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Showing posts from 2017

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…

Bookcase Showcase: Author David Owen

Bookcase Showcase: David Owen
I’ve moved home an unreasonable number of times within the last few years, so my books are spread all over the place. Most still reside in my mum’s house, a mess of books in the corner of my old bedroom.

A couple of years ago those shelves fell completely off the wall while I was sitting in the room, I thought I was going to have a heart attack!

I have a fairly extensive collection of Peanuts books, most of which I’ve had as long as I can remember. My parents used to pick them up from charity shops. They’ve always been my go-to books when I’m feeling low, and I really identify with Charlie Brown. I started buying the complete collection editions but ran out of money!

These are on the bookshelves in my mum’s front room, behind the TV. When The Fellowship of the Ring movie came out I had no idea at all what The Lord of the Rings was about. It had always been on that shelf beside Tolstoy, so I assumed it was something similar. After falling in love with the …

Can't wait to read

Another month, another pile of books I am desperate to read

A random mix this month of books I seen mentioned on twitter mostly that I'm now stalking Norfolk Library Catalogue for.

Freshers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Another laugh-out-loud dual narrative, Freshers is a YA novel following two protagonists through that tumultuous first year of university. Starring new characters – but featuring some familiar faces from Lobsters – Freshers is a contemporary, authentic story packed full of love, sex and friendship.

I loved Lobsters and cannot wait to get my hands on this. I can't think of any other UKYA novel that looks at that first year at Uni so I'm looking forward to this for that reason alone.

The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne

Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show. Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie a…

The last piece of my heart by Paige Toon

Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition: Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change …

It is no secret that I am a Paige Toon fan. I was so excited to get this book for review and equally delighted to say that I loved it.

I loved it for many reasons. I loved the main character Bridget I really liked getting to know her and have a glimpse into her life as a writer. I loved the setting of the majority of the book being set in Cornwall and how I haven't booked a holiday to go there myself again is beyond me. I adored the main relationship of the book and seeing the friend…

Bookcase Showcase: Author JD Fennell

“A bookshelf is as particular to its owner as are his or her clothes; a personality is stamped on a library just as a shoe is shaped by the foot." ― Alan Bennett
I have a confession. I am a voyeur. A book voyuer. If I am ever a guest at someone’s house, and I see a collection of books, I cannot resist quietly edging my way toward them to browse and get the measure of my host. Perhaps their shelves are full of hardened crime fiction or sweeping romances or bloody horror or epic fantasy. None of that matters. Whatever their tastes, it is always satisfying and fascinating to meet someone with a book collection and discover what worlds he or she loves to get lost in.

I love books. I always have. A book is the gateway to another world. It is the beating heart and emotions of the person whose story you are following. Books are more than paper and ink. Books have life. Books enrich life. They make us happy, they make us sad, they make us angry. They educate us and help us understand other…

One of us is lying by Karen McManus

One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
    Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. 
    Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. 
    Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
    Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
    And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’…

Library Loans

I've borrowed a silly amount of books from the library over the course of April. I was off work for my Easter holidays and managed to get into the city to pick up titles from the Millenium Library which is much bigger than my local branch and far too exciting for this bookworm.

Below are a selection of my favourite reads borrowed from the library this month.

The Witch Finder's Sister by Beth Underdown

1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names.

To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

I actually reserved this book a while ago and luckily it came in whilst I was on my Easter …

Cat Clarke the backlist tour: Undone new cover reveal

Today I am very excited to host a cover reveal for one of Cat's backlist titles. Cat's newest book Girlhood is out in May and Cat's publishers have given all her backlist titles brand new covers to match it. Here's the new cover for Undone.

Jem's best friend is gone. Now she wants revenge... A thrilling story of love and death for fans of Paula Hawkins, Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott and Jandy Nelson. Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it. Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online ... and he kills himself.  Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down. 
A searing story of love, revenge and betrayal from a bestselling author.

Cat's song recommendation to listen to whilst reading Undone

Make Me Wanna Die – The Pretty Reckless (acoustic version).

This may be embarrassingly literal, but hey, listening to it on …

See how they lie by Sue Wallman

All’s not well at the Hummingbird Creek wellness resort. No one can see in. No one can get out… 
New from the talented author who brought you Lying About Last Summer: a psycho-chiller to wake up your darkest phobias. If you got to live in a luxury hotel with world-class cuisine, a state-of-the-art sports centre and the latest spa treatments, would you say ‘yes please’? 
Well, that’s kind of what Hummingbird Creek is like. No wonder Mae feels lucky to be there. It’s meant as a rich-kid’s sanatorium, but she isn’t sick. Her dad is the top psychiatrist there. But one day Mae breaks a rule. NOT a good idea. This place is all about rules – and breaking them can hurt you…

I did enjoy this book on the whole it was good but felt like it took a long time getting there at points.

For me what this book does well is it leaves a lot unsaid which keeps you guessing. You know something is wrong but you're never certain why things are like they are. The main character lives in an institution which fr…

Storms by Chris Vick

Every storm breaks in the end…

Jake never meant to fall for a girl that night. But plans change and soon Jake and Hannah are together, inseparable. That is, until Hannah gets an opportunity that will take her away, where Jake could never afford to follow.

Then the storm comes, bringing with it an extraordinary discovery, something that could turn Jake’s life around. But the gifts of the sea can be cursed, and the great wave that is forming may break Jake and Hannah’s world – and their hearts…

I get to a certain point in the year when I start to crave books about surfing and/ or Cornwall and this book nicely filled that craving. I read Chris Vick's Kook last year and it left me very excited for this as soon as I heard it was about to be published.

Storms is the story of Jake and Hannah. I loved them as a couple and found myself rooting for them from the outset especially as they face so many obstacles in their relationship particularly around money as Hannah comes from a wealthy family…

This Love by Dani Atkins

Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon - she's a single, thirty-one year old translator who works from home in her one bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a very long time ago, when she was fifteen years old and tragedy struck her family. Her grief has left her scared of commitment and completely risk averse, so she plays it safe and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.
            One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a random passer-by, Ben, luckily happens to spot and rescue her. Suddenly her cocoon is shattered - what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?

I really enjoyed this book. However I am struggling to know what to say to review it and not spoil it so this will be a short review from me today.…

Boarding School Books

I love a boarding school book and always have done therefore I had to have a goodreads shelf with them all on. To date my goodreads boarding school book shelf has 101 titles on it but as that is loads I'll just talk about a few I adore

St Clare's series by Enid Blyton

I have my mother's very old battered editions of this series. I don't really remember a time before I read Enid Blyton but I do know St Clare's was my first boarding school book and I loved it. I read through this series and the Malory Towers series more times than I'd care to guess and loved them. Yes I know they are a bit twee and terribly outdated now but they'll always have a little space in my heart

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Yes another one that's an obvious choice but I couldn't leave it out. Harry Potter got me back into reading books after those teen years in the wilderness where I didn't read much or know what to even read. In the days prior to YA being a thing I was a bi…