Genre: YA Fiction/LGBTQIA+

The Gist: A group of friends head off to university. Whilst they begin to lose each other, they also begin to find themselves.  

Short Review: Loveless is the story of friendship that falls apart when they all discover themselves at university. Love, new social groups and dealing with sexuality are all things that impact this story.

Long Review: Georgia and her friends Pip and Jason are off to Durham University. Whilst her friends are off meeting people and having new adventures Georgia realises that she doesn’t feel the same as they do when it comes to new relationships. 

Whilst everyone is pairing off Georgia struggles to find anyone. She starts to question her sexuality. She doesn’t think that she is a lesbian like her best friend Pip; she tries to go out with other best friend Jason but that relationship repulses her. Georgia doesn’t know why she is feeling this way and it is making her miserable. 

I absolutely loved Loveless. For me, Alice Oseman really is the leading voice in talking to teens about sexuality. I learned so much from this book and I know that when I was a teenager my friends and I would have appreciated a book like this that answers questions that we didn’t even know we had.

Loveless is a brilliant book, one that has friendship at the heart and one that is ironically full of love. It was fantastic.

Loveless by Alice Oseman is available now.

For more information regarding Alice Oseman (@AliceOseman) please visit www.aliceoseman.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins UK (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.

Genre: Young Adult/Crime

The Gist: After a sexual attack a young girl becomes the victim of malicious gossip.

Short Review: Emma Kennedy thinks that she has it all but when the boy she and her best friend have been pining after starts paying her attention Emma is forced into a toxic situation with devastating results. 

Long Review: Emma Kennedy is a typical high school girl. She is a cheerleader, she is plodding along academically, she has a good circle of friends. Her whole future looks bright. However, when an encounter with the boy she likes turns violent she becomes ostracised by the people she trusts the most.

If I am honest, Girls Like Me is not an original story. There are plenty of others that tackle the same theme. One of the things that I always find I take away from these types of stories is how they are almost cautionary tales. That the girl shouldn’t have allowed herself to get into this situation. The blame often shifts to the female protagonist and the attacker – though at times held accountable – it is the moral tale that girls have allowed themselves to be in these situation that overrides the rest of the narrative. 

Fortunately Kristin Butcher does not dwell on this. Whilst we don’t necessarily see justice done we are left with the potential for hope.

Girls Like Me by Kristin Butcher is available now.

For more information regarding Orca Books Publishing (@orcabooks) please visit www.orcabooks.com.

Title: One, Two, Three, Four – The Beatles in Time

Author: Craig Brown

Pages: 642 Pages

Publisher: 4th Estate

The Blurb

From the award-winning author of Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret comes a fascinating, hilarious, kaleidoscopic biography of the Fab Four.

On April 10th 2020, it will be exactly 50 years since Paul McCartney announced the break-up of the Beatles. At that point, we will be at the same distance in time from 1970 as 1970 was from 1920, the year Al Jolson’s ‘Swanee’ was the bestselling record and Gustav Holst composed The Planets.

The Beatles continue to occupy a position unique in popular culture. They have entered people’s minds in a way that did not occur before, and has not occurred since. Their influence extended way beyond the realm of music to fashion, politics, class, religion and ethics. Countless books have doggedly catalogued the minutiae of The Beatles. If you want to know the make of George Harrison’s first car you will always be able to find the answer (a second hand, two-door, blue Ford Anglia 105E Deluxe, purchased from Brian Epstein’s friend Terry Doran, who worked at a dealership in Warrington). Before she met John Lennon, who was the only Beatle Yoko Ono could name, and why? Ringo. Because ‘ringo’ means ‘apple’ in Japanese. All very interesting, but there is, as yet, no book about The Beatles that combines the intriguing minutiae of their day-to-day lives with broader questions about their effect – complicated and fascinating – on the world around them, their contemporaries, and generations to come.

Until now.

