Genre: Crime Thriller/Murder Mystery

The Gist: Following the death of a well known supermodel and 60s “It” girl the London Police force soon realise that they have a serial killer on their hands. It is a race against time to figure out who the murderer is. All they have to go one are the words left as clues in blue chalk.

Short Review: A run-of-the-mill whodunnit with a quirky main character and a villain whose motives seem insufficient. Easter delves into the criminal world with an 80s London backdrop using the era as an additional character.

Long Review: When Detective Inspector Anne Leeding turns up at crime scene she expects it to be a run-of-the-mill suicide. Yet clues begin to lead the inspector to consider different options. Could she have a serial killer on here hands?

Okay, as far as crime thrillers go Don’t You Want Me? is pretty good. The clues are dished out incrementally and you are generally playing guess who with who the killer could be. If I have to be honest, I did find the whole story a bit too long. I felt that certain parts could have been left out and the story would have flowed better. Furthermore, I did think that Easter really wanted the reader to know that the book was set in 1981. He overused references to the point of exhaustion. 

However, his smaller plot lines made the story much more full. The secrets waiting to be revealed allowed the characters to feel fully developed and much more interesting beside their lives within the police force. 

Overall, Don’t You Want Me? isn’t amazing but it is an interesting read that will keep you entertained for a few hundred pages. 

Don’t You Want Me? by Richard Easter is available now.

Genre: Literary Fiction

The Gist: When an eighties one hit wonder pop star commits suicide the people in her life reflect on their time with her and try to figure out what part they may have played in her demise.

Short Review: A piece of political literary fiction that is balanced with a story of music, relationships and trying to make the world a better place.

Long Review: Scabby Queen is a really hard, gritty story set in London and Scotland over a period of 40 years. It is told from multi-perspective from the people who knew Clio Campbell – the one hit wonder and political activist. Clio Campbell has committed suicide and those that saw her at her best and at her worst reminisce about the times she influenced their own lives. 

Kirstin Innes has created a wonderfully unlikable character in Clio Campbell. She really is awful. Yet you cannot feel sorry for her. She is a product of her environment and the situations that she has been involved in, the relationships she has had – especially the ones she had in her formative years with her parents. 

I won’t lie to you, Scabby Queen is not an easy read. You want to love Clio but she makes it really difficult and you will spend a lot of your time yelling at the other characters to realise how toxic she is but it really is a good read.

Scabby Queen by Kirstin Innes is available now.

For more information regarding 4th Estate (@4thEstateBooks) please visit www.4thestate.co.uk.

Genre: YA Fiction/LGBTQIA+

The Gist: A group of friends head off to university. Whilst they begin to lose each other, they also begin to find themselves.  

Short Review: Loveless is the story of friendship that falls apart when they all discover themselves at university. Love, new social groups and dealing with sexuality are all things that impact this story.

Long Review: Georgia and her friends Pip and Jason are off to Durham University. Whilst her friends are off meeting people and having new adventures Georgia realises that she doesn’t feel the same as they do when it comes to new relationships. 

Whilst everyone is pairing off Georgia struggles to find anyone. She starts to question her sexuality. She doesn’t think that she is a lesbian like her best friend Pip; she tries to go out with other best friend Jason but that relationship repulses her. Georgia doesn’t know why she is feeling this way and it is making her miserable. 

I absolutely loved Loveless. For me, Alice Oseman really is the leading voice in talking to teens about sexuality. I learned so much from this book and I know that when I was a teenager my friends and I would have appreciated a book like this that answers questions that we didn’t even know we had.

Loveless is a brilliant book, one that has friendship at the heart and one that is ironically full of love. It was fantastic.

Loveless by Alice Oseman is available now.

For more information regarding Alice Oseman (@AliceOseman) please visit www.aliceoseman.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins UK (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Failosophy – A Handbook for When Things Go Wrong

Author: Elizabeth Day

Pages: 112 Pages

Publisher: 4th Estate

The Blurb

‘Most failures can teach us something meaningful about ourselves if we choose to listen’

In Failosophy Elizabeth Day brings together all the lessons she has learned, from conversations with the guests on her award-winning How to Fail podcast, from stories shared with her by readers and listeners, and from her own life, and distils them into seven principles of failure. Practical, reassuring and inspirational, these principles offer a guide through life’s rough patches.

