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Library Loans: July 2017

This month I've not managed to read a huge amount from the library but those I did get to were excellent.

The Secrets of the Superglue Sisters by Susie Day


Best friends Georgie and Jem aren't just new at school; they're new at being full-time sisters too. Georgie's mum and Jem's dad have finally bought a house together, and they get to share a home at last, just like they always wanted. School is a bit more challenging. Miss Eagle wants the whole class to start a self-esteem project. They'll write their biggest secret on a piece of paper shaped like a cloud and then float them up into the sky on a balloon and their worries will disappear. Then disaster! The ball of secrets disappears instead! Soon everyone's deepest secrets are being revealed to the whole school.

This was really cute and lovely as expected. Full of a lovely range of diverse characters. The story itself was really lovely and thoughtful. I love Susie's books are all companions to eac…

Can't wait to read: library reservations edition

This month's can't wait to read post is a bit different. As you may know my reading habits have changed extensively this year since I joined the library and most of my reading this year has been books I have taken out from my local service. Therefore this month's can't wait to read post is going to feature some titles I've been eyeing up on Norfolk's library catalogue ready to request for my summer holiday break.

I actually picked these books at random and have seen realised everything I've picked out is historical. It wasn't deliberate but I'm going to fully embrace it anyway.

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson


The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow. It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure -- garbage removal, clean water, sewers -- necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has becom…

Library Loans: June 2017

A relatively quiet month for me library books wise. I've not been able to read as much because I'm into GCSE marking contract season so most of my reading has been GCSE exam papers however I have managed to read a few things from the library this month I thoroughly enjoyed.

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen





As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s man…

Turtle Bay Norwich new menu review

Last August I was lucky enough to go along with my lovely blogging friend Lyndsey to Turtle Bay Norwich for their press preview event (see Lyndsey's write up here - I am pictured drinking cocktails!) and ever since then I've been very keen to go back. Luckily for me I was recently contacted when Turtle Bay were looking for people to review their summer menu and I jumped at the chance. I booked a table online using their booking system on their website for a Saturday lunchtime. Incidentally I was really impressed with their booking system. Super easy to use meaning you can book a table within minutes and they both confirm your booking by email and remind you of your booking on the day.


Turtle Bay Norwich is situated in the Norwich Lanes which is my favourite end of the city. It's in the city centre but just a little bit away from the main shopping area with all the big name shops like Next, Topshop and Primark. The streets are smaller and mostly pedestrianised with loads of…

Can't wait to read

Another month, another pile of books I'm desperately waiting for

Songs about Us by Chris Russell



Two months on from the explosive finale to book one, Charlie's life is almost back to normal again: rebuilding her relationship with her father, hanging out with best mate Melissa, and worrying about GCSEs. All the while, Gabe's revelations about her mother are never far from her mind. And neither is Gabe.

It's not long before Charlie is pulled back into the world of Fire&Lights - but the band seem different this time. But then again, so is she...

Meanwhile, tensions between Gabe and Olly continue to run high, leading to more turmoil between the band members and press than ever before. But when Gabriel and Charlie stumble upon yet another startling truth that links them together - everything they have stands to implode in front of them.


I loved Songs about a girl so I cannot wait to get my hands on this. I might have to do a reread sooner rather than later to keep me going b…

The names they gave us by Emery Lord

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

Emotionally-charged and unforgettable, Emery Lord’s storytelling shines with the promise of new love and true friendship, even in the face of life’s biggest challenges.



A real mixed bag for me for a variety of reasons.

I love Emery Lord's books as a rule. I like her writing style and the emotion she gets through her books and this was not exception.

I …

After the Fire by Will Hill

Deep in the Texas desert, Moonbeam lives with her Brothers and Sisters. They're safe, protected by the Fence and Father John. Because Father John knows what's right and what's wrong. But then Nate arrives from Outside, stirring doubt...and suddenly Moonbeam's world is on fire. But what happens after? What happens when you lose everything you've ever known?

Powerful, gripping, and beautifully told, bestselling author Will Hill's After the Fire is a novel about love, hope, loss and, ultimately, courage


Super intense and really chilling YA. I was hooked from the first page and didn't want to put it down until I was done.

I've come to expect a lot from Will Hill's writing after loving his Department 19 series despite not particularly being a fan of vampire stories or gore he had had me hooked. This book is completely different content wise but hooked me in much the same way with the intense writing style and an intriguing storyline. 

Moonbeam's story is…

Bookcase Showcase: Author Hayley Barker

I must confess that my bookshelves are rather a jumbled mess. Over the years, I have made half-hearted attempts to categorise them in alphabetical order, colour, genre, etc. but they never stay that way for long. I think the books must get up in the night, have a bit of a party and then collapse in an exhausted muddle when day breaks; it's the only reasonable explanation I can think of. I can't truly be cross with them for this because it's exactly how I like them and it's the way they will stay.
The bookshelves reflect me. They reflect my inability to maintain a tidy home despite my continued desperate efforts, and they reflect my reading habits and my tastes in literature. On my shelves, contemporary YA snuggles down with the Brontës, and with travel guides and books on raising children and William Wordsworth and Sylvia Plath.

