The Blurb

A stunning debut about a young teenager on the brink and a parent desperate to find the truth before it’s too late.

Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she’s raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene. As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She’ll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn’t understand what’s happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger.
This raw and beautiful story about the intensity of adolescent emotions and the complex identity of a teenage girl looks unflinchingly at how cruelty exists in all of us, and how our worst impulses can estrange us from ourselves – or even save us.

The Review

Hyacinth Girls was another book that I chose to read because I found the cover interesting. Fortunately, the content of the book was equally as compelling.

The story centres on Rebecca’s relationship with her godchild Callie. Having raised Callie from a young age due to the death of both of her parents Rebecca finds that as Callie gets older the less that Rebecca knows about parenting.

Things take a turn for the worse when Callie is accused of bullying. Not wanting to believe that Callie could do this Rebecca becomes defensive and protective only to be faced with shocking consequences.

What is really special about Hyacinth Girls is that Lauren Frankel understands of the cruelty of school children. She accurately describes the torment that can take place in the school environment. Frankel brilliantly keeps the reader on their toes throughout the book and constantly pulls the rug from under your feet. With each chapter you develop an opinion only to have it kyboshed in the next.

You see how difficult it can be for both of the protagonists and you empathise greatly with them both. You also see the shocking behaviour people can (and do) display over social media. Dealing with some dark and disturbing issues makes Hyacinth Girls definitely an interesting multilayered read.

Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel is available now.

Well hello lovely people of the internet,

Today is exactly one year since I uploaded my first post on LisaTalksAbout.com and I just thought I would celebrate that by writing a little blog post.

I started writing a few years ago. It started as a way to get into the music industry but by playing to my strengths. I started writing for a music website called More Than the Music; an all female staffed website that encourages women in music. I was writing album reviews and getting sent to gigs to write live pieces. Before I knew it I was promoted to sub-editor and had my own weekly news column. Last year I was promoted again to the post of Live Reviews Editor. It has been a great ride and I work with some amazing ladies who are contributing to the music/journalism industry.

During my time writing for More Than the Music I was taken on as Music Editor for Different Scene; a lifestyle website targeted at gay men. Sadly, Different Scene is now defunct. Some great things came out of working for Different Scene, mainly it was through writing for them that I met my boyfriend – we were both the token straight people on the writing staff.

My blog started last year when I was signed off work for six months. I became seriously ill due to medication I was taking to help control my Ulcerative Colitis. Throughout the years I had many people in my life telling me to blog it or write it down but it was my boyfriend that encouraged me to set up my own blog. Being signed off work was awful but I couldn’t really do much of anything but read. I was too weak to go out most of the time and after half an hour of doing pretty much anything I would have uncontrollable shakes. Ergo, the logic was to read and review books. Besides music, reading had always been a passion of mine so the fit seemed logical.

There have been some ups and downs of blogging about books. I have made an enemy of the postman. He hates delivering me books and has actually laughed at me when my post wasn’t literature based. I also think he may be stalking me because he now gets my mail (which is addressed to my home address) redirected to my work address. Strangely, this hasn’t stopped me buying books. Ahh, bygones.

The ups of book blogging are the lovely people in the book blogging community. Before I set up my blog and before I got sick I had done a few reviews for Shaz’s Book Boudoir and I am so very grateful to her for affording me the opportunity to do so; Sophie at Reviewed the Book is so lovely and always charmingly honest in her reviews; Jenny in Neverland is someone whose opinion I really admire. Her reviews are really well written. However, my favourite book blogger and friend has to be Clare from A Book and Tea. She is such a lovely person and her I Want it Wednesday posts are some of my favourite.

Besides making friends with some bloggers I have also had the privilege to converse with some amazing authors – Kirsty Greenwood, Juliette Sobanet, Andy Miller, Nikki Moore and Nicola Doherty to name a few. Furthermore to this, it took less than a year for one of my reviews to appear in a published book. My review was published in Girls on Tour by Nicola Doherty. That was a highlight for me.

One year in and I still love blogging as much as I did when I first started doing it. Here is to the next year.

Happy Blogging Birthday to me!

Ooooh as a side note, you can now follow LisaTalksAbout on Facebook. Please hit the like button 🙂

Love L x

The Blurb

Haven’t you ever told a little lie in the name of love?

Vivia Grant couldn’t be happier. She has her dream job and is about to marry her dream man. Does it really matter that she’s led him to believe she’s a virgin? After all, being in love makes every experience feel like the first time anyway! But an unexpected encounter with an ex-lover is about to expose her embarrassing lie…

When Vivia’s fiancé discovers the truth, he ends their engagement—via text—and uses his connections to get her fired. Unemployed and heartbroken, Vivia begins planning her new future—as a homeless spinster. But her best friend has a better idea. They’ll skip the Ben & Jerry’s binge and go on Vivia’s honeymoon instead. Two weeks cycling through Provence and Tuscany, with Luc de Caumont, a sexy French bike guide. Too bad Vivia’s not a big fan of biking. And she’s abysmal at languages. Will she fib her way through the adventure, or finally learn to love herself—and Luc—flaws and all?

The Review

I’m going to be really honest with you, I requested Faking It from NetGalley based entirely on the book’s cover. I’d never read anything by Leah Marie Brown before and on the cover was a picture of the Eiffel Tower and since I am a bit of a Francophile I decided that I wanted to read it. This is one of those serendipitous moments in the life of a book lover because damn this book was really good.

Faking It was a quick light-hearted read that constantly left me with that feel good feeling. It follows the adventures of Vivia who has recently been dumped by her fiancé, Nathan. To get over Nathan she decided (well is encouraged by her best friend Fanny) to go on the honeymoon to France. Vivia had many expectations of her trip to Europe but none of those expectations included falling for fit cyclist Luc, learning things about herself and having a life epiphany.

In hero Luc, Brown has created the most fanciable male in a story that I have read in a long time; I send Leah Marie Brown many a kudos for sending him into my life.

If I’m honest there was one small thing that did bother me about the book. I felt that there was an awful lot of product placement that was unnecessary. This didn’t bother me enough not to read the story and it really is just a personal preference. I would still implore people to pick up Faking It because it is a really entertaining read that is damn good fun. Vive le livre!

Faking It by Leah Marie Brown is available now.

Follow Leah Marie Brown (@leahmariebrown) on Twitter.

Faking It

Title: Ibiza Nights

Author: Lucy Lord

Pages: 32 Pages

The Blurb

A short story from the hilarious author of A Girl Called Summer – find out what Summer was up to before her Ibiza adventures!

Summer has been seeing her boss, David, on the sly for a few months now. But while David is keen to make things public, Summer isn’t quite so sure. With a night out with old friends on the cards, Summer needs to decide whether she can take their relationship to the next level, or if she needs to break free for good…

A cracking short story that takes place just before the events of A Girl Called Summer.

The Review

After three previous short stories (LA, New York and London Nights) we finally meet Summer in Ibiza. Ibiza Nights focuses on main character Summer who lives, loves and works in Ibiza. She is a writer, she runs a crèche and sometimes she caters for the rich and the fabulous but she doesn’t feel good. Part of Summer feels this way due to her seedy relationship with her employer, David. She enjoys him but doesn’t want to be with him. Unfortunately for Summer, David wants the opposite.

Ibiza Nights is another short story chock full of exposition; it is preparing us for the full length novel A Girl Called Summer. Once I pick that up to read all the threads of the previous story will come together.

In Summer, Lucy Lord has created a likable character who you want to find out more about. Ibiza Nights leaves Summers story of a cliff hanger. Nothing overly dramatic but you do want to find out more. I will definitely be picking up A Girl Called Summer to get me ready for my own (possibly rainy) summer.

Ibiza Nights by Lucy Lord is available now.

Follow Lucy Lord (@LucyLord1) on Twitter.

Ibiza Nights

The Blurb

‘My name is Flick and these are the images of my disconnected life, my forgettable weeks and unforgettable weekends. I am one of the disaffected youth.’

Marooned by a lack of education (and lack of anything better to do), Will Flicker, a.k.a. “Flick,” spends most days pondering the artistry behind being a stoner, whether Pepsi is better than Coke, and how best to get clear of his tiny, one-horse suburb. But Flick senses there’s something else out there waiting for him, and the sign comes in the form of the new girl in town—a confident, unconventionally beautiful girl named Rainbow. As their relationship develops, Flick finds himself torn between the twisted loyalty he feels to his old life and the pull of freedom that Rainbow represents.

The Review

Having previously read (and loved) Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin I was excited to see what her previous novel had to offer. Fortunately for me, Flick is an excellent story.

Without trying to make comparisons between this and Golden Boy (because believe me it would be a difficult thing to do – it would be like comparing a tree with a unicorn) I do have to comment on the growth that you can see in Tarttelin’s writing. That is not to say that Flick isn’t well written – it is ridiculously good – but having read both books in the wrong order I can definitely see how Tarttelin’s writing has matured.

Flick has all the angsty high school drama that you would expect from a cast of characters who are all still in their teens – and then some. To liken it to a teenage Trainspotting wouldn’t be wrong. It has all the elements required to be similar to the Irvine Welsh classic – starting with the sassy narration.

Flick, our protagonist, has a disaffected way of looking at life. Having lived the working class life his whole life he sees no glorious future in staying in his home town. However, dreams for bigger better things are not something that the working class kids should aspire to – because for the people of small seaside town of Cleveland, it just ain’t gonna happen!

Tartellin’s voice as a writer is amazing. You feel compelled to read her stories because she has such a gritty grip on the nuances of her characters, their situations and the society they live in. She is one of the better contemporary writers we have and more people should know about and celebrate her work.

Flick by Abigail Tarttelin is available now.

You can follow Abigail Tarttelin (@abigailsbrain) on Twitter.

Flick 2