Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Review: The Curse of the Tenth Grave - Darynda Jones

Part-time PI and full-time grim reaper, Charley Davidson has asked a lot of questions throughout her life: Why can I see dead people? Who is the hot supernatural entity following me? How do I get gum out of my sister's hair before she wakes up? But, "How do I trap not one god, but three?" was never among them. Until now. And since those gods are on earth to kill her daughter, she has little choice but to track them down, trap them, and cast them from this dimension.

But one of them stole her heart a very long time ago. Can a god of absolute death and destruction change his omniscient spots, or will his allegiance lie with his brothers?

Those are just some of the questions Charley must answer, and quick. Add to that a homeless girl on the run for her life, a man who's been framed for murdering a woman who is still very much alive, and a pendant made from god glass that has the entire supernatural world in an uproar, Charley has her hands full. If she can manage to take care of the whole world-destroying-gods thing, we're saved. If not, well...

Charley Davidson Series:
First Grave on the Right
For I Have Sinned (Novella)
Second Grave on the Left
Third Grave Dead Ahead
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Fifth Grave Past the Light
Shimmer (Free Short Story)
Glow (Free Short Story)
Sixth Grave on the Edge
Seventh Grave and No Body
Eighth Grave After Dark
Brighter Than the Sun (Novella)
The Dirt on the Ninth Grave
The Curse of Tenth Grave
A Very Charley Christmas (Free Short Story)
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave
Summoned to Thirteenth Grave

Visit Darynda Jones' website for more information

Review:
I'm so happy that this series is completely back on track now that Charley has her memory back. We're back to seeing her work her magic as she simultaneously tries to prove a man is innocent of murder, help a young runaway who believes she has been cursed, deal with a blackmailer, oh and try to figure out a way to stop the gods of Usen and thwart the apocalypse. All of that would be much easier if she wasn't trying to keep secrets from Reyes but he's been keeping her at arm's length ever since they got back from New York and she's got no idea how to bridge the gap between them (thank goodness for Cookie on that one because she comes up with a very creative way to get them talking again!).

There have been some really interesting revelations about both Charley and Reyes in the last couple of books, ones that are going to have a huge impact on the rest of the series so I'm dying to see how everything all comes together now we're in the final stretch. I did find myself frustrated that Charley still doesn't completely trust Reyes, he has been through so much trying to keep her safe and it just takes one small thing, that potentially happened years before they became a couple, for her to doubt his love for her. I could understand why she was keeping certain secrets but I was so relieved when everything was out in the open and that they're now fully back on track relationship wise.

It's also great to see Charley starting to push herself and figure out what her abilities actually are, she's learning all the time and is capable of far more than she ever expected. There was one moment that left me utterly heartbroken for Reyes in this book, he's lost so much already and it really isn't fair for even more to be taken from him. I was far more upset about that than I was about Charley's loss in the previous book but I am extremely worried about a certain revelation about Ubie and hope Charley is able to figure out a way to stop what is coming. Anyway, I'm glad I can dive straight into the next book so I won't have to wait to find out what happens next. I have a feeling I'm going to be binging the last three books very quickly!

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Monday, 25 March 2019

Review: The Dirt on the Ninth Grave - Darynda Jones

In a small village in New York Charley Davidson is living as Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.

But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her-even from her new and trusted friends-the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.

Charley Davidson Series:
First Grave on the Right
For I Have Sinned (Novella)
Second Grave on the Left
Third Grave Dead Ahead
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Fifth Grave Past the Light
Shimmer (Free Short Story)
Glow (Free Short Story)
Sixth Grave on the Edge
Seventh Grave and No Body
Eighth Grave After Dark
Brighter Than the Sun (Novella)
The Dirt on the Ninth Grave
The Curse of Tenth Grave
A Very Charley Christmas (Free Short Story)
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave
Summoned to Thirteenth Grave

Visit Darynda Jones' website for more information

Review:
I'm a huge fan of this series but I have to admit after the disappointment of book eight I put off starting this one for quite a while. I just wasn't sure what to expect from a Charley with no memory and was worried that this would be another filler book that didn't really add much to the overall story arc. In a way I was right about that, nothing huge happens in this book and I don't think you'd really miss much by skipping it. However, this was FAR better than book eight, it's back to being more of an action oriented story as Charley goes out of her way to try and solve a mystery and save people she's only just met. It feels like this series is starting to get back on track and I'm back to being excited to carry on reading it

Charley spends nearly the whole book in a strange kind of limbo wondering who she is and where she's from, more importantly she wonders why nobody has come looking for her. What she doesn't realise is that her closest friends and family have all inserted themselves into her new life so all of they're still with her even if she doesn't recognise them. I have to say I didn't really buy the reasoning of keeping their identities hidden from her, Charley is so distraught at not knowing who she is and she thinks she must have been a terrible person because nobody is looking for her and they could have saved her a lot of that pain by being honest with her.

It was interesting to see that even without knowing her history her personality hasn't changed. She still cares about the underdogs and wants to help people. Watching her try to figure out why she could see dead people everywhere she went was quite hilarious, particularly when she had a run in with a ghost horse! I also loved getting back that intense sexual tension between her and Reyes. Charley doesn't remember him but she's still totally attracted to him and doesn't understand why he goes from practically eating her with his eyes to acting like he hates her. Reyes on the other hand is dreadfully angry at Charley for leaving him, he's angry about the situation they're in and he's hurt that she could forget him but he still loves her and is desperately hoping she'll come back to him. It makes for some wonderful will they / won't they moments between them that I couldn't get enough of.

I'm very glad that Charley eventually gets her memory back, I don't think I could read another book of her second guessing herself and everyone around her because she knows they're hiding things but doesn't know what or why. I'm hoping that from here onwards we're going to get back to the series I love and I can't wait to see how Charley and Reyes' story ends.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Sunday, 24 March 2019

Review: Brighter Than the Sun - Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson has enough to be getting on with. She is, after all, incredibly pregnant and feeling like she could pop at any moment. But, just her luck, twelve deadly beasts from hell have chosen this time to escape, and they've made Charley their target. She takes refuge at the only place they can't get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. Before long, Charley also has a new case to hold her attention: the decades-old murder of a newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows of the convent.

