Book Review: The Japanese Lover By Isabel Allende

The Japanese lover

Romantic fiction

From internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende comes an exquisitely crafted, multigenerational love story.

In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis and the world goes to war, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her overseas to live with an aunt and uncle in their opulent San Francisco mansion. There she meets Ichimei Fukuda, the son of the family’s Japanese gardener, and between them a tender love blossoms, but following Pearl Harbor the two are cruelly pulled apart. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love they are forever forced to hide from the world.

Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to reconcile her own troubled past, meets the older woman and her grandson, Seth, at Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, and learn about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years (From Amazon)

My verdict

Allende’s sentences are beautiful. You cannot help but become emotionally invested with these characters. As the book goes on it is like a beautiful budding blossom slowly opening just like its romance and tragedy, that let’s not forget actually happened to the Japanese Americans – a beautiful tribute to forgotten soldiers and an oppression to a race.

5/5

Book Review: Overcoming Big Obstacles by Bill and Jenifer Klein

Over coming big obstacles

Non fiction

Bestselling authors of Life Is Short (No Pun Intended) and stars of TLC’s The Little Couple return with an inspirational book that encourages us to reach for our dreams, no matter what obstacles we may face. (From Amazon)

My verdict:

This is a self help book filled with personal anecdotes – not my kind of thing this time round.

3/5

Book Review: Life is short by Bill and Jenifer Kline

Life is short

Non fiction

From the beloved stars of TLC’s The Little Couple comes an uplifting and moving behind-the-scenes account of how the pair met, fell in love, and overcame huge obstacles to become successful professionals and parents.

Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein have inspired millions as stars of TLC’s hit show The Little Couple. Though they both have dwarfism, they have knocked down every obstacle they have encountered together with a positive, can-do attitude. The show has featured the lives of Jennifer (a respected neonatologist) and Bill (a successful entrepreneur) from their marriage in 2009, to the launch of their pet shop, to the adoption of their children, to Jen’s overcoming cancer.

Now, for the first time Jen and Bill are letting readers into their private lives with behind-the-scenes, never-before-told stories about how they fell in love, what inspires them, and the passions that drive their success. They will open up about their struggles with cancer, infertility, adoption, and simply living life in a challenging world.

Jen and Bill have a simple purpose in life: make the world a better place through encouragement and education. A must-have for fans of the show or anyone who has ever faced a difficult obstacle, Life Is Short (No Pun Intended) gives readers a glance at what inspires these positive people to approach life with such optimism and share their lives with the public every day. (From Amazon)

My verdict:

I laughed, cried and sympathised throughout this whole book, I read it in a day! If you love The Little Couple, you’ll enjoy this book. It is a rollercoaster of emotions and as a family they’ve had their fair share of trials and tribulations and as a disabled person I identify with them. Thankfully to balance out the sad moments their are bursts of joy.

5/5

Book Review: Sally Nicholls Bright things a girl can do

Bright things a girl can do

Fiction

Through rallies and marches, in polite drawing rooms and freezing prison cells and the poverty-stricken slums of the East End, three courageous young women join the fight for the vote.

Evelyn is seventeen, and though she is rich and clever, she may never be allowed to follow her older brother to university. Enraged that she is expected to marry her childhood sweetheart rather than be educated, she joins the Suffragettes, and vows to pay the ultimate price for women’s freedom.

May is fifteen, and already sworn to the cause, though she and her fellow Suffragists refuse violence. When she meets Nell, a girl who’s grown up in hardship, she sees a kindred spirit. Together and in love, the two girls start to dream of a world where all kinds of women have their place.

But the fight for freedom will challenge Evelyn, Through rallies and marches, in polite drawing rooms and freezing prison cells and the poverty-stricken slums of the East End, three courageous young women join the fight for the vote. (Bio from Amazon)

My verdict:

I bloody loved this. Nicholls doesn’t sugarcoat the seriousness and significant history that actually won us women the vote. She cleverly weaves three intricate storyline almost like weaving a magic carpet, the reader cannot help other than to be absorbed. It should stir up a fire in boys and girls to fight for what they believe in. A must for school history lessons.

5/5

Book Review: Stephen King on writing

Stephen King: On writing

Non fiction

There is a reason why Stephen King is one of the bestselling writers in the world, ever. Described in the Guardian as ‘the most remarkable storyteller in modern American literature’, Stephen King writes books that draw you in and are impossible to put down.

Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have.

