Hey people of the internet,

Just a quick little post to say I’m taking a break. Work has been crazy busy lately and I am not getting as much time as I would like to sit and review books. Boo hiss, why can’t I be paid to read? If I was paid an amount of money pair page I read then I would be super rich!

I will be back though. Keep an eye out and I should be back towards the beginning of November.

Keep on truckin’, folks 🙂

Lisa x

byronTitle: Byron – A Poet Dangerous to Know

Author: Geoffrey Trease

Pages: 165 Pages

Publisher: Endeavour Press

The Blurb

“A poet dangerous to know,” said Lady Caroline Lamb, infatuated with Lord Byron

As were many others, both in fact and in fancy, for he was a man who had the misfortune to become a legend in his own time.

It was largely a scandalous legend.

The reputed improprieties of his life have continued to shadow his name and obscure the details of what was in essence a tragic story.

Born of an unhappy marriage, lame from infancy, reared in an uncomfortable mixture of poverty and grandeur, Byron was also gifted, spectacularly handsome, and a peer, attributes which ensured his entry into fashionable London society.

He was headstrong, brave almost to recklessness, and proud, a storm-centre wherever he went, his complex character an enigma both to his admirers and detractors.

Geoffrey Trease traces Byron’s turbulent career, outlining with tact and clarity the varied relationships that formed his character and ordered his life from its deprived beginning to his untimely death, mourned by Greek patriots and a handful of loyal and devoted friends.

He relates the poet’s work to the events that inspired and enriched them.

Byron’s poems are so interwoven with his personal life that they are often incomprehensible by themselves, and Byron’s human relationships must be explained as well as his foreign travels and romantic death.

The Review

I’m not a lover of reading poetry. It hurts me to say that because I do love reading and I’m an old romantic at heart but I have never really fallen in love with poetry as an art form. However, as a craft I absolutely adore it. I love getting to the nitty gritty of a poem and basking in the cleverness of the writer. I get to do this a lot because I work in a high school and I am often involved in poetry lessons.

This year I discovered the poetry of Byron. It is actually quite shocking that it took me 33 years but hey ho, what can you do?  I found his work captivating so when the option came up to read about his fascinating and scandalous life I jumped at the chance.

Byron A Poet Dangerous To Know is a brilliant guide to all things Byron. The book delves into his life, his loves, his family history and all the little things that made Byron tick. Trease’s writing style made the biography very readable. Never did I feel too bogged down by information and it almost felt like the biography read as a novel but then Byron’s life was lived in quite a dramatic and entertaining fashion that I am not surprised by this.

If you are new to Byron’s poetry then I would definitely recommend giving Geoffrey Trease’s book a read.

Byron A Poet Dangerous To Know by Geoffrey Trease is available now.

For more information regarding Endeavour Press (@EndeavourPress) please visit www.endeavourpress.com.4-stars


Title: All That Man Is

Author: David Slazay

Pages: 437 Pages

Publisher: Jonathan Cape

The Blurb

Nine men. Each of them at a different stage of life, each of them away from home, and each of them striving – in the suburbs of Prague, beside a Belgian motorway, in a cheap Cypriot hotel – to understand just what it means to be alive, here and now.

Tracing an arc from the spring of youth to the winter of old age, All That Man Is brings these separate lives together to show us men as they are – ludicrous and inarticulate, shocking and despicable; vital, pitiable, hilarious, and full of heartfelt longing. And as the years chase them down, the stakes become bewilderingly high in this piercing portrayal of 21st-century manhood.

The Review

My very good friend Shirley suggested that we tried to read the 6 shortlisted books for the Man Booker Prize. Two books in and I have given up. What a load of twaddle.

All That Man Is by David Slazay is, according to the blurb on Amazon, a ‘piercing portrayal of 21st-century manhood.’ Hmmm, I instantly got the speech from Bridget Jones Diary in my head when Bridget is caught making a personal phone call and then tries to describe the book she is hosting a campaign for as ‘a searing vision of the wounds our century has inflicted on traditional masculinity. It’s positively Vonnegut-esque.’ Essentially, I thought this book was a bit pointless but then again I am not exactly its targeted reader.

