Title: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 480 Pages

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

The Blurb

In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life-and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

The Review

Cath is your typical 18 year old girl starting college – except she is terrified. She has always had her twin sister, Wren to fall back on. She is the confident one with the social skills that Cath has fallen back on. But now Wren has decided she wants to spread her wings and not to be constantly seen as part of the twin duo anymore and Cath is devastated. Cath has to figure out who she is without her sister’s help.

I love Rainbow Rowell’s books. There has not been one that I have read that I have been disappointed in. She has a brilliant voice for YA fiction. Fangirl is another fantastic example. It I a coming of age novel – my favourite kind – about self discovery and it accurately shows the realities of attending college and the mental strain it can put on people and also the how difficult it can be to find your place.

I really sympathise with Cath. She just seemed like she was spinning so many plates that the entire emotional crash was inevitable. Besides issues of mental health and anxiety, Rowell presents a whole host of other issues for us to bask in such as first love, family disconnect, alcoholism, abandonment. Fangirl really is a multidimensional novel.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is available now.

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

For more information regarding St Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress) please visit us.macmillan.com.

Title: Camp

Author: LC Rosen

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.

This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.

But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

What do you do when you are sixteen, you have met the dude of your dreams but you just aren’t his type? You change absolutely everything about yourself, obvs! Okay, well not really but changing aspects of yourself to be more ‘desirable’ is part of the story of Camp. Randy, our protagonist has had a major crush on Hudson for years. They bo9th attend a summer camp for LGBTQIA+ teens but Randy knows that he isn’t the kind of guy that Hudson usually goes for or would give a second glance to. So he sets himself off on the charm offensive and becomes someone new – Randy version 2.0. He is slightly different and this year he is determined to win over Hudson once and for all.

Camp is a wonderfully story from the author who gave us Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts). It is one of self discovery and of finding your own self worth. It shows us that the greatest way to make others love us is by loving ourselves. It has the feel good factor and makes you want to sprinkle kindness all over the places. It reminds us that if you celebrate all aspects of yourself then son will others. It reminds us all that we are worthy and if others cannot see that then they are not worth your time.

I love that YA fiction is leading the way with the LGBTQIA+ genre. These stories are relevant, important and, most of all they are providing a comfort to young adults who are finally being represented in a positive way in literature.

Camp by LC Rosen is available now.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: Lockdown

Author: Peter May

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: riverrun

The Blurb

‘They said that twenty-five percent of the population would catch the flu. Between seventy and eighty percent of them would die. He had been directly exposed to it, and the odds weren’t good.’

A CITY IN QUARANTINE

London, the epicenter of a global pandemic, is a city in lockdown. Violence and civil disorder simmer. Martial law has been imposed. No-one is safe from the deadly virus that has already claimed thousands of victims. Health and emergency services are overwhelmed.

A MURDERED CHILD

At a building site for a temporary hospital, construction workers find a bag containing the rendered bones of a murdered child. A remorseless killer has been unleashed on the city; his mission is to take all measures necessary to prevent the bones from being identified.

A POWERFUL CONSPIRACY

D.I. Jack MacNeil, counting down the hours on his final day with the Met, is sent to investigate. His career is in ruins, his marriage over and his own family touched by the virus. Sinister forces are tracking his every move, prepared to kill again to conceal the truth. Which will stop him first – the virus or the killers?

Written over fifteen years ago, this prescient, suspenseful thriller is set against a backdrop of a capital city in quarantine, and explores human experience in the grip of a killer virus.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

With London in lockdown due to a deadly pandemic, DI Jack MacNeil has to solve the case of a brutal murder of a child which may in turn lead to the end of lockdown and finally reveal the truth.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I read Lockdown because I was in lockdown – who doesn’t want to live the ‘meta’ life? It seemed fitting. I will also admit that crime novels are not my specialist subject but I actually found myself really enjoying the story. Peter May wrote it over 15 years ago but it was still ridiculously relevant.

In Lockdown (the book, not the current situation), the government are corrupt (erm…) and are to blame for the mass loss of life (I am really trying to keep my political opinions to myself here) and the corruption is all for political power and monetary gain.

