling it across the room in frustration. KIDDING.. Or am I? No I’m definitely kidding. But yeah damn. This is all around a good book to read if you’re looking to have your heart broken and to feel like maybe you still have a heart or anything in between. You get the point.

I reserve my 5 of 5 with those I really loved and which made me re-think literature. But yeah, oh my.

Do I recommend it? YES. Pick it up, girl. Pick. It. Up.

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And also, guys, where can I find a Clayton Silver, yeah?

Cover image and Synopsis via GoodReads; Gifs via Giphy.

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One Less Problem Without You by Beth Harbison

Woo-hoo! I finished a book after so long! Yaaay. And I also finished the proposal part of my thesis so that means I will just be waiting for revisions and then I’m off to defense presentation. Yikes. But yaaay I got some time in between to read more. Anyway, let’s go to the review. WOOT WOOT.

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Title: One Less Problem Without You

Author: Beth Harbison

Date Published: July 26th of 2016

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Number of Pages (Hardcover): 336 pages

Synopsis (via GoodReads page here):

Meet Prinny, Chelsea and Diana. Prinny is the owner of Cosmos, a shop that sells crystals, potions, candles, and hope. It’s also a place where no one turns down a little extra-special cocktail that can work as a romance potion or heal a broken heart. But Prinny is in love with her married lawyer and she’ll need nothing short of magic to forget about him.

Chelsea works as a living statue at tourist sites around Washington, DC. It’s a thankless job, but it helps pay the rent. That, and her part-time job at Cosmos. As her dream of becoming a successful actress starts to seem more remote and the possibility of being a permanently struggling one seems more realistic, Chelsea begins to wonder: at one point do you give up on your dreams? And will love ever be in the cards for her?

Diana Tiesman is married to Leif, a charismatic man who isn’t faithful. But no matter how many times he lets her down, Diana just can’t let him go. She knows the only way she can truly breakaway is if she leaves and goes where he will never think to follow. So she ends up at Cosmos with Leif’s stepsister, where she makes her homemade teas and tinctures as she figures out whether she’d rather be lonely alone than lonely in love.

In Beth Harbison’s One Less Problem Without You, three women suddenly find themselves together at their own very different crossroads. It will take hope, love, strength and a little bit of magic for them to find their way together.

Rate: 3 of 5

*Get a copy from Book Depository*

First of all, don’t you just love the title of the book? One Less Problem Without You. It reeks of “I’m a strong, independent woman that needs no man” vibe. Hahaha. And in some ways the subject of the book touches that aspect. At first I thought this was a full-fledged chick lit and I am not that  into chick lit now as when I was when I was around fifteen so I was debating if I should read this one. The cover didn’t really help. Just look at it. Just freaking look at it. In the end, I still couldn’t resist a book. Any book. And also because I was judging myself for not picking up a book if I don’t like its cover haha. So here are the things I loved (and a little bit hated) about it.

LOVED:

I love, love, love the story flow of the book. The liquid motion of you just being transported from one chapter to the next. Like seriously, I sat down for one chapter but somehow I finished five chapters. The beginning chapter just gets you into the groove of the story-line.

The well-rounded-ness of the characters put in a new dimension to the book so that it gives you the effect of like watching a drama and you’re just itching to know what’s gonna happen next. Yeah, there’s the thing with this. The main characters balanced out the general tone of the story so that there’s a piece of perspective on various ages. It’s hard to explain, read the book. Hehe. Mix this with the nice flow of the scenes within the book and well, yeah thumbs up.

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Another thing I have observed about this is the subtle hint, the well-mixed effect of throwing reality with a slight hint of the mystical. It’s hard to explain this aspect without giving away some spoilers about this, I’m afraid. So yeah.

Next are my qualms about it. Let’s just get this out of the way, we all know some books are not perfect. Like we know we are. 😦 Kidding. Haha.

The super, think ultra, abrupt ending. Seriously, I think the ending was just packed into a chapter or two. I feel like it could have been spread out and just put in new insights as to what is going to happen to the characters. The abrupt ending just ticked me off because all the things that was built into the book was just you know, stopped. Like “LOL, you’re having a good time reading this, eh? Okay, I’ll stop it.” I mean, no offense, I loved the resolve at the end. But the ending is so short. My heart was demanding more explanation. Yet it just left without warning. Sad life. #hugot  And yes, I know the ending was well and happy and nice. But I didn’t like it. Aaaaaah. Is it possible to like a book but hate it’s ending? I don’t want to sound so cynic about this but the super happy ending didn’t really..you know. I don’t think it is applicable in reality. Sure, everyone will be happy in the ending. Suuuuuuuuure.

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Okay, here’s one that realllllly needs a spoiler. So, I’ve told you. Be warned, spoilers ahead.

Chelsea’s character. I’m a little pissed that her character wasn’t given more focus. I know the main focus of the book is about the people, specifically women, in Leif’s life so when he died in the end they can all say, “Phew. There you go. One less problem without you.” But in that sense, I understood Prinny’s side, I understood Diana’s side, but that of Chelsea’s character wasn’t really built enough. I felt that through Chelsea, Leif’s cheating would be shed some light on. So that it can be established more that he is a horrible person. So that Diana’s act of killing him in a passive-agressive way is not so repelling. KIDDING. Or am I? LOL. 


Okay! So those are my thoughts on the book! Wow, this one is lengthy than what I’m accustomed on posting. Give me some slack, I read one book in two weeks. One. Haha. 😛

Do I recommend it? Yeah, why not. If you like sappy endings. Sure. Suuuuuuuure.


Cover image and Synopsis from GoodReads; Gifs via Giphy.