Title: The Doll Factory

Author: Elizabeth Macneal

Pages: 336Pages

Publisher: Picador Books

The Blurb

The Doll Factory is a sweeping tale of curiosity, love, and possession set among all the sordidness and soaring ambition of 1850s London.

The greatest spectacle London has ever seen is being erected in Hyde Park and, among the crowd watching, two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist of unique beauty, it is the encounter of a moment—forgotten seconds later—but for Silas, a curiosity collector enchanted by the strange and beautiful, the meeting marks a new beginning.

When Iris is asked to model for Pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint, and suddenly her world expands beyond anything she ever dreamed of. But she has no idea that evil stalks her.

Silas, it seems, has thought of only one thing since that chance meeting, and his obsession is darkening by the day…

The Review

I don’t know what it is about novels set during the Victorian era that makes me like them so much. It could be that the world was changing so rapidly that it is interesting to imagine how people dealt with those changes or it could be that as a 21st century audience we take things for granted that still had that creepy quality during this period.

Creepiness is definitely what you get from the story in The Doll Factory. It is a story centred around Iris, the once less attractive twin who end up being considered a great beauty by rogue artists. Whilst she chooses to change her life – angering her family and going against what was expected and socially accepted of working class women – she encounters difficulties that she couldn’t even begin to imagine…including the unreciprocated feelings of strange taxidermist, Silas.

I really enjoyed The Doll Factory. I was so intrigued by the story that I felt myself desperate to read on. It is definitely an ‘Oh, just one more chapter…’ book. The world which Macneal creates is so visual and she manages to create a story that is the perfect blend of character and story driven. The backdrop of industrial change and great opportunity is evocative and really enables you to live this story. I have read quite a few books set during this era but have to admit that The Doll Factory is forcing its way to the top of my favourites list.

For more information regarding Elizabeth Macneal (@esmacneal) please visit www.elizabethmacneal.com.

For more information regarding Picador Books (@picadorbooks) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: The Burning

Author: Laura Bates

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Books

The Blurb

A rumour is like a fire. You might think you’ve extinguished it but one creeping, red tendril, one single wisp of smoke is enough to let it leap back into life again. Especially if someone is watching, waiting to fan the flames …

New school.
Tick.
New town.
Tick.
New surname.
Tick.
Social media profiles?
Erased.

There’s nothing to trace Anna back to her old life. Nothing to link her to the ‘incident’.

At least that’s what she thinks … until the whispers start up again. As time begins to run out on her secrets, Anna finds herself irresistibly drawn to the tale of Maggie, a local girl accused of witchcraft centuries earlier. A girl whose story has terrifying parallels to Anna’s own…

The compelling YA debut from Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and bestselling author of Girl Up.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

The Burning by Laura Bates is a brilliant contemporary YA Fiction novel that packs a heart and relevant punch. It toys with the ideas of blame, shame, and social media.

The story follows Anna, a young girl who has been persecuted for decisions she has made in the past. Now, away from the life that she once knew, she plans to start afresh and hope that the negativity from the past doesn’t catch up with her.

Parallel to the main plot runs a story about how girls have always been persecuted by narrow-minded people and how they have always been persecuted – especially by men – which mirrors what Anna is going through.

The Burning is a powerful book that I will be shoving into the hands of all the students that I work with. This book needs to be read, the problems within it need to be understood, and the issues it discusses need to be rectified.

You NEED to read The Burning.

The Burning by Laura Bates is available now.

For more information regarding Laura Bates (@EverydaySexism) please visit www.everydaysexism.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Books (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: New Erotica For Feminists – The Must-Have Book for Every Hot and Bothered Feminist Out There

Author: Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor and Carrie Wittmer

Pages: 128 Pages

Publisher: Sceptre

The Blurb

Get What you Deserve Again and Again and Again with New Erotica for Feminists: the must-have provocative, subversive and wickedly funny book from the editors of The Belladonna comedy magazine

He calls me into his office and closes the door… to promote me. He promotes me again and again. I am wild with ecstasy.

