LOVE, UNSCRIPTED by Owen Nicholls

Owen Nicholls’ Love, Unscripted is an uplifting love story, following film projectionist Nick as he tries to understand the difference between love on the silver screen and love in real life. Perfect for fans of David Nicholls, Nick Hornby and Laura Barnett.

For film projectionist Nick, love should mirror what he sees on the big screen. And when he falls for Ellie on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, it finally does.

For four blissful years, Nick loved Ellie as much as he loved his job splicing film reels together in the local cinema. Life seemed… picture-perfect.

But now it’s 2012, Ellie has moved out and Nick’s trying to figure out where it all went wrong.

With Ellie gone and his life far from the happy ending he imagined, Nick wonders if their romance could ever again be as perfect as the night they met.

Can love really be as it is in the movies?


Title : Love, Unscripted
Author : Owen Nicholls
Format : Paperback ARC
Page Count : 384
Genre : Romantic Comedy
Publisher : Headline
Release Date : August 22, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★


I’m going to keep this pretty brief but unfortunately LOVE, UNSCRIPTED didn’t work for me. I found the whole read a struggle and a bit of a chore.

Marketed as a romantic comedy, I found the wit to be mild at best. This is the story of the beginning and end of a relationship, what happens in-between and afterwards. It had great potential but I didn’t find either character particularly likeable. Nick was a geeky-guy, stuck in a rutt and unable to move forward, he projected all his motivation in life into the other person in his relationship and I felt the kind of pressure Ellie must have felt under. Ellie was definitely more appealing but I didn’t feel that the narrative gave the opportunity to get to know her particularly well. The element I enjoyed the most was Nick as the protagonist, even if he was a little irritating at times.

Nick and Ellie’s story is told in past and present, sometimes this works for me in a story but in this particular format, I struggled. I found the past narrative slow and the present more engaging, this approach was mostly in alternating chapters. In general, the pacing was slow for my taste.

I’m disappointed this didn’t work for me, maybe I had different expectations going in due to the rom-com marketing.

Thank you the publisher and amazon vine for the review copy.

SEA WITCH & SEA WITCH RISING by Sarah Henning – series review

#1 Sea Witch

Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch. 

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.


#2 Sea Witch Rising

“The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love. 

Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds? 

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.


Title : Sea Witch/Sea Witch Rising
Author : Sarah Henning
Series : Sea Witch
Format : library/finished review copy
Page Count : 368/416
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release Date : August 8, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ ★


4 star review of Sea Witch

Okay, so that was so much more in every way, more than I anticipated and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride of this clever retelling. I really couldn’t anticipate the direction of the characters or the story based on my knowledge of the original tale, the movie or my expectations.

There’s a foursome of friends in this book, some childhood friends and there was a coming of age and changing of affection vibe to the foundation of the storytelling. At the fore was Evie, the lead protagonist, her best friend Anna, her other best friend Nik and also Ikir (two princes). It’s a tale with undertones of different sides of the track. The Scandinavian feel to the story was rich and welcome as was the magic.

The narrative unfurled mainly in the present but with the gradual revealing of a tragedy told in the past. Annemette’s appearance had me on my guard but her tale was tragic and full of neediness. Evie was a loyal but confused friend. Magic was taboo in this world and Evie’s natural aptitude to the craft caused such a risk.

The story brings some complications to friendships and growing attractions. Betrayal was on the menu as were twists in the storyline. I didn’t see some of the turns in this story and I loved where it went. The epilogue left me shocked. Roll on book two, I can’t wait to read you!


3.5-4 star review of Sea Witch Rising

That epilogue at the end of SEA WITCH was a killer and so SEA WITCH RISING picks up at that point in time where on land in Denmark, Europe is poised for World War II. Evie returns in her end role from the previous book and my favourite part of this book was Evie.

The Sea Witch was more of an endearing character, with more humanity than Disney portrayed and this led to a richer story for me. The connections to Niklas’ family made for a story that spun generations. There were a new set of Mer-characters, Alia and Runa and the Sea King came more to the fore. On land, there was some history repeating and new characters in the form of Will and Sofie mainly. Runa was a strong protagonist alongside Evie and I really liked her character.

I found the first part of this story very strong but the was some waning in the plot in the second half, all this was mitigated by a strong culmination in the story overall, which ultimately left me satisfied.

As a duet, these books were a solid YA fantasy read with a great take on Hans Christian Andersons’ original tales and they swept into my imagination making a colourful picture. I liked how the Sea Witch was ‘born’ and humanised and this aspect will remain my favourite element of these tales. The covers are particularly beautiful and I must say they look eye-catching on my shelf. I’ll be looking out for Sarah Henning’s upcoming contemporary books as I did enjoy her writing.

Thank you to the publisher and the amazon vine programme for this review copy.

FIRST COMES LOVE by Emily Giffin

What happens when love, marriage and children don’t come in the expected order?

Fifteen years after the tragic death of their older brother splintered Josie and Meredith’s already fragile relationship, the two sisters are following very different paths.

Hardworking, reserved Meredith thought she’d done it all the right way round – married the perfect man, had the perfect daughter – but now she’s wondering if she got the love part wrong.

Impulsive and spirited Josie has been single for years. She wants a child so much that she’s preparing to head straight for the baby carriage all on her own.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and secrets from the past surface, Josie and Meredith must come to terms with their own choices. Perhaps they’ll find that they need each other more than they know…


Title : First Comes Love
Author : Emily Giffin
Format : Paperback ARC
Page Count : 351
Genre : Women’s Fiction
Publisher : Hodder Books
Release Date : September 22, 2016

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★


I like Emily Giffin’s writing style and have previously enjoyed a number of her books. She writes good, reliable women’s fiction about families, relationships and the challenges that arise in life. That said, FIRST COMES LOVE was just an okay read for me.

The book starts very strong with a family tragedy and the story centres on the ripples going out from this event 20 years later. Central to this are the joint protagonists, sisters called Meredith and Josie. Imagine two 8 year old sisters biccering and this is much of how these two behave in the book but with adult themes. I think the reason I only found this an okay read was because of the juvenille relationship these two had. I much preferred the focus on their lives seperately.

Meredith’s life centred on her husband and child but there really was a ‘finding yourself’ theme to her story which I quite enjoyed. Josie’s story was more about reaching her goals and she had a couple of friendships that were fun reading. I did find Josie’s obsession with previous failed relationships a bit irritating. The story isn’t heavy on romance but had a relationships focus, mostly family and platonic relationships.

This book did have a reasonably good culmination. Although this wasn’t my favourite Emily Giffin, I still enjoyed her writing style and I’ll be back to read more from her.

Thank you to Hodder books and amazon vine for the review copy.