Review of Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Daisy Jones & The Six

Genre: Fiction – Music – Romance – Life

📖 I originally saw this book as part of Reeses Book Club picks and added it to my to-read pile but never got around to it until recently. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.

✍️ The first thing you will notice about this book is the style of writing. The full book is written as a series of interviews with the crew of Daisy Jones and The Six (plus a few significant others). No set-up, scenery, description, or any of that, just pure dialogue. Whilst it can take a little to get used to, it works very well.

👫 The story really is around the band named The Six and their journey. Their lead singer, Billie, gets pulled into the struggle of managing drink, drugs, the rock n roll lifecycle plus bringing up a young family. The band’s fame is soaring and when Daisy Jones joins it flies higher than all predictions expected, but as is often the case, fly too close to the sun and you might get burnt. The method of using the interview style and dialogue really taps into this, whilst Billie thinks one thing is going on, his band are often thinking something else entirely.

👓 Add Daisy Jones to the mix and the pot of instability is ready to boil over. Daisy’s parents are famous, and she has grown up in a celebrity-based environment. She has natural talent but also an air of spoiltness to her, Daisy is used to getting what Daisy wants. Yet, underneath the bravo is a girl that wants to be understood and loved for who she is. Daisy is a brilliant character; sometimes you like her, others you don’t.

🗣 I often think it’s useful to see an extract from a book to get an idea of the writing style. Here is a brief extract so that you can see a sample of the writing yourself:

Daisy: I was seeing a couple of guys back then, including Wyatt Stone of the Breeze. And I didn’t feel the same way about him that he felt about me.
This one night we were smoking a joint up on the roof of this apartment over on Santa Monica and Wyatt said, “I love you so much and I don’t understand why you don’t love me.”
I said, “I love you as much as I’m willing to love anybody.” Which was true. I wasn’t really willing to be vulnerable with anybody at that point. I had felt too much vulnerability too young. I didn’t want to do it anymore.
So that night after Wyatt goes to bed, I can’t sleep. And I see this piece of paper with this song he’s writing and it’s clearly about me. It says something about a redhead and mentioned the hoop earrings that I was wearing at the time.
And then he had this chorus about me having a big heart but no love in it. I kept looking at the words, thinking, This isn’t right. He didn’t understand me at all. So I thought about it for a little while and got out a pen and paper. I wrote some things down.
When he woke up, I said, “Your chorus should be more like, ‘Big Eyes, big soul/big heart, no control/but all she got to give is tiny love.”
Wyatt grabbed a pen and paper and he said, “Say that again?”
I said, “It was just an example. Write your own goddam song.”

Simone: “Tiny love” was the Breeze’s biggest hit. And Wyatt pretended he wrote the whole thing.

💔 Any Negatives: This book doesn’t really end the way you expect it to and I really liked the ending, not everyone gets the happily-ever-after and sometimes people do just want different things – but I imagine some people will not enjoy this ending so much (it’s difficult to say more without giving too much away).

💭 Overall View: A very different book, with an unusual writing style that I think once you get used to it, works extremely well. I’ll certainly read more works by this author.

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Review of The Stranger in the Lifeboat

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Stranger in a lifeboat – cover

📖 I loved this book. I had previously read The Five People you meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom and really enjoyed it, so when I saw this new book, I thought I would give it a go. I wasn’t disappointed. Despite the fact, I started reading this late at night, I found myself still sitting up at one in the morning reading this, and completely finished the book within two days.

✍️ These books are unlike any other books I have read. I don’t normally go in for anything religious, which these books feature, but this has such an intriguing puzzling storyline to it that you start thinking “are they really innocent?” or “what would I do in that situation?”. Just when you think you have something sussed out, Albom throws in a plot twist or two to keep you guessing too.

🗣 I often think it’s useful to see an extract from a book to get an idea of the writing style. Here is a brief extract so that you can see a sample of the writing yourself:

“The distance between death and life is not as great as you imagine.”
“Really,?” Yannis turned his way. “Then why don’t people come back to Earth after they die?”
The stranger smiled. “Why would they want to?”

👓 This story is told across three main perspectives, Benji, who is on a lifeboat with a group of strangers, Le Fleur a detective called to investigate an abandoned lifeboat and various media reports.

👫 Benji records his journey through a journal, transcribing the events of the stranded survivors on the lifeboat, and questioning what really happened to cause the ship to sink. When they come across a stranger adrift at sea who claims he can save them all, the group soon become divided, questioning everything they know, they trust, and even their beliefs.

🗺 Le Fleur is a troubled detective. After suffering the loss of his young daughter, he finds his marriage is struggling, he drinks a lot and is struggling with life. When he is called to investigate the strange lifeboat, he becomes consumed by the pages of the journal and the puzzle of what happened to the survivors of the shipwreck.

💭 Overall View: A fantastically strange story and an enjoyable mystery. I would definitely recommend and I look forward to reading other works from this author.

