Title: Half Lies

Author: Sally Green

Pages: 61 pages

Synopsis

The prequel to Sally Green’s Half Bad. Michele, Gabriel and their father are on the run. They are running from a perceived danger and more importantly, from their sadness. Gabriel and Michele’s mother was killed by her lover. In an act of revenge her lover was also killed.

Life on the lam isn’t easy for Michele. She hates being unsettled and never being able to put down roots yet when her father decides to stay outside Tampa in Florida Michele is suspicious. Her worries are quickly allayed when she finds herself making friends and dare she dream it….falling in love.

Review

Told in diary format, Half Lies tells the story of Gabriel through the perspective of his younger sister Michele. We met Gabriel in Half Bad when he is sent to help Nathan. What is promising is that if Green has felt it is important to give this character a back story that we may see more of him in the sequel Half Wild which will be released in 2015.

Though this was a short story it was chock full of information. What was also advantageous was that being told from the persepective of a teenage girl offered a flip from Nathan’s story. It gave a new angle but also showed that he isn’t the only one being persecuted for his half lack/half white status. It also adds an interesting juxtaposition of older generation of witches with their traditions and hatred and a younger generation who are influenced by them – either in a negative (Aiden) or positive (Sam) way.

Half Lies is the sort of story that you want about individual secondary or tertiary characters. As the main novel is not necessarily focused on them you never really get a clear insight into them; what makes them tick or how they really feel about things. In a series like the Half Bad series you need this information, you want this information and Sally Green gives it to you in spades.

I, for one, cannot wait for Half Wild which will be released in 2015.

Half Lies by Sally Green is available now.

Half Lies

Ho ho ho!

Yes folks we have reached December and I am feeling festive. This could be because I have been super organised this year and have nearly all my Christmas presents bought (it helps that I started buying them in August) and the majority of them wrapped. Please don’t feel too envious because this isn’t how I usually do things; usually I am running around on my final payday in a mad panic.

Anywho, before I go into what I managed to read this week and indeed what I plan to read in this upcoming week I have to talk about The Fault in our Stars. I read the book last year and I was broken. Only a few books have ever managed to do this to me; A Walk to Remember and Me Before You are included in this list. This weekend, my mother and I decided to watch the movie. Oh my wow. I spent the last forty minutes a crumbling mess: tears, red face and yes the ever attractive snot bubbles. I must give kudos to the filmmakers because they stuck so very closely to the John Green book. It is absolutely stunning. If you haven’t read the book then read it, then watch the movie. Have tissues handy, you have been warned!

Back to matters at hand, my week of books. This has been a pretty good week for reading. I have read:

Waiting for Doggo by Mark B. Mills

Skating at Somerset House by Nikki Moore

Both of these have been reviewed this week. I have also read:

Yours for Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row by Damien Echols and Lorri Davis (02.12.14)

Losing Heart by Donna Brown (06.12.14)

Cold Feet at Christmas by Debbie Johnson (03.12.14)

This week I plan to read:

It Happened on Broadway by Myra Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer

The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Talli Rowland

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

The Shape of Shit to Come by Alan McArthur and Steve Lowe

Let’s hope it is a good easy reading week.

Ooh and for those who are keeping tally on things, my NetGalley percentage is now up to 29.4% – only 0.6% until I get to 30% – whoop whoop!

Have a good reading week.

L x

Hello lovely character in my book of life,

How art thou? Goodeth I hopeth. Sorry, I have been assisting with the learning of The Bard this week and well who doesn’t love a bit of ye olde English?

Anywho, it has been an ok week of reading. I got through some good books. Here is what I managed to read:

A Place for Us Part Four by Harriet Evans

Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

Zoey and the Nice Guy by Carter Ashby

In Bloom by Matthew Crow (Review to be posted 25.11.14)

I am currently in the middle of Waiting for Doggo so that should be finished and reviewed for next week. There is only one book that I am due to review this week so any other books that I manage to read and review will be a bonus. The book I have to review is:

The Shape of my Heart by Ann Aguirre

I have been a bit naughty this week when it comes to books. I bought two off Amazon and I did technically buy several from charity shops this week. My argument is that I am technically saving lives….in a roundabout way. I got some fantastic bargains though.

