Title: The Memory Book

Author: Lara Avery

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group

The Blurb

“They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I’ll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I’m writing to remember.”

Samantha McCoy has it all mapped out. First she’s going to win the national debating championship, then she’s going to move to New York and become a human rights lawyer. But when Sammie discovers that a rare disease is going to take away her memory, the future she’d planned so perfectly is derailed before it’s started. What she needs is a new plan.

So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. Realising that her life won’t wait to be lived, she sets out on a summer of firsts: The first party; The first rebellion; The first friendship; The last love.

Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it’s not the life she planned. 

A life-affirming, heart-breaking and dazzling novel for fans of All the Bright Places and The Fault in Our Stars.

The Review

There has been a trend over the past few years that has seen YA fiction focus on life-limiting illnesses. We have had The Fault in Our Stars and Five Feet Apart among many others. Whilst these books were great I think I was a little bit unsettled by the thought that teens were being exposed to such sadness but then I had a word with myself and remembered that this is how people learn and how people are exposed in a healthy way to things that they may know nothing about and how empathy is created.

The Memory Book is about early dementia – a disease often associated with the elderly but in rare cases it can affect teenagers. Samantha McCoy has this rare condition and she is doing everything she can to fight it. The feeling you get from Samantha is that she feels that it is just so unfair. Your heart breaks for her as you see her disintegrate in the novel. It is the kind of novel that will remind you how lucky you are.

The Memory Book by Lara Avery is available now.

For more information regarding Hachette Children’s Group (@HachetteKids) please visit www.hachetechildrens.co.uk.

Title: Six Tudor Queens – Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession

Author: Alison Weir

Pages: 544 Pages

Publisher: Headline

The Blurb

The young woman who changed the course of history.

Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love.

But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game.

Anne has a spirit worthy of a crown – and the crown is what she seeks. At any price. 

ANNE BOLEYN. The second of Henry’s Queens. Her story.

History tells us why she died. This powerful novel shows her as she lived.

SIX TUDOR QUEENS. SIX NOVELS. SIX YEARS.

The Review

No one really knows why Anne Boleyn is their favourite of Henry the VIII wives but sure as eggs is eggs most will pick her out of the 6. I would be one of those people for the exact reason that I mentioned. However, recently I started reading Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series and now I couldn’t say who my favourite is.

Weir has very cleverly told the story of the most infamous Tudor king and his wives by creating a believable fictional narrative that is gorgeously wrapped in truth. She has taken real events and information from archived documents to make the Tudor court come alive.

Anne Boleyn is the one that was accused of stealing Henry the VIII from Katherine of Aragon, committing treason and then getting beheaded. She really did have a fascinating life. As Weir tells the story from each queen’s perspective you become more sympathetic to each one.

The final part of this series is released in May and I can honestly say that it is engaging, enjoyable and educational.

A great historical story that comes to life.

Six Tudor Queens – Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir is available now.

For more information regarding Alison Weir (@AlisonWeirBooks) please visit www.alisonweir.org.uk.

For more information regarding Headline (@headlinepg) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: The Mercies

Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Pages: 345 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Winter, 1617. The sea around the remote Norwegian island of Vardø is thrown into a reckless storm. A young woman, Maren, watches as the men of the island, out fishing, perish in an instant. Vardø is now a place of women.

Eighteen months later, a sinister figure arrives. Summoned from Scotland to take control of a place at the edge of the civilized world, Absalom Cornet knows what he needs to do to bring the women of the island to heel. With him travels his young wife, Ursa. In her new home, and in Maren, Ursa finds something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place flooded with a terrible evil, one he must root out at all costs . . .

The Review

I have heard nothing but great things about The Mercies. Everyone I spoke to who had read it recommended it to me. It came with a lot of expectations that for me weren’t met.

This is not a slight against Kiran Millwood Hargrave. The premise of The Mercies makes it sound like it is my kind of book – an LGBT historical fiction with a feminist slant and persecution due to the belief in witches but I just didn’t gel with the story. It seems I am in the minority among my friends so this may have been a case of right book wrong time but at this point it wasn’t for me.

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is available now.

For more information regarding Kiran Millwood Hargrave (@Kiran_MH)please visit her Twitter page.

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

Title: Space Hopper

Author: Helen Fisher

Pages: 351 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

This is a story about taking a leap of faith

And believing the unbelievable

They say those we love never truly leave us, and I’ve found that to be true. But not in the way you might expect. In fact, none of this is what you’d expect.

I’ve been visiting my mother who died when I was eight.

And I’m talking about flesh and blood, tea-and-biscuits-on-the-table visiting here.

Right now, you probably think I’m going mad.

Let me explain…

Although Faye is happy with her life, the loss of her mother as a child weighs on her mind even more now that she is a mother herself. So she is amazed when, in an extraordinary turn of events, she finds herself back in her childhood home in the 1970s. Faced with the chance to finally seek answers to her questions – but away from her own family – how much is she willing to give up for another moment with her mother?

Space Hopper is an original and poignant story about mothers, memories and moments that shape life.

The Review

I am not a fan of time travel stories. I should say this from the start. I love Back to the Future but even that makes my head melt with time/space continuum issues and once I start thinking about it my head gets sore. You are probably wondering why I chose to read a book called Space Hopper which is about time travel and I can only say this: I like roller skates and they were on the cover.

However, once I started reading the story I actually found myself enjoying it. I think the reason for this is that besides the science fiction element the story has an awful lot of heart. Faye’s desire to spend time with her mum is palpable. Her yearning for a relationship with her aches off the page and the reader connects with this element.

Yes, if you look at Space Hopper from a realistic perspective you are left with some questions such as the butterfly effect but Fisher navigates this well. If you are going to read Space Hopper it is best to suspend your disbelief and read the story as a heartwarming tale of mother and daughter.

Space Hopper by Helen Fisher is available now.

For more information regarding Helen Fisher (@HFisherAuthor) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Simon and Schuster (@SimonsSchusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: Consent

Author: Annabel Lyon

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Atlantic Books

The Blurb

Saskia and Jenny – twins – are alike in appearance only. Saskia is a grad student with a single-minded focus on her studies, while Jenny is glamorous, thrill-seeking, and capricious. Still, when Jenny is severely injured in an accident, Saskia puts her life on hold to be with her sister.

Sara and Mattie are sisters with another difficult dynamic. Mattie, who is younger, is intellectually disabled. Sara loves nothing more than fine wines, perfumes, and expensive clothing, and leaves home at the first opportunity. But when their mother dies, Sara inherits the duty of caring for her sister. Arriving at the house one day, she is horrified to discover that Mattie has married their mother’s handyman. The relationship ends in tragedy.

Now, Sara and Saskia, both caregivers for so long, are on their own – and come together through a cascade of circumstances as devastating as they are unexpected. Razor-sharp and profoundly moving, Consent is a thought-provoking exploration of the complexities of familial duty, of how love can become entangled with guilt, resentment, and regret.

The Review

I have to admit, I am a little perplexed by this book. Consent by Annabel Lyon has a dual narrative that takes place over various time periods. The two main characters seem disparate characters who are brought together at the end. The coincidence of their lives joining seems to be completely random with one small tenuous link. Their separate stories of having difficulties with their families seems to be the only thing that really ties them together.

I just didn’t enjoy this book.

Consent by Annabel Lyon is available now.

For more information regarding Atlantic Books (@AtlanticBooks) please visit www.atlantic-books.co.uk.