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Showing posts from May, 2015

May review

I have read a lot this month. I don't even know how it happened. It just did. Books Read In a dark, dark wood by Ruth Ware (5 stars) Birdy by Jess Vallance (5 stars) The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew (5 stars) Things I can't forget by Miranda Kenneally (4 stars) Sophie Someone by Hayley Long (4 stars) Almost Grace by Rosie Rowell (3 stars) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich (4 stars) Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (3 stars) My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend by Eleanor Wood (4 stars) The Crowham Martyrs by Jane McLoughlin (4 stars) All my Secrets by Sophie McKenzie (3 stars) My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter (4 stars) Night Owls by Jenn Bennett (5 stars) Air by Lisa Glass (4 stars) The sun in her eyes by Paige Toon (3 stars) PS I still love you by Jenny Han (4 stars) Everything leads to you by Nina LaCour (3 stars) The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine (4 stars) The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan (3 stars) In another life by Laura Jarr

Waterstones Book Club: The Opposite of Loneliness

Synopsis Marina Keegan's star was on the rise when she graduated from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash. As her family, friends and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, 'The Opposite of Loneliness', went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord. Even though she was just 22 when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina's essays and stories that articulates the universal struggle we all face as we work out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world

Demolition Dad by Phil Earle

This is the story of Jake Biggs and his dad, George. George spends all week knocking down buildings ... and all weekend knocking down wrestlers. He's the Demolition Man, and Jake couldn't be prouder. But when Jake hears about a pro-wrestling competition in the USA, and persuades his beloved dad to apply, things don't quite turn out the way he expected... This is DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD in Spandex, a hilarious, warm-hearted story from a talented writer. I love Phil Earle. Without a doubt he is one of the nicest guys in publishing and he knows his stuff when it comes to awesome books. No doubt this has translated to him writing awesome books of his own. Without exception I have adored all of his books and I was very excited about the prospect of reading this long before I was lucky enough to get a copy in my grubby little hands. Demolition dad is utterly charming and has real heart to the story, something I have long since come to expect from a Phil Ea

Blog Tour: The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow

Today I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow. Today I have a video about Katherine's inspiration for writing her book. After the death of her father genteel young lady Miss Sophie Taylor must seek employment.   She’s thrilled to join the staff at Sinclair’s, the most beautiful department store in London – and consequently – the whole world.   There she enters a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and Mystery around every corner.   Working at Sinclair’s, Sophie makes lots of new friends: glamorous aspiring actress, Lil, serial paper obsessed Billy, and Joe – who is on the run from underworld criminals. When the priceless Clockwork Sparrow is stolen from Sinclair’s grand opening exhibition, it is up to Sophie and her friends to bring the Dastardly villains to justice…   Check out the rest of the blog tour Friday 22nd May – Tales of Yesterday Saturday 23rd May – Library Mice Monday 25th May – YA Yeah Yea

Can't wait to read

Another month. Another pile of books I can't wait to read. The next together by Lauren James How many times can you lose the person you love? Teenagers Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different I must admit I know very little about this book but mostly just want it for the cover. In another life by Laura Jarratt American sisters Hannah and Jenny Tooley have spent their lives dreaming of flying to the UK and visiting all the places their English mother has told them about. But Jenny’s dream turns to a nightmare when she vanishes without a trace. Hannah and her father arrive in England to a big police investigation. As Hannah gets to know some of

Poppy in the field by Mary Hooper

When Poppy learns that the love of her life, Freddie de Vere, is to marry someone else, she knows her heart will break. Devastated, she volunteers her nursing skills overseas to take her away from the painful reminders at home. But things are about to get much worse for Poppy. The journey to the hospital in Flanders is full of horrors, and when she arrives it is to find a spiteful ward Sister and unfriendly nurses. Despite her loneliness and homesickness, the dangers of frontline warfare soon make her forget her own troubles and Poppy finds that comfort for a broken heart can be found in the most unexpected places. Brilliantly researched and inspired by real-life events, big and small, Poppy in the Field is a story about the forgotten bravery of women on the front line, told through the eyes of a young woman determined to play her part. I have been looking forward to this book since I finished Poppy last year. I've always enjoyed Mary Hooper's book because I

