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We all recognise a part of ourselves in fictional female characters, whether that’s Bridget Jones and her goofy personality or Katniss Everdeen and her loyalty to her family and friends.

However, I don’t think us Irish women relate to anyone as much as Aisling, the protagonist in the best-selling book Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling.

Aisling’s story continues in the sequel The Importance of Being Aisling and reading the second instalment felt like I was reuniting with an old friend.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Her obsession with The Corrs, her lunchtime trip to Dunnes Stores to find a new ‘shumper’ and her determination to never miss a free hotel brekkie makes Aisling one of the most real female fictional characters.

After quite the emotional year things seem to be getting back on track for Aisling. She’s been enjoying many a glass of Pinot Greej with Sadhbh and co., she’s become accustomed to Dublin’s brunch addiction and she's even rekindled her romance with John.

However, she is still struggling to deal with the loss of her dear Daddy as Aisling, Mammy and her brother Paul are facing their first Christmas without him.

Anyone who has lost a family member knows just how hard that first Christmas is. Ever the positive person, Aisling seeks joy in the little things like Auntie Shelia’s famous stuffing and doing the ‘Big Shop’ in the new Aldi with Mammy, but that heartache is still there, which makes this book that little bit more personable.

Us Irish aren’t known for expressing our feelings and this is perfectly portrayed in the way Aisling and her family deal with Christmas without Daddy. The secret tears and unfulfilled traditions are oh so relatable for many readers.

What I adore most about Aisling is her ability to see the light in even the darkest of moments. Her “Ah sure, it’ll be grand” attitude is infectious in this tale and part of me felt proud of her for continuing on despite the hurdles life throws at her.

When things at PensionsPlus go awry, Aisling has no choice but to abandon her life in Dublin. She returns home to Mammy and That Bloody Cat, but before she knows it she's planning an escape route when life in Ballygobbard is too much to handle.

Aisling jets off to Las Vegas with Majella and Sadhbh in tow and the trip gives her the confidence boost that shows Aisling she’s capable of a hell of a lot more than she ever gave herself credit for.

The Importance of Being Aisling is full or warmth and that unique Irish wit. It'll be a comfort to you on those dreary Autumn evenings and your best companion on your commute to work

The Importance Of Being Aisling: Country Roads, Take Her Home by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen is published by Gill Books.

You can pick up your very own copy here.

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It's time to welcome back the thick black eyeliner of the 2000s and rock out to Skateboi and Complicated.

Why are we getting you so nostalgic I hear you cry?

Well, Avril Lavigne has just announced the release of a new album and it's given us an excuse to binge on those classic oldies.

Taking to her website, the queen of punk stated that its a "new era" for her music.

She was pumped to reveal that her first single is called “Head Above Water”, and it will be here on September 19. – IT'S SO SOON!

Avril fans have been waiting for five years for new music, as the singer in her statement detailed her battle with Lyme disease.  

Our gal has used her struggle with her health to inspire this new music and WE CAN'T WAIT.

"I was able to turn that fight into music I’m really proud of. I wrote songs in my bed and on the couch and recorded there mostly as well. Words and lyrics that were so true to my experience came pouring out of me effortlessly," she wrote. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The 33-year-old went on to thank everyone who has supported her through her illness.

"I am very proud and thankful to everyone who waited so patiently and lovingly with me to support this process for me."

"I now have a very strong, triumphant, powerful and true record to me and my experiences over the last few years," she added.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Avril Lavigne (@avrillavigne) on

By the sounds of it, this album will be an absolute banger and we are living for the new single.

In the run up to its release you can guarantee our playlists will be throwbacks to all her classic hits from the naughties. 

Now we are off to try and learn how to skateboard – although we don't think we'll be quite as cool as Avril was. 

 

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