Craig Brown’s 1-2-3-4: The Beatles in Time is a unique, kaleidoscopic examination of The Beatles phenomenon – part biography, part anthropology, part memoir, by turns humorous and serious, elegiac and speculative. It follows the unique “exploded biography” form of his internationally bestselling, Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

It always surprises me that there can be anything new to say about a bad that split up over 50 years ago. Yet, here is another. One, Two, Three, Four is Craig Brown’s interesting take on The Beatles legacy.

Much like his previous book Ma’am Darling, Brown mixes the truth with fiction. He includes chapters to The Beatles story that didn’t happen but totally sound like they could have take place. 

What is interesting about One, Two, Three, Four is that Brown has come to telling The Beatles story from conception to end with a mix of current events thrown in. He hasn’t come at his writing from the point of view of a fan telling us what impact The Beatles had on his life. Instead, the way in which he writes his book you feel like you are listening to actual conversations between the Fab Four.

The joy of this book is trying to decipher the truth from the lies. Some are easier than others but either way it is a hell of a ride. 

One, Two, Three, Four – The Beatles in Time by Craig Brown is available now.

For more information regarding 4th Estate Books (@4thEstateBooks) please visit www.4thestate.co.uk.

Title: Sidelined

Author: Jo Cox

Pages: 27 Pages

Publisher: Self Published

The Blurb

At thirty-two, Georgie should be past behaving like a hormonal adolescent, especially when the woman who’s reducing her to lower brain function is the mother of a surly teenager from the football team she coaches. 

Find out if she can conquer her nerves in this short lesbian romance.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

It is always a weird one when you read something released by someone you know. There is always the potential that you won’t like what they have written or even worse that their writing is just plain awful. Fortunately for me, I really enjoyed Sidelined by Jo Cox (I should really have prefaced this by saying that I used to write for More than the Music – a music website that Jo and her wife Lisa created).

Sidelined tells the story of Georgie, a football coach who is a little bit infatuated with one of her player’s mum, Pippa. In this short story we see the bourgeoning relationship between the two whilst dealing with the struggle of not rocking the proverbial boat with daughter Tabitha. 

What Cox does really well is build up the sexual tension between Pippa and Georgie. It is a slow build that explodes on the page and it really does make you think back to the beginning part of any relationship that you have been in, when you just desperately want to be connected somehow, whether it be a cheeky kiss, hand holding or something more. 

You really get the sense that the two characters have more to give and whilst Sidelined is a short story it has the potential to be much more especially when you factor in coaching jobs, teenage daughters, ex-partners. There is potential for Cox to explore more.

Sidelined by Jo Cox is available now.

For more information regarding Jo Cox (@jocoxbooks) please visit www.jocoxbooks.co.uk.

Title: September Love

Author: Lang Leav

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

The Blurb

A book that will change the way you think about love, relationships, heartbreak, and self-empowerment. Breaking the rules, challenging perceptions, and exploring the secret desires we keep hidden from the world.

Beautifully composed and written by international bestselling author Lang Leav, this new collection of poetry and prose will positively influence your life.

 

September Love captures the magic of each passing season, a pearl of wisdom waiting to be discovered with every page turned. A book that will inspire you to reach for the stars.

The Review

I like reading poetry books. I will admit that it isn’t my favourite genre but I like trying to dissect and understand poetry. What I find from personal collections is that they can sometimes be a little self indulgent especially if the writer is a little green. Lang Leav’s latest collection September Love shows a writer in her prime, a writer who knows who she is and produces work that is readable, enjoyable and that doesn’t seem like it is just word regurgitation on a page. 

September Love is a stunning collection. Personally, I preferred her free verse but the collection as a whole is very accomplished.

September Love by Lang Leav is available now.

For more information regarding Lang Leav (@langleav) please visit www.langleav.com/poemsia.

For more information regarding Andrews McMeel (@AndrewsMcMeel) please visit www.andrewsmcmeel.com.