Review: The Bookshop on the Shore(Scottish Bookshop #2), written by Jenny Colgan

Review: The Bookshop on the Shore(Scottish Bookshop #2), written by Jenny Colgan
Blog Tour: Three Days in Florence, written by Chrissie Manby | Review

The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

Publication date: June 25th, 2019 
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 416
Genre: Womens fiction, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

A grand baronial house on Loch Ness, a quirky small-town bookseller, and a single mom looking for a fresh start all come together in this witty and warm-hearted novel by New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan.

Desperate to escape from London, single mother Zoe wants to build a new life for herself and her son Hari. She can barely afford the crammed studio apartment on a busy street where honking horns and shouting football fans keep them awake all night. If she doesn’t find a way out soon, Zoe knows it’s just a matter of time before she has a complete meltdown. On a whim, she answers an ad for a nanny job in the Scottish Highlands, which is about as far away from the urban crush of London as possible. It sounds heavenly!

The job description asks for someone capable of caring for three “gifted children”, two of which behave like feral wolverines. The children’s widowed father is a wreck, and the kids run wild in a huge tumbledown castle on the heather-strewn banks of Loch Ness. Still, the peaceful, picturesque location is everything London is not—and Zoe rises to the challenges of the job.

With the help of Nina, the friendly local bookseller, Zoe begins to put down roots in the community. Are books, fresh air, and kindness enough to heal this broken family—and her own…?

Trigger Warnings mention of self-harming

– My Thoughts 

“If you read…It means there are more heads to be in, more lives to be lived than simply your own.”

This is my first Jenny Colgan book and I was drawn to it because -of course- of the word “Bookshop”. Did The Bookshop on the Shore meet my expectations? Let’s find out..

The book is about Zoe, a single mother who lives in London and is trying to make ends meet. Her ex is uncaring and irresponsible and her 4 years old son Hari has trouble with speech. On top of that, she has to worry about her landlord raising prices on her already dismal but expensive flat. Soon, Zoe gets a lifeline from Hari’s aunt, her sister-in-law who has two jobs for her but they’re both in Scotland. Zoe has no choice other than pack up her stuff and leave for Scotland with Hari in tow.

Zoe finds herself overwhelmed while arriving at one of her jobs in Scotland; she’s supposed to be the eighth(or ninth?) nanny to three unruly kids with a surly father. In her second job, she meets a very pregnant and (almost)friendly local bookseller Nina who isn’t sure Zoe is up to the task. Did Zoe make a terrible mistake or is this her salvation?

The Bookshop on the Shore was not what I had expected. I wouldn’t say I liked it or hated it. It was a light read with a good pace that let me finish it within a day. The only notable things in the book were the author’s beautiful descriptions of the Scottish highlands and her evocative writing style. I liked Zoe and sympathized with her every time. Do not go into this book expecting a romance because there is little to none of it. Ramsay, our heroine’s love interest, is mostly absent throughout the book and I didn’t like the way their “romance” evolved, if it did. The bookseller Nina is the main character in the first book of this Scottish Bookshop series and she was so rude to Zoe every time that it irritated me to the point that I had to skip some of the pages she was in.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you are looking for a light read that’ll make you lust for the Scottish highlands, then go for it! There was a bit of mystery in this book too which added a nice edge to the monotony of it.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

– About the Author

Jenny Colgan

Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including ‘The Little Shop of Happy Ever After’ and ‘Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery’, which are also published by Sphere.’ Meet Me at the Cupcake Café’ won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, as was ‘Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams’, which won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2013. 

For more about Jenny, visit her website and her Goodreads page, or follow her on Twitter.
Jenny Colgan has also been published under the name Jenny T. Colgan

Thank you for reading! Have you read The Bookshop on the Shore or any of jenny Colgan’s books ? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

A book about books and sword-wielding librarians | Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

A book about books and sword-weilding librarians | Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns

  • Publication Date: 4th June, 2019
  • Hardcover: 456 pages    
  • Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

Should You read Sorcery of Thorns?

