Lucy in The Sky by Paige Toon

51+K42IHzmL._SY346_Synopsis: Settling down for a 24-hour flight to Australia, Lucy finds a text message on her phone – not from her boyfriend James, as she fondly hopes, but from a woman claiming to have slept with him four times in the past month. Trapped on the plane, she questions everything about her relationship with James. She finally calls him and he reassures her: it was only his mates playing a silly joke.

James is a lawyer, persuasive and gorgeous and Lucy adores him. So why, at the wedding in Sydney of her best friend Molly, does she have niggling doubts, and find herself attracted to Molly’s brother-in-law Nathan? The sooner she gets back to her regular life in London, the flat she shares with James, her job in PR, the better. Nathan is a happy-go-lucky surfer boy, with no prospects, no place to live, an almost-girlfriend in tow. And the other side of the world…

Lucy – a girl caught between two distant continents – and two very different men…

My Rating: 3/5

My Review: Having read Paige Toon’s newer books I was keen to go back and read her debut novel. This was originally published over 10 years ago back in 2007. This book concentrate’s on Lucy and the opening few chapters were brilliant. Lucy is on a flight to that is going to last 24 hours and all she can think of is a text message claiming her boyfriend James has been unfaithful to her. Soon enough she has landed and is spending time with her friends and is introduced to Nathan.

Now normally I am quite constructive (or try to be) but this book just felt ‘blah’.  Yeah Lucy was an okay character, but there were way too many cliches and it felt a little bit contrived. That sounds like I am being super critical, but I think this is due to the fact that her more recent books are brilliant and this is a sure sign that sometimes going back to read debut’s isn’t the best idea. I know for a fact that I have changed over the course of 10 years, and I am pretty sure Paige Toon has too. I think this clearly shows in her writing.

This was what I would consider a fluff book. Easy enough to read, nothing too horrible about it, but overall largely unremarkable and unmemorable. I am just thrilled that I picked up Paige’s more recent books.

The Longest Holiday by Paige Toon

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My Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Don’t wait for the storm to pass; learn to dance in the rain…’ Laura has been married to the man of her dreams for seven months. But a week before the wedding, Matthew made a terrible mistake. Escaping the humiliation that is now her marriage, Laura is whisked off to Florida’s Key West by her best friend Marty. A carefree holiday full of cocktails and fun, surrounded by gorgeous, tanned men, is exactly what the doctor ordered. Distraction comes in the form of sexy Cuban scuba diver Leo. Laura’s instant attraction to him knocks her flying, and she falls hard. As the end of the holiday approaches, Laura doesn’t want to go home. Is it time to face the music? Or is there more to Key West than a holiday romance?

My Review: Laura and Matthew have been happily married for 7 months until Laura learns that Matthew made a terrible mistake a week before the wedding. To help Laura deal with her marriage crisis her friend Marty takes her along on her holiday to Miami. I am actually travelling to Miami later in the year and am very excited, so figured what better way to prepare myself than by reading Paige Toon’s new release. Ever since reading Jonny Be Good by Toon I have read quite a few more of hers and was really looking forward to this one.

As soon as I started reading and realised just what Laura was escaping from I couldn’t help but feel for her. A trip to Miami seems like a good idea and as soon as Laura, Marty and another friend Bridget start their journey it seems like Matthew is out of the picture. Paige Toon does a smashing job in describing the Miami Keys and I found myself wishing my holiday would come sooner. Distraction for Laura comes in the form of Leo who helps the scuba diving courses in the Keys. Laura’s instantly attracted to him but is in complete turmoil as she is there to give herself space, not to fall for another man!

What I liked about this story from start to finish was that it really wasn’t very clear what Laura was going to do. It didn’t feel so cut and dried as some books do and you really feel for Laura as she struggles to make the right decision for both her and her marriage. It was very easy to get completely wrapped up in this book and if it’s one you plan to take on holiday, don’t plan to move from your sun lounger for too long. There wasn’t any part of the book that I didn’t enjoy with one small exception. Towards the end when I was still reeling from Laura’s initial decision, another major event takes place. What niggled me was that this happened literally a few chapters from the end and before I knew it I was reading the epilogue. Don’t get me wrong it certainly didn’t spoil the book but I couldn’t help feeling it was a bit rushed.

