A Gift to RememberTitle: A Gift to Remember

Author: Melissa Hill

Pages: 309 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

The Blurb

This summer, discover the magic of Melissa Hill…

Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore in Manhattan. A daydream believer, she refuses to settle for anything less than being swept off her feet by the perfect man…literally.

One day, when cycling to work, Darcy accidentally crashes into a sharply dressed gentleman walking his dog. He is knocked out cold, rushed to hospital and the poor pup gets left behind.

Wracked with guilt, Darcy takes the dog and makes plans to reunite him with owner, Aidan. As she discovers the mysterious stranger’s world of books, travel, adventure and all the wonderful things she’s ever dreamt about, Darcy builds a picture of this man and wonders if he could be THE ONE…

But does fantasy match reality? What happens when Prince Charming wakes up? Will Aidan be the happy ever after she’s always imagined?

The Review

Oh to fall in love with a book. That is what has happened to me. The story in A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill is one of classic mistaken identity. It is man meets woman in unusual circumstances and one or both fall in love. We, as romance readers, have read it a thousand times over but it never gets boring. For me, what makes A Gift to Remember so special is its setting.

It is set in an independent bookstore in New York….and it’s Christmas time. I mean, come on. Melissa Hill knows what she is doing to us readers. Who among us has not wanted to work in or own a musty old bookstore with oak shelves and that gorgeous aroma of books? Throw in a handsome male and you have got yourself the ultimate fantasy.

A Gift to Remember is a sweet story that does tug at the old heartstrings. It is a feel good tale that actually makes you want to be the main character. I loved it!

A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill is available now.

For more information regarding Melissa Hill (@melissahillbks) please visit www.melissahill.ie.

For more information regarding Simon and Schuster (@simonschusteruk) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

35-stars

jane-steeleTitle: Jane Steele

Author: Lyndsay Faye

Pages: 432 Pages

Publisher: Headline

The Blurb

Reader, I murdered him.’ JANE STEELE is a brilliant Gothic retelling of JANE EYRE from Edgar-nominated Lyndsay Faye, for fans of LONGBOURN and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES.

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked – but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London’s underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate’s true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household’s strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him – body, soul and secrets – and what if he discovers her murderous past?

The Review

Oh boo. I really wanted to like Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye. I genuinely did. My favourite book is Jane Eyre and so I thought that a book that had so many links to the Bronte classic would naturally be loved by me but it wasn’t.

I have to give kudos to Faye because her style of writing is on point. She continues the selected style throughout the text and never wavers. I think for someone writing outside of the pre-Victorian time period that can be difficult but she manages it excellently. However, I did find the tone to be very glib. The satirical style almost became too jarring.

Jane Steele is a well rounded mystery and Faye masterfully weaves a tale of intrigue but it just didn’t tick all of my boxes.

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye is available now.

For more information regarding Lyndsay Faye (@LyndsayFaye) please visit www.lyndsayfaye.com.

For more information regarding Headline (@headlinepg) please visit www.headline.co.uk.

2-stars

peter-and-aliceTitle: Peter and Alice

Author: John Logan

Pages: 96 Pages

Publisher: Oberon Books

The Blurb

‘Of course that’s how it begins: a harmless fairy tale to pass the hours’

When Alice Liddell Hargreaves met Peter Llewelyn Davies at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition in 1932, the original Alice in Wonderland came face to face with the original Peter Pan. In John Logan’s remarkable new play, enchantment and reality collide as this brief encounter lays bare the lives of these two extraordinary characters.

This is the first new play from Academy Award winning screenwriter and playwright, John Logan since his RED went on to sell thousands of copies, played London to great acclaim before transferring to a smash hit Broadway run where it won 6 Tony Awards including Best New Play.

The Review

I had never really thought about the lives of the muses. The inspiration for stories or the real people that characters are based on but then I stumbled upon this play script. The story of when Peter met Alice; Peter Pan and Alice of Wonderland fame. The fictionalised telling of their encounter is a mixture of fact and fiction with more of the real lives revealed. It is simply gorgeous. It is moving, bittersweet and telling.

