The story of a new name review

Hello

I have been very busy reading like a mad man and have now finished the second in the Neapolitan novels and now onto the third which will have a post up very soon I hope.

The book continues straight after the first with Lila is back from her honeymoon and is having s difficult time adjusting to married life. As time passes Lila and Elena grow closer and spend almost all their time together. Lila is becoming erratic and unmanageable and only Elena can calm her ,meanwhile Lila is pregnant . This results in Stefano Lilas husband asking Elena to become his ally. Meanwhile Elena is struggling with school resulting in her barely passing the term.

With Lila still unhappy in her marriage starts to focus on her husbands grocery store and her friends who need help giving them jobs and spending money on them. This results in Elena getting brand new books for school. As Elena is studying and experiencing things Lila has only imagined they start to grow apart like most people do at that age at different stages of their lives. When invited to a party by her teacher Elena decides to bring Lila with her for support. There they see the differences between them already, Lila is quiet and keeps to herself while Elena is surrounded by her equals and is the centre of attention.
Summer is now upon the women and Lila has miss carried her child and on doctors orders she is to go get some sun and get stronger. Elena has passed the year with high marks and has a summer job in a bookstore. Lila persuades Elena to join them , eventually Elena joins but after she requests they go to Ischia. Over the summer Lila and Elena grow closer as they only have each other.

Elena starts to hang out with a friend from school who joins the girls everyday at the beach talking about politics, books he has read and anything else on his mind. Elena is infatuated with him while Lila ignores him, gradually she is intrigued and starts conversations on what she has read and her views on politics. Both the man and Lila fall in love and start having an affair with Elena constantly warning her of the consciences.

Eventually they spend the night together while Elena visits his family in a near by town. Lila’s husband finds out she is with the other man and in outrage makes everyone leave the island and return home. Where Lila is back to her unhappy married life Elena is focused on completing her final year of school and earning money to help her family. Elena decides it is best to keep a distance from Lila for the time beginning , while hearing from friends what she has been up to.

As the school year comes to an end Elena passes her exams and decides she will go to university, but wondering how the hell she would afford it. After one of her exams an examiner asks what her plans are for the future and gives her information about scholarships. Throughout the summer she works as a tutor and takes the university tests with difficulty. She passes and gets a scholarship. When saying goodbye to everyone Elena drops by to see Lila at the family shoe shop to find out that she is still having an affair pregnant and wants to leave her husband.

Elena has started university and is finding it hard to fit in even wanting to go home like most university students , gradually she snaps out of it and starts to alter how she is perceived creating a new identity to her classmates and teachers. With Christmas break coming up Elena gets straight A’s and meets a boy at the school dance. They start to go out and he introduces her to new things more literature , clothes, books and takes her to Paris but she doesn’t love him and it soon fizzles out.

Elena then gives a brief recount of what happens between 1963-1965. Lila had left her husband and has run away to Neno the man she was having an affair with. Elena is studying and has met someone , Lila eventually returns back to her husband to find out he is having an affair and expecting another child. Elena has graduated gotten engaged and written a novel. The last chapter is when Elena’s book comes out and Elena is doing a q&a at a Milan bookstore when Nino stands up and asks a question.

If you have made it to the end well done this was a long post and I’m sorry. The book looks at what most people aged 18 are going through with friends going through different experiences with university and reality of the real world once its all over.With this book you have to keep at it as it sets things up for the third book and drags a little but you should keep at it as it’s worth it at the end.

Bye for now

Sarah

My Brilliant Friend Review

Hello

I know I have been gone a while but I have been on a reading streak and finished Brooklyn and now on to My Brilliant Friend by Elana Ferrante translated by Ann Goldstein.

 

The book starts by introducing Elena and Lila in their present day. Lila has gone and Elena has no idea where she is. The book then jumps back in time to the 1950s when they are children in elementary school, as time goes on a competition starts between the two girls who is the best at something. Lila always winning with Elena making sure not to be last. At the end of school both girls are given the chance to move onto middle school with only Elena’s parents deciding to continue her education.

