A Book for HerTitle: A Book for Her

Author: Bridget Christie

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Random House UK/Cornerstone

The Blurb

Bridget Christie is a stand-up comedian, idiot and feminist. On the 30th of April 2012, a man farted in the Women’s Studies Section of a bookshop and it changed her life forever.

A Book For Her details Christie’s twelve years of anonymous toil in the bowels of stand-up comedy and the sudden epiphany that made her, unbelievably, one of the most critically acclaimed British stand-up comedians this decade, drawing together the threads that link a smelly smell in the women’s studies section to the global feminist struggle.

Find out how nice Peter Stringfellow’s fish tastes, how yoghurt advertising perpetuates rape myths, and how Emily Bronte used a special ladies’ pen to write Wuthering Heights.

If you’re interested in comedy and feminism, then this is definitely the book for you. If you hate both then I’d probably give it a miss.

The Review

I love reading books by feminists and I find that I become a bit of an armchair feminist whenever I read them. In particular, I like feminist books that use humour juxtaposed with the very real debates over feminist rights.

That is why I really enjoyed Bridget Christie’s A Book for Her. In the book, Christie discusses serious topics such as Female Genital Mutilation and Rape Culture. She also discusses farts. This silly balance made A Book for Her such a delightful tonic.

If you enjoy reading A Book for Her then you should also check out her stand up performances.

A Book for Her by Bridget Christie is available now.

For more information regarding Bridget Christie (@BridgetChristie) please visit www.bridgetchristie.co.uk.

For more information regarding Random House UK (@PenguinRHUK) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.co.uk.

35 Stars

The Finding of Martha LostTitle: The Finding of Martha Lost

Author: Caroline Wallace

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Random House UK/Transworld Publishers/Doubleday

The Blurb

Martha is lost.

She’s been lost since she was a baby, abandoned in a suitcase on the train from Paris. Ever since, she’s waited in station lost property for someone to claim her. It’s been sixteen years, but she’s still hopeful.

In the meantime, there are mysteries to solve: secret tunnels under the station, a suitcase that may have belonged to the Beatles, the roman soldier who appears at the same time every day with his packed lunch. Not to mention the stuffed monkey that someone keeps misplacing.

But there is one mystery Martha cannot solve. And now the authorities have found out about the girl in lost property. Time is running out – if Martha can’t discover who she really is, she will lose everything…

The Review

The Finding of Martha Lost is the most charming book that I have in a very long time. There, I’ve said it. It is absolutely gorgeous, unusual and inspired.

Martha Lost is a young girl who lives in Liverpool Lime Street Station. She has grown up believing that she is the Liver Bird of Lime Street and as the legend goes if the Liver Birds fly away from Liverpool then the city will cease to exist. Martha has believed the same about herself and Lime Street since she was a child and she struggles to separate the legend from the reality.

The Finding of Martha Lost is a story of discovery. It is about discovering who you are and how you came to be. It is a wonderfully charismatic story with memorable characters and is different from anything I have ever read before.

On a personal level, I found The Finding of Martha Lost interesting because it is set in Liverpool, the place that I was born, grew up and still reside to this day. I loved how Wallace’s love for the city shines through the writing and she hasn’t glamorised Liverpool to make it shiny and attractive. She has used its original features and the city’s greatness shines through.

I will definitely be reading more of Caroline Wallace’s work.

The Finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace is available now.

For more information regarding Caroline Wallace (@Caroline_S) please visit www.carolinesmailes.co.uk.

For more information regarding Random House UK (@PenguinRHUK) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.co.uk.

For more information regarding Transworld Publishers (@TransworldBooks) and Doubleday Books (@DoubledayUK) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

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

The Museum of YouTitle: The Museum of You

Author: Carys Bray

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Random House UK

The Blurb

Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories.

Darren has done his best. He’s studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want – everything he can think of, at least – to be happy.

What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother’s belongings. Volume isn’t important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be.

But what you find depends on what you’re searching for.

The Review

Some love stories are unusual. For me The Museum of You by Carys Bray was an unusual love story.

It is about the love of a daughter to her mother.

Clover Quinn is a twelve year old girl dealing with all the problems in life that a twelve year old girl has. She is dealing with having had her first year in high school, weird friendship groups, and body changes. On top of all of this, Clover is dealing with a slightly agoraphobic granddad, an uncle with a mental health disorder, a gossipy neighbour, and a dad who dries up whenever the topic of Clover’s dead mother comes up in conversation.

The Museum of You is Clover’s story of growing up. It is about family dynamics and secrets and lies and most of all the heart-warming and heartbreaking relationship between children and their parents.

Last year I read Carys Bray’s A Song for Issy Bradley and I thought it was an accomplished piece of writing but Bray has taken things one step further by creating a warm and truthful family of which I wanted to be a part. The Quinn family are a-warts-and-all, no-holds-barred kind of team and it was a delight to be in their world for 368 pages.

The Museum of You by Carys Bray is available from 16th June 2016.

Follow Carys Bray (@CarysBray) on Twitter or visit her official website www.carysbray.co.uk

For more titles from Random House UK(@randomhouse) visit www.randomhousebooks.com

4 Stars

The GirlsThe Blurb

California. The summer of 1969. In the dying days of a floundering counter-culture a young girl is unwittingly caught up in unthinkable violence, and a decision made at this moment, on the cusp of adulthood, will shape her life….

Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat.

Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls.

And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.

Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?

The Review

The Girls by Emma Cline is an interesting story about a young girl growing up in California in the 1960s. The story follows Evie Boyd. She is your typical teenager: dutiful and charming but hides behind the desire to do the things that she likes – she is typical in that she thinks she knows what is best. However, it is her poor decisions that lead to a life of romanticised notions of decadence that lead her in to a seedy world of drama. Essentially, The Girls is about how being young and easily influenced can lead you down the wrong path in life.

Whilst none can argue that Cline paints a stunning picture of California in the 1960s, personally I found myself drifting during the descriptions of the vistas. This happened far too frequently. The Girls had too much talk and not enough action. It was really slow paced and I found myself having to work to finish the book.

The characterisation was good. You could sense Evie’s desperation to be a part of something bigger, to be noticed and to be appreciated. Equally, the lack of information about Suzanne helped create an air of mystery and intrigued you to read more.

However, if I’m being completely honest I was expecting more from The Girls.

The Girls by Emma Cline is available from 2nd June 2016

3 Stars