The Blurb

Classic story meets the modern world…and out of this world.

From the halls of a high school to hip night clubs to the depths of space, Never Be Younger gives Shakespeare’s classic plays and sonnets a fresh spin for a new audience. Nine authors pay tribute to the Bard by taking his timeless tales to new heights, entrancing readers all over again. A Shakespeare story by any other name still reads as sweet.

All proceeds from the sales of Never Be Younger go to United Through Reading, a charity dedicated to uniting military families through reading.

Authors include Rachel Bateman, Jessica L. Pierce, S.M. Johnston, Adrianne James, E.L. Wicker, Olivia Hinebaugh, Cortney Pearson, Christina June, and Nicole Zoltack

The Review

Ahh, the Bard! One of best (if not the greatest) English literary exports of all time has been re-envisioned by various authors in this anthology of stories. I won’t lie to you. I did not enjoy it.

I know that my dislike of these stories is because I am a purist (which I understand is totally on me and therefore I do implore you to read other reviews on Never Be Younger) but I just didn’t enjoy reading this book.

To be fair, the stories were written really well and kudos to the authors for being able to re-imagine such classical stories but at times I did find it difficult to find the link from the Shakespeare play to the authors understanding of it.

This book of shorts did not keep me hooked and I found it very tedious reading.

However, I have to give praise to the writers who are selling this anthology as all the proceeds go to help military families.

Never Be Younger: a YA Anthology by Rachel Bateman is available now.

Never Be Younger

The Blurb

Reveals the hard facts behind the laughter on TV’s most popular sitcom

The highest-rated scripted show on TV, The Big Bang Theory often features Sheldon, Howard, Leonard, and Raj wisecracking about scientific principles as if Penny and the rest of us should know exactly what they’re talking about.

The Science of TV’s The Big Bang Theory lets all of us in on the punchline by breaking down the show’s scientific conversations. From an explanation of why Sheldon would think 73 is the best number, to an experiment involving the physical stature of Wolowitz women, to an argument refuting Sheldon’s assertion that engineers are the Oompa-Loompas of science, author Dave Zobel maintains a humorous and informative approach and gives readers enough knowledge to make them welcome on Sheldon’s couch.

The Review

I consider myself to be an educated person; I have qualifications coming out of my pooper – I realise this last sentence doesn’t exactly lend a lot of faith to that claim but it is true. However, my one downfall has always been science. I just never understood it. I can honestly say that after reading The Science of TV’s the Big Bang Theory: Explanations Even Penny Would Understand by Dave Zobel I am still in that exact same position.

The Science of TV’s the Big Bang Theory: Explanations Even Penny Would Understand makes a big claim in its title. Penny who is considered to not be very smart but should be able to understand after reading this book is a fallacy. I spent the majority of the time reading it scratching my head in confusion. It got to the point whereby I was reading the words but not taking anything in because the theories were -nay, are – just too damn complex.

The parts of The Science of TV’s the Big Bang Theory: Explanations Even Penny Would Understand that focussed on the actual television show was entertaining and props to Dave Zobel, his writing is witty and fun to read but I feel like you would need a Phd in science to understand the science element.

This book is not like Ronseal – it does not do what it says on the tin…although science lovers (and those who are really, really smart) will enjoy reading it.

The Science of TV’s the Big Bang Theory: Explanations Even Penny Would Understand by Dave Zobel is available now.

Big Bang Book

The Blurb

Marnie FitzPatrick longs for nothing more than a high mark in her latest maths exam. Unsure of herself, and even more uncertain of her place within her charming but dysfunctional family, Marnie doesn’t count on being expelled from school, or on falling in love with a boy called Freddie Friday who works in the Shredded Wheat factory but dances like Gene Kelly.

Marnie’s maths teacher, Miss Crewe, has vowed that she will never love or dance again after breaking her heart and both her ankles in New York twenty years before. Yet she is drawn to Freddie, and a desire to help him takes her deep into a past that she has hidden so carefully for so long.

The Review

Love Notes for Freddie is a rich, heart warming tale about love and loss. Marnie FitzPatrick is schoolgirl from a well to do family. In a moment of madness Marnie acts out of character and gets herself in trouble. Her life is changed forever and her actions lead to devastating consequences.

Marnie’s maths teacher, Miss Crewe, is upset that her most promising student has let her down. She is disappointed in Marnie and tries to encourage her to keep working towards her goals and ambitions. Miss Crewe knows all too well that never achieving your true potential or reaching your goal can leave you with a life of heartbreak and regret.

Freddie Friday, a factory worker, brings the two women together with a common goal. It is up to all characters to work hard and see if they can ever be truly successful.

I love Eva Rice’s books. The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp has been a firm favourite of mine since it was released. It was for this reason alone that I was eager and excited to read Rice’s latest offering – Love Notes for Freddie. Once again, Eva Rice did not disappoint.

