Title: Animal Farm

Author: George Orwell

Pages: 69 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others’

When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless élite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another.


The Review

I must admit I didn’t really enjoy reading Animal Farm. I understand that it is an allegory for power and government and how people will always strive to overthrow governments to gain more power but as a piece of literature it just didn’t float my boat.

I think that if I had been reading Animal Farm as part of a study rather than reading it for pleasure I would have enjoyed it more but alas I read it because I felt like I needed to read it because as an English graduate you feel guilty when you haven’t read books that people presume you should have read. Ah well. Overall, Animal Farm was not as equal (or more equal) than some of the other books that I have read recently.

Animal Farm by George Orwell is available now.

For more information regarding Penguin Books (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.


Title: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

Author: Joshua Ferris

Pages: 340 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

There’s nothing like a dental chair to remind a man that he’s alone in the world . . .Paul O’Rourke – dentist extraordinaire, reluctant New Yorker, avowed atheist, disaffected Red Sox fan, and a connoisseur of the afternoon mochaccino – is a man out of touch with modern life. While his dental practice occupies his days, his nights are filled with darker thoughts, as he alternately marvels at and rails against the optimism of the rest of humanity. So it goes, until someone begins to impersonate Paul online. What began as an outrageous violation of privacy soon becomes something far more soul-frightening: the possibility that the virtual ‘Paul’ might be a better version of the man in the flesh . . .

The Review

So. I won’t lie to you. I didn’t really ‘get’ To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. If I break it down to the sum of its parts it is about a man who lacks a father figure who clings on to the families of the women he dates; the man is a dentist and has his identity stolen and has a mini mental breakdown over it.

So I can understand the separate parts but I don’t know what I was meant to feel afterwards. Therefore, all I can say about To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is that Joshua Ferris is a good writer but I don’t think I am the best audience for his books.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris is available now.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

One Christmas Kiss in Notting HillTitle: One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill

Author: Mandy Baggot

Pages: 448 Pages

Publisher: Penguin/Ebury Publishing/Ebury Press

The Blurb

Curl up by the fire with the ultimate seasonal romance, from the bestselling author Mandy Baggot!

‘I absolutely love Mandy’s books’ Milly Johnson

Imagine the perfect Christmas Kiss…

His strong arms around her waist, her hands on his face, the snow slowly starts to fall…

It’s enough to make Isla Winters cringe! While her sister can’t get enough of this – increasingly common – sight on the streets of London, Isla’s too busy trying to stop Hannah’s wheelchair from slipping on the ice, and making sure she’s not too late to her dream job at Breekers International.

But everything changes with the arrival of Chase Bryan, fresh from the New York office. He’s eager to learn everything about Isla’s beloved Notting Hill, but as the nights get colder, will cosying up to him come at a price?

The Review

There is nothing better than a honest to goodness Christmas romance story and dammit that is what Mandy Baggot has delivered with her brilliant new novel One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill.

Isla works for a company that helps get buildings built. She does this with a good conscience as she tries to get hospitals built and whilst doing that trying to keep the unique fingerprint of London alive but when she gets the chance to work on a new project it seems that a conflict of interest is going to hinder her – and the projects –progress.

Throw into this a 20 year old sister who happens to be in a wheelchair and who desperately wants independence and a hot new boss who Isla is having inappropriate feelings for, she feels like her world is moving too fast and she cannot keep up.

Will this year be Isla’s worst Christmas ever?

I really enjoyed this story and what was brilliant about it is that the character arc came from the secondary protagonist. Isla stayed determinedly herself throughout. She is the heart of the novel and everyone is infected by her Britishness and her sense of history.

One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill was a joy to read and was as much as a lovely romance novel as it was a love letter to a specific area of London.

One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill by Mandy Baggot is available now.

For more information regarding Mandy Baggot (@mandybaggot) please visit www.mandybaggot.com.

For more information regarding Penguin Books UK (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

For more information regarding Ebury Publishing (@EburyPublishing) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.co.uk/publishers/ebury/.

4 Stars


Flora BanksTitle: The One Memory of Flora Banks

Author: Emily Barr

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s

The Blurb

You always remember your first kiss. Flora remembers nothing else…

“I look at my hands. One of them says ‘Flora be brave’. I am Flora.”

Flora has anterograde amnesia. She can’t remember anything day-to-day; the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is.

Then she kisses someone she shouldn’t have kissed – and the next day she remembers it. The first thing she’s remembered anything since she was ten.

But the boy is gone.

Desperate to hold onto the memory, she sets off to the Arctic to find him.

Why can she remember Drake? Could he be the key to everything else she’s forgotten?

The Review

I love it when I come across a book that opens me up to a brand new world. Granted that kind of happens a lot when you read as much as I do but what has to be said is that Young Adult fiction seems to be pioneering in its attempts to enlighten people to the unusual and tragic.

Take The One Memory of Flora Banks for instance. I’m sure that there have been many books that have been written about memory loss or amnesia. I, myself, have not read any that I can remember. What is certain is that I definitely hadn’t when I was a teenager. Don’t get me wrong, I loved and treasured the series of books that I read as a teen but it is only as an adult that I realise just how much they weren’t very enlightening.

Flora Banks, however, is. Flora is a teenager but she knows very little about her own life. She can’t retain memories and hasn’t had a new memory since the age of 10 when she was in an accident which caused her to experience severe memory loss.

After a party thrown by her best friend Flora kisses a boy. This is something that she remembers and holds on to. She kissed a boy. Days later she still remembers it. After this kiss her whole world as she knows it is thrown into chaos.

The One Memory of Flora Banks is a courageous tale of love, drama, family loyalty, adventure and most of all one of independence. It is a story that will resonate with teenagers (amnesia aside) as we all have had a little bit of Flora Banks in us at some point in our youth.

This is a brave novel that tackles an issue that, without literature and fictionalised accounts, many of us will never come across in our lives. The One Memory of Flora Banks is definitely a novel for your TBR pile.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr is available now.

For more information regarding Emily Barr (@emily_barr) please visit www.emilybarr.com.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

For more information regarding Random House (@PenguinRHUK) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.com.

4 Stars

One of Us is LyingTitle: One of Us it Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s

The Blurb

Five Students go to detention. Only four leave alive.

On Thursday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, s Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nat, the bad boy, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the jock, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out o that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Thursday, he died. But on Friday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they just the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far would you go to protect them.

The Review

Well guys, welcome to the first five star book of 2017. One of Us is Lying is amazing. Part Breakfast Club part Heathers part Scream it really is an awesome thriller.

When social outcast Simon dies during detention his four fellow classmates are instantly classed as suspects in a murder investigation. Simon wasn’t a liked member of the student body, in fact he was downright hated by some due to his bitchy Perez-Hilton style gossip column; each other member of the detention crew had secrets that they didn’t want revealing and Simon knew what they all were thus giving everyone, Nate, Bronwyn, Addy and Cooper all a motive. So which one did it?

You will have to read to find out.

One of Us is Lying is a well crafted and brilliantly writer whodunit. The characters are believable and the mystery plot will have you guessing until you turn the last page. This is definitely a must read for 2017!

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus is available from 1st June 2017.

For more information regarding Karen M. McManus (@writerkmc) please visit www.karenmcmanus.com.

For more information regarding Penguin Random House UK Childrens (@penguinrandom) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.com.5 Stars