Book Review – The Golden Child by Wendy James


This book is about looking into how bullying can effect a family but more so from the family of the bully rather than the other side.  Funnily enough I bought this book before I even watched 13 Reasons Why and so two heavy story lines in row.  This book is more around cyber bullying and the extent of it and off course the repercussions.

Beth and Dan have it all, a great life in America with their two girls, who are doing well in school, they seem to have it all.  Their girls are Lucy and Charlotte.  Lucy is the oldest daughter, she isn’t remotely close to being popular at school compared to her sister Charlotte who is the youngest.  Lucy does great at school, is truly the perfect child in the eyes of anyone really. Charlotte the younger, outspoken daughter, for her it’s all about being seen with the right crowd.

There has been a couple of bullying incidents involving Charlotte, the first saw the family leave America and head back home to Australia for a fresh start.  Off course Beth was a bit shocked at first but realised it was all an accident, and not intentional.  Soon they settled in Newcastle, they found a house and the girls started at a private all girls school.  It was all going well, Beth who is a blogger, found a job at a local politicians office, the girls were enjoying school, Charlotte was once again the popular girl, and Lucy was well Lucy, who throughout the book always seemed to be in the background.

Beth and Andi another mum from school, became friends in the hope of their daughters also becoming friends.  Andi’s daughter Sophie didn’t really have any friends, and wanted to fit in with everyone else.  The idea of being friends with Charlotte was beyond her wildest dreams!  She was ecstatic, except, Charlotte didn’t think being with Sophie was great for her reputation but their mum’s constantly had caught up forcing the girls together.

Then things once again went downhill, with Sophie being bullied over social media sites by lot’s of other kids in her school, including Charlotte.  In one of these post’s someone said to Sophie, “Why don’t you just go and kill yourself?”  Well, Sophie who was only 13 decided to try exactly that, she overdosed on sleeping pills.  Luckily she survived. But the incident, opened a can of worms.  Beth was beyond shocked, she was at the point were she believed she didn’t even know her own child, and she questioned herself as a parent where did she go wrong or where did she fail!  This not only effected their family but her friendship with Andi.

Sophie survived and had a new look on life, and she saw things a bit clearer now.  Slowly she started to notice things about her friends, including Charlotte and Lucy, and she put the pieces together.

Well the book bloody ended so abruptly, that I even asked my kindle WTF? Is that it? There is quite the twist at the end and I really wanted to know what happened next! But alas the book ended.

Happy reading!

Ronell x


I’ve Travelled The World Through Books

I have not physically travelled to a lot of places around the world, but I was transported globally through the many books I have read.  From Dublin, Ireland, to New York, out to the country in Texas, and down under in Australia (disclaimer: I did actually live in Oz for a few years!) and off course Europe.  I can name a few places, and through these books I could smell, taste and get a glimpse of being there and experiencing everything it has to offer.

My love for reading began at a very early age.  One memory that stands out to me is when I was around 11 or 12 and still in primary school.  It’s not a good memory but it always has stuck with me for some reason.  We were given a book to read and it was time for our group to come to the front of the class, and we all had to sit down with the teacher.  Anyway, my teacher had asked me, “When you read the book Ronell, did you see what you were reading in your mind, like watching a movie?”  Off course I saw every word that I read come to life, however I thought that wasn’t meant to happen when you read and that I was loosing my mind, so I said to the teacher, “no I didn’t see anything when I read”.  Well I got in a bit of trouble with the teacher and I was told off for being stupid and not being able to read properly.  I was by this stage to embarrassed to tell him the truth, so I just went with him thinking I couldn’t read properly.

I soon learnt that I was not loosing my mind and that’s exactly what is meant to happen when you read, so I read all the time like a crazy person, because for me it was like watching a movie.  When I was in high school, I used to be in my room for hours reading, and my mum used to scold me for being stuck in my room, because she thought I was checking out the boys walking by our house, but I was really reading.  I couldn’t afford to buy any books so I borrowed loads from the library and used to read my mum’s old books and my sister’s books that I could find.  I do remember reading a Danielle Steel book in high school (possibly not a good choice of book at that age).