Their friendship then begins to change Elena is now becoming first and Lila is helping at home and helping with the family business, and trying to keep up with Elena even studying Latin and Italian to push Elena further. At the end of middle school boys are introduced into the mix and the changes both of them are going through. All the boys seem to be enchanted by Lila and Elena is back being second best.

With Elena passing with high marks in middle school she then moves onto high school where she is challenged even more and pushing Lila aside focus on being the best. This starts to show a strain that anyone can relate to. Elena’s relationship with Lila changes even more with Lina not in school boys are hanging off her every word and fight to be hers. After being forced into an engagement she doesn’t want Lila finds her true love and persuades her parents that she should marry him instead. The book ends at Lilia’s wedding and Elena now feeling like she cannot be last once more.

I have already started recommending this book to everyone and have already started the second in the Neapolitan  Novels. Reading the books anyone can relate to them and get hooked instantly, I cannot wait to finish book two and the rest of the series.

Bye for now

Sarah

Deliciously Ella Recipes

Hello,

Last year I was told I was intolerant to gluten, after starting Atkins to get my body used to no carbs I started to look for recipes online that I could try.

And then I found Deliciously Ella, who focuses on dishes that were plant based, dairy, sugar, meat and gluten free due to a rare illness that she controls through diet.

Over this year I have made the sweet potato, lentil and coconut curry which went down a treat and was very easy to make. The aubergine, sun- dried tomato and pine nut salad is a great quick lunch that I made the day I got her book, and have tried since her quinoa tabouleh  which is a great summer salad. As I cannot have chips anymore her celeriac fries are a great substitute that I have made multiple times as well as the cinnamon and paprika sweet potato wedges.

Recently I made her strawberry and coconut cream tarts which I love and will make the pastry again but as cookies. As I am such a chocoholic I will be making many of Ella’s brownie recipes and her triple layered chocolate cake with thick frosting and raspberries. As I have just found some blackberries I will be making the blackberry, apple and maple crumble which looks amazing.

Bye for now

Sarah

Books, Books and More Books

Hello

Since August I have become a book worm. It started when I was given some books for my birthday and finally having the time to read and escalated from there.

First up was The Girl With All The Gifts, I cannot recommend this book more it is set in the future after a fungus infects the world making people become “hungries”. Now I know what your thinking not another zoombie book but this is different. The central character is Melanie a 10 year old girl who is a hungry kept in a military base where other children like Melanie are being experimented on. After the base is invaded its up to Melanie, Sergeant Parks, Dr Caldwell and Miss Justineau to get to the Beacon. I am also now very excited to see that the book is being made into a film.

Next up was We All Are Completely Beside Ourselves, this book took a while to get into but it was worth it. The book starts in the middle and jumps back and forth from the beginning intwined with the middle into the end. The book is based on the idea of people raising animals as humans. Our main character Rosemary is human her “sister” Fern is not. Throughout the book you learn that Fern went away and Rosemary has blocked out the reason why. The end of the book is so sweet and made my heart melt.

I had seen this book around for a while and thought it looked interesting but I was so disappointed with The Shock of The Fall. I stuck with it as I wanted to know how it ended but I never got stuck into it. The book is written like an autobiography by Matthew the younger brother of Simon who suffers from downs syndrome, within the first few pages Simon dies and Matthew’s life changes.

Next I went on to read all six of the Scott Pilgrim books. These books are a good quick read that are beautifully illustrated in black and white. After reading these books I want to read more graphic novels.

After reading a review of The Jewel in Grazia I decided to give it ago. This book got me hooked at once, the idea behind it is that the upperclass cannot have children and they have to use surrogates. Each surrogate has a ranking once they become of age they are trained and bid on by the wealthy. The story is told through one of the surrogates perspective after being bought by one of the richest women in the Jewel.  If you want a book to read during the summer give this one ago.

