Title: Sweet Sorrow

Author: David Nicholls

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

The Blurb

One life-changing summer
Charlie meets Fran…

In 1997, Charlie Lewis is the kind of boy you don’t remember in the school photograph. His exams have not gone well. At home he is looking after his father, when surely it should be the other way round, and if he thinks about the future at all, it is with a kind of dread.

Then Fran Fisher bursts into his life and despite himself, Charlie begins to hope.

But if Charlie wants to be with Fran, he must take on a challenge that could lose him the respect of his friends and require him to become a different person. He must join the Company. And if the Company sounds like a cult, the truth is even more appalling.

The price of hope, it seems, is Shakespeare.

Poignant, funny, enchanting, devastating, Sweet Sorrow is a tragicomedy about the rocky path to adulthood and the confusion of family life, a celebration of the reviving power of friendship and that brief, searing explosion of first love that can only be looked at directly after it has burned out.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Since the release of One Day I have hoovered the books by David Nicholls. One Day was one of those rare books that comes along and intoxicates you so much that you become even more antisocial that normal (seriously, I went to the pub with friends and ignored them so I could read my book).

Sweet Sorrow is certainly of a similar ilk to One Day. It is a book filled with nostalgia, of missed chances, and of coming of age. Nicholls manages to parallel what should be the most exciting time of a teenagers life with the pain of reality of growing up and life not going your way or going the way you expected it to go.

Sweet Sorrow is the butter sweet tale of first love and it is filled to the rim of those evocative feelings we have all had.

Whilst Nicholls hasn’t recreated the magic of One Day for me personally, he has created a sentimental story that was so damn endearing and enjoyable to read.

Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls is available now.

For more information regarding David Nicholls (@DavidNWriter) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBooks) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Carrie

Author: Stephen King

Pages: 306 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

The Blurb

Carrie White is no ordinary girl.

Carrie White has the gift of telekinesis.

To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie – the first
step towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues.

But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she
is forced to exercise her terrible gift on the town that mocks and loathes her . . .

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Ok. So this is probably going to be an unpopular opinion because I know that Stephen King is the master of horror and a genius at his craft but I just didn’t rate Carrie. I think the problem is that I was expecting to be absolutely petrified and I just wasn’t. I was a little bit underwhelmed if truth be told. This may have been due to many reasons; those being: I am of a generation that has seen so many real life horrors that it will take something pretty massive to scare me or because of Stephen King’s legendary status I was just expecting more.

One thing I will say about Carrie is that it really does excel in showing the cruelty of school kids. That is something that he definitely got right.

I plan to read more of King’s novels to see if this was just a one off.

Carrie by Stephen King is available now.

For more information regarding Stephen King (@StephenKing) please visit www.stephenking.com.

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBooks) please visit www.hodder.co.uk.

Title: How Do You Like Me Now?

Author: Holly Bourne

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

The Blurb

‘Turning thirty is like playing musical chairs. The music stops, and everyone just marries whoever they happen to be sitting on.’

Who the f*ck is Tori Bailey?

There’s no doubt that Tori is winning the game of life. She’s inspired millions of women to stick two fingers up at convention with her bestselling memoir, and she has the perfect relationship to boot.

But Tori Bailey has been living a lie.

Everyone around her is getting married and having babies, but her long-term boyfriend won’t even talk about getting engaged. And when her best friend Dee – her plus one, the only person who understands the madness – falls in love, suddenly Tori’s in terrifying danger of being left behind.

When the world tells you to be one thing and turning thirty brings with it a loud ticking clock, it takes courage to walk your own path.

It’s time for Tori to practise what she’s preached, but the question is: is she brave enough?

The debut adult novel by bestselling author Holly Bourne is a blisteringly funny, honest and moving exploration of love, friendship and navigating the emotional rollercoaster of your thirties.

The Review

Life is hard. That’s it. No amount of being told that it is hard and that it is unfair prepares you for that fact. In fact, when I grew up I had a plan that I was going to finish high school, go to college and university and I would be married by the time I was 21. My friend Ana and I had a plan. If we weren’t married by 21 we would join the army. Needless to say, neither of these plans came to fruition. Call it naivety or just plain ignorance but I wasn’t prepared for life. A book like Holly Bourne’s How Do You Like Me Now? may have given me a little preparation for this crazy little thing called life.