From failed exams to romantic break-ups, from career setbacks to confidence crises, from navigating anxiety to surviving loss, Failosophy recognises, and celebrates, the fact that failure connects us all. It is what makes us human.

With insights from Malcolm Gladwell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Lemn Sissay, Frankie Bridge, Nigel Slater, Emeli Sande, Alain de Botton, Mabel, Fearne Cotton, Meera Syal, Dame Kelly Holmes, Andrew Scott and many, many more, Failosophy is the essential handbook for turning failure into success.

The Review

I really like Elizabeth Day. I enjoy her writing – both fiction and non-fiction and I enjoy listening to her podcast. When I was given the opportunity to read How to Fail I jumped at the chance. The same goes for Failosophy. When you get so much from a writer you gorge yourself on all of their works and fortunately for me I have yet to be disappointed. 

Failosophy is an extension of both he book and the podcast How to Fail. Whereas the book How to Fail was about Elizabeth Day’s journey and the podcast invites us to listen to a plethora or diverse and interesting people and their journey what you get from Failosophy is guidance for your own journey. I’ve said journey far too much and now I feel like I am in a montage at the beginning of The X Factor.

This pocket-sized guide is great to dip in and out of and helps to remind you that not all failures are failures. It really is a joyful things to read 

Failosophy – A Handbook for When Things Go Wrong by Elizabeth Day is available now.

For more information regarding Elizabeth Day (@elizabday) please visit www.elizabethdayonline.co.uk.

For more information regarding 4th Estate (@4thEstateBooks) please visit www.4thestate.co.uk.

Title: Wundersmith

Author: Jessica Townsend

Pages: 404 Pages

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group

The Blurb

Return to the magical world of Nevermoor, where Morrigan Crow’s adventures continue.

‘An extraordinary story full of magics great and small’ Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of THE GIRL OF INK AND STARS

Morrigan may have defeated her deadly curse, passed the dangerous trials and joined the mystical Wundrous Society, but her journey into Nevermoor and all its secrets has only just begun. And it’s important to remember that not all magic is used for good . . .

Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and His Dark Materials, this series takes readers into an extraordinary world, setting hope and imagination alive.

The Review

When I first read Nevermoor it completely blew my mind. Here it was. That new series that I had been waiting for. A fantasy book that didn’t leave me feeling disappointed or a bit flat. I wanted a one way ticket to Nevermoor.

And then Wundersmith was announced and I was in my applecart of happiness. I pre-ordered my copy and I waiting patiently by the letterbox on release day and then it was delivered. Hurrah.

And then I put it on my bookshelf and forgot to read it. 

I know. I am a terrible person. 

However, with the release of the third book in the series Hollowpox happening imminently I decided to grab Wundersmith and get lost in the wonderful world of Nevermoor once again.

In Wundersmith we see Morrigan beginning to grow up. She has started attending the Wundrous Society and has to deal with the everyday problems of being a kid and people being mean but also with the deathly blackmail that is being sent to her friends. They have to decide whether they will keep Morrigan’s secret even if it comes at a cost.

I really enjoyed Wundersmith. Morrigan has to learn to stand on her own two feet. Jupiter – her mentor – is otherwise engaged with serious Nevermoor situations and hasn’t got time for what Morrigan believes to be school girl problems. She has to toughen up. 

Whilst she is toughening up we still see her vulnerability and her need to feel included. It is her vulnerability that makes her so likeable. 

Townsend also uses Wundersmith to reveal more and more of this magical world she has created and the more you learn about it the more you wish you were a character in the novel.

Whilst I probably enjoyed Nevermoor more than Wundersmith I can say that Townsend has kept the magic alive with her second descent into this fictional world and it has made me even more keen to read Hollowpox. 

Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend is available now.

For more information regarding Jessica Townsend (@digressica) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Hachette Children’s Group (@HachetteKids) please visit www.hachettechildrens.co.uk.