A Dream Called MarilynTitle: A Dream Called Marilyn

Author: Mercedes King

Pages: 172 Pages

Publisher: Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

The Blurb

In the summer of 1962, nothing could prepare Dr. Charles Campbell for his first meeting with his new client, Marilyn Monroe. A reputable psychiatrist, he’s been hired by a studio executive to handle and subdue the star, no matter what it takes. Although he’s been warned about Ms. Monroe’s unpredictability, she’s not what he expected.

In the days that follow, Charles’ world is turned upside-down. Marilyn shares her secrets and threatens to go public with information that could ruin her career and destroy President Kennedy’s administration. Saving Marilyn from her self-destructive ways and crossing doctor-patient boundaries, might also cost Charles Campbell his life.

The Review

There are some deaths throughout history that have left people wondering about the validity of the reports on them. One such death is Marilyn Monroe’s. Conspiracy theorists have put forth likely scenarios over what actually happened to her rather than the autopsy report of accidental overdose. One of these theories is explored in Mercedes King’s book A Dream Called Marilyn.

A Dream Called Marilyn is a fictional account of the last few weeks of Marilyn Monroe’s life as told through the eyes of her (fictional) therapist, Dr Charles Campbell. The story explores the theory that Marilyn was murdered due to her relationship with both of the Kennedy brothers – John and Bobby; it also looks at her possibly mob connections and links her death to Frank Sinatra.

It is actually a really fascinating read and is unbearably sad if it is true.

If you are a fan of Marilyn Monroe or indeed fictionalised conspiracy theories then A Dream Called Marilyn is the book for you.

A Dream Called Marilyn by Mercedes King is available now.

For more information regarding Mercedes King (@Mercedes_King_) please visit www.mercedesking.com.

For more information regarding Independent Book Publishers Association (@ibpa) please visit www.ibpa-online.org/.

35 Stars

UnboxedTitle: Unboxed

Author: Non Pratt

Pages: 139 Pages

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

The Blurb

Four friends meet up at their old school to open the memory box they stowed there years ago – with five letters inside for four of them, because their friend Millie has died. When they open the box they find a new letter from Millie and discover that she has left them special instructions: permission to open her letter only if they all read aloud the letters they wrote to their older selves, revealing their deepest secrets.

Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 13+

The Review

I work in a school and I have the great privilege of working in the school’s library. We are really lucky because I know a lot of schools have had their libraries closed down; they are seen as a costly resource. I always get angry at this because I saw a news report that said out 24 countries in Europe, the UK came 23rd out of 24 for literacy skills. We were nearly at the bottom of the table. Yet valuable resources like libraries are being closed down within schools. To me, that is barmy.

The reason I mention this is that my students always come to me and ask for book recommendations. This is great but the chances are that these students aren’t reluctant readers. They come to me asking me about the YA fiction that I have read and loved. Non Pratt’s Trouble is one such book (I loved it and you can read about how much I loved it here). However, I must admit that I do struggle when trying to find books for some of my students who aren’t as enthused about reading as I am. I just don’t read that many books at that level; I’ve had the love of books and reading instilled in me since I was a young girl.

Now though, I have the answer. Non Pratt’s new release Unboxed is specifically for reluctant readers and it is printed in a dyslexia friendly font and on thick tinted paper. Besides all of these technical details, Unboxed is just a damn good story.

It is the story of friendship and how people and circumstances can change. I suppose because as teenagers we believe we are invincible. Nothing can touch us. Unboxed makes us realise that we aren’t and that we need to make every moment count. It is a coming of age story that is really powerful in its delivery. From the reluctant reader texts that I have read I can honestly say that Unboxed is nothing like them. I have been harping on lately about how modern day YA fiction doesn’t talk down to its readers. Writers are treating readers with respect and making sure that they tackle real world issues. Writers of this genre are not shying away from the harder topics. Non Pratt is one such author.

Unboxed is brilliant. It will make your heart ache and it will make you want to tell everyone you know that they need to read it – reluctantly or not.

Unboxed by Non Pratt is available now.

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

For more information regarding Barrington Stoke (@BarringtonStoke) please visit www.barringtonstoke.co.uk.

4 Stars

Its in his kissTitle: It’ In His Kiss

Author: Eve Devon

Pages: 241 Pages

Publisher: Harper Impulse

The Blurb

Who do you turn to when things go wrong?

Your best friend. Obviously.

Sephy King’s worked flat-out to make her new lingerie business a success, only there’s a tiny snag – the marketing photos for the launch party are a disaster.

Luke Jackson will help her, won’t he? They just need to strip off, model gorgeous, sexy underwear together and take more photos! So what if the stunning body he’s been hiding makes Sephy’s eyes pop out? And when he holds her, she suddenly wishes they were in her bedroom…alone? He’s her best friend.

Then Luke asks Sephy for a return favour: to pose as his fake fiancée to get his parents temporarily off his back. It’s a risky strategy – but she’s sure she can pull it off.

Until he kisses her…

The Review

Ooh someone needs to fan me down because It’s In His Kiss by Eve Devon is steaming hot!

It’s In His Kiss is the story of Sephy King; she is feisty, determined and, truth be told, very stubborn. She refused help from everyone including her brother and sister who are both rich and successful. Stephy is resolute that she will make it on her own. It is just Sephy and her daughter Daisy against the world.

