Title: Paper Avalanche
Author: Lisa Williamson
Pages: 375 Pages
Publisher: David Fickling Books
When it comes to flying under the radar, Ro Snow is the expert. No friends. No boys. No parties. And strictly NO VISITORS. It may be lonely but at least this way the truth remains where it should – hidden. Then Tanvi Shah, the girl who almost died, comes tumbling back into her life and Ro finds herself losing control of her carefully constructed lies. Because if Ro’s walls come crumbling down, who’s going to take care of Bonnie… Bonnie. Never Mum or Mummy or Mother. Just Bonnie.
Before I start the review I would just like to thank Carolyn McGlone for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour and sending me a copy of Paper Avalanche to review.
Paper Avalanche is the story of Ro Snow. She is a loner who tries to be as small and unnoticeable as she can possibly be. She has no friends and she likes it that way. Friends would only complicate her life. When she is pursued by Tanvi Shah, a girl from school who just wants to befriend Ro, Ro begins to soften and actually enjoy the company of others.
But it does complicate things; especially when it comes to her mother, Bonnie.
I really don’t want to talk too much about the context of Paper Avalanche. I really just want to beg you all to read it and to get lost in this wonderful new novel from Lisa Williamson. It is truly a magnificent story. Williamson has taken a topic that is so far removed from anything that I have ever read before and she has packaged it up in a way that will truly touch her readership.
One thing that struck me whilst I read this book was that I genuinely hadn’t been angry at a character in a book since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the introduction of Delores Umbridge. Bonnie had me that incensed.
I really didn’t think that this late in the year that I would read another contender for my ‘Book of the Year’ but Paper Avalanche has done just that. It is truly special.
Paper Avalanche by Lisa Williamson is available from 3rd January 2018.
For more information regarding Lisa Williamson (@lisa_letters) please visit www.lisawilliamsonauthor.com.
For more information regarding David Fickling Books (@DFB_storyhouse) please visit www.davidficklingbooks.com.
Title: One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories
Author: Paige Toon
Pages: 390 Pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
One year after movie star Joseph Strike swept schoolteacher Alice off her feet, they are spending Christmas together in snowy Cambridge. But despite the romantic setting Alice can’t help but question whether life in the spotlight is really what she wants. Will a Christmas provide some perspective? Or will the life she’d be leaving behind be too much to lose?
In this irresistible collection, bestselling author Paige Toon reunites a much-loved cast from across her fifteen novels, including Johnny Be Good, The One We Fell In Love With and Thirteen Weddings. Fall in love with nine witty and heartfelt romantic stories, published in print for the very first time.
The first time I came across Paige Toon’s work was in Dublin Airport. Some friends and I had been to the OXEGEN Festival at Punchtown Racecourse and we were all shattered waiting for our flight back home to Liverpool. One of my friends tootled off to WHSmith to pass the time and came back with Johnny Be Good – a perfect title of book for three book loving girls (and Back to the Future was said friends favourite movie – see, the stars were aligned on this one). We all took turns reading the book and we all loved it. This was the start of my book love towards Paige Toon.
In her latest collection – One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories – we get to go back and visit much loved characters. We get to either see scenes from different perspectives or extension stories which let us know how they are getting on now. Some people don’t like this style of book but I personally love getting back in touch with old characters.
If you are a Paige Toon fan you will appreciate this book. If you have not read anything by Paige Toon before and you want a taste of her writing style this could be the book for you too. I loved it and I have to thank Sara-Jane from Books and the City for sending me a copy.
One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories by Paige Toon is available now.
For more information regarding Paige Toon (@PaigeToonAuthor) please visit www.paigetoon.com.
For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandchuster.co.uk.
Title: Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes
Author: Holly Bourne
Pages: 384 Pages
Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at ‘normality’ for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make – who each have their own reasons for being there. Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?
A raw and compelling exploration of mental health, friendship and the power of compassion from the acclaimed Holly Bourne.
Wow. Holly Bourne has really raised the bar with her young adult novel Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?
This is Olive’s story. Olive is a girl who is watching her mental health fall apart and feels the sheer isolation and horror over what is happening. She knows things have happened that have lead to her episodes but she can’t even begin to contemplate what they were. She just wants to get better.
When she is offered the chance to go to a summer camp that promises to help her get better she makes the brave decision to go. As she is expected to delve more and more into what her problems are we begin to realise that Olive is her own worst enemy and the saddest part is that she has no control over it.
Olive’s story really broke my heart. Bourne has tapped into the contentious topic of mental health and has given a realistic and shocking account of what mental health is and how it can impact on a person’s life. Furthermore, she has highlighted the growing concern over mental health among teenagers and how society needs to help those most at risk.
Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? by Holly Bourne is available now.
For more information regarding Holly Bourne (@holly_bourneYA) please visit www.hollybourne.co.uk.
For more information regarding Usborne (@Usborne) please visit www.usborne.com.
Title: A Gift from the Comfort Food Café
Author: Debbie Johnson
Pages: 400 Pages
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Christmas has never been Katie Seddon’s favourite time of year. Whilst everyone else shares memories of families coming together and festive number ones, the soundtrack to Katie’s childhood wasn’t quite so merry.
But since she moved to the village of Budbury on the gorgeous Dorset coast, Katie and her baby son have found a new family. A family who have been brought together by life’s unexpected roads and the healing magic of a slice of cake and a cupful of kindess at the Comfort Food Café.
This year, Katie’s new friends are determined to give her a Christmas to remember, and with a gorgeous newcomer in town, Katie’s Christmas wish for a happy home for her son might just come true.
I love the frequent visits to Budbury. This time it is through the eyes of Katie. Katie has been somewhat of a mystery in the Comfort Food Café series. A bit reclusive, keeping herself and her young son out of arms length but now we get to see why.
As we watch Katie unfold and start to appreciate the closeness of the regulars of the café we get to understand exactly what made her this way to begin with. You constantly shout at her to keep those arms open and accept everyone’s metaphorical hugs because you get the sense that one bad move and Katie will be out of Budbury asap.
I genuinely love the Comfort Food Café series. I eagerly anticipate each new release and I am not ashamed to admit that I pre-order them and count down the days until each new story will be with me. If that is not a big enough reason to buy and read and love each of these books then I really don’t know what is.
A Gift from the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson is available now.
For more information regarding Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnson) please visit www.debbiejohnsonauthor.com.
For more information regarding Harper Impulse (@HarperImpulse) please visit www.harperimpulse.com.
Title: What Girls Are Made Of
Author: Elena K Arnold
Pages: 192 Pages
Publisher: Anderson Press
When Nina Faye was fourteen, her mother told her there was no such thing as unconditional love. Nina believed her. Now she’ll do anything for the boy she loves, to prove she’s worthy of him. But when he breaks up with her, Nina is lost. What is she if not a girlfriend? What is she made of? Broken-hearted, Nina tries to figure out what the conditions of love are.
What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold was probably the most striking book that I read this year. In stark contrast to any young adult fiction that I have read before, this book opens up the question about female sexuality and how teenagers begin to explore this.
It is unapologetically bold in its delivery and the elements of art history add a layer of depth to the story.
I really enjoyed What Girls Are Made Of as it is the sort of story that stays with you long after reading. I don’t know if you can automatically tell if you like the actual story but its resonance indicates that it has had an impact on you.
What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold is available now.