Category Archives: Reviews

23 Review Street – a Book Blog: Sophie's "Favourite of the Week"

23 Review Street

Sophie’s “Favourite of the Week”

Looking for La La by Ellie Campbell

Looking for La La is one of my favourite books that I have read this year by far. It has humour, drama and depth which is perfectly written. The words in which I would describe this book are Thrilling, Gripping and Unique.

Also, the whole month of June Looking for La La is 99p in a E-book format as part of the “100 books for under £2.99 promotion.”. This book is an amazing read, you will not be disappointed if you buy Looking for La La.

Another day, another book,

Sophie Kate

via 23 Review Street – a Book Blog: Sophie’s “Favourite of the Week”.

Rabid Readers Reviews: “Looking for La La” by Ellie Campbell

A great review post from Rabid Readers.  Thank you again!

When Cathy O’Farrell’s husband, Declan, receives a saucy postcard from the mysterious La La, Cathy is thrilled. Not seriously suspecting that her husband is having an affair, Cathy and her friend Raz start an investigation aided in part by the Tuesday Twice Monthly’s, a tight-knit group of local moms. Soon the notes turn sinister and Cathy notices a red estate car following her.  Is this mystery perhaps more than she bargained for?

“Ellie Campbell” is the pseudonym of sisters Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell. Looking for La La is their third novel as a writing team.

I received a copy of this novel from the authors in exchange for my review.

Looking for La La was inspired when Pam Burks’ husband received postcards from a mystery admirer and the story that built is astounding.  I certainly hope that poor Pam did not travel Cathy’s path to find the culprit. Campbell’s writing style is seamless with humor reminiscent of “Shirley Valentine.” Cathy is a very real character, warts and all. She is a stay at home mom who feels undervalued and a prisoner in her role, one who is desperately afraid to leave her jail. Her children are in school and she spends the days chasing after something she’s not quite reaching. Cathy fears Declan’s inevitable discussions of a return to work but sees herself as his employee at home rather than his wife. Cathy’s last job interview before pregnancy and marriage to Declan was with the company for which her future husband worked. The interview went horribly and she ran out followed by her would be employer and future husband not to return to the work force again. She reminds at the start of the novel a lot of a woman I once knew who grew tired of going to school and didn’t want to work so decided to get married. It didn’t work well as a plan for the woman I know and it doesn’t seem to work so well for harmony in Cathy’s home.

There are a lot of catty women in Looking for La La and while I’m not usually a fan of catty women as they always seem to be written as evil without purpose, the women in this story are very real. Not everyone in a group of friends will like each other and they’ll be civil when with the key person in order to jockey for preferred friend position but civil doesn’t mean nice. Raz is being pulled by two worlds. On the one hand she has her professional friend and on the other Cathy. Neither Cathy or the other woman like each other and their byplay is hilarious. The conflicts with each other made these women simply a lot of fun to read. Despite the extensive cast of characters, we get to know the people with whom Cathy associates and others as she gets to know them.

Campbell infuses a sub-plot of mystery in a beloved teacher is struck down in a hit and run accident. There are little mentions in the story-line of her until her ultimate demise and the tie-in, when it comes, is inspired. I did not in any way see the ending coming.

Campbell’s writing style reflects Cathy character perfectly. In flashbacks we see “Old Cathy.” This is a woman who finds grocery lists in shopping carts and purchases items on them to “expand her diet.” She may think she’s changed into a more composed and matronly sort of woman but as we follow her on madcap adventures, Cathy proves to be the free spirit and somewhat airy person she was when she and Declan met. Scattered, neurotic, and loveable. Those of us who are working moms may roll our eyes at Cathy’s insistence on not working and feeling of betrayal when her fellow moms go back to work but there is an undercurrent that shows that not even Cathy believes her own arguments as to why she couldn’t work. As Cathy develops as a character so does our understanding that she doesn’t always quite mean what she says.

