Genre: YA Fiction

The Gist: The sequel to the novel Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman.

Small Review: Knife Edge focuses on Jude’s story directly after Noughts and Crosses and we see how the main characters have developed and changed. Jude’s aggression and desire for revenge has intensified in this explosive sequel.

Big Review: I really loved Noughts and Crosses. I read it recently as part of the classroom curriculum for year 9 and have shoved it into everybody’s hands since then because it was just brilliant. 

The sequel, Knife Edge, whilst not as impactful as Noughts and Crosses however it was fantastic to be reunited with the beloved characters again and seeing how they had developed since the first book. 

When we are reunited with Jude we see that he hasn’t learned from the consequences of his involvement with the LM (Liberation Militia) and is currently in hiding and away from his fellow resistance fighters. He is out for revenge and is determined to make everyone pay.

Meanwhile, Sephy has had to grow up and do it fast. She needs to start looking after herself and her family and she is doing that without the life of privilege that she is used to. She is still reeling from her experiences and she is suffering mentally. 

Where Noughts and Crosses had the shock value, Knife Edge is a lot more grown up. More real life dramas are being dealt with and we see new dimensions to the characters.

It is honestly such a good series and I think this book was needed to set up the rest of the series. I cannot wait to read the rest.

Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman is available now.

For more information regarding Malorie Blackman (@malorieblackman) please visit www.malorieblackman.co.uk. 

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

Title: Lolita

Author: Vladimir Nabokov

Pages: 331 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

Humbert Humbert – scholar, aesthete and romantic – has fallen completely and utterly in love with Lolita Haze, his landlady’s gum-snapping, silky skinned twelve-year-old daughter. Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers greatly in the pursuit of romance; but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her off on a desperate cross-country misadventure, all in the name of Love. Hilarious, flamboyant, heart-breaking and full of ingenious word play, Lolita is an immaculate, unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, delusion and lust.

(GOODREADS BLURB)

The Review

Lolita is a story that is widely considered a classic. For me it was just really boring. We had a sycophantic peadophile in protagonist Humbert Humbert and this platform of a story was used in a way to normalise what he was doing whilst knowing it was wrong. 

I felt that the character of Lo was used as a cautionary tale and her ending wasn’t befitting her character.

I don’t know. I just really didn’t like this book.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov is available now.

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

Title: Ghosts

Author: Dolly Alderton

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

Nina Dean has arrived at her early thirties as a successful food writer with loving friends and family, plus a new home and neighbourhood. When she meets Max, a beguiling romantic hero who tells her on date one that he’s going to marry her, it feels like all is going to plan.

A new relationship couldn’t have come at a better time – her thirties have not been the liberating, uncomplicated experience she was sold. Everywhere she turns, she is reminded of time passing and opportunities dwindling. Friendships are fading, ex-boyfriends are moving on and, worse, everyone’s moving to the suburbs. There’s no solace to be found in her family, with a mum who’s caught in a baffling mid-life makeover and a beloved dad who is vanishing in slow-motion into dementia.

Dolly Alderton’s debut novel is funny and tender, filled with whip-smart observations about relationships, family, memory, and how we live now.

The Review

I’m just going to say it. I LOVED GHOSTS.

Now with that out of the way let me tell you why. Ghosts by Dolly Alderton is a story of modern dating. The trials and tribulations, the changes that have taken place over the past few years, the advancement of online dating. But it is also much more than that. It is a story of changing relationships – how life can come between even the best friends. It is the developing and every changing story of family dynamics. But, again, it is much more than that. It is a story of independence.

It was so multilayered and all in 336 pages.

The novel went from happy to sad back to happy in warp speed. You are really taken on a journey with protagonist Nina Dean. For me, the most heartwarming and heartbreaking moments were the scenes with her father. The love and respect that she has for him seemed to be paralleled in the desire to find a partner who lived up to his standard.

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton was such a joy to read. It is one of my favourite reads of 2020 and I cannot wait to see what Alderton produces next.

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton is available now.

For more information regarding Dolly Alderton (@dollyalderton) please visit linkt.ree/dollyalderton.

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

Title: The Inheritance Games

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Penguin/Random House

The Blurb

Let the games begin: an utterly addictive and twisty thriller, full of dark family secrets and deadly stakes. Perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying, Riverdale and Knives Out.

She came from nothing.

Avery has a plan: keep her head down, work hard for a better future. Then an eccentric billionaire dies, and leaves her almost his entire fortune. And no one, least of all Avery, knows why.

They had everything.

Now she must move into the mansion she’s inherited: Hawthorne House. It’s filled with secrets and codes, and the old man’s surviving relatives – a family hellbent on discovering how Avery got ‘their’ money.

Now there’s only one rule: winner takes all.

Soon Avery is caught in a deadly game that everyone in this strange family is playing. But just how far will they go to keep their fortune?

The Review

When I am choosing a book to read I will question whether or not I have time for it. By that I mean if it is part of a series do I have the capability to commit over the long term? And do I want to start a series when it could be another year (if not longer) before the sequel is released?

I decided to take a chance with The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and man alive I am glad I did. It is a rags to riches story in which protagonist Avery goes from living in her car to being bequeathed a fortune from a mystery benefactor. The only problem is that the old adage proves to be true: where there is a will there is a family.

The fortune comes with some conditions that Avery has to follow if she wants to keep her inheritance but this will prove much more difficult with a scorned family to contend with.

The Inheritance Games is one of the best YA books I have read in a long while. IT is a total page turner and great for anyone who loves a good mystery. I cannot wait for the sequel to be released but as I said before I am going to have to. Sad times. 

The Inheritance Games 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 (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: The Thursday Murder Club

Author: Richard Osman

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings.

But when a local property developer shows up dead, ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

The Review

What an absolute gem of a book!

I will admit that it was curiosity that led me to read The Thursday Murder Club. I love Richard Osman on his various television shows and I wondered if he would be as brilliant on page as he is on TV. 

The short answer is yes. More so.

The story centres on four residents of sheltered accommodation who attend a club every Thursday to discuss unsolved crime case files but when a real life crime happens on their doorstep they set about trying to solve it.

The Thursday Murder Club is joyous. I wanted to be old and part of their gang of crime fighters. This novel helps to remind us that we should never underestimate pensioners. They have lived longer and know more so let’s give them a fair chance. 

What is marvellous about this story is that Osman has you guessing to the very last page. I genuinely didn’t see it coming and made various guesses with very sound arguments for all of my suspects throughout. I didn’t even come close.

The Thursday Murder Club has a lot of heart, humour and page turning cliffhangers. I bloody loved it and I hope it gets commissioned to become a TV drama so those who are not readers get to enjoy the story as well.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is available now.

For more information regarding Richard Osman (@richardosman) please visit his Twitter page.

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