Lone Star — Paullina Simons

Written 3 October, 2015 by rach in book reviews / 0 Comments

Lone Star — Paullina SimonsLone Star by Paullina Simons
Published by HarperCollins Australia on April 1st 2015
Pages: 627

Falling in love was the easy part ... 

Chloe is weeks away from college when she embarks on a grand European adventure with her boyfriend and two best friends. Their destination is Barcelona, with its promise of romance and mystery, but first they must detour through the historic cities of Eastern Europe to settle an old family debt. 

As they traverse the unfamiliar landscape of the post-Communist world, Chloe meets a boy on a train who is going off to war. Johnny carries a guitar, an easy smile - and a lifetime of secrets.

The trip becomes a treacherous journey into Europe's and Johnny's darkest past - a journey that threatens to shatter the bonds holding together four lifelong friends.

From Riga to Treblinka to Trieste, Chloe must face her deepest desires colliding with the future she thought she wanted. 

For Chloe and Johnny only one thing is certain: whatever their destination, their lives will never be the same.

It hurts me a little to give this book only 3 stars. Paullina Simons is one of my most adored authors, and I am always excited to get my hands on her latest release. Lone Star fell disappointingly short of what I’ve come to expect from Simons. The story was slow starting and the narration frustrated me – particularly when the multiple character point of views came into play. Perhaps it’s just me, but if multiple POV’s are not going to be consistent from beginning to end, they shouldn’t be used at all. I find if the narration style changes abruptly in the middle of the book, I feel as if I’ve fallen out of step. This was particularly the case with Lone Star, especially keeping one character’s chapters in third person and the others in first person. It feels sloppy and makes it difficult (for me at least) to get absorbed in the story.

The story itself was enjoyable. It wasn’t the type of story that kept me up at night, telling myself “just one more chapter” multiple times, but it did keep my attention. It was incredibly slow-starting with a lot of mundane details that could’ve been cut from the book. However, it takes a turn for the better in the middle of the book, which details Chloe and her friends’ Europe adventures (or should I say misadventures as it often turns out),. The ending felt like it was lacking something. Considering how lengthy and detailed the rest of the story was, and considering most of the story was a build up for the ending, it just felt rushed. Almost like Simons had lost interest and was just tying up all the loose ends.

This story is more of a coming of age story than the “unforgettable love story” it’s branded as. Don’t get me wrong, the love story within the story is beautiful and everything you would expect from Simons, but the book is so much more than just that. It’s about family, friendships, the transition between being a teenager and entering adulthood and the joys and heartache that come with that self-discovery. The historical aspects of this book deserve a mention too. One of the things I love most about Simons books is her ability to weave history into them in a way which is both beautiful and impacting.

Overall, not the best work that Paullina Simons has produced, but still (mostly) beautifully written.


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a new chapter

Written 30 July, 2015 by rach in Uncategorized / 5666 Comments


For as long as I can remember, my love of reading and discovering new authors and books has been a constant in my life. Other interests come and go, but books have been there from the very beginning. Even if it’s only a few pages that get read, I make sure I put some time in my day aside to read. I’m the girl who will go to bed and hour early (or two, depending on how good the book) just to read. I’m the girl who is quite content to have a weekend with no plans locked in, because it means there’s more valuable reading time. I’m the girl who carries a book with her everywhere she goes just in case. I’m the girl who can’t walk into the bookstore without leaving with a new book in her possession. I’m the girl with the infinite TBR pile – for every book I finish, an extra five get added to my wishlist.

For years I have kept a yearly list of books read I’ve read. Before the likes of goodreads reading challenges, I was setting goals for myself, and keeping record of how many books (and sometimes pages) I read in a year. I have notebooks full of my favourite quotes and passages from books. I’ve got little pieces of paper scattered around the place full of my thoughts on books, always with the intention to put them in a review on goodreads or amazon, or a similar site, but never quite getting around to it.

A few months ago I started considering ways I could utilise all these bits and pieces I’ve gathered over the years, and how I could share my passion for reading with other like-minded souls. I’ve been observing the online bookish community from the sidelines, looking for ideas on how I could best contribute to it. The idea for a book blog was one that wouldn’t go away. In fact it nestled itself quite firmly in my mind, growing larger daily, demanding attention.

And so this blog was born.

I have so many ideas for potential posts and I am so excited to start writing them. Mostly I plan to share my thoughts on books I’ve read. I’m reluctant to use the term ‘book review’ because they won’t be your traditional style review. The posts will simply be written about what I like or disliked about a particular book. They may be short and simple posts, gushing over how much I loved the book, or they may be a little more longer and deeper, if the book evokes that kind of emotion.

Other than that, there will be posts on other book related topics that I hope you will feel inspired to participate in.

If this all sounds intriguing to you, please stick around and see this little blog blossom. I promise to try my hardest to make it something interesting.