147 ThingsTitle: 147 Things: My User’s Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Belly Buttons by Jim Chapman

Author: Jim Chapman

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan/Sidgwick & Jackson

The Blurb

LIFE IS WEIRD.

Nothing gives you a sense of perspective like finding out just how weird. I’m an extremely curious chap and with this book I wanted to share the content of my noggin, because I think these are the 147 things that have helped me through this thing we call life. Sometimes because it shows how lucky we are to be here at all, but often because I’m a moron and learned whatever lesson it taught me the hard way, and I’d like to save you the pain of making the same mistakes (I refer here to the waxing of my pubic hair).

Ever wondered if first times are over-rated (hint: they are), whether you’ll ever find the one (hint: there are 7 billion of us) or pondered the sheer unlikelihood of the you who is you being in the world right now? If so, then YouTube superstar and fact-obsessed, over-sharer Jim Chapman is here to explain it all – whether it’s why your heart actually aches after a break-up, what’s happening when you get hangry, or why people are just so plain RUDE online.

Along the way, we’ll find out how much fun he has when Tanya’s sleep-talking and why he looked like a gangly T-rex with wonky teeth when he was a teenager. As with his videos, no subject is off-limits, as Jim lifts the lid on his life and his relationships, sharing embarrassing stories and things he’s learnt along the way (trust us, the thing about kangaroos will really freak you out).

The Review

I love stuff. I love facts. I love knowing things. It is this reason why 147 Things: My User’s Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Belly Buttons by Jim Chapman is the perfect book for me.

It is a culmination of a curious mind in book form. Jim Chapman has posed very serious life questions and answered them in a serious (and seriously hilarious) way.

I will admit that whilst I was enjoying 147 Things: My User’s Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Belly Buttons it wasn’t until I got to the 123 thing that I was really blown away. Jim Chapman voiced a thought that has plagued me all my life and I realise that we should have some deep and meaningful conversations about life. I don’t think it is going to happen but man we could shoot the poop something wicked. I’m not going to tell you where Jim Chapman and my train of thoughts meet. You are going to have to buy and read his book for that.

147 Things: My User’s Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Belly Buttons by Jim Chapman is available now.

For more information regarding Jim Chapman (@JimChapman) please visit www.jimchapman.co.uk.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

4 Stars

NevermoorTitle: Nevermoor – The Trials of Morrigan Crow

Author: Jessica Townsend

Pages: 374 Pages

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group/Orion Children’s Books

The Blurb

Enter the Wundrous world of Morrigan Crow and Nevermoor – the most fantastical children’s release of the year.

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks – and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart – an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests – or she’ll have to leave the city and confront her deadly fate once and for all.

Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and His Dark Materials, this series takes readers into an extraordinary world, setting hope and imagination alive.

The Review

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow has blown me away.

Wow. Just wow.

For the past 374 pages I have been completely lost in the world of Nevermoor. I had such a clear image in my head of this world. It became a perfect movie in my mind. There is no bigger compliment that I can give an author than expressing how their writing became almost tangible in my head and Jessica Townsend achieved this with spades.

Morrigan Crow is a heroine not to be messed with. She is vulnerable but fierce, feisty but likeable. She is a girl on a mission. She will join the Wundrous Society. Morrigan has been plucked from her old life where she has essentially died and has been brought to Nevermoor to compete in trials. However, because she is a cursed child she becomes embroiled in a mystery which could see her exiled from her new home.

I have not done Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow justice in this description. You need to just read it.

I usually donate my read books to the library in the school I work but I know I won’t be able to part with this book…so I bought the school a copy. That is how much I think this is a book that deserves to be read.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend is available now.

For more information regarding Jessica Townsend (@digressica) please visit www.instagram.com/digressica/

For more information regarding Hachette Children’s Group (@HachetteKids) and Orion Children’s Books (@the_orionstar) please visit www.hachettechildren’s.co.uk.

5 Stars

The Temptation of AdamTitle: The Temptation of Adam

Author: Dave Connis

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing/Sky Pony Press

The Blurb

Adam Hawthorne is fine. Yeah, his mother left, his older sister went with her, and his dad would rather read Nicholas Sparks novels than talk to him. And yeah, he spends his nights watching self-curated porn video playlists. But Adam is fine.

When a family friend discovers Adam’s porn addiction, he’s forced to join an addiction support group: the self-proclaimed Knights of Vice. He goes because he has to, but the honesty of the Knights starts to slip past his defenses. Combine that with his sister’s out-of-the-blue return and the attention of a girl he meets in an AA meeting, and all the work Adam has put into being fine begins to unravel. Now Adam has to face the causes and effects of his addiction, before he loses his new friends, his prodigal sister, and his almost semi-sort-of girlfriend.

