Live a Little

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 5 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

What a delightful story! Sisters Lottie and Tina are polar opposites. Lottie is down to earth, realistic and has her life on track. She’s due to marry steadfast Dean, who she’s been with for 10 years. Tina on the other hand, is happy-go-lucky, carefree and without a care in the world! She’s determined to convince her ‘boring’ older sister that life can be a lot more fun. And so, before she’s tied down by marriage, she shleps her off on a whirlwind trip across America – but there are terms and conditions attached! Lottie must agree to a series of challenges – she must say ‘yes’ to all of them, because as far as Tina’s concerned she says ‘no’ to far too much in her life which results in missing out on all the good stuff.

So, off they go! Their relationship is tenuous to say the least. They haven’t spent a lot of time together in recent years and the reasons for this become obvious as the story unfolds. Lottie likes to know what the plan is when she’s going on a trip. Tina tells her they’ll go wherever the road takes them! She doesn’t even know what the challenges she’s promised her sister will be. Some of them land up being ridiculous, some are downright quirky! But they do all challenge Lottie to take huge steps out of her comfort zone, which is exactly what Tina wants!

This isn’t just another chick-lit book that it might appear to be; far from it. It will hit home for many. It’s the story of family and what ties people together. It’s about the bonds of what keeps you close to your loved ones, regardless of the crap you’ve been through, both together and apart. It’s about recognising yourself in the strengths and weaknesses of a sibling and knowing that this person always has your back.

Reiss based the actual road trip on one she’d taken with her own sisters and which she’d documented years previously. This explains the fabulous descriptions that she’s used throughout this book. You’ll feel like you’re right there with Lottie and Tina as they follow the map and landscape of this incredible American roadtrip. I particularly liked Tina’s conversation starters: “What would you be if you were a …” I found them to be a true testament to her quirky nature!

4 stars for this poignant read that manages to just about stop itself (by about a heartbeat) from being heartbreaking.
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This is a brilliant read that I found highly enjoyable from the first page to the last. 
Lottie is on the verge of getting married after being in a relationship with the very sensible Dean for over ten years. Lottie has always followed the rules and has always been known as the serious sister. 
Tina is the opposite of Lottie. She is wild and carefree. She has never settled down and very much enjoys the single life. 
After the death of their sister, Mia the girls are both dealing with their grief.  Tina decides the pair of them need to try and build their relationship back up again as they have begun to drift apart. 
Tina books them both a trip across America, she persuades Lottie to come and have one last trip away before the wedding and maybe start to live a little. 
I loved reading the adventures of Lottie and Tina as the head across America. It was such a refreshing read and one that shows you a lot about the relationships between siblings. 
You really get to know both of the women and learn about the childhood they had with their sister Mia. Both Lottie and Tina have secrets from their past that they begin to share with each other as their trip progresses and you learn more about the sad way in which Mia died. 
I loved reading about their adventures and at times I was really laughing at the outcome of the challenges that Tina has set Lottie.
The setting for this book sounds amazing and I enjoyed reading about all of the different places the sisters stayed.
This was the first book I have read by Madeleine Reiss but it will not be the last.
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I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

At the heart of this story is the relationship of two sisters going on a road trip across America who are trying to rekindle a relationship that has been absent since the death of their eldest sister.

Tina is the youngest. Fun, feisty and complex she is very different from her sister Lottie who is sensible and due to be married. Not convinced that Lottie’s future husband is right for her Tina enlists the help of her ex boyfriend Spike to challenge the legitimacy of Lottie’s feelings.

I enjoyed this book however it did take me a fairly long time to get through the chapters. At times I found the story lacked depth and some events were not quite believable in my opinion. Perfect for a summer read. 3/5 stars.
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Today is my turn on the book tour for Live a Little by Madeleine Reiss thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers and Zaffre Books.
I wanted to read this book because I liked the idea of the two contrasting sisters going on an American road trip.
The sisters have two very different personalities, Lottie is quiet and caring, and she likes to plan and is content with her life, marrying her long-term boyfriend. Whilst Tina is outgoing, wild and carefree.
They have drifted apart after the death of their older sister Mia, and the road trip is designed to bring them together again, especially before Lottie goes home to get married.
Along the way though we come across many different characters which add their own dimension to the story.
This was the first of Madeleine’s books that I have read and I enjoyed her writing style. I felt this brought out the contrast in Lottie and Tina. However at times the book did feel quite slow and was being dragged out. Despite this I still enjoyed this book and the story that it followed.
The core of the book is about the sisters and their relationship, and discovering what happened to Mia.
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Just by reading what this book is about I knew I just had to be involved. Getting to know Lottie and Tina has certainly been an eye opener as they journey to America to go on the road trip of a lifetime (and for a purpose!) These are sisters with two completely different personalities but that’s what kept the storyline full of surprises. Lottie is a very much by the book kind of person and Tina just doesn’t think before she acts. So you can imagine the sparks that fly between them. Then to add Spike, their American friend into the mix gave the story more drama than ever! 