I was watching Giovannasworld on YouTube and she was talking about what books she was loving at that point. I had heard about The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect and decided to give them ago, the story is in a man’s point of view of finding a partner. The book is sweet with an odd awkward leading character. If you like awkward love stories then these books are for you.

Up next is the Divergent series, after seeing the film me and a friend decided we would give the books ago as we loved the film so much. The film does the book justice which I am so happy about if you haven’t read the books go and buy them now, I love the writing in which the author makes Tris a complete badass, the sector she choses highlights that. As the books continue you see Tris become a force to be reckoned with as she stands up for what she believes and rebells against authority. If you liked Hunger Games then pick this up.

After all the hype I have finally read the Miniaturist set in Amsterdam during the 17th century, Nella an 18 year old girl marries a much older man Johannes and moves from the countryside to the city. With a sister in law from hell and a distant husband Nella feels alone until Johannes buys her a dolls house. From there her life changes completely. With a variety of characters this book is a lovely read that grips you instantly, I couldn’t put it down and recommend to everyone I meet.

Finally I have just finished White Girl Problems and the sequel Pyschos written by Babe Walker, these books are so funny I did not stop laughing. Babe is from California and lives a life of luxury never being able to  keep a job and living off her fathers money. The book is a memoir of her life which came originally from a rehab exercise. Babe is crazy and has some hilarious insights into her world, I recommended this book to a friend and she loved it too not being able to put it down.

Beauty and Books Haul

Hello

So this week I went a little mad and bought some books and took advantage of Boot’s 3 for 2 offer.

The first stop was to Waterstones as I had just finished The Night Circus and needed something else to read, to my delight they were doing a buy one get one half price offer which made me very happy.

After looking at all the tables I found The Bees by Laline Paull which instantly stood out to me. The cover instantly drew me in with its contrasting of gold and yellow to create hives on the cover, after searching the whole store for something else that stood out to me, I was probably in the store for an hour trying to find a second book.

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Once I had decided that I wasn’t going to find a second book an assistant asked if I needed help, this woman was a god send and I am very sorry that I didn’t catch her name as she found me a second book after recommending me multiple books that I for one reason or another turned down.

After listing all the books I had managed since August 11 books in total which I was amazed at. She then found me The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman, I had passed the book and looked at it multiple times but put it down due to it not being in the offer. The assistant was so lovely that she gave me the discount regardless of the book not being in the offer.

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Next it was off to Boots where I was so excited as they were doing a 3 for 2 offer on selected lines. As this month is the start of birthday’s I found some bits for a gift.

I was so happy to see that Maybelline was in the offer. After everyone has been raving about  the colour 24hr tattoo I instantly went to the section to see if any new colours had been added. To my joy I found that the Metallic Pomegranate was in after being sold out every time I went in. I then decided that I was going to use the offer and get my friend three different colours as she had not used any before, she has since been given the eye shadows and can not wait to use them. My favourite colour so far is Pink Gold which I purchased for her as well as Permanent Taupe.

Left to Right : Metallic Pomegranate, Pink Gold and Permanent Taupe
Left to Right :
Metallic Pomegranate, Pink Gold and Permanent Taupe

Next was to Bourjois, to be honest I have never been a fan of Bourjois but when I saw that there were eye crayons called Colourband I was intrigued. I had a look at all the colours and ended up getting a colour called Brun dadaiste which is a brown with slight gold tint to it. I also picked up a pink called Rose fauviste this colour reminded me of the Maybelline Pink Gold but in pencil form, lastly I got Beige minimaliste which is a lovely soft gold beige colour that I am sure I will be wearing often. I have since used the crayons and am really impressed they lasted the whole night without smudging.

Left to Right: Brun Dadaiste, Rose Fauviste and Beige Minimaliste
Left to Right:
Brun Dadaiste, Rose Fauviste and Beige Minimaliste