Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen

Posted on 24 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen

Hi Guys!
It my turn on the Wolves in the Dark blog tour and I am here today with a mini-review! Mini because I haven’t finished the book yet – *hides* – so I’ll add a full review later on but I felt bad so here at least is something.

First though… the book!


About the Book

Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts. When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a pedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material . . . and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest—and most personal—case yet. Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Wolves in the Dark reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.

Goodreads. Amazon.


My Mini Review

Having never read a book by Gunnar Staalesen before, I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t know what was going on or really connect to the characters in this book but fortunately this wasn’t the case. There is something so addictive about the writing style of this book that has my eyes moving across the page rapidly, swallowing the information in. Not only this but it was easy to really picture what was happening as Gunnar has done a really wonderful job of describing everything in an entertaining way. I can not express how easily this book is to dive into. And it’s also the kind of book that you can walk away from for a while and come back to and remember what was happening as it is so unique in it’s plot and storyline. I am very intrigued as to where this book will take me and how it will all come together and I cannot wait to finish it. Until then, I would already highly recommend it!


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Posted on 24 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Interview with Stewart Ross (+ Giveaway)

Posted on 22 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Interview with Stewart Ross

Hi All!
Today is my spot on the Salvation Project blog tour! I am here to introduce you to the lovely Stewart Ross with an interview!

Plus a Goodreads Giveaway!


About the Book

Humanity’s hope of salvation lies within a single laptop…

A mutation in human DNA means no one lives beyond nineteen. Scientists working to reverse this pandemic died before their Salvation Project was complete, leaving behind the results of their research in a sealed vault – the Soterion.

122 years have passed. The civilisation of the ‘Long Dead’ is almost forgotten, the Soterion has been burned to ashes, and communities of Constants are tormented by brutal tribes of Zeds. Cyrus, Miouda and Sammy flee their burning city with a laptop rescued from the inferno. They believe it contains the key to the Salvation Project. But its batteries are dead, there is no electricity to power it, and murderous Zeds will stop at nothing to get it back…

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


An Interview with Stewart Ross

If you had to describe your book into a 140-character tweet, how would you do it?
Not for the faint-hearted: where Young Adults are the only adults, this dystopian quest challenges every aspect of the way we live now.

What do you hope people will take away from your trilogy?
I hope that everyone reading this book will think again about our society’s unflattering Lord-of-the-Flies attitude towards the young. Most of the time we behave as we are expected or allowed to behave. When not given responsibility, for example, we are inclined to behave irresponsibly. But when there is no alternative, it’s amazing what we can do.

Where do you do most of your writing?
I work in a hut in the garden: too cold in winter & too hot in summer, but a quiet place where I can talk to myself without being thought bonkers.

What piece of advice would you give to teenagers living today?
There’s only one -ism that matters: your own idealism.

If you could live in one fiction world, which world would you live in?
Easy – the world of Lanskira at the end of the Salvation Project! (It’s a controversial choice, I know – I’d love to know what readers think.)

If you could befriend one fictional character, who would you befriend and why?
Falstaff for a night out, Pooh Bear for a night in, and my own Roxanne for life.

Who is your favourite character in the Soterion Mission trilogy?
Villains are always more fun than the straight guys. The enigmatic, haunted figure of Xsani must be my favourite, with Timur (drawn from Tamburlaine the Great) hard on her heels – what other figure, real or fictional, exerted more power when dead and smoked than when alive? Sakamir and the Safids are not far behind. Poor, heart-broken, confused Giv is my favourite tragic figure. And the out-and-out hero? I fell in love with Roxanne, named after the wife of Alexander the Great, from the moment that brave, resolute and intelligent woman stepped onto the page. And she floats, shining, over the whole trilogy.

What will you miss most about the Soterion Mission trilogy?
So much. I want to know what happens to Miouda and her child, and I want to know how Olo and Sammy get on. Above all, I will miss – as I already do – entering a world populated by those extraordinary characters with their bizarre speech and behaviour. In fact, I had such fun creating those people, villains as much as heroes, that I think I’ll have to go on to vol. 4 so that I can spend some more time with them all …


About the Author

Stewart was born in Buckinghamshire and educated in Oxford, Berkhamsted, Exeter, Bristol, and Orlando, Florida. He taught at a variety of institutions in Sri Lanka, the Middle East, the USA, and Britain before becoming a full-time writer in 1989.

With over 300 published titles to his credit, he is now one of Britain’s most popular and versatile authors. His output includes prize-winning books for younger readers, novels, plays, three librettos, a musical, and many widely acclaimed works on history and sport. Several of his books are illustrated with his own photographs.

Stewart also lectures in France and the UK, gives talks, runs workshops, and visits schools. He is an occasional journalist and broadcaster. His brother, Charlie Ross, is the celebrated auctioneer.

In his spare time Stewart enjoys travel, restaurants, sport, theatre, photography, art and music. He lives near Canterbury with his wife Lucy, and – occasionally – his four children and two grandchildren. Each morning he commutes 10 metres to work in a large hut in the garden.

Website. Twitter. Facebook. Youtube.


Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Salvation Project by Stewart Ross

The Salvation Project

by Stewart Ross

Giveaway ends June 30, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


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Posted on 22 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


The Devil’s Poetry by Louise Cole

Posted on 20 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

The Devil’s Poetry by Louise Cole

Hi All!
Today is my stop on The Devil’s Poetry blog tour and I am here with Louise Cole today as she has been interviewed by me!


About the Book

Questions are dangerous but answers can be deadly.

Callie’s world will be lost to war – unless she can unlock the magic of an ancient manuscript. She and her friends will be sent to the front line. Many of them won’t come back. When a secret order tells her she can bring peace by reading from a book, it seems an easy solution – too easy. Callie soon finds herself hunted, trapped between desperate allies and diabolical enemies. The Order is every bit as ruthless as the paranormal Cadaveri.
Callie can only trust two people – her best friend and her ex-marine bodyguard. And they are on different sides. She must decide: how far will she go to stop a war?

Dare she read this book? What’s the price – and who pays it?
Commended in the Yeovil Prize 2016, this is an action-packed blend of adventure, fantasy and love story.

‘Twisty, suspenseful and occasionally heart-rending, The Devil’s Poetry is a captivating read. I raced through it.” Emma Haughton, Now You See Me

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


An Interview with Louise Cole

If you had to summarize The Devil’s Poetry in a tweet, how would you?
Everyone you know will be sent to war – but a cult claims you can save them by reading from an ancient book. Dare you? What’s the price?

While writing The Devil’s Poetry, did you pick up any odd habits? (i.e. drinking coffee at 2am?)
I talk to my dogs about the plot and the characters. I have three cocker spaniels and they are fairly tough critics. Their favourite stories all feature rabbits so they’re a tough crowd. When I’d get really stuck on a plot point, I’d tell them all about it while I washed the dishes or cooked. The best writing buddy among them is Millie because she will hug you when it’s all going wrong.

What was your favourite thing about writing The Devil’s Poetry?
It’s really hard to answer this without spoilers. I loved writing the scenes at the end. I love choreographing all my different characters, each with their own agenda and the stakes growing ever higher, into a tumultuous climax. There are points where I literally hold my breath as I’m writing. And I am completely immersed. I’m in those scenes as I write. My feet thud across the streets of London, riots breaking around me, fear and adrenaline chilling my skin.

What is your favourite thing about writing in general?
Oh first drafts. Just wonderful. First drafts are like falling in love. You are giddy with excitement, and completely obsessive about pouring out this story. I write first drafts very quickly – usually two or three weeks. Part of that comes from the years of journalism which make me a very fast and productive writer but it’s also that, during that time, I don’t want to do anything else. I throw my family take-away menus, I don’t read other people’s books, I don’t do my normal day job. I cut out this chunk of time entirely for me and I live a new story. It is such a rush and an unbelievable privilege.
Of course, then you have the six months of unremitting hard work, redrafting and editing, and that’s not as much fun.

If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
Middle-earth from Lords of the Rings. I think it has everything; magic, beauty, elves. I think I’d live in the Shire. It has so much in common with my beloved North Yorkshire.