I very much enjoyed ‘Live A Little’ and I was sad to get to the end! I loved Madeleine’s writing and I found myself vividly imagining their road trip, especially the amazing surroundings. If you want to escape into a beautiful story about love, betrayal, loss and friendship then I urge you to get started with this story. I am very much looking forward to reading more of Madeleine’s books in the future 😊 I give Live A Little 4*/5*! 

Thank you to Bonnier Zaffre for an advanced copy of this book via Netgalley.
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Live a Little by Madeleine Reiss is a beautifully written and heartwarming book that I thoroughly enjoyed. As someone who has sisters herself, I was drawn to this book straight away. It’s a lovely book that’s filled to the brim with love, life and the reality of not just how wonderful it is to have a sister, but also how infuriating it can be at times! The story is told with humour, but has a real emotional depth that touched me to my core. I can’t even begin to imagine what life would be like if one of my sisters was no longer there, so this aspect of the story was especially poignant for me.

Lottie has always followed the rules, her life is comfortable and she’s about to marry her long term boyfriend Dean. Her sister, Tina, on the other hand, is carefree and doesn’t understand Lottie’s desire to settle down with “dull Dean” as there’s still so much to discover in the world.

Lottie and Tina have drifted apart, even living in different countries. But then the loss of their older sister, Mia, makes them realise how little they actually know each other. Desperate to put things right, Tina convinces Lottie to cancel her hen do and travel half way around the world to embark on a road trip across America, just the two of them. But Tina has one last trick up her sleeve – Lottie must say yes to everything she says, no matter what it is.

What follows is a funny, moving and heartwarming tale that moves along at a steady pace. Once started I could not put this lovely book down, with the portrayal of the two sisters being a perfect reflection of what having a sister is really like. Their frustrations with each other, as funny as they often are, cover the grief they both still feel at the loss of their older sister. Mia was the glue that held them together and, without her, they are floundering. Will the sisters finally be able to come to terms with their loss? And will Lottie make the decision to return to her life with Dean? Or will she realise that there really is more to life than what she already has?

There is so much to love about this book. Madeleine Reiss has written a beautiful story that’s full of heart. It’s a story that often had me laughing out loud as the sisters tested each other to the limit, but then something would happen that would bring a lump to my throat, moving me beyond words.

A lovely, heartwarming and poignant read that I would recommend.
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A fun summer read, a nice light story and fast paced, perfect for sunbathing and no thinking 

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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Madeleine Reiss has a remarkable capacity for reinvention – this book was very different from anything I’ve read from her before, and I must say I really enjoyed it. On the surface this is the story of a road trip, two sisters getting to know each other in adulthood while exploring the East Coast of the US, perhaps finding themselves (and the truth about each other) as they do so. Their characters are quickly established – Tina the party girl, irresponsible and irreverent, living in the moment, while Lottie is measured, deliberate, risk averse, a little grey against her sister’s flashy brightness. And in the background is their missing third sister, Mia, her story and its impact slowly revealed as the story progresses.

It’s the complexity of those sibling relationships, the uncovering of secrets and layers of guilt, the “journey” the women take, that made the book so very engaging. I will concede that it might be a tad overlong, but I found every exchange, every new development quite fascinating, even when the pace flagged a little. Sometimes the book’s characters conform to your expectations, but there are other times when they both surprise and shock – and those key moments are extremely well handled.

The road trip itself fascinated me too – if the relationships don’t hook you, the changing landscape certainly will, and the descriptions are quite wonderful (just wait for the drama of the Grand Canyon – and the ride across the Arizona desert is unforgettable too). And there’s also a gentle humour running through the whole, driven by the sisters’ very different lives and choices, and a rather lovely quirkiness in their exchanges.

I suspect this might well not be a book for everyone, but I was totally engaged throughout – I thought it was highly original, so well written and really rather stunning.

