Little Fires EverywhereTitle: Little Fires Everywhere

Author: Celeste Ng

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group

The Blurb

The brilliant new novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller, Everything I Never Told You

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town – and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at an unexpected and devastating cost…

The Review

I had heard only good things about Little Fires Everywhere and so I was very excited to read this story that people were raving about. It is the story of the intricacies of small town America; a place where white picket fences and freshly mown lawns are the norm. It is also about the differences in the social hierarchy and how having money doesn’t automatically make you a good person.

Celeste Ng has pipped two very strong matriarchs against each other: Mia and Elena. It is there opposing lives that is the most interesting conflict in Little Fires Everywhere. That and how far each will go to do what they think is right. Celeste Ng presents her characters as people who sometimes seem pious but there good intentions are often self-serving.

I thoroughly enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere. It was not the kind of novel I would normally pick up but it shows the power of reviews that I was compelled to pick it up. I am awfully glad I did.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is available now.

For more information regarding Celeste Ng (@pronounced-ing) please visit

For more information regarding Little, Brown Book Group (@LittleBrownUK) please visit

4 Stars

If I FallTitle: If I Fall

Author: Ella Harper

Pages: 237 Pages

Publisher: Canelo

The Blurb

Four friends forever… But who will be there to catch them?

They were best friends at uni. But life was simpler then.

Fifteen years later Connie, a former journalist, now struggles to maintain the veneer of a perfect family life. Jonas, her lawyer husband, is feeling the pressure at work. Personal trainer JJ appears to have it all, but his past is catching up with him. Their other friend, Layla, is a psychotherapist, but her career is unravelling thanks to a difficult and ailing mother.

As the pressure builds, each in their own way must confront their demons. Sometimes things get too much. Sometimes we stumble and fall – and pray someone is there to catch us.

A truly powerful and unforgettable story of love, friendship, and real life, If I Fall is perfect for readers of Alice Peterson, Amanda Prowse and Lianne Moriarty.

The Review

In Ella Harper’s new novel If I Fall we are presented with four characters and we are asked t look at how much they have changed over 15 years. Obviously that change is going to be massive. Are you the same person you were fifteen years ago? Presumably not. Like our four main characters – JJ, Connie, Jonas and Layla – chances are you have grown up. Your goals, ambitions, worries and lifestyles have changed. What is interesting about If I Fall is that the friendship that this group of people are clinging on to is built on lies and deceit.

Modern day problems have taken over their lives and the carefree nature of their youth has gone. It is addictive watching the lives unfold and I often found myself telling the characters not to make the wrong decisions which they inevitably did.

Ella Harper has written a winning story that will keep you glued to your book until the very last page. It is full of intrigue and drama and If I Fall definitely deserves a place on your to be read pile. Put it there now!

If I Fall by Ella Harper is available now.

For more information regarding Ella Harper (@Ella_Harper) please visit

For more information regarding Canelo (@Canelo_co) please visit

3 Stars

My Anxiety HandbookTitle: My Anxiety Handbook – Getting Back on Track

Author: Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher and Phoebe McEwen

Pages: 192 Pages

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

The Blurb

Helping young people with anxiety learn to recognise and manage their symptoms, this anxiety survival guide teaches 12 to 18 year olds how they can overcome their biggest worries.

Showing that anxiety is a normal human emotion that many people face, this book helps young people understand the ins and outs of their own anxiety and helps them to challenge the difficult patterns they may get into. Co-written with a college student who has experienced anxiety herself, it is a relatable and straightforward guide. As well as providing tried-and-tested advice and exercises that are proven to reduce feelings of anxiety, it includes recovery stories from young people who have managed their symptoms successfully.

With practical chapters on sleep, exam stress, transitions, and seeking extra help, this is a go-to guide for any tween, teen or young person living with anxiety.

The Review

Oh dear.

I know the intentions of this book were good and I hate that I didn’t like it but man I really didn’t. It was repetitive and kept referring to other chapters which makes it rather clunky for an e-book. The ‘real stories’ don’t feel real due to the words of the contributors, in particular, the 12 year olds account. The vocabulary used in the account just doesn’t sound like a teenager.

I really wish I had better things to say about this book.

My Anxiety Handbook: Getting Back on Track by Sue Knowles Bridie Gallagher and Phoebe McEwen is available now.

For more information regarding Jessica Kingsley Publishers (@Jessica_JKP) please visit

1 star

The Tattooist of AuschwitzTitle: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Author: Heather Morris

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre

The Blurb

Based on the incredible true story of Lale Sokolov 

Heart-breaking  – a tale of love and survival amidst the horrors of Auschwitz

Human – the real story behind one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust – the blue numbers tattooed on prisoners’ arms

Inspirational – the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances

Unforgettable – a story untold for over seventy years is finally shared

Life-affirming – one man’s determination to survive and live a full life with the woman he loved

Fully verified – Lale Sokolov’s background and story has been fact-checked against all available documentary evidence

The Story

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews, who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia.  In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.  Lale used the infinitesimal freedom of movement that this position awarded him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive.  If he had been caught he would have been killed; many owed him their survival.

There have been many books about the Holocaust – and there will be many more. What makes this one so memorable is Lale Sokolov’s incredible zest for life.  He understood exactly what was in store for him and his fellow prisoners and he was determined to survive – not just to survive, but to leave the camp with his dignity and integrity intact, to live his life to the full.  Terrible though this story is, it is also a story of hope and of courage.  It is also – almost unbelievably – a love story.  Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight and he determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure that Gita did, too.  His story – their story – will make you weep, but you will also find it uplifting.  It shows the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.

Like many survivors, Lale and Gita told few people their story after the war. They eventually made their way to Australia, where they raised a son and had a successful life.  But when Gita died, Lale felt he could no longer carry the burden of their past alone.  He chose to tell his story.

The Review

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Some books have the ability to take your breath away. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is one such book.

It is the story of Lale Sokolov: a young Slovakian man who survived the horrors of Auschwitz. Books with an Auschwitz setting are invariably horrific and harrowing. It is even worse when it is a true story.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz reads like a movie, every detail is crisp in your mind and you do feel transported to the same time and place. And even with prior knowledge of the Holocaust, nothing can prepare you for the verisimilitude presented in this account. What is beautiful is that even through all the horrors there is still hope. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a beautiful read.

It may sound dramatic but it is an honour to read such a story.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is the first book I read in 2018 and I can assure you that it will take some beating as the book of the year for me.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is available.

For more information regarding Heather Morris please visit her website

For more information regarding Bonnier Zaffre (@BonnierZaffre) please visit their Twitter page.

5 Stars

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

2 Stars