What is your favourite book ever?
Oh see, that’s a mean question. How am I supposed to narrow it down to one? I think the series – and yes, I know I’m cheating – that I’m completely fangirl about is Robin Hobb’s Farseer novels. I’ve been in love with Fitz since I first opened Assassin’s Apprentice. I love that we get to follow Fitz and the Fool through their whole lives, weaving in and out of different trilogies. A wonderful world, a great magic system, fascinating characters. And Nighteyes. Best animal character ever.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
If you write, you are a writer. And all writers aspire, constantly. We want to try new things, to write better, to reach more readers, to explore new stories. That tag: ‘aspiring author’? It’s always feels to me like it’s this judgmental division between the published and the unpublished. But that’s a meaningless divide. There are novice writers, and veteran writers, there are good writers and great writers, and writers who are just starting to master their craft. But once upon a time, we were all just starting and none of us ever stops. So hold your head up, because creativity and storytelling are precious and worthwhile in and of themselves. People see publication as a means of validation and money – but they don’t see how much published writers struggle with the distinct lack of validation and money. The important bit, the bit that will never cease to be true is that by crafting your story, you have nurtured your own soul and made the world a better place. Writing is not about individual pieces of text in isolation – between us, we create a huge ocean of words. And they can change the world.


About the Author

ouise Cole has spent her life reading and writing. And very occasionally gardening. Sometimes she reads as she gardens. She can be seen walking her dogs around North Yorkshire – she’s the one with a couple of cocker spaniels and a Kindle. She read English at Oxford – read being the operative word – and hasn’t stopped reading since.

In her day-job she is an award-winning journalist, a former business magazine editor and director of a media agency. She writes about business but mainly the business of moving things around: transport, logistics, trucks, ships, and people.

Her fiction includes short stories, young adult thrillers, and other stuff which is still cooking.

Her YA and kids’ fiction is represented by Greenhouse Literary Agency and she is also published on Amazon as one of the Marisa Hayworth triumvirate.

Twitter.


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Posted on 20 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


The Salvation Project by Stewart Ross

Posted on 20 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

The Salvation Project by Stewart Ross

Hi All!
Today I am here to tell you all about the wonderful Salvation Project! I’ve been working on the publicity for this book for the past few months and I am so excited that is finally available for people to buy! Yay!

Here’s the information you want on the book and Stewart Ross himself!

Plus a Goodreads Giveaway which starts tomorrow!


About the Book

Humanity’s hope of salvation lies within a single laptop…

A mutation in human DNA means no one lives beyond nineteen. Scientists working to reverse this pandemic died before their Salvation Project was complete, leaving behind the results of their research in a sealed vault – the Soterion.

122 years have passed. The civilisation of the ‘Long Dead’ is almost forgotten, the Soterion has been burned to ashes, and communities of Constants are tormented by brutal tribes of Zeds. Cyrus, Miouda and Sammy flee their burning city with a laptop rescued from the inferno. They believe it contains the key to the Salvation Project. But its batteries are dead, there is no electricity to power it, and murderous Zeds will stop at nothing to get it back…

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


About the Author

Stewart was born in Buckinghamshire and educated in Oxford, Berkhamsted, Exeter, Bristol, and Orlando, Florida. He taught at a variety of institutions in Sri Lanka, the Middle East, the USA, and Britain before becoming a full-time writer in 1989.

With over 300 published titles to his credit, he is now one of Britain’s most popular and versatile authors. His output includes prize-winning books for younger readers, novels, plays, three librettos, a musical, and many widely acclaimed works on history and sport. Several of his books are illustrated with his own photographs.

Stewart also lectures in France and the UK, gives talks, runs workshops, and visits schools. He is an occasional journalist and broadcaster. His brother, Charlie Ross, is the celebrated auctioneer.

In his spare time Stewart enjoys travel, restaurants, sport, theatre, photography, art and music. He lives near Canterbury with his wife Lucy, and – occasionally – his four children and two grandchildren. Each morning he commutes 10 metres to work in a large hut in the garden.

Website. Twitter. Facebook. Youtube.


Goodreads Giveaway

Opens Tomorrow! (June 21st 2017)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Salvation Project by Stewart Ross

The Salvation Project

by Stewart Ross

Giveaway ends June 30, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


Follow the Tour!

The blog tour also starts tomorrow!