“Night fell as death rode into the Great Library of Summershall.”

Both of Margaret Rogerson’s books have been blessed by the cover gods. If you haven’t seen the cover of Enchantment of Ravens or heard about it, you can click on this link. I also loved the synopsis which promised me a book for bibliophiles/book dragons and there’salong with sorcery, demonic servants, a conspiracy. I had to read this, obviously. So, did Sorcery of Thorns deliver on its promise? Let’s find out..

The book starts with the introduction of the protagonist Elisabeth, who’s an apprentice at The Great Library of Summerhall but dreams of being a warden. She and the Director of The Great Library are seen transporting a highly dangerous grimoire(book of magic spells) into a vault. If the grimoire is not safely sealed, it could transform into a Malefict(a demon).

Elisabeth, unlike all other apprentices, grew up in the library. Books were quite literally, her friends as these books can talk, express joy and anger, cause mischief and destruction.

One night, Elisabeth wakes up only to find the library doors wide open and her beloved Director lying dead with her sword lying by her side. Looking further ahead of her, Elisabeth watched as a grimoire- now turned Malefict- walked towards the village of Summerhall. Sword in hand, Elisabeth rushed towards the path the Malefict/grimoire had taken and managed to slay the demon, thus saving hundreds of lives. However, she wasn’t hailed as a heroine by everyone as the next day, Elisabeth was accused of the following crimes:

  • murdering the Director
  • letting a highly dangerous grimoire escape
  • Destroying the grimoire when it turned into a malefict.

“All Sorcerers are evil.”

Since Elisabeth destroyed a grimoire, she would be tried at the Magisterium, where the Chancellor(of Sorcerors) would decide her fate. It is none other than Nathaniel Thorn, who has come to escort her to the Magisterium. Nathaniel, to Elisabeth, is unlike sorcerers she’s read about and still, she’s not relieved because she doubts that she’ll see the Great Library or her friends ever again. Elisabeth’s doubts now intensify as she uncovers a far greater conspiracy that could well be the end of minkind. Will she be able to find the real killer of the Director? Will Elisabeth succeed in stopping what’s to come?

I liked Sorcery of Thorns far better than Enchantment of Ravens but it has it’s problems. I didn’t have any problems with the pace or the plot of the book; however, this book had the same flowery descriptions that annoyed me and benefitted the story to no end. I liked Elisabeth until she can’t help but repeat how handsome both Nathaniel and his demon butler(/slave) Silas are. She can’t help but repeat her descriptions of their “prettiness” even when they’re/ she’s in danger. I mean, why….It’s SO not necessary. When I was able to get past all of these, I became invested in the story and particularly Nathaniel’s backstory. He’s funny, tries to help Elisabeth and also battles his past demons. For the curious ones, Nathaniel describes himself as bisexual in one instance only.

“I haven’t sacrificed virgins for my perfect cheekbones, if that’s what you mean.”

The story takes place in the past and in a fictional place that reminded me of England. I loved the classification of the grimoires and the way they’re descibed as humans. The story revolves around books as I said before.when’s there’s someone like Elisabeth who loves books, there are others who want to either misuse books or use books to their advantage. If you can look past all the unnecessay dialogues, some action scenes, you’ll love Sorcery of Thorns as well as I did.

Overall, I recommend this book to you if you love books about books, great libraries, sword-wielding librarians, handsome but not evil sorcerers and a “good” demon butler.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT: 

About the Author:

A book about books and sword-weilding librarians | Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Margaret writes fantasy for young adult readers. She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and when she’s not reading or writing she enjoys drawing, watching documentaries, making pudding, gaming, and exploring the outdoors in search of toads and mushrooms. Website 

A book about books and sword-weilding librarians | Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

What do you think? Have you read Sorcery of Thorns? If not, do you want to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.