But when things between Sephy and her best friend Luke’s relationship become confused Sephy is left wondering if she can allow someone else into her life.

Ok, I’ve never read a book by Eve Devon before so I didn’t know what to expect. What I got was a book that sizzled. The build up of romance in It’s In His Kiss is palpable. Don’t get me wrong, Eve Devon has not gone full on Fifty Shades; no, it is far more intense than that. It is what is being implied, what it not being said, that makes you hot under the collar.

Credit where credit is due, Eve Devon has created the perfect hero in Luke Jackson. He is hot…well my image of him is and I am sure yours will be too.

It’s In His Kiss is the ultimate beach read. Buy it, pass it on to a friend and all bask in the glory that is Luke and Sephy, Sephy and Luke. Oh swoon!

It’s In His Kiss by Eve Devon is available now.

For more information regarding Eve Devon (@EveDevon) please visit www.EveDevon.com/.

For more information regarding Harper Impulse (@HarperImpulse) please visit www.harperimpuleromance.com.

4 Stars

Confessions of a librarianTitle: Confessions of a Librarian: A Memoir of Loves

Author: Barbara Foster

Pages: 170 Pages

Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books

The Blurb

In the spirit of such classic female erotic adventurers as Anais Nin, Erica Jong and Toni Bentley, Barbara Foster shares the story of four women who meet to tell the lurid details of their worldly romantic encounters in Confessions of a Librarian: A Memoir of Loves. From Istanbul, Buenos Aries, Israel and back to New York, featuring young women to women of a certain age, with threesomes and everything in between, these inter-connected tales of love and lust are sure to keep you rapidly turning the pages.

The Review

Oh dear. What a disappointment.

I loved the basis of this book because I personally think that there is something about the juxtaposition of librarians and heightened sexuality that simply go hand in hand. However Confessions of a Librarian didn’t deliver. It was the sexual misadventures of someone who happened to be a librarian.

The book just didn’t tick any of the boxes for me. I felt like I was being told every single thing about what happened, where she was, what colour the wallpaper, etc. in exhaustive detail in exhaustive detail.

Overall, Confessions of a Librarian was not an enjoyable read.

Confessions of a Librarian: A Memoir of Loves by Barbara Foster is available now.

For more information regarding Barbara Foster (@FosterLoves) please visit www.threelovestory.com.

For more information regarding Riverdale Avenue Books (@riverdaleavenue) please visit https://riverdaleavebooks.com.

2 Stars

Oxford Roald Dahl DictionaryTitle: Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary

Author: Susan Rennie

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Oxford University Press

The Blurb

This is not an ordinary dictionary. After all, you wouldn’t expect an ‘Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary‘ to be ordinary, would you? Lots of dictionaries tell you what an ‘alligator’ is, or how to spell ‘balloon’ but they won’t explain the difference between a ‘ringbeller’ and a ‘trogglehumper’, or say why witches need ‘gruntles’ eggs’ or suggest a word for the shape of a ‘Knid’.

All the words that Roald Dahl invented are here, like ‘biffsquiggled’ and ‘whizzpopping,’ to remind you what means what. You’ll also find out where words came from, rhyming words, synonyms and lots of alternative words for words that are overused.

Oxford Children’s Dictionaries are perfect for supporting literacy and learning and this is the world’s first Roald Dahl Dictionary from the word experts at Oxford University Press. With real citations from Roald Dahl’s children’s books and illustrations by Quentin Blake, the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary will inspire and encourage young writers and readers.

The Review

One of my earlier memories as a reader is of me sitting in my mum’s car (which was stationary on our driveway) and refusing to leave because I was reading a really good book. That book was Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl. The reason I mention this rather quirky reading location is because that memory has stuck with me and I think that great books can do that to you. If I have a memory of reading a book then I think it must have been good.

I loved Roald Dahl’s dastardly books. They were not your usual happy go lucky fairytales and when you reread them as an adult you can see that there are some pretty sinister things happening. I think that is what made Roald Dahl so successful. In a weird way he told the truth…not of witches turning children into mice (although just because I’ve never seen it happen doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen) but by showing children that the world and the people are not always nice and sometimes people don’t always get their happily ever after. I think that is why – 25 years after Roald Dahl died – that his popularity has sustained.

The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary is the work of scholar Susan Rennie; she celebrates the work of Roald Dahl in this wonderful book which includes so much more than dictionary definitions. She explains literary techniques such as spoonerisms, malapropism and alliteration among many others. She also looks closely at certain characters and stories. It really is a wonderful reminder of all the fantastic stories: from Matilda to Esio Trot, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to James and the Giant Peach. Rennie also included books of Dahl’s that I have to admit that I haven’t read (but they have swiftly been added on my to-be-read pile). On top of all of this, the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary includes the fabulous and instantly recognisable illustrations of the wonderful Quentin Blake.

Reading the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary is best described using one of Roald Dahl’s made up words – GLORIUMTIOUS! No children’s bookshelf is complete without it!

Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary by Susan Rennie is available now.

For more information regarding Roald Dahl please visit www.roalddahl.com.

For more information regarding Oxford University Press please visit www.global.oup.com.

4 Stars