When Finlay’s basketball coach asks him for a favour, little does Finlay know that his whole world will be turned upside down by what lies ahead. Finlay has spent the summer in training to be the best basketball player on his team. He and his seasonal girlfriend, Erin, have worked hard pushing themselves to get the best results from their body. For them, basketball may be a way out of the town where they live; a town that is damaged through gang and drug crime.

However, when the coach asks Finlay to take new boy Russ under his wing, Finlay’s spot on the team becomes questionable. To make matters worse, Finlay has to protect Russ, the boy taking his position from the rest of the school. Russ, who is suffering from PTSD after the death of his parents likes to be referred to as Boy21 and believes his father is going to come from outer space and remove him from the planet Earth. This is a lot more than Finlay bargained for in hs final year of high school


Having read all but one of Matthew Quick’s books (Sorta Like A Rockstar is on my TBR pile) I have to say that so far Boy21 has been my favourite. I loved the balance of real world problems with teen angst and drama. The linking to the cosmos and space made you see how small some of the problems actually were.

I think that Quick has a knack for finding a voice for contentious issues and displays them so well in his narratives. Finlay’s love of basketball versus the love he has for Erin; that Finlay wants to do right by Russ even though he knows that eventually it will cost him his spot on the basketball team.

Quick appeals to your emotional side, making you want to root for Finlay whilst seeing the bigger picture. He weaves a social setting which is fraught with drama yet does not seem unrealistic. He uses sports to show how it can help you, not only with your peer but by giving you something to focus on and root for. Quick has created a cast of characters and a story that leaves you thinking for a long time afterwards.

Boy21 by Matthew Quick is available now.


Ok. So I know I have recently done my big round up but now it is time for my weekly TBR list. As I said on the round up I am back in work this week and my granddaddy is coming to visit so my reading time is going to be severely hindered this week. However, I will try and get as much done as possible.

Here is the list of books I am going to aim to read this week:

Chelsea Bird by Virginia Ironside – 119 pages (NetGalley)

The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus – 320 pages (NetGalley)

Walt Before Mickey by Timothy S Susanin – 373 pages (NetGalley)

These Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff – 291 pages (NetGalley)

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green 259 pages (Personal Reading List)

Only a brief post today but I hope you all have a great reading week.

L x

This month has been a bit of a topsy turvy month when it comes to reading. I had a few off days when my new meds were making me all kinds of dizzy but I have managed to overcome that somewhat and managed to get through a fair wallop of books. One good thing that happened this month is that I reached book 100. Whoop whoop. I only have nine more to read to beat last year’s total books read.

Here are the books I read in August:

Duff by Kody Keplinger

The Atlas of Us by Tracy Buchanan

Paper Swans by Jessica Thompson

Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

What Might Have Been by Matt Dunn

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth by ACH Smith and Brian Froud

A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Your Beautiful Lies by Louise Douglas

One Kick by Chelsea Cain

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

Necrophilia Variations by Supervert

The Mysterious Affair at Castway House by Stephanie Lam

Boy21 by Matthew Quick (Review to be posted 02.09.14)

My review pile from NetGalley for September is a little astronomical (oxymoron alert). I know – without a shadow of a doubt that – that I will not get through all of them. The reasons for this are three fold. Firstly, I start back at work tomorrow after being off for six months. I am medically fit to work. This is seriously going to cut into my reading time. Boo hiss. Secondly, my Grandaddy is coming to Liverpool for a visit this week. Yay! I haven’t seen him since October and you know what with nearly dying this year I kinda want to spend some time with him. Lastly, it is my birthday month. This shouldn’t cut into my reading time per se, however, a new influx of birthday books will make it difficult to choose which ones to read next even though I know I should be sticking to my NetGalley review pile.

Here are all the books due for review in September.