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Posted on 20 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


I’m getting rid of books… do you want any?

Posted on 18 June, 2017 by Faye - 6 Comments

I’m Getting Rid of Books… Do You Want Any?

Hello All!
In case you didn’t already know, I’m the middle of a house move and, sadly, I am moving from somewhere larger to somewhere smaller which means I have had to say goodbye to some of my very precious books! But as I am a book lover but cannot sell the review copies I get (it is so illegal guys), I am offering you some of the review copies I have recieved and no longer want/have space for!

And all I’m asking for is money for the postage (because I am moving so I am broke!). The price for this will depend on the book or amount of books you require but should be between £3 – £10 (which includes postage and packaging!). If you want a fair few books, I’ll probably send them in a box via collect + which is around £5. Otherwise everything will be sent 1st class.

I’m accepting all payments through paypal but if you really want something but don’t have paypal, just let me know and we can sort something out!

Once an item has been “bought”, I will strike it off the list. I will do my best to keep the list up to date.
Everything will be available until Tuesday 27th June. After that point, anything left will be going into the recycling bin :(

Okay… now what you’ve been waiting for! The Books!!
(Click the images to make them larger!)

ARC5

Harder by Robin York
The Summer I Met You by Victoria Walters
Kid Got Shot by Simon Mayo
Erica’s Elephant by Sylvia Bishop
My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood
The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohen and David Levithan
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Front Lines by Michael Grant
All About Mia SAMPLE by Lisa WIlliamson
Nothing Tastes as Good by Claire Hennessy

Monster by Michael Grant
Unhinged by A G Howard

ARC1

Twinmaker by Sean Williams
Dare you To by Katie McGarry
The Romantics by Leah Konen

Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith
Echo Boy by Matt Haig
In Darkness by Nick Lake
Unfaithfully Yours by Nigel Williams
Teardrop by Lauren Kate
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

ARC2

Stray by Monica Hesse
Say Her Name by Juno Dawson
Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie by Jeff Norton
Owl Song at Dawn by Emma Clare Sweeney
Banished by Liz de Jager
Black Spring by Alison Croggan
We Were Liars by E Lockhart
Secrets and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed
The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke
Ink by Alice Broadway
I Predict a Riot by Catherine Bruton

ARC3

Hidden by Marianne Curley
Anthem for Jackson Dawes by Celia Bryce
The Disgrace of Kitty Grey by Mary Hooper
Hidden Among Us by Katy Moran
The Private Blog of Joe Cowley by Ben Davis
Replica by Jack Heath
The Wolfstone Cures by Justin Richards
The Mime Order SAMPLER by Samantha Shannon
A Pig Called Heather by Harry Oulton
Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
The Graces by Laure Eve
Born Scared by Kevin Brooks

ARC4

The Hunger Games Colouring Book
Fragments by Dan Wells
The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith
League of Strays by L. B. Schulman


If you want any books, let me know in the comments or on twitter and we’ll sort it out!

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Posted on 18 June, 2017 by Faye - 6 Comments


Top 5 Writing Tips When You’ve Got Brain-Fail

Posted on 14 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

St Grizzle’s School for Girls, Ghosts, And Runaway Grannies by Karen McCombie

Hi All!

Today is my spot on the St Grizzle’s School for Girls, Ghosts, And Runaway Grannies blog tour and I am here with a fantastic guest post by the wonderful Karen McCombie! Here’s more info on the book first.


About the Book

When local schools are asked to make a film showcasing the surrounding area, Dani and the rest of St Grizzle’s set to work. But Spencer and his mates at the village school are determined to sabotage the work of the smelly Grizzlers.
To Dani’s surprise, help comes in the form of Granny Viv who has secretly taken up residence in the school’s tree house with Downboy the dog. Together they come up with the perfect ghostly video … but will Granny Viv be able to stay once the competition’s over?

Goodreads. Amazon.


TOP 5 WRITING TIPS WHEN YOU’VE GOT BRAIN-FAIL

by Karen McCombie

Sometimes you’re not so much writing as staring at a computer screen and making low, rumbling, sighing noises without realising. When you DO realise, and figure out that you’re stuck on your current writing project, here are my tips for re-booting your creativity.

