Title: The Hawthorne Legacy

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House Children’s UK

The Blurb

Intrigue, riches, and romance abound in this thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Inheritance Games perfect for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson.

The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions – including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture – by any means necessary. 

With nonstop action, aspirational jet-setting, family intrigue, swoonworthy romance, and billions of dollars hanging in the balance, The Hawthorne Legacy will thrill Jennifer Lynn Barnes fans and new readers alike.

The Review

When I read The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes I knew I had read something special. So much so that I was willing to forgo my avoidance of book series and fully invest in Avery Grambs story. As soon as I had finished The Inheritance Games I pre-ordered the sequel – The Hawthorne Legacy. I hoped that I would enjoy it just as much as the first in the series. I was not disappointed.

The story follows on from The Inheritance Games. We follow Avery and the four Hawthorne brothers as they try to solve the puzzle as to why they had been disinherited and Avery – a stranger – was left it all.

With more danger and drama than The Inheritance Games, Jennifer Lynn Barnes has cleverly begun to slowly peel away at the clues from the original and woven them seamlessly into The Hawthorne Legacy. There are jaw-dropping moments when you realise this. Your brain starts to hurt with just how clever Jennifer Lynn Barnes is at creating mystery and thriller.

Needless to say I loved The Hawthorne Legacy and hope beyond hope that there is a third in the series.

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is available now.

For more information regarding Jennifer Lynn Barnes (@jenlynnbarnes) please visit www.jenniferlynnbarnes.com.

For more information regarding Penguin Random House Children’s UK (@penguinrandom) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.com.

Title: Loud Black Girls – 20 Black Women Writers Ask: What’s Next?

Author: Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: 4th Estate

The Blurb

An important and timely anthology of black British writing, edited and curated by the authors of the highly acclaimed, ground-breaking Slay In Your Lane. Slay in Your Lane Presents: Loud Black Girls features essays from the diverse voices of over twenty established and emerging black British writers.

Being a loud black girl isn’t about the volume of your voice; and using your voice doesn’t always mean speaking the loudest or dominating the room. Most of the time it’s simply existing as your authentic self in a world that is constantly trying to tell you to minimise who you are.

Now that we’ve learnt how to Slay in our Lanes, what’s next?

Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené, authors of the acclaimed Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, invite the next generation of black women in Britain – authors, journalists, actors, activists and artists – to explore what it means to them to exist in these turbulent times.

From assessing the cultural impact of Marvel’s Black Panther, to celebrating activism in local communities. From asking how we can secure the bag while staying true to our principles, or how we can teach our daughters to own their voices, to reclaiming our culinary heritage, the essays in Loud Black Girls offer fierce, funny, touching and ultimately insightful perspectives from today’s most exciting black women writers.

The Review

During lock down I read Slay in Your Lane by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené. Feminism is an interest of mine and so I was eager to read it. In my own ignorance I only really ever thought about what feminism meant for me. Sounds strange to say but it was almost as though I saw feminism as a one size fits all thing. How wrong I was. Having read Slay in Your Lane my eyes were opened to how feminism effects everyone – especially those who are (incorrectly) seen as ethnic minorities – feel the impact of feminism and the patriarchy differently. Since then I have tried to read wider on the subject, to learn more and to be able to be more inclusive with my feminism beliefs.

For that reason, Loud Black Girls was a fantastic read. Take away my reason for reading it and it was still brilliant. The voices of the women within the book are diverse, feisty, strong and forthright. The arguments they put forward are powerful. The stories they share are engaging. Furthermore, they are voices that I have mainly never come across and deserve further attention.

And for that reason Loud Black Girls is so very important.

Loud Black Girls – 20 Black Women Writers Ask: What’s Next? by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené is available now.

For more information regarding Yomi Adegoke (@yomiadegoke) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Elizabeth Uviebinené (@lizuvie) please visit her Twitter page.

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

Title: Girl – Essays on Black Womanhood

Author: Kenya Hunt

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

In the vein of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist, but wholly its own, Girl is a provocative, heartbreaking and frequently hilarious collection of original essays on what it means to be black, a woman, a mother and a global citizen in today’s ever-changing world.

Black women have never been more visible or more publicly celebrated. But for every new milestone, every magazine cover, every box office record smashed, the reality of everyday life remains a complex, nuanced, contradiction-laden experience.

