Title: The Thunder Girls

Author: Melanie Blake

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Jackie Collins for a new generation. The Thunder Girls is a blockbuster novel, filled with obsession, addiction, betrayal and revenge, that charts the rise and fall of an 80s girl band from Melanie Blake, a true insider of the music business.

Perfect for fans of Tasmina Perry and Daisy Jones and The Six. Soon to be a nationwide play with an all star cast.

THE

Chrissie, Roxanne, Carly and Anita, an eighties pop sensation outselling and out-classing their competition. Until it all comes to an abrupt end and three of their careers are over, and so is their friendship.

THUNDER

Thirty years later, their old record label wants the band back together for a huge money-making concert. But the wounds are deep and some need this gig more than others.

In those decades apart life was far from the dream they were living as members of The Thunder Girls. Breakdowns, bankruptcy, addiction and divorce have been a constant part of their lives. They’ve been to hell and back, and some are still there.

GIRLS

Can the past be laid to rest for a price, or is there more to this reunion than any of them could possibly know? Whilst they all hunger for a taste of success a second time around, someone is plotting their downfall in the deadliest way possible . . .

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

All I wanted to be in my 20s was a rock star. I’m in my 30s now and much like my 20s there is zero chance of it ever happening but man I can still dream.

That is what is absolutely fantastic about The Thunder Girls by Melanie Blake. I am given the opportunity to live the rock star lifestyle vicariously through the girls in the band: Chrissie – your typical egotistical bitch with a heart of gold hidden under her icy exterior, the scorned Roxanne – I wouldn’t like to get on her bad side, the peacekeeper Carly – just because she is quiet doesn’t mean she doesn’t have secrets, and Anita – the feisty kick ass member of the band who may in fact be the glue that keeps them all together.

Melanie Blake has written an absolute page turner about what the music industry is like. She uses her real life experiences which give the book a verisimilitude and dammit she has made me want to continue the dream of being a rock star.

I really wish that I could unread this book so I could read it all over again.

Absolutely fantastic.

The Thunder Girls by Melanie Blake is available now.

For more information regarding Melanie Blake (@MelanieBlakeUK) please visit www.thethundergirls.co.uk.

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

 

Title: The Handmaid’s Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

Pages: 325 Pages

Publisher: Vintage

The Blurb

‘I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.’

Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford – her assigned name, Offred, means ‘of Fred’. She has only one function: to breed. If Offred refuses to enter into sexual servitude to repopulate a devastated world, she will be hanged. Yet even a repressive state cannot eradicate hope and desire. As she recalls her pre-revolution life in flashbacks, Offred must navigate through the terrifying landscape of torture and persecution in the present day, and between two men upon which her future hangs.

Masterfully conceived and executed, this haunting vision of the future places Margaret Atwood at the forefront of dystopian fiction.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I was always scared to read The Handmaid’s Tale. It is a much loved and revered book so it had that going for it but it is also part of the dystopian fiction genre which is not my favourite if truth be told. I didn’t want to alienate or anger my bookish friends who love this book if I actually hated it.

However, with the current political climate I felt that it was time to get over my fear and from what I knew about the story of The Handmaid’s Tale I figured that it was time to read it.

I loved it.

It was a novel that made me angry and made me engage with my feminist ideals and sensibilities. It also made me remember once again just how powerful the written word can be.

And yes, I have pre-ordered the sequel because dammit, I need to read more.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood is available now.

For more information regarding Margaret Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) please visit www.margaetatwood.ca.

For more information regarding Vintage (@Vintagebooks) please visit po.st/VintageHomepage.

Title: Common People – An Anthology of Working-Class Writers

Author: Kit de Waal

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Unbound

The Blurb

Working-class stories are not always tales of the underprivileged and dispossessed.

Common People is a collection of essays, poems and memoir written in celebration, not apology: these are narratives rich in barbed humour, reflecting the depth and texture of working-class life, the joy and sorrow, the solidarity and the differences, the everyday wisdom and poetry of the woman at the bus stop, the waiter, the hairdresser.

Here, Kit de Waal brings together thirty-three established and emerging writers who invite you to experience the world through their eyes, their voices loud and clear as they reclaim and redefine what it means to be working class.

Features original pieces from Damian Barr, Malorie Blackman, Lisa Blower, Jill Dawson, Louise Doughty, Stuart Maconie, Chris McCrudden, Lisa McInerney, Paul McVeigh, Daljit Nagra, Dave O’Brien, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Anita Sethi, Tony Walsh, Alex Wheatle and more.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I love Unbound. The book they publish are often raw, interesting and steeped in reality. Common People is no different.

I loved it.

It is a mixture of short stories, essays, and poetry. If you grew up working class (and I did) then you will relate to this book so much.

Please check out Unbound’s upcoming publications and support upcoming authors.

Common People – An Anthology of Working Class Writers by Kit de Waal is available now.

For more information regarding Kit de Waal (@KitdeWaal) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Unbound (@unbounders) please visit www.unbound.com.

Title: Tin Man

Author: Sarah Winman

Pages: 226 Pages

Publisher: Tinder Press

The Blurb

This is almost a love story. But it’s not as simple as that.

Ellis and Michael are twelve when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of overbearing fathers. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more.

But then we fast-forward a decade or so, to find that Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question, what happened in the years between?

With beautiful prose and characters that are so real they jump off the page, Tin Man is a love letter to human kindness and friendship, and to loss and living.

The Review

I had heard a great many positive things about the book Tin Man by Sarah Winman. Personally, I feel that this was to the book’s detriment. I liked the story, don’t get me wrong, but I was expecting a spectacular story that would stay with me for years. And whilst it was a good story it really didn’t floor me.

It was the story of Ellis and his relationship with both men and women and how these relationships along with loss and tragedy shaped who he is and who he longs to be.

What I will say about Tin Man is that it is a quiet, reflective and subtle novel that looks at bisexuality in a very honest and endearing way. It is almost like it isn’t really part of the story but it is very much a focus. I think that is Winman’s power as a writer is that she doesn’t make the obvious seem bodacious, different or a point of focus.

If you like a good, reflective read then Tin Man by Sarah Winman is for you.

Tin Man by Sarah Winman is available now.

For more information regarding Tinder Press (@TinderPress) please visit www.headline.co.uk.

Title: I Hate Everyone But You

Author: Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

The Blurb

Perfect for fans of “Robin Talley’s What We Left Behind or Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl” (School Library Journal, Starred Review), Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin’s I Hate Everyone But You is a hilarious and heartfelt debut novel about new beginnings, love and heartbreak, and ultimately the power of friendship.

Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Sincerely, 
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)

We’re still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.
G

So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two of them document every wild and awkward moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?

The Review

I always fine friendship stories really interesting. I think it is because the relationship between best friends can often transcend romantic relationships. It is this type of relationship that is at the heart of I Hate Everyone But You.

Ava and Gen have been best friends forever but when they both go to college on different sides of the country, their relationship is tested to the limits. Can their friendship survive the distance.

Dunn and Raskin have been really clever with this novel. They have used that time of persona self discovery – freshman year – to show how divides can grow.

Your heart breaks for these two girls – once connecting jigsaw pieces who are now virtual strangers.

Oddly, as someone who has struggled with friendship groups, I found this book comforting because it isn’t just me who has complicated friendships.

I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin is available now.

For more information regarding Gaby Dunn (@gabydunn) and Allison Ruskin please visit www.gabyandallison.com.

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