Posts Tagged ‘Carmen Reid’

Cross My Heart

Carmen Reid

cross my heartBrussels, 1940. Fifteen-year-old Nicole watches as the Nazis invade Belgium. Determined not to stand by as her country is brought to its knees, Nicole vows to fight back and joins the Belgian Resistance. Under her new alias – Coco – Nicole embarks on a dangerous new life as a spy, where the only question is not if you’ll be caught, but when…

As the Germans walk into Belgium in May 1940 Nicole’s world is turned upside down. Despite the danger, the warnings and the fear Nicole can’t help herself and joins the Resistance as her world is torn apart. Nicole shows herself to be a brave and resourceful member of the team. She is flung into more and more hazardous situations and has to make difficult and even life threatening decisions. Nicole is an inspiring heroine.

As people disappear, Jews are marked, food diminishes and everyone lives in fear as they witness the viciousness of Nazi rule, Nicole’s determination to help only gets stronger. Nicole’s involvement in the Resistance causes her to see the worst of the Nazi’s in action and as the story develops, Nicole sees more and more of the worst of the Nazi regime. The atrocities she sees and experiences are familiar to anyone with some knowledge of World War Two but I found that seeing them through the eyes of this teenager was a bit like hearing about it for the first time. There is a freshness and immediacy in the writing.

There is also a little romance in the tale as Nicole grows closer to Anton, a childhood friend who she joins the resistance with and comes to mean a lot to her. There is added poignancy in the situation the young lovers are in, knowing they are putting themselves in danger and could be ripped away from each other at any time.

Verdict: This was a great read; there is action, tension, fear, love , courage and inspiration in its pages. Whether you have read lots about WW2 or this is your first attempt at reading anything about that time it will draw you in and keep you there until the last turn of the page.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Corgi Children’s
Publication Date: August 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Genre: Historical fiction
Age: YA
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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Shopping With The Enemy

Carmen Reid

shopping with the enemyFashion-guru Annie’s well-dressed world is falling apart – first she’s lost her legendary sense of style, and now her daughter Lana seems to have become her worst enemy. Even her multi-millionairess friend, Svetlana, is having daughter trouble.
A trip to a luxurious Italian spa seems like the perfect way to forget her problems. But celery juice and Pilates can’t solve the disasters that are about to strike…
Will Annie rescue her passion for fashion?
And can mothers and daughters ever truly be friends?

I’ve not read any of Carmen Reid’s ‘Annie Valentine’ series before so probably need to hunt down some copies to catch up with Annie’s past as I really liked her as the main character and her whirlwind lifestyle and clear ability to get herself into various capers and adventures.

In this light-hearted and fun story, Annie is feeling down and seems to have lost her sparkle. But life conspires to send Annie on an adventure which helps her to recover her passion for fashion and life in general.

At the beginning of each chapter there is a run-down of one of the character’s outfits, where it’s come from and the cost. Not being that much of a fashionista, it was quite interesting to me and I’m wondering if my own wardrobe needs a bit of a re-vamp!
But back to Annie – her daughter Lana is in New York and very happy there working for NY Perfect Dress but there are concerns about sales being down and Svetlana, Annie’s best friend who has invested into the company, is quite clear that if this downward trend continues she will pull the plug and Lana and Svetlana’s own daughter, Elena, would have to return to the UK. In the midst of this Annie makes a big mistake doing a makeover on her TV show and gets persuaded by Svetlana to take some time out and go on a spa trip to Italy with her.

This is where I began to enjoy the book more. After looking forward to her trip – done Svetlana style, with luxury all the way – Annie makes the awful discovery that she wasn’t to be laying around being pampered every day and fed delicious foods, but more that this was a hard core detox treatment involving cabbage soup and enema’s. She tries to escape but gets called back by Svetlana with the terrible news that Svetlana’s ex-husband Igor has kidnapped her two young boys. This then leads Annie and Svetlana on a wild trip across Europe to try to get the boys back. I enjoying this part of the story and I liked swapping to and from the chaos that Annie was involved in and the story of what was happening in New York with Lana, Elena and Perfect Dress.

Verdict: This was a great read that got better the more that I read. If you are a Carmen Reid fan, and a lover of the ‘Annie Valentine’ series then this is a must have!

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Corgi Books
Publication Date: November 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Genre: Chick Lit
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British Book
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