The Gender Games by Juno Dawson

Posted on 5 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

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. **

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Posted on 5 June, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


Giveaway: Defender of the Realm; Dark Age

Posted on 3 June, 2017 by Faye - 3 Comments

Defender of the Realm; Dark Age

Hi All!

Today I am here with some exciting news! I have the first two books in the Defender of the Realm series to giveaway to one lucky UK winner!

You can read my review of the first book here.

And more information about the second book is below!


About the Book

Dark Age high-res

After the great battle at King Alfie’s coronation, the nation thinks it’s seen the last of the Black Dragon, and Alfie gets busy learning what it means to fill his father’s shoes. But when a band of undead Vikings appears, Alfie, Hayley and the rest of the Yeoman Warders fear that Professor Lock is back to finish what he’s started. For the epic battle that’s brewing, Alfie will need to enlist help from abroad, as well as from a mysterious new friend who seems to be watching over him…

Goodreads. Amazon.


Giveaway!

To be in with a chance to win the first two books in this trilogy you have to do ONE thing. It’s REALLY easy.

You just need to comment below.

Finish this sentence: I would like to win this trilogy because…

It doesn’t have to be an AMAZING answer. The winner will be selected AT RANDOM. But you do need to make sure you respond to the sentence or you will be disqualified!

The competition ends on 10th June and the winner will be notified by e-mail.

GOOD LUCK!


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Posted on 3 June, 2017 by Faye - 3 Comments


Sita Brahmachari on Racism

Posted on 2 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Sita Brahmachari on Racism

Hi All!
I’m here today to introduce you to the ever wonderful Sita Brahmachari who is here today with a very powerful guest post on Racism. This is all to help share the news about her new book which released yesterday! More information about it below.


About the Book

Laila Levenson has always been the baby of the family, but now with her older siblings, Mira and Krish, leaving home just as she starts secondary school, everything feels like it’s changing… can the reappearance of Nana Josie’s Protest Book and the spirit it releases in Laila, her friends and her local community, help her find her own voice and discover what she truly believes in?

A powerful chime rings through Laila’s mind, guiding her to walk the footsteps of the past on her way to discover her own future.

Goodreads. Amazon UK.


Racism

by Sita Brahmachari

Tender Earth by Sita Brahmachari
‘A coming of age story for young protesters everywhere.’

Tender Earth is endorsed by Amnesty International UK because ‘it illuminates the importance of equality, friendship and solidarity, and upholds our right to protest against injustice.’

HERE WE STAND AGAINST HATE

SILENCE ABOUT RACISM IS NEVER GOLDEN

ANTI-SEMITISM, ANY RACISM, NOT IN OUR NAMES

I began writing Tender Earth three years ago because I began to see the rise of racism, and hear racially-orientated language spoken more often in public places. Following the terror attacks in Paris I wrote an article about how young people are coping with the fear and distrust that is created following these and more recent attacks, and by the language we hear in the media around immigration and the treatment of refugee people. I was so saddened to hear recently of the attack on a young refugee boy, Reker Ahmed, in Croydon, London, who was attacked by thirteen people in a suspected hate crime, leaving him horribly injured.

Since the EU referendum vote police have reported a 57% increase in hate crimes related to race and religion.

For my own children and their generation, I had hoped that racially and religiously motivated crime would be a thing of the past, sadly this is not the case for any of us today and so Laila and her friends are having to face the ugly truth about racism in Tender Earth. In this excerpt Pari Pashaei, who is the child of an Iraqi refugee family, speaks of her fears:

Pari leans in close. ‘You know what Stella was saying about people not saying what they’re really thinking? She’s right. Sometimes I get this look from strangers like they’re suspicious of me or just don’t like the look of me because I’m a Muslim. Mum thinks I should stop wearing my headscarf and she doesn’t like these,’ she points to her sparkly scarf clips, ‘- she says I’m drawing attention to myself.’
‘That’s not right! Why don’t you tell Mrs Latif?’
‘What could she do about what goes on out there? She can’t have a word with strangers like she did with Stella. People outside of school don’t have to say sorry, do they? Anyway, it’s just a feeling. No one actually says anything. But Mum thinks everything’s getting much worse for us here now. No one trusts anyone else.’

Sadly, the events that take place in Tender Earth require the characters to decide if they will take a stand against racially and religiously motivated crimes or stay silent.

Does seeing, reading about and experiencing racism and religious intolerance in this country and throughout the world trouble you as much as it does Laila, Pari and her friends? If it does, click on these links that I used during my research… and consider converting thought into action and, as soon as you are legally able, VOTE for what you believe in.

What can you do?
https://itstopswithme.humanrights.gov.au/resources/what-you-say-matters/what-can-you-do

More books to read that stand up for human rights
https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/jan/12/books-breed-tolerance-children-read-errorist-attacks-paris

The inspiration that is Malala Yousafzai
https://www.expressandstar.com/news/2016/10/10/malala-yousafzai-and-archbishop-of-canterbury-in-dudley-watch-our-exclusive-interview/

How can a symbol be such a powerful force?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11367966/The-rising-tide-of-anti-Semitism.html

Youth Against Racism In Europe
http://www.yre.org.uk/


Where do you stand against Racism?

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Posted on 2 June, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Embracing the End

Posted on 22 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Embracing the End

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Lies Within by Jane Isaac and I have a post by Jane to share with you all!

First though, here’s some information on the book!


About the Book

Be under no illusions by her kind face and eloquent manner… This woman is guilty of murder.

Grace Daniels is distraught after her daughter’s body is found in a Leicestershire country lane. With her family falling apart and the investigation going nowhere, Grace’s only solace is the re-emergence of Faye, an old friend who seems to understand her loss.

DI Will Jackman delves into the case, until a family tragedy and a figure from his past threaten to derail him.

When the police discover another victim, the spotlight falls on Grace. Can Jackman find the killer, before she is convicted of a crime she didn’t commit?

Goodreads. Amazon.


Embracing the End

by Jane Isaac

Thanks so much for inviting me onto your blog today!

I recently read somewhere that publishing a book is an adventure. I would argue that the adventure starts before you even put pen to page.

There’s the background reading on plot issues; the meetings with experts to establish police procedural points. Drawing characters and getting to know them requires people watching, observation of body language and traits that can take days, weeks, even months to amass. Even while the first draft is being written there are field trips – I’ll never forget the Sunday afternoon family dog walk where my daughter ran ahead and played with Bollo while hubby and I searched for suitable deposition sites for a body for The Lies Within. These are all the experiences that build the tower of paper that is later transformed into a novel.

Recently I decided to clear out my desk to make room for a new project. This is an exercise I do when every novel is complete and the final print run has been done, but equally something I seem to struggle with every time. It usually leads to an afternoon of nostalgia, where I go through all the research notes, photos and maps that formed the basis of my plans. All little pieces of the journey, tiny memories, that helped to build the story.

For The Lies Within, it was notes from my prison visit, maps of the settings of Stratford upon Avon and Market Harborough, notes from my time spent in Criminal Court Number Three at Leicester Crown Court; photos I’d printed out for context. There were early print outs of text with scribbled edits all over them, hand written notes on plotlines, potted histories for characters, basic descriptions of settings, background reading material, and receipts from lunches with dear friends who provided valuable insight into police procedure and psychological backgrounds.

Some of these, such as maps and character profiles, are retained for future reference. However, with a heavy heart, most of the pile of paper is transferred into the recycling bin. It takes me a year to write a novel, so this pile of paper represents a year of my working life. Disposing of it provides that final moment of closure; this truly is the end of the book’s journey to publication.

Strangely I’m not left with a clear desk. While this exercise marks the end of one novel, a research pile for a new project is already gathering height and I look forward to sharing many more treasured memories with this one before we reach our final destination.


About the Author

jane-isaac-photo Jane Isaac lives with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo, in rural Northamptonshire, UK. Her debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’

The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014′ by E-thriller.com and winner of ‘Noveltunity book club selection – May 2014′.

In 2015 Jane embarked on a new series, featuring DI Will Jackman and set in Stratford upon Avon, with Before It’s Too Late. The second in the series, Beneath The Ashes, will be published by Legend Press on 1st November 2016 with the 3rd, The Lies Within, to follow on 2nd May 2017.

Website. Facebook. Twitter.


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Posted on 22 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green

Posted on 20 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green

Hi All!
Today is my stop on the Noah Can’t Even blog tour and I am here today with a fab guest post from Simon about things you need to know about Noah!

First though, look at how funny this book sounds!


