Category Archives: JoJo Moyes

Willoughby Book Club – Review

I am sure there are many book clubs across the world but at Christmas 2019, my other half bought me a 3 month book subscription to Willoughby Book Club. 3 free books sent to me via the post – what is not to love as a book lover? I thought I would give it a little review!

How it works

I figured I couldn’t do a ‘plot’ section here this time! So how it works? For us as this was a gift, I received a metal box and inside were a bookmark, sticker and some instructions on how to fulfill my gift. I went to their site, chose the ‘bundle’ I wanted (in this case I chose contemporary fiction) and then you filled in a little information about your usual reads and favourite authors etc. As I had a gift, I put in the gift code at checkout and it was free. As this was a gift for Christmas, receiving it on 25th December meant I was too late to get the first book in January (cut off is around 20th of the month for the following month) so I had to wait until February to receive my first book. This one was Ink and Bone, March’s book was Between the Blade and the Heart and this month was The Vanishing Season. I’m not going to really go into too much detail about each book but I did enjoy all three and I doubt I would have picked them up off the shelf in a bookshop so that ticks off two massive criteria for me in a book subscription service. Two were crime and 1 was a fantasy, both genres I said I liked in the information section. The first one was actually a little of both – a supernatural crime solving.

Opinion

As I said above, I did like the books sent and I wouldn’t have picked them myself. I found the ordering of it slightly confusing – I had to act like I was buying it for myself which meant I found out the cost of the gift. Maybe if they had a page on their website which says “gift card” and you can go through the procedure without seeing the prices? Then still fill in the coupon code at the end so they know you do really have a gift?

In the information box about my interests etc, I mentioned authors PJ Tracy and JoJo Moyes as well as book series Women’s Murder Club and Rizzoli and Isles as well as Fantasy books such as Ash Princess and Richelle Mead’s books. I went for contemporary (in this case books that are 5 years and younger) as I would rather read books that are recently out that I can delve into a new author as well as the fact it would be a greater case of not having read the book either. I am pleased that they didn’t send me any books of the authors I mentioned because that would have been a bit of a cop out for suggesting new reads for me. I think the selection was bang on with what I suggested and maybe the fact that I didn’t get the generic fiction title (with mentioning JoJo Moyes) would be because I only had 3 months – a few more months and who knows what else I would have gotten?

It was slightly disappointing that I couldn’t get my first book in January. I don’t know how many gift subscriptions they do get compared to how many people order this for themselves, and I do understand that they basically ship everything out all at once so they can spend the time taking delivery of the books and individually wrapping them for all the subscribers but I’d have thought maybe January they could look at doing a bit later so you can get it from an Xmas gift. Though all being said, with this Covid-19 issue, I was quite glad to get 2 books in lockdown! So it was a blessing in disguise that I had to wait a month!

The price ranges from £39.99-£49.99 for a 3 month subscription, depending on genre, and if you take into consideration a £7.99 book (which I am sure they get 40%+ discount on them) plus postage, it works out at around £13 a month for a book. Slightly steeper than you would pay if you went into a bookshop but they are employing people to look at your information and make personal recommendations for you and then wrap and ship the books. Not too bad a service and especially doable as a gift for those in your life who love to read.

I’d definitely recommend this to give as a gift for someone and for me, I think I would prefer to pay per month for the subscription rather than in one go for me to take it up not as a gift. The recommendations were great though and I don’t think the price is bad for what you get. A very solid 8/10.

 

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Giver of Stars – JoJo Moyes

Hello, yes your eyes are not playing tricks on you! I am back… for now. It has been a tumultuous year – I recently lost my dad and as an only child that has been fun to deal with… (not). But 2020 has happened and life hasn’t gotten too much better but hey! That just means reading a book and escaping into another world is so much more inviting! My pre-Christmas gift to myself was JoJo Moyes’s Giver of Stars. Side story – when I went to the London Book Fair, I rested my weary feet in one of the presentation areas whilst it was empty… a few minutes later it filled up and JoJo Moyes walked on to the stage and discussed how she got into writing books. Never been more happy to have sore feet!

 

 

Plot

We meet our young protagonist, Alice, as she is wooed by an exotic American who takes from her stuffy, upper-class, English Family on an extoic adventure to the mid-west of America. Alice finds herself in another ‘cage’ of a family and struggles to adapt to the middle-upper class American families she finds herself in.  She finds herself accepting an offer at the local church to become part of the packhorse library, taking books to the far corners of the village where it is difficult to reach. Alice falls in love with the ladies who she becomes friends with and finds that she has found her place in the world, if it weren’t for her pesky husband and his awful Father who run the nearby mines. Think legal slave labour and you’re nearly there with their methods for running them.

Alice’s new friend and boss, Margery O’Hare, doesn’t really care what people think of her but she has a loyal group of friends and she always does right by people. Though many tarnish her with the same name as her father. Margery finds herself on the wrong side of Alice’s father-in-law and madness ensues.

Opinion

I loved this book. I love to read and my career is in publishing and I was also a library assistant as a teenager so this book is almost a love letter to me! The characters are well rounded and all have an interesting backstory that I wouldn’t be surprise of Moyes goes and writes a few prequels or sequels with some of the other characters. The main story line flows nicely and there are a few surprises along the way. It has a strong feminist message but also one of the importance of education and reading can have for women and the general population.

The slight downer is the rumours of plagiarism from Moyes from the author of The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek but I liked it that much I bought the audio version for my grandma!

9/10.

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