I didn’t want to like Cathy when I first met the character. Over the course of the novel which was really she gets the postcard, embarks on the investigation and her daily life, I grew to find her enchanting. She was warm and funny. One of her friends tells her that another friend said that she looks like a mature Eva Mendes and Cathy is flattered for a while but then wonders how mature the person thought she looked. The subsequent conversation with the friend was side splittingly funny. Cathy could have used a headslap a time or two but who couldn’t? Looking for La La is a wonderfully funny chick-lit read.

Readers will want to take note of the wonderful cover which truly conveys the story within. The plotline and smooth flow are perfect for reading by the pool or on the beach. If you like British humor and quirky characters, you will love Looking for La La.

via “Looking for La La” by Ellie Campbell.

WiLoveBooks: Review: Looking for La La by Ellie Campbell

Fantastic!  A nice 5 star review from WiloveBooks.  Wilovebooks, we love you too!

My Thoughts:A fun read with some serious parts. When Cathy’s husband gets a postcard that is signed with love from La La Cathy is excited at the prospect of figuring out the mystery. The story definitely kept me guessing. Everyone is keeping secrets and when I thought I had things figured out, I realized I didn’t. I was definitely surprised by how things turned out. Cathy is funny. As a stay at home mom, I could relate to many of her issues. She tends to jump to conclusions and makes up stories at the drop of a hat. Her mouth gets her into a bit of trouble. She also has an interesting group of friends that she likes to varying degrees. This was just an entertaining read that I didn’t want to put down.

My Rating:  *****

Steam Factor: !

Notes: Some strong language.

via WiLoveBooks: Review: Looking for La La by Ellie Campbell.

Reading Renee: Review: How to Survive Your Sisters by Ellie Campbell

A big thank you to Reading Renee for a fabulous review of How To Survive Your Sisters. She likes it so much she’s even doing her own giveaway of all three of our books!!!  Click the button below to visit her website and sign up.

How To Survive Your Sisters is special to us because the mother in it, Peggy, was based on our own wonderfully wacky eccentric mother – Pam and I wanting to preserve the memories of her originality and humour.  Look out for our post dedicated to her on Mother’s Day, May 12th.

Reading ReneeHow to Survive Your Sisters by Ellie Campbell **review** @ecampbellbooks

First let me say “refreshing” that is how I will describe this book. I was loving the witty take on weddings. Of course the entire family is supposed to be bowing at Natalie’s feet. She wants the perfect wedding and I will compare her to a bridezilla.  Another sister Milly just wants to be out of maternity clothing, and Hazel (love the name) wants everyone to take her serious. Avril could be my fave sister!

The premise is Natalie and Jeremy’s wedding. It is ideal and the fact that this is the reason why they are thrown together. I sometimes think that if I was to spend a week with my sisters we would be in an odd circumstance. Funny how families are family, but they grow apart. After about six years of being engaged, they set a date! So the sisters unite, not easily or truly wanting to reunite. They all come back to Little Hooking. There is a reveal from a sister who gets there with a guest. Her plus 1 blows everyone out of the water. (I hate holding secrets, but I ain’t a plot spoiler.

happy-thinking

Milly is the only married one. Her and Ivor (strange name to me) have four kids. They seem to be happy and have a good relationship. While Avril is older and single living in London. So there is a certain event that gets the girls together. There are a few demons, shall I say, that interfere. There are many (I almost think too many) turbulent waves coming to the MacLeod shores.

The conversations between the sisters and Hazel urging her to go to the wedding. Then urging her to get fitted are hilarious. I hope they were meant to be funny, because I laughed!

I totally ate this one up. I know lot’s will say it is a great vacation or beach read. There is a lot of humor, which I liked. There is also an equal amount of family squabbles. A great book for anyone with a sister! Heck you don’t even have to have a sister to get the humor!

via Reading Renee: How to Survive Your Sisters by Ellie Campbell **review** @ecampbellbooks.

'Thrilling, Gripping and Unique' 23 Review Street reviews Looking For La La

“If I had to sum up Looking for La La in three words they would be:- Thrilling, Gripping and Unique.”   Sophie Kate.

A wonderful review by Sophie Kate, 23 Review Street.  Thank you, Sophie Kate.  Read it for yourself at www.23reviewstreet.blogspot.co.uk   And don’t forget to enter our giveaway to win a free copy.23reviewstreet

23 Review Street –

thousands of choices, hundreds of decisions. One review you can trust..and love.

