Title: Revenge of the Sluts

Author: Natalie Walton

Pages: 328 Pages

Publisher: Wattpad Books

The Blurb

Double standards are about to get singled out.

In this stunning debut, author Natalie Walton tackles privacy and relationships in the digital age.

As a lead reporter for The Warrior Weekly, Eden has covered her fair share of stories at St. Joseph’s High School. And when intimate pictures of seven female students are anonymously emailed to the entire school, Eden is determined to get to the bottom of it.

In tracking down leads, Eden is shocked to discover not everyone agrees the students are victims. Some people feel the girls “brought it on themselves.” Even worse, the school’s administration seems more concerned about protecting its reputation than its students.

With the anonymous sender threatening more emails, Eden finds an unlikely ally: the seven young women themselves. Banding together to find the perpetrator, the tables are about to be turned. The Slut Squad is fighting back!

The Review

I love it when a new writing trend happens. Over the years we have seen vampires and werewolves, we have seen pirates, we have even seen limited life books become popular. However, the trend that most excites me, the one that makes me sit up and listen a bit more is the growing trend (that is hopefully here to stay) of girls not allowing themselves to be slut-shamed. It is a brand of feminism which has been around a while but has probably got more traction since the #MeToo movement.

Revenge of the Sluts is a brilliant book that displays this changing attitude and highlights the ever present mysogeny that is still present and that isn’t talked about, discussed, or taught about in schools but novels like Revenge of the Sluts are being placed in young girls hands and showing them that they don’t have to put up with it. They can make a stand and they can be the change. Revenge of the Sluts is brilliant for this reason. It shows people of both genders making a difference and refusing to stand for the outdated beliefs that girls should be allowed to be slut-shamed.

Revenge of the Sluts by Natalie Walton is available now.

For more information regarding Natalie Walton (@nataliexwalton) please visit www.rotsbook.com.

For more information regarding Wattpad Books (@wattpad) please visit www.wattpad.com.

Title: Hungry

Author: Grace Dent

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

From Frazzles to Foie Gras: a memoir of wanting more.

From an early age, Grace Dent was hungry. As a little girl growing up in Currock, Carlisle, she yearned to be something bigger, to go somewhere better.

Hungry traces Grace’s story from growing up eating beige food to becoming one of the much-loved voices on the British food scene. It’s also everyone’s story – from treats with your nan, to cheese and pineapple hedgehogs, to the exquisite joy of cheaply-made apple crumble with custard. It’s the high-point of a chip butty covered in vinegar and too much salt in the school canteen, on an otherwise grey day of double-Maths and cross country running. It’s the real story of how we have all lived, laughed, and eaten over the past 40 years.

Warm, funny and joyous, Hungry is also about love and loss, the central role that food plays in all our lives, and how a Cadbury’s Fruit ‘n’ Nut in a hospital vending machine can brighten the toughest situation.

The Review:

People will know Grace Dent as the no-nonsense northern food critic often seen on Masterchef or panel shows. If, like me, you are a fan of Grace Dent, you may have read her previous work about trying to leave Twitter – I love you, Dent, but it didn’t stop me using it. If you are a fan you may have recently picked up her autobiography – Hungry and if you are not a fan then you should, most definitely pick up a copy of Hungry.

Grace Dent has lived a very normal yet inspiring life. You could call it a rags to reasonable income story (I think even Dent would stop at saying riches) but it hasn’t fallen into her lap. Yes she has had some lucky breaks but all of her chances seem to have been born of hard work. She has put in the graft. As a fellow northerner you see an unwavering sense of “you get what you work for” mentality. An innate life ethos that comes from being working class and it is a mentality to take pride in.

The title Hungry is very fitting. Every time Dent mentioned a food staple from her childhood my mouth filled with saliva and reading the book left me with a hankering for Findus Crispy Pancakes – I’ve not been able to find them, I’ve had to settle for Bird’s Eye.

Overall, Dent uses food to show how the staple of our everyday lives combined with the love of our family creates a sense of comfort and how evocative food can be at drawing out memories.

A wonderful autobiography.

Hungry by Grace Dent is available now.

For more information regarding Grace Dent (@gracedent) please visit her Twitter page.

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

Title: The Smash-Up

Author: Ali Benjamin

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Quercus

The Blurb

After years spent in the city, working with his business partner Randy on Bränd media, Ethan finds himself in the quiet, closed-off town of Starkfield. His wife Zenobia is perpetually distracted by the swirling #MeToo politics, the Kavanaugh hearings, and her duties to the feminist activism group she formed: All Them Witches. Ethan finds himself caught between their regular meetings at his home and the battle to get his livewire daughter Alex to sleep.

But the new, stilted rhythm of his life is interrupted when he receives a panicked message. Accusations. Against Randy. A slew of them. And Ethan is abruptly forced to question everything: his past, his future, his marriage, and what he values most.

Unrelenting in its satire, The Smash-up jolts you into the twisted psyche of successful brand advertising, where historic exploitation is only ever a panicked phone-call away. With magnetic energy and doses of comic wit, Benjamin creates a world of social media algorithms, extreme polarization, the collapsing of identity into tweet-sized spaces, and the spectre of violence that can be found even in the quietest places.

