I’m back with another blog tour and this time it’s for The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn by Freya Kennedy. Thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour and to Boldwood Books and the author for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
There’s also a special bingo game going on for this book, so be sure to keep an eye out for the #LibbyQuinnBingo tag on social media!
Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!
Goodreads: The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Release Date: 05 May 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
If you can dream it, you can make it come true…
Libby Quinn is sick and tired of being sensible.
After years of slogging her guts out for nothing at a PR company, she finds herself redundant and about to plough every last penny of her savings into refurbishing a ramshackle shop and making her dream of owning her own bookshop become a reality. She hopes opening ‘Once Upon A Book’ on Ivy Lane will be the perfect tribute to her beloved grandfather who instilled a love of reading and books in her from an early age. When her love life and friendships become even more complicated – will Libby have the courage to follow her dreams? Or has she bitten off more than she can chew?
I read the last page of The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn with a deep sense of satisfaction, and it made me so glad that this book was put on my radar because it’s a wonderfully uplifting story about taking that leap to chase after your dreams. The story had so many elements that I love to read about: family, friendships, a close-knit community, and most importantly: books! I mean, who doesn’t love a book about books?! There’s also a little bit of romance and while Libby does spend a lot of time thinking about this person, it didn’t take over the story, so it was a nice and slow burn romance.
The story is told through Libby’s perspective as she embarks on a new adventure by finally opening up the bookshop that she and her granddad had always dreamed about. Even after two years, Libby has been struggling to cope with his loss but she has taken the leap to chase after their dream and she is 1,000% committed. Although I wasn’t very sure how I’d feel about her character at the start, I ended up really liking her and found her very relatable! She’s fiercely determined to make this bookshop a success and I loved her passion and drive to see it done. Her love for books was very clear and I enjoyed her flashbacks to moments of sharing in a tale with her grandfather. That said she also had some very real flaws that I think make her even more relatable. There was a bit of conflict with her BFF although in all honesty, she totally rubbed me the wrong way for a good part of the book. You’d think a BFF would be encouraging and supportive, not push out their own frustrations by putting down their friend! I thought Libby handled the situation well though–certainly better than I would’ve done, but I’m also glad that she had other people come into her life that were fully supportive of her. As a 30-something-year-old I also related to the struggles she faced and that was also surprisingly very comforting to know. I don’t know about other book lovers, but I know it would be a dream of mine to open up a library cafe or bookshop like Libby did in this book. It sounded amazing and I could clearly picture how she set everything up and it seems like it’d be an amazingly cozy and comforting place to hang out.
“Libby, you don’t have to doubt yourself all the time, you know. […]sometimes we all go through phases when stuff happens and we kind of lose sight of who we are or what we want. Or maybe we just don’t really know what we want, so we make some mistakes. […]but, you now what, it’s all swings and roundabouts.”Freya Kennedy, The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn
*quote taken from an advanced copy and is subject to change in the final copy
The other supporting characters were just that and we didn’t get to learn much about them, except for of course the love interest, who had me swooning just a little bit. That said, I do wish we learned more about everyone because they were such lovely and kind-hearted characters. I also wished that the romance was better developed as we’re more told about their chemistry and feelings rather than shown it. It didn’t bother me too much though because this was really more about Libby pursuing her dreams (while also learning that it’s not mutually exclusive to falling in love)!
While this certainly wasn’t the most unpredictable read and I could already see how the story would unfold after the first few chapters, it was exactly what I needed even if I didn’t know it at the time. Read this if you want to be filled with warmth and hope, or if you want to just feel good! Many thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour and thanks to Boldwood Books and the author for sharing the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Freya Kennedy lives in Derry, Northern Ireland, with her husband, two children, two cats and a mad dog called Izzy. She worked as a journalist for eighteen years before deciding to write full time. When not writing, she can be found reading, hanging out with her nieces and nephews, cleaning up after her children (a lot) and telling her dog that she loves her.
She has met Michael Buble and even kissed him. It was one of her best ever moments.
She believes in happy ever afters.
Freya Kennedy is a pen name for Claire Allan, who also writes psychological thrillers.
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Have you read The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn?