The Last Act of LoveTitle: The Last Act of Love – The Story of My Brother and His Sister

Author: Cathy Rentzenbrink

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan/Picador

The Blurb

In the summer of 1990, Cathy’s brother Matty was knocked down by a car on the way home from a night out. It was two weeks before his GCSE results, which turned out to be the best in his school. Sitting by his unconscious body in hospital, holding his hand and watching his heartbeat on the monitors, Cathy and her parents willed him to survive. They did not know then that there are many and various fates worse than death.

This is the story of what happened to Cathy and her brother, and the unimaginable decision that she and her parents had to make eight years after the night that changed everything. It’s a story for anyone who has ever watched someone suffer or lost someone they loved or lived through a painful time that left them forever changed.

Told with boundless warmth and affection, The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink is a heartbreaking yet uplifting testament to a family’s survival and the price we pay for love.

The Review

The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink is a beautifully heartbreaking story of a life cut short and how to deal with death, and indeed, life and how to carry on.

Cathy Rentzenbrink was 17 when her younger brother was knocked down by a dangerous driver. Her brother, Matty, spent eight years in a permanent vegetative state. The Last Act of Love her story of how she and her family dealt with Matty’s condition and how eventually it became clear that it was crueller to keep him alive when he wasn’t living.

I have enormous respect for Cathy Rentzenbrink. Not only for the horrible decision that she had to make along with her family but that she had the courage to do it and then write about it. She has bled her feelings onto the page and she has done so with such dignity and grace.

The Last Act of Love is so cathartic and a deeply elegant story that is a beautiful read. I must for anyone who is dealing with loss.

The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink is available now.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

For more information regarding Picador (@picadorbooks) please visit www.panmacmillan.com/picador.

35 Stars

Children of Blood and BoneTitle: Children of Blood and Bone

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Pages: 531 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

The Review

Ok, so I fell for the hype yet again. There has been so much on social media about Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi that I had to buy a copy and read it. I knew it was going to be an uncomfortable read, mainly because fantasy isn’t my strong subject when it comes to book genre but give it a go I did. I have to admit, I was impressed.

I was sucked into this mystical world of African legend and folklore; into the world of subjugation and uprising. It was just so engaging. Even though this world was so very alien to the world I live in I couldn’t help but empathise with the battle that the characters had.

What is more powerful is when you learn that Children of Blood and Bone is an allegory for society today. Below the surface of the story is an extended metaphor that shouldn’t still resonate but does.

Seriously, if you want a fluffy fantasy drama then Children of Blood and Bone is not for you. But if you want to challenge yourself and to use YA fiction to push yourself to looking at deeper more prevalent topics then you need to pick this book up.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is available now.

For more information regarding Tomi Adeyemi (@tomi_adeyemi) please visit www.bit.lt/2DRI6sc.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

4 Stars

Almost MidnightTitle: Kindred Spirits

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 77 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell is a beautiful gift edition containing two wintery short storiesdecorated throughout for the first time with gorgeous black and white illustrations by Simini Blocker.

Midnights is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year’s Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time . . .

Kindred Spirits is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan.

Midnights was previously published as part of the My True Love Gave to Me anthology, edited by Stephanie Perkins and Kindred Spirits was previously published as a World Book Day title.

The Review

Kindred Spirits is a charming short story of a misplaced meet cute and a love of Star Wars. It follows the three day queue to see the latest Star Wars movie and the beourgeoning relationship between Elena and Gabe.

This is an adorably cute story about two people bonding over something that they both love. I think with any kind of fandom meeting people who share your love can go one of two ways. The first being that you bond so freaking hard it is like you have been besties for life or you become competitive over who is the bigger fan.

There is a little mix of both in this lovely little story and a big bunch of charm thrown in too. The force is strong in this one!

For more information regarding Rainbow Rowell (@RainbowRowell) please visit www.rainbowrowell.com.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@PanMacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

3 Stars

Almost MidnightTitle: Midnights

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 50 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell is a beautiful gift edition containing two wintery short storiesdecorated throughout for the first time with gorgeous black and white illustrations by Simini Blocker.

Midnights is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year’s Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time . . .

Kindred Spirits is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan.

Midnights was previously published as part of the My True Love Gave to Me anthology, edited by Stephanie Perkins and Kindred Spirits was previously published as a World Book Day title.

The Review

Ok, if there is a cuter short story about young love over the New Year period then I have never read it; I have read Midnights by Rainbow Rowell though and I bloody loved it!

The story is about Mags and Noel who are destined to be with each other. They are so in love with each other but neither has worked up the courage to say so. Sure there are signs but nerves stop both of them following through. But surely a New Year’s kiss is on the cards…

I really enjoyed this sweet short story. I was adorable and it made my heart swoon. It is a real skill that Rowell has that she managed to do that in only 50 pages. Kudos Rainbow Rowell.

Midnight by Rainbow Rowell is available as part of the Almost Midnight collection now.

For more information regarding Rainbow Rowell (@RainbowRowell) please visit www.rainbowrowell.com.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@PanMacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

4 Stars

Goodbye PerfectTitle: Goodbye, Perfect

Author: Sara Barnard

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Goodbye, Perfect is a beautiful and emotional contemporary YA novel, with a powerful friendship at its heart, by bestselling author Sara Barnard.

When I was wild, you were steady . . . Now you are wild – what am I?

Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with a guy Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. And it’s the last person she would have expected.

Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts. As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.

The Review

If you pick up a Sara Barnard book and you are expecting warm cuddles and fun friendship frolics then you have definitely selected the wrong author. Barnard’s work is gritty and realistic and it doesn’t patronise its target audience: young adults.

Goodbye, Perfect is a story that focuses on the difficult concept of loyalty. Being loyal is one of the hardest things to be especially when you know that being loyal and being right aren’t always the same thing. This is what protagonist Eden McKinley must come to terms with in Goodbye, Perfect. Eden’s best friend Bonnie is normally the more mature one of them both. She is the straight A student with the perfect academic and behavioural record. She is the chalk to Eden’s cheese. But when Bonnie does the unthinkable and runs away Eden is left to pick up the pieces and re-evaluate the meaning of friendship and what it means to be best friends.

Having read work by Sara Barnard before I can honestly say that she is one of the best writers at understanding and expressing the complexities of teenagers and perfectly navigates the mine field of friendships between teenage girls. Goodbye, Perfect is a must read.

Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard is available now.

For more information regarding Sara Barnard (@saramegan) please visit www.sarabarnardofficial.com.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

4 Stars