Add to that the still unsolved murder of her father, the strange behavior of her husband, and Charley's tendency to attract the, shall we say, undead, and she has her hands full . . . but also tied. While the angry hellhounds can't traverse the consecrated soil, they lurk beyond its borders like evil sentries, so Charley has been forbidden from leaving the sacred grounds and is powerless to get the answers she wants.

Luckily, she has her loyal team with her, and they're a scrappy bunch. They scour the prophesies, searching for clues on the Twelve, and their presence is comforting - it's almost as though they've all been drawn to her as part of a bigger picture . . . But the good feelings don't last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life.

Charley Davidson Series:
First Grave on the Right
For I Have Sinned (Novella)
Second Grave on the Left
Third Grave Dead Ahead
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Fifth Grave Past the Light
Shimmer (Free Short Story)
Glow (Free Short Story)
Sixth Grave on the Edge
Seventh Grave and No Body
Eighth Grave After Dark
Brighter Than the Sun (Novella)
The Dirt on the Ninth Grave
The Curse of Tenth Grave
A Very Charley Christmas (Free Short Story)
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave
Summoned to Thirteenth Grave

Visit Darynda Jones' website for more information

Review:
I'd been flying through this series and enjoying every minute of it but then I hit book eight and just kind of stalled. It pains me to say it but I just didn't feel the magic with this one. To be fair it's very hard to write an exciting book when your narrator is not only 8 months pregnant but also trapped in a convent to avoid being eaten by hellhounds. Charley has spent months stuck in one location and as much as her friends and family drop by to keep her company it's just really not the same as seeing her out and about kicking butt and taking names.

I was a bit wary when we found out Charley was pregnant, to be honest I prefer to avoid kids in UF books unless they're either old enough to be interesting characters in their own right, or come at the end of the series to signify the the fact that the main characters are finally getting to settle down and have their well earned happily ever after. I mean how is Charley supposed to deal with a potential apocalypse if she's carting around a newborn? Well that issue was kind of resolved but I'm not even sure I like the way that side of things was handled either. It just seems a bit pointless to bring a kid into things and then do what happened in this book.

So this book wasn't as full of action as the previous stories and if I'm honest the first half was kind of boring. I was frustrated with Charley for going against Reyes' wishes and trying to track down his birth parents when he specifically asked her not to but I think I was even more angry at the way that entire plot thread ended and I wanted to smack some sense into the pair of them for keeping such ridiculously stupid secrets from each other. I was also really irritated by Gemma and the way she kept trying to force Charley to accept Denise, the stepmother from hell, back into her life. Denise has been horrible to Charley throughout the entire series, was a monster to her when she was a child and now expects to be allowed to play grandmother of the year. No chance and the fact Gemma was taking Denise's side made me really mad. I have to admit I loved the way things played out with Denise though, I think that probably makes me a terrible person but I don't care because the whole thing was hilarious!

The story did improve towards the end, we finally start getting some answers about Charley's powers and why she's been given them. I still have a lot of questions and some things confused me a bit but we're getting answers and that's great. I'm still not sure how I feel about the twist at the end though, in some ways I think it'll make things really interesting and will hopefully send the series back in the right direction action and plot wise but in others it felt like a bit of a cop out. I guess I'll have to see how it plays out in book nine before I make my mind up. Even though this wasn't my favourite book I'm still hooked enough that I want to know how things play out so I'm definitely going to be continuing the series.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Saturday, 23 March 2019

Review: North Cyprus (Bradt Travel Guide)

Hike up to Buffavento, stroll through the cloisters of Bellapais Abbey or go barefoot on the golden sands of the Karpas Peninsula. Rugged North Cyprus offers charming unspoilt villages, deserted beaches and hidden monasteries - things of the past in the developed south. Revised and expanded, the eighth edition of North Cyprus reveals churches, castles, classical ruins and newly accessible sites. Accompanying this is an entertaining and in-depth overview of the ancient and modern history that has shaped this complex and divided island.

Visit the Bradt website for more information

Review:
I'll admit that I usually go straight for Lonely Planet books when I'm looking for travel guides but since they don't have one specifically for North Cyprus (just for the island as a whole) I ended up choosing this Bradt one and being very happy with it.

This is a pretty comprehensive guide to North Cyprus full of interesting background information on the island. There is so much history to uncover in Cyprus and this guide includes a timeline of important events dating from 6000BC right through to more recent years. The division between the Turkish controlled North and Greek controlled South of the island is complex and versions of events are likely to differ depending on whether you ask someone from Greek or Turkish descent but the information included in this guide is factual and seems pretty non-biased which I appreciated.

As well as the history of the island you'll also find information on the types of flora and fauna you can expect to see, detailed information about the different regions in the North and notes about most of the main tourist attractions as well as the usual tourist tips and info you'd expect from a tour guide and some handy Turkish language hints. There are countless mosques, churches, monasteries, castles and even Roman ruins to explore, beautiful beaches (I wish we'd travelled at the right time to see the turtles who come every year to lay their eggs), wonderful scenery and friendly people. The North side of the island is much poorer than the South so they rely on tourism to boost their economy and because of that they're really very warm and welcoming.

Cyprus really is a beautiful island and the North is far less built up than the South which actually made it a really nice place to visit, you won't find western chains of shops and restaurants there (although everything is still priced in Euros so I'd recommend taking those not Turkish Lira) and it's far less unspoiled than most tourist destinations. This was really noticeable in the capital city Lefkoşa (Turkish) / Nicosia (Greek) which is split in two by the green line, a barbwire barricaded no mans land that marks the boarder between the North and South. If you have your passport you can walk across the boarder in certain places after passing through two checkpoints and as soon as you cross to the Greek south side you'll see an immediate difference spotting chains like Starbucks and KFC that are completely absent in the North.

This guide was published in 2015 so I expect some of the hotel and restaurant information is probably out of date by now but we did a week long coach touring trip that took us around most of the North so we didn't really need that information anyway. It did include information about most of the places we visited and although our tour guide was extremely knowledgable it was nice to be able to look up extra information in the book too and have it as a reference guide to look back on now we're home. If you're looking for a guide for Northern Cyprus then I'd highly recommend this one and the island itself is well worth paying a visit to.

Source: Purchased

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Friday, 22 March 2019

Review: Salvatore - Cecy Robson

Desperate men do desperate things . . .

Salvatore Torre is a dangerous man. If you’ve lived the life Sal has, rage is to be expected and maybe so is heart. After his father killed his mother in a jealous rage, Sal was left to raise his two younger brothers, becoming a parent long before he was ready.

Desperate for money to support his family, Sal sought help from his old friend, Vincent Maggiano, the son of New Jersey’s top crime boss being groomed to take over his ailing father’s empire.

Sal never planned to join the mob. He also never planned to fall for his brother’s sweet and ultra conservative counselor, Adrianna Daniels.

Aedry isn’t the type of girl Sal is usually drawn to. Her skirts are longer, her hair is tamer, and her heels aren’t clear. But he can’t deny the attraction he feels. And Salvatore’s dark, sexy, and dangerous persona is the exact opposite of the clean-cut business men who usually catch Aedry’s attention.

Neither planned on a life of crime nor did they plan on love. But now, both are in too far.

In Too Far Series:
Salvatore

Visit Cecy Robson's website for more information.

Review:
I've been a fan of Cecy Robson's books since she first started writing her Weird Girls urban fantasy series and I've followed as she moved into writing contemporary romances too. I already knew she writes excellent conflicted heroes but this time she's taken things a step darker as Salvatore is an enforcer for the mob. Don't go into this expecting it to be too dark though, Salvatore has done a lot of things he isn't proud of but he's never killed anyone and we don't see a huge amount of his gang life on page. There are a few scenes with his boss Vincent where lines are crossed and murder is involved but Salvatore is never the one pulling the trigger.

Salvatore never wanted to join the mob, he was actually training as an MMA fighter and close to hitting the big time but when his father brutally murdered his mother before killing himself Salvatore's life was turned upside-down overnight. Salvatore would to anything to protect his younger brothers Apollo and Gianno but he desperately needed money to fight for custody of them and stop them being swallowed up in a system he didn't trust to keep them safe. He turned to his childhood friend Vincent for help but that left him indebted to the son and heir of one of New Jersey's top crime bosses. Salvator's life is a dangerous one and he knows it's only a matter of time before he's forced to cross a line he can never come back from.

Aedry is the total opposite of Salvatore, she's shy, sweet and innocent with a heart of gold and a desperate need to help people. She is a guidance counsellor at the school Apollo and Gianno attend and she reaches out to Salvatore when his brothers get in trouble for fighting and skipping classes. The attraction between Aedry and Salvatore is instant but Salvatore is unwilling to pull her into his dangerous world and Aedry knows she'd never be able to hold the attention of someone so magnetic. Instead she focuses on helping his brothers and by doing that she starts to turn the whole family's lives around.

I have to admit I got a little frustrated that Salvatore kept pushing Aedry away but not giving her the full information on why he didn't feel good enough for her. He was trying to be noble but he was keeping so many secrets that she wasn't able to make an informed decision about whether she wanted to be in his life or not. I did think their romance was incredibly sweet though, I loved the interactions between the whole family and the way she became a motherly figure for Salvatore's brothers. She brought a lot of stability to all of their lives and I liked how protective they became of her when they thought Salvatore wasn't treating her right. Aedry put up with a lot from Salvatore, there were times when I wanted her to push back at him harder but in the end she did stand her ground and make the best choice for her own peace of mind.

The ending seemed a little too easy considering the situation Salvatore was in at the beginning but I really liked how things turned out for them as a family so I'm willing to overlook that. I did really enjoy the story and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series which I hope will be about Lucca and Autumn.

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

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Blog Tour: Salvatore - Cecy Robson


SALVATORE

by Cecy Robson
Publication Date: March 13, 2019
Genres: Adult, Gritty, Contemporary, Romance, Standalone


AVAILABLE NOW!



SYNOPSIS

Desperate men do desperate things . . .

Salvatore Torre is a dangerous man. If you’ve lived the life Sal has, rage is to be expected and maybe so is heart. After his father killed his mother in a jealous rage, Sal was left to raise his two younger brothers, becoming a parent long before he was ready.

Desperate for money to support his family, Sal sought help from his old friend, Vincent Maggiano, the son of New Jersey’s top crime boss being groomed to take over his ailing father’s empire.

Sal never planned to join the mob. He also never planned to fall for his brother’s sweet and ultra conservative counselor, Adrianna Daniels.

Aedry isn’t the type of girl Sal is usually drawn to. Her skirts are longer, her hair is tamer, and her heels aren’t clear. But he can’t deny the attraction he feels. And Salvatore’s dark, sexy, and dangerous persona is the exact opposite of the clean-cut business men who usually catch Aedry’s attention.

Neither planned on a life of crime nor did they plan on love. But now, both are in too far.



ABOUT CECY ROBSON:


Cecy Robson is an author of contemporary and new adult romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double-nominated RITA® Finalist, Winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and published author of more than twenty titles, you can typically find Cecy on her laptop or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.

Connect with Cecy online:


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Thursday, 21 March 2019

Review: The Fever King - Victoria Lee

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

Feverwake Series:
The Fever King
The Electric Heir (2020)

Visit Victoria Lee's website for more information

Review:
Set in a distant future after a worldwide plague wiped out a large chunk of the population and you'll find America has split into several different countries. Noam is an undocumented immigrant living in Carolinia who spends his time fighting against the government to try and get better rights for refugees. With regular outbreaks of the magical plague outside the boarders Carolinia is determined to keep people out and conditions in the refugee camps are just getting worse and worse. When the plague hits Noam's camp he is one of the only survivors and his newly gained, and incredibly rare, technomancer magical talent makes him a valuable tool that the government wants to use. Noam is determined to use his ability against the government but first he needs their help to learn how to use his ability.

I'll admit this was a total cover buy, I hadn't heard of the series before but when it popped up in the first reads program that cover and the blurb had me totally sold. I had very high hopes going in so I really hate to say this but I did end up feeling a little disappointed. There were a lot of really interesting ideas here but I don't think they were executed particularly well, the world building came in the form of sporadic info dumps that were boring to read and hard to understand. Even by the end of the book I didn't feel like I had a strong grasp of what happened to splinter America or even how the much of the world had survived the magical plague. I just have no idea how many countries are left or what kind of state they are in.

One bonus I'll give the story is that it does have good representation, the main character is mixed race and bisexual, there is a gay romance and it also raises interesting talking points about refugees and the way they are often demonised for doing nothing more than trying to survive. I just wish the world building had been better and the plot had been more cohesive. I also felt that the major plot twists were too well telegraphed because I saw them coming from a mile away. I liked the characters well enough but I don't feel particularly invested in their story and even though it ended on a pretty big cliffhanger I currently have very little interest in picking up the sequel. This is Victoria Lee's debut and I should probably give it some leeway because of that so that's why it gets 3 stars rather than 2 but unless I see some really glowing reviews for the next book I doubt I'll be continuing the series.

Source: Purchased

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Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Review: Reunion in Death - J.D. Robb

Murder was work. Some went about the job devotedly, others carelessly. And for some, murder was a labour of love.

On the day of his sixtieth birthday, Walter C. Pettibone is blissfully unaware of his impending death. His final act in life is to accept a glass of champagne by a woman with startling green eyes. A big mistake.

Homicide lieutenant Eve Dallas knows she faces a deadly foe - one with a frightening vendetta. And as the chase draws Eve dangerously close to her own dark past, her focus slips.

But then Eve's billionaire husband's name is put on Julianna's fatal list - and Eve ups her game. Luring Julianna into a dangerous trap which puts everyone at risk, Eve finds herself fighting for more than justice.

In Death Series:
Naked in Death
Glory in Death
Immortal in Death
Rapture in Death
Ceremony in Death
Vengeance in Death
Holiday in Death
Midnight in Death (Novella)
Conspiracy in Death
Loyalty in Death
Witness in Death
Judgement in Death
Betrayal in Death
Interlude in Death (Novella)
Seduction in Death
Reunion in Death
Purity in Death
Portrait in Death
Imitation in Death
Big Jack (Novella in the Remember When Anthology)
Divided in Death
Visions in Death
Survivor in Death
Origin in Death
Memory in Death
Haunted in Death (Novella)
Born in Death
Innocent in Death
Eternity in Death (Novella)
Creation in Death
Strangers in Death
Salvation in Death
Ritual in Death (Novella)
Promises in Death
Kindred in Death
Missing in Death (Novella)
Fantasy in Death
Indulgence in Death
Possession in Death (Novella)
Treachery in Death
New York to Dallas
Chaos in Death (Novella)
Celebrity in Death
Delusion in Death
Calculated in Death
Thankless in Death
Taken in Death (Novella)
Concealed in Death
Festive in Death
Obsessed in Death
Devoted in Death
Wonderment in Death (Novella)
Brotherhood in Death
Apprentice in Death
Echoes in Death
Secrets in Death
Dark in Death
Leverage in Death
Connections in Death (2019)

Visit J.D. Robb's website for more information.

Review:
I've totally fallen in love with this series and lately I just can't seem to get enough of Eve and Roarke. Reunion in Death has a lot of emotional upheaval for Eve, as always she has a killer to track down but in this book she's also forced to face more of her past when the case takes her to Dallas to interview a potential witness. I always find it really painful seeing Eve relive her childhood traumas and this book was even more heart wrenching than the others but it's good to see her learning to rely on Roarke for support and even turn to Dr Mira for extra help when she needs it. She'll never get over what happened but hopefully she will eventually find better coping mechanisms and stop her regularly recurring nightmares.

While this book was quite dark in places it also had plenty of the humour fans of the series already know to expect. Eve has decided Peabody is ready for more responsibility and she gives her a cold case to work on her own. I love seeing how far Peabody has come under Eve's watchful eye and seeing Eve as a teacher shows us a different side to her character. We also have a visit from Peabody's parents which I have to admit was a bit on the weird side, Peabody's mother somehow manages to manipulate Eve into inviting them to dinner and then she manages to get Roarke to invite them both to stay which was surprising to say the least. I'm not sure why they'd choose to spend their time staying with Eve and Roarke not with their daughter - well the mansion, swimming pool and incredible food might have something to do with it! - but it was still odd. There were some interesting conversations while they visited but I didn't like the way they ended up making Eve feel uncomfortable in her own home though.

I found the murderer in this book quite fascinating though, it's not often we go into a book in this series already knowing who the killer is but that's exactly what we have here. Eve has already caught this murderer once but she's now been released on parole and immediately gone back to her old ways. What's interesting here is seeing Eve work out how to capture someone who has spent years planning her crimes and who hasn't left them many clues to work with. It was also interesting to come across a female serial killer, not something we see often in real life or fiction. Julianna was a worthy opponent for Eve and their battle of wits was extremely entertaining.

It's not often that I get 14 books into a series and still find myself desperately wanting more so J.D. Robb is doing a wonderful job on that front and I have a feeling it's not actually going to take me too long to catch up on the remaining 30 or so books that have already been published!

Source: Purchased

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Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Review: Sin & Salvation - K.F. Breene

Valens has noticed his two missing employees. It won't be long before he knows who is responsible.

It won't be long before he claims his vengeance.

The race is on. Kieran and Lexi must scrape together an army worthy of taking on the Demigod of San Francisco before he destroys them all.

But Valens isn't Lexi's only problem. Mordecai's rapid recovery has been noticed, and he has once again become a threat to his old pack.

Lexi's little family is in jeopardy of being torn apart, and to save them...she must finally embrace what she is.

Demigod of San Francisco Series:
Sin & Chocolate
Sin & Magic
Sin & Salvation

Visit K.F. Breene's website for more information

Review:
Sin & Salvation is the third (& hopefully not the last!) book in K.F. Breene's Demigod of San Francisco series and it picks up Lexi's story not long after the end of the previous book. Lexi and her wards have been busy training with Kieran and his Six but no matter how much they learn they know they'll never be a match for Kieran's father Valens. They're running out of time though, Valens has noticed he is missing several employees and it won't be long before he realises that Kieran's mother has also been freed. The only question is whether Kieran can pull together enough allies to stand a chance at surviving the final confrontation with Valens.

Obviously this series has been building towards a major battle since the first book but it's a good job Lexi has been training hard because the wait is finally over. Lexi could choose to run but she would never leave Kieran to fight alone and her wards Mordecai and Daisy aren't willing to sit out the fight either. Lexi would prefer to keep her kids out of danger entirely but if Valens wins then nowhere will ever be safe for anyone so their best bet is to win the war.

This book had everything I was hoping for, more romance between Lexi and Kieran, more of the wonderful family dynamics between Lexi and the kids, more of Kieran's Six (including us FINALLY finding out what each of their powers are & boy are there some revelations there!) and even more of Lexi's new ally Bria who adds a lot of humour to the series. We get an epic battle that is going to have far reaching consequences for everyone involved and although this book doesn't end with a cliffhanger I feel like there is still plenty of scope for more stories involving these characters. I'd happily read more books about Lexi and Kieran but I can't help hoping that each of the Six might get a story or two too.

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

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Monday, 18 March 2019

Review: Off Planet - Aileen Erin

In an all-too-plausible future where corporate conglomerates have left the world’s governments in shambles, anyone with means has left the polluted Earth for the promise of a better life on a SpaceTech owned colony among the stars.

Maité Martinez is the daughter of an Earther Latina and a powerful Aunare man, an alien race that SpaceTech sees as a threat to their dominion. When tensions turn violent, Maité finds herself trapped on Earth and forced into hiding.

For over ten years, Maité has stayed hidden, but every minute Maité stays on Earth is one closer to getting caught.

She’s lived on the streets. Gone hungry. And found a way to fight through it all. But one night, while waitressing in a greasy diner, a customer gets handsy with her. She reacts without thinking.

Covered in blood, Maité runs, but it’s not long before SpaceTech finds her…

Arrested and forced into dangerous work detail on a volcano planet, Maité waits for SpaceTech to make their move against the Aunare. She knows that if she can’t somehow find a way to stop them, there will be an interstellar war big enough to end all life in the universe.

There’s only one question: Can Maité prevent the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?

Aunare Chronicles:
Off Planet
Off Balance (2020)

Visit Aileen Erin's page on goodreads for more information

Review:
Set in a future where giant corporation SpaceTech pretty much controls all of the human colonies across the universe this is the story of Maité, a half-human half-aunare young woman who is just trying to live her life in peace. SpaceTech have been trying to start a war with the aunare race for years, starting 10 years ago with the massacre of all aunare people living on planets they controlled, now they'll stop at nothing to destroy an entire species just to keep their control over humanity.

Maité and her mother have been hiding on earth for 10 years hoping that her father, who is a powerful general in the aunare army, will find them and help them get to safety. If Maité is discovered by SpaceTech then it will be a death sentence but it's getting harder and harder to live under the radar. She is so close to freedom when she makes a dreadful mistake, one that could cost her everything. After her arrest she is sentenced to a work detail on a dangerous volcanic planet, every day she comes a little closer to death and if her father's representatives don't get to her in time to save her then war will be inevitable.

I thought Off Planet was a brilliant start to this new series, I've not read anything by Aileen Erin before but after enjoying this so much I think I definitely need to check out some of her backlist. I really liked Maité's character, her aunare blood makes her stronger and faster than most but that's almost more of a curse than a blessing as she's constantly having to try to hide her abilities so that people don't figure out who or what she really is. Her life has been tough but she has a strong bond with her mother and some close friends who are always there for her and even though she's constantly in danger she always tries to help others too.

This is only the first book in the series but we've already met some really interesting characters both human and alien that I want to spend more time with. Roan is like a best friend and brother rolled into one, Declan was sent to save her but to be honest hasn't been all that great at doing the job, she made some interesting allies on Abaddon but I think the person I'm most curious about is Lorne, the aunare who will stop at nothing to rescue her even if that does mean starting a war that could end up killing billions. One thing I'm really hoping is that we're not going to see the formation of a dreaded love triangle though, there were hints that it might end up going in that direction but I really hope the author surprises me and doesn't take the easy drama route.

The world that the author has created is an interesting one, I was fascinated and horrified by the conditions on the volcanic planet so appropriately called Abaddon and I'm really looking forward to finding out more about the aunare home world too. I'm a bit curious about why this is being marketed as YA, Maité is 20 and her friends are all her age or a fair bit older and although the story is appropriate for teens (there's no sex, I didn't notice much in the way of swearing and even when Maité is being tortured it doesn't go into super graphic detail) I would still class this as an adult sci-fi because of the age of the characters and the themes it covers. Maité doesn't think or act like a teenage narrator so the YA label is misleading in my opinion. That really is a minor issue as I think the story will be enjoyed by both teens and adults but I do think it's important to clarify these things correctly. I've already added the next book, Off Balance, to my wish list but it's going to feel like a long wait until it's release next year!

Source: Received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

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Sunday, 10 March 2019

Review: Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal - Forthright

She wasn’t aware of her gift’s significance, yet he expects to be courted.

Kimiko enrolls at the In-between’s prestigious new high school, which is designed to promote the integration of the human and inhuman races. As a reaver, she’s supposed to act as peacemaker, bridging a formidable cultural gap, but the other two members of her triad don’t need any help in that department. Akira and Suuzu have been friends since middle school. Instead, the boys must rally behind Kimiko when she inadvertently initiates a courtship with Eloquence Starmark.

Amaranthine Saga:
Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox
Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal
Tamiko and the Two Janitors (2019)

Visit Jessie Mihalik's website for more information

Review:
Let me start by saying that I love the world that Forthright has created with this series, I find the Amaranthine character fascinating and I'm enjoying seeing the bond that forms between them and the not quite human Reavers who have compatible magical abilities. It's also interesting seeing how humans are reacting to their recent discovery that the Amaranthine exist, of course they've been around for centuries, but they were hiding in plain sight until fairly recently so it's all come as quite a shock to the human population.

In order to build relations between the three groups the Reavers and Amaranthine have created a new school where the students will be able to mix and learn from each other. I was absolutely thrilled to discover that Tsumiko's brother Akira and his roommate Suuzu were going to be main characters here and I loved every minute of they were on page. Within class the students have been split into triads containing one human, one Reaver and one Amaranthine per group. Akira and Suuzu make up the human and Amaranthine sides of their triangle and Kimiko is the Reaver who joins them. As a Reaver Kimiko grew up knowing about the Amaranthine and is familiar with the culture so it's her job to help build connections between the human and Amaranthine students.

I really enjoyed spending time with the students, the three I've mentioned are only a small part of the class, we also have some half human / half Amaranthine students and members of each of the Amaranthine clans, including Eloquence Starmark whose father we met in the previous book. Oh and we mustn't forget Michael and Sansa's daughter Isla who was a lot of fun.

It was absolutely hilarious when Kimiko accidentally ended up proposing to Eloquence, the whole misunderstanding was really well written and I was able to understand why both of them decided to give their potential relationship a chance. I was really enjoying learning about Amaranthine courting protocol and seeing Kimiko figure out how she was going to pursue the relationship on her own terms but I have to admit I was a little disappointed we didn't get to see more of that. That side of the story started so well but it ended up getting lost amid too many other plot threads and I was just left wanting more.

