Title: Permanent Record

Author: Mary H K Choi

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group UK

The Blurb

On paper, college dropout Pablo Rind doesn’t have a whole lot going for him. His graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli in Brooklyn is a struggle. Plus, he’s up to his eyeballs in credit card debt. Never mind the state of his student loans.

Pop juggernaut Leanna Smart has enough social media followers to populate whole continents. The brand is unstoppable. She graduated from child stardom to become an international icon and her adult life is a queasy blur of private planes, aspirational hotel rooms, and strangers screaming for her just to notice them.

When Leanna and Pablo meet at 5:00 a.m. at the bodega in the dead of winter it’s absurd to think they’d be A Thing. But as they discover who they are, who they want to be, and how to defy the deafening expectations of everyone else, Leanna and Pablo turn to each other. Which, of course, is when things get properly complicated.

The Review

Permanent Record is a sort of reverse Cinderella story between a young man, Pablo who is struggling to try and fit in to his position as adult and Leanna who is a celebrity who is confused by her desire for normality without losing the fame and fortune she has accrued.

Let’s start with Pablo: He is a college dropout, seriously in debt, can’t figure out what he wants to do but knows that he wants to make a fortune doing it. He wants to be successful but does not want to accept that success is hard work. He has a complicated relationship with his family and often screws up monumentally.

Leanna is a pop star/childhood sensation who cannot cut her hair without making global news. She longs for normality but actually doesn’t know how to be normal because her normal is so different from everyone else’s that she often acts selfishly without realising that she cannot solve her problems by throwing her wealth around.

They make an unlikely pair but as a reader you really root for them to be together. My one negative about the book isn’t really a negative about the book. That sounds a bit confusing but her me out. I am not a young adult. I enjoy YA fiction but I am a fully grown adult in my thirties and at time I didn’t quite understand the vernacular used by the characters. That is on me though. Mary H K Choi is writing for a very different age group who would know about the things that I found confusing.

Permanent Record is a really good story that has two highly flawed but likeable characters. Make sure you add it to your to be read list.

Permanent Record by Mary H K Choi is available now.

For more information regarding Mary H K Choi (@choitotheworld) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Little, Brown Book Group (@LittleBrownUK) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: The Reunion

Author: Guillaume Musso

Pages: 308 Pages

Publisher: Little Brown

The Blurb

An elite prep school frozen in the snow
Three friends linked by a tragic secret
One girl taken by the night
The French Riviera – 25 years ago

One freezing night, as her campus is paralyzed by a snowstorm, 19-year-old Vinca Rockwell, the most beautiful and glamorous girl at her prep school, runs away with her philosophy teacher, with whom she has been conducting a secret affair.

She will never be seen again.

The French Riviera – present day

Once inseparable, Thomas, Maxime, and Fanny—Vinca’s best friends— have not spoken since graduation. But when they receive a notice from their old school, detailing plans for a new gymnasium and inviting them to come to a class reunion, they know they must go back one more time. Because there is a body buried in the gym’s walls…and they’re the ones who put it there.
What really happened that long-ago winter night? Now nothing stands in the way of the truth.
From France’s #1 bestselling author, Guillaume Musso, The Reunion is a taut and suspenseful thriller that will keep readers riveted until its haunting final page.

The Review

I have said it before but I am the perfect person to read murder mysteries. I never guess who the murderer is, I never see the twists coming, and I am the person who can be found making shocked ‘no way’ noises when something major happens.

This was exactly the same with Guillaume Musso’s book The Reunion. It is the story of a secret that has been kept uncovered for 25 years. The story of a murder that took place n high school and one that is threatened to be revealed with the construction of a new building.

Protagonist Thomas hasn’t got long but he must do everything to stop the secrets of the murder he committed being revealed. However, whilst he races against time, those who he holds nearest to him start to get mysteriously attacked and killed.

The Reunion is a fast paced mystery. You really do fly through the book. The short chapters help build the tension and keep the momentum going. I did find a bit of disconnect between myself as a reader and the characters, almost like I was being kept at arm-length. I don’t know whether this was because things were lost in translation (the original novel was written in French) but sometimes I think the old adage of ‘show not tell’ could have been applied.

Either way, The Reunion is a really good read for those who enjoy a good murder mystery.

The Reunion by Guillaume Musso is available now.

For more information regarding Guillaume Musso (@Guillaume_Musso) please visit www.guillaumemusso.com.

For more information regarding Little Brown (@littlebrown) please visit www.littlebrown.com.

The Crimes of Grindlewald by JK Rowling

Title: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald – The Original Screenplay

Author: JK Rowling

Pages: 315 Pages

Publisher: Little, Brown

The Blurb

At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided Wizarding World.

This second original screenplay from J.K. Rowling, illustrated with stunning line art from MinaLima, expands on earlier events that helped shaped the Wizarding World, with some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of both the books and films.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

As you may well know, my love for the Harry Potter series knows no bounds. I love it, I love it, I love it. Equally, I am in love with the Fantastic Beasts series. All I want in life is a house with a library and two bathrooms AND for JK Rowling to continue writing back story to the HP series. With Fantastic Beasts I kind of have one, now I am just holding out for the house with the library and two bathrooms (fingers crossed folks).

