Title: Truth or Dare

Author: Non Pratt

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Walker Books

The Blurb

A powerful and moving novel about bravery from the Guardian’s “writer to watch” Non Pratt, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, John Green and Holly Bourne.

How far is too far when it comes to the people you love? Claire Casey hates being the centre of attention. But if it means getting Sef Malik to notice her, it’s a risk she’s happy to take. Sef is prepared to do anything to help his recently disabled brother. But this means putting Claire’s love – and life – on the line. Because when you’re willing to risk everything, what is there left to lose?

(Amazon Blurb)

The Review

Ever since reading Trouble by Non Pratt I have been a fan of her writing. She did not disappoint me with her recent release Truth or Dare.

Told in two parts, it tells the story from the two protagonists, Sef and Claire’s, perspectives. Sef is determined to get money to pay his brother’s hospital fees. Sef’s brother has recently suffered a brain injury and his care is scarily expensive. Claire and Sef come up with a plan to raise the money. The more time they spend together, the closer they become.

The lines of friendship become blurred and now they are both in way to deep.

Truth or Dare was a fast paced, intense read that I couldn’t devour quickly enough. Page-turner really doesn’t seem a strong enough word to describe just how good it was. Non Pratt is in possession of a really rare gift; she is one of the strongest voices in YA fiction today.

Truth or Dare by Non Pratt is available now.

For more information regarding Non Pratt (@NonPratt) please visit www.nonpratt.wordpress.com.

For more information regarding Walker Books (@WalkerBooksYA) please visit www.walker.co.uk.

35 Stars

Title: Sweet Pea

Author: CJ Skuse

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

(Amazon Blurb)

The Review

I don’t know what this says about me but I really enjoyed Sweet Pea.

Sweet Pea by CJ Skuse is the story of Rhiannon, a girl on a crusade to right wrongs, to help the helpless and hurt the haters. So she is a bit of a serial killer….we all have flaws, right?

In all seriousness, Sweet Pea was a really entertaining read. What made it so entertaining was the sheer frivolity with which Rhiannon committed her crimes. She acted in a glib detached manner and she was really sold by SJ Ckuse as being a character so at ease with murder it was almost disturbing.

I don’t want to worry you but you will laugh at this story…at least I hope you will. Maybe it was just me that laughed. Oh dear.

Sweet Pea by CJ Skuse is available now.

For more information regarding CJ Skuse (@CJSkuse) please visit www.cjskusebooks.wixsite.com/cjskuse.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQstories) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

4 Stars

Kicking the Bucket listTitle: The Kicking the Bucket List

Author: Cathy Hopkins

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Three sisters. Their mother’s dying wish. One last chance to be a family…The stunning debut for fans of Celia Imrie and Dawn French.

Meet the daughters of Iris Parker. Dee; sensitive and big-hearted; Rose uptight and controlled and Fleur the reckless free spirit.At the reading of their mother’s will, the three estranged women are aghast to discover that their inheritance comes with very tricky strings attached. If they are to inherit her wealth, they must spend a series of weekends together over the course of a year and carry out their mother’s ‘bucket list’. But one year doesn’t seem like nearly enough time for them to move past the decades-old layers of squabbles and misunderstandings. Can they grow up for once and see that Iris’s bucket list was about so much more than money…

The Review

What an emotional rollercoaster of a story. When I first picked up Cathy Hopkin’s book The Kicking the Bucket List I was reminded of another story that I had read earlier in the year. However, what was brilliant is that even with similar concepts two different writers can both make such interesting and diverse stories.

Hopkins tells the story of three estranged sisters who are brought back together by their recently deceased mother. The three girls are strikingly different but it is the love of their mother that makes them partake in the kicking the bucket list of challenges.

Each new challenge brings a new dilemma, more and more of the characters foibles are revealed and we steadily fall for this family who have fallen apart.

The Kicking the Bucket List by Cathy Hopkins is a gorgeous, warm, and uplifting read. This needs to be your latest commute read….be warned, you may not be able to put it down.

