REVIEW: Miracle Creek, Angie Kim #BLOGTOUR

Tuesday, 30 July 2019


In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine - a pressurised oxygen chamber that patients enter for "dives", used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos' small community. Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night: trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges, as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

July Book Haul

Sunday, 28 July 2019


I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.” ― Sylvia Plath

The Booker Prize 2019 - Longlist (& Plan of Action!)

Wednesday, 24 July 2019


“If you only read one book this year, make a leap. Read all 13 of these. There are Nobel candidates and debutants on this list. There are no favourites; they are all credible winners. They imagine our world, familiar from news cycle disaster and grievance, with wild humour, deep insight and a keen humanity. These writers offer joy and hope. They celebrate the rich complexity of English as a global language. They are exacting, enlightening and entertaining. Really – read all of them.”
Chair of the 2019 judges, Peter Florence

REVIEW: Daisy Jones and the Six, Taylor Jenkins-Reid

Monday, 22 July 2019


Drift down sun-bleached streets. Lose yourself in the California sound. Find beauty in a dirty bar. Love like your life depends on it. Carry on after the party stops. Believe in what you’re fighting for. Fall for Daisy Jones and the Six.
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity... until now. Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The Booker Prize 2019 - Longlist Predictions

Saturday, 20 July 2019

In my mind, the Booker Prize has always been the pièce de résistance of the literary world.
Ishiguro, Atwood, McEwan, to win is to write your name on the list of literary giants that will be remembered across the centuries. To never, if the whim takes you, write a book again because having won the prize, you have achieved a seal of approval (a metaphorical finish line, if you will) that can never be beaten.
I do not why I have always placed it in esteem above the Pulitzer, or even the Nobel Prize for Literature (a symptom, probably, of the fact that I am British and therefore programmed to think all that we do, is superior to the actions of the rest of the world) but, to win the Booker has always had the place in my mind of being the ultimate achievement.
And, this carries on to the reader - to me, and my endless need to push my reading, my vocabulary and my comprehension. Because I have attempted, year after year, to read and truly understand the long-list and the eventual winner and I think, now, at the age of twenty-three, I may be finally getting somewhere.
And, because I have become more well-read and pretentious over the last few years, I think that I can claim (I have always been premature, I can admit to that) that this prize season, I might actually have some chance of predicting the long-list that will beguile and frustrate and escape me over the next few months.
I might.

REVIEW: Gods of Jade and Shadow, Silvia Moreno-Garcia #BLOGTOUR

Thursday, 18 July 2019


The Jazz Age is in full swing, but it's passing Casiopea Tun by. She's too busy scrubbing floors in her wealthy grandfather's house to do anything more than dream of a life far from her dusty, small town in southern Mexico. A life she could call her own.
This dream is impossible, distant as the stars - until the day Casiopea opens a curious chest in her grandfather's room and accidentally frees an ancient Mayan god of death. He offers her a deal: if Casiopea helps him recover his throne from his treacherous brother, he will grant her whatever she desires. Success will make her every dream come true, but failure will see her lost, for ever.
In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed only with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey, from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City and deep into the darkness of Xibalba, the Mayan underworld.

REVIEW: Saltwater, Jessica Andrews

Tuesday, 16 July 2019


When Lucy wins a place at university, she thinks London will unlock her future. It is a city alive with pop up bars, cool girls and neon lights illuminating the Thames at night. At least this is what Lucy expects, having grown up seemingly a world away in working-class Sunderland, amid legendary family stories of Irish immigrants and boarding houses, now-defunct ice rinks and an engagement ring at a fish market. Yet Lucy's transition to a new life is more overwhelming than she ever expected. As she works long shifts to make ends meet and navigates chaotic parties from East London warehouses to South Kensington mansions, she still feels like an outsider among her fellow students. When things come to a head at her graduation, Lucy takes off for Ireland, seeking solace in her late grandfather's cottage and the wild landscape that surrounds it, wondering if she can piece together who she really is.

Stranger Things Book Tag

Sunday, 14 July 2019


I know that I am far from the only person riding the Stranger Things hype train right now (toot toot). Bursting onto the scene in 2017, that innocuous little Netflix series with a penchant for eighties kitsch has become a worldwide, all-consuming pop culture phenomenon.
It seems to be all that the newspapers, magazines, the internet and the blogosphere can talk about; and it is a trend that is probably going to be continuing, even throughout the next few days and months as word of mouth spreads and everyone gets around to watching it.
It is absolutely everywhere; unavoidable, unmissable, inescapable. People put aside days to binge-watch it; the clock strikes twelve and they just can not help but to jump the gun and drive right back in to the world of Hawkins, Indiana. It dominates conversations, it spawns debate, it engages a form of nostalgia that just makes you want to watch Stand by Me and The Goonies for the sixtieth time.
There are dedicated Facebook groups, fancy dress costumes, Funko! pops and now - now! - I have even stumbled upon a book tag. And though, I tried my hardest to resist, I just could not help myself when it came to turning something so big into a thing I could use to discuss books.
After-all, what is better way to celebrate your love for something than to turn it into a book tag?

REVIEW: Proud, Juno Dawson

Friday, 12 July 2019


A stirring, bold and moving anthology of stories and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new talent, giving their unique responses to the broad theme of pride. Each story has an illustration by an artist identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN. A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, PROUD is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read.

REVIEW: A Secondhand Life, Pamela Crane

Wednesday, 10 July 2019


In a freak collision when she was twelve, Mia Germaine faced death and the loss of her father. A heart transplant from a young murder victim saved her life, but not without a price. Twenty years later, chilling nightmares about an unresolved homicide begin to plague Mia. Compelled by these lost memories, she forms a complicated connection to the victim—the girl killed the night of Mia’s accident—due to a scientific phenomenon called “organ memory.”
Now suffocating beneath the weight of avenging a dead girl and catching a serial killer on the loose dubbed the “Triangle Terror,” Mia must dodge her own demons while unimaginable truths torment her—along with a killer set on making her his next victim. 
As Mia tries to determine if her dreams are clues or disturbing phantasms, uninvited spectres lead her further into danger’s path, costing her the one person who can save her from herself. 

REVIEW: Dead Girls, Alice Bolin

Monday, 8 July 2019


A collection of poignant, perceptive essays that expertly blends the personal and political in an exploration of American culture through the lens of our obsession with dead women.
In her debut collection, Alice Bolin turns a critical eye to literature and pop culture, the way media consumption reflects American society, and her own place within it. From essays on Joan Didion and James Baldwin to Twin Peaks, Britney Spears, and Serial, Bolin illuminates our widespread obsession with women who are abused, killed, and disenfranchised, and whose bodies (dead and alive) are used as props to bolster a man’s story.
From chronicling life in Los Angeles to dissecting the “Dead Girl Show” to analyzing literary witches and werewolves, this collection challenges the narratives we create and tell ourselves, delving into the hazards of toxic masculinity and those of white womanhood. Beginning with the problem of dead women in fiction, it expands to the larger problems of living women—both the persistent injustices they suffer and the oppression that white women help perpetrate.

REVIEW: All the Hidden Truths, Claire Askew

Thursday, 4 July 2019


All the Hidden Truths is the story of a tragic shooting at an Edinburgh college and its aftermath. It is narrated by three women at the heart of the story - the mother of a victim and the mother of the shooter, and DI Helen Birch who is tasked in solving the case. The book is both a "knotty crime novel" and a story of grief "trying to make sense of something that defies reason".