Title: Wilder Girls

Author: Rory Power

Pages: 357 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Everyone loses something to the Tox; Hetty lost her eye, Reese’s hand has changed, and Byatt just disappeared completely.

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put in quarantine. The Tox turned the students strange and savage, the teachers died off one by one. Cut off from the mainland, the girls don’t dare wander past the school’s fence where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure as the Tox takes; their bodies becoming sick and foreign, things bursting out of them, bits missing.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her best friend, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie in the wilderness past the fence. As she digs deeper, she learns disturbing truths about her school and what else is living on Raxter Island. And that the cure might not be a cure at all . . .

The Review

Oh boy. I hate it when I dislike a book but man I really did not gel with Wilder Girls. I just didn’t see the point of it.

I read it as a buddy read with my friend Clare over at ABookandTea.com and even she felt the same.

The story which had a feeling of a modern day Lord of the Flies was a dystopian campus novel which on the surface seemed like it would be a great story but for me it really struggled with pacing and making the reader care about the characters. I just failed to see the point.

The one redeeming factor for me was the duality of characters – you didn’t know which ones to believe.

Overall, I was seriously disappointed.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power is available now.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit there Twitter account.

Title: Love, Lies and Lemon Cake

Author: Sue Watson

Pages: 290 Pages

Publisher: Bookouture

The Blurb

Faye Dobson has lost her sparkle. Living on film star fantasies and vague memories of a marriage that once was, she can’t help feeling that life is passing her by. She dreams of being whisked to Paris for dinner, making three wishes at the Trevi fountain and having sex under the stars. But the wrinkles are multiplying, her husband’s passion is for plumbing, and the nearest she’ll get to Rome is a take-away pizza. 

So when Faye meets Dan the gorgeous Australian surfer guy working in the local deli she can’t help but wonder what it would be like to see the world. He is blonde, tanned, ten years younger and bakes the most amazing lemon cake. Unlike her husband Dan actually listens to Faye, his smile makes her feel fizzy inside, and when he smiles… Oh. My. God. 

But is Faye being silly? What would Dan see in someone like her? Even if he did have feelings for her, could she give everything up to be with him? 

A laugh-out-loud, bittersweet comedy about taking your life back before it’s too late.

The Review

Sometimes you need a little bit of light relief and admittedly I have been reading some heavier texts lately. So when I picked up Sue Watson’s Love, Lies and Lemon Cake I was hoping for a sprinkle of sweetness and a book that I could completely escape into and one that I could put down without stressing out. Sue Watson delivered.

It is the story of Faye, a woman old before her time who finds a new lease of life and starts living it to the max. This is book full of hope, joy and at times was a little bit spicy.

Romantic comedies are not my usual cup of tea but Love, Lies and Lemon Cake really did have me giggling aloud. A brilliant beach read for the summer.

Love, Lies and Lemon Cake by Sue Watson is available now.

For more information regarding Sue Watson (@suewatsonwriter) please visit www.suewatsonbooks.com.

For more information regarding Bookouture (@bookouture) please visit www.bookouture.com.

Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s

The Blurb

I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances . . . 

Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly is always careful. Better to be careful than be hurt. 

But when Cassie gets a new girlfriend who comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick, everything changes. Will is funny, flirtatious and basically the perfect first boyfriend. 

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid, the awkward Tolkien superfan she could never fall for . . . right?

A heartwarming and hilarious story about growing up and learning to be comfortable in your own skin.

The Review

No one does awkward teenage moments as good as Becky Albertalli. She makes me want to live in her novels and be one of her characters. The Upside to Unrequited is one of her earlier novels that I have left far too long on my bookshelf. It is a gorgeous story about finding your place and knowing that growing up isn’t a race.

Our protagonist, Molly, struggles with the burgeoning changes going on around her – mainly the relationship that her twin sister Cassie has found herself in. Molly feels like she can’t keep up and with the added pressure of Cassie trying to set her up with a boy just for the sake of it Molly is rightly feeling discombobulated. However, when she meets Reid she may have just found the ying to her yang. But will her socially awkward self be able to follow this through?

