How to be Happy – Book Review

How to be Happy by Eva Woods

How to be Happy - Book Review

If there was one book that I have read in the past year that I believe should be made into a movie, then this is it! So much so that I recommended this book to my mum, who then recommended this book to my aunt and now I am recommending it to you.

How to be happy by Eva Woods tells the story of Annie. Annie is not in a good place – she doesn’t like her job, her mother is in hospital and after a run of awful life events she generally feels quite down trodden and, well, sad. And then along comes Polly – a riot of colour and bursting with fun, laughter and joy. Polly is everything Annie is not.

Annie is in no mood to make friends but Polly is persistent and forces herself into Annie’s life with the aim of helping Annie find happiness in just one hundred days. Polly shows Annie that life is too short to be miserable and slowly but surely, Annie starts to believe her. What Annie doesn’t realise is that Polly needs her, just as much as she needs Polly.

Without revealing any major plot spoilers, this book is a bittersweet tale of friendship, life and love. It’s called ‘How to be Happy’ yet it is also very poignant and reminds us to live our best lives. As Polly would say, “Life isn’t about avoiding the storm; it’s about learning to dance in the rain”.

#GIRLBOSS – Book Review

I’m about a year too late to the party, but having recently watched the Netflix series I felt inspired to read the book itself. I am of course talking about #GIRLBOSS.

#GIRLBOSS book review
Background image via unsplash

You probably already know by now, but #GIRLBOSS is written by Sophia Amoruso, founder of multi-million dollar fashion empire Nasty Gal, and is a bit of a rags to riches kind of story. Sophia tells her tale in this book which is part autobiography, part motivational speech.

I didn’t know much about Amoruso or her Nasty Gal empire before I watched the tv series, but I felt that the book was kind of like getting a pep talk from your sassy, savvy (and very rich) friend. I enjoyed the first half of the book and it made me feel inspired and wanting to get up and go do something extraordinary but unfortunately my interest dwindled towards the end of the book… there’s only so many times you can read “I am the CEO of a $100-million-plus business” and not grow jaded.

This is not a self-help book in the sense that it will give you insider info to help you run your own empire, but it will give you a bit of a pep talk to go out there and get shit done.

Here are some of my favourite quotes:

“The energy you’ll expend focusing on someone else’s life is better spent working on your own. Just be your own idol”

“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission”

“Focus on the positive things in your life and you’ll be shocked at how many more positive things start happening. But before you start to think you just got lucky, remember that it’s magic, and you made it yourself”

“When your goal is to gain experience, perspective, and knowledge, failure is no longer a possibility. Failure is your invention”

“It’s cool to be kind. It’s cool to be weird. It’s cool to be honest and to be secure with yourself. Cool is the girl at a party who strikes up a conversation with you when she notices you don’t seem to know many people there”

“Clothing is ultimately the suit of armor in which we battle the world”

Have you read #GIRLBOSS? What motivational books would you recommend? Feel free to comment below!

Sunlounger 2 – Book Review

Although I don’t read as much as I used to, I usually like to find a bit of time to chill out with a good book while on holiday. My latest read was Sunlounger 2 – a collection of short stories “from some of the hottest names in women’s fiction”. As the title suggests, the book features many sun-drenched, wanderlust-inducing stories ideal for getting lost in whilst lounging on a beach.

Sunlounger 2 - book review
Background via unsplash

While adventure and romance are the main themes of this book, I did find that it started to become quite predictable. The following plotline could sum up half of the stories in the book: heartbroken girl travels overseas to get over her ex, girl meets sexy foreign stranger, stranger woos girl with either food or by becoming her personal tour guide, girl and sexy stranger fall in love and live happily ever after. So I would say this book is best enjoyed in small chunks rather than devouring it in a couple of days.

That said, there were a couple of stories I found quite creepy and disturbing, kind of the antithesis of a happy summer tale. And a couple of the stories were also heartbreaking and sad but still beautifully written.

Not every tale was to my taste and there were a few that I found a bit rushed or pointless. Of course this is all subjective but I have decided to highlight a few of the more memorable stories in my very own…

* drumroll *


Funniest Story: Summer Secrets and Surprises By Molly Hopkins (Destination:Corfu)
– I genuinely LOL’ed on my sunlounger.

Biggest Tearjerker: Dreams of Pushkar By Alexandra Potter (Destination: India)
– Although The First Last Dive By Ruth Saberton comes a close second.

Most Inspiring: A Blood Lily from Moses By Roisin Meaney (Destination: Africa)
– Quitting my job and moving to Africa to live with the giraffes now ‘kay bye!

My Heart Wants More: How to have your Best Summer Ever! By Lisa Dickenson (Destination: Australia)
– I could be besties with the main characters in this one, reminded me of being a teenager.

The Ideal Short Story: The Party Boat By Jo Carnegie (Destination: Croatia)
– Perfect length, felt complete.

Most Unique: We Found Love By Ilana Fox (Destination: The Future)
– Set between 2014 London and 2075 Havana. Really thought provoking especially as I live just outside London and was reading this while in Cuba.

My Verdict
Sunlounger 2 is great if you wish to discover more authors so I will be checking out some new books for my kindle in the near future!

You can find me on Bloglovin or Twitter — say hello! 🙂

Cafe Tropicana – Book Review

Cafe Tropicana By Belinda Jones

I’ve mentioned it before but I am a big fan of Belinda Jones‘s novels, mainly because the protagonists are easy for me to identify with and the books are always set in exciting, exotic locations around the world. The most recent one I read was called Cafe Tropicana – about a recently heartbroken woman named Ava who decides to pursue her dream of running her own coffee shop. After a few hiccups at home in England, she ends up in Costa Rica where her estranged and wealthy father basically buys her a coffee shop to run, the only trouble is she has some fierce competition in the form of Santiago – a man so perfect he’s like the son her father never had.

Costa Rica is somewhere that sits highly on my travel bucket list and Cafe Tropicana fuelled my wanderlust even further. I did find this book to be fairly predictable but only because I could identify with our heroine Ava’s personality…

*** spoiler alert ***

Cafe Tropicana Book Review

I mean, given the choice between confident action man Ryan and his ziplines and quad bikes or dark and brooding Santiago and his fireflies and sea turtles, I know who would make me swoon!

Despite predicting the outcome of this curious love triangle, it left me wanting more and I would love it if Belinda wrote a sequel about Ava and her best friend Ollie’s Costa Rican vacation!

You can find Belinda on twitter @belindatravels and you can also find little old me right here too @quirkylilplanet

Update: Since this review was written I’ve had my own adventure in Costa Rica which you can read on this blog!

Coffee image via unsplash

The Paradise Room – Book Review

Tell us about the last book you read (Why did you choose it? Would you recommend it?). To go further, write a post based on its subject matter.

The last book I read was ‘The Paradise Room’ by Belinda Jones, which is about a girl named Amber who is whisked away by her perfect boyfriend to the blissful islands of Tahiti. The only problem is, Amber isn’t keen. She’s the sort of girl who prefers big jumpers and rain to bikinis and sun-soaked beaches, but the prospect of meeting up again with her long lost friend Felicity, however, sways Amber to go. Within hours of arriving, the two best friends are enticed and mesmerised by the music and sexy dancers at a bar named The Paradise Room, and from this moment forward Amber begins to question her cosy existence in her simple life back home…

I chose this book for two reasons-

1) I am a huge fan of Belinda Jones’s work, mainly because she writes with such enthusiasm for the locations her books are set. I love chick lit, but this is holiday chick lit and perfect escapism. If I were an author, this exactly the sort of literature I’d imagine myself writing.

2) The book is set in Tahiti and although I’ve never been to Tahiti, I did have the pleasure of reading this book against the stunning backdrop of the Maldives! While Belinda’s other books have transported me away in my imagination only (or even taken me back to a time where I was holidaying in the destination she’s describing), this time round I felt fully immersed – with the warm sun against my skin, book in one hand, cocktail in the other.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a story of romance in paradise!


For more book recommendations check out the Daily Prompt!