The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 “Of course I tensed up when he touched me. To be with him was to hurt him – inevitably” (p.101)

The Fault in Our Stars. WOW. This book is a fantastic read and is one that’s sure to tug at your heartstrings! This teen-romance, although comprising an unconventional love-story, is all the more thrilling because of its original plot-line. John Green’s style of writing is relaxed, conversational and very easy to follow, and this is one of the reasons I loved this book. It comes as no surprise then that The Fault in Our Stars has grown into the multi-million world-wide bestseller that it is today. IT IS GREAT.

The Fault in Our Stars tells the agonizing tale of two teenagers – Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters – who are each fighting their own battle against cancer. The two first cross paths at a weekly cancer support group and all at once the boyish, pixie-haired Hazel Grace finds herself falling for the mesmerizing, deep-blue eyes of Augustus Waters who likewise finds that he cannot tear his gaze away from the beautiful girl in slacks.

After sparking up a friendship which wants to blossom into love, Hazel battles with herself as she decides whether or not to add to the pile of hearts she is soon to break. Her emotionally-fraught parents despite being thrilled that their daughter has found a source of joy and happiness, warn Augustus off, reminding him that he is setting himself up for heart-ache by entering into a relationship with their terminally-ill daughter. Hazel and Augustus, however, throw caution to the wind and decide to seize their newfound opportunity for love. But what happens when those who are destined to doom battle against the clock in an attempt to rewrite their futures? Well, in this particular case, tragedy ensues…

I would strongly recommend The Fault in Our Stars to all readers of romance fiction. It’s a painful and difficult book to read especially if you or a loved one in your life is battling against cancer… it’s an emotional rollercoaster of a book. But having said that, it is original, it is refreshing and it’s certainly a love-story like no other. The Fault in Our Stars leaves me thankful for the things I so often taken for granted i.e. my good health, the wealth of prospects before me, and most of all, the greatest ally I have on my side – Time.

For those of you who have read The Fault in Our Stars, what did you think? Did you enjoy this book? Comment below and share your views! 🙂

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Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Hello readers! My apologies for having been away. For the past few months I’ve been channeling all of my energy into completing university and it is with great joy that I can now announce that I will be graduating with a First Class BA English degree! I am absolutely thrilled that the months spent toiling away writing essays and completing coursework assignments have finally paid off, and now that that’s all done and dusted, I can turn my attention once more to this blog. Today I have a review of Colleen Hoover’s Ugly Love for you and I hope you’ll enjoy it!

“Maybe if it starts out this way, it’ll eventually end up being something more” (p. 86)

I finished reading Ugly Love some months ago but I am only now getting the time to write up my review. I liked Ugly Love; it’s fast-paced, saucy and exciting, but is it original? My short answer would be – no. The only thing I could think about whilst reading this book was Fifty Shades, Fifty Shades, Fifty Shades, FIFTY SHADES! Ugly Love’s male protagonist – Miles Archer – is a handsome and charming young pilot who has a mysterious past which he doesn’t like to talk about. Miles is aloof and distant, but apparently he has no qualms about having casual sex with Miss Tate Collins – as long as she adheres to his long list of rules. Hmmm … a troubled hero, a lovers’ agreement, a puzzling past and a whole lot of sex – all sounds very Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, doesn’t it? The only difference between Mr Archer and Mr Grey is that Archer is not a billionaire with bagfuls of money at his disposal. He does, however, come with a sexy pilot’s uniform … 😉

Tate Collins crosses paths with Miles Archer when she comes to stay with her brother Corbin. As soon as Tate and Miles lay eyes on each other they realise that they have an undeniable attraction towards one other. Miles quickly expresses an interest but he just as quickly lays down some ground-rules, making it clear to Tate that she is not to pry into his past and nor is she ever to expect a long-term relationship. A frisky Tate jumps straight into this agreement with her eyes wide shut but she very quickly finds herself falling head-over-heels in love with Miles and wanting to know all about his past. As Tate breaks her end of the agreement and as her expectations begin to change, their alliance grows complicated. It is only after Miles reaches breaking-point that Tate can start to piece together his tale and figure out what it is that he is hiding.

I would recommend Ugly Love to those of you who beam at the thought of reading about a sexy pilot’s adventures in the bedroom but for any diehard Fifty Shades fans out there, I would advise steering clear of this book as you might find yourselves disappointed and left feeling that this book is simply a watered-down version of E. L. James’ bestseller. In credit to Hoover’s Ugly Love, the story of Miles’ past is truly harrowing and as more and more of his tale unfolds, it is difficult not to feel an overwhelming sense of compassion for this broken character. Ugly Love was interesting, and it was nice to read, and although I liked this book, I did not love it. Hopefully the next book I pick up will leave me in raptures. I hope this review was helpful if you’re considering purchasing Colleen Hoover’s Ugly Love.