The Review

I didn’t really know what to expect with The Temptation of Adam. It was another of those books that I read on the basis of being intrigued by the cover. What I got was my favourite kind of YA fiction. It is a coming-of-age novel that tackles issues in a new and fresh way.

Adam is an addict. He is addicted to porn and his attitude towards women is being affected by this. After an incident in school, Adam is saved by his teacher and family friend Mr Cratcher and is forced to work out his demons by helping him with a music project and going to therapy. Adam is reluctant. He is a recalcitrant teenager with not just one but a whole bag of chips of his shoulder.

It is through this servitude and his unlikely friendship with the Knights of Vice (all addicts in the group) that Adam is able to confront his demons.

I really enjoyed reading The Temptation of Adam. It is a novel with several layers and underneath those layers is a big thumping heart. It is the sort of novel that I would happily read again.

The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis is available now.

For more information regarding Dave Connis (@DaveConnis) please visit www.daveconnis.com.

For more information regarding Skyhorse Publishing (@skyhorsepub) please visit www.skyhorsepublishing.com.

For more information regarding Sky Pony Press (@skyponypress) please visit www.skyponypress.com.

35 Stars

The Fabulous O'LearysTitle: Presenting…The Fabulous O’Learys

Author: Caron Freeborn

Pages: 214 Pages

Publisher: Holland House Books

The Blurb

Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen, see the freaks in their natural habitat.  Only cost you your bloody soul.

It is the 1980s: the theatre is crumbling, and show business is changing forever. When veteran actor Ken O’Leary retires, to the disgust of his eccentric, dependent family, they instinctively look to the mute and unendingly withdrawn Glen for salvation. Gentle, starving Delia and her ambitious actor boyfriend Eddie, sexy singer Raquel, circus aerial artist Lesley and a host of midgets, Tourette’s tics and managers squabble – bringing about family breaches, inappropriate sexual relationships, even death.  As the family fractures, their eccentricities raise the question of what it means to be outside of the norm; to be different.

This is a book about disability – and a book not about disability at all.

The Review

Well. There we go.

I’m not too sure what to say about Presenting…The Fabulous O’Learys. I don’t think I liked the story. I didn’t dislike it. I’m just sort of indifferent to it.

The story centres around a showbiz family. There are singers, actors and circus performers; there are also those who deal with being in a showbiz family without actually being in the business. Like all families there are secrets and lies. That is pretty much all I can say about it.

Some people will really like this story. Personally it didn’t do it for me.

Presenting…The Fabulous O’Learys by Caron Freeborn is available now.

For more information regarding Caron Freeborn (@CaronFreeborn) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Holland House Books (@HhouseBooks) please visit www.HhouseBooks.com.

2 Stars

Coming Home to the Comfort Food CafeTitle: Coming Home to the Comfort Farm Café

Author: Debbie Johnson

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins UK/Harper Impulse

The Blurb

Welcome to the cosy Comfort Food Café, where there’s kindness in every cup of hot chocolate and the menu is sprinkled with love and happiness…

Moving to the little village of Budbury, Zoe hopes the crisp Dorset sea breeze and gentle pace of life will be a fresh start for her and her goddaughter, Martha.

Luckily for them both, the friendly community at the café provide listening ears, sage advice, shoulders to cry on, and some truly excellent carrot cake. And when Martha’s enigmatic, absent father suddenly turns up, confusing not only Martha but Zoe too, the love and support of their new-found friends is the best present they could ask for.

Have Zoe and Martha truly found their home at the Comfort Food Café?

The Review

In my four and a half year of doing book reviews I have had the pleasure and the privilege of getting to read the work of some really great authors. The greatest aspect of reviewing though is meeting an author through their writing and then having them become one of your favourite and trusted authors. For me that writer is Debbie Johnson. For me, she can do no wrong and once again she has proven me right with Coming Home to the Comfort Farm Café.

I truly believe that Budbury, the Comfort Farm Café and the characters that live there have magical healing powers. I want to live there. I want to be in the novel, in every book in this series.

In this third instalment we meet Zoe and Martha; both broken by the loss of Kate (Zoe’s best friend and Martha’s Mother) and are looking to be healed. Martha has become self destructive since her mother’s death so Zoe makes the decision to relocate to Budbury.

Like the previous novels in the Comfort Food Café series, more than just comfort food will help with the healing process.

Ok, as cheesy as this may sound these books are aptly named. Whenever I read them I do feel comforted. It may be that I feel like I am meeting old friends in the staple characters or the fact that they have managed to remain happy and now are helping others. I just love these books. Long may the series continue.

Coming Home to the Comfort Farm Café by Debbie Johnson is available now.

For more information regarding Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnson) please visit www.debbiemjohnsonauthor.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

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

5 Stars