Title: The Headmaster’s List

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

The Blurb

Four students. A fatal car crash. Three come out alive – and they will do anything to bury the truth.

One of them was driving.

One of them was high.

One of them screamed.

And one of them died.

When one of their own is tragically killed in a car crash, Argyle Prep is full of questions. Who was at the wheel? And more importantly, who was at fault?

But in a place ruled by pedigree and privilege, the answers can only come at a price.

Set against the glitz and glamour of an elite LA private school The Headmaster’s List, Melissa de la Cruz’s first YA thriller, is an addictive whodunit perfect for fans of Gossip Girl and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.

The Review

I am a fan of the campus novel. Give me a book with a campus in it and it ticks one of my boxes. Melissa de la Cruz’s The Headmaster’s List initially hits that criteria. The Headmaster’s List is set in an elite high school that can make or break its students. Attending can be a springboard for greater things later in life. The question is how much can money and prestige protect you from the consequences of a deadly crime?

I really enjoyed The Headmaster’s List. It was a good mystery that kept you on your toes until the final reveal. It is a perfect read for any crime lovers – especially with the mixed media format that de la Cruz has used.

There were some things that I thought seemed a bit wrong or not fully explored such as the recovery from the accident seemed to happen really fast or certain characters were not as developed as they could have been and felt a bit like discourse markers.

However, this didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the story.

The Headmaster’s List by Melissa de la Cruz is available now.

For more information regarding Melissa de la Cruz (@MelissadelaCruz) please visit www.melissa-delacruz.com.

For more information regarding Macmillan Children’s Books (@MacmillanKidsUK) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

Title: Preloved

Author: Lauren Bravo

Pages: 445 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

A love story about things…

Gwen’s life has stalled. She’s in her mid-thirties, perpetually single, her friends are busy procreating in the country and conversations with her parents seem to revolve entirely around herbaceous borders and the council’s wheelie-bin timetable. Above all she’s lonely. But then, isn’t everyone?

When Gwen’s made redundant from a job she drifted into a decade ago and never left, she realises it’s time to make a change. Over what might be the best – and most solitary – meal she’s ever eaten, Gwen vows to find something meaningful to do with her life, reconnect with her family and friends – and finally book herself a dentist appointment.

Her search for meaning soon leads her to volunteer in a local charity shop where she both literally and metaphorically unloads her emotional baggage. With the help of the weird and wonderful people she meets in the shop and the donated items bursting with untold stories that pass through its doors, Gwen must finally address the events and choices that led her to this point and find a way to move forward with bravery, humanity and more regular dental care.

Brimming with life, love and the stories bound up in even the most everyday items, Preloved is a tale about friendship, loss, being true to oneself no matter the expectations – and the enduring power and joy of charity shops.

The Review

Well, what a beautiful surprise of a book. Preloved was a delicious gem of a book.

Lauren Bravo’s novel – Preloved – is the story of finding your true self among the rubbish of your life. It focuses on Gwen. Gwen has just lost her job and has decided to volunteer in a charity shop until she can figure things out. Amongst the detritus of other people’s lives Gwen finds herself – this is through friends, lovers, and relatives.

Throughout the story is a glorious thread of a story woven through the narrative that is heartwarming and breaking in equal measure. What is evident throughout is the value of other peoples preloved items. What is one person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure.

I absolutely flipping loved this book. It was such an easy thing to read and it left me with all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings.

Preloved by Lauren Bravo is available now.

For more information regarding Lauren Bravo (@laurenbravo) please visit her Twitter page.

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

Title: Strong Female Character

Author: Fern Brady

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Octopus Publishing

The Blurb

A summary of my book:

1. I’m diagnosed with autism 20 years after telling a doctor I had it.

2. My terrible Catholic childhood: I hate my parents etc.

3. My friendship with an elderly man who runs the corner shop and is definitely not trying to groom me. I get groomed.

4. Homelessness.

5. Stripping.

6. More stripping but with more nervous breakdowns.

7. I hate everyone at uni and live with a psycho etc.

8. REDACTED as too spicy.

9. After everyone tells me I don’t look autistic, I try to cure my autism and get addicted to Xanax.

10. REDACTED as too embarrassing.

The Review

Even today, Autisms is so misunderstood. Fern Brady’s autobiography doesn’t set out to correct that because it would be an impossible task but it does give the readers an insight into what Autism is like for her. While she displays a few of the “standard” autistic characteristics she by no means says that her experience is universal.