About the Book

Poor Noah Grimes! His father disappeared years ago, his mother’s Beyonce tribute act is an unacceptable embarrassment, and his beloved gran is no longer herself. He only has one friend, Harry, and school is…Well, it’s pure HELL. Why can’t Noah be normal, like everyone else at school? Maybe if he struck up a romantic relationship with someone – maybe Sophie, who is perfect and lovely – he’d be seen in a different light? But Noah’s plans are derailed when Harry kisses him at a party. That’s when things go from bad to utter chaos.

Goodreads. Amazon.


Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Noah Grimes

by Simon James Green

  1. Haribo or Skittles will solve everything. Honestly, he’ll roll over and play ball if you offer up these.
  2. He’s top set for everything, but his nemesis is Maths – especially mental arithmetic, which has bought him to tears before now.
  3. His middle name is a closely guarded secret because it’s ridiculous, and given to him as a joke by his mother, who took the inspiration from the Transformers movie.
  4. He doesn’t come from a wealthy family – in fact, they’re totally skint. But that doesn’t stop Noah being very grand when the mood takes him. I mean, why can’t his mum cook something worthy of a Michelin star restaurant for dinner? Fish fingers or nuggets? No, no, no. Noah wants a pan-fried duck breast on potato rösti, thank you very much.
  5. Things that really wind Noah up: Americanized language; people jabbing at the ‘open door’ buttons on trains before the driver has activated them; people claiming they are ‘gutted’ when really it’s just a very minor disappointment, not really akin to have all your intestines removed.
  6. Noah’s favourite Agatha Christie novel is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd because it’s very clever and you don’t spot who the murderer is. But don’t ask him about it because he’s terrible with spoilers.
  7. Noah is mildly asthmatic, has no upper body strength and fairly crap hand-eye co-ordination, ergo, PE is not really his forte. Nevertheless, the school unreasonably insists on his participation, something Noah considers to be in breach of his human rights. Like the right not to humiliate yourself on the football pitch… and the right not to be seen in the showers by the other boys in your year…
  8. Noah gets quite flustered and hot under the collar if you mention anything to do with… (whisper it now), s-e-x. He’s just not that comfortable talking about it – possibly because his mum is so open and in your face about everything sex related, it’s had the opposite effect on Noah.
  9. Even though he’s nearly sixteen, Noah still sometimes gets his Lego out. But he doesn’t follow any instructions to build particular things. Instead, he uses it to model designs and ideal layouts for things like airports, hospitals and shopping centres.
  10. Noah has an ardent dislike of France following an incident on a residential trip in Year 8. Want to know what that humiliating little episode was about? You’ll find out in the sequel, next year!

About the Author

Simon James GreenSimon James Green grew up in a small town in Lincolnshire that definitely wasn’t the inspiration for Little Fobbing – so no-one from there can be mad with him, OK? He enjoyed a classic British education of assorted humiliations and barbaric PE lessons before reading Law at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he further embarrassed himself by accidentally joining the rowing team despite having no upper body strength and not being able swim. When it turned out that being a lawyer was nothing like how it looks in Suits or The Good Wife, and buoyed by the success of his late night comedy show that involved an inflatable sheep, he travelled to London to pursue a glamorous career in show business. Within weeks he was working in a call centre, had been mugged, and had racked up thousands of pounds worth of debt. Finding strength and inspiration in the lyrics of Tubthumping by Chumbawumba, he eventually ended up working on a range of West End shows and UK tours, co-wrote a feature-length rom-com for the BBC and directed Hollyoaks for C4 / Lime Pictures. After trying really, really hard, he also managed to write Noah Can’t Even. If you are interested in stalking him, he still lives in London, where he spends a lot of time telling people that Noah Can’t Even is only partly autobiographical, and his mum has definitely never done a Beyoncé tribute act.

Website. Twitter.


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Posted on 20 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor

Posted on 16 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor

Hi All!

Today is my spot on the Wishbones blog tour and I am here to share a fantastic guest post with you all!

But first, here’s more info on the book.


About the Book

Feather Tucker has two wishes:

1)To get her mum healthy again

2) To win the Junior UK swimming championships

When Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mother – one of Britain’s most obese women- in a diabetic coma, she realises something has to be done to save her mum’s life. But when her Mum refuses to co-operate Feather realises that the problem run deeper than just her mum’s unhealthy appetite.

