SourdoughTitle: Sourdough

Author: Robin Sloan

Pages: 262 Pages

Publisher: Atlantic Books

The Blurb

Leavened by the same infectious intelligence and lovable nerdiness that made Robin Sloan’s Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore such a sensation, Sourdough marks the triumphant return of a unique and beloved young writer.

Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighbourhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her – feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.

Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she’s providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer’s market, and a whole new world opens up.

When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?

The Review

Ok, I genuinely don’t know what to write. After nearly four years of book reviews a book has me stumped. I cannot for the life of me tell you what Sourdough was about. I mean on a surface level it is about bread but on a deeper level I don’t have a clue.

I can only say that reading it was an experience but to give an opinion over whether or not I liked it is going to be a bit ambiguous. I would have to go with no I did not enjoy reading Sourdough but mainly because I have no idea what the story was about. That is a very different reason than disliking the writing. Sloan is a good writer and tells the story he wants to tell. That I did not enjoy it is not a reflection on his creativity or writing skills. We just didn’t mesh.

Sourdough by Robin Sloan is available now.

For more information regarding Atlantic Books (@AtlanticBooks) please visit www.atlantic-books.co.uk.

2 Stars

 

Meet CuteTitle: Meet Cute

Author: Various

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: HMH Books

The Blurb

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

The Review

Meet Cute is a gorgeous collection of short stories all about how people meet. What is great about the collection is that each author has a different and unique take on how that initial meeting between two characters should happen. Not one of these stories is the same.

Personally, my favourite stories in the collection are: The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies and Say Everything by Huntley Fitzpatrick. But this anthology is chock-a-block with stories and characters to fall in love with so there really is something for everyone. It is also a nice introduction to some seriously talented YA authors whom you may not have come across before.

What is also pretty awesome about the book is that it makes you consider all the meet cutes that you have had in your life and it also makes you think of the meet cutes that you have yet to have had.

Go on, read it and bask in the cuteness.

Meet Cute by Various is available now.

For more information regarding HMH Books (@HMHbooks) please visit www.hmhco.com/at-home.

3 Stars

Carnegie's MaidTitle: Carnegie’s Maid

Author: Marie Benedict

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks

The Blurb

From the author of The Other Einstein comes the mesmerizing story of love, power, and the woman who inspired an American dynasty. 

In the industrial 1860s at the dawn of the Carnegie empire, Irish immigrant Clara Kelly finds herself in desperate circumstances.  Looking for a way out, she seeks employment as a lady’s maid in the home of the prominent businessman Andrew Carnegie.  Soon, the bond between Clara and her employer deepens into love. But when Clara goes missing, Carnegie’s search for her unearths secrets and revelations that lay the foundation for his lasting legacy.

With capturing insight and sunning heart, Carnegie’s Maid tells the story of one lost woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie’s transformation from ruthless industrialist into the world’s first true philanthropist.

The Review

Before I read Carnegie’s Maid I knew very little about Andrew Carnegie’s life. I knew that he had been a philanthropist and encouraged reading – not just for those who were well off but those who couldn’t necessarily afford to buy books. That was about it.

What I did know was that I was eager to learn more. Marie Benedict’s fictional portrayal of Andrew Carnegie’s life was really interesting. The story is steeped in facts but with a delicious fictional love story wrapped around them. The love story between Andrew and Clara transcends class and was an absolute delight to read.

Carnegie’s Maid is an exceptional story and is a must read for fans of historical fiction.

Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict is available now.

For more information regarding Sourcebooks (@Sourcebooks) please visit their Twitter page.

4 Stars

Something BeautifulTitle: Something Beautiful

Author: Amanda Gernentz Hanson

Pages: 220 Pages

Publisher: Pen Name Publishing

The Blurb

Cordelia and Declan have been best friends since they were three years old. By the time they hit middle school, Cordelia—Cord, to Declan—is already feeling the blackness in her life as depression takes hold. Their mutual attraction to each other leads to a serious high school relationship, one with their foundation of friendship at the forefront. Cordelia seems to have her mental health under control. All appears to be well.

However, when Declan starts to accept his own fluid sexuality, it sets something in motion in their lives that is both beautiful and tragic as they learn to love each other for who they are.

The Review

There are some stories that just help you pass the time away, and there are some that you get mildly sucked into and then there are some stories that take your breath away. Something Beautiful took my breath away.

It focuses on the lifelong friendship of Cordelia and Declan. They are destined to be together. However, life makes things difficult for them. Declan deals with his sexual fluidity, Cordelia deals with her mental health. Even though life throws spanners into their lives the one constant that they have is each other. Something Beautiful is the story of two people who need each other. And it is stunning.

The non-linear multi-perspective narrative keeps the reader on their toes and heightens the tension throughout. Something Beautiful is, at times, un-put-down-able.

This is definitely one book I will be recommending to my friends.

Something Beautiful by Amanda Gernentz Hanson is available now.

For more information regarding Amanda Gernentz Hanson (@amandamaregh) please visit www.amandagernentzhanson.com.

For more information regarding Pen Name Publishing (@PenNamePublishing) please visit www.pennamepublishing.com/home.

4 Stars

Crazy Stupid LoveTitle: Crazy Stupid Love

Author: Cassie Rocca

Pages: 215 Pages

Publisher: Aria Fiction

The Blurb

Are there written rules on how to find a soulmate? Or is it better to trust the hands of fate? A hilarious romance perfect for the fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin.

After enduring a string of dead-end relationships, Zoe Mathison has made a decision – to find a man who truly appreciates her. But this is turning out to be more complicated than she expected. Fed up of being surrounded by insufferably happy couples in love, her mission to find the perfect man starts to become an obsession.

Eric Morgan is pushed to his limits. Hopelessly in love with Zoe, who sees him as nothing more than a best friend to lean on, he can’t bear seeing his hopes of romance crushed every time the sculpted pecs of a younger man comes along. But when a new girl appears on the scene, he is determined to prove that he can push his infatuation aside and move on. But is it as easy as it seems?

In the romantic and bustling city of New York, will Zoe and Eric‘s hilarious misadventures attract Cupid’s arrow?

The Review

I really wanted to enjoy Crazy Stupid Love. I loved the books predecessor A New York Love Story. I loved revisiting the previous characters Cade and Clover and seeing how they are getting on but I genuinely didn’t like the main character in Crazy Stupid Love. Cassie Rocca had made her protagonist really unlikable.

Zoe Mathison came across as spoiled and demanding. I kept yelling at the book that Eric was a fool for liking her. Because I really didn’t warm to the character I found myself unwilling to pick up the book to read.

Not my favourite.

Crazy Stupid Love by Cassie Rocca is available now.

For more information regarding Cassie Rocca (@Cassie Rocca) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction) please visit www.ariafiction.com.

2 Stars