• Re-read an old favourite book: But this time, analyse why it’s so fab. Then let its general fab-ness inspire you to get back on with your own stuff.
• Time yourself: You have an hour. You are going to write a complete mini-story in 200 words. GO!
• Come up with a killer first line: Don’t think about anything except this first line, and once you’ve got it down, start writing and see where your meandering mind takes you.
• Come up with a killer last line: The opposite of meandering – when you have a great last line nailed, you next need to plot and plan how to get to drive your story there.
• Go for an hour-long walk by yourself: Stare at the scenery and daydream… miraculously, your stalled brain will creak back to life, and ways to solve you writing dilemma will ping, drift or slither into your mind. Success guaranteed or your money back! (Er…)


Follow the Tour

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Posted on 14 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Empathy Inspiration

Posted on 13 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Empathy Inspiration

Hello All!

Today I am delighted to introduce Kate Milner onto the blog. As it is Empathy Day today, she is here to tell you about the books that she finds inspires her empathy.

And before we introduce those books, let me also tell you about her book My Name is Not Refugee which is an incredible book for inspiring empathy.


About the Book

A young boy discusses the journey he is about to make with his mother. They will leave their town, she explains, and it will be sad but also a little bit exciting. They will have to say goodbye to friends and loved ones, and that will be difficult. They will have to walk and walk and walk, and although they will see many new and interesting things, it will be difficult at times too. A powerful and moving exploration that draws the young reader into each stage of the journey, inviting the chance to imagine the decisions he or she would make.

Goodreads. Amazon.


Empathy Inspirations

by Kate Milner

The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
This is my favourite Jacqueline Wilson book. It has stayed with me long after reading it. The heroine, Dolphin lives with her older sister and her mother who has manic depression. Her mother’s mental health problems mean she’s not really capable of looking after her daughters so Dolphin has to grow up quickly and learn to look after herself. She has to work out who she can trust. It’s a really powerful evocation of living with mental illness. There are no goodies and badies here just ordinary people with very real problems who are trying to do the right thing but failing. This is a wonderful book.

Slam by Nick Hornby
The story of 16 year old Sam who makes his girlfriend Alicia pregnant. Sam is an ordinary boy who is very far from ready for parenthood. Initially he runs away and we follow his fear, anger and denial; he is a child with some really adult problems who has to work out what he ought to do. I have never been a teenage boy in this situation but I really feel I can empathise a bit more because of going on this journey with him.

The Heart and the Bottle by Jeffers, Oliver
This is beautiful and touching book about loss. I love the subtlety and the space this book gives you to work out what is going on and what, in the end, needs to be done about it. He is so brilliant at expressing feelings in a double page spread.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
There is not much new to be said about this brilliant book. It offers the reader an insight into the world of Christopher a boy with autism who is trying to deal with his parents failing marriage. He doesn’t understand why they do what they do, and they don’t always understand him. Being in his head while he tries to get himself across London to his mother’s new house is terrifying and exhausting. I think everyone who reads this book has to become more sympathetic and understanding towards people with autism.

Holes by Louis Sachar
This may not seem an obvious choice of a book which inspires empathy but it works for me. I have read it a number of times and every time I’m with Stanley. There is something about his plight; locked up for something he didn’t do, while mean minded adults make him perform hard, menial work which has no purpose. Anyone who has been stuck in school or work doing something meaningless and boring, knows what he feels like.

Not now, Bernard by David McKee
This is one of my favourite Picture books, a delight to read with small children. I love the rather flat quality of the illustrations and the 1970s interior of the house. It’s about being ignored, about not being listened too, getting cross about it and being eaten by a monster. We have all felt like Bernard at some time or other and this story absolutely makes you remember, as an adult, what it’s like to be a child with no power.

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
The growing understanding and affection between Willie, an abused evacuee from London and Tom, a lonely old man who takes him in, is heart breaking and deeply touching. The story shows how it is the small acts of caring for one another which builds bonds. Everyone should read this book.

The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan
The Lost thing doesn’t fit anywhere and no one comes to claim him so the boy rescues it and, after taking it home, find away for the Thing to escape the city. That is a very hum drum description of what happens in this wonderful book. For me it makes you feel what it’s like to be in a huge, complicated, interesting, polluted, hard ,sunless city where your needs are not considered and you don’t fit.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
This is not a children’s book but it is short and funny and I think lots of older children would it enjoy it. I’ve included it because it is all about the effect of reading. How it can expand your view of the world and help you understand other people with different experiences. It is a delight and a manifesto for writers and illustrators everywhere.

Winnie the Pooh. by A.A. Milner
I was going to pick one story from Winnie-The-Pooh and The House At Pooh Corner to talk about how it promotes empathy. Perhaps the one where Piglet and Pooh try to cheer up the endlessly miserable Eeyore by giving him a birthday present; or perhaps the one where Piglet finds the courage to meet the terrifying Teffalump. I think it’s easy as an adult to find the charm and humour in these stories and forget how much they teach about friendship. Rabbit and Pooh and Piglet and Tiger are all rather flawed characters. If Tiger came to my house I would probably hide and pretend I wasn’t in and I would certainly loose my temper with the fuss pot Rabbit but Pooh, in his dreamy way, finds a way of rubbing along with them.


About the Author

Kate Milner studied illustration at Central St Martin’s before completing an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University. Her work has been published in magazines, and her illustrations and prints have been shown in London galleries and national touring exhibitions. Kate won a V&A Illustration Award in 2016 for My name is not Refugee.

What books inspire empathy in you?

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Posted on 13 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

Posted on 7 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

LATDblogtour_TWbanner_Jun7

Hi All!
Today is my stop on the Leopard at the Door blog tour and I’m here with a review of the book.

Here’s more info on the book first!


Stepping off the boat in Mombasa, eighteen-year-old Rachel Fullsmith stands on Kenyan soil for the first time in six years. She has come home.

But when Rachel reaches the family farm at the end of the dusty Rift Valley Road, she finds so much has changed. Her beloved father has moved his new partner and her son into the family home. She hears menacing rumours of Mau Mau violence, and witnesses cruel reprisals by British soldiers. Even Michael, the handsome Kikuyu boy from her childhood, has started to look at her differently.

Isolated and conflicted, Rachel fears for her future. But when home is no longer a place of safety and belonging, where do you go, and who do you turn to?

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


My Review

As soon as I heard about this book, I was drawn to it and couldn’t wait to read it. It sounded different and interesting and I was certain that I would love it. Upon opening the first page and starting to read, I realised that my premonitions on this book were correct. It hooked me from the very beginning and transported me to Africa with relative ease. Within moments I found myself engulfed by the words. Which is always what I love about reading. On this feeling alone, I would definitely recommend this book.

Jennifer has done a fantastic job with the narration and plot of this book. Everything moved smoothly and she planted background information from the main protagonists point of view into the story so subtly and it worked incredibly well. There were also little hints along the way of things to come which was great to read. But incidentally it was her attention to detail that made me love this book so much. Knowing how the atmosphere in the room felt or how a character was moving their hands really strung the emotion out of the book.

I’m sure I almost always tell you that my favourite character is the protagonist and this book is no different. Jennifer has written Rachel as a very relatable character who made me really feel so many emotions. She was strong but vulnerable, fierce but scared. The perfect balance of what humans are actually like. I was fascinated by her and she compelled me to continue reading.

This is a brilliant book to read. Immersive and interesting. It made my skin boil at points over the historical way natives of Africa were treated but that also just made the story that much more powerful. An emotional and moving story, this is a book that you won’t forget for a long time. I would highly recommend it and I am also very excited to read more work from Jennifer.


Follow the tour

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Posted on 7 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


The Gender Games by Juno Dawson

Posted on 5 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

The Gender Games by Juno Dawson

Hello All!
Today is my stop on the Gender Games blog tour! I am here today to review this book but I have to be honest with you – I actually haven’t finished the book (shhh!). I planned to finish it yesterday but then I got caught up in #OneLoveManchester and I couldn’t look away. Thus, I will be writing a part-review today but as it’s non-fiction, I think it shows a good deal of how wonderful this book is, so I hope that’s okay with you all!


About the Book

Why we are all being messed up by gender, and what we can do about it.