Over time, Feather’s mission to help her Mum becomes an investigation. With the help of friends old and new, and the hindrance of runaway pet goat Houdini, Feather’s starting to uncover when her mum’s life began to spiral out of control and why. But can Feather fix it in time for her mum to watch her swim to victory? And can she save her family for good?

Goodreads. Amazon.


Fictional Inspirations

by Virigina Macgregor

I have so many and continue to be inspired by new writers that I come across: for example, I’m currently reading Emery Lord’s young adult novel, When We Collided, and her ability to get into the head of a teenage girl with bipolar is incredible.

Voice and character are particularly important to me, I think that’s why I love young adult fiction so much – or adult fiction written from the point of view of children and young people: their voices are often fresh and quirky and they have a unique way of looking at the world. Emma Donoghue’s Room was a great inspiration in this, as it’s narrated by a four year old: her writing is pitch perfect and deeply moving. I gather she followed her own four year old around with a paper and pen! Having a hugely vocal three year old of my own makes me want to have a go at writing a very young narrator too.

If you know my writing you’ll also be aware that I’m an animal lover and that I can’t resist weaving including a pig or a goat or a one legged-cat in my stories. I was therefore blown away by Sara Baume’s Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither, in which the narrator gives a dog, a central character in the novel, a unique voice. Although I get close to it in my novel, The Return of Norah Wells, I haven’t yet written from the point of view of animal, but it’s definitely something I’d love to try.

Going back further, I love both Charles Dickens and Roald Dahl for their creation of wonderfully bonkers but real characters – I hope that my characters, like Feather, have a little of that in them too. Those are the people who tend to appeal to me in real life too: misfits and those who don’t quite toe the line.

I used to teach English literature so I’m a bit of a sucker for beautiful language too, which is why I love the books by Jon McGregor (no relation). I gather he was a poet before he turned his hand to writing long fiction and that certainly shows in the beauty and precision of his sentences: If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things is one of my favourite novels. It feels as though he is writing on the boundary between prose and fiction.

Some other young adult writers who really inspire me include Jonathan Safron Foer: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close brings together all the things I love: real but quirky characters, a contemporary setting, which also feels a little magical and language which feels fresh and original.

Finally, I love writers, especially YA writers, who tackle thorny social issues and taboos. I’ve recently read Dumplin’ by Julie Murray, which takes a humorous and courageous look at a teenage girl who celebrates her excess weight – but also struggles with it.

Oh, and I’m a sucker for a bit of romance too, which makes Rainbow Rowell’s novels irresistible.


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Posted on 16 May, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat

Posted on 11 May, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat by Coral Rumble

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Hi All!
Today is my stop on the The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat blog tour and I am here today to tell you all about this fun and adventurous book! (And keep an eye on Big Book Little Book tomorrow for my review!


About the Book

owl & pussycat

Two children and their imaginations set sail from their living room on a voyage around the world! Read along as they spy an extraordinary array of characters doing even more extraordinary things…? With bright, fresh illustrations and a playful style, this rhyming book, based on the classic Edward Lear poem The Owl and the Pussycat, is a wonderfully quirky adventure.?

Amazon. Goodreads.


About the Author

coralpic I have worked as a poet and performer for many years and I’m proud to have my work featured in Favourite Poets (Hodder). I have three published poetry collections of my own and have contributed to more than 150 anthologies. I am also one of the writers of the popular Cbeebies programmes ‘Poetry Pie’ and ‘The Rhyme Rocket’. I have given workshops in some fairly unusual venues as well…the grandest of which being Buckingham Palace!

Website.


About the Illustrator

charlottepicI was thrilled and proud when my picture book The Adventures of the Owl & the Pussycat was highly commended for the Macmillan Children’s Prize in 2010. Since then I have gone on to illustrate many other picture books and I enjoy making the occasional card too. When I’m not in my studio I’m usually outside running or playing referee to my two kids.

Website. Twitter.


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Posted on 11 May, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


Street Song by Sheena Wilkinson

Posted on 20 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Street Song by Sheena Wilkinson

Hi Guys!
Today is my stop on the Street Song blog tour and I have a review of this fab book to share with you all!
First though, here’s the info about the book.


About the Book

Street SongWhen life goes off-key, change your tune.

RyLee’s career is over. After winning a national TV talent show and becoming a teen pop sensation, his fame and success has quickly been followed by addiction, media scrutiny, and career suicide. After a brief spell in rehab, 18-year-old Ryan has some rethinking to do.