The Kicking the Bucket List by Cathy Hopkins is available now.

For more information regarding Cathy Hopkins (@CathyHopkins1) please visit www.cathyhopkins.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

35 Stars

Title: It’s Not, Me It’s You

Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm

Pages: 293 Pages

Publisher: Point

The Blurb

Did you hear…?

NATALIE WAGNER, random freshman: Avery Dennis–the Avery Dennis–got dumped right before prom.

COCO KIM, best friend: Avery has never been dumped! Well, okay, except for this one time.

BIZZY STANHOPE, officially the worst: The head of the prom committee doesn’t have a date to the prom. It is beyond pathetic.

JAMES “”HUTCH”” HUTCHERSON, lab partner: Did Avery really swear off dating until she discovers why her relationships never work out? I’ll believe that when I see it.

ROBBY MONROE, ex-boyfriend: Did you get interviewed by Avery Dennis for her project?

TRIPP GOMEX-PARKER, ex-boyfriend: Avery Dennis is straight-up interviewing everyone.

AVERY DENNIS: recently dumped/topic of much gossip: Okay. Everyone is talking about it, so let’s talk about it…

From rising star Stephanie Kate Strohm, this is a laugh-out-loud look at one girl’s epic dating history, as told by her friends, family, and foes.

The Review

I always wanted to go to an American high school. I think it was a mixture of watching Saved By the Bell as a teenager and reading the Sweet Valley books. As an adult who now works in a school I am still oddly fascinated by them. I think that is why I enjoy YA fiction so much. It is quick view into a world that I never got to see up close.

It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm is exactly what I imagined the all American high school experience to be; football games, summer camp and prom. That seems to be the end goal for Avery Dennis; to go to prom. Firstly she has to figure out why her relationship’s past always seem to fall apart.

Told from various different perspectives, Strohm’s story comes in an almost documentary style that is quirky and enjoyable. The characters foibles are clear and Avery’s journey of self discovery is one you want to be a part of. A very fun read.

It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm is available now

For more information regarding Stephanie Kate Strohm (@StephKateStrohm) please visit www.stephaniekatestrohm.com.

35 Stars

The RemindersTitle: The Reminders

Author: Val Emmich

Pages: 321 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Overcome with the loss of his boyfriend Sydney, Gavin Winters has set fire to every reminder in their home. A neighbour has captured the blaze on video, turning this little-known TV actor into a household name. Gavin flees LA for New Jersey, where he hopes that ten-year-old Joan, the daughter of a close friend, can reconnect him with the memories of Sydney he is now in danger of losing for ever. Joan was born with a rare ability to recall every single day of her life in perfect detail, and in return for sharing her memories of Sydney, Gavin will help her write a song for a local competition. For Joan has had enough of being the girl who can’t forget – she wants to be the girl who will never be forgotten . . .

Charming, beautifully observed, poignant and funny, The Reminders by actor and musician Val Emmich is an irresistible story of the unlikely friendship between a grief-stricken man who can’t remember and a ten-year-old girl who can’t forget.

The Review

The Reminders by Val Emmich is one of the quirkiest books that I have read in a long time. It centres on the unusual friendship of Gavin and Joan. Gavin is an actor who has recently lost his boyfriend and he isn’t coping with the loss. Joan is a ten year old girl who has HSAM – a condition which means that she remembers everything that happens to her. Gavin and Joan form an unlikely alliance; Gavin has Joan tell him stories about Sydney and Joan has Gavin help her write a song for a competition that she is desperate to enter because Joan wants to be remembered the way she remembers everything.

The Reminders is a wonderful story of loss and grief and, in a sense, a coming of age tale. Emmich has managed to create a very realistic and believable situation with his two protagonists and maintains clear narrative voice for them both. There is a massive heart at the centre of The Reminders which makes it a likeable one-sitting read.

The Reminders by Val Emmich is available now.

For more information regarding Val Emmich (@ValEmmich) please visit www.valemmich.com.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan.com) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

4 Stars