Title: Vox

Author: Christina Dalcher

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

Silence can be deafening.

Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more, and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins.

Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman.

Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and seventy million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write.

For herself, her daughter, and for every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. This is only the beginning…

[100 WORD LIMIT REACHED]

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

There is one topic that comes in books that I have a physical reaction to. It is a topic that makes my chest tighten and can often lead me to getting a headache out of anger. That topic is the repression of women.

When I read Vox by Christina Dalcher I had this very visceral reaction.

It is a world where women are only allowed to speak 100 words a day otherwise they experience intense pain. What made this book all the more scary is that I can see the potential in this repression happening in modern society.

Vox is a fascinating story and one that you should read if you enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Vox by Christina Dalcher is available now.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQstories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.

Title: Queerleaders

Author: MB Guel

Pages: 148 Pages

Publisher: Bella Books

The Blurb

“Mack snuck a look over her shoulder at the cheerleaders just as Veronica took her place at the top of the pyramid. Time seemed to slow as Veronica  swung her long, blond ponytail over her shoulder, pompoms high in the air…”

Mackenzie is used to being different from other kids—and to being bullied for not fitting into the rigid social expectations of her Catholic high school. Luckily, Mack’s best friend Lila has her back so school isn’t the total hell it could be. But it’s pretty damn close.

Until something very mysterious happens—Mack becomes a cheerleader magnet. Even she has a hard time believing it. And Lila is not too happy about her friend’s sudden popularity with the cool kids.

Is Mack being set up for an epic fail? Or is she finally headed for acceptance–and maybe even romance…

The Review

Oh Queerleaders is a great story.

I love LGBT fiction. I love YA fiction. Put those hands together and you have Queerleaders. The story of Mack and how she is forced to come out by the arrogant and narrow-minded bullies in her school and how she manages to lose herself and find herself all at once.

It is a story of friendship and a story of self discovery. Mack is shown to be a warts and all brilliant protagonist whose downfall is due to her own indulgence and greed but gosh I loved her.

If you love stories of the LGBT variety and you want something completely heart-warming then Queerleaders is the book for you.

Queerleaders by MB Guel is available now.

For more information regarding MB Guel (@MB_Guel) please visit her Twitter page.

Title: I Never Said I Loved You

Author: Rhik Samadder

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Headline

The Blurb

On an unlikely backpacking trip, Rhik and his mother find themselves speaking openly for the first time in years. Afterwards, the depression that has weighed down on Rhik begins to loosen its grip for a moment – so he seizes the opportunity: to own it, to understand it, and to find out where it came from.

Through this begins a journey of investigation, healing and recovery. Along the way Rhik learns some shocking truths about his family, and realizes that, in turn, he will need to confront the secrets he has long buried. But through this, he triumphs over his fears and brings his depression into the light.

I Never Said I Loved You is the story of how Rhik learned to let go, and then keep going. With unique humour and honesty, he has created a powerfully rich, funny and poignant exploration of the light and dark in all of us.

A vital, moving and darkly funny memoir by a powerful new voice in non-fiction.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I really didn’t know much about Rhik Samadder before I read I Never Said I Loved You. I liked the duck on the cover. Yes, I am one of those readers. Having finished reading his book I can honestly say that I am impressed by the frank and candid memoir.

It is a warts and all assessment of life and what has made Samadder – his experiences, his situations, and his decisions. At times it is utterly heartbreaking and then a breakneck speed you re giggling. It is joyous and sad. Samadder strikes a strange balance.

If memoirs of people that you don’t really know are your thing and if – like me – you don’t know much about Rhik Samadder, then you should really give this book a read.

I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder is available now.

For more information regarding Rhik Samadder (@whatsamadder) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Headline (@headlinepg) please visit www.headline.co.uk.

Title: Teen Writer’s Guide – Your Road Map to Writing

Author: Jennifer Jenkins

Pages: 150 Pages

Publisher: Owl Hollow Press

The Blurb

Imagine you had a road map for writing the book you’ve always dreamed of writing—a step-by-step guide from testing your story ideas, to visualizing your characters’ types and voices, to building a world that comes to life, to navigating the publishing industry, and going the distance to reach your writing goals.

As co-founder of Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the nation’s largest writing conferences specifically for teens, and Young Adult author, Jennifer Jenkins has helped thousands of teens travel the world of writing. Teen Writer’s Guide: Your Road Map to Writing is the culmination of years of research and teaching, providing a detailed road map to writing your own story and steering through the detours and pit stops.

Perfect for teen writers, their teachers, and anyone who has an interest in breaking down the craft of writing in fun and manageable ways, this book is sure to take you to your final destination—and help you enjoy the journey along the way!

The Review

As with a lot of book lovers, I have always wanted to write one myself. At the grand age of 36 there have been two failed attempts because I realised I wouldn’t want to read the books that I had attempted. Sad times. I know that I need guidance and signposts telling me what to do next. Having good ideas but no way of getting them on the page does not a book make…nor does confusing sentence construction.

However, I decided to give Teen Writer’s Guide a go and smething just clicked. This was the book that I had needed when I was trying to write. It is a well structured book which breaks down the process into easily manageable chunks. It makes you question everything you thought you knew and then helps you make it much better. I finished reading it feeling like Teen Writer’s Guide is the book that will make a difference.

Teen Writers Guide – Your Road Map to Writing by Jennifer Jenkins is available now.

For more information regarding Jennifer Jenkins (@authorjenkins) please visit www.authorjenniferjenkins.com.

Title: American Dirt

Author: Jeanine Cummins

Pages: 480 Pages

Publisher: Tinder Press

The Blurb

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times.

Already being hailed as “a Grapes of Wrath for our times” and “a new American classic,” Jeanine Cummins’s American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

The Review

Wow.

It has been a good few years since I have read a book that has opened my eyes to a completely different way of life but man oh man American Dirt did that for me.

Whilst I am aware of the controversy that has surrounded the release of this title I am also aware that books of this ilk need to be written. And yes, author Jeanine Cummins may not get everything right and may have ruffled some feathers with her creation the alternative is that we never get a glimpse into other worlds.

I mean, isn’t that the point of literature? To make us more empathetic?

With American Dirt I felt the desperation of a situation that I couldn’t even begin to contemplate. A mother’s love, a journey across borders, chance encounters. It is a book of an epic journey.

I cannot recommend American Dirt enough. It is one of the strongest narratives that I have read in2020 so far.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins is available now.

For more information regarding Jeanine Cummins (@jeaninecummins) please visit www.jeaninecummins.com.

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