on March 18, 2015 :
The author gently provided me with a free copy of this Ebook in exchange for an honest review.
I do have a soft spot for Finnish people. I tried to learn some Finnish eons ago but since it was just an elective course I couldn't give it all the attention it deserved. My bigger brother is Finnish. Well, not really my blood brother but my soul bigger brother but still... He lives in Germany now and I miss him so much.
Anyway. I was very happy when the author contacted me and gave me a copy of her book to review. I had my eyes on her work for a long time and I finally got the chance to read. Too bad that the timing sucks. I did get heartbroken myself a couple of weeks ago and I'm not over it yet.
The book starts in a weird way. Hanna, the MC, is totally hungover and swears never to drink again. Quite a start. Then enters Micheàl - I really hope I got the spelling right - and the mood suddenly changes. I do like Micheàl: he's fresh, he's always happy and he's ready to do everything to protect his best friend, AKA Hanna. The guy actually moves to Finland and learns the language just to be close to Hanna and help recover. He has my utmost respect. Too bad that it somehow doesn't end well for him: Hanna had promised to have their child and he was really looking forward to it. When Sebastain gets back, however, all his paternity plans shatter. I mean, in the book their decision seems a bit rushed but I was on their side nonetheless.
Sebastian is Hanna's love interest and his a personal development guru. OK, he was far too perfect and all his monologues about personal development were a bit boring. But he was a good guy in the end. I love the fact that he didn't try to own Hanna. You know, in tons of romance out there the guy is always trying to control every aspect of his girl's life but here Sebastian tries to give Hanna as much space as she needs. I do like reading about that.
Cathy is a bit unbelievable as a character. Already in the first scene she seems way too cruel - and unlikeable - compared to Hanna. In addition, her change in character doesn't seems true as well.
This is a nice readable romance. Nothing new under the sun. What's new, though, is the fact that it shows two different lifestyles - the Finnish and the Irish one - and it make a little fun of their characteristics. Reading about cultural differences between Ireland and Finland was very interesting. For instance, I really appreciated the scene in which Hanna is in the sauna. That was way interesting.
I was glad I had the opportunity to read this novel. It's a nice fluffy thing to read when you just want to relax yourself.
(reviewed 34 days after purchase)
on Feb. 28, 2015 :
So, Tiina Walsh is kind enough to give me the e-copy of this book since I didn’t win the paperback one through Goodreads First Reads.
Prettily cute cover, unique title, and intriguing blurb were three main things that made me interested in reading Fine-Tuning Hanna. Oh and also the little words etched in the upper side of the book cover seemed promising a good romance book.
“Would saying the magic words ‘I love you’ in time have stopped it all going so wrong?”
That’s why I felt more than welcome to read this book and give my review here.
I had a fun time writing this down. It was one thing about writing a brief synopsis of the story before jotting down what I felt about the book itself. I sometimes found myself loving the book after writing the synopsis even though I felt indifferent after reading it. Or often I found myself loving the book even more than when I fell in love with the book during reading. And Fine-Tuning Hanna belonged to the latter here.
I was not quite familiar with the author’s writing style so sometimes I was surprised by certain scenes I found in this book. I never thought of finding a very detailed description of the countries here. And I surely didn’t think of getting rather descriptive side-stories about the other characters on the book. This was new.
While people said that they don’t quite familiar with Ireland and Finland, I’ve known these countries pretty well since I was in high school. Dublin is actually one of my favorite countries in the world. It started with my loving the band The Script. And I just really love Irish accent so much. I knew Finland because I was a big fan of F1 when I was still in high school. I never missed a race that was shown on television. My favorite of course, that cutie ‘Iceman’ Kimi Räikkönen and he’s from Espoo, Finland.
That’s why I was excited to find this would be a cross country romance book between Ireland and Finland!
I loved that she put a lot of trivia about the countries. The things she wrote about piano-tuning and personal development were great. Tiina Walsh really knows what she’s writing about.
The book is fast-paced which is fine with me. The instant love between Hanna and Sebastian is not impossible. Ms. Walsh chooses a unique plot about cross-country romance. She shows us that cross-country romance is not any different than those of same country as long as the couple’s savvies for each other are on the table. It was just like any other relationships that trust issue and insecurity is always the hurdle for two people to get on the same track.