I loved the parallels between Marnie and Miss Crewe. They both loved Freddie in very different ways and for very different reasons but you felt that the love was powerful in them both. They both saw the logic side of things and had a mathematical way of understanding and dealing with life until Freddie came into their respective worlds.

My favourite thing about Eva Rice as an author is how she blends reality, real world people and events, within her narrative. She never sounds clichéd when she describes the era she is writing about which I think is definitely a massive skill that Rice possesses.

Much like her previous novels, Love Notes for Freddie is a triumph.

Love Notes to Freddie by Eva Rice is available now.

Follow Eva Rice (@EvaRiceAuthor) on Twitter.

Love Notes for Freddie

The Blurb

A laugh-out-loud romance from the bestselling author of the Shopaholic series.

Meet Audrey: an ordinary teenage girl with not so ordinary problems.

Aside from her completely crazy and chaotic family, she suffers from an anxiety disorder which makes talking to her brother’s hot new best friend a bit of a challenge.

But Audrey has a plan to help her face her fears and take on the world again. First stop: Starbucks.

The Review

Shhh. Come closer. I’ve got a shameful secret to tell you. Are you ready? Ok, here it goes. I have never read a Sophie Kinsella book. Ever. Until I read Finding Audrey, I was a Sophie Kinsella virgin.

What a book to pop my Sophie Kinsella cherry.

Finding Audrey is about a young girl called Audrey (funnily enough) who has suffered a major setback in life. An incident so bad that it made her leave school and spend time in an institution for her mental health and anxiety problems. Now Sophie doesn’t really go out, she doesn’t communicate with anyone but her family and her therapist and she refuses to take off her sunglasses both in and outdoors, come rain or shine.

It is safe to say that Audrey has issues.

The story, although having mental health at its core is a really uplifting story about the slow and everlasting process of healing that mental health sufferers go through. The added element of it being a young girl who is suffering kind of hits a nerve; mental health isn’t singularly centred on a particular gender or age or social group. It can happen to anyone.

I really enjoyed reading Finding Audrey. Kinsella’s easy style of writing is engaging. The one thing that I wanted more from the story was to know the details of the incident that caused the mental health decline in Audrey. However, as much as I want to know I also completely understand why the reader wasn’t given details. In real life issues that lead to mental health problems can’t be quantified and what one person sees as a massive issue others may feel that it is trivial. Kinsella made a smart move by not revealing everything…as much as I am nosy and want to know.

This is a great story for anyone who thinks that they may be suffering from anxiety but also for anyone who may not have an understanding of mental health problems.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella is available now.

Follow Sophie Kinsella (@KinsellaSophie) on Twitter.

Finding Audrey

The Blurb

‘If you’re looking for an original romance with a quirky twist, look no further.’ – Books with Bunny

What the Dickens is going on?
Edie Dickens is a shark of a divorce lawyer. She doesn’t believe in love and she scoffs at happily ever afters, however she’s agreed to be maid of honour for her oldest friend, Mel in two weeks and she still has the hen night to endure. But she has even more to endure when she’s visited by Jessica Marley’s ghost and finds out she must change her ways or end up being damned to an eternity watching other people’s happiness. Edie is visited by the Ghosts of Weddings Past, Present and Future, every Friday night until the day of the wedding. Can she learn from her mistakes in time? And did the ghosts send the hunky new lawyer, Jack Twist, to distract her?

The Review

My reasons for wanting to read No One Wants to be Miss Havisham were pretty simple. Firstly, I love Great Expectations and secondly, I too – like many other women – fear becoming the crusty old depressed Miss Havisham.

Admittedly, when I first started reading No One Wants to be Miss Havisham I was confused and a little bit put off by the premise of the story. It is essentially a modern day retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol but then by having Miss Havisham in the title and then having characters named after or similar to Dickensian characters I felt it was a little, dare I say it, lazy. However, once I got over my whole cross referencing issues (which I assure you dear reader were solely my own weird hang ups) I actually really enjoyed No One Wants to be Miss Havisham.

No One Wants to be Miss Havisham is a story about Edie Dickens, a hardcore divorce lawyer with a swinging brick where her heart should be. She is closed off from everyone and almost sees other peoples’ lives as an inconvenience to her own. Three weeks before her best friend wedding starts the visit from three ghosts who all show her how her life has taken a wrong turn. Seeing the error of her ways, Edie tries to make amends before it is too late.

You can see where the story is going, right? I think part of the reason I enjoyed reading this book is that I knew it could only have a happy outcome. That was kind of comforting. What I also liked about the No One Wants to be Miss Havisham is that whilst the reasons for Edie becoming an “Ice Queen” are justified they aren’t played on. In some books the author tries to rely on pop-psychology to rationalize a person’s actions but Brigid Coady lets it be a reason without dominating the entire story.

No One Wants to be Miss Havisham is definitely a hearty read with an outcome that you will enjoy. It should definitely be added to your book pile.

No One Wants to be Miss Havisham by Brigid Coady is available now.

Follow Brigid Coady (@beecee) on Twitter.

No One Wants to Be Miss Havisham