Title: Our Story

Author: Miranda Dickinson

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

Otty has just landed her dream job. She’s about to join the writing team of one of the most respected showrunners in TV. And then the night before her first day, she’s evicted from her flat.

Joe has been working with Russell for years. He’s the best writer on his team, but lately something has been off. He’s trying to get his mojo back, but when his flatmate moves out without warning he has other things to worry about.

Otty moving into Joe’s house seems like the perfect solution to both their problems, but neither is prepared for what happens next. Paired together in the writing room, their obvious chemistry sparks from the page and they are the writing duo to beat. But their relationship off the page is an entirely different story, and neither of them can figure out why.

And suddenly the question isn’t, will they, or won’t they? It’s why won’t they?

An epic and modern love story for our times, we will all see ourselves reflected in Otty and Joe. We are our own biggest barriers and this novel explores what happens when we get out of our own way. And it is glorious.

The Review

Miranda Dickinson is like a warm blanket. All of her books have given me that comforted feeling, like bing wrapped up in a warm hug. She is an author that you can trust to make you feel good and give you the warm and fuzzies. Never more so than with her latest novel Our Story which – I have to say – I think is my favourite book of hers so far.

It is the story of Otty and Joe. Through kismet they became housemates, through living and working together they became friends and through excellent story telling I was yelling at them to become more than that – a classic kiss him/her you fool story played out as I read each page.

It is funny because you know they kind of stories that Miranda Dickinson writes and you know that with this genre that as a reader you have certain expectations which inevitably are met but when a writer can have you guessing to the very last minute if it will happen or not then you know they writer is worth her salt. 

I loved Our Story. It had the perfect amount of give and take, the dual narrative was perfect for the type of story and Dickinson really did make me want to read more but also slow my pace because I didn’t want the story to end. Absolutely fantastic.

Our Story by Miranda Dickinson is available 3rd September 2020.

For more information regarding Miranda Dickinson (@wurdsmyth) please visit www.miranda-dickinson.com.

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

Title: Slay in Your Lane

Author: Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene

Pages: 341 Pages

Publisher: 4th Estate

The Blurb

The long-awaited guide to life for a generation of black British women inspired to make lemonade out of lemons, and find success in every area of their lives.

Observer’s 18 for 2018: the talent and trends tipped for the top

Elle’s 12 addictive books you have to read to get through in 2018

Metro’s best new books you have to get through in 2018

BBC’s hotly anticipated debut authors for 2018

Black women in 2018 are well past making waves – we’re currently creating something of a tsunami. From authors to politicians, to entrepreneurs to artists, black women in the UK continue to thrive against all odds and well outside of the world’s expectations. Women who look like us, grew up in similar places to us, talk like us, are shaping almost every societal sector, from the bottom and, finally, from all the way up at the top.

Black women today are facing uniquely challenging experiences in all aspects of their lives. Yet when best friends Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené’s searched for a book that addressed these challenges they realised none existed. So Slay in Your Lane – the lovechild of exasperation and optimism – was born.

From education, to work, to dating, to representation, money and health, this inspirational, honest and provocative Black Girl Bible explores the ways in which being black and female affects each of these areas – and offers advice and encouragement on how to navigate them.

Illustrated with stories from Elizabeth and Yomi’s own lives, and from interviews with dozens of the most successful black women in Britain – including Amma Asante, Charlene White, Jamelia, Denise Lewis, Malorie Blackman and Dawn Butler MP – Slay in Your Lane recognizes and celebrates the strides black women have already made, whilst providing practical advice and inspiration for those who want to do the same and forge a better, visible future.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Okay, let me preface this review by saying that I am aware that I am a white woman and therefore not the target awesome for this book. However, if we break the book Slay in Your Lane down to its parts there are still some sections of this book that I found applied to me and I took an awful lot from it.

Slay in Your Lane is a book about racism, feminism, the patriarchy and just what it is like to be living day to day as a black girl. How your everyday culture is questioned in modern (and predominantly white) society. It reveals the shocking day to day battles that black women face and how our two authors Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene respond to difficult situations. It is a powerful and empowering read. 

Slay in Your Lane is not just Uviebinene and Adegoke’s experience. Slay in Your Lane is sprinkled with the same, similar or downright shocking experiences of many famous black women throughout the world of TV, music, politics etc. You will not b forgiven for thinking that Slay in Your Lane is an angry feministic rant. It is not. It is a call to arms to stand up and be counted.

As I prefaced this review, I am not the target audience for this book. However, I did feel that after reading in that I am more equipped to fight for things I deserve and that I deserve to believe in myself more.

For an empowering read then you must pick up Slay in Your Lane.

Slay in Your Lane by is available now.

For more information regarding Yomi Adegoke (@yomiadegoke) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Elizabeth Uviebinene (@lizuvie) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding 4th Estate (@4thEstateBooks) please visit www.4thestate.co.uk.

Title: Quarantine – A Love Story

Author: Katie Cicatelli-Kuc

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Scholastic

The Blurb

Oliver wants a girlfriend, and there’s a girl back home who might be interested in him. The problem is, he has to spend his spring break on a volunteer trip in the Dominican Republic. Flora, on the other hand, isn’t really looking for a boyfriend. She just wants to end a miserable spring break visiting her dad and her new stepmom in the D.R.

The solution to both their problems? Get back home to New York ASAP. Sadly, they won’t be getting there anytime soon. 

