Tell MeTitle: Tell Me

Author: Abigail Strom

Pages: 252 Pages

Publisher: Montlake Romance

The Blurb

Shy bookstore owner Jane Finch grew up hiding in the margins of her own life while her vibrant, adventure-loving sister, Samantha, dominated every plotline. She’s made peace with it, unlike Sam’s business partner, Caleb, who’s always nudging Jane to go after what she really wants. Why should she care what blunt, brash Caleb thinks? They’ve never had much in common, except for Sam.

After tragedy strikes, they don’t even have that.

Caleb can’t quite remember when Sam’s little sister stopped being like a surrogate sibling to him and became just…Jane. She’s the most intriguing woman he’s ever met, and so much sexier and stronger than she thinks. On the emotional journey to honour Sam’s memory, the spark they’ve tried to deny becomes an inferno. This journey was meant to be an ending, but will they discover an unexpected new beginning?

The Review

Well knock me over with a feather. Tell Me by Abigail Strom was not what I was expecting. I was expecting a bit of fluff…maybe a few steamy passages but I wasn’t expecting it to pack a powerful and emotional punch.

Tell Me is the story of Jane Finch, a book shop owner with a penchant for the nerdy. She is the polar opposite of her outgoing sister Sam. They epitomise the saying chalk and cheese. In truth Jane has always been a little jealous of Sam especially when every man that Jane likes seems to fall at Sam’s gorgeous feet.

Then there is Caleb. Dependable Caleb who is like an itch that Jane can’t scratch. He also happens to be Sam’s business partner.

It is through a personal tragedy (which I promise will leave you gasping in shock) that really starts the unravelling of Tell Me. At that point it becomes completely un-put-down-able and you end up swept in the high drama and romance.

Tell Me is so much more than you would think from its cover. You need to give this book a try because the passion is so palpable. I loved it and it takes a lot for me to truly fall in love with a love story.

Tell Me by Abigail Strom is available now.

For more information regarding Abigail Strom (@AbigailStrom) please visit www.abigailstrom.com.

35 Stars

All the Dirty PartsTitle: All the Dirty Parts

Author: Daniel Handler

Pages: 144 Pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

The Blurb

From bestselling, award-winning author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), a gutsy, exciting novel that looks honestly at the erotic impulses of an all-too-typical young man.

Cole is a boy in high school. He runs cross country, he sketches, he jokes around with friends. But none of this quite matters next to the allure of sex. “Let me put it this way,” he says. “Draw a number line, with zero is you never think about sex and ten is, it’s all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex.”

Cole fantasizes about whomever he’s looking at. He consumes and shares pornography. And he sleeps with a lot of girls, which is beginning to earn him a not-quite-savory reputation around school. This leaves him adrift with only his best friend for company, and then something startling starts to happen between them that might be what he’s been after all this time-and then he meets Grisaille.

All The Dirty Parts is an unblinking take on teenage desire in a culture of unrelenting explicitness and shunted communication, where sex feels like love, but no one knows what love feels like. With short chapters in the style of Jenny Offill or Mary Robison, Daniel Handler gives us a tender, brutal, funny, intoxicating portrait of an age when the lens of sex tilts the world. “There are love stories galore,” Cole tells us, “This isn’t that. The story I’m typing is all the dirty parts.”

The Review

Daniel Handler’s new release, All the Dirty Parts, is an entertaining story and a stark insight into the inner workings of a teenage boys mind.

The story follows Cole, a bit of a player, likes the sex but doesn’t deal with the emotional consequences for his conquests. His main goal is to score. That is until he meets his match in Grisaille.

It is through Grisaille that Cole finally gets his emotional comeuppance. Finally he gets a taste of his own medicine.

So imagine The Inbetweeners with less humour and you have All the Dirty Parts. That sounds a bit harsh but there really wasn’t much humour in the story and maybe it took itself too seriously.

All the Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler is available now.

For more information regarding Daniel Handler (@DanielHandler) please visit www.danielhandler.com.

For more information regarding Bloomsbury Publishing (@BloomsnuryBooks) please visit www.bloomsbury.com.

