One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton

Posted on 26 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton

Title: One Italian Summer
Author: Keris Stainton
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Published: 4th May 2017
Pages: 245
Format: Paperback
Source:: Netgalley Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Waterstones

Summary:
It’s been a year since Milly, Elyse and Leonie’s dad died, and a year since their last trip to Rome. Summer’s here again, and once again they are heading with their mum to Italy – but what’s it going to be like going without Dad? Rome still holds its familiar charms – the sun is still as warm, the gelato as delicious, the people as welcoming. But nothing is quite as it once was …

With grief still raw for all of them, Milly is facing the additional awfulness of having to see Luke again – gorgeous, gorgeous Luke, who she had a fling with last year, and who she made a total fool of herself with – or so she thinks. What’s going to happen this time? What’s more, things between Milly, her sisters and their mum are rocky – Leonie is being tempestuous and unpredictable, Elyse is caught up with her new boyfriend, and Milly feels like she just doesn’t know how she fits in any more.

Over one Italian summer, can Milly find a way back to the life she once had?


It’s Time

I’m not going to lie, I absolutely adore Keris Stainton‘s books. I love her writing and the subject matter that she tackles. Her books are always quick, easy to read and still feel my soul with many emotions. This is no different to One Italian Summer but I honestly think this is probably her best book yet. I was instantly transported into this story and from the very first few chapters I was already crying. Keris has created a novel that really makes you feel but as well as hitting you in the heart, it is also full of fun, hope and happiness. Reading it was like watching a wonderfully moving film in the cinema that leaves you feeling raw but hopeful.

To Start

One Italian Summer follows Milly, her two sisters and her mum as they go on their annual family holiday to Italy, for the very first time without their father who suddenly passed away. At the start of the novel, the family and Milly especially, are not dealing with this too well – as you would expect. The book shows how they work their way through many issues and it is executed exceptionally well. I felt for every single character in the story and loved how everything was separate but also interlinked at the same time. Also, can I please just take a moment to gush about how amazing the sisters in this family were? They were as close as best friends and I absolutely loved that. It’s so refreshing to read about such a close family unit. Not all sisters are enemies!

Letting Go

My favourite character by far was Milly but it was always going to be, I seem to have an affliction for falling in love with the protagonists in books! Milly was not coping very well at all but she was also caring and loyal, she was funny and strong underneath it all. Basically, everything that I love in a protagonist. She went on a really heart-warming journey and I just connected with her so much. But while Milly was an incredible character to read about, she fortunately didn’t overshadow the other characters. I absolutely adored Leonie. She was so confident and vibrant. She was also rebellious and stressed. A wonderful balance – as all humans are. Of course, another reason to read this book is Luke. He is a wonderful character. Funny, charming and totally lovely. He was protective and sensitive and he was absolutely lovely to read.

And Start Living

Overall this book was a fascinating, heart-warming and heart-breaking read that is literally the perfect summer read. It’s a dose of Italy but it’s also a dose of family, friendship, love and hope. It is a book that deals with so many issues, and big ones such as greif and coming out of the closet, and it does it with sensitivity and compassion but also realistically too. Not everything goes to plan and we say things we don’t mean and this is shown so honestly in this book. Honestly, I could gush about this book all day. It was truly wonderful and a book that I would probably read over and over again. If you’re a fan of Sarah Dessen or Morgan Matson, definitely make sure you add this book to your reading pile this summer!

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

five stars

faye1

Posted on 26 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


Book Review; Spotlight on Sunny by Keris Stainton

Posted on 9 May, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment

Spotlight On SunnyTitle: Spotlight On Sunny
Author: Keris Stainton
Publisher: Catnip
Published: 5th March 2015
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Source:: Library Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository

Summary:
A story about discovering who you are, sorting out friendships and family relationships, also exploring what it is like to grow up as a Muslim in Britain.