“Our beliefs also have to be fine-tuned in such a fashion, to allow them to play in perfect harmony with each other”
Sebastian’s character reminds me on a true gentleman. He didn’t hesitate of swallowing his pride for the woman he loves. His constant understanding for Hanna is endearing. He is the man who thinks thoroughly first before taking an act. I really loved it whenever Ms. Walsh put the characters to have a self-reflection upon their prior actions before confronting the others. Sebastian’s realization upon his father’s demeanor just made me love him more. And I love Hanna’s personality. She’s one fierce and brave woman. I am actually a bit envious of how she’s not afraid of showing what she truly feels inside.
Despite the appearance of lots of personal development speeches and fine-tuning piano business which most of us not familiar with, Fine-Tuning Hanna is actually a light and enjoyable read. The problem issued here was considerably soft-core. It was pretty funny too. Sometimes I found Hanna was a bit comical when she’s all giddy about Sebastian.
Generally the whole story is good. It’s just that I was hoping the side-story of the other characters wasn’t written in details because this was a book about Hanna and Sebastian. It might be best to not getting into all details about the other couple. Well, maybe it was because I couldn’t relate well with the other characters. I think it might be better to put a glimpse of their story and give them their own spin-stories in separate books, maybe.
Oh, and the ending was simple yet so cute (well, this sounds like a spoiler…)! Thanks to Ms. Tiina Walsh for introducing this Sebastian-Hanna couple to me :)
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
on Feb. 22, 2015 :
What a true delight it was to read this book!
What I particularly enjoyed about Fine-Tuning Hanna was the cultural difference between Hanna and Sebastian/Michael. There were times where I sat there giggling out loud due to the high recognition factor of being a Scandinavian myself and I could relate to some of Hanna's characteristics. At the same time I could also share her profound interest and love for the Irish customs.
Fine-Tuning Hanna is not an ordinary chic-lit novel, it's most definitely not corny or silly, it's sweet, heart wrenching(as if you're riding a roller coaster of emotions) and quite often very inspirational. The thing about this book is that apart from the element of love, heartbreak and friendship, our charming Sebastian provides us with fascinating and life-long lessons that will teach us or remind us once more of the importance of self-esteem, self-discovery and the process of thinking when dealing with negative thoughts.
It was impossible for me to put down this book. Not only was Hanna's and Sebastian's love passionate and fascinating, but the other characters and their own individual stories in this book were refreshing. If you hesitate to read Fine-Tuning Hanna, don't! You won't be disappointed, instead you will be filled with a warm, fuzzy and content feeling by the end of the book
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)
on Feb. 11, 2015 :
A lovely little romance set between Ireland and Finland. I enjoyed learning a little about the Finnish and Irish lifestyle and I enjoyed the piano tuning references. The author wrote about what she knew, which came through well. I felt a little bombarded by all the personal development references, but they were relevant to the story. The story focussed on the two main characters, but there was also some character development of the minor characters. It wrapped everything up nicely and there were happily ever afters for everyone.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
on May 18, 2014 :
I received this book as an arc copy from goodreads.
This book surprised me a great deal. I thought to myself oh this is just going to be another cute romance... Blah blah blah" but it turned out to be very enlightening. The man that the heroine, Hanna, becomes involved with is a motivational speaker and parts of his speeches are included throughout the story. The more I read this book the more I found that I was examining my own life trying to relate to his message.
Not only was this a story about love and heartbreak (which I could totally relate to and found myself tearing up over multiple times) it was extremely enlightening for my own life and the relationships I have had and beliefs that have been with me for as long as I can remember.
Definitely a must read!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Feb. 15, 2014 :
Unfortunately I didn't win a copy from First Reads. However the author gave me a free ebook copy. I would actually give this 4.5 stars.
This was a very well written first novel from Tiina Walsh.
Hanna is a piano tuner from Finland who does a job exchange with a fellow piano tuner in Ireland. Hanna meets personal development guru Sebastian. They begin a whirlwind romance until suddenly Hannas job exchange is cut short. Hanna discovers something very unseemly about Sebastian and flees back to Finland to mend a broken heart. Sebastian can't figure out what happened to cause Hannas very sudden departure. Can these two find their way back to each other and mend their broken relationship.