King’s advice is grounded in the vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999 – and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. (Bio from Amazon)

My verdict:

This book is essential for any writer, part biography and part handbook, King is straight to the point. His memories are so vivid that you feel that your growing up with King. He’s frank about the publishing industry and the pressure it can put you under. His advice is concrete and along with his sarcastic sense of human, it makes an enjoyable read not like the other ‘how to write’ manuals which come across as stuffy and pretentious – King doesn’t sugarcoat or take any bullshit and that’s what you need in this industry, the hide of an alligator..

5/5

My five favourite celebrities and why

In no particular order..

  • John Travolta – okay so, I fell in love with John Travolta when he played Edna Turnblad in my favourite musical, Hairspray. Since then I’m a die hard fan and I’ll tell you why, I was thirteen and my relationship with my dad was in a bad place and my stepfather is like a big brother. So after watching Look Who’s talking he’s taken on my ‘ideal dad’ role. Plus he’s a pilot and that’s fucking awesome. I have the majority of his movies and tv show both on dvd and digital. Favourite movie? It has to be Face/Off, that movie is so under rated. Craziest things I’ve done? Bid £100 for one of the suits he wore in face/off and I’ve written to him and didn’t speak to my mum for a week after she couldn’t take me to Drury Lane Theater when he was doing a candid interview on his sixtieth birthday. Oh! I also have ‘borrowed’ my Auntie’s Grease DVD and asked her to order me Welcome Back Kotter Season one from Canada for Christmas. Cannot wait to see Gotti! John, if you’re reading this, thanks for being there when I need cheering up and being such a huge influence in my life!
  • Demi Lovato – I have officially have been a lovatic since 2013. Demi helped me realised that I liked women and men. Her vocals are the best this generation has. She’s so refreshingly honest and candid about her journey. My fave album is definitely ‘Tell me you love me’ it’s off the charts. But, her song would have to be ‘Warrior’ just because of the message. Lovato is overalls sexy bad ass and it’s a privilege to have her music flowing through my earphones. FACT: confident was my morning alarm all the way through my A levels… cannot wait for! D7 Sorry Not Sorry😉
  • Kelly Preston – Um have you seen the She will be loved music video?! Also love that she’s so charitable and just a cutie… I especially love her movie Mischief and for those who haven’t watched it, WATCH IT and those that have know what I’m talking about – it’s s very perky movie.
  • Zac Efron – My first crush. I’ve loved him since 2004 and have loved watching him blossom as a person and actor. My favourite movie? Me and The Orson Wells. Whilst my future husband is a comedy king I’d love him to do more dramatic pieces where his acting shines. I mean, have you seen Parkland, At any Price and Liberal Arts and CSC Cannot wait for the Ted Bundy movie!! BTW I play rewrite the stars before bed and imagine that I’m Zendaya… ❤️ Love that he’s so adventurous, an animal lover, a sex god and that he too has been open about his struggles with fame.
  • Michael Bublé – I was thirteen when I discovered Bublé through an iTunes free gift. The Hollywood album is definitely my fave. I love when he swears in interviews it’s just so sexy as well as having a voice like melted caramel. So glad Noah has kicked cancer’s ass, he’s a superhero. I love that Michael puts his family first and has stayed so grounded. Is it nice that he’s making a new record?! Hell yes! But he’s very much a family man but family happiness comes first. Mike, if you’re reading this congrats on your baby girl! FACT: I enjoy my Bublé with a crisp white wine and silk Pjs.

If any of you lovely people on this list are reading this, THANK YOU ☺️

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Rachel

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Favourite books

Looking for something to read? Well I might be able to help.

  1. Beach view boarding house series by Ellie Dean
  2. What the **** is normal? By Francesca Martinez
  3. Life is short (no pun intended) by Bill and Jen Klein
  4. Skallagrigg by William Horwood
  5. Peter Pan by J. M Barrie
  6. The storyteller by Jodi Picoult
  7. Leaving time by Jodi Picoult
  8. Big small things by Jodi Picoult
  9. Amy and Matthew by Cammie McGovern
  10. Letters never sent by Sandra Moran
  11. Sing them home by Pam Weaver
  12. Blue moon by Pam Weaver
  13. Once upon a time series by Cameron Dovey
  14. Red sky at dawn
  15. The Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella
  16. Misery by Stephen King
  17. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  18. The last days of Rabbit Hayes
  19. Cinderella by The Brothers Grimm
  20. Trust me by Lesley Pearce
  21. I am Malala by Malala Yousafi
  22. The diary of a young girl by Anne Frank
  23. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
  24. Girl Boss
  25. How to build a girl by Caitlin Moran