Their hopes are dashed when Flora’s impulsiveness lands them in quarantine — just the two of them. Now, the two teens must come together in order to survive life in a bubble for 30 days. In that time, love will bloom. But is it the real thing, or just a placebo effect? 

In her debut novel, Katie Cicatelli-Kuc delivers an introspective and witty story about finding love in the most unexpected place.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Quarantine is the quirky love story of Oliver and Flora. Both meet on a plane home from the Dominican Republic. On the same flight, the man sitting next to Oliver takes ill. Everyone is put on a 24 hour quarantine. Flora, however feels unwell and in a moment of madness kisses Oliver. They are both forced to stay on a 30 day quarantine together.

Oh Quarantine is adorable. It is told in relatively short chapters of differing perspectives – Oliver and Flora’s – and we seem the blossoming of their relationship. We are faced with fame hungry friends, overbearing mothers and sleazy junior doctors. It really does have it all.

If you want a dose of romance then Quarantine is the book for you.

Quarantine – A Love Story by Katie Cicatelli-Kuc is available now.

For more information regarding Katie Cicatelli-Kuc (@katie_cicatelli) please visit www.katiecicatelli.com.

For more information regarding Scholastic (@Scholastic) please visit www.scholastic.com.

Title: The Weekend

Author: Charlotte Wood

Pages: 272 Pages

Publisher: Orion 

The Blurb

Sylvie, Jude, Wendy and Adele have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three.

These women couldn’t be more different: Jude, a once-famous restaurateur with a spotless life and a long-standing affair with a married man; Wendy, an acclaimed feminist intellectual; Adele, a former star of the stage, now practically homeless. 

Struggling to recall exactly why they’ve remained close all these years, the grieving women gather for one last weekend at Sylvie’s old beach house. But fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface – a storm that will either remind them of the bond they share, or sweep away their friendship for good. 

The Review

The Weekend is the story of three friends – Adele, Wendy and Jude – as they spend the Christmas weekend clearing out the home of their friend Sylvie who has died. With decades of friendship behind them we learn that relationships between those you hold closest are often the ones with the darkest secrets.

Golden Girls, The Weekend ain’t. The group of friends are trying their hardest to hold it together but with age comes a lot of things, mainly invisibility and negativity from others. Without Sylvie, the dynamic of the friends has changed and the balance leads to revelations about the past that may have stayed better buried.

Charlotte Wood’s The Weekend is a great story of the lasting power of friendship and how people should be allowed to grow old in any way and whatever fashion that way they want.

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood is available now.

For more information regarding Orion (@orionbooks) please visit www.orionbooks.co.uk.

Title: Between the Stops – The View of My Life from the Top of the Number 12 Bus

Author: Sandi Toksvig

Pages: 423 Pages

Publisher: Virago

The Blurb

This long-awaited memoir from one of Britain’s best-loved celebrities – a writer, broadcaster, activist, comic on stage, screen and radio for nearly forty years, presenter of QI and Great British Bake Off star – is an autobiography with a difference: as only Sandi Toksvig can tell it.

Between the Stops is a sort of a memoir, my sort. It’s about a bus trip really, because it’s my view from the Number 12 bus (mostly top deck, the seat at the front on the right), a double-decker that plies its way from Dulwich, in South East London, where I was living, to where I sometimes work – at the BBC, in the heart of the capital. It’s not a sensible way to write a memoir at all, probably, but it’s the way things pop into your head as you travel, so it’s my way’.

From London facts including where to find the blue plaque for Una Marson, ‘The first black woman programme maker at the BBC’, to discovering the best Spanish coffee under Southwark’s railway arches; from a brief history of lady gangsters at Elephant and Castle to memories of climbing Mount Sinai and, at the request of a fellow traveller, reading aloud the Ten Commandments; from the story behind Pissarro’s painting of Dulwich Station to performing in Footlights with Emma Thompson; from painful memoires of being sent to Coventry while at a British boarding school to thinking about how Wombells Travelling Circus of 1864 haunts Peckham Rye;from anecdotes about meeting Prince Charles, Monica Lewinsky and Grayson Perry to Bake-Off antics; from stories of a real and lasting friendship with John McCarthy to the importance of family and the daunting navigation of the Zambezi River in her father’s canoe, this Sandi Toksvig-style memoir is, as one would expect and hope, packed full of surprises. 

A funny and moving trip through memories, musings and the many delights on the Number 12 route, Between the Stops is also an inspiration to us all to get off our phones, look up and to talk to each other because as Sandi says: ‘some of the greatest trips lie on our own doorstep’.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Sandi Toksvig is one of the few people whose brain I would really like to tickle. Sounds. Bit strange but she is someone who ticks all the boxes for me. She is smart, she is damn funny and she is articulate. Add to that the fascinating life that she has led (seriously) and the events – like actual world events she had a front row seat for and you really do have an interesting memoir.

However, Between the Stops is actually a lot more than that. See Sani Toksvig gives you a history of London interspersed with her life story. You learn so much about our nation’s capital alongside her own history and it is such a wonderful juxtaposition of information.

With Between the Stops you will laugh, you will get emotional and you will genuinely learn something new. I really hope Sandi Toksvig gets on a different number bus and releases a sequel because this was just a joyous read. 

Between the Stops – The View of My Life from the Top of the Number 12 Bus by Sandi Toksvig is available now.

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

For more information regarding Virago (@ViragoBooks) please visit www.virago.co.uk.