The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus   Pub 02.09.14

Walt Before Mickey by Timothy S Susanin   Pub 02.09.14

These Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff   Pub 04.09.14

Joni Mitchell by Malka Marom   Pub 09.09.14

Playing with Matches by Suri Rosen   Pub 09.09.14

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel   Pub 10.09.14

Love Me or Leave Me by Claudia Carroll   Pub 11.09.14

Delicious! By Ruth Reichl   Pub 11.09.14

My Other Ex by Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger   Pub 15.09.14

Roots of the Revival by Ronald D Cohen, Rachel Clare Donaldson   Pub 15.09.14

Flirting with French by William Alexander   Pub 16.09.14

I Looked for the One My Heart Loves by Dominique Marny   Pub 16.09.14

Wildlife by Fiona Wood   Pub 16.09.14

It Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Judy Astley   Pub 25.09.14

Michael Jackson’s Dangerous by Susan Fast   Pub 25.09.14

The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani   Pub 25.09.14

The Poet’s Wife by Rebecca Stonehill   Pub 26.09.14

An American Duchess by Sharon Page   Pub 30.09.14

Mademoiselle by Rhonda K Garelick   Pub 30.09.14

The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott   Pub 30.09.14

Some books that I happened to purchase (I know, least it’s not drugs ok?) or won as prizes in August that I would like to read include:

The Virgins by Pamela Erens

Going Vintage by Lyndsey Leavitt

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Love Like the Movies by Victorial Van Tiem

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me by Hilary Winston

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

Candy Girl by Diablo Cody

The List by Joanna Bolouri

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

On top of this, I am trying to break down my 100 book challenge. So I have selected four books which I will try to read. Here they are:

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nikolas Butler.

So I think we can safely say, before it even gets going, that I am going to fail in completing this month’s challenge. I will give it a whirl though. I am also going to try and clear my NetGalley backlog and let’s see if I can get my review percentage rate up to 30% (I am currently dwindling in the low twenties.)

So I hope you all have a good month. Check back on here tomorrow for this week’s TBR pile.

Much bookish love,

Lisa x


When Rosie spends the summer of 1965 renting a room at Castaway house she begins to discover that the house – and its occupants – are not all that they seem. It is with the arrival of the mysterious Dockie, a man who appears to have a connection to the property but no living memory of what that is, that the mystery begins to unravel.


The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House has a little bit of everything; mystery, romance, drama, social and political change. There is something that hooks your interest on each page. The balance of the two time periods is fluid but doesn’t leave you breathless or confused. Mostly, it is the characters that draw you in. In particular, Robert and Rosie, both of whom are the underdogs of the narrative.

Rosie, struggling with her sexuality and a secret that she would rather keep in the past almost echoes the character of Robert Carver. Robert’s secret is his undying love for his cousin’s wife; a love that has landed him in hot water. Both of their stories are tragic and desperate, lost in a time when their wants are not considered socially acceptable.

What Lam has done with this book is create a well thought out, thorough mystery that does have you wanting to turn the next page. Her florid style has crafted an image of two time periods that are both so very vivid and colourful. Her skill lies in the description. The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House played out like a movie in my mind. For a first time novelist, this is an excellent achievement.

Personally, for me, the one thing I didn’t fully appreciate is the neatness of the story. The lack of loose ends seemed to clean for me but then that is the purpose of mystery writing – to not leave the reader asking questions. Lam accomplishes this and I cannot fault her for that. It is just a personal preference in the stories that I read that things are not too neat and tidy. However, people who are frequent readers of mystery dramas (of which I am not) will appreciate Lam’s attention to detail.

The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House by Stephanie Lam is available now.

the mysterioous affair at castaway house


“Why would anyone want to have sex with a corpse? Because it’s there. Because it’s different. Because you can. Because you’re curious. Because you don’t know until you try.”

The basic theme of Necrophilia Variations is that of necrophilia. Like Ronseal, this book does what it says on the packet. It is a collection of short chapter-esque stories that sometimes interlink all focussing on the taboo topic of sex with the dead.


Honestly, I found this book all a bit stupid. It was like it tried to be shocking but then decided to that the best way to be shocking was to normalise the act of sex with cadavers and then become blasé, to throw the term and the action round. It almost tried too hard and lost momentum when the shock value wore off. I am not sure if this is because I approached the book expecting to be blown away by its forbidden subject matter and therefore was just numb to the often repetitive descriptions but it just didn’t live up to the promise that it could have held.

Admittedly, I did find the discussion in one of the later chapters rather amusing when the ectoplasm of a ghost was likened to spiritual lubricant – ‘sperm from the after world’. That was quite entertaining but overall the book just didn’t do it for me…which I suppose is a good thing given that the major theme within its pages is necrophilia. Quite frankly, it is two hundred pages of my life that I am never getting back.

Necrophilia Variations by Supervert is available now.