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

Almost MidnightTitle: Kindred Spirits

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 77 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell is a beautiful gift edition containing two wintery short storiesdecorated throughout for the first time with gorgeous black and white illustrations by Simini Blocker.

Midnights is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year’s Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time . . .

Kindred Spirits is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan.

Midnights was previously published as part of the My True Love Gave to Me anthology, edited by Stephanie Perkins and Kindred Spirits was previously published as a World Book Day title.

The Review

Kindred Spirits is a charming short story of a misplaced meet cute and a love of Star Wars. It follows the three day queue to see the latest Star Wars movie and the beourgeoning relationship between Elena and Gabe.

This is an adorably cute story about two people bonding over something that they both love. I think with any kind of fandom meeting people who share your love can go one of two ways. The first being that you bond so freaking hard it is like you have been besties for life or you become competitive over who is the bigger fan.

There is a little mix of both in this lovely little story and a big bunch of charm thrown in too. The force is strong in this one!

For more information regarding Rainbow Rowell (@RainbowRowell) please visit www.rainbowrowell.com.

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

3 Stars

The Phantom's ApprenticeTitle: The Phantom’s Apprentice

Author: Heather Webb

Pages: 350 Pages

Publisher: Sonnet Press

The Blurb

Christine Daaé sings with her violinist father in salons all over Paris, but she longs to practice her favourite pastime—illusions. When her beloved Papa dies during a conjurer’s show, she abandons her magic and surrenders to grief and guilt. Life as a female illusionist seems too dangerous, and she must honour her father’s memory.

Concerned for her welfare, family friend Professor Delacroix secures an audition for her at the Opéra de Paris—the most illustrious stage in Europe. Yet Christine soon discovers the darker side of Paris opera. Rumours of murder float through the halls, and she is quickly trapped between a scheming diva and a mysterious phantom. The Angel of Music.

But is the Angel truly a spirit, or a man obsessed, stalking Christine for mysterious reasons tangled in her past?

As Christine’s fears mount, she returns to her magical arts with the encouragement of her childhood friend, Raoul. Newfound hope and romance abounds…until one fateful night at the masquerade ball. Those she cares for—Delacroix, the Angel, and even Raoul—aren’t as they seem. Now she must decide whom she trusts and which is her rightful path: singer or illusionist.

To succeed, she will risk her life in the grandest illusion of all.

The Review

I love the musical version The Phantom of the Opera. It is dramatic, intense and chock full of great songs but I have yet to read the book that it was based on by Gaston Leroux. Heather Webb has cleverly woven new life into the story by adding her own fresh twist.

In Webb’s version, Christine is a practiced illusionist and longs to perform magic rather than music but she gets embroiled in the melodramatic opera performances at the Paris Opera House. She becomes embroiled in murderous schemes and subterfuge without even realising it. As a reader you care constantly questioning who is the good guy and who am I supposed to champion. Even if you know the story to The Phantom of the Opera, Webb has made the mystery so compelling you begin to question everything.

Although it is only 350 pages long, you do feel like the story takes time to unravel. It is fast paced but it also gives you time to appreciate the mystery involved.

The Phantom’s Apprentice is a really unusual take on The Phantom of the Opera and it deals with much more complex issues than you would naturally assume – feminism, for example. All the while, maintaining the feel of a jolly good mystery.

The Phantom’s Apprentice by Heather Webb is available now.

For more information regarding Heather Webb (@msheatherwebb) please visit www.heatherwebb.net.

3 Stars

Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a FuckTitle: The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck – How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do

Author: Sarah Knight

Pages: 209 Pages

Publisher: Quercus Books

The Blurb

Are you stressed out, overbooked and underwhelmed by life? Fed up with pleasing everyone else before you please yourself? It’s time to stop giving a f*ck.

This brilliant, hilarious, and practical parody of Marie Kondo’s best seller The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame, and guilt – and give your f*cks instead to people and things that make you happy.

The easy-to-use, two-step Not Sorry Method for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f*ck about.

Family drama

Having a “bikini body”


Co-workers opinions, pets and children.

And other bullsh*t! And it will free you to spend your time, energy, and money on the things that really matter. So what are you waiting for? Stop giving a f*ck and start living your best life today!

The Review

So, my state of mind when reading this book was particularly heightened and tense. I was pee’ off. I was in hospital having a pretty crappy time and I was a Grumpy Gerty.

Therefore, choosing not to give a f*ck made perfect sense to me.

In retrospect, now I am out of hospital and less of a drama queen I’m not sure I could apply all of these principles in my everyday life.

It is a rather interesting and emboldening read and I do recommend that people should give it a go…I’m just not sure I am brave enough

 The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck – How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do by Sarah Knight is available now.

For more information regarding Quercus Books (@QuercusBooks) please visit www.quercusbooks.co.uk.

3 Stars

Parsnips ButteredTitle: Parsnips, Buttered: How to Win at Modern Life, One Email at a Time

Author: Joe Lycett

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

The Blurb

Dear Reader,

Life is hard. We are a bombarded generation: Facebook, billboards, Twitter, Instagram, taxes, newspapers, watches monitoring our sleep, apps that read our pulse, terrorism. There’s such an onslaught to the senses these days it’s a marvel any of us manage to get out of bed. I love bed.

While we are overwhelmed and confused by the miasmic cloud of information, there are those that seek to take advantage: there are parking fines, hate Tweets, Nigerian email scams and Christmas newsletters from old school friends about their ugly kids. And just as we’re getting round to doing something about it, we’re distracted again.

I, Joe Lycett, comedian, wordsmith, and professional complainer, am here to help. During my short life of doing largely nothing I’ve discovered solutions to many of life’s problems, which I impart to you, dear Reader. Containing a centurion of complaint letters to unsuspecting celebrities, companies and anyone brave enough to clog up my phone, as well as illustrations, one-liners , jokes and life hacks, this little gem offers you a collection of tips and advice* for all manner of modern woe. By the time you have finished reading this book you will have learnt how to:

– Reverse a parking fine
– Manipulate the tabloid press
– Navigate social media
– Respond to hate mail
– Out-weird internet trolls
– Contest a so-called ripe avocado
– Send the perfect Christmas newsletter
– Defeat ISIS
– Take down multi-national companies

Joe Lycett x

* If you are looking for guidance with taxes, quitting smoking, moving house, love, divorce, education, healthcare or anything actually important may I recommend speaking to friends or family members and not consulting a book by a comedian who eats halloumi at least twice a day.


The Review

I really, really wanted to say something mean about this book. Not because I didn’t like it or because I hate Joe Lycett. Au contraire, mon frère(s) (et souers). I just really wanted to write something mean with the crazy hope that Joe Lycett may reply with one of his really funny retorts. Alas, I realised that I was probably just dreaming that it would happen and decided to stick with the truth.

I loved Parsnips, Buttered: How to Win at Modern Life, One Email at a Time by Joe Lycett. Like, bloody loved it. I was so grateful that I read it at home and not out in public because I am pretty sure people would have actively avoided me because I snorted when reading it.

So, yes, there it is, I loved it….unless Joe Lycett does read this and is debating whether or not to send a reply – snarky or not – then I am going to add fuel to his fire by saying it is sh*t (but it is really not).

Parsnips, Buttered: How to Win at Modern Life, One Email at a Time by Joe Lycett is available now.

For more information regarding Joe Lycett (@joelycett) please visit www.joelycett.com.

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBooks) please visit www.hodder.co.uk.

4 Stars