Award-winning journalist and American in London Kenya Hunt threads razor sharp cultural observation through evocative and relatable stories, both illuminating our current cultural moment and transcending it.

The Review

I know that I live in a very privileged position purely based on the colour of my skin and so whenever possible I will try to read books by authors or writers who can give me insight into their lived experience so I can at least attempt and possibly begin to understand a world so close yet so separate from my own. Girl by Kenya Hunt is one such book.

Through a series of essays you are given an insight into what it is like to be a black woman in a modern world. The everyday struggles that those of us in privileged positions take for granted. Until the harsh realities are presented to you then you don’t have a clue. It is books like Girl (among others) that are helping to change and re-mould the narrative that will hopefully be more prevalent in the future.

Girl – Essays on Black Womanhood by Kenya Hunt is available now.

For more information regarding Kenya Hunt (@KenyaNHunt) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQstories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.

Title: Snowflake

Author: Louise Nealon

Pages: 256 Pages

Publishers: Bonnier Books

The Blurb

The biggest literary debut from Bonnier Books UK in 2021.

A novel for a generation. A debut that defines our time.

Eighteen-year-old Debbie White lives on a dairy farm with her mother, Maeve, and her uncle, Billy. Billy sleeps out in a caravan in the garden with a bottle of whiskey and the stars overhead for company. Maeve spends her days recording her dreams, which she believes to be prophecies.

This world is Debbie’s normal, but she is about to step into life as a student at Trinity College in Dublin. As she navigates between sophisticated new friends and the family bubble, things begin to unravel. Maeve’s eccentricity tilts into something darker, while Billy’s drinking gets worse. Debbie struggles to cope with the weirdest, most difficult parts of herself, her family and her small life. But the fierce love of the White family is never in doubt, and Debbie discovers that even the oddest of families are places of safety.

A startling, honest, laugh and cry novel about growing up and leaving home, only to find that you’ve taken it with you, Snowflake is a novel for a generation, a story about being young, being an outsider and discovering that, underneath it all, we’re all outsiders.

The Review

Snowflake is a coming of age story about Debbie White, a young girl who has spent her life in a small village and everything that life entails. She begins to find herself when she gets a chance to study in Dublin. However the transition from country girl to city life isn’t easy when the ties to home are so strong.

I really enjoyed Snowflake. Louise Nealon’s voice is fresh and shows what it is like to be young in rural Ireland today. Whilst her protagonist Debbie can sometimes be unlikable she is always easy to feel sympathy for. What is a lovely surprise is that at the end of the story is that you are feeling hopeful for Debbie. This is not something I have seen in modern literature recently.

Snowflake by Louise Nealon is available now.

For more information regarding Louise Nealon (@Louise_Nealon) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Bonnier Books (@bonnierbooks_uk) please visit www.bonnierbooks.co.uk.

Title: As You Were

Author: Eileen Feeney

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Random House

The Blurb

Sinéad Hynes is a tough, driven, funny young property developer with a terrifying secret. 

No-one knows it: not her fellow patients in a failing hospital, and certainly not her family. She has confided only in Google and a shiny magpie.

But she can’t go on like this, tirelessly trying to outstrip her past and in mortal fear of her future. Across the ward, Margaret Rose is running her chaotic family from her rose-gold Nokia. In the neighbouring bed, Jane, rarely but piercingly lucid, is searching for a decent bra and for someone to listen. Sinéad needs them both. 

As You Were is about intimate histories, institutional failures, the kindness of strangers, and the darkly present past of modern Ireland. It is about women’s stories and women’s struggles. It is about seizing the moment to be free.

Wildly funny, desperately tragic, inventive and irrepressible, As You Were introduces a brilliant voice in Irish fiction with a book that is absolutely of our times.

The Review

As You Were by Eileen Feeney is the story of Sinéad Hynes. She is currently residing in hospital having been diagnosed with cancer. No one in her family knows. Her day to day life is examined in this story as she traverses the dynamic of the ward that she is on. The old lady opposite who has dementia, the lady believed to have had a stroke and the gentleman who has ended up on an all female ward much to the chagrin of his daughter.

As You Were is brilliantly written and Feeney has elements of Marian Keyes in her delivery and although the over riding theme of the novel is one of sadness it is the small idiosyncratic nature of the characters and the nuances of Irish life that make the story enjoyable.

As You Were by Eileen Feeney is available now.

For more information regarding Random House (@randomhouse) please visit www.randomhousebooks.com.