His stepdad – music promoter and self-appointed creator of ‘RyLee’ – wants him at home and in school, and under his thumb. But after an argument descends into violence, Ryan decides to run away from his old life, his failed career, and his dysfunctional family.

When he meets the stunningly witty but distinctly average guitar-player Toni almost directly outside his front door, the opportunity to start afresh seems too good to pass up. Before long, he has arrived in a new city, joined Toni’s amazingly talented band, and reinvented himself under the name ‘Cal’. For the first time in his life Ryan has friends around him, he’s playing the music he’s always wanted to play, and – despite living in a hostel, busking for his wages, and living under a false identity – he’s finally happy.

But just when Ryan feels like he has truly started over, his past begins to catch up with him.

Goodreads. Amazon. Waterstones.


My Review

Sometimes You

Sometimes you pick up a book and it can take some time to get into it but fortunately this was not the case with Street Song. Before I knew it I had read almost half of the book and was very, very curious about how it was all going to end. This book was entertaining, uncomfortable, heart-breaking and heart-warming all at the same time. It is a very powerful and poignant book that I think a lot of teenagers could find a very interesting read. It’s a book about homelessness but also about accepting help when you really need it. It’s full of music, friendship and love – everything you might just want in a contemporary Irish YA.

Have To

Cal has tried his hardest to turn his life around after his past but it hasn’t been that easy. One day things go too far and he does the only thing he can think of; leave. From here the book progresses into how Cal becomes a different person and finally puts his past behind him. It is a compelling book and one that is also full of mystery too. I ended up really liking Cal and the two girls that he meets up with. Together they make three protagonists that are truly fascinating to read about and help bring to life so many emotions.

Break Before

For me, character development is essential in a novel. It is what can turn a book from a complete mess to a masterpeice – in my eyes. Characters and character development show that the novel is working. It brings emotions to the surface and pulls the reader in. It also truly takes you on a journey which is what I love most about books. In this book Sheena Wilkinson does a brilliant job of bringing the characters to life and giving them all personal journey’s that they go on during the book. My favourite character though, by far was Cal. His journey was also the biggest and I felt so many emotions for him and it made me think differently about some things too.

Being Fixed

Overall, I found this book was easy to read, addictive and interesting. It is full of action, emotions and sensitive topics. Sheena Wilkinson has done a brilliant job of writing these topics into the book without bogging it down or by putting too much of a negative spin on things either. It’s all very informative as well. I think it’s a really powerful book that you really shouldn’t be missing. It’s a book that I am incredibly glad I read and would definitely be recommending as a fascinating YA book to read.


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Posted on 20 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Bamboo Road by Ann Bennett

Posted on 1 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Bamboo Road by Ann Bennett

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Hello All!

Today is my stop on the Bamboo Road blog tour and I am here today with five of my favourite things about this book!

First though, here’s what the book is all about!


About the Book

Bamboo-Road-72dpi Thailand 1942: Sirinya and her family are members of the Thai underground, who risk their lives to resist the World War Two Japanese occupation and to and help British prisoners of war building the Thai-Burma railway. The events of those years have repercussions for decades to come. The book tells Sirinya s wartime story and how in the 1970s she returns to Kanchanaburi after a long absence abroad, to settle old scores from the war years.

Bamboo Road is volume three in a Southeast Asian WWII trilogy that includes Bamboo Heart and Bamboo Island (the books may be read in any order).

Goodreads. Amazon. Monsoon Books.


My Favourite Things

The Narrative

There are times when you pick up a book and you really struggle to get into the rhythm of the narrative. Maybe you just don’t personally gel with the narrative voice of the author and it just isn’t right for you. But sometimes the writing style of a book can really let a book down. Fortunately that is not the case for Bamboo Road. After reading just the first sentence I was swept straight into the story and every time I picked the book back up the same thing happened. The narrative flowed easily off the page and into my head making it a wonderfully easy read – just what I love!

The Storyline

Unique. That is one of the best words I could come up with to describe the brilliant story that is hidden within the pages of this book. Ann has created a very addictive and incredibly moving story set both during the war and in the 1970s. It flashes between the two time zones succinctly and everything about the story-line was truly marvelous. I was pulled easily in and found myself dying to know how it would all end.