The book is written well. The quality of writing is not under question, however, for me, the stories in All That Man Is just didn’t resonate.

All That Man Is by David Slazay is available now.



lying-about-last-summerTitle: Lying About Last Summer

Author: Sue Wallman

Pages: 272 Pages

Publisher: Scholastic UK

The Blurb

Skye is looking for an escape from the reality of last summer when her sister died in a tragic accident. Her parents think that a camp for troubled teenagers might help her process her grief. All of the kids at the summer camp have lost someone close, but is bringing them together such a good idea? And can everyone at camp be trusted? When Skye starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister, she knows it’s time to confront the past. But what if the danger is right in front of her?

The Review

Oooh I love it when a story delivers the good and you betcha by golly wow does Lying About Last Summer deliver!

The story is set in a bereavement camp, a place for people to go to get support when they have lost someone. Skye has gone there to try and come to terms with her sister’s death; a death that she feels responsible for causing. Yet things take a turn for the weird when Skye starts getting text messages from her dead sister.

Sue Wallham has created a modern day realistic murder mystery thriller for teens that had me guessing all the way through. She plants small nuggets of insidious suspicion that you are constantly questioning everything. It really was a joy to be sucked into this world and even more so because it shed a light on how grief is handled with young adults. Something that I knew very little about before reading Lying About Last Summer.

Lying About Last Summer has to be on you ‘To-Be-Read’ pile. It is a must.

Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman is available now.

For more information regarding Sue Wallman (@SWallman) please visit www.suewallman.co.uk.

For more information regarding Scholastic UK (@scholasticuk) please visit www.scholastic.co.uk.


a-new-york-love-storyTitle: A New York Love Story

Author: Cassie Rocca

Pages: 177 Pages

Publisher: Aria

The Blurb

A charming Christmas romance for fans of Meg Cabbot.

Will the magic of Christmas be enough to light a spark?

Giving a present is not always easy. Clover O’Brian knows that only too well: her job consists of helping people in the arduous task of choosing unusual gifts. Christmas is coming, New York is buzzing, and Clover, who has always loved the festive period, savours the atmosphere.

Cade Harrison already has everything in life. A Hollywood actor, he is handsome, rich, famous and popular. Success, however, has its downsides; having just emerged from a disastrous relationship with an actress, he feels a need to hide away in an area unfrequented by stars, in an apartment lent him by a friend, far from prying eyes – especially those of tabloid reporters. But as chance will have it, the apartment in question is right opposite the one occupied by Clover, who until now has seen Hollywood actors only on the big screen. Two quite different lives meet by chance, at the most exhilarating time of year…

The Review

When I started A New York Love Story I was convinced I was going to be reading a trivial little story; just another Christmas book that are a dime a dozen. I was so, so wrong.

A New York Love Story can be taken in two ways. Firstly, a book that leaves you so warm and fuzzy that you immediately start searching the internet for cheap flights to New York. However, there is another serious side to it; several, in fact.

The first serious issue being that our obsession with celebrity culture is actually very intrusive and damaging. We follow the bourgeoning relationship of Clover and Cade. This Cinderella story sees a normal girl try to have a relationship with a celebrity but the intrusion of the media complicates things. Besides having to handle the usual pangs of a new relationship Cassie and Cade have an extra dimension of drama to deal with.

It also deals with family issues. About strained relationships with parents and siblings and whilst Rocca does not force resolution upon her readers she does emphasise the point that your family is who you make it. You can choose your friends but you cannot choose your family. Even without resolution you get the feeling that things end up good for our heroine.

A New York Love Story was a joy to read. I loved the multi-perspective storytelling, I loved the characters and I loved the feeling I had when I turned the last page. This is definitely a winning novel for me from Cassie Rocca.

A New York Love Story by Cassie Rocca is available now.

For more information regarding Cassie Rocca please follow her one Twitter (@CassieRocca).

For more information regarding Aria (@Aria_Fiction) please visit www.ariafiction.com.