Title: Goodbye, Perfect
Author: Sara Barnard
Pages: 384 Pages
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Goodbye, Perfect is a beautiful and emotional contemporary YA novel, with a powerful friendship at its heart, by bestselling author Sara Barnard.
When I was wild, you were steady . . . Now you are wild – what am I?
Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with a guy Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. And it’s the last person she would have expected.
Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts. As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.
If you pick up a Sara Barnard book and you are expecting warm cuddles and fun friendship frolics then you have definitely selected the wrong author. Barnard’s work is gritty and realistic and it doesn’t patronise its target audience: young adults.
Goodbye, Perfect is a story that focuses on the difficult concept of loyalty. Being loyal is one of the hardest things to be especially when you know that being loyal and being right aren’t always the same thing. This is what protagonist Eden McKinley must come to terms with in Goodbye, Perfect. Eden’s best friend Bonnie is normally the more mature one of them both. She is the straight A student with the perfect academic and behavioural record. She is the chalk to Eden’s cheese. But when Bonnie does the unthinkable and runs away Eden is left to pick up the pieces and re-evaluate the meaning of friendship and what it means to be best friends.
Having read work by Sara Barnard before I can honestly say that she is one of the best writers at understanding and expressing the complexities of teenagers and perfectly navigates the mine field of friendships between teenage girls. Goodbye, Perfect is a must read.
Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard is available now.
For more information regarding Sara Barnard (@saramegan) please visit www.sarabarnardofficial.com.
For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.
Title: The Valentine’s Free Zone – A Love…Maybe Valentine eShort
Author: Fiona Gibson
Pages: 40 Pages
Publisher: Avon Books/Harper Impulse
The Funny One: Part of the Love…Maybe ebook short story collection.
Jenny’s teenage son Cameron wants her out of their flat while he cooks a special Valentine supper for his girlfriend…so how on earth is she supposed to spend the most romantic night of the year?
A laugh-out-loud Valentine’s read, perfect for fans of ‘outnumbered’ and Fern Britton.
There was a time when I would have cherished a Valentine’s free zone but since I am a smug engaged person I love Valentine’s day.
However, all of my single people out there, I do sympathise. Fiona Gibson really does encapsulate the mixed emotions felt on Valentine’s day and this lovely little short is very relatable.
The Valentines Free Zone A Love…Maybe Valentine Short by Fiona Gibson is available now.
For more information regarding Fiona Gibson (@FionaGibson) please visit www.fionagibson.com.
For more information regarding Avon Books (@AvonBooksUK) please visit www.facebook.com/AvonBooksUK.
For more information regarding Harper Impulse (@HarperImpulse) please visit www.harperimpulse.com.
Title: The Last Train Home and Other Stories
Author: Erin Lawless
Pages: 47 Pages
Publisher: Amazon Media
An exciting new collection of sixteen short stories.
Big stories in bitesize, perfect for commuters or a quick read before bedtime.
If you were expecting the usual Erin Lawless style found in The One with the Wedding series or Somewhere Only we Know then this is probably not the short story collection for you. Don’t get me wrong, the stories are really good but they are very different than what I would normally come to expect.
This collection has been described as ‘perfect for commuters’ and you can see why this is the case. The longest story takes just over 10 minutes but the rest are much shorter.
A mixture of modern and historical fiction among others, The Last Train Home and Other Stories is well worth the investment.
The Last Train Home and Other Stories by Erin Lawless is available now.
For more information regarding Erin Lawless (@rinylou) please visit www.erinlawless.co.uk.
Title: The Last Laugh
Author: Tracy Bloom
Pages: 294 Pages
‘I’ve googled it, how to die,’ Jenny says to Maureen. ‘It was full of climbing this mountain, swimming that sea, becoming a marathon runner and raising millions for charity.’
‘Sounds like bloody hard work. You can make it more fun than that surely?’
Jenny discovers her days are numbered at the same time she discovers her husband is having an affair…
Frankly, her life was tough enough already. Two tricky teenagers, her mother’s constant complaints, friends who aren’t up to the job and a career which has been spiralling downwards since she won ‘Sunseeker Tour Rep of the Season’ twenty years ago.
And now this: a cheating husband and a death sentence.
Enough is enough. Jenny vows to keep both catastrophes a secret. She takes her life – and death – into her own hands and decides to live as she did when she was happiest… in 1996. She plans a spectacular 1990’s themed party in place of a wake that she herself will attend. But will she be able to keep her secrets for long enough to have the party of a lifetime?
From No. 1 bestseller Tracy Bloom, The Last Laugh is both hilarious and heartbreaking, a book about how to find happiness and live your life as though every day is your last. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and The Kicking the Bucket List.
I have spoken before about how certain books completely overtake you. They are the books that stick with you long after you have turned the last page and they are the books that you recommend to anyone and everyone (usually a random stranger in a bookshop). Tracy Bloom’s latest book, The Last Laugh, has become one such book.
I was hooked from the get go and I found it very difficult and inconvenient to put down. The Last Laugh tells the story of Jenny, a put-upon mother of two and an unappreciated wife; she has just found out that she is terminally ill. Oh and that her husband is cheating on her (this isn’t a spoiler, it tells you this information in the blurb).
Jenny knows she is dying but instead of putting on a brave face and following medical advice, she decided to live. Really live. Go back to her happiest time and recreate it. Live like it is 1996. And she does so with aplomb.
The character of Jenny is truly inspirational. Faced with the news of her illness she doesn’t just get on with life she is determined to make herself happy. This is a message that we should all try and do on a daily basis not just with the thought of death hanging over us.
There are parts of this story that truly resonated with me and I am in awe of how Bloom managed to articulate feelings that I have had but I have never been able to express. I was both broken and healed by The Last Laugh.
The Last Laugh is a fantastic read that will make you laugh until you turn the last page.
The Last Laugh by Tracy Bloom is available from the 23rd February 2018.
For more information regarding Tracy Bloom (@TracyBBloom) please visit www.tracybloom.com.
For more information regarding Bookouture (@bookouture) please visit www.bookouture.com.