(Review to be copied to Amazon UK on publication day)
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LIVE A LITTLE; FULL OF LAUGHTER, LIFE AND LOVE

I warn you all – I suffered a serious book hangover after reading Live a Little. Actually it’s a week since I’ve finished this fab book and I think I’m still suffering the remnants of my hangover. I mean I’ve thought about this book A LOT since reading it. Maybe its because its a book about sisters and having a sister myself, I found it a very true portrayal of sisters – warts and all – but related in such a brilliant, humorous manner.

With only a few weeks away till Lottie’s wedding, her sister Tina is not convinced by her soon-to-be brother-in-law ‘drippy Dean.’ Hence Tina persuades Lottie to go with her on a ‘once in a lifetime’ road trip across America. She wants her and Lottie to re-connect whilst having fun and adventures. Tina also wants Lottie to use the holiday as an opportunity to work out if marriage to Dean is what she really wants.

As well as leading very different lives, Lottie and Tina have contrasting natures; Lottie follows rules and her life with Dean is ordered and sensible. Whereas Tina lives for the moment, is wild and can’t imagine ever committing herself to anyone.

With very different personalities, the two sisters have a tendency to disagree, even clash at times. Yet ever since they were young it was their older sister Mia that held them together. But Mia has gone. Although neither of them talk about it, Mia is the real reason why Lottie and Tina have chosen to go on the road trip.

This is a compelling story that moves along brilliantly, full of emotional depth and humour. I read it quickly as I struggled to tear myself away from it. Especially when the character of Spike (who I quite fancied) becomes more involved in the plot. And then there is the ‘challenges’…

I loved Live a Little for so many reasons; but I think what I especially loved is the authentic portrayal of sisters. When reading it, I frequently smiled as I related to Lottie’s and Tina’s annoyance and frustrations towards each other, as well as their love. However I have to say if my sister challenged me the way Tina challenges Lottie, I’d tell her to ‘do one!’ 😉

I’m now desperate for my sister to read Live a Little because I know she’ll love it too.

Live a Little is published this week, Thursday 5th September – so if you’re looking for a funny, heartwarming read that you won’t be able to put down, definitely read this. You’ll be captivated.

Thank you to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part in the blog tour of this beautiful book. A massive thank you to Madeleine Reiss for being inspired to write Live a Little – this is a book that really moved me and also made me laugh a lot. And the ending is so emotional and tender – I loved that.

Happy reading everyone! 🙂
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The way to mend the distance between two sisters missing their eldest one is a road trip. 

Lottie and Tina were like chalk and cheese, so different in their personalities and outlook toward life they had drifted apart when Tina suggested a road trip in America to scatter her sister's ashes. A trip of bonding brought out old hurts and new, and soon circumstances changed and their dynamics altered. 

My second book by Madeleine Reiss, the sisters made my heart smile and go all gooey with their initial antics and challenges. The author has made this a memorable trip. The sisters met multitude of characters, some downright weird along with a hitchhiker who connected with both. The characters were varied, and  Lottie and Tina took everything in their stride. 

I liked how the author has characterized the sisters, contrary yet similar. One was wild, the other quiet. One was impulsive, other thoughtful. But both had a mean competitive streak and they never gave up. The love between them shone through right from the beginning to end. They made mistakes, but they stuck by each other in moments of peril. Their loyalty was staunch. That's the way sisters ought to be. 

At 400 pages, the story meandered in the middle but  followed the pathway of contemporary fiction with challenges, fights, kidnapping, batty fans, romance, drinks, sights, shopping till it reached the crux. I came to know the real reason and the secrets of their past, what happened to their elder sister Mia. That shocked me to my core and made my eyes mist over. 

It is true, love between sisters  is forever and that was the core of this book. 

Men and friends may come and go, but sisters are forever.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Bonnier Zaffre for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 

Lottie has always followed the rules and is finally marrying her long-term and reliable boyfriend Dean whilst her sister Tina is carefree, wild and just a little but careless. The two sisters have drifted apart, living in different countries after the death of their older sister Mia, who was the glue that held them together. 

Tina manages to convince Lottie to cancel her hen do to travel halfway across the world and set out on a road trip across the US however Tina has a plan up her sleeve to shake up Lottie’s life – she must say yes to everything Tina suggests, no matter what. 

This was the first book that I’ve read by Madeleine Reiss and found myself really enjoying her writing style. I liked how different Lottie and Tina were and how realistic they were. Each had their own flaws which at times made them unlikeable but relatable. 

I found the book to be quite long and felt myself getting bored at certain parts. There was a reason they took this trip and honestly, I felt that it just dragged out too long. I also feel like there was a lot of drama when this book didn’t need it. I would have been content with a good and emotional family story rather than unnecessary plot points that just hindered the story. 