The shelves are currently enjoying a bit of a rejuvenation.I flirted with the Kindle for a few years but I have found that I retain less memory …

Troublemakers by Catherine Barter

In three years I will be able to vote and I will still have less power than I did at the moment that I saw that email, which was such a tiny thing but look what happened.

Fifteen-year-old Alena never really knew her political activist mother, who died when she was a baby. She has grown up with her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick in the east end of London. Now the area is threatened by a bomber who has been leaving explosive devices in supermarkets. It is only a matter of time before a bomb goes off. 
Against this increasingly fearful backdrop, Alena seeks to discover more about her past, while Danny takes a job working for a controversial politician. As her family life implodes, and the threat to Londoners mounts, Alena starts getting into trouble. Then she does something truly rebellious.


Like nothing else I've read YA. I really enjoyed it and stayed up too late to finish it. 

I had high hopes for this book after hearing about it at Andersen's blogger event and I …

If birds fly back by Carlie Sorosiak

Linny has been living life in black and white since her sister Grace ran away, and she's scared that Grace might never come back. When Linny witnesses the return to Miami of a cult movie star long presumed dead, she is certain it's a sign. Surely Álvaro Herrera, of all people, can tell her why people come back - and how to bring her sister home?
Sebastian has come to Miami seeking his father, a man whose name he's only just learned. An aspiring astrophysicist, he can tell Linny how many galaxies there are, how much plutonium weighs and how likely she is to be struck by a meteorite. But none of the theories he knows are enough to answer his own questions about why his father abandoned him, and why it left him in pieces.
As Sebastian and Linny converge around the mystery of Álvaro's disappearance - and return - their planets start to collide. Linny's life is about to become technicolor, but finding the answers to her questions might mean losing everything that matters.


Truth or Dare by Non Pratt

A powerful and moving novel about bravery from the Guardian's "writer to watch" Non Pratt, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, John Green and Holly Bourne. How far is too far when it comes to the people you love? Claire Casey hates being the centre of attention. But if it means getting Sef Malik to notice her, it’s a risk she’s happy to take. Sef is prepared to do anything to help his recently disabled brother. But this means putting Claire’s love – and life – on the line. Because when you're willing to risk everything, what is there left to lose?

As I expected and hoped I adored this and found myself unable to put it down staying up long past my bedtime.

There are many reasons why I loved this book. Firstly Non just gets teens and captures that teen voice perfectly. Her characters feel real and it is very easy to root for them from page one. I liked how it tackled ideas round the use of social media and role in has in modern society both positive and negative especial…

Library Loans: May 2017

It's been a relatively quiet one for me this month when it comes to library books I've loved but there's some real crackers in my list ...

The upside of unrequited by Becky Albertalli


Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get…

One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton

It's been a year since Milly, Elyse and Leonie's dad died, and a year since their last trip to Rome. Summer's here again, and once again they are heading with their mum to Italy - but what's it going to be like going without Dad? Rome still holds its familiar charms - the sun is still as warm, the gelato as delicious, the people as welcoming. But nothing is quite as it once was ... 

With grief still raw for all of them, Milly is facing the additional awfulness of having to see Luke again - gorgeous, gorgeous Luke, who she had a fling with last year, and who she made a total fool of herself with - or so she thinks. What's going to happen this time? What's more, things between Milly, her sisters and their mum are rocky - Leonie is being tempestuous and unpredictable, Elyse is caught up with her new boyfriend, and Milly feels like she just doesn't know how she fits in any more. 

Over one Italian summer, can Milly find a way back to the life she once had?


My thoug…

Girlhood by Cat Clarke

Real, compulsive and intense: Cat Clarke is the queen of emotional suspense. For fans of Paula Hawkins, Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott and Jandy Nelson.

Harper has tried to forget the past and fit in at expensive boarding school Duncraggan Academy. Her new group of friends are tight; the kind of girls who Harper knows have her back. But Harper can't escape the guilt of her twin sister's Jenna's death, and her own part in it - and she knows noone else will ever really understand.

But new girl Kirsty seems to get Harper in ways she never expected. She has lost a sister too. Harper finally feels secure. She finally feels...loved. As if she can grow beyond the person she was when Jenna died.

Then Kirsty's behaviour becomes more erratic. Why is her life a perfect mirror of Harper's? And why is she so obsessed with Harper's lost sister? Soon, Harper's closeness with Kirsty begins to threaten her other relationships, and her own sense of identity.

How can Harper get back…

Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. 

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall. 

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns…