The Truth and Lies of Ella BlackTitle: The Truth and Lies of Ella Black

Author: Emily Barr

Pages: 346 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House Children’s UK

The Blurb

Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . . Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things. And realises her life has been a lie. Her mother and father aren’t hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they’ll never think to look – the favelas. But there she learns a terrible secret – the truth about her real parents and their past. And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .

The Review

Emily Barr has really knocked it out the park with her latest young adult novel. The Truth and Lies of Ella Black is a superb psychological thriller for the young adult audience.

Our eponymous heroine Ella Black has a dark side that she has always tried to keep hidden away but when her parents whisk her off on an impromptu holiday and take her phone away from her, Ella’s bad side starts creeping out.

The holiday to Rio reveals some things about Ella’s past that cause her whole word to crumble an Ella ends up finding her real self by getting lost in the hustle and bustle of one of Rio’s favelas.

Barr has really created a character with depth and emotional layers with Ella Black. She is easy to relate to and you cannot help but feel her desperation. She is brave and fierce and definitely a heroine for generation Z.

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr is available now.

For more information regarding Emily Barr (@emily_barr) please visit www.emilybarr.com.

For more information regarding Penguin Random House Children’s UK (@PenguinRHUK) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.co.uk.

3 Stars

Flora BanksTitle: The One Memory of Flora Banks

Author: Emily Barr

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s

The Blurb

You always remember your first kiss. Flora remembers nothing else…

“I look at my hands. One of them says ‘Flora be brave’. I am Flora.”

Flora has anterograde amnesia. She can’t remember anything day-to-day; the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is.

Then she kisses someone she shouldn’t have kissed – and the next day she remembers it. The first thing she’s remembered anything since she was ten.

But the boy is gone.

Desperate to hold onto the memory, she sets off to the Arctic to find him.

Why can she remember Drake? Could he be the key to everything else she’s forgotten?

The Review

I love it when I come across a book that opens me up to a brand new world. Granted that kind of happens a lot when you read as much as I do but what has to be said is that Young Adult fiction seems to be pioneering in its attempts to enlighten people to the unusual and tragic.

Take The One Memory of Flora Banks for instance. I’m sure that there have been many books that have been written about memory loss or amnesia. I, myself, have not read any that I can remember. What is certain is that I definitely hadn’t when I was a teenager. Don’t get me wrong, I loved and treasured the series of books that I read as a teen but it is only as an adult that I realise just how much they weren’t very enlightening.

Flora Banks, however, is. Flora is a teenager but she knows very little about her own life. She can’t retain memories and hasn’t had a new memory since the age of 10 when she was in an accident which caused her to experience severe memory loss.

After a party thrown by her best friend Flora kisses a boy. This is something that she remembers and holds on to. She kissed a boy. Days later she still remembers it. After this kiss her whole world as she knows it is thrown into chaos.

The One Memory of Flora Banks is a courageous tale of love, drama, family loyalty, adventure and most of all one of independence. It is a story that will resonate with teenagers (amnesia aside) as we all have had a little bit of Flora Banks in us at some point in our youth.

This is a brave novel that tackles an issue that, without literature and fictionalised accounts, many of us will never come across in our lives. The One Memory of Flora Banks is definitely a novel for your TBR pile.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr is available now.

For more information regarding Emily Barr (@emily_barr) please visit www.emilybarr.com.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

For more information regarding Random House (@PenguinRHUK) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.com.

4 Stars