2 Stars

Bad Choices Make Good StoriesTitle: Bad Choices Make Good Stories – Going to New York

Author: Oliver Markus Mallloy

Pages: 202 Pages

Publisher: Becker and Malloy

The Blurb

Bad Choices Make Good Stories is a darkly funny coming-of-age novel based on true events. Oliver, a teenage hacker living in Germany, meets Donna online. She’s an American girl living in New York. After chatting and talking on the phone for months, he finally decides to surprise her with a visit. But he soon finds out that things are not what they appeared to be, and that this visit will change his life forever.

The Review

Oh boy.

It is hard to review this book when I kind of really disliked the protagonist. It is even harder to be impartial when the main character is a real life person. Sorry Oliver Markus Black.

Throughout the stories Markus Black seems to celebrate some the most seediest parts of his life and when things don’t necessarily go his way he paints himself as the victim.

His stories became tedious to read because they were so egocentric and I rapidly became bored with his vapid tales.

Bad Choices Make Good Stories may be the title of the book but it wasn’t that interesting to me.

Bad Choices Make Good Stories by Oliver Markus Malloy is available now.

For more information regarding Oliver Markus Malloy (@oliver_m_malloy) please visit www.mally.rocks.

1 star

The NoteTitle: The Note

Author: Zoe Folbigg

Pages: 293 Pages

Publisher: Aria Fiction

The Blurb

The note changed everything…

One very ordinary day, Maya Flowers sees a new commuter board her train to London, and suddenly the day isn’t ordinary at all. Maya knows immediately and irrevocably, that he is The One.

But the beautiful man on the train always has his head in a book and never seems to notice Maya sitting just down the carriage from him every day. Eventually, though, inspired by a very wise friend, Maya plucks up the courage to give the stranger a note asking him out for a drink. Afterall, what’s the worst that can happen?

And so begins a story of sliding doors, missed opportunities and finding happiness where you least expect it.

Based on the author’s true story, The Note is an uplifting, life-affirming reminder that taking a chance can change everything…

The Review

Oh I needed to read a sweet romance and boy did I get one with Zoe Folbigg’s semi-autobiographical debut, The Note.

Maya is in love with Train Man. She sees him every morning. She knew from the first time she saw him that he was the one. But of course the love – much like the London tube system during peak hour – never runs smoothly.

With twists and turns a plenty, The Note really is a heart-warming love story. There were at times that I felt that Folbigg over told the description of thing but I think coming from her background as freelancer in fashion that is something to be expected. Overall though, I was enchanted by this story of will they won’t they.

Even if you just pick it up to read on your commute then you won’t be disappointed. I cannot guarantee that you won’t miss your stop.

The Note by Zoe Folbigg is available now.

For more information regarding Zoe Folbigg (@zolington) please visit www.zoefolbigg.com.

For more information regarding Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction) please visit www.ariafiction.com.

35 Stars

 

Grand Theft OctoTitle: Grand Theft Octo

Author: Niels Saunders

Pages: 191 Pages

Publisher: Niels Saunders

The Blurb

When Jonathan Doe is fired from his office job for stealing too much stationery, he becomes an entrepreneur of businesses the world has never seen. After a disastrous start at freelance taxidermy, he moves onto professional octopus teasing. Will he fail again or make his fortune? Is he really a professional or just a con artist? Desperate to succeed, his plans become more outlandish, from stealing theme park mascots at gunpoint to fighting deranged restaurant tycoons. As the enemies he makes seek revenge, both his life and business are threatened, until his world spirals into mayhem and violence. Set in the fictional city of Vestibue, England, Grand Theft Octo is a wild and hilarious ride that strikes at the heart of aspirational culture.

The Review

What the actual eff have I just read?

Grand Theft Octo is a very strange book which seems to have little purpose to get from beginning to end. It really has no clear narrative path to reach a goal.

It is similar in style to Youth in Revolt and Jonathan Doe seems to be a similar character to Nick Twisp. I didn’t enjoy Youth in Revolt and I didn’t enjoy Grand Theft Octo.

This is 191 pages of my reading life that I will never get back. Sad times.

Grand Theft Octo by Niels Saunders is available now.

For more information regarding Niels Saunders (@Nielzor) please visit www.nielssaunders.com.

1 star