When I started working I was ecstatic because I could finally buy books, and I read pretty fast so I was churning through the books.  I remember being swept away with Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (I even bought the DVD’s based on the book and the sequel),  and then going back even further in time with Ken Follett.  Oh my gosh I could go on with all the different types of books that I have read.  A lot of people read to fall asleep, but when I read it’s the opposite, I get so absorbed into the book that I forget about time.  Once I got married, the love affair with reading continued (I actually don’t think this affair will ever end), except now we were running out of space to store these books, and they were not cheap either, so my husband bought me a kindle.  I love my kindle, but I miss real books especially the smell and feel of them, you know you love it too!

Now that I have kids of my own, I want to pass on that love of books to them, and I think I may have given them the book bug.  I buy them books over sweet treats and toys any day.  Every occasion that we celebrate there is always a book included in their gifts.

I would like to share with you the two most recent books I bought for the girls which are:

1.  Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli & Franesca Cavallo

I love this book!!!  I have bought one for each girl to have with them always.  This book reinvent’s fairy tales, inspiring girls with the stories of 100 heroic women.  These are real life stories.  I want my girls to know, that you don’t need to be a damsel in distress or wait for Prince Charming to always save you.  I want them to read this and know they can be strong, independent women when they grow up, and that no dream is unattainable. That whatever their passion is in life, to go for it and don’t let anyone tell them they can’t do it. The book has been illustrated by 60 women artists from every corner of the globe as well.  RRP $39.99

2.  Wonder by R.J Palacio


This book has got some rave reviews, some of which are:

‘Has the power to move hearts and change minds’ – Guardian

It wreaks emotional havoc’ – Independent

‘Tremendously uplifting and a novel of all-too-rare power’ – Sunday Express

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances? (insert from goodreads)

So that’s just a snippet of what the book is about and I liked it because it was different to your usual kids stories. RRP $22.99

I hope I didn’t bore you with my ramblings about reading, but like me I know that there are lots of other book lovers out there who share the same passion.  I currently have 3 books that I’m reading on the go!

Right I better stop now because I can go on forever about reading!  I would love to hear about how your love for reading began, if your’e a bookworm like me.

Happy reading!

Ronell x



Book Review – My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella


You know it’s a good book when you think about it every waking minute and try to work out when is the next time I get to read it.  At one stage I had it sitting in my recipe holder, so I read whilst I cooked!  Fair to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Like Katie (Cat) everyone has this image of living the London or New York life, (I know you have thought about it!) thanks to Sex and the City, we all want to experience the NY life, drink Starbucks coffee and wear amazing clothes and hail a yellow cab.  Same with London, wrapping up in woolen coats, sitting in a corner cafe sipping a hot drink whilst it rained outside, all the while looking ever so professional, hair straight and tied back, black glasses (you possibly have perfect vision but still insist on wearing it for “the look”).

I know a lot of books I have read over time, I feel like I want to go to these places, well that is how it is for Katie.  Her dream was to work and live in London, she has an amazing Instagram account, of perfect photos showcasing her life in London, fancy restaurants, hot chocolates, food, buildings…..only thing is that was all a pretence.  Her IG account is what she aspired her London life to be,  but it was far from what her actual life living in London was.  It was hard, and not like the fantasy she had in mind.

I suppose this is a bit like real life, people always perfect IG feeds, but we will never really know who the real person is behind all of that.

When she finally hit’s rock bottom after loosing her job in London it was time to return home, back to the farm.  That’s where she is truly herself and only when she is herself, she starts to shine!  She becomes more confident in who she is as a person and over time realises she doesn’t need to pretend or have a fake persona.  This makes her stronger.

There were some really funny bits in the book too that makes you laugh out.  Off course there is a handsome guy thrown in the mix too.  In the end she just might get the life she always dreamed off however, it wasn’t a straight road getting there.

Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did, I was actually a bit sad that the book ended!   After reading this book I know, I will always choose real over perfect!

Ah well, time to find another good read!