Albertalli deals with so many conscientious issues such as LGBTQIA+ rights, mental health, relationships in such a beautiful way. She curates the stories which both seamlessly weave these issues into the plot and makes them seem completely unremarkable which highlights how remarkable and important they are. I, for one, am here for that kind of story telling.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli is available now.

For more information regarding Becky Albertalli (@beckyalbertalli) please visit www.beckyalbertalli.com

For more information regarding Penguin Random House UK Children’s (@penguinrandom) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.com.

Title: The Last List of Mabel Beaumont

Author: Laura Pearson

Pages: 310 Pages

Publisher: Boldwood Books

The Blurb

The list he left had just one item on it. Or, at least, it did at first…

Mabel Beaumont’s husband Arthur loved lists. He’d leave them for her everywhere. ‘Remember: eggs, butter, sugar’. ‘I love you: today, tomorrow, always’.

But now Arthur is gone. He died: softly, gently, not making a fuss. But he’s still left her a list. This one has just one item on it though: ‘Find D’.

Mabel feels sure she knows what it means. She must track down her best friend Dot, who she hasn’t seen since the fateful day she left more than sixty years ago.

It seems impossible. She doesn’t even know if Dot’s still alive. Also, every person Mabel talks to seems to need help first, with missing husbands, daughters, parents. Mabel finds her list is just getting longer, and she’s still no closer to finding Dot.

What she doesn’t know is that her list isn’t just about finding her old friend. And that if she can admit the secrets of the past, maybe she could even find happiness again…

A completely heartbreaking, beautiful, uplifting story, guaranteed to make you smile but also make you cry. Perfect for fans of My Name is Ove, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and The Keeper of Stories.

The Review

Some books are just special. The Last List of Mabel Beaumont is one such book. It is a book about love, about loss, about identity and most importantly of all it is a book about the power of friendship.

Mabel Beaumont has to readjust her life when her husband Arthur dies however it is through this difficult transition period that Mabel comes into her own as a person – not bad for an octogenarian. However, with that comes the responsibility of confronting her past. Something that Mabel might not be quite ready for.

One of my favourite book tropes is the friendship between young and older people. I love how so much mutual reverence and respect can be harnessed in a story and when it is done well you feel like you are getting a warm hug. Laura Pearson has done this masterfully in The Last List of Mabel Beaumont. Wisdom meets fearlessness. It was lovely.

This is definitely a read that will warm your heart.

The Last List of Mabel Beaumont by Laura Pearson is available now.

For more information regarding Laura Pearson (@LauraPAuthor) please visit www.laurapearsonauthor.com.

For more information regarding Boldwood Books (@BoldwoodBooks) please visit www.boldwoodbooks.com.

Title: The Curious Kidnapping of Nora W

Author: Cate Green

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

I am the oldest person ever to have lived in this world. I am the one who lived through their monster camps and brought the ones left of my family to London to make more family. I am the one to laugh at those angry, evil people and tell them, you see, I made it through. We made it through. This is enough. It is my world’s record.

Family matriarch and Holocaust survivor Nora Wojnaswki is about to become the oldest person in the world, ever, and her family are determined to celebrate in style.

But Nora isn’t your average centenarian and she has other ideas. When she disappears with her carer Arifa on a trip down memory lane in the East End of London, a wartime secret, buried deep for over 70 years, will finally be revealed.

The Review

The Curious Kidnapping of Nora W is one of those rare books that deals with a harrowing topic yet still feels like a massive warm hug in a book.

Nora W is about to become the oldest person to ever live. Not only that but she is a Holocaust survivor. Her life is a massive middle finger to that whole regime. Her family want to celebrate but Nora has other plans. Nora wants to spend her final years living with the same gumption that got her through the horrors of her past but will her family allow her.

Nora is the kind of old person that I want to be. I want to have the power to still be so stubborn in the face of those who feel that they know best and know exactly how to get them on side.

The Curious Kidnapping of Nora W is such a joyous read and I thoroughly recommend it.

The Curious Kidnapping of Nora W by Cate Green is available now.

For more information regarding Cate Green (@saracategreen) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.