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.


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.

Title: Dreaming the Beatles

Author: Rob Sheffield

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Dey Street Books

The Blurb

Rob Sheffield, the Rolling Stone columnist and bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape offers an entertaining, unconventional look at the most popular band in history, the Beatles, exploring what they mean today and why they still matter so intensely to a generation that has never known a world without them.

Dreaming the Beatles is not another biography of the Beatles, or a song-by-song analysis of the best of John and Paul. It isn’t another exposé about how they broke up. It isn’t a history of their gigs or their gear. It is a collection of essays telling the story of what this ubiquitous band means to a generation who grew up with the Beatles music on their parents’ stereos and their faces on T-shirts. What do the Beatles mean today? Why are they more famous and beloved now than ever? And why do they still matter so much to us, nearly fifty years after they broke up?

As he did in his previous books, Love is a Mix Tape, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, and Turn Around Bright Eyes, Sheffield focuses on the emotional connections we make to music. This time, he focuses on the biggest pop culture phenomenon of all time–The Beatles. In his singular voice, he explores what the Beatles mean today, to fans who have learned to love them on their own terms and not just for the sake of nostalgia.

Dreaming the Beatles tells the story of how four lads from Liverpool became the world’s biggest pop group, then broke up–but then somehow just kept getting bigger. At this point, their music doesn’t belong to the past–it belongs to right now. This book is a celebration of that music, showing why the Beatles remain the world’s favorite thing–and how they invented the future we’re all living in today.


The Review

Being from Liverpool it is hard to escape the legacy of The Beatles. They are in all parts of this great city and whilst they were known for wanting to get the hell out of Liverpool (post-war Liverpool wasn’t the thriving metropolis that it is today) the impact of The Beatles cannot be underestimated.

My parents were not fans of The Beatles so I came to develop my love for them independently. I can still remember the year they made their first impact on me – 1992: 30 years after they were first relevant. I watched a brilliant movie called Secrets starring Dani Minogue – sort of like The Breakfast Club but with the Fab Four and set in Australia – as a side not you cannot get this moved and it makes me so angry because I love it – after watching the movie and hearing the music of The Beatles I was hooked.

I love it when I come across writers who talk about the impact that a band I love (from the city I love) has had on them. It is even better when the writer is Rob Sheffield who I have loved since reading Love is a Mixtape. Winner.

Dreaming the Beatles is a biographopedia – did I just make up a word? It is a collection of Beatles stories interspersed with stories of Sheffield’s life and it just works. The reason it works is because music isn’t an isolated medium. Who among us doesn’t have a song that transports us to a time or a place?

One thing you can tell is that Rob Sheffield is no idle listener. His love for The Beatles is deep-rooted and as a fan you need to feel that otherwise this type of book (a biographopedia) would not work.

Another fine piece of writing from Rob Sheffield.

Dreaming the Beatles by Rob Sheffield is available now.

For more information regarding Rob Sheffield (@robsheff) please visit www.robsheffield.com.

For more information regarding Dey Street Books (@deystreet) please visit www.deystreetbooks.com.


Title: The Truth about Keeping Secrets

Author: Savannah Brown

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

A stunning coming-of-age tale from poet and writer Savannah Brown.

Sydney’s dad is the only psychiatrist for miles around in their small Ohio town.

He is also unexpectedly dead.

Sydney believes the crash was anything but an accident. And when the threatening texts begin, and June Copeland – homecoming queen and golden child – appears at his funeral out of nowhere, she’s sure of it.

But through Sydney’s newfound relationship with June, she’s given a glimpse of a life without the darkness of an unresolved grief and the chance, just maybe, of a fresh start.

Until it’s clear that the secrets won’t go away, and the truth might bring everything crashing down…

Imperfect friendships, the shadow of grief and the sweet pain of romance – this is a poetic, thrilling ode to being human.

The Review

Imagine you are dealing with the grief of losing a parent. Now imagine that within that grief you believe it wasn’t an accident but that his death was pre-meditated. Imagine you believed your parent was murdered. This is the reality for Sydney and she is determined to find out the truth.

The Truth about Keeping Secrets is a great LGBTQIA+ crime mystery novel. It keeps you guessing to the very last page but also it has a lot of heart so you genuinely do feel for the characters. You really care about them and about their survival.

The Truth about Keeping Secrets is a must read for mystery lovers but it is also a quite cathartic read that looks at grief and the mental health implications of losing someone you love.

The Truth about Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown is available now.

For more information regarding Savannah Brown (@savannahbrown) please visit www.savbrown.com.

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

Title: Taxi Tales from Paris

Author: Nicky Gentil

Pages: 112 Pages

Publisher: Matador

The Blurb

Taxi Tales From Paris is not your typical account of what happens when you move to another country. Nicky Gentil’s memoir offers the reader a truly original insight into life in the French capital because, as the title suggests, everything is seen through the prism of her most memorable taxi rides taken during the thirty years she has lived there.

Hugely entertaining, with some delightful comic touches, Gentil’s tales cover a wide variety of subjects such as her love of her adoptive country, the cultural differences she frequently encounters, the joys of parenthood, or indeed her ever-present passion for jazz, to quote but a few examples.

By the end of this book, as with any memoir set in the City of Light, you will immediately want to leap on board the next Eurostar going but, on this occasion, with one very specific aim in mind: to jump – upon arriving in Paris – into the very first taxi you see!

The Review

I don’t know what it is about Paris but it is a city that gets under your skin. You cannot fail to fall completely in love with it. I am a total Francophile and I love books set in Paris, even more so when it is a non-fictional account of this beautiful city. It is with this in mind that I have to tell you about this gorgeous book – Taxi Tales from Paris. It is a book made up of quirky encounters that author Nicky Gentil has had with taxi drivers in Paris.

The tales were delightful. They were funny, cute, endearing and all show how these journeys and encounters have helped shape Gentil’s many years in Paris. It is an adorable book which is over far too quickly. You should probably treasure and take your time with Taxi Tales from Paris but I couldn’t put it down.

Pick up Taxi Tales from Paris. You will be awfully glad you did.

Taxi Tales from Paris by Nicky Gentil is available now.