Cover Reveal: This is one moment by Mila Gray

The steamy, romantic follow-up to Come Back to Me A forbidden romance. A wounded Marine who thinks he's beyond saving. A girl who's determined to prove him wrong. Didi Monroe's waited her whole life for the type of romance you see in the movies, so when Hollywood heartthrob Zac Ridgemont sweeps her off her feet, Didi believes she might finally have met the one. While Zac's away filming for the summer, Didi begins her internship at a military hospital in California. There, she meets wounded Marine Noel Walker. Frustrated on the outside and broken on the inside, Walker's a pain-in-the-ass patient who refuses all help. Yet Didi can't help but be drawn to him, and though he's strictly out of bounds it soon becomes impossible to ignore the sparks flying between them. As the attraction simmers into dangerous territory, Didi finds herself falling hard for

Better Left Buried by Emma Haughton

Brother dead. Best friend missing. House ransacked. Stalked by a stranger. Attacked in the street... ...And Sarah has no idea why. She never knew her brother was hiding a dark secret when he died. But now his reckless actions have led the wolves to her door. And the only way out is to run. A tense, unnerving thriller that will set your heart racing, from the author of NOW YOU SEE ME I read Now you see me last year and enjoyed it a lot. As a consequence I was really looking forward to this book. Better left buried was a fast paced thriller which engaged me throughout. I did enjoy finding out more about the story as it unraveled but sometimes didn't always feel the connection with the main character in order to get completely invested in it. All in all a book I did enjoy but not necessarily not one I was totally hooked on.

Lottery Boy by Michael Byrne

A fast-moving and gripping thriller with a powerful emotional engagement; this is a young boy’s story of loss and unbearable hope as he survives on London’s streets. Reminiscent of Slumdog Millionaire, this contemporary adventure story set on the streets of London follows a boy whose luck is about to change. Since his mother's death, Bully has lost his old life. Living rough with his dog, Jack, he can’t imagine his future. But one day, in the last birthday card she ever gave him, he finds a winning lottery ticket, a last gift from his mum that suddenly offers such hope. If only he can get to his prize on time. Life is not that simple. Bully’s struggle to survive has just got a whole lot harder. They’re after him on the streets, everyone wants a piece of him. And even if he does claim all that money, will he really be winning what he needs the most? Lottery boy is the story of Bully and his dog Jack. Bully is one of those lost kids who society ignores. His mother i

Read me like a book by Liz Kessler

Ashleigh Walker is in love. You know the feeling - that intense, heart-racing, all-consuming emotion that can only come with first love. It's enough to stop her worrying about bad grades at college. Enough to distract her from her parents' marriage troubles. There's just one thing bothering her . . . Shouldn't it be her boyfriend, Dylan, who makes her feel this way - not Miss Murray, her English teacher? I have been looking forward to this book for a long while because it sounded like it would tackle ideas around teenage sexuality in a thoughtful and considered way . This story is the coming out story of Ashleigh. Ashleigh has been having a tough time at home as she's living with her parents as their marriage falls apart. As a result she's struggling and feeling a bit lost. I like that the coming out part of this story comes as a surprise to even the main character and out of nowhere. Ashleigh assumes she is straight and as a consequence starts

This is not a love story by Keren David

Kitty dreams of a beautiful life, but that's impossible in suburban London where her family is haunted by her father's unexpected death. So when her mum suggests moving to Amsterdam to try a new life, Kitty doesn't take much persuading. Will this be her opportunity to make her life picture perfect? In Amsterdam she meets moody, unpredictable Ethan, and clever, troubled Theo. Two enigmatic boys, who each harbour their own secrets. In a beautiful city and far from home, Kitty finds herself falling in love for the first time. But will love be everything she expected? And will anyone's heart survive? I have been a fan of Keren David for a while. Her stories are always really engaging and I oten find myself reading them in one sitting because I can't put them down. This book was no exception. I loved This is not a love story from the first page. for a variety of reasons. Firstly it is one of those books that has made me to want to book a trip to the plac