What Fern Brady does do is give a realistic presentation of her struggles and how Autism has affected her life on a daily basis and how she copes with her neurodivergence – some of the ways she copes are easier for someone without knowledge of neurodiversity to understand (i.e. exercise) and others they may find uncomfortable or shocking (i.e. meltdowns) however it is with knowledge of both of these that a person can try to understand autism more and accommodate for when a person with autism is struggling.

By Fern Brady, a well known comedian to give a voice to autism – in particular for those diagnosed later on in life – a door is opened for those without any substantial knowledge to be able to gather information and hopefully be a bit more understanding.

Strong Female Character by Fern Brady is available now.

For more information regarding Fern Brady (@FernBrady) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Octopus Publishing (@Octopus_Books) please visit www.octopusbooks.co.uk.

Title: Same Old Girl

Author: Sylvia Patterson

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group

The Blurb

How does the big stuff in life truly change us?

In late 2019, Sylvia Patterson was a celebrated pop journalist, still merrily writing about the musical greats. But with the diagnosis of a life-threatening disease, a global pandemic and the collapse of her industry, life was about to take a drastic turn.

It was a misadventure that would teach her many things. The power of friendship, the shock of mortality and what happens when love is tested. How a walk in the park, a spontaneous dance and a TV hero can save your life. How your perspective can shift on everything, from work, family and music, to what truly makes you happy. And what really happens when your body, never mind your kitchen, falls apart.

The follow-up to the Costa-shortlisted I’m Not with the Band, this is Sylvia’s unflinching, poignant and gallows-funny odyssey through the mid-life trials we all face, as she tries to answer the big question: would it all change her, or would she stay that same old girl?

The Review

I have been envious of Sylvia Patterson for a while. She had the rock and roll life style that I could only dream of – standing at the side of the stage of music history and getting to write about it for a job. I was extremely jealous and I hoovered her book I’m Not With the Band a few years ago. When I saw that another book was going to be released I was eager to read it and wondered what part of Patterson’s life I would be envious of next. Well, I got my eye wiped.

Same Old Girl is not focused on music but is focused on Sylvia Patterson’s cancer diagnosis and how she dealt with it. Through her own inner strength combined with the love she got from family and friends and the tireless work of the NHS Sylvia Patterson documents this journey. And whilst I can honestly say that I am not jealous of this things she has been through but if I ever do find myself in that position I hope that I handle it with the grace and power that she did.

Same Old Girl is a brilliant memoir.

Same Old Girl by Sylvia Patterson is available now.

For more information regarding Sylvia Patterson (@SylvPatterson) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Little, Brown Book Group (@LittleBrownUK) please visit www.littlebrown.co.uk.

Title: People Like Her

Author: Ellery Lloyd

Pages: 321 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Introducing 2021’s most scintillating debut thriller, People Like Her  is a story about truth and lies, motherhood and social media — and the lengths some people will go to, not only for revenge, but also to be liked. For fans of Liane Moriarty and Lucy Foley. 

Followed by millions. Hunted by one.


I need to be liked. It’s my job

My personal brand is built on honesty.

Family, friendship, cheering other mothers on when things get tough.

Doing it together – telling it like it really is – that’s what @the_Mamabare is all about.


I just want a quiet life

Her adoring followers feel like they understand my wife.

My wife certainly understands them.

I know she is beautiful, smart, ambitious, charming.

But she’s also a liar.


I want revenge

The filter’s about to drop.

I’ve been watching you and your family very closely.

You’ve ruined my life.

Now I’m going to ruin yours.

The Review

People Like Her was a surprising read. I was expecting a nice little mystery that I could read mindlessly and practise the art of escapism. I was wrong. People Like Her is an intense thriller that comments on the insidious nature of social media and how being an influencer isn’t all it cracks up to be.

Emmy and Dan have a seemingly perfect life. Well, the life that they show on Instagram is perfect but when a serious of creepy events occur Dan seems rocked and questions Emmy’s social media addiction.

At the heart of the story though are Emmy and Dan’s children. When they become the target I couldn’t help but find myself being stressed out. I don’t have children but I have a niece and the fear of anything happening to her transposed into my reading of the story. I had a visceral reaction to it. For me that is the mark of good story telling.

People Like Her is a spine chilling read and worthy of being picked up.

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd is available now.

For more information regarding Ellory Lloyd (@ElleryLloydAuthor) please visit www.ellerylloyd.com.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit their Twitter page.