Title: Our Country Friends

Author: Gary Shteyngart

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Atlantic Books / Allen & Unwin

The Blurb

It’s March 2020 and a calamity is unfolding. A group of friends and friends-of-friends gathers in a country house to wait out the pandemic. Over the next six months, new friendships and romances will take hold, while old betrayals will emerge, forcing each character to reevaluate whom they love and what matters most. The unlikely cast of characters includes a Russian-born novelist; his Russian-born psychiatrist wife; their precocious child obsessed with K-pop; a struggling Indian American writer; a wildly successful Korean American app developer; a global dandy with three passports; a Southern flamethrower of an essayist; and a movie star, the Actor, whose arrival upsets the equilibrium of this chosen family. Both elegiac and very, very funny, Our Country Friends is the most ambitious book yet by the author of the beloved bestseller Super Sad True Love Story.

The Review

Previously I would stick with books even if I didn’t enjoy them. I persevered with the third LOTR book for 3 months just to get it over with but lately I am just not that same person. I Marie Kondo my books. If they aren’t giving me joy then I don’t carry on with them. I tried with Our Country Friends. I read three chapters and I just didn’t care about the characters so I DNF’d it. Maybe it was a bit too hasty and maybe I will come back to it at another point in my life but at this moment I just do not have time to read books that aren’t bringing me joy.

Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart is available now.

For more information regarding Allen & Unwin (@AllenAndUnwinUK) please visit www.atlantic-books.co.uk/allen-unwin/.

Title: Everyone in This Room will Someday Be Dead

Author: Emily Austin

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Atlantic Books

The Blurb

Meet Gilda. She cannot stop thinking about death. Desperate for relief from her anxious mind and alienated from her repressive family, she responds to a flyer for free therapy at a local church and finds herself abruptly hired to replace the deceased receptionist Grace. It’s not the most obvious job – she’s queer and an atheist for starters – and so in between trying to learn mass, hiding her new maybe-girlfriend and conducting an amateur investigation into Grace’s death, Gilda must avoid revealing the truth of her mortifying existence.

A blend of warmth, deadpan humour, and pitch-perfect observations about the human condition, Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a crackling exploration of what it takes to stay afloat in a world where your expiration – and the expiration of those you love – is the only certainty.

The Review

Everyone in this Room will Someday Be Dead is an interesting novel about a girl called Gilda. Gilda appears to have an OCD, she is fatalistic and obsessive. As a young gay woman you would hardly find her to be working in a church but by chance she finds herself getting a job there. What unfolds is a mystery and the actions of a self-destructive characters.

I would be lying if I said I loved this book but I did like Gilda as a character and I enjoyed going on her journey with her.

Everyone in this Room will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin is available now.

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

Title: Black Light

Author: Kimberley King Parsons

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Atlantic Books

The Blurb

A black light illuminates that which the eye doesn’t see, uncovering what is hidden in plain sight.

In this raw, compassionate, debut collection Kimberly King Parsons casts light onto the weird, the intimate, the eerie and the sublimely beautiful with unflinching gaze and ferocious eloquence. Over twelve crackling stories, each a glorious escape hatch, she captures the bright ache of first love, the claustrophobic shadows of desire, the obsessive nature of friendship and the rapturous pull of taboo. Filled with a frenetic longing for connection, her reckless yet resilient heroines exhilarate and charm as they pursue the promise of elsewhere.

With psychedelic energy and deep humanity, Black Light chews over the messiness of being alive, the unsteadiness of hope and the ecstasies of coming of age.

The Review

I really need to stop reading collections of short stories. They just aren’t my cup of tea and I inevitably end up disliking collections because of the art form and not because of the writing. Black Light by Kimberley King Parsons is a well written collection of short stories. I can say that with confidence. King Parsons is a good writer but the collection as a whole just was not for me. It had no theme running through out so each new story put you at the starting block again and I just felt like I couldn’t connect.

Black Light is a good collection if you have a passion or a liking for the short story form but for me it just didn’t work.

Black Light by Kimberley King Parsons is available from 06th August 2020.

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

Title: Rewind

Author: Catherine Ryan Howard

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Atlantic Books

The Blurb

Psycho meets Fatal Attraction in this explosive story about a twisted voyeur and a terrible crime from the bestselling author of Distress Signals and The Liar’s Girl

PLAY Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?

PAUSE Natalie wishes she’d stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There’s something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can’t – not until she’s found what she’s looking for…

REWIND Psycho meets Fatal Attraction in this explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You’ve already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking…

The Review

Rewind is a bloomin’ creepy crime thriller that had me on the edge of my seat and jumping at the slightest noise.

The story starts with the disappearance of Instagram influencer Natalie. We know she has been murdered (this is not a spoiler) and now we have to figure out not just who killed her but why.

Rewind is a multi-persective story and you genuinely spend the whole novel going “he’s the killer, she’s the killer, they’re in it together.” Catherine Ryan Howard really does have you guessing until the very last page…or maybe it is just me because I never see these things coming. Either way Rewind was a damn good read. I loved it.

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard is available now.

For more information regarding Ryan Howard (@cathryanhoward) please visit www.catherineryanhoward.com/rewind.

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