'Becoming' is a thoughtful, unique book regarding identity, morals and the idea of "community".
The setting of Holy Island, and Northumberland in gener'Becoming' is a thoughtful, unique book regarding identity, morals and the idea of "community".
The setting of Holy Island, and Northumberland in general, made this book more enjoyable for me because, thanks to Ord's descriptions, I could imagine the action taking place in the wild coastal and countryside settings.
The characters in this novel are well-drawn and Gaia, the main protagonist, is a brilliant representation of a teenage girl. Comparisons may be drawn between Gaia and Katniss Everdeen but for all the right reasons. Chris Ord manages to capture the juxtaposition between being a vulnerable teenager and headstrong, principled young woman well.
If you like your books fast-paced and full of moral dilemmas alongside some excellent character development and beautiful imagery, 'Becoming' is the book for you!
Although 'Matching the Evidence' is the third in the DI Harry Evans and Major Crimes Team series, don't worry if this is your first meeting with HarryAlthough 'Matching the Evidence' is the third in the DI Harry Evans and Major Crimes Team series, don't worry if this is your first meeting with Harry - 'Matching the Evidence', published by Caffeine Nights, can be read as a standalone story.
As always with Graham Smith's writing, 'Matching the Evidence' is dark, gritty and packs plenty of punches. There's a real tension that runs throughout this story and, due to its length, you will want to devour it in one sitting. Not only do you get this brilliant short story but you also get a sneak preview of 'I Know Your Secret' - Harry Evans's next case.
The Harry Evans series tackles a range of modern issues with a real grit and it looks like this cop is one who will be around for years to come. ...more
Claire is in her late 20s, she’s quit her “creative communications” (i.e. marketing) job in search of fulfilment. Her boyfriend, the supportive but frClaire is in her late 20s, she’s quit her “creative communications” (i.e. marketing) job in search of fulfilment. Her boyfriend, the supportive but frustrated Luke, is a brain surgeon. Can you imagine feeling unfulfilled and living with someone as important and single-minded as a brain surgeon?!
As a millennial, I identify with Claire. I may be a wee bit older than her but I understand this early adulthood crisis well.
Through a series of vignettes and thoughts, Lisa Owens manages to touch on scenarios that every woman my age will identify with. When Claire isn’t falling out with Luke over sexy colleagues or marriage and/or babies, she’s lying to her gym instructor about how much alcohol she consumes. Claire, in my opinion, is every woman. OK, so she’s not the ones who’ve got their life together – or seem to, at least – but she is every woman I know in one way or another. So you may be married but perhaps your mum isn’t speaking to you. Maybe you’ve got a great job but your friends think you drink too much. Claire is a composite of all our neuroses in one. And as much as there are scenes in this book where I despair for Claire, I love her. I care about her. I see myself in her.
Don’t get me wrong, this review probably makes Not Working sound rather depressing. The scenarios can be sad, particularly if you identify with them, but Owens manages to make them bittersweet. There’s a lot of humour in this book and much of it comes in the form of recognition. How many of us have gone to hand our notice in at the gym and walked out with an appointment for a personal trainer?
Not Working is a must-read. It truly is the Bridget Jones for millennials....more
Bradford is the new Gotham and disgraced DI Harry Virdee is the city’s Dark Knight.
Despite his wife being due to give birth to their first child, HarrBradford is the new Gotham and disgraced DI Harry Virdee is the city’s Dark Knight.
Despite his wife being due to give birth to their first child, Harry undertakes the biggest battle of his career in order to discover the truth behind the brutal murder of a powerful public figure. Not only is he suspended from work, but he has to work with a man he despises in the form of former BNP leader Lucas Dwight in order to get to the bottom of the hideous crime.
Dhand doesn’t sugar coat his home city or his main character and that makes Streets of Darkness all the more hard-hitting. Harry Virdee isn’t a perfect cop, he’s got his dark side too. Virdee’s inner conflict works well in this novel, leading to an ever-increasing sense of tension which kept me turning the pages long after I should have gone to bed!
A.A. Dhand has perfected the art of slick crime drama, creating flawed characters and a compelling narrative. There are some killer lines of poetic prose in this novel as well as being fast-paced and utterly fascinating. I honestly couldn’t tear myself away from this fantastic début....more
Bettina May has opened a bakery in the village of Throckton and she’s a hit with the locals. Bettina, though, is hiding from something – and the memorBettina May has opened a bakery in the village of Throckton and she’s a hit with the locals. Bettina, though, is hiding from something – and the memory of an event that Bettina has been running from for fifteen years is about to confront her and send her safe life into a spin.
Having read Stephanie Butland’s debut novel ‘Surrounded by Water‘ (later retitled ‘Letters to my Husband‘), it was a pleasure to return to Throckton and catch up on the lives of the characters from the first book. However, the real pleasure for me in this book was meeting Bettina May, the secretive newcomer.
Bettina’s passion for bread and baking really appealed to the bread-addict in me and I found myself salivating over some of the tantalising descriptions of Bettina’s creations! I thought it was a great idea to put some recipes at the end of the book, too.
The cover may suggest that this is chick-lit, which it is to some extent but it is so much more than that, too. The relationships portrayed in ‘The Other Half of my Heart‘ are complex and completely believable. Stephanie Butland does not shy away from tackling uncomfortable topics and I respect her for the honest but sensitive way she portrays the issues in this book.
The slow-burn of having Bettina’s current life interspersed with flashback chapters really made me care about the central character as well as being able to empathise with her regarding the predicament she finds herself in. I found myself in tears several times during this story because I cared so much about Bettina....more
A King, three Queens, a handful of nobles and a host of former courtiers…
In the Tower of London, the dead outnumber the living, with the likes of AnneA King, three Queens, a handful of nobles and a host of former courtiers…
In the Tower of London, the dead outnumber the living, with the likes of Anne Boleyn rubbing shoulders with one man who has made his way back from his place of death at Bosworth Field to discover the truth about the disappearance of his famous nephews.
Amidst the chaos of daily life, with political and personal tensions running high, Richard III takes control, as each ghostly resident looks for their own peace in the former palace – where privacy was always a limited luxury.
‘Kindred Spirits: Tower of London‘ is a light-hearted, imaginative read. It’s a new take on historical fiction but make no mistake, this is not only a fun read but an educational tool. If you get lost off between your kings and queens, this is the book for you. It makes what was essentially a messy historical period understandable and even makes the reader empathise with previously maligned characters. Having chosen Richard III and Anne Boleyn as protagonists, one might have expected this to be rather a different book but it is fun and full of heart.
It’s obvious that Jennifer C. Wilson is passionate about history and has a comprehensive knowledge of the period. My one criticism is that I would have preferred the list of characters at the beginning of the book.
However, this is a brilliantly unique idea from a distinctive new voice in fiction....more
An easy to read, compelling narrative that encourages the reader onward.
Although the opening line is an absolute corker, the messages behind the centAn easy to read, compelling narrative that encourages the reader onward.
Although the opening line is an absolute corker, the messages behind the central premise of the book run far deeper. All manner of relationships are explored during the life of this book and Fitzgerald manages to convey nuances and complications with aplomb.
Helen Fitzgerald perfectly captures our modern world and the terrifying speed with which everything can be captured and shared. What would have once been the thing of legend can easily be verified with a few clicks.