Marshmallows for Breakfast: Dorothy Koomson

Good evening readers, it’s been a bit of a stressful day, but I had a wonderful sleep last night and I have a long weekend with my girlies planned. I don’t always have a lot of time to see them and it’s the one thing I hate most about living away. But this Friday will hopefully be wonderful, and I cannot wait to pop open a few bottles of wine and chomp our way through a couple of pizzas. Sweet eh. This week has been incredibly productive; 4 reviews, 1 article and all of my book reviews linked lets hope next week is just as good! Hope you enjoy the review.

When Kendra Tamale returns to England from Australia she rents a room from Kyle, a divorced father of two, and begins a new job. She’s looking forward to a fresh start and simple life. Kyle’s five-year-old twins, Summer and Jaxon, have other ideas and quickly adopt Kendra as their new mother – mainly because she lets them eat marshmallows for breakfast. Kendra eventually becomes a part of their lives, even though she’s hiding a painful secret that makes her keep everyone – especially children – at arm’s length. Then Kendra bumps into the man who shares her awful secret, and things fall apart: she can’t sleep, she can’t eat, she’s suspended from work, and the kids are taken away by their mother. The only way to fix things is to confess to the terrible mistake she made all those years ago. But that’s something she swore never to do . . .

I read this book a little while ago now but completely forgot about it so I thought I would get it all posted up for you now. The cover to start with is gorgeous, but it suggests it’s a chick-lit read but you would be wrong to think that and I like that the cover kind of misleads you in this way. I don’t want to give too much way because it’s a sensitive book and the subjects covered work in the book because they are danced between with sensitivity. However, the basic plot is that Kendra is looking for a new start, renting a room in a house, however in meeting her landlord and his two delightful twin children Summer and Jaxon she realises that her life may not be as simple back in England. Both Kendra and Kyle have problems; Kendra’s are revealed towards the end of the book and Kyle’s revolve around the disappearance of the children’s mother Ashlyn. Each of the characters is dealing with their own individual problems even the children; Summer babbles and screams passionately, Jaxon is the strong silent type, whilst both Kyle and Ashlyn prefer to ignore the problem completely.

Kendra, or Kendie as she is referred to by the children is both strong and humble, but also sweet natured and she has to be to deal with all the surfacing problems of all the characters including her own. She is one of those characters that handles situations head on and the way she thinks that she should and although this sometimes leads to the wrong choices it makes her character feel very real and genuine. Summer and Jaxon are both wonderful and they are written in a way that really makes your heart melt; they are hurt by the decisions of the adults around them and you constantly feel for them. I loved the inward struggle of Kyle and Kedra’s need to help him although she has tried to hide in the shadows and it made their story feel authentic and unadulterated. The bonds that grow between them all are so moving and yet when Kendra’s present situation starts to grow more prominent it will spell changes for them all.

The writing is solid but it moves with a slower pace. This doesn’t mean that it lacks the same amount of passion or emotion. The descriptions are well written and the characters are fleshed out incredibly well. The cover and the title are perfect for this book and the sections of the book that are related to breakfast items are wonderful thoughtful. It also happens in The Chocolate Run, written by the same author (which is a favourite of mine) and I loved that it was re-created here. One of my favourite scenes from the entire book is the first time that they share breakfast together and it brings the three characters together in a wonderful way and liked the theme it created.

Overall this is a very thought provoking read about how our decisions ultimately affect the ones that we love. Kendra’s story is wonderfully written and I really enjoyed it as a whole. The characters are fantastic and the weaving of emotions is wonderful! Definitely one to get a copy of and snuggle down


The Chocolate Run: Dorothy Koomson

Sometimes I just need to sit down with a girly chick flick of a book after a hard days work of academic essays. However I understand that they are not everyone’s cup of tea. I am an absolute sucker for a good romantic book and being as soppy as I am I’ve read a fair few and very few have come anywhere near to ‘The Chocolate Run.’ You only have to look at my copy of this book to see how well read and well loved this book is. Its pages are well thumbed, with the corners turned over. The pages are discoloured from being dropped in the bath and left to dry on the radiator, as I couldn’t put it down.  It is fair to say I love reading and re-reading this book and although I have so many times, there is no doubt in my mind that I will be reading it again soon! So I needed to share it with you!

Amber is not a chocoholic but instead a chocolate sniffer. She thinks in chocolate, compares her friends to chocolate, and mostly cannot make it through the day without a few guilty pieces. However going on a chocolate run is not going to help Amber in this situation. Amber is hiding a relationship with her best friend Greg, and its causing a rift between her and her other best friend Jen. This book follows the rollarcoaster life of Amber and her group of friends as they begin to struggle under the pressures of relationships and friendships.  From the very first page we cannot help but fall for Amber. A loveable, sarcastic, bubbly character with her head in the clouds and addicted to chocolate, Amber is a character I think a lot of us females can relate to. Her sarcastic tone and honest opinion about love creates an instant connection between reader and writer.

The characters are beautifully described and easy to picture. As a reader it is extremely disconcerting for me when I cannot fully formulate a character in my mind, however this is not the case with these characters! Greg is perfection on a plate with his minstrel brown eyes and long liquorice hair, a serial womaniser who has Amber frozen in the headlights. Jen is the beautiful princess, long blonde hair and a figure to die for, but a darker, catty side. Matt is distant and pensive, however he has a deeper side that develops throughout the story.

The theme of chocolate runs throughout the book, as Amber struggles to contain her feelings and to deal with the changes occurring in the group and many of the descriptions in the books revolve around the chocolate theme, seen in this description of her and Jen’s crumbling relationship. ‘Our friendship was getting more and more tenuous. Ethereal. We weren’t like two Twix, separated before consumption, any more. We were more like Dairy Milk and Caramel. Two chocolates made by the same people, but so different you couldn’t put them together under any similar category. We melted at different temperatures, we felt different, we tasted different, we were different. Now nothing but our source linked us.’ You cannot help but be drawn along by this beautiful chick lit, as the group struggles to stay afloat.

I will not lie to you, I loved, loved, loved, loved this book. It was brilliant rollarcoaster of emotions, chocolate and friendship and I couldn’t put it down and I haven’t since. I would definitely recommend this book!