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Showing posts from August, 2017

Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Bailey “Mink” Rydell has met the boy of her dreams. They share a love of films and talk all day – Alex is perfect. Well, apart from the fact that they’ve never actually met . . . and neither of them knows the other’s real name. When Bailey moves to sunny California to live with her dad, who happens to live in the same town as Alex, she decides to track him down. But finding someone based on online conversations alone proves harder than Bailey thought, and with her irritating but charismatic (and potentially attractive?) colleague Porter Roth distracting her at every turn, will she ever get to meet the mysterious Alex?  This was a mixed one for me. I was looking forward to it after loving Jenn's previous YA offering but this didn't quite do it for me. Starting on the positive. I loved the setting and I loved the surfing aspect of the book. Surfing books always do it for me. Hot boys in wetsuits.... need I say more. This book captured that vibe perfectly. I wis

Library Loans: August 2017

I've made the most of my library this summer holiday and been taking advantage of having a bit more reading time. These are my favourites of the books I borrowed this month from Norfolk Libraries. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths When she’s not digging up bones or other ancient objects, quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives happily alone in a remote area called Saltmarsh near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants - not quite earth, not quite sea. When a child’s bones are found on a desolate beach nearby, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson calls Galloway for help. Nelson thinks he has found the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing ten years ago. Since her disappearance he has been receiving bizarre letters about her, letters with references to ritual and sacrifice. The bones actually turn out to be two thousand years old, but Ruth is soon drawn into the Lucy Downey case and into the mind of the let

Aurabel by Laura Dockrill

Laura Dockrill makes a dramatic return to the sea set in the same world as the sparkling and magnetic mermaid story, Lorali. It has been two years since Rory drowned, and Lorali is in Hastings, living the quiet life of a normal teenage girl. But her safe life on land won't last for long. Life in The Whirl has become a hotbed of underwater politics and as the council jostles to oust the king, one Mer in particular has her eye on Lorali as the key to her own rise to power. Meanwhile, Aurabel, a lowly Mer from the wrong side of the trench, is attacked by sea beasts and left for dead - and without a tail. Raging with righteous anger, she rebuilds herself a mechanical tail and reinvents herself as a fearless steampunk Mer seeking revenge. But she never expected the most important job that was about to drop into her lap. Aurabel is generally a bit bonkers as expected as Laura's imagination is truly unique. I did enjoy it for its quirkiness but kind of wish I'd

Tell it to the moon by Siobhan Curham

To make a dream come true, tell it to the moon! Tell It to the Moon continues the story of Moonlight Dreamers Amber, Maali, Sky and Rose, who are not like everyone else and don't want to be: becoming friends gives them the courage to be themselves. After failing to find her surrogate mother, Amber is left unsure of who she is and what she wants to do; Maali's spiritual faith is tested when her father becomes ill; Sky, previously home-schooled, struggles to adapt to the pressures of the school system; and after having found the courage to come out, Rose begins to pursue her dream of becoming a patissier. Once again the four girls band together to help one another overcome their individual challenges and fulfill their dreams in this fabulous and heart-warming celebration of friendship. Tell it to the moon is the sequel to moonlight dreamers and picks up directly after the first book going back to the group of friends and straight back into their lives. The thin

Bookcase Showcase: Authors of Freshers Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Today I'm very pleased to have the authors of Freshers on the blog to show off their bookcases. Over to you Tom and Lucy TOM : My Bookcase Showcase is a bit of a cop-out, I'm afraid. I live in France at the moment, so all my books are currently dustily packed away in my parents' back room in London. What I've got here in Paris is basically stuff that I've bought over the past few months, or things I brought with me that I knew I couldn't live without. The most important in that second category are definitely 'At Swim-Two-Birds' by Flann O'Brien and 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole' by Sue Townsend - my two favourite comedy books, and the books that made me want to be a writer. They're both about disgruntled, bookish adolescents - which is basically the blueprint for most of the characters I've written so far. There's also David Nicholls' Starter For Ten and Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, both of which are brilliant, f

If you could see me now by Keris Stainton

Izzy Harris should have it all – but her boyfriend has been ignoring her for months, she’s been overlooked for a promotion, and the owner of her local coffee shop pervs on her every time she has a craving for a salted caramel muffin. Then her life is unexpectedly turned upside down. Izzy dumps her oblivious boyfriend, and leaps on the chance to win a big pitch at work. Needing to work closely with gorgeous colleague Alex is an added perk… But then her best friend has her heart broken, the pitch is way more complicated than expected, and Alex is keeping secrets. Does Izzy have what it takes to help her friend, save her career and get the guy? I thoroughly enjoyed Keris's latest novel. It was funny and thoughtful and had real heart. If you could see me now is the story of Izzy. We've all been a bit like Izzy at some point. She puts up with a less than perfect relationship because it's easy. She puts up with a less than perfect job because it's easy. She

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 enjoyed this as much as the previous book in the series. I loved getting to know Charlie and the boys again. It drew me in as much as the previous book and made my inner boyband fan very happy indeed. I loved s

Can't wait to read

another month, another pile of books I'm desperate to read Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard When I was wild, you were steady . . . Now you are wild - what am I? Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with the boyfriend Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. Especially when the police arrive on her doorstep and Eden finds out that the boyfriend is actually their music teacher, Mr Cohn. Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts. As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself. I love

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 thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's genuinely hilarious and really captures the feeling of those first few months of university and the chaotic nature of life and all the changes going to university brings, fending for yourself, living in close quarters with a variety of characters and the development of intense friendships within a matter of days. As well as being funny the book as a serious element which is handled in a very thoughtful way with a focus on a group of male students treating a selection of female students in an incredibly sexist and shameful way. Seeing the students tackle it in a proactive way without letting it go was good to see. I enjoyed seeing the

True Love at the lonely hearts bookshop by Annie Darling

  It's a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good job, four bossy sisters and a needy cat must also have want of her one true love. Or is it?   Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl, manager of London’s first romance-only bookshop Happy Ever, and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and quite happy hiding in the office and lying to her friends about her fictional boyfriend Peter, whose presence is very useful for getting her out of social events. But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated. Because ‘Peter’ is actually Johnny, and he too could use a fictional girlfriend. So against her better judgement and because she can't stand sitting on the sad singles table, Verity and Johnny decide to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and gar