Monday, 29 May 2017

Review: The One by Kiera Cass

Title: The One
Series: The Selection #3
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Pages: 336
Genres: Science Fiction, YA, Dystopian

For the four girls who remain at the palace, the friendships they’ve formed, rivalries they’ve struggled with and dangers they’ve faced have bound them to each other for the rest of their lives.

Now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realises just how much she stands to lose and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Review: The Doctor's Wife is Dead by Andrew Tierney

Title: The Doctor's Wife is Dead
Author: Andrew Tierney
Publisher:  Penguin Ireland
Pages: 272
Genres: Non-fiction, True Crime

In 1849, a woman called Ellen Langley died in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. She was the wife of a prosperous local doctor. So why was she buried in a pauper's coffin? Why had she been confined to the grim attic of the house she shared with her husband, and then exiled to a rented dwelling-room in an impoverished part of the famine-ravaged town? And why was her husband charged with murder?

Following every twist and turn of the inquest into Ellen Langley's death and the trial of her husband, The Doctor's Wife is Dead tells the story of an unhappy marriage, of a man's confidence that he could get away with abusing his wife, and of the brave efforts of a number of ordinary citizens to hold him to account. Andrew Tierney has produced a tour de force of narrative nonfiction that shines a light on the double standards of Victorian law and morality and illuminates the weave of money, sex, ambition and respectability that defined the possibilities and limitations of married life. It is a gripping portrait of a marriage, a society and a shocking legal drama.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Title: The Elite
Series: The Selection #2
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Pages: 336
Genres: Science Fiction, YA, Dystopian

The Selection gets fierce as rivals stake their claim on the prince. Six girls, one life-changing prize…

America Singer will leave her pre-destined life for a world of glamour and luxury, if she wins.

But surviving The Selection is tough. Rivals are battling to become Prince Maxon’s bride as the threat of rebel violence just beyond the palace walls escalates into war.

Only six girls are left and sworn friendships are tested to breaking point. America’s feelings for Maxon grow stronger, but she suspects darker mysteries in his royal past. With ex-lover Aspen waiting for her in the shadows, where do her loyalties truly lie?

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection
Series: The Selection #1
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Pages: 336
Genres: Science Fiction, YA, Dystopian

Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…

It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s love.

Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.

Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret one which could throw the whole competition and change her life forever.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Review: The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

Title: The Sign of Four
Series: Sherlock Holmes #2
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 160
Genres: Classics, Mystery

When a beautiful young woman is sent a letter inviting her to a sinister assignation, she immediately seeks the advice of the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes.

For this is not the first mysterious item Mary Marston has received in the post. Every year for the last six years an anonymous benefactor has sent her a large lustrous pearl. Now it appears the sender of the pearls would like to meet her to right a wrong.

But when Sherlock Holmes and his faithful sidekick Watson, aiding Miss Marston, attend the assignation, they embark on a dark and mysterious adventure involving a one-legged ruffian, some hidden treasure, deadly poison darts and a thrilling race along the River Thames.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher:  Bloomsbury Children's
Pages: 352
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Seventeen year old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he's not. Now Jonah must numbly take care of his family as they reel from their tragedy. Cue next change: Vivi Alexander, new girl in town.

Vivi is in love with life. A gorgeous and unfiltered hurricane of thoughts and feelings. She seems like she's from another planet as she transforms Jonah's family and changes his life. But there are always consequences when worlds collide…

Friday, 12 May 2017

Review: Girls Will Be Girls by Emer O'Toole

Title: Girls Will Be Girls
Author: Emer O'Toole
Publisher:  Orion
Pages: 288
Genres: Non-fiction, Memoir

Being a woman is, largely, about performance - how we dress and modify our bodies, what we say, the roles we play, and how we conform to expectations. Gender stereotypes are still deeply embedded in our society, but Emer O'Toole is on a mission to re-write the old script and bend the rules of gender - and she shows how and why we should all be joining in.

Exploring what it means to 'act like a girl', Emer takes us on a hilarious and thought-provoking journey through her life (including singing 'Get Your Pits Out for the Lads' on national TV after growing out her body hair). Cross-dressing, booty-shaking, sexual disasters, family dinners and full-body waxing are all lovingly dissected in search of wisdom.

With game-changing ideas, academic intelligence and laugh-out-loud humour, this book will open your mind and revolutionise the way that you think about gender.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Review: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Title: A Little Princess
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Publisher:  Puffin in Bloom
Pages: 320
Genres: Classics, Childrens

Alone in a new country, wealthy Sara Crewe tries to settle in and make friends at boarding school. But when she learns that she’ll never see her beloved father gain, her life is turned upside down. Transformed from princess to pauper, she must swap dancing lessons and luxury for hard work and a room in the attic. Will she find that kindness and genorosity are all the riches she truly needs?

April 2017 - Reading Wrap Up

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Pages: 699
Genres: Fantasy, Romance

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

The earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Review: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Title: Great Expectations
Author: Charles Dickens
Publisher:  Wordsworth Classics
Pages: 432
Genres: Classics

Considered by many to be Dickens' finest novel, Great Expectations traces the growth of the book's narrator, Philip Pirrip (Pip), from a boy of shallow dreams to a man with depth of character. From its famous dramatic opening on the bleak Kentish marshes, the story abounds with some of Dickens' most memorable characters. Among them are the kindly blacksmith Joe Gargery, the mysterious convict Abel Magwitch, the eccentric Miss Havisham and her beautiful ward Estella, Pip's good-hearted room-mate Herbert Pocket and the pompous Pumblechook. As Pip unravels the truth behind his own ‘great expectations’ in his quest to become a gentleman, the mysteries of the past and the convolutions of fate through a series of thrilling adventures serve to steer him towards maturity and his most important discovery of all - the truth about himself.

Review: The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley

Title: The Arrival of Missives
Author: Aliya Whiteley
Publisher:  Unsung Stories
Pages: 128
Genres: Science Fiction, Soft, Speculative

The Arrival of Missives is a genre-defying story of fate, free-will and the choices we make in life. In the aftermath of the Great War, Shirley Fearn dreams of challenging the conventions of rural England, where life is as predictable as the changing of the seasons.

The scarred veteran Mr. Tiller, left disfigured by an impossible accident on the battlefields of France, brings with him a message: part prophecy, part warning. Will it prevent her mastering her own destiny?

As the village prepares for the annual May Day celebrations, where a new queen will be crowned and the future will be reborn again, Shirley must choose: change or renewal?