Suicide notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

Gone Girl meets 13 Reasons Why in this stylish, sexy, and atmospheric story about friendship packed with twists and turns that will leave you breathless. They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide. But June doesn't believe it. June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, tying them together like thin silk cords. But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June's boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this and things would never be the same again. And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined. Sexy, dark, and atmospheric, Su

The last summer of us by Maggie Hardcourt

Limpet, Steffan and Jared. Three best friends crammed into a clapped-out rust bucket of a car on a whirlwind road trip to forget their troubles and see out the end of the summer. But no matter how far they drive, they can’t escape the hidden secrets and slow-burning romance that could upset the balance of their friendship – perhaps forever.   The Last Summer of Us is a brilliant contemporary read which I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the summery feel of the story. I loved seeing the friendship between the three and the bittersweet feeling I got as I read it as you knew that this part of the three main characters lives was about to end. I loved the story of the three friends as they embark on a road trip in a rusty old banger to give each of them time away from their different problems and to spend their last summer together. I really enjoyed seeing how their trip brought to the surface all the different things they had been worrying about underneath it all and gav

Liberty's Fire by Lydia Syson

Paris, 1871. Four young people will rewrite their destinies. Paris is in revolt. After months of siege at the hands of the Prussians, a wind of change is blowing through the city, bringing with it murmurs of a new revolution. Alone and poverty-stricken, sixteen-year-old Zephyrine is quickly lured in by the ideals of the city's radical new government, and she finds herself swept away by its promises of freedom, hope, equality and rights for women. But she is about to fall in love for a second time, following a fateful encounter with a young violinist. Anatole's passion for his music is soon swiftly matched only by his passion for this fierce and magnificent girl. He comes to believe in Zephyrine's new politics - but his friends are not so sure. Opera-singer Marie and photographer Jules have desires of their own, and the harsh reality of life under the Commune is not quite as enticing for them as it seems to be for Anatole and Zephyrine. And when the violent

We are all made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

Meet Stewart. He’s geeky, gifted and sees things a bit differently to most people. His mum has died and he misses her all the more now he and Dad have moved in with Ashley and her mum. Meet Ashley. She’s popular, cool and sees things very differently to her new family. Her dad has come out and moved out – but not far enough. And now she has to live with a freakazoid step-brother. Stewart can’t quite fit in at his new school, and Ashley can’t quite get used to her totally awkward home, which is now filled with some rather questionable decor. And things are about to get a whole lot more mixed up when these two very different people attract the attention of school hunk Jared. . . This book was recommended to me by Phil Earle and as per usual he was right and I adored it. The book is split between two narrators. Very popular Ashley and very geeky Stewart whose worlds collide when their parents get together. Seeing their differing reactions to the change in their life is

Countdown to the 7th May: Interview with Lydia Syson

1) To start off could you tell us a bit more about your latest book Liberty's Fire? Think Les Mis ; then fast-forward nearly forty years to 1871.   The French capital’s been transformed by developers, there’s been a disastrous war with Prussia, and the divisions between rich and poor are wider than ever. Enough is enough for the people of Paris. Liberty’s Fire is about a group of young people caught up in a revolution that quickly turns to civil war.   Zéphyrine once made artificial flowers for fancy dressmakers.   Now she’s sewing sandbags with her friend Rose and working in a soupkitchen. They’re both hoping that the Commune, newly elected to offer Paris a radical alternative, will change everyone’s lives for the better. But Zéphyrine is torn.   Anatole, a gorgeous young violinist at the Théâtre Lyrique, has opened her eyes to a luxurious new world. When he in turn is swept up by both Zéphyrine and her passionate politics, where does that leave Jules, a rich