REVIEW: Nobody's Wife, Laura Pearson #BLOGTOUR

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Emily and Josephine have always shared everything. They’re sisters, flatmates, and best friends. It’s the two of them against the world. When Emily has the perfect wedding, and Josephine finds the perfect man, they know things will change forever. But nothing can prepare them for what, or who, one of them is willing to give up for love. Four people. Three couples. Two sisters. One unforgivable betrayal.

REVIEW: Help Me, Marianne Power

Friday, 22 March 2019

Marianne Power was a self-help junkie. For years she lined her bookshelves with dog-eared copies of definitive guide after definitive guide on how to live your best life. Yet one day she woke up to find that the life she dreamed of and the life she was living were not miles but continents apart. So she set out to make a change. Or, actually, to make every change. Marianne decided to finally find out if her elusive perfect life—the one without debt, anxiety, hangovers or Netflix marathons, the one where she healthily bounced around town with perfect teeth to meet the cashmere-sweater-wearing man of her dreams—lay in the pages of those books. So for a year she vowed to test a book a month, following its advice to the letter, taking the surest road she knew to a perfect Marianne. As her year-long plan turned into a demented roller coaster where everything she knew was turned upside down, she found herself confronted with a different question: Self-help can change your life, but is it for the better?

REVIEW: The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore, Kim Fu #BLOGTOUR

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

A group of young girls descend on Camp Forevermore, a sleepaway camp in the Pacific Northwest, where their days are filled with swimming lessons, friendship bracelets, and camp songs by the fire. Filled with excitement and nervous energy, they set off on an overnight kayaking trip to a nearby island. But before the night is over, they find themselves stranded, with no adults to help them survive or guide them home. The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore traces these five girls—Nita, Kayla, Isabel, Dina, and Siobhan—through and beyond this fateful trip. We see them through successes and failures, loving relationships and heartbreaks; we see what it means to find, and define, oneself, and the ways in which the same experience is refracted through different people. In diamond-sharp prose, Kim Fu gives us a portrait of friendship and of the families we build for ourselves—and the pasts we can't escape.

REVIEW: Vanishing Girls, Lisa Regan

Monday, 18 March 2019

She was close enough to see that the girl had written a word on the wall in bright, warm red blood. Not a word, actually. A name... 
Everyone in the small American town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing seventeen-year-old girl. All they’ve found so far is her phone and another girl they didn’t even know was missing. Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona. Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls. She knows the race is on to find Isabelle alive, and she fears there may be others… The trail leads Josie to another victim, a girl who escaped but whose case was labelled a hoax by authorities. To catch this monster, Josie must confront her own nightmares and follow her instinct to the darkest of places. But can she make it out alive?

Women's Prize for Fiction 2019 Longlist: Round-Up

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Whilst I leave you to read my thoughts (so far! This post will be updated every time I finish each of the books that still remain outstanding on the longlist), I am going to need a lie down. Since the Women's Prize for Fiction longlist was announced, these sixteen amazing women have guided me through a plethora of hard-hitting, emotional topics and honestly, my heart needs a break. It needs to sit in a dark room somewhere, put a face-mask on and watch something mindless like Masterchef to recover.

REVIEW: Exit West, Mohsin Hamid

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Nadia and Saeed are two ordinary young people, attempting to do an extraordinary thing - to fall in love - in a world turned upside down. Theirs will be a love story but also a story about how we live now and how we might live tomorrow, of a world in crisis and two human beings travelling through it. Civil war has come to the city which Nadia and Saeed call home. Before long they will need to leave their motherland behind - when the streets are no longer useable and the unknown is safer than the known. They will join the great outpouring of people fleeing a collapsing city, hoping against hope, looking for their place in the world... An extraordinary story of desire and hope, travelling from the Middle East to London and beyond, this is a love story that considers what makes ordinary people flee their homes and how the world might change if borders were broken down.

REVIEW: Margaret Tudor, Melanie Clegg

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

When the thirteen year old Margaret Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VII and his wife Elizabeth of York, married King James IV of Scotland in a magnificent proxy ceremony held at Richmond Palace in January 1503, no one could have guessed that this pretty, redheaded princess would go on to have a marital career as dramatic and chequered as that of her younger brother Henry VIII. Left widowed at the age of just twenty three after her husband was killed by her brother's army at the battle of Flodden, Margaret was made Regent for her young son and was temporarily the most powerful woman in Scotland - until she fell in love with the wrong man, lost everything and was forced to flee the country. In a life that foreshadowed that of her tragic, fascinating granddaughter Mary Queen of Scots, Margaret hurtled from one disaster to the next and ended her life abandoned by virtually everyone: a victim both of her own poor life choices and of the simmering hostility between her son, James V and her brother, Henry VIII.