Ronell x



Book Review – Secrets of a Happy Marriage by Cathy Kelly

cath kelly

So I have finally finished reading this book.  When I first started reading this book it was slow to get into, I could leave it for a few days and not miss it. But once I got a bit further in, then I really started to enjoy it a bit more.

The story revolves around one family and trickles it’s way down the family tree.  It all starts with the Brannigan siblings. Edward being the eldest and richest.  Mick who’s married to Nora who are just perfect together,  then there is Kit and his wife Helen, who throughout the book feels hard done by as she married the brother who didn’t have all the riches. Lastly their sister who ran away when she was much younger.  The book looks at each of their marriages and that of their children’s marriages.

Edward’s wife has passed away and he has remarried Bess,  unveiling how his children react to this, especially his daughter JoJo, who is also going through her own struggles with IVF.  This then touches on her marriage and how much stress they are both under.  But also it looks at the relationship between Bess and her daughter over the years.

Mick and Nora, who have an amazing marriage, their daughter Cara was dumped at the altar.  So for their family it’s about Cara picking up the pieces and moving on from that.

Kit and Helen, well Helen, is just unhappy and wants to live like her older brother-in-law, even though this is costing them financially.  Ah Helen, it’s not a good idea to compare yourselves to others and try to be like them!  They have two daughters who are single and really just happy to mingle!

Obviously a big birthday celebration is just what is needed to “force” everyone together where there are a few surprises in store.

Here are a couple great quotes from the book!

Happy reading!

Ronell x

Book Review – The Way We Were by Sinead Moriarty

This is the first time that I have read one of Sinead Moriarty’s books and I could not put it down at all!  I’m sure that I ignored my husband and children on more than one occasion. I bought this book just before we went camping and it was the perfect book to take with me.

The book grips you from the start, it jumps all the way forward and gives you a teaser of what’s to come, so once that is done you kinda get the picture in your head of what you think happened.  But what get’s you turning and turning the pages is that because you know that small piece you now want to know what led up to that point and more so the fall out after that!

I remember reading it sitting outside amongst our friends and I got to the part where things got a bit intense a little sob escaped me but I didn’t want to be a blubbering mess. I suppose it’s because you put yourself in that situation and having children you think that it’s you in the place of Alice.

The characters and story seemed so realistic I’m sure there are people out there that have been in similar situations.  Alice’s world get’s turned upside down not once but twice!  She however picked her self up and moved forward for her children.  All her decisions that she made were for her family.  There was a part in the book where I thought, she is going to make a tough call and put herself first but even then she didn’t.  She made sacrifices for her family and in the end it worked out I suppose.

What I liked was that we also got to see what’s happening in the story from the youngest daughter Holly’s perspective so it was nice seeing things through a child’s eye and understand their feelings and thoughts so to speak.

I would highly recommend this book it was a brilliant read and I cant wait to read more of her books.

Happy reading!

Ronell x

Book Review – Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult


Wow!  Where do I start with this book.  It is such a gripping story from the start.  Some parts of the book when it describes one of the main characters being a white supremacist and the things he did growing up made me a little uncomfortable, I just didn’t like it much.

Reading this story has stirred up some old feelings that I have, being a person of colour myself.  The thing is growing up in South Africa and going through the apartheid era it’s hard not to ignore or feel the pinch a bit when you come across stories like this.  I’m sure my memories are nothing comparable to others going back generations that had to grow up in the system.

From memory I only remember once when I was in high school, my family and I went to a beach in a white suburb and after we were there for a little bit we were told to get off the beach as it was for white’s only and we were not allowed to swim there.  After much heated words were exchanged we left.  I’m sure our parents and their parents before have many more stories than I do.

But the thing is these little things stay with you, and throughout your life you always deep down wonder if things are said a certain way or you are treated differently because of your colour.  I mean when I apply for jobs I have so much self doubt because I always think my name doesn’t sound Indian and it’s like a disclaimer that I should put on my CV, that I am Indian, which I know is absolutely crazy, but I can’t help feel that way.

It was this that came across in the book as well, throughout life Ruth had to make adjustments or try and blend in.  Reading this book you get to walk in the shoes of a black person and see what’s its like to live under the scrutiny of others.

The court case that follow’s in the story, I felt I was sitting there in that courtroom watching it all unfold.  I alway’s find with Jodi Picoult’s books they pull on all your senses that you can’t stop reading, and you become this silent character in the story.  The strength of the main character Ruth is astounding and everything she believes in she stands for no matter what the consequences are.

It was a brilliant story and highly recommend it, but it’s not hard to recommend one of her books.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Ronell x

Book Review – Two by Two Nicholas Sparks 

Another great story by Nicholas Sparks, and it was a tear jerker!

I’ve read stories when a couples marriage breaks down and it’s usually the man that leaves, thus leaving the women to pick up the pieces. However here the tables are turned and it’s the husband who is left to do that and also be the primary caregiver of his daughter. To be honest some parts of the book when reading I wanted to bitch slap his wife! She was just plain mean! 

This book showed me the amazing bond that fathers have with their daughters and no matter what crap was going on in his life he always stopped everything for his daughter. It made me think about my husband and our girls and the bond that they have. 

The book also covered the relationship you have with your family and friends and how when times get really tough it’s the ones that stick around and help. But just when you think life knocked you over once and you’re starting to get back on your feet, you get another blow, this time closer to home. 

I loved reading this book it evoked so many emotions and got me thinking about my family, my husband and our kids and even my friends. 

Highly recommend this book. 

Happy reading!

Ronell x

Book Review – Under Italian Skies by Nicky Pellegrino

I’ve just finish read this book and I was actually sad that it ended. I felt the story and the way it was written had absorbed me totally into this small little town called Triento in Italy. 

The great thing about this book first up is that it’s not your typical 20-30 year old looking for love and a new life it focuses around slightly more older women which gives it such a better depth of story. 

The characters are a lively bunch and have great hidden stories behind each one of them.  I don’t know about anyone else but whenever I read a book that is set in another country etc I find myself reading in that accent in this case Italian and British English. Is that weird? 

Being someone that loves food and everything about it the way food was described in the book it’s like I could smell and taste it all, it made me quite hungry!  

This book is truly great if you want to loose yourself into a another world and now I just want to know what everyone is up to from the story! Also I now want to move to a little Italian village. 

Happy reading!

Ronell x

Book Review – Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

I have read a few of Liane Moriarty’s books so when her new book came out I was pretty stoked. 

The book is centred around an accident that occurred at a BBQ with some neighbours. You had to read at least over 50% of the book to actually get to what the accident was about. So the whole time reading you learnt about the days leading up to the BBQ the days after the BBQ and the day of the BBQ but geez Louise they just went around and around in circles and I found myself thinking just hurry up what happened that’s so bad!!

Well finally we get to what happened and yes it’s not something anyone would want to go though but it only has a small part in the book the actual scene! The book then focuses on the repercussions that this accident had on everyone. 

In my option I found the rest of the story pretty underwhelming and wasn’t impressed with this book compared to her other ones. 

Ronell x 

Falling by Jane Green

I have read so many of Jane Green’s book’s they are such easy reads, and I’m a romantic at heart so love the chick lit books.

To me this book has your typical over worked young girl who left her birth country to look for greener pastures in New York, only to find it’s not all that great, so looking for a change,  Emma finds herself in Westport, Connecticut.  The way the lifestyle in the quiet beach town is described almost made me pack my bags, and move the family to Westport.

As I was reading the book, it became a little predictable, in that I knew what was happening before it did. It’s about Emma finding herself and where she fits in everything. The characters are great, and Dominic’s parent’s actually sound very similar to a typical Indian family even though they are not.

Without giving too much away, the ending left me SHOCKED!  I was sitting there, looking at the book (or kindle in my case) and thinking, did that just happened??  Are you serious?? Expecting the book to answer me back!

I really enjoyed the book even though it was a little predictable,it was nice to be taken away to Westport, and if you want something light and romantic then you should read this.

Happy Reading.