About Looking for La La –

This amazing novel is written by Ellie Campbell, a pseudonym of two sisters that are Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell. This novel is so perfectly written, it has humour, drama and depth to the story.

Looking for La La’s tag line is So many secrets…so little time. This fits this book so well, from the mystery postcard to possibly being stalked. The story is set in Cathy’s point of view, she is a mother of two children and is married to Declan.

As a stay at home mother, her days are filled with tidying and cleaning up after her family, that is until the day a postcard arrived. It is signed Love from La La, who is this La La? and what is she doing sending her husband a postcard? Confused by the postcard, and not knowing if her husband is having a affair or if it is some kind of joke? It’s not long before more things come to light and the whole situation gets even bigger with every passing problem.

Cathy’s husband, Declan has no idea who La La is and what she is doing sending him a postcard but does he really? Cathy’s best friend Raz is always there to help her and is more than ready to investigate the odd things that keep happening. With every problem falling into the next one, but with the growing questions there are even more answers.

If I had to sum up Looking for La La in three words they would be:- Thrilling, Gripping and Unique. This book is great for anyone who loves a book that keeps you holding on till the end. I would definitely recommended this book to everyone, it has humour, drama and most important a great story line. The story was very believable, with lots of twists along the way.

My favourite character of the book was Cathy as the story is in her point of view, you get to see the events unfold through Cathy’s eyes. You also get to see have her family and friends are portrayed through her eyes, this makes the book even more intriguing.

My favourite quote in the book was:- Put Nemo down at once! she yells suddenly, then her voice changes. I’m sorry, my two-year-old’s cuddling the goldfish. What were you saying?

Thank you to Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell who together make Ellie Campbell for giving me a copy of their book.

via Review of Looking For La La by Ellie Campbell.

Wall-to-Wall Books: Looking for La La – Ellie Campbell (Review & E-book Giveaway!)

We got a lovely review from Wall-to-Wall Books.  You can read it here or check out their website for this and more awesome reviews. 

Wall-to-Wall Books.

Looking for La La – Ellie Campbell (Review)

4 Stars

ABOUT THE BOOK –

Looking for La La follows the story of Cathy, a bored, unappreciated housewife and mother of two.  Her world of school runs, ferrying children here and there, and the occasional nights out with friends is radically transformed by the arrival of a love postcard to her husband.  What follows next takes Cathy on a wild ride of suspicion, temptations, marital breakdown and some very dangerous territory.

MY REVIEW –

This book was fun British Chick-Lit at its best. I keep saying that I do not like British books, but keep finding books that make me a liar! This story is total Mayhem (a state of rowdy disorder) from beginning to end, and totally fun! This book has a great little mystery to it, and to be honest – I was very much surprised at the end.

Great character development. I didn’t even really like the main character but I wanted to keep reading just to find out what more trouble she and her friends could possibly get themselves into. Lets just say that almost no one ends up with the same person they started out with in the beginning.

A few fun quotes –

“Mummy, who’s the card from?’ He shares Declan’s coloring, the gingery hair, blue eyes and pale but cheeky face.  ‘La La, darling. Apparently a tellytubby’s sending love letters to Daddy.”

“Alec? Not Baldwin?’ she jokes. ‘Meg Ryan’s long-suffering husband?

No drip. Meg Ryan married Denis Quaid until she ran off with Russell Crowe before he ditched her for Nicole Kidman, when Tom Ditched her. This is way before Nicole married rock star Keith, I might add. Alec Baldwin’s wife is, or rather was, Kim Basinger. They’re divorced now. Fought over Ireland.’

‘Cathlic/Protestant dilemma?’

“No, their daughter, Ireland.”

“Men,’ Gabby sighs. ‘Spend all their time trying to turn you into their mothers, wanting clothes ironed, meals cooked, but then they despise you because you remind them of their mothers.”

Thank you author – Lorraine Campbell for sending me an ebook copy of this to read and review! It was great fun.

via Wall-to-Wall Books: Looking for La La – Ellie Campbell (Review & E-book Giveaway!).