Your boss gives you a pay rise, the hotshot producer recognises your talents, the pizza delivery guy hopes you’ve got a box-set to watch with your extra-large pizza. Prepared to be satisfied…at last.

Sometimes a plumber is just a plumber. Get what you really want this year with dozens of literary quickies to tantalise and titillate even the most world-weary feminist.

From four brilliant women with their finger on the pulse comes a wickedly funny, provocative and subversive response to #metoo and Time’s Up.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Well this is just hilarious.

New Erotica for Feminists is a handbag sized book that is jam packed with laughs. It takes the concept of a dirty story and subverts it with a feminist twist. I genuinely had tears in my eyes laughing at the stories because they were so real and relatable.

New Erotica for Feminists is a must read.

New Erotica For Feminists – The Must-Have Book for Every Hot and Bothered Feminist Out There by Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor and Carrie Wittmer is available now.

For more information regarding Caitlin Kunkel (@KunkelTron) please visit www.caitlinkunkel.com.

For more information regarding Brooke Preston (@bigu) please visit www.brookeprestoncomedy.com.

For more information regarding Fiona Taylor (@fionaleslie) please visit www.thebelladonnacomedy.com.

For more information regarding Carrie Wittmer (@carriesnotscary) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Sceptre Books (@SceptreBooks) please visit www.sceptrebooks.co.uk.

Title: What Would Boudicca Do? – Everyday Problems Solved by History’s Most Remarkable Women

Author: Elizabeth Foley and Beth Coates

Pages: 208 Pages

Publisher: Faber & Faber

The Blurb

Tired of being talked over? Of social media making you feel crap? Of the pressure to ‘have it all’ and a hot bod too?

Boudicca stuck up for herself and now she can help you do the same. It is time to start channelling the spiky superwomen of history to conquer today. It is time to turn to women like Frida Kahlo and Josephine Baker, Hypatia and Cleopatra, Coco Chanel and Empress Cixi. In this irreverent guide they will help you figure out how to dispatch a loverat, back yourself, kill it at work and trounce FoMo.

With original illustrations by Bijou Karman, What Would Boudicca Do? will make you fired-up and ready for anything.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I am a woman. I am a daughter and a sister but most important to me, I am an aunty. I am determined to a) make my niece love reading as much as I do and b) make sure that she is a strong woman. It is with this in mind that I read as much as I can about the forgotten women of history; the women who made a difference, socially, scientifically, economically or who just made a difference enough to mention.

I want to share these tales with my niece, who at the moment wants to be a princess. I want her to want to be fierce. Whether that is as a princess, as a make-up artist, as a surgeon or as a postal service delivery woman. I do not care what she wants to be when she is older as long as she does it knowing that she is a rock star.

This is why I read books like What Would Boudicca Do? They give me an insight into women of the past that I have no knowledge of. I have read quite a few of these tropes and I must say that What Would Boudicca Do? is up there with the best of them.

What Would Boudicca Do? – Everyday Problems Solved by History’s Most Remarkable Women by Elizabeth Foley and Beth Coates is available now.

For more information regarding Faber & Faber (@FaberBooks) please visit www.faber.co.uk.

Title: Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and Other Lies) – Amazing Women on what the F-Word Means to Them

Author: Scarlett Curtis

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

Every woman has a different story to tell. Reading them all in one book might just change your life.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I love feminism – that, my friends, is a t—shirt right there – but I genuinely do. I love the modern wave of feminism and the fact that so many prominent women in society are backing themselves and supporting other women.

The collection of essays features in Feminists Don’t Wear Pink are engaging, witty, entertaining and powerful. They are the perfect source for young people to learn about feminism in a contemporary culture and I think that the powerful voices featured in this book can only have a positive impact on those who read it.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and Other Lies) – Amazing Women on what the F-Word Means to Them by Scarlett Curtis is available now.

For more information regarding Scarlett Curtis (@scarcurtis) please visit her Twitter page.

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