I really enjoyed this book especially since I got the opportunity to read about two countries. I love reading books based in countries that I have limited knowledge about. It gives a nice glimpse into the places, the cultures and the people.
I felt that not only did we get great insight into the main characters, but also the background ones. You got to know not only Hanna and Sebastian, but also Cathy, Tim, Michael, Sofia. I liked that you got to see a little into their lives as well.
This was a very good novel with a little self help thrown in along the way. Really enjoyed reading this. Thank you Tiina Walsh for the free ebook.
Original review posted on Good Reads https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/840512546?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
on Feb. 9, 2014 :
I ran out of luck with winning this book as a giveaway, but the author was super kind to give me a copy as a Valentines gift of sorts. I'm really glad for this opportunity because I rarely read outside of Young Adult and this book did not disappoint me.
I'll just dive straight into the things that I'm crazy about this book. First off, it's not your run of the mill romance chick lit. Our main character, Hanna, is a successful piano-tuner of Finnish descent who's life path somehow crosses with the dashing Sebastian O'Reilly. When I say it's not your run of the mill chick lit, I really do mean it. The dimensions of the characters, their conversations and thought processes aren't in any way predictable or traditional. Even some of the issues that the book delves into weren't just highly-glossed realities but actual cases that people go through. I am really impressed with the multitude of issues I have been subjected to while reading this book, and to think that these are all possible realities many women go through every day is a feeling that I rarely encounter.
Speaking of writing, the emotions were captured really well with carefully-crafted words that I couldn't help but just feel for Hanna and her plight. The considerable about of jargon used (both for the piano-tuning and the motivational aspects) were enough to let me know this is one author who knows what she's writing about. The use of Finnish and Celtic language and culture in some parts were spot-on, and did not give off any cloud of pretentiousness. If anything, it added a new layer of authenticity to the book.
Lastly, what attracted me the most was the cover. It's not tacky as I would've expected many chick lit titles to have, and really captured Hanna's personality to the tee. All in all, this is one great book I wouldn't mind keeping at the top of the re-read stack.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on Dec. 28, 2013 :
A Very Fine First Novel!
I received a free copy of this book from the author for an honest review. This was a cosy, feel-good read and I've really enjoyed it. The book is set in Dublin and Finland. The main character, Hanna, is a piano tuner from Finland who is working for a couple of years in Dublin and one of her colleagues is working in Finland also tuning pianos, sort of like a job exchange. Being a pianist myself, this was really interesting to me as I hadn't read anything before about a piano tuner and I didn't really know much about it. I personally would have liked a bit more technical details about tuning but I realise non-musicians might find this unnecessary. Tiina Walsh's husband is actually a piano tuner so she has all this information first hand. I loved the writing where Hanna spent some months back in Finland. Christmas coincided with her spell over there and it was lovely to read about their different customs and traditions and the foods and drinks. I have never read a book with scenes in Finland before so this was something really refreshing and you even learn a few Finnish words along the way. There are many ingredients in this novel; romance, complications and conniving characters, traditions, skiing, music. It's a lovely story with some powerful chapters, some cosy and happy scenes and some which tug at your heartstrings. I wasn't keen on the character Sebastian at the beginning until I had got into the book but later it really started to flow and I couldn't wait to see what happened next. The book cover is really enticing, this is just right-I love the pink colour. It's a good design with all the musical notes cascading around it. Lovely presentation and a great read, really different to what I have read before and I really felt I had learned something at the end of it. It was quite an accurate offering. Just a couple of possible errors: location 367 'base' should be 'bass' location 2996 'violin quartet'? I think this should be 'string quartet'. Where the characters are at a concert and Tiina writes that a Chopin piece was being played, I personally would have liked an actual name of a work, just to really get the full atmosphere, same with the string quartet music. This might be just me and obviously some people wouldn't care what music was played. I would love to read more by this author, I hope she writes more. I would like to see Hanna's character pop up again, certainly more about a piano tuner character anyway. I have had my ebook 'virtually signed' as the author has put her book on authorgraph. The author obviously cares about her fans so much so that she did my authorgraph request on Boxing Day! I wasn't expecting this-I did expect to have to wait while she 'got around to it' but she did it so quickly, she really does deserve to do well. Congratulations on a great book.
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)