Overall it was a decent read about two sisters who are trying to figure out what they want in life while still mourning for the loss of their sister.
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3 stars

Live a Little by Madeleine Reiss is a book about two english sisters going on a road trip down the west coast of the USA.
Tina is a feisty and no nonsense character that acts first and thinks second. She lives fast and has a wall up to never let anyone get close to her.
Lottie is quite the opposite. A quiet and caring person that plans things out and never acts before thinking it out thoroughly.
I enjoyed the writing of the book and thought the two contrasting characters of the sisters worked well. The book is nearing 400 pages and although that seemed the right length for their journey, I did find myself getting a little bored at times.
There were also certain aspects that were unbelievable and not enough consequences for poor actions which I didn't think was very life like. 
It is a decent read about sisters, love and life but not enough to be above a 3 star rating for me. 

Please note that I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Loved this book.  It’s a fun & funny read that’s perfect for lying on a sun lounger.  Perfect summer reading material I’d recommend to anyone.
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This was a first from this author for me and I enjoyed the style in which it was written.

The story is focused on sisters Lottie & Tina who have very different personalities and their road trip across America in memory of their sister Mia. This is an emotionally charged story where lots of things are both said and left unsaid and they both have to deal with their conflicting emotions about what really happened to their sister.

I really enjoyed this book and the differing yet addictive personalities of both sisters, it will make you laugh and it will make you feel the deep loss both sisters have experienced. A lovely heartwarming story that will make you hug your sister a little tighter next time you see her.
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This is a fun book which is easy to read. It’s perfect for a holiday read
Storyline and pace are good 
Characters are likeable 
A good read
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What fun! I was pleased to read a book by this author as it was my fist and I enjoyed it greatly. A good summer read with a feel-good heart. I would definitely recommend this read. Thank you!
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Lottie and Tina are sisters. Three years ago they lost their beloved older sister Mia. Mia always had a huge sense of family and worked hard at keeping her sisters close to her. The night Mia dies, far too early, the sisters are devastated. The trio has become a duo and they are destined to drift apart, torn apart by closely guarded secrets and the guilt about the part they had played in their sister’s death.
Tina suffers commitment phobia and gaily dances between relationship after relationship, with a flighty wave goodbye at the slightest hint of getting too close. She has been hurt before although she would never admit it. Lottie is engaged to be married after a long, loving and steady relationship with Dean. Nerves are beginning to jangle and with the wedding looming and soon just weeks away, she and Tina are taking a hen road trip together to finally scatter Mia’s ashes, exactly as she had wanted. As Mia had known they would, they had drifted apart without her to glue them together and that is why Lottie cancels her traditional hen party to join Tina on a road trip across the States to honour her sister’s wishes for her ashes to be scattered at a specific and much loved destination.
The road trip, its background and its conclusion is at the heart of this novel. The route Lottie and Tina took is almost exactly the same as the road trip Madeleine Reiss and her sister once took and was faithfully documented in Madeleine’s journal. She found it stored in a cupboard and read over her lyrical descriptions of their trip and there she had the embryo of this novel about sisters, love and forgiveness. The characters are not based on her or her two sisters and this novel is pure, unadulterated fiction. It took me a while to get into the story but once I was on board I couldn’t wait to read what happened next. The descriptions were absolutely stunning and I could easily visualise Lottie and Tina in the various locations. I loved the theme because I always wanted a sister myself and if I had a sister I would love her and cherish her, even though she may be annoying and totally different from me. I liked the idea of the challenges Tina set for Lottie to encourage her to live a little more but thought at times Tina was controlling and manipulative. I did not like the ‘What would you be if you were a ….’ repartee that was an often used as a conversation starter. I found it annoying, pointless and not a good fit with the storyboard.
I received this book through my membership of NetGalley and from publisher Zaffre in return for an honest review. Thank you for my copy. These are my own thoughts and are uninfluenced by anyone else. It’s a 3.5* review from me.
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Live a Little is a fun, funny, and fabulous book. That is really easy to read and the perfect book for the summer.
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Live a Little is the story of Lottie and Tina, two very different sisters who have grown apart. Lottie is the sensible sister, while Tina is wild and carefree. Together they take a roadtrip across America to fulfil a promise to their older sister Mia. With Tina’s old friend Spike going along for the ride, the trip doesn’t go according to plan. 

A story which was slow to start but I’m glad I persevered as it turned into an entertaining read.
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