Billy and Me – Giovanna Fletcher
Billy and Me tells the story of Sophie, a shy girl, who works in a tea shop. She meets Billy Buskin, a teen heartthrob who immediately takes a shine to her yet she has no idea of his level of fame. She is kind of living out every girls fantasy of having a handsome celebrity fall head over heels for you when you’re not sure why, one of the reasons it sucks you in from the beginning.
To begin with it’s pretty light hearted, girl meets boy, it’s very captivating i don’t think you can help but root for Sophie. For the first 300 pages there isn’t really anything that was shocking but i think what the writer is trying to say is so much more important and this came through, throughout the book.
It’s shockingly normal and it shows Sophie trying to adapt to this new whirlwind life she’s in. Billy’s manager, Paul, always seems to hold something against Sophie and the reason for that is never explored and i loved it. Sometimes people don’t like people, people get in the way of your plans and a good villain will be a hero in another story. The way Giovanna Fletcher writers her characters is spectacular.
While we’re on the subject of characterisation- i actually found Sophie and Billy the least interesting of the characters. Billy was a tad corny for me but i think that is just personal preference and i can appreciate that they’ve been written particularly well. It’s the best example of secondary characterisation i’ve read in long time.
Make sure once you’re about to head into the last hundred pages, you’ve got a free hour because you won’t be able to put it down. Fast paced, interesting, heart-breaking and charming all thrown at you at the one time. I was a bit disappointed in the last twenty or so pages, i felt it was all far too corny and unrealistic… completely contrasting the rest of the book. I understand that the story had to be tied together but i was left awful unsatisfied with the ending, i just don’t think it quite worked.
I really enjoyed this book for the most part it’s a nice, light-hearted read full of charm. I think it’s a really good pick for this bookclub because it’s bridging young adult & adult fiction- i’d happily lend this to older family members and be confident they’d enjoy it.
The Potion Diaries- Amy Alward
This is the only book in the bookclub that isn’t set in a realistic world. I found this quite a change to begin with since i’ve not read fantasy other than Harry Potter and normally wouldn’t even consider picking it up but i gave it a fair chance and went in with an open mind.
I think it’s my favourite book in the Book Club so far (tied with The Sun Also Rises). I was worried i was a bit too old for it (i’m 21 just for context) but i really, really enjoyed it. You hear the word potion and automatically think fairies and stuff but it’s like being transported into a different world that’s somewhat the same? It’s a fantasy world that is really easy to accept as real- is what i’m trying to say.
There’s elements of reality in the book so although you’re thrown into a completely new world, there is parts you’re familiar with. I thought this was a really good way to write, i definitely didn’t feel as out of my depth as i’d expected to!
I thought the story was really clever and the way the two parts came together was also really cool. It starts as your typical two contrasting girls but it’s completely different from anything i’ve read before- it was so refreshing!
Sam is brave, modest and extremely clever although i found she was a bit naive to begin with- perhaps too logical for her own good! Although the Princess was perceived as a typical princess, she never came across as bratty or spoilt so it was so easy to love both characters.
The romance is important but not the centre- if you’ve read my previous posts on these books you’ll know that’s a huge tick from me- of the novel. The journeys of the main protagonist are so much more important than pages of cheese! Someone said (i believe it might have been Taylor Swift) “She lost the boy but found herself and somehow it was everything” I’m a huge believer in this and really enjoy reading about characters who are on their own journeys and just find love along the way.
The plot was great, everything made sense and i felt satisfied with the story when it ended.
The one thing i would say is you need to pay attention, there’s a lot of characters and while they’re not all primary or even secondary characters, they are all there for a purpose. I don’t think the story would’ve worked without any of the characters but there is a lot so pay attention if you want to get the most from he novel.
Overall i loved it, the sequel has just been released in the last few days and i’ve already ordered it.
If you’ve read any of the books i’ve talked about then please let me know what you thought in the comments below.
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