How Do You Like Me Now? is the story of Tori Bailey; she is a life guru of sorts, followed by thousands, a best-selling author. She is the girl other girls aspire to be. She has her shit together. Except, she really doesn’t. She is watching her friends all make big life choices: getting engaged, married or with child. Tori feels a little left behind. What she doesn’t seem to understand is that she is actually in a very toxic relationship and she is being held back by the man-child she is living with.

I really, really, really loved How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne. Yes, Tori could be a pain in the arse and so very unlikable at times but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t relate to some of the things that she is going through.

It is a strange little love story but one about loving yourself and I think that is the bravest thing about How Do You Like Me Now? This is the book that I wish was on a mandatory to be read list for every 25+ woman. Believe me, they all need to read it!

How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne is available now.

For more information regarding Holly Bourne (@holly_bourneYA) please visit www.hollybourne.co.uk.

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBooks) please visit www.hodder.co.uk.

The End of LonelinessTitle: The End of Loneliness

Author: Benedict Wells

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton/Sceptre

The Blurb

I’ve known Death a long time but now Death knows me.

When their idyllic childhood is shattered by the sudden death of their parents, siblings Marty, Liz and Jules are sent to a bleak state boarding school. Once there, the orphans’ lives change tracks: Marty throws himself into academic life; Liz is drawn to dark forms of escapism; and Jules transforms from a vivacious child to a withdrawn teenager.

I began to be afraid of the dark, afraid of death, afraid of eternity. I was alone. And then I met Alva.

The only one who can bring him out of his shell is his mysterious classmate Alva, who hides a dark past of her own, but despite their obvious love for one another, the two leave school on separate paths.

Our last meeting suddenly felt like yesterday again, except that yesterday was many years ago.

Years later, just as it seems that they can make amends for time wasted, the past catches up with them, and fate – or chance – will once again alter the course of a life.

Told through the fractured lives of the siblings, The End of Loneliness is a heartfelt, enriching novel about loss and loneliness, family and love.

The Review

Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

I almost have no words for how gorgeous The End of Loneliness is.

The novel, by Benedict Wells, is a nostalgic love story which spans the decades. It has so many elements: loss, love, death, family drama. It just covered all bases but not in an obnoxious “need to tick all boxes” kind of way but in a purely sentimental without being soppy way.

It was genuinely a pleasure to read. The protagonist, Jules, was easy to champion and fall in love with. You feel like you travel along with him on his journey through life. You feel immersed in the novel and not an outsider turning pages.

Benedict Wells has created a novel that you can sink into and one that you do not want to leave.

The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells is available now.

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBooks) please visit www.hodder.couk.

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

5 Stars

The Wicked ComethTitle: The Wicked Cometh

Author: Laura Carlin

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

The Blurb

We have no need to protect ourselves from the bad sort because WE are the bad sort . . .’

Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and the city’s vulnerable poor are disappearing from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.

When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock.

But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking. . .

A compelling page-turner from a gifted new voice in historical fiction, The Wicked Cometh is the perfect read for fans of The Witchfinder’s SisterFingersmith and The Essex Serpent.

The Review

Ok. I will admit, once again, that I am a sucker for a beautiful cover. So when I saw the stunning print version of The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin I knew I wanted to read it. I hadn’t read the blurb nor did I know anything about the story. I was lucky in that the story is set in Victorian London which is a time period and place that I love reading about.

I couldn’t say that I loved The Wicked Cometh but it did keep me entertained. For me, the pacing was a bit slow but what cannot be argued is Carlin’s ability to paint a picture of the dirty, grimy underbelly of London’s streets. Her descriptions of the London ghettos is flawless.

The Wicked Cometh is a really good story that is long, languorous and atmospheric in its telling. If you are a fan of Victorian mysteries then you need to add it to your book list.

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin is available now.

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBooks) please visit www.hodder.co.uk.

3 Stars