‘It’s a boy!’ or ‘It’s a girl!’ are the first words almost all of us hear when we enter the world. Before our names, before we have likes and dislikes – before we, or anyone else, has any idea who we are. And two years ago, as Juno Dawson went to tell her mother she was (and actually, always had been) a woman, she started to realise just how wrong we’ve been getting it.

Gender isn’t just screwing over trans people, it’s messing with everyone. From little girls who think they can’t be doctors to teenagers who come to expect street harassment. From exclusionist feminists to ‘alt-right’ young men. From men who can’t cry to the women who think they shouldn’t. As her body gets in line with her mind, Juno tells not only her own story, but the story of everyone who is shaped by society’s expectations of gender – and what we can do about it.

Featuring insights from well-known gender, feminist and trans activists including Rebecca Root, Laura Bates, Gemma Cairney, Anthony Anaxagorou, Hannah Witton, Alaska Thunderfuck and many more, The Gender Games is a frank, witty and powerful manifesto for a world where what’s in your head is more important than what’s between your legs.

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


My Review

I’ve been waiting to read this book ever since I first heard about it and I’m really pleased to report that it has lived up to its expectations. Juno Dawson has a real knack for writing non-fiction books and this has come to its head with The Gender Games. I’m not usually the biggest fan of non-fiction titles – but I’m trying to come around to the idea of them, slowly but surely – as I often find them boring and pointless. This is definitely not the case with Gender Games. Right from the very beginning this book had me hooked and intrigued.

One of the things that I absolutely loved about this book is that within the first few pages it really made me think. Not just about the world and how we all think about gender but also about myself and how I feel about myself. It was enlightening and I am just so thrilled that I have managed to take something away from this book that may change my entire attitude to myself.

This book is written in a very easy way. It’s all about Juno’s life but interspersed with references and very intellectual discussions which breaks up what I would coin – the difficult and boring parts of non-fiction – which is what I love about this book. It’s not a memoir or really an autobiography but it also is. It’s just a very entertaining, informative and society-breaking book that I would very much love for lots of people to read.

In my opinion, the world needs more books like this. Books that make those of us who are a little bit different feel more included but also further understood. If it allows the rest of the population to have empathy with us, to open their minds and stop thinking so rigidly then I definitely think it’s worth it. And I personally believe that The Gender Games is a book that has the power to do all of those things. In this day and age, it is time to stop focusing on the “normal” and to start celebrating the different.

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

faye1

Posted on 5 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


#LGBTQIARead is back!

Posted on 4 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

#LGBTQIARead is back!

lgbtqiaread

Hello All!
You may remember that for Pride last year, the wonderful George Lester and I hosted the #LGBTRead-a-thon. Well, this year we’re doing it again! Aren’t you all super excited?

As you can see the first thing that’s changed is the hashtag! We wanted to be a bit more inclusive so it is now…

#LGBTQIARead

And now for all the important information you’re dying to hear!


The Dates

This years readathon is running from 25th June – 1st July! One whole week of LGBTQIA reading goodness.

Aren’t you excited?


What A Readathon Is

Maybe I should have explained this at the beginning but I was just too excited by everything else. So, it’s here instead.

A readathon is just a period of time whereby a lot of people all read “together”. What I mean by this is that we all read similar books (in this case with an LGBTQIA theme) over a period of time (a week) and we use a hashtag (#LGBTQIA) to share what we’re reading with everyone else who is reading. It’s a fantastic way to share recs, to buddy read and ultimately to gush over books!

Sounds like great fun, right?


How to Sign Up

Signing up is super simple (I hope!). All you have to do is add your name or twitter handle to the below linky and link to your blog or twitter URL.

You do not have to shout that you’re joining us but of course if you do then more people will know about the event and more people will join in and there will be EVEN MORE GUSHING about awesome books.

So…

Here’s the linky:


What Happens Now?

Now that you’re all signed up (yay!), you can start compiling a TBR for the week which can either be for yourself or you can share it on twitter or on your blog!

We’ll start using the #LGBTQIARead hashtag from now so do make sure to add it to any tweets you make about the readathon.

Then on Sunday 25th June we all start reading!

Awesome, right?

See you then!

faye1

Posted on 4 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments