Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertBlurb

It’s 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She’s in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they’re trying for a baby – and she doesn’t want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own journey in search of three things she has been missing: pleasure, devotion and balance. So she travels to Rome, where she learns Italian from handsome, brown-eyed identical twins and gains twenty-five pounds, an ashram in India, where she finds that enlightenment entails getting up in the middle of the night to scrub the temple floor, and Bali where a toothless medicine man of indeterminate age offers her a new path to peace: simply sit still and smile. And slowly happiness begins to creep up on her.

My Perspective

Eat, Pray, Love follows Elizabeth Gilbert as she takes a year off travelling to Italy, India and Indonesia in her search for self discovery.

I didn’t realise this was actually a non fiction memoir. To be honest I thought she was a pretty lucky individual to have the means to be able to do what she did.

I mostly liked Elizabeth however I did find her also slightly annoying. I can’t put my finger on why, just that she aggravated me a bit.

The book is in three sections: Eat (Italy), Pray (India), Love (Indonesia). I enjoyed reading the first section (Eat – Italy) as it sets the story and involves lots of yummy food! I wasn’t such a fan of the second section (Pray – India) as I found that it was more like a Yoga textbook than her actual experience with Yoga. Obviously you have to have some explanation so that the reader understands however I found it was too much, which means I was a bit bored throughout that section. If I wanted to understand Yoga that much then I’d research it properly rather than reading someone’s non fiction memoir. I mostly enjoyed the third section (Love – Indonesia) however I found it went from being super spiritual to an almost teenage romance. I had a bit of a hard time reconciling the two.

Overall though it was an interesting read and certainly has the potential to make you reflect on your own life. I would probably recommend it.


Love Across the Seas by JJ Alston

Love Across the Seas by JJ AlstonBlurb

She always wanted to be loved, but would he still love her if he knew who she really was?

In this New Adult novel, Candace doesn’t believe anyone could ever love her, especially because of her large size. Compared to her flawless sister Tiffany, she’s nothing. But a surprising misunderstanding between Tiffany and a guy she met in Bali leads the man to falling in love with Candace instead, even if it is over email. Can Candace really be loved for who she is? Will the mysterious man in Bali leave if he knows who Candace really is? And will a tragedy separate the love between two young people?

My Perspective

The story is about a young woman, Candace, who is caught up in a long distance relationship through email. It started by accident and she is torn between feeling wanted and knowing that she is not only lying to herself but to the man she loves. Will he accept her for who she really is, or is he only in love with the person he thinks she is?

I really liked the plot of this story, it was interesting and mysterious, the reader not knowing if the story was a romance or a hoax. It was well written and caught my interest from the beginning.

I also really liked Candace’s character and i empathised with her throughout the story; being nervous for her, excited for her, upset for her etc. At first i was wary of Rio’s character however as the story developed i started to trust him more. The Mum and Tiff were great characters too, liking them but also being indignant about their attitudes towards Candace.

Around the point in the story when Rio talks to Candace about God, i started to find it a little sappy. I don’t have a problem with the context at all (i’m a Christian so i shouldn’t!) i just found it didn’t flow as well from then on and how each “conflict” that was resolved seemed a bit too “happily ever after”.

Also i found that the three “conflicts” in the second half of the story seemed to happen one after the other without the story around them being fleshed out enough. I think for the length of it, three conflicts were too much. If it was longer and it was fleshed out more, then the conflicts are fine and would work well in the story. Instead of holding my breath, hoping and anticipating; i didn’t really get the chance to because the conflicts were resolved quite quickly. I would start to feel that way, but then it would be resolved, then another conflict would happen so i would start to hold my breath and then the conflict would be resolved. I never quite got to the point where i was wanting to read as fast as i could because i had to know if everything was going to work out.

The story was good but it didn’t take me that level where i can’t put it down because i have to know what happens. If the conflicts were fleshed out more, or one of them withdrawn so the story isn’t any longer, i think it would go from being just good to great.

I would definitely recommend it to those who like romance.

A digital copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.