There were some parts of the plot of Lockdown that were either a little irrelevant or far-fetched and if they had been left out of the story I don’t feel it would have suffered or lost anything. The most interesting parts were definitely those that focused on the insidious government and their involvement/lack of action when it came to the pandemic. That really helped add to the race against time feeling.

Lockdown is definitely worth a read especially if you are into conspiracy theories or if you like a good mystery to solve.

Lockdown by Peter May is available now.

For more information regarding Peter May (@authorpetermay) please visit www.petermay.co.uk.

For more information regarding riverrun (@riverrunbooks) please visit www.riverrunbooks.co.uk.

Title: Life on Hold

Author: Karen McQuestion

Pages: 197 Pages

Publisher: Skyscape

The Blurb

A gripping novel about the power of friendship and following your heart.

Rae Maddox’s mom, Gina, thinks nothing of packing up and moving. New apartment, new town, new job–all of it is an adventure to Gina, but for Rae, each move is just one more friend lost, one more chance to feel like an outsider. When they arrive in Wisconsin, Gina promises to stay put until graduation. Cautiously optimistic, Rae wades into the social whirl at Whitman High School, making a few friends and even earning a chance at love.

But when the vice principal pairs her with a new student, Allison Daly, things go bad in a big way. It seems Allison was orphaned after her parents died in a suspicious house fire, leaving their daughter to bounce between relatives’ homes. When a sleepover at Rae’s house goes terribly wrong, Rae sees a troubling side of Allison–and learns a few secrets about her own mother in the process. Suddenly Rae is at risk of losing everything and everyone she cares about–unless she steps up and takes charge of her life once and for all.

(Amazon Blurb)

The Review

Rae has lived a nomadic life. She and her mum have travelled the length of America. When her mum gets bored they just pack up their troubles and leave. So Rae has never really felt settled…until now, Her mum has finally promised they can stay put in one place until she has finished high school and for once Rae isn’t the new girl in school. However, she has been put in charge of the new student Allison who has brought a whole load of secrets with her.

Life on Hold is a great YA story. Through Rae, you deal with situations such as displacement, searching for identity, social class and mental health. McQuestion has a little gem with the novel. A great story with likeable characters, Life on Hold is a good read.

Life on Hold by Karen McQuestion is available now.

Title: Gogglebook -The Wit and Wisdom of Gogglebox

Author: Andrew Collins

Pages: 248 Pages

Publisher: Macmillan

The Blurb

Channel 4’s Gogglebox is one of the most loved shows on TV. Every week, more than 7 million of us tune in to watch the nation’s favourite telly fanatics as they laugh and cry along with the TV. In doing so, we’ve fallen in love with being part of the Gogglebox family.

Now in this official companion, Gogglebook, for the first time, we sit you on Britain’s most famous sofas to find out what it’s like to watch TV with all your favourite households. Have a cup of tea with Leon and June, drink from a pot noodle container with Sandra and Sandy, stroke the cats, pat the dogs and laugh along with Steph and Dom, the Moffatts, Jenny and Lee and all the fantastic Gogglebox gang.

Remember all the year’s big TV moments from all of your favourite shows, and for the first time get the Goggleboxers take on classic TV from the past – ever wanted to hear what Sandra and Sandy think about the moon landings, or Leon and June thought of Princess Diana’s wedding dress?

It’s full of your favourite jokes, fascinating TV trivia and you’ll even get the chance to play along at home with Gogglebox TV bingo (#goggleboxbingo)

This definitive collection of the wit and wisdom of Gogglebox, covers Alan Carr to Z-Cars and everything in-between. Often funny, sometimes moving, but always surprising, this is the perfect way to enjoy TV the Gogglebox way.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Another book in the series celebrating the amazing characters of the Goggelbox world.

This book is a real tonic when you are reminded of all of the funny things that you miss when you watch the show because you are too busy belly laughing.

If you are a fan of the show then you will be a fan of the book.

Gogglebook by Andrew Collins is available now.