Those of you who have read Ugly Love, what are your opinions? Comment below and share your thoughts on Miles Archer and Tate Collins. 🙂

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Follow Me Home by Cathy Woodman

Happy December from My Literary Affair!

Although you probably aren’t embracing the cold with both arms outstretched, I’m sure that many of you are looking forward to Christmas or at least to the holidays. I come bearing gifts, an early Christmas present you could call it, and as promised I give you the first review of the website. Amidst what has been an immensely busy term at university, I have clutched at those rare periods of free time to pore over Cathy Woodman’s novel and have now finally turned the last page of Follow Me Home. Let us get straight into the review…

“… the natural progression of life is to fall in love, marry and have kids, and live happily ever after, but I’ll never have the fairytale ending” (p. 327)

Wow. Follow Me Home has exceeded my expectations and has completely thrown conventional fairytale romance out the window. This book has deeply moved and touched me and hours after finishing it, I am still in awe. When I picked up a copy of the book a few months ago, immediately I was allured by the beautiful picturesque rural scene that decks the cover. I must confess I was expecting a very simple and linear narrative that related an equally simple and basic romantic encounter, but how wrong I was! Cathy Woodman writes beautifully and has created a modern romance that challenges our long-established notions of what constitutes love and happiness.

The central protagonist Zara lives a simple life alongside her sister and grandmother in Talyton St George. The terrible paradox of Zara’s situation is that despite being a midwife – frequently in contact with and surrounded by babies – she herself is unable to conceive. She soon becomes acquainted with the handsome, young shepherd – Lewis – and gradually she allows herself to fall in love with him, after initial hesitance and uncertainty due to a failed marriage and broken heart. Zara finds, however, that daring to begin again proves fruitful and rewarding after all.

Far from being a typical ‘boy-meets-girl’ romance, Cathy Woodman’s novel operates on many different levels and is certain to tug at your heart-strings. You must be patient with the text and believe me when I say that there is more than just one climactic episode in the narrative. Just when I thought I had pin-pointed the story and could predict what would next occur, the narrative oscillated and overthrew my expectations. I don’t want to give too much away but the forerunning romance between Lewis and Zara, is what I would describe as a rocky roller-coaster ride. The two share an incredibly troubled relationship, but an even greater mutual understanding underlies this relationship, inevitably drawing them together.

Follow Me Home is a pained, difficult, and wholly complex narrative that will have you questioning your own familial values and aspirations, and reading the novel may even lead to a greater appreciation of your own opportunities. All in all, this is a definite must-read!

I hope this review has been helpful and if you have any questions, or want to share your own views on the text, why not drop a comment below?

Happy Saturday everyone. 🙂

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Welcome to My Literary Affair…

MLA Logo without spineHello and welcome to My Literary Affair – a blog reviewing new releases in romance fiction. It’s very exciting to be uploading the first post of the site and it’s even greater to have you reading along!

Recently I noticed that I had no time whatsoever to read for pleasure due to the very pressing demands of university life and, missing this prized pastime very much, I set out to do something about it. My solution was to march down to my nearest Waterstones and purchase a heap of the latest romance-novel paperbacks, vowing to myself that I’d make time for leisurely reading whilst keeping on top of my academic reading. Lo and behold, Saturdays were appointed as the days on which I’d sit cocooned in my duvet with my feet up, sipping endless cups of steaming-hot tea, reading about who was the new Mr Darcy or Mr Rochester in town.

Amongst the books that I picked up were the recently published: Follow me Home by Cathy Woodman, Val Wood’s Annie, Colleen Hoover’s Ugly Love and Debbie Macomber’s Love Letters. I also purchased the slightly older yet acclaimed novel by John Green –The Fault in Our Stars– as there has been such a positive response to the romance. The Fault in our Stars has also recently been adapted for the screen as directed by Josh Boone but I cannot allow myself to watch it until I have read the novel. That’s just the way it has to be, right? I love being able to envisage characters of a novel myself before these concocted faces are cast out of my mind and replaced by those of actors. I know I’m not alone on this one! Anyhow, I can’t wait to get stuck into Green’s bestseller so that I can also watch the movie, but firstly I have decided to start reading Cathy Woodman’s Follow Me Home which is actually the eighth book of a series set in the fictional town of Talyton St George.

Well, now that you have an idea of which books I’ll initially be looking at, watch this space for the first review I’ll be writing on Cathy Woodman’s Follow me Home in the weeks to come.

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