👍 Please leave a like if you think my review/feedback of the item was helpful to you. Alternatively, please contact me if you want me to clarify something in my review.

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Most Wednesdays are a bit dull. Normally, referred to as hump day. Normally I make a bit of tea, perhaps do a bit at the allotment if the weather is dry, then it’s persuading the toddler that it’s bath and bedtime. Not this week!
This week I had the joy of spending my Wednesday afternoon attending a local author event at Cockerton Library in Darlington to meet crime novelist Ann Cleeves.

Ann was there to promote her recently published book – The Rising Tide.


Ann’s talk was very inspiring she happily covered everything from her private life, writing career, publishing journey, and aspirations for future books. I took some notes and thought I would share them here (any errors I do apologise, I was trying to do this both subtly and hastily so that I could keep up).

How did you get started?

I first started writing whilst living with my husband as the only inhabitants of Hilbre Island (Wirral). In the winter, the island was a desolate place with only the occasional bird watcher seeking it out. The Bird in the Hand was written here. It’s no coincidence that I killed off a bird watcher in that book.

How did you first gain success?

For the best part of twenty years, I wasn’t overly successful, just successful enough that the publishers kept me going. If you want to know the secret to my success, it comes down to one thing, luck.

How did Vera come about?

I was writing a novel at the request of the publishers, they didn’t want a traditional detective novel, they wanted something different. I was about a third of the way in and didn’t have a clue where the book was going. I was completely stuck. There is a Raymond Chandler quote that says: “When in Doubt Have a Man Come Through a Door with a Gun.” Well, that’s what I did, only instead of a gun, in walked Vera, with a Morrison’s shopping bag. The rest as they say is history.

How did Vera become a tv sensation?

Luck. A woman was browsing a second-hand shop in Crouch End, London, looking for a book to take on holiday. She picked up the first Vera novel. That woman’s name was Elaine Collins. When she returned from holiday, she optioned the Vera Stanhope novels to the ITV team, who were looking for something to replace the Frost slot. Vera was selected and Elaine Collins then developed and produced as Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn.

Do you plot your novels?

No, never. I never have yet. I never know how it’s going to happen or how it’s going to end. There’s no fun in writing a book if you know how it’s going to end. I enjoy the thrill of a blank screen; you can believe at that point you are going to write a really good book.

Do you ever get stuck on a plotline?

I do. Everyone does. I find a long train journey often helps me work through it.

Will you write another Shetland novel?

Probably not. There are around 23,000 people across all of the Shetland Islands and I’ve killed a fair few of them off in my books and the BBC has added to that toll!

What is your favourite book?

Small things like these. I was given it and wasn’t convinced it was my kind of book, but I got really into it and it’s a book that every word counts. Highly recommend it.

Big thank you to Ann Cleeves for a wonderful afternoon’s entertainment (and to Cockerton Libraries, the fantastic hosts). I have my signed copy added to my to-read pile and can’t wait to crack on with it.

Ann is a wonderful supporter of local libraries, most of whom will stock her books. Check them out for a copy.


Would you like to be featured?

If any New2writing followers have an upcoming book and would like to be featured, please drop me an email at



Tom walked down the drab street. He’d always been curious about the solid brick wall here. A link back to this area’s more affluent past? Yet, he’d never noticed before halfway along the wall was a bright white brick. How strange! He glanced around to check no-one was about and then gave the white brick a prod, then jumped back. It had felt like it had moved, no not moved, vibrated below his hand. What the?.. He pushed again and one-by-one the bricks moved to reveal a perfect doorway, through which he could see manicured gardens.


“Welcome, Tom!”

Portal – WDYS 158 – Image credit_Mick Haupt @ Unsplash

Originally written in response to:

Sadje’s What Do You See – #158

Review of A Very Distant Shore by Jenny Colgan

A Very Distant Shore by Jenny Colgan

My rating:  3.5/4 Stars

Genre: Fiction – QuickReads

A very distant shore by Jenny Colgan – Cover

My rating: 3.5/4 Stars
Genre: Fiction – QuickReads
📖 I’ve only read Jenny Colgan’s work before in The Anniversary edited by Veronica Henry quick reads collection, which was a very enjoyable read. So, I picked up this book with high hopes. Known as a writer of romantic comedy fiction a light-hearted up-lifting book was what I was after, between reading some more serious pieces. However, that’s not exactly what I got with this book.
✍️ A Very Distant Shore is a tale about a remote Scottish Island of Mure which is in desperate need of a doctor. When Saif, a refugee doctor turns up, it captures the attention of the whole Island. Local schoolteacher Lorna has her own problems with an elderly ailing widowed father to look after. Perhaps the two of them are just what each other needs?
🗺 The setting was interesting, the writing was great, and I really did begin to care for the characters, especially Lorna. I really geared myself up to love this book. However…
💔 Negatives: Spoiler Alert So, I was expecting a rom-com with a happily ever after. Instead, I got a heartbreak and a death. The book finished and I was left feeling fairly flat and a bit cheated.
💭 Overall View: Brilliant little book. The refugee storyline was very interesting (possibly more so with what is happening in the world with Ukraine right now). The ending was a bit more down than I would like but still an interesting little book.