Women's Prize for Fiction 2019 - Longlist (& Plan of Action!)

Sunday, 10 March 2019

So of the sixteen books that popped up on the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction longest that was announced this time last week, I correctly predicted three of them... Although (and I know that is rather convenient to saying it after the announcement) it would be four if I had bothered to look up the word-count and known that Sarah Moss' Ghost Wall would be long enough to qualify.
It makes no difference though, I still sucked. I mean, not as bad as did at the predicting the Oscars (although I still stand by my own choices and think that it was the Academy, in all of its insular white male glory, made the wrong ones), but still pretty damn awful.
But, carrying on from last year (although flashing back to the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction, it becomes apparent that I only managed four corrections predictions then and that therefore it seems so that, in the past twelve months, I have made absolutely no improvement - which is clearly a shock to no one), I thought that I would once again post my initial thoughts to the longlist and - standing apart from last year - actually make a concerted effort to post my thoughts about them.
Are you ready? Then, let's get started.
If you missed the announcement on 4th March, the books that I (and many, many others like me) will be reading are:

5 Female Authors I Want to Read More From

Friday, 8 March 2019

"this is an overdue love letter to each & every woman who walked these fields before me & made the path soft enough for me to walk through to get to the side they could never reach. for that, i owe you so much - but i owe some things to myself, too" (Amanda Lovelace)

Happy International Women's Day! Whether you're spending the day living or loving, hoping or wishing, crying or laughing, know that I think that there's something inside of you that the world is waiting to see.
Women are amazing - whether they inspire us or scare us, whether they changed the world or just kicked arse every day by existing in it; and I hope that, by putting aside just one day a year to appreciate and revel in all their majesty, the world will become a lighter, brighter, more richer place because of it.
And, to honour my two favourite, consecutive days of the year (International Women's Day and World Book Day, or Literary Halloween as I think the latter should hence be known), I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on the wonder and magic just five, of the so many, women have brought to my life and to urge myself to seek out more moments to spend with them.

REVIEW: I Can't Believe It's Not Buddha!: What Fake Buddha Quotes Can Teach Us About Buddhism, Bodhipaksa

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Quotes from the Buddha are everywhere: on Facebook, Instagram, coffee mugs, posters. There's only one problem: the Buddha didn't actually say most of them. This humorous and informative book takes these fake Buddha quotes as a launching point for a discussion on what the Buddha really did say, and is a great entry point for those interested in learning more about Buddhism--what it is, and what it isn't. Bodhipaksa, a well-known Buddhist teacher and the founder of, takes a look at some of the quotes that are erroneously attributed to the Buddha, explains the ways in which these disagree (or sometimes agree) with Buddhist teachings, and offers some genuine examples of the Buddha's words.

REVIEW: Once Upon a River, Diane Setterfield

Monday, 4 March 2019

A body always tells a story—but this child’s was a blank page. Rita reached for the lantern on its hook. She trained its light on the child’s face. ‘Who are you?’ she murmured, but the face said as little as the rest of her. It was impossible to tell whether, in life, these blunt and unfinished features had borne the imprint of prettiness, timid watchfulness, or sly mischief. If there had once been curiosity or placidity or impatience here, life had not had time to etch it into permanence. Only a very short time ago—two hours or not much more—the body and soul of this little girl had still been securely attached. At this thought, and despite all her training, all her experience, Rita found herself suddenly in the grip of a storm of feeling. All the old rage at God—for not being kind, for not being fair, and finally for just not being—swept her up all over again and she felt tears of anger on her face. She took the child’s hand in hers—the perfect hand with its five perfect fingers and their perfect fingernails—and the words fell out of her that she had not known were there: ‘It should not be so! It should not be so!’ And that is when it happened.

Women's Prize for Fiction 2019 - Longlist Predictions

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Holy fuck, I love women.
And, nothing reminds me of that more than the Women's Prize for Fiction, the one literary prize that is packed to the brim with some of the most astounding, amazing, bloody brilliant books written by women in the past twelve months. And there have been so many that, this year, I am having more trouble eliminating people, than choosing who to include in my prediction list.
It's nearly International Women's Day, okay? It makes me all emotional and gooey and honestly, I just want to drink cocktails and give them all an award for being so damn awesome. But unfortunately, even though they should, prizes don't actually work like that, so I been forced myself to cut down my you-and-you-and-you-ing, to just a small selection.
Is there any worse torture?
Nothing at all qualifies me to do this and, after the failure to predict last year's, I assume that nearly everyone knows that. But that doesn't mean that I am not going to have a Porn Star Martini and give it a shot. Both metaphorically and in the sense of an actual shot.
It is, after-all, my favourite literary prize and I am in the mood to celebrate it.