Title: Valentine’s Day at the Café at the End of the Pier

Author: Helen Rolfe

Pages: 30 Pages

Publisher: Orion

The Blurb

Searching for love? You’ll find it at The Café at the End of the Pier…

When Jo’s beloved grandparents as for her help in running their little café at the end of the pier in Salthaven-on-Sea she jumps at the chance.

The café is a hub for many people: the single dad who brings his little boy in on a Saturday morning; the lady who sits alone and stares out to sea; the woman who pops in after her morning run.

Jo soon realises that each of her customers is looking for love – and she knows just the way to find it for them. She goes about setting each of them up on blind dates – each date is held I the café, with a special menu she has designed for the occasion.

But Jo has never fond love herself. She always held her grandparents’ marriage up as her ideal and she hasn’t found anything close to that. But could it be that love is right under her nose…?

The Review

Ah I love the love and that is exactly what I loved about Valentine’s Day at the Café at the End of the Pier – the love.

The first part in a serialisation of books introduces us to Jo. She is a little bit lost. She has spent time in Scotland but has come to Salthaven-on-Sea to take over the café that her grandparents own. They are getting close to retirement but they want the café to continue in its grand tradition but with a new lease of life. Enter Jo.

You get the feeling that sad things have happened to Jo in the past but not much has been revealed yet. You also get the feeling that she too loves the love. We know in the series she is going to try and set people up (those who frequent the café) but there is always a hint that some good lovin’ will come her way.

Valentine’s Day at the Café at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe was such a cute easy read and I cannot wait for the next instalment.

Valentine’s Day at the Café at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe is available now.

For more information regarding Helen Rolfe (@HJRolfe) please visit www.helenjrolfe.com.

For more information regarding Orion (@orionbook) please visit www.orionbooks.co.uk.

3 Stars

Title: Mind the Gap

Author: Phil Earle

Pages: 104 Pages

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

The Blurb

When Mikey’s dad died, something in Mikey died too. He loved his old man and he never stopped dreaming that one day his dad would land the role of a lifetime, prove them all wrong, and rock back up to the estate in the flashiest car anyone had ever seen. Now there’s just numbness, and not caring, and really, really stupid decisions. He says the worst of it is that he can’t even remember his dad’s voice any more. Eventually Mikey’s best mate can’t bear it anymore, and so he sets out to give Mikey the memories – and his dad’s voice – back

The Review

I originally chose to read Mind the Gap by Phil Earle because I was confused. Yes, I am very dumb sometimes. I was looking for the Carnegie Award longlist and instead found the long long list, bought Mind the Gap and set about reading it.

Even though it is only a small book I finished it in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down.

Imagine my disbelief when I realised that it hadn’t actually been shortlisted to the longlist. Sad times.

The story is about two best friends. One is suffering the unbearable loss of a parent and the other is trying to help him come to terms with it. It is a true testament to the power of friendship. A lovely, heart-warming read that speaks of real issues.

Well done Phil Earle.

Mind the Gap by Phil Earle is available now.

For more information regarding Phil Earle (@philearle) please visit www.philearle.com.

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

4 Stars

Bad RomanceTitle: Bad Romance

Author: Heather Demetrios

Pages: 360 Pages

Publisher: Henry Holt

The Blurb

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director – anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling, dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiralling into darkness – and emerging into the light again.

The Review

It is very rare that I end up with a book hangover so powerful that I can’t even choose the next book I want to read but that is exactly what happened when I finished Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios.

Bad Romance is Grace’s story. She is your typical theatre loving teenage girl who is lusting after one of her classmates, Gavin.

Gavin is hot, he is a rock god and best of all he seems to like Grace too. Bad Romance follows their relationship over the year and shows how the course of true love never runs smoothly…and when that happens you need to get the hell outta there.

Demetrios tackles some seriously hardcore issues in this YA novel. Ones that young adults may have been sheltered from previously such as domestic violence, sexual attacks and bad family dynamics. It is a hard hitting book with a contentious undercurrent but the best thing I can say about Bad Romance is that it is brave.

Bad Romance genuinely left me feeling completely shaken and I know it is a book that has imprinted itself on my brain.

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios is available now.

For more information regarding Heather Demetrios (@HDemetrios) please visit www.heatherdemetrios.com.

For more information regarding Henry Holt (@HenryHolt) please visit us.macmillan.com/HenryHolt.aspx.

For more information regarding Bad Romance please visit www.badromancebook.tumbler.com.

5 Stars

The Hazel WoodTitle: The Hazel Wood

Author: Melissa Albert

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s

The Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate – the Hazel Wood – Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away – by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began . . .

The Review

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert is one of the strangest books I have read in a long time. That is not to say that it wasn’t good. It really was but some books I have read in the past have been weird and have left me with the feeling that I haven’t a clue what I had just read and I don’t feel good about it. The Hazel Wood left me wanting to know more about the history of fairy tales.

Melissa Wood’s book is creepy and dark and twisty and completely compelling to read. It makes you feel uncomfortable like you have stepped out of your comfort zone but the story of a child trying to make her way back to her mother is an undeniably effective thread that keeps you turning the pages.

The Hazel Wood will go down as one of the strangest books I have read over the past few years but it will certainly be one I recommend to others.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert is available now.

For more information regarding Melissa Albert (@mimi_albert) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Penguin Random House UK Children’s (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

3 Stars

Title: Saving Miranda: A Love…Maybe Valentine eShort

Author: Catherine Ferguson

Pages: 51 Pages

Publisher: Harper Impulse/Avon Books

The Blurb

The Serendipitous One: Part of the Love…Maybe ebook short story collection.

Finding love isn’t always a walk in the park…

Miranda falls head over heels for dynamic (but mysteriously absent) Rufus and his desire to rescue the planet, but has she really found her perfect match?

A warm-hearted and humourous short story from the bestselling author of Humbugs and Heartstrings.

The Review

What a little gem of a story.

I have read most of the Love…Maybe series and Saving Miranda stands out because it is so funny. Miranda is a Bridget Jones-esque character who always ends up in some sort of pickle. She is the cause of many of the humorous situations in this book.

Ferguson uses the concept that ‘friends know best’ and has Miranda succumb to the charms of two men. Saving Miranda is a great read. I read it whilst waiting to have some blood tests so it is definitely a good read for your next doctor’s visit or your daily commute. It is a short but sassy read.

Saving Miranda: A Love…Maybe Valentine eShort by Catherine Ferguson is available now.

For more information regarding Catherine Ferguson (@_cathferguson) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Avon Books (@AvonBooksUK) please visit www.avonbooks.co.uk.

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

3 Stars