After winning a local film competition, Sunny and her best friends Kitty and Hannah are off to do a film-making course – in London! Sunny can’t believe her dad has let her come on her own (even if he has asked her to phone every day…) Sunny is loving the film-making classes and hanging out with their new friend – lovely, funny Will. Sunny knows that these things don’t fit with the future her parents want for her and she starts to wonder what she really wants. And that’s not even the biggest thing on her mind – there’s also the big secret she’s hiding from her best friends…


Growing Up

After reading Starring Kitty and loving it to pieces, I had high hopes for Spotlight on Sunny, which, very fortunately, were not broken. This book hooked me from the start and continously kept me entertained, just as I was certain it would. I read this book over the course of two days – and it would have been one if work hadn’t gotten in the way! – because it was both addictive and an incredibly easy read. It was also, unfortunately, a short read and I did finish it wishing there was more to come. Only, of course, because I loved all the characters so much and didn’t want to say goodbye.

Is Tough

In this book, Sunny and her friends, Kitty and Hannah, go to London for a summer film course. But it wasn’t really about that at all. Instead this book looks at Sunny. It is her coming-of-age story where she works out who she is, what she wants and how to go about doing it. The whole book does this in a wonderful way that involved many emotions in the reader. I also love that Keris explores Sunny’s religion and doesn’t shy away from it. I think it would be the perfect book for teenagers who are just trying to find their place in the world.

But It’s Better

All of the characters in this book really shine and I definitely think Keris has a knack for writing wonderful, realistic and powerful characters. In the last book, I said that Dylan was my favourite and while I still love her, I have to say that Sunny really stole my heart in this book. I loved her enthusiasm, passion and how she overcame her worries and insecurities. I thought she was a lovely girl and someone that I would be honoured to have as a friend.

With Friends

Once again Keris has written a book that I loved and instantly wanted to re-read. It was full of lovely characters, a brilliant storyline and is full of messages and support. On top of that what makes me love this book is that it centres around friendship which I so love in books. It also reflects on real-life issues in a real and sensitive way. Keris certainly doesn’t shy away from the importance of diversity! While I wish there was more and some scenes felt a little rushed, overall this book was fantastic and I urge you to read it.

five stars

faye1

Posted on 9 May, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment


Book Review; Starring Kitty by Keris Stainton

Posted on 2 April, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment

Starring KittyAuthor: Keris Stainton
Publisher: Catnip Publishing
Published: 4th June 2014
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Source:: Library Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository

Summary:
Sometimes the greatest love stories happen behind the scenes…

Kitty’s keeping secrets. Like how she’s struggling to cope with her mum’s illness. And how she’s falling for the girl with the purpley-red hair… A fun film competition with her friends Sunny and Hannah seems like the perfect distraction. But then Dylan wants to be more than Kitty’s secret. Is Kitty ready to let her two worlds meet or will she risk losing Dylan forever?


When Your World

There is a moment when you start reading a book and you just know that you’re reading a book that you’ll love. This happened to me on the very first page of Starring Kitty. I just instantly knew this book was going to be fantastic and I was not wrong. There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe how much I loved this book. It was cute, quirky and just full of wonderful and amazing characters. This is a short book but it works so well that way; it was the perfect length. It was sad to say goodbye to the characters but also just right. I am highly excited for Spotlight on Sunny.

Is Upside Down

This book actually has a very simplistic plot but it made this book so good. This story was about Kitty and this huge moment in her life – her first crush – or the first one that could lead to something more anyway. I thought the whole “coming out” part of this book was dealt with so well and realistically. What made this plot and Kitty’s life so enjoyable was the magnificent writing style. Keris pulls you in subtly and just writes in a brilliant way that truly transports you into Kitty’s world.

How Do You

I truly loved all of the characters in this book. They all had distinct and interesting personalities that I enjoyed reading about. All of them helped to make the book that much better – including the evil bullies! But it was Dylan that I loved the most. She was by far my favourite character. She was quirky, confident, and really cute. But she was also worried, afraid and sensitive too. Faults and flaws that made her a very realistic and lovable character – and the perfect fit for the shy and cute Kitty!

Stay Afloat

This book quickly moved itself into my favourites. It is fun, quirky, full of real emotions and will quickly suck you into a wonderful and intriguing story. Keris dealt with the issues in this book so well and that just made it all the more enjoyable. I will definitely be re-reading this book when I get the chance and cannot wait to read about these characters again in Spotlight on Sunny. I would highly recommend this book! So go read it if you haven’t yet!

five stars

faye1

Posted on 2 April, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment