BOOK REVIEW: Problems by Jade Sharma @Emily_BookPR @TrampPress @jadersharma

Format: ARC, sent in exchange for an honest review
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US 
Blurb: Dark, raw and very funny, Problems introduces us to Maya, a young woman with a smart mouth, time to kill and a heroin hobby that isn’t much fun anymore.

Maya’s been able to get by in New York on her wits and a dead-end bookstore job for years, but when her sweet, heavy-drinking husband leaves her and her favorite professor ends their affair, her barley-calibrated life descends into chaos, and she has to make some choices. Maya’s struggle to be alone, to be a modern woman and to be thoughtful, imperfect and alive in a world that doesn’t really care what happens to her is rendered with dead-eyed clarity and unnerving charm.  Continue reading

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BOOK REVIEW: How To Be Happy by Eva Woods

Format: Kindle, Bought
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: Annie Hebden is stuck. Stuck in her boring job, with her irritating roommate, in a life no thirty-five-year-old would want. But deep down, Annie is still mourning the terrible loss that tore a hole through the perfect existence she’d once taken for granted—and hiding away is safer than remembering what used to be. Until she meets the eccentric Polly Leonard.

Bright, bubbly, intrusive Polly is everything Annie doesn’t want in a friend. But Polly is determined to finally wake Annie up to life. Because if recent events have taught Polly anything, it’s that your time is too short to waste a single day—which is why she wants Annie to join her on a mission…

One hundred days. One hundred new ways to be happy. Annie’s convinced it’s impossible, but so is saying no to Polly. And on an unforgettable journey that will force her to open herself to new experiences—and perhaps even new love with the unlikeliest of men—Annie will slowly begin to realize that maybe, just maybe, there’s still joy to be found in the world. But then it becomes clear that Polly’s about to need her new friend more than ever…and Annie will have to decide once and for all whether letting others in is a risk worth taking. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: The Last Laugh by Tracy Bloom @bookouture @TracyBBloom

Format: eBook, NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: Jenny discovers her days are numbered at the same time she discovers her husband is having an affair… 

Frankly, her life was tough enough already. Two tricky teenagers, her mother’s constant complaints, friends who aren’t up to the job and a career which has been spiralling downwards since she won ‘Sunseeker Tour Rep of the Season’ twenty years ago.

And now this: a cheating husband and a death sentence.

Enough is enough. Jenny vows to keep both catastrophes a secret. She takes her life – and death – into her own hands and decides to live as she did when she was happiest… in 1996. She plans a spectacular 1990’s themed party in place of a wake that she herself will attend. But will she be able to keep her secrets for long enough to have the party of a lifetime?  Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Format: Hardback – purchased
Links: Amazon UK | Goodreads
Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.


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Book Review: The Friend by Dorothy Koomson @DorothyKoomson @penguinrandom

Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Format: Hardback, from publisher
Blurb: What secrets would you kill to keep?

After her husband’s big promotion, Cece Solarin arrives in Brighton with their three children, ready to start afresh. But their new neighbourhood has a deadly secret.

Three weeks earlier, Yvonne, a very popular parent, was almost murdered in the grounds of the local school – the same school where Cece has unwittingly enrolled her children.

Already anxious about making friends when the parents seem so cliquey, Cece is now also worried about her children’s safety. By chance she meets Maxie, Anaya and Hazel, three very different school mothers who make her feel welcome and reassure her about her new life.

That is until Cece discovers the police believe one of her new friends tried to kill Yvonne. Reluctant to spy on her friends but determined to discover the truth, Cece must uncover the potential murderer before they strike again… Continue reading

Book Review: Alice and the Fly by James Rice

Format: Paperback, won in a giveaway
Links: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Goodreads
Blurb: This is a book about phobias and obsessions, isolation and dark corners. It’s about families, friendships, and carefully preserved secrets. But above everything else it’s about love. Finding love – in any of its forms – and nurturing it.

Miss Hayes has a new theory. She thinks my condition’s caused by some traumatic incident from my past I keep deep-rooted in my mind. As soon as I come clean I’ll flood out all these tears and it’ll all be ok and I won’t be scared of Them anymore. The truth is I can’t think of any single traumatic childhood incident to tell her. I mean, there are plenty of bad memories – Herb’s death, or the time I bit the hole in my tongue, or Finners Island, out on the boat with Sarah – but none of these are what caused the phobia. I’ve always had it. It’s Them. I’m just scared of Them. It’s that simple.


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Some things I would like to see in Fiction

A good while ago now, I wrote a post on ‘trends I would like to see more and less of in the book world’ and this covered a whole bunch of different elements and genres. Today, I want to talk about things I would like to see more specifically, in Fiction. You know what I mean, the huge, mainstream, popular books which are on the shelves in all Tesco’s around the country and in the windows of all the Waterstones chains from the biggest and the best of publishers.

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Book Review: Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

Format: Paperback, ARC
Links: Amazon UK | Goodreads
Blurb: In her guise as ‘Dear Amy’, agony aunt for a local newspaper, Margot Lewis has dealt with all sorts of letters – but never one like this…

Dear Amy,
I’ve been kidnapped by a strange man.
I don’t know where I am.
Please help me,
Bethan Avery

This must be a cruel hoax. Because Bethan Avery has been missing for nearly two decades.

But as the present-day search intensifies for another missing schoolgirl, Margot is unnerved enough to take the letter to the police, hoping they will dismiss it as a sick joke.

Instead, they let Margot in on a little secret. One that confirms her darkest fears and tangles her up in the search for the sender, which could save one young girl’s life and cost Margot her own…


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Book Review: The Darling Girls by Emma Burstall

20809458What it’s about

Three women in love with the same man meet for the first time at his funeral.

When world-famous conductor Leo Bruck suddenly dies, the three women who loved him meet for the first time at his graveside.

Victoria, Leo’s partner of twenty years, regards herself as the only rightful keeper of his legacy. Maddy, the mother of Leo’s daughter Phoebe, finds her carefully constructed world is rocked to the core by his death. Cat is shattered with grief for her first great love, a man she barely had the chance to know.

All are Leo’s ‘darling girls’: three very different women whose lives are about to become inextricably bound in a moving story of love, loss, and the prevailing power of female friendship. Continue reading