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Tile Tales – Arrival

Arrival by KL Caley – The Original Kit


Spooky stories can only be expected on today of all days.

QOTD ❔ – Do you celebrate Halloween (Samhain or other related festivals)?

Today’s tale was made with the Original kit

Want to play along?

I love playing around with the magnetic poetry blocks.
I’m no poetry writer so I prefer to create a short story of sorts.
The kits can be found here (and they are free):

KL 💗

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Review of Read The Leaves – 5 Stars

Another perfect little Halloween read with a difference…

Read the Leaves by Kate Valent
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Fiction – Magical – Fantasy – Historical

Read the Leaves – Cover

📖 This is the second book in the Serendipi-tea series by author Kate Valent and it’s a great addition. This novel primarily follows Mary, a young writer who writes under a pseudonym so that no one knows who she is (and that she is female). When her father’s publishing company, which publishes her works, runs into financial troubles, Mary with the help of her sister Margaret, and her friend Charlotte try to do all they can to save it.

✍️ Also woven throughout this novel is a blossoming romance. Mary meets the dashing Lord Holiday, an odd fellow, who only appears to spend time out in the evening. Even more strange, is how closely Lord Holiday resembles Lord Hallow, the vampire from the serial that Mary writes. Can Mary trust this handsome stranger, or is he more alike Lord Hallow than she would like to believe? In this magical world, it feels like anything is possible.

🗣 I often think it’s useful to see an extract of a book to get an idea of the writing style. Here is a brief extract so that you can see a sample of the writing yourself:

She was certain she had never seen him before. But to be at this party he must be someone, either a magician, lord, or businessman. She couldn’t fathom who or what he was or get the thoughts of the villainous vampire out of her head.

👓 This book is a fantasy book with much of the side story being around runes and their use (originally by the wealthy but with more and more making their way to the working class). The book is set in a somewhat historical Victorian setting, with many traditions, and mannerisms (and class systems) referenced from that time period.

👫 Great range of characters, both Mary and her sister Margaret are fun and intriguing characters. Mary trying to make her way in what has up until recently been a male-dominated world is handled delicately and a great nod to the time period that is being captured.

🗺 One of the things I really liked about this story is that although it is a continuation of a series, it was not a continuation of Charlotte’s story (although she does feature) but is a new story focusing on a completely different character.

💔 Any Negatives: I wish Mary and Margaret had perhaps been given slightly different names. As the names are quite similar, I sometimes got a little lost and misread them (thinking it was one or the other). If it had been something different from each other but still historical sounding, Mary and Emily, or something else it would have made it a little easier to read on the eyes. But that is quite picky and probably more of a personal preference.

💭 Overall View: An enjoyable romp through a magical Victorian world (with writers, books, tea and cakes!). An excellent addition to the series.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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Tile Tales – Worship

Worship by KL Caley – Original Kit

Black nights have truly arrived. The moon and stars shine brightly in the sky. All hallows eve is soon to arrive. So it is time for the spooky(ish) tales to begin.

Would you dare worship the arrival of this goddess?

Today’s tale was made with the Original kit

Want to play along?

I love playing around with the magnetic poetry blocks.
I’m no poetry writer so I prefer to create a short story of sorts.
The kits can be found here (and they are free):

KL 💗

Tile Tales Logo

Tile Tales – Flames

Flames by KL Caley – Poet Kit

The spread of civilisation may be likened to a fire; first, a feeble spark, next a flickering flame, then a mighty blaze, ever increasing in speed and power.

Nikola Tesla

QOTD – Do you believe humans are the flames, the firefighters, or both?

Today’s tale was made with the Poet Kit

Want to play along?

I love playing around with the magnetic poetry blocks.
I’m no poetry writer so I prefer to create a short story of sorts.
The kits can be found here (and they are free):

KL 💗

Tile Tales Logo

Tile Tales – Drain

Drain by KL Caley – Original Kit

Everyone has days like these…

With the changing of the season and the darknights coming in, it is easy to get weighed down by the heaviness of life.

Like the seasons, there are many things out of our control and sometimes that is hard to bear, yet the seasons can also recognise a fresh start or a time of change.

QOTD – do you enjoy the change of seasons?

Mostly, I do. I must admit coming in from outside, cold, wet and weary can be hard. However, I am more than content curled up under a blanket with a book and a cup of tea by my side and that is one of my favourite opportunities that this season brings.

Today’s tale was made with the Original Kit

Want to play along?

I love playing around with the magnetic poetry blocks.
I’m no poetry writer so I prefer to create a short story of sorts.
The kits can be found here (and they are free):

KL 💗

Tile Tales Logo