Although Peter and Alice is short it is simply wonderful and I wish I had seen it performed on stage.

Peter and Alice by John Logan is available now.

For more information regarding Oberon Books (@OberonBooks) please visit www.oberonbooks.com.

35-stars

the-last-beginningTitle: The Last Beginning (The Next Together, #2)

Author: Lauren James

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Walker Books

The Blurb

The epic conclusion to Lauren James’ debut The Next Together about true love and reincarnation.

Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives. But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history?

Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove’s investigation? For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future.

The Review

The Last Beginning is the follow up to The Next Together which was, personally, my most surprising read of the year. It was surprising because I never expected to really enjoy a Time Travel Sci-Fi Historical YA Romance but I genuinely did. I also loved the small novella Another Together that accompanied The Next Together. The third in the series is also pretty awesome.

The Last Beginning follows Clove, the child of Matt and Kate. Clove has no idea that her parents Tom and Jen are not her birth parents and when she finds out who her actual parents are a whole can of worms (wormholes) is opened and it is up to Clove to fix things.

I genuinely loved The Last Beginning. I loved it for many reasons; the first being that I don’t feel like James was flogging a dead horse. She did a sequel which introduced a new protagonist but claimed the original story thread. That is impressive as is the ability to plan ahead with a story. Time travel is a phenomenon that when I think about it too much my head gets all lost in the paradox but James addresses this and it all seems to work out. Huzzah.

Seriously though, The Next Together series is ridiculously good. It is clever, witty and engaging. If you like your YA fiction to be a bit different then you must read this series.

The Last Beginning (The Next Together, #2) by Lauren James.

For more information regarding Lauren James (@Lauren_E_James) please visit www.laurenejames.com.

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

4-stars

 

get-dirtyTitle: Get Dirty (Don’t Get Mad #2)

Author: Gretchen McNeil

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Balzer and Bray/HarperTeen

The Blurb

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful sequel to Get Even. The members of Don’t Get Mad aren’t just mad anymore . . . they’re afraid. And with Margot in a coma and Bree under house arrest, it’s up to Olivia and Kitty to try to catch their deadly tormentor. But just as the girls are about to go on the offensive, Ed the Head reveals a shocking secret that turns all their theories upside down. The killer could be anyone, and this time he or she is out for more than just revenge.

The girls desperately try to discover the killer’s identity as their personal lives are falling apart: Donte is pulling away from Kitty and seems to be hiding a secret of his own, and Olivia’s mother is on an emotional downward spiral. The killer is closing in, the threats are becoming more personal, and when the police refuse to listen, the girls have no choice but to confront their anonymous friend . . . or die trying.”

The Review

When I finished Get Mad by Gretchen McNeil I was raging. Not because the book was bad. Au contraire mon frère (et ma souers) but because it ended on a cliff hanger and I needed to know what happened next. So, at 11:30pm I found myself book shopping for the sequel. Fortunately for me, it had been released the year before (I was a little late coming to the Don’t Get Mad series) and all I had to do was wait for my lovely postman to deliver the book.

After an arduous wait (about 5 days – I’m being dramatic) I received Get Dirty. I tell you, dear reader, it did not disappoint. I spent the whole book making guesses over who the bad guy was. There were clues everywhere and like all good mystery books there were also plenty of red herrings.

If you like your YA fiction to be gritty, exciting and intense then the Don’t Get Mad series is one that you cannot afford to ignore. Don’t get mad, don’t get dirty – GET READING.

Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil is available now.

For more information regarding Gretchen McNeil (@GretchenMcNeil) please visit www.gretchenmcneil.com.

For more information regarding Balzer and Bray please visit their Twitter page (@BalzerandBray)

For more information regarding HarperTeen (@harperteen) please visit www.harperteen.com.

4-stars