The Crimes of Grindlewald brings us to a character we first heard about in the Harry Potter series. The eponymous Grindlewald has been spoken of a lot in the Pottermore universe and it seems that we are getting to know a lot more about him and how he approaches wizardy. We are also seeing a remarkable resemblance of thinking to He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (*coughs Voldemort).

What I love about The Crimes of Grindlewald is that it leaves you wanting more. Something that JK does best.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald – The Original Screenplay by JK Rowling is available now.

For more information regarding JK Rowling (@jk_rowling) please visit www.jkrowing.com.

For more information regarding Little, Brown (@LittleBrownUK) please visit www.littlebrown.co.uk.

Spandex and the CityTitle: Spandex and the City

Author: Jenny Colgan

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Little Brown

The Blurb

‘Could you please . . . possibly . . . possibly forget we ever met?’

I thought of how much I wanted to be a journalist. I thought of what a gigantic scoop this was. I noticed how downcast and miserable he looked.

‘You know,’ I said. ‘None of the pictures on the internet of the people who are supposed to be you are actually you.’

‘I know,’ he said.

‘I mean, Ultimate Man . . . you sound like a bra.’

‘I know,’ he said. ‘All the good names were taken.’

LOCAL GIRL SWEPT OFF HER FEET

Mild-mannered publicist Holly Phillips is unlucky in love. She’s embarrassed beyond belief when the handsome stranger she meets in a bar turns out to be ‘Ultimate Man’ – a superpowered hero whose rescue attempt finds her hoisted over his shoulder and flashing her knickers in the newspaper the next day.

But when Holly’s fifteen minutes of fame make her a target for something villainous, she only has one place to turn – and finds the man behind the mask holds a lot more charm than his crime-fighting alter-ego.

The Review

Firstly, I would like to thank Clara Diaz of Little Brown for sending me a review copy of Spandex and the City by Jenny Colgan and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Jenny Colgan’s latest book offering is the all out superhero romp Spandex and the City. The story centres on Holly Phillips whose ordinary life is even starting to bore her. Trying to leave the humdrum existence Holly manages to meet local superhero Ultimate Man on a night out and from that point on no one can call her life boring.

Colgan’s approach to the superhero genre is interesting. It is rare (if not never done before) that we see a superhero story through the eyes of the love interest. Colgan manages to stick to traditional character traits for the Superhero but exploring them through a different perspective. Sure, Ultimate Man is all brooding and self sacrificing but think back to all your superhero movies; we never saw things from Lois Lane’s or Mary Jane Watson’s perspective.

Furthermore, in Spandex and the City, Colgan brings us back to her earlier writing. Holly is charming and easy to like. Her self-depreciating nature reminded me of the protagonists in Colgan’s Talking to Addison and Looking for Andrew McCarthy (both excellent books that you should read).

Spandex and the City is an experimental fusion of the Rom Com and Superhero genre and Jenny Colgan has tackled this challenge with gusto. Spandex and the City might not be a book that will save the world but the story might just save you on a boring day. Read it!

Spandex and the City by Jenny Colgan is available now.

For more information regarding Jenny Colgan please visit (@jennycolgan) www.jennycolgan.com.

For more information regarding Little Brown (@LittleBrownUK) please visit www.littlebrown.co.uk.

35 Stars

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-themTitle: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Author: JK Rowling

Pages: 293 Pages

Publisher: Little Brown UK

The Blurb

J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut is captured in this ebook edition of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay.

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

Inspired by the original Hogwarts textbook by Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. A feat of imagination and showcasing a cast of remarkable characters and magical creatures, this is epic adventure-packed storytelling at its very best. Whether an existing fan or new to the wizarding world, this is a perfect addition to any film lover or reader’s bookshelf.

The film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them received its theatrical release on 18th November 2016.

(Amazon Blurb)

The Review

I am not going to lie to you. I am a mad Harry Potter fangirl so anything Potter related I am pre-destined to love. However, my love for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling is actually based on more. It is just a wonderful story.

I am constantly saying to friends and other Potterheads that JK Rowling needs to write wizarding history.  I want to know more about The Order of the Phoenix, more about You-Know-Who’s life, more about the Lestrange family. Just more, really. I think that I why I was so excited when the Pottermore series was released in September, why I sat on the hallway stairs waiting for The Cursed Child to be delivered (I was there for 8 hours – it stopped being funny really quickly) and why I was so excited for the release of fantastic beasts.

It is the back story of such a random and little mentioned character in the Harry Potter series but it packs such an impact and drips through to the series in such a subtle way. Newt Scamander has docked in New York with hopes to find a rare creature. What ensues is a series of wacky and magical adventures that has you wishing you weren’t a muggle.

JK Rowling has, once again, delivered another fabulous piece to the Potter puzzle. Heed my words Rowling, WE WANT MORE!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling is available now.

For more information regarding JK Rowling (@jk_rowling) please visit www.jkrowling.com.

For more information regarding Little Brown UK (@LittleBrownUK) please visit www.littlebrown.co.uk.

4-stars