The Location

I’m not going to lie, I absolutely love books that are set in “exotic” locations. (i.e. not London or the US!) Travelling is something that for the time being at least, I am incapable of doing and so with books I am able to go to the places I can only dream of visiting. With this book, Ann has written a novel wherein the descriptions are vivid and vibrant and you can truly see the locations she’s describing. I absolutely loved the setting and scenery in this book and felt it really complimented the story.

The Characters

In every single book I read, one of the most important aspects for me are the characters. I don’t necessarily have to connect with the characters but I do have to feel like they’re real and that they’re going on a journey through the book. This definitely happened in Bamboo Road. Sirinya is a very interesting character to read about. At the beginning of the book you find out that she has lost her husband and also that she is holding a grudge. Her world is full of emotions but I feel that Ann did a brilliant job with her journey in the book.

The Emotion

What is a book without emotion? And in this book, there is quite a bit of it! Before I even got very far into the book I found myself full of emotions, gripping the pages quickly to see where and how it would all end. Ann has created a book that is full of vibrant characters who really bring out the emotion in the reader. I thought this was a very lovely thing about the book and definitely made it that much more entertaining to read. *wipes eyes*


About the Author


ann photo No2 edited Ann Bennett was born and raised in a small village in Northamptonshire, UK. She read Law at Cambridge and qualified and practised as a solicitor. During a career break, to have children, she started to write. Her father had been a prisoner of war on the Thailand– Burma Railway and the idea for a Southeast Asian WWII trilogy came from researching his wartime experiences. The research took her back to Asia, a place she loves and has returned to many times. She lives in Surrey with her husband and three sons and works in London as a lawyer.

Website. Blog. Twitter. Facebook.


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Posted on 1 April, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

Posted on 24 March, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

Hello All!
Today is my stop on the Witchfinder’s Sister blog tour and I have for you all a review of this fascinating book!

Before you hear my thoughts though, here is some information on the book.


About the Book

The Witchfinder's Sister The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six…

1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she has no choice but to return to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witches, and of a great book, in which her brother is gathering women’s names.

To what lengths will her brother’s obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

Goodreads. Amazon.


My Review

How Many

Generally speaking I am one of those readers that loves a variety of genres but I have always struggled with historical fiction. And thus you may be wondering why I then decided to review this book. The answer is quite simple. The book just sounded so very interesting and I had to see what it was all about. I am very glad that I took that leap of faith with this book because I ended up really enjoying the book. There were a few parts that I struggled with due to my distaste of historical fiction but fortunately this did not ruin my overall opinion of the book.

Ways Can

What initially drew me to this book was the storyline being about witches and the witch trials that happened in the 1600s. It is one of those odd periods of history that I actually find quite fascinating. Horrible and disheartening to realise women were treated so awfully but it is also a nice reminder of just how far we have come. Thus I am pleased to report that the plot of this book was compelling and addictive. I found myself turning the pages as quickly as I could just to find out how it was all going to end. And what an ending! Very, very clever.

Hunt Down

There was a vast array of characters in the novel, some of whom I felt for, some of whom I vehemently detested. Beth Underdown did a fantastic job of creating realistic characters throughout the novel, and did a marvellous job of describing them all as well. By far my favourite character was Grace. Although only a side character, she was so sweet and lovely, hardworking and also shy. I wanted everything to go okay for her in the end. She is definitely a character that I would love to read more about. Alice is also a fascinating character to read about and she had a very distinctive and interesting voice.

A Witch

While this book is not one that I would ordinarily pick up, it was one that I found myself enthralled by. It was an emotional, heart-breaking and fascinating book to read that I would recommend to others easily. There were some fictional historical texts interspersed which I struggled with and some other moments within the narrative that I found hard to understand but fortunately this did not ruin my enjoyment of the book. So if you’re looking to read an entertaining and intriguing book about the witch hunting that happened in the 1600s, you should definitely give this book a read.


About the Author

Beth Underdown credit Justine Stoddart Beth Underdown was born in Rochdale in 1987. She studied at the University of York and then the University of Manchester, where she is now a Lecturer in Creative Writing.

The Witchfinder’s Sister is her debut novel, and is based on the life of the 1640s witch finder Matthew Hopkins.

She first came across him while reading a book about seventeenth-century midwifery. As you do.

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Posted on 24 March, 2017 by Faye - No Comments