The Review

The Smash-Up by Ali Benjamin kept appearing on my Twitter feed. It was lauded as the latest new voice and a must read book and so I bought into the hype and requested it from NetGalley. Once again – because when so many people are singing a books praise – the Tweeters were right. The Smash-Up by Ali Benjamin is not a comfortable read. The dichotomy of opposing forces – Masculinity verses Feminism (not the traditional opposite of femininity) is central to the development of the story and what Benjamin has managed to do so successfully is give both sides of the argument merit. Her take on feminism is brilliant, moving, intense, heartbreaking and, at times, all too real. This is especially powerful in the stream of conscious ramblings of Zen. Meanwhile, Ethan’s helplessness and inability to have any control reflects the worries of modern man.

The Smash-Up really is a powerful story that generously lends equal importance to topics that invariably lack equality.

The Smash-Up by Ali Benjamin is available now.

For more information regarding Quercus (@QuercusBooks) please visit www.quercusbooks.co.uk.

Title: Love is for Losers

Author: Wibke Brueggemann

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

The Blurb

A laugh out loud look at first love, loss and trying to avoid the girl of your dreams. What a stupid expression that is in the first place: To fall in love. Like you fall into a ditch or something. Maybe people need to look where they’re going. As far as Phoebe Davies is concerned, love is to be avoided at all costs. Why would you spend your life worrying about something that turns you into a complete moron? If her best friend Polly is anything to go by, the first sniff of a relationship makes you forget about your friends (like, hello?), get completely obsessed with sex (yawn) and talk non-stop about a person who definitely isn’t as great as you think they are. So Phoebe decides isn’t going to fall in love. Ever. But that was before she met Emma.….. Love is for Losers is a hilarious, life-affirming novel about all the big stuff: love, sex, death, family, heartbreak, kittens, and kisses that turn the whole world upside down.

The Review

Love is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemann is a brilliant story about love and loss. It covers a whole spectrum of issues such as losing your best friend to first love, LGBT representation, disability representation, parental issues among many many others.

The story follows Phoebe Davies who is a little bit of an outsider. She isn’t really comfortable with anyone but her close circle of friends and family however when she is forced to widen that circle we see her grow and Phoebe see’s how good life can be if you stop being so judgemental and let people in.

Phoebe is your classic flawed character. She is likeable but some of the things she does are not. She is quick to judge and sentence people when they act in a way that she deems inappropriate and she is always getting the wrong end of the stick but oddly it is these failures that make you like her and make her seem much more human.

I really enjoyed Love is for Losers. It is a great addition to the YA genre.

Love is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemann is available now.

For more information regarding Wibke Brueggemann (@WibkeBrueggemann) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Macmillan Children’s Books(@MacmillanKidsUK) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

Title: Toksvig’s Almanac 2021 – An Eclectic Meander Through the Historical Year

Author: Sandi Toksvig

Pages: 360 Pages

Publisher: Trapeze

The Blurb

Toksvig’s Almanac is intended merely as a starting point for your own discoveries. Find a fabulous (or infamous) woman mentioned and, please, go looking for more of her story. The names mentioned are merely temptations. Amuse-bouches for the mind, if you like. How I would have loved to have written out in detail each tale there is to be told, but then this book would have been too heavy to lift.’

Let Sandi Toksvig guide you on an eclectic meander through the calendar, illuminating neglected corners of history to tell tales of the fascinating figures you didn’t learn about at school.

From revolutionary women to serial killers, pirate nuns to pioneering civil rights activists, doctors to dancing girls, artists to astronauts, these pages commemorate women from all around the world who were pushed to the margins of historical record. Amuse your bouche with:

Belle Star, American Bandit Queen

Lady Murasaki, author of the world’s first novel

Madame Ching, the most successful pirate of all time

Maud Wagner, the first female tattoo artist

Begum Samru, Indian dancer and ruler who led an army of mercenaries

Inês de Castro, crowned Queen Consort of Portugal six years after her death

Ida B. Wells, activist, suffragist, journalist and co-founder of the NAACP

Eleanor G. Holm, disqualified from the 1936 Berlin Olympics for drinking too much champagne

These stories are interspersed with helpful tips for the year, such as the month in which one is most likely to be eaten by a wolf, and the best time to sharpen your sickle. Explore a host of annual events worth travelling for, from the Olney Pancake Race in Wiltshire to the Danish Herring Festival, or who would want to miss Serbia’s World Testicle Cooking Championship?

As witty and entertaining as it is instructive, Toksvig’s Almanac is an essential companion to each day of the year.

The Review

I love Sandi Toksvig. My love for her knows no bounds and all I really want to do is tickle her brain. She just knows so many amazing things and her latest book Toksvig’s Almanac is proof of that. It is a celebration of all the amazing – and times not so valued or remembered – fascinating things that women have done through the years. These women have been forgotten or hidden by history and it seems that Toksvig will not stand for it. I, for one, salute this.

I learned so much about so many women that I knew so little about when I read Toksvig’s Almanac. So many things have been forgotten or shoved to one side or retold to suit a patriarchal society that I know that I need books like this to help me understand the basics of a broader picture.

Toksvig’s Almanac really is the gift that keeps on giving. It is not a one time read. This could be read over and over again and it gives you a scope of things to research further. It is a book for all girls and one that should be gifted to everyone you know.

Toksvig’s Almanac 2021 – An Eclectic Meander Through the Historical Year by Sandi Toksvig is available now.

For more information regarding Sandi Toksvig (@sanditoksvig) please visit www.sanditoksvig.com.

For more information regarding Trapeze (@TrapezeBooks) please visit www.instagram.com/trapeze_books/.