I know that there were some small references to characters from other books, but I have yet to read some of her older work so wouldn’t have noticed the link as I’m reading her books out of sequence. Overall, I think this was an absolutely brilliant book and would really recommend it to people. When you are making your holiday packing list, don’t forget to include The Longest Holiday at the end!

One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon

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My Rating: 4/5

I only discovered Paige Toon a few months ago and read Johnny Be Good and Baby be mine within a matter of weeks. Following on from that I made sure I had a few more of her back catalogue to read in the future. Her new release One Perfect Summer was released on the 10th May 2012 and I was looking forward to reading it.

Alice is 18 and takes a summer trip with her parents down to Dorset. She happens to meet a young man Joe who steals her heart. However, after reading the first few chapters it becomes clear that Joe’s life is not that idyllic and Alice realises that although she has fallen for him, things will not be easy. Joe is an absolute sweetheart of a character and I adored him and him and Alice’s relationship. However, before long things go wrong and Alice ends up leaving Dorset to make her way to Cambridge to start University. The one thing that is different is the fact that she leaves broken hearted and without Joe.

We see her life move on to the next phase and although I was disappointed that we do not see Joe Alice grows on me and we see her settle into University life with her friends. Some of the other characters we meet are fun and very readable such as Jessie. Before long Alice meets Lukas a German student who is studying at a nearby university. Lukas is a rich boy who sweeps Alice off her feet to a certain degree.

The second half of the book is spent watching Alice move on with her life and what happens to her next. Lukas is not a nice character and I spent half of the time asking myself what Alice was playing at. But as the story continues you can see the predicament she has got herself into and things start to become if not clearer certainly a lot more understandable. As usual with a Paige Toon book she draws you in with her easy writing style and knack of telling a story that is sometimes bittersweet.

The best part of the book for me was without a doubt the ending. Paige Toon has done once again what she managed to do with the book Johnny Be Good, which is leave the reader on a slight cliff-hanger with a big question mark. I can only hope that there is a follow up to this, otherwise it’s an unnecessarily cruel ending for us fans. This book will certainly keep you reading, and at the end you will certainly be left wanting more.

Johnny Be Good by Paige Toon

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My Rating: 5/5

I am not sure how, but to date I have never read any of Paige Toon’s books. Having seen this in a charity shop a few months ago I picked it up and promptly forgot about it, as it became consumed in my ever growing to read pile. Wanting something new I picked this up recently and decided to give it a go, and boy am I glad I did.

The moment you start reading you realise that this is Chick Lit for the dreamers amongst us. Can you imagine working as a PA to the hottest rock star on the planet? Err, when I was 15 maybe? Having said that I adore books like this which manage to transport you right back to your dreams and wishes! Although the story itself is based on the less realistic scale of `things that could actually happen’, the characters aren’t. We meet Meg who is on her way to become a PA to Johnny Jefferson, who just happens to be a sexy Rock God. It took me less than two chapters to immerse myself in this outlandish fairytale story.

Although the fairytale seems to come true for Meg as she arrives at Johnny’s plush pad in LA, it soon starts to become a little more difficult than she first though. Johnny himself was what you would expect from a rockstar; difficult, impatient and constantly surrounded by booze and women. I can honestly say that although I wasn’t overly keen on Johnny, the story made total and utter sense. Meg is a great girl who is in a position many can only dream of. What makes the story great is the fact that Meg is a normal girl, living and working in an unusual place. Johnny’s best friend Christian is also a main focal point of the story as he is along for the ride whilst writing Johnny’s biography.

There were some funny moments in the book too and I found myself reading quicker and quicker. I loved the fact that you are submerged into the crazy world of Johnny and his ever increasing demands. The story towards the end was looking a little predictable, but that didn’t faze me as that was where I wanted it to go. One thing I was NOT prepared for was the ending, which left me screaming “no” with frustration. Thankfully, for once leaving a book too long has worked in my favour. The follow up to this book entitled “Baby Be Mine” was released a little under two months ago (yay), and has already been ordered!

This certainly wasn’t a challenging book (just how I like it), but the story and characters flowed easily. It is a perfect beach read and I literally cannot wait to read the follow up, I’m just sad that I waited this long to read it!