There are lots of interesting things happening in this world though and I'm definitely planning on continuing the series when Tamiko and the Two Janitors releases later this year. I hope we get to see more of the students we've already met and I'm REALLY hoping that we'll get a book staring Akira and Suuzu at some point in the series.

Source: Purchased

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Saturday, 9 March 2019

Review: Eighth Grave After Dark - Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson has enough to be getting on with. She is, after all, incredibly pregnant and feeling like she could pop at any moment. But, just her luck, twelve deadly beasts from hell have chosen this time to escape, and they've made Charley their target. She takes refuge at the only place they can't get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. Before long, Charley also has a new case to hold her attention: the decades-old murder of a newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows of the convent.

Add to that the still unsolved murder of her father, the strange behavior of her husband, and Charley's tendency to attract the, shall we say, undead, and she has her hands full . . . but also tied. While the angry hellhounds can't traverse the consecrated soil, they lurk beyond its borders like evil sentries, so Charley has been forbidden from leaving the sacred grounds and is powerless to get the answers she wants.

Luckily, she has her loyal team with her, and they're a scrappy bunch. They scour the prophesies, searching for clues on the Twelve, and their presence is comforting - it's almost as though they've all been drawn to her as part of a bigger picture . . . But the good feelings don't last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life.

Charley Davidson Series:
First Grave on the Right
For I Have Sinned (Novella)
Second Grave on the Left
Third Grave Dead Ahead
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Fifth Grave Past the Light
Shimmer (Free Short Story)
Glow (Free Short Story)
Sixth Grave on the Edge
Seventh Grave and No Body
Eighth Grave After Dark
Brighter Than the Sun (Novella)
The Dirt on the Ninth Grave
The Curse of Tenth Grave
A Very Charley Christmas (Free Short Story)
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave
Summoned to Thirteenth Grave

Visit Darynda Jones' website for more information

Review:
I'd been flying through this series and enjoying every minute of it but then I hit book eight and just kind of stalled. It pains me to say it but I just didn't feel the magic with this one. To be fair it's very hard to write an exciting book when your narrator is not only 8 months pregnant but also trapped in a convent to avoid being eaten by hellhounds. Charley has spent months stuck in one location and as much as her friends and family drop by to keep her company it's just really not the same as seeing her out and about kicking butt and taking names.

I was a bit wary when we found out Charley was pregnant, to be honest I prefer to avoid kids in UF books unless they're either old enough to be interesting characters in their own right, or come at the end of the series to signify the the fact that the main characters are finally getting to settle down and have their well earned happily ever after. I mean how is Charley supposed to deal with a potential apocalypse if she's carting around a newborn? Well that issue was kind of resolved but I'm not even sure I like the way that side of things was handled either. It just seems a bit pointless to bring a kid into things and then do what happened in this book.

So this book wasn't as full of action as the previous stories and if I'm honest the first half was kind of boring. I was frustrated with Charley for going against Reyes' wishes and trying to track down his birth parents when he specifically asked her not to but I think I was even more angry at the way that entire plot thread ended and I wanted to smack some sense into the pair of them for keeping such ridiculously stupid secrets from each other. I was also really irritated by Gemma and the way she kept trying to force Charley to accept Denise, the stepmother from hell, back into her life. Denise has been horrible to Charley throughout the entire series, was a monster to her when she was a child and now expects to be allowed to play grandmother of the year. No chance and the fact Gemma was taking Denise's side made me really mad. I have to admit I loved the way things played out with Denise though, I think that probably makes me a terrible person but I don't care because the whole thing was hilarious!

The story did improve towards the end, we finally start getting some answers about Charley's powers and why she's been given them. I still have a lot of questions and some things confused me a bit but we're getting answers and that's great. I'm still not sure how I feel about the twist at the end though, in some ways I think it'll make things really interesting and will hopefully send the series back in the right direction action and plot wise but in others it felt like a bit of a cop out. I guess I'll have to see how it plays out in book nine before I make my mind up. Even though this wasn't my favourite book I'm still hooked enough that I want to know how things play out so I'm definitely going to be continuing the series.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Friday, 8 March 2019

Review: Seduction in Death - J.D. Robb

She was twenty-three and already in love. She was certain he'd be handsome. She would be dead before midnight.

Bryna Bankhead carefully dressed for her date with the wonderful Dante, a man she's only ever spoken to online. By the end of the night, rose petals are scattered, poetry has been quoted - and Bryna has been murdered.

What starts as a mistake, becomes a terrifying game, as two young men pursue their poisonous obsession with an illegal drug and an insatiable desire. As more girls are taken, homicide lieutenant Eve Dallas and her roguish husband Roarke must think fast and act even faster.

And then Eve discovers the secret to their destructive past and a deadly trap is set . . .

In Death Series:
Naked in Death
Glory in Death
Immortal in Death
Rapture in Death
Ceremony in Death
Vengeance in Death
Holiday in Death
Midnight in Death (Novella)
Conspiracy in Death
Loyalty in Death
Witness in Death
Judgement in Death
Betrayal in Death
Interlude in Death (Novella)
Seduction in Death
Reunion in Death
Purity in Death
Portrait in Death
Imitation in Death
Big Jack (Novella in the Remember When Anthology)
Divided in Death
Visions in Death
Survivor in Death
Origin in Death
Memory in Death
Haunted in Death (Novella)
Born in Death
Innocent in Death
Eternity in Death (Novella)
Creation in Death
Strangers in Death
Salvation in Death
Ritual in Death (Novella)
Promises in Death
Kindred in Death
Missing in Death (Novella)
Fantasy in Death
Indulgence in Death
Possession in Death (Novella)
Treachery in Death
New York to Dallas
Chaos in Death (Novella)
Celebrity in Death
Delusion in Death
Calculated in Death
Thankless in Death
Taken in Death (Novella)
Concealed in Death
Festive in Death
Obsessed in Death
Devoted in Death
Wonderment in Death (Novella)
Brotherhood in Death
Apprentice in Death
Echoes in Death
Secrets in Death
Dark in Death
Leverage in Death
Connections in Death (2019)

Visit J.D. Robb's website for more information.

Review:
It starts with two young men setting up a game where they earn points based on the outcome of their latest dates. It's bad enough that they're using date rape drugs to make their victims "willing" and compliant but when one of them accidentally crosses the line into murder the game takes a deadly new turn. It's up to Eve to track down these killers but if she doesn't work fast she's going to have to have more innocent victims on her hands.

It says a lot when you're thirteen books into a series and still loving every minute of it. I was really nervous starting the In Death books, it's pretty intimidating when you know that there are already upwards of 40 books published, but now I'm actually thrilled that I still have so many unread books ahead of me. I just can't seem to get enough of these characters! I love Eve, she's both tough as nails and deeply vulnerable and as she gradually seems to be remembering more about her past I have a feeling we're only beginning to touch on her childhood trauma. Roarke is fabulous too and definitely one of my favourite book boyfriends right now. He understands Eve in a way that few others do and he's been a constant source of support since they met, their relationship has had it's rocky moments but they're in a pretty good place right now and their bond just gets stronger with each book.

This is a series about death and murder so of course it has it's dark moments but there is also plenty of humour too thanks to characters like Peabody and McNab. Peabody is a brilliant aide to Eve but she's a bit dense when it comes to her personal relationships so it's been really interesting to see things with her and McNab go totally pear shaped. We do get some progress on that front in this book but they're both pretty stubborn and mule headed so who knows how long they'll be on speaking terms for this time. I guess I'll just have to dive straight into the next book to find out!

Source: Purchased

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Thursday, 7 March 2019

London's Big Read - Vote for your 2019 favourite now!


Vote for your BIG READ of 2019

#READSHAREVOTE #LONDONSBIGREAD #LBR19

Fourteen incredible authors invite you to read their books, share your reviews and vote for London’s BIG READ of 2019!

Do you love books? Do you adore discovering new authors? Are you open to trying new genres? Do you get a kick out of sharing the excitement of finishing an amazing book with your friends and family?

Today, World Book Day, sees the opening of the online vote for the London’s BIG READ competition. Fourteen incredible books have been shortlisted across genres including non-fiction, poetry, fiction for adults, children and teens…

This is how you can get involved:

Why not select a few from the shortlist to read with friends – or your local book group?

You could arrange a book swap with your friends or work colleagues, each choosing one book on the list and reading it, reviewing it, then passing it on to the next person?

Or perhaps visit your local library and work your way through the entire list one-by-one in peace and quiet?

When you know which book you feel should be crowned London’s BIG READ of 2019 you can vote online at www.londonsbigread.com. The vote is open from 7th March to June 30th and the winner will be announced on September 26th.

You can tweet about your winning book and tag in the author (you may even get a personal thank you from them!) and don’t forget to tag the organisers of the competition @londonsbigread!


A bit about London’s BIG READ:

Organised by Heironmind Limited, and now in its second year, fourteen books have been selected across fiction and non-fiction under a theme of female empowerment. The aim of London’s BIG READ is to bring people together through reading books that expand our understanding of our community and express the diversity of this great city.

The organisers behind London’s BIG READ have teamed up with Transport For London (TFL), the Booksellers Association to work with bricks and mortar bookshops across London and in the surrounding regions, the London Book Fair (12-14 March 2019), and some of the leading London universities, to raise awareness about the Finalists and the wider London’s BIG READ campaign.

London’s BIG READ 2019 is partnered with the Children’s Literary Charity and Ndoro Children’s Charity to raise money through myriad fundraising activities, culminating in a gala ceremony and charity auction in September 2019 at which the winner will be officially announced. The shortlisted books are all available to buy from LIBRARY, with £1 from each sale going to the Children’s Literacy Charity and a further £1 going to the Ndoro Children’s Charity.

London’s BIG READ 2019 Finalists

Non Fiction

What Would Boudicca Do? Everyday Problems Solved by History’s Most Remarkable Women by Elizabeth Foley & Beth Coates, Illustrated by Bijou Karmen, Faber & Faber

Modern life can be troublesome. There is only so much mansplaining, body shaming, playing ‘nice’ and being underestimated that a girl can take. Women have been putting up with this kind of nonsense for centuries and resisting it for just as many. This book turns to the most celebrated women from history for advice. “What a boost this book is: if these amazing women did it, we certainly can. I might start driving a roller around Peckham with a pet cheetah like Josephine Baker!” – Olivia Colman

Remember This When You’re Sad by Maggy Van Eijk, Bonnier Books

A heart-breaking, hilarious exploration of one young woman's quest for happiness in a world defined by her depression. “This is a stand out (book). Raw, funny, useful and entirely unpretentious. Check it out.” – Matt Haig, author of Reasons to Stay Alive

Help Me! One Woman’s Quest to Find Out if Self Help Really Can Change Her Life by Marianne Power, Picador

There came a point one hungover Sunday, when Marianne Power realised that things could not carry on the way they were. Outwardly her life looked great; she had her dream job, lots of friends, designer clothes and nice holidays. But the reality was that while her friends were getting on with buying houses, starting families and generally moving on with their lives, she was stuck in a rut and lost. Then she had an idea. Instead of endlessly reading self-help books in an attempt to fix her life, she would DO self-help books, to be more exact, she decided to road test one self-help book a month for a year. “I love it! Hilarious and thought-provoking!” – Fearne Cotton

A History of the World in 21 Women: A Personal Selection by Jenni Murray, One World Publications

In the sequel to her bestselling A History of Britain in 21 Women, Jenni Murray celebrates the lives, struggles and achievements of extraordinary women from around the globe. They ruled empires, they led nations. They were pioneers in the arts and geniuses of science. They spoke truth to power and fought for change. All have had a profound impact on the shaping of our world. “Illuminating and inspiring.” – Charlotte Gordon

I’m Absolutely Fine! A Manual for Imperfect Women by Annabel Rivkin & Emilie McMeekan, Octopus

I'm absolutely fine but I slightly need to pee, I followed the road less travelled and now I don't know where the hell I am, I may bleed to death shaving my legs, I just ate the fridge, my soul aches, ducking hell, my sock is slipping off inside my shoe, another week has ended without me becoming accidentally rich, I just put my keys in the fridge, my jeans hate me, unexpected object in the bagging area, I haven't slept since 2012, I've got road rage, I'll have a café mocha vodka valium latte to go please, where's my phone? My anxieties have anxieties, no... not like that - here, I'll do it, do I have to do everything? WTF. “I have been waiting for this book my entire life. It's brilliant.” – Claudia Winkleman

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, Penguin

The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller, Shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2018, Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 2018

When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. She vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you've ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. It's a book about bad dates, good friends and - above all else - about recognising that you and you alone are enough. “I loved it so much, I wanted it to go on forever, Dolly Alderton is so gifted at making people care. A rare talent.” - Marian Keyes

Fiction

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh, Hamish Hamilton

The Literary Debut of the summer 2018, Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018

Imagine a world very close to our own: where women are not safe in their bodies, where desperate measures are required to raise a daughter. This is the story of Grace, Lia and Sky, kept apart from the world for their own good and taught the terrible things that every woman must learn about love. And it is the story of the men who come to find them - three strangers washed up by the sea, their gazes hungry and insistent, trailing desire and destruction in their wake. The Water Cure is a fever dream, a blazing vision of suffering, sisterhood and transformation. “Eerily beautiful, strange [and] unsettling.” Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train.

Poetry

The Dizziness of Freedom brings together fifty of contemporary poetry’s most exciting voices to speak out about mental health.

A ground-breaking anthology edited by Amy Acre and Jake Wild Hall. Foreword by Melissa Lee-Houghton, Bad Betty Press, Supported by Arts Council England. “This brilliant, inspiring collection not only illuminates the richness and variety of human pain, sexuality and embodiment better than any clinical text, but also shows us what language is for. Rather than labelling and imposing psychiatric categories, words here give a voice to each person’s experience, challenging and questioning what we are supposed to feel, say and be.” - Darian Leader

The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, Saqi Books
Edited by Sabrina Mahfouz

Established literary heavyweights to emerging spoken word artists, the writers in this ground-breaking collection blow away the narrow image of the 'Muslim Woman’. “Important and timely.” – Eimear McBride

Young Adults

Emily Knight I Am ... Awakened by Abiola Bello, Hashtag Press

Carnegie-nominated title for 2019, Winner of the London Book Fair Trailblazer Award 2018
Dark times are upon us. The warriors are forced to pick a side and to stand up for what they believe in. Emily Knight has to get sharper, stronger and faster… “A wonderful heroine you can’t help but root for.” – Katherine Webber

Big Bones by Laura Dockrill, Hot Key Books

Bluebelle, aka BB, aka Big Bones - is a sixteen-year-old girl encouraged to tackle her weight even though she's perfectly happy, thank you, and getting on with her life and in love with food. Then a tragedy in the family forces BB to find a new relationship with her body and herself. . . “Big Bones is the book I wish I'd had as a teenager and Bluebelle is a friend I wish I had today. Laura has written a beautiful love letter to some of the most important things in life: friends, family and food.” – Linsdey Kelk

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber, Walker Books

Sometimes a broken heart is all you need to set you free… Reiko loves the endless sky and electric colours of the Californian desert. It is a refuge from an increasingly claustrophobic life of family pressures and her own secrets. Then she meets Seth, a boy who shares a love of the desert and her yearning for a different kind of life. But Reiko and Seth both want something the other can’t give them. As summer ends, things begin to fall apart. But the end of love can sometimes be the beginning of you... “A dreamy, smart story about loss, love, friendship and consent” - Book Riot

Children

Fearless Mirabelle by Katie Haworth and Nila Aye, Templar

Mirabelle and Meg Moffat are twins and their mum and dad are famous circus acrobats. A funny, exuberant picture book about twin sisters with very different talents. “Perhaps it's the celebration of individuality, or having confidence in your own unique skill set, or looking after your sibling, but this picture book appeals on so many levels.” – Minerva Reads

Three Cheers For Women by Marcia Williams, Walker Books

A celebration of inspirational women from all over the world and throughout history, told in Marcia Williams' much-loved comic-strip style. Join Marcia Williams as she celebrates incredible women from around the world and throughout history. From writers to warriors and astronauts to activists, discover their awesome stories and be amazed by their achievements. Featuring Cleopatra, Boudicca, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, Florence Nightingale, Marie Curie, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, Wangari Maathai, Mae C. Jemison, Cathy Freeman and Malala, and packed with facts, quotes and jokes – hip, hip, hooray! “Marcia Williams celebrates inspirational women from all over the world in her wonderful comic-book style.” - TheSchoolRun.com

About LIBRARY


Founded by Ronald Ndoro in 2013, LIBRARY is a hub for creativity and innovation, and draws inspiration from literature, theatre, local community and sustainable design. LIBRARY is focused on tailoring and enhancing the member experience through the provision of a lifestyle service, fine dining and dancing, complemented by an original cultural events programme including live music events, art exhibitions, film screenings, author-led book clubs and talks.

LIBRARY, 112 St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4BD

For more information please visit: www.londonsbigread.com

About The Children’s Literacy Charity

The Children’s Literacy Charity is invested in breaking the link between poor literacy and poor life chances. They are a direct action charity that provides expert one to one literacy support, making it unique in this field. The charity employs expert tutors to directly support children through their Literacy Labs delivered in primary schools across the top 10% deprived areas in London and Manchester.

The Children’s Literacy Charity and London’s Big Read will run mutually supportive publicity activities that will create exposure for both, and expand the donation activities of the Trust.

The Children’s Literacy Charity provides one-to-one specialist support from trained tutors to children with the greatest need.

• In schools, these tailored interventions take place twice a week in Literacy Labs – spaces away from the main classroom where children can take learning at their own pace with the help of a trusted adult.

• Their skilled tutors use a phonics-based approach, which studies indicate is the most effective method of teaching reading.

• Their approach offers ‘a gold standard’ in the provision of phonics-based instruction, according to validation by the University of Sheffield.

For more information please visit: https://thechildrensliteracycharity.org.uk

About the Ndoro Children’s Charity

The Ndoro Children’s Charity was set up in 2008 to provide education for sustainable development, good health and stability to as many children as possible in underprivileged parts of the world – with a particular focus on children orphaned to diseases such as HIV/Aids in Africa. The charity was set up by the founder of LIBRARY, Ronald Ndoro.

• Focus on education but includes accommodation, access to water and electricity through renewable energy, environmental conservation and agriculture.

• Success includes building and renovating schools, an orphanage home, providing clean drinking water, covering school fees and setting up a volunteer scheme in Zimbabwe.

For more information please visit: http://ndorocc.org.uk

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