Anyway lovely folks, I hope you enjoy your week.

L x

Title: A Place for Us: Part One

Author: Harriet Evans

Pages: 137 pages

Synopsis

Being part of the Winter clan is something incredibly special. Equally, being part of the Winter clan can be an albatross. The Winter’s, like most families, harbour many dark secrets; stories that they have failed to share. For although they are a close family there are some things that you just keep to yourself.

When Martha Winter, mother and matriarch of the family, calls all her children and grandchildren back to Winterfold, the family home, everyone is beyond curious. Hidden as an excuse to celebrate Martha’s 80th birthday, the family know that there is more than meets the eye to this party.

The house of Winter is about to be rocked to its very foundations.

Review

I love Harriet Evans. Never have I read a book by her and not been entranced and completely in love with the setting, the characters and the story. I was a little disappointed in myself that I found A Place for Us: Part One so difficult lose myself in. Don’t worry, it happened, just not as quickly as I had imagined it would.

Personally, I think I initially struggled with the multi-character perspective. This is not something I usually struggle with however, what I initially saw as a detriment actually turned out to be one of the great strengths of this book. Each character became distinctive. Their foibles and problems and desires and similarities became more and more evident as the tale went on. The everyday soap opera dramas juxtapose so easily with the long standing secrets making this book all the more intriguing.

The best way I can describe it is that A Place for Us is like going into the attic and finding a box of old photographs of people that look familiar that you don’t quite know. You try and piece together their story and it is only as more and more snapshots are revealed that you realise that you have an epic saga on your hands. That is what A Place for Us felt like for me.

I love stories that have the ability to make me want to be part of the featured family and help uncover the shocking familial revelations. I can honestly say that I have not read a saga like that in years – possibly since the Sweet Valley Sagas released in my teenage years.

Cleverly, Evans has serialised her novel which now has me chomping at the bit to read the next instalment. Well played, Harriet Evans. Well played, indeed.

All four instalments of A Place for Us by Harriet Evans are available now.

You can follow Harriet Evans on Twitter @HarrietEvans

A Place for Us Part One

Synopsis

At the age of 36 Michelle, chicken packer extraordinaire, did not expect to be living in such a rut. Living in the shadow of her dead sister and pretty much abhorred by her teenage daughter Michelle knows she has to make a change. When she strikes a deal with her rebellious daughter to marry George Clooney her initial reasons were selfish – to stop her daughter Josie from sleeping with sweaty not-good-enough-for-her boyfriend Sean and well to possibly get to marry George Clooney. However, life has a funny way of twisting fate and making you see the bigger picture.

Review

Ok, let me just start by saying two things. Firstly, I loved this story. It was funny, the characters were endearing and it was quite frankly unlike anything I have ever read before. Secondly, the storyline is absurd – people tend to take that word the wrong way. I assure I mean it in only the positive sense. It is such a bonkers, over the top, out of this world idea that it really did only have two ways of going. It would either work completely or it would fall apart hopelessly. Fortunately, for the readers of I Will Marry George Clooney (…By Christmas) and indeed for Tracy Bloom this book definitely falls into the former category.

What I think makes this book so special is that it focuses on the relationship between mother and daughter rather than the love story being the central theme; the uneasy relationship between Michelle and Josie strangely paradoxes the relationship between Michelle and her own mother, Kathleen. Michelle seems t get it from both sides. She cannot fill the shoes of her sister Jane who tragically died and she cannot be the mother that Josie wants her to be. Josie reacts and acts out due to the frustrations of not knowing who she really is and at her mother’s own willing to fade into the background rather than make anything of herself and, like any petulant teenager, makes Michelle feel all the more a bad mother for it by being snarky, disrespectful and disobedient. Kathleen doesn’t make things any easier on Michelle by always putting her down.

Yes, you can’t help but feel sorry for Michelle throughout this book, her confidence is at an all time low and she relies on her friends to remind her how wonderful she is. And truly, Bloom has created a rather marvellous character in Michelle. Bloom also succeeds in reminding her readers that life is short and you should become the hero in your own life story.

I Will Marry George Clooney (…By Christmas) by Tracy Bloom is available now.

You can follow Tracy Bloom on Twitter @TracyBBloom

Tracy Bloom