Title: Twin Evils?

Author: Olga Nunez Miret

Pages: 54 Pages

Publisher: Amazon Media

The Blurb

Once upon a time there was a pair of twins, a girl and boy. Ruth was blonde, blue eyes, very fair and really good. Max was dark haired, grey eyes, broody and bad. Their next door neighbour and pal, Hilda, tried to be friends with both but it was not an easy task. They didn’t like each other and she found herself in the middle trying to keep the peace. Max found his sister impossibly perfect and tiresome, and Ruth could not stand her brother’s bad boy attitude and his horrible behaviour. She was scared of him. Ruth was too perfect and child-like for the real world and Hilda suspected something was wrong but didn’t know what. Was she the angel everybody took her for? Was she ill? When both twins started talking about fate and said that “something” would happen she worried. What could she do? And indeed they were right. Something did happen.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Twin Evils was a quirky little story about how one twin is good and one is bad. This is then usurped and the evil twin comes good in the end…sort of.

Ok, I didn’t really enjoy this book. I read it in so much that I took in the story but the story didn’t take me. I found myself picking over the grammar mistakes and strangeness rather than being swept away. I was, in truth, reading it to get to the end.

It wasn’t the best story I have ever read.

Twin Evils? by Olga Nunez Miret is available now.

Title: My Purple Scented Novel

Author: Ian McEwan

Pages: 48 Pages

Publisher: Vintage Digital

The Blurb

‘You will have heard of my friend the once celebrated novelist Jocelyn Tarbet, but I suspect his memory is beginning to fade…You’d never heard of me, the once obscure novelist Parker Sparrow, until my name was publicly connected with his. To a knowing few, our names remain rigidly attached, like the two ends of a seesaw. His rise coincided with, though did not cause, my decline… I don’t deny there was wrongdoing. I stole a life, and I don’t intend to give it back. You may treat these few pages as a confession.’

A jewel of a book: a brand new short story from the author of AtonementMy Purple Scented Novel follows the perfect crime of literary betrayal, scrupulously wrought yet unscrupulously executed, published to celebrate Ian McEwan’s 70th birthday.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I have never read anything by Ian McEwan before and I am awfully glad I started with the delightful short story My Purple Scented Novel.

It is a story that explores the themes of friendship, professional jealousy, and human nature when presented with a moral and ethical dilemma. It is the kind of story that has you shouting at your protagonist to not do the thing you know that they are going to do and is absolutely delicious in its drama.

If, like me, you have yet to read a full novel by Ian McEwan then My Purple Scented Novel is a great introduction.

My Purple Scented Novel by Ian McEwan is available now.

For more information regarding (@vintagebooks) please visit penguin.co.uk/vintage/

Title: Derby Shorts

Author: Jane Bradley (Ed.)

Pages: 159 Pages

Publisher: Group Of

The Blurb

Presented by For Books’ Sake in collaboration with the London Rollergirls, Derby Shorts is a bold and brilliant anthology of the best new fiction from the roller derby track.

The ground-breaking collection is the first of its kind, and within its pages, you’ll find short stories of inter-team love, lust, rivalry and rebellion, rollerblading assassins in punk-apocalyptic London, brats and ballerinas turned derby superstars, and much much more.

Featuring emerging and established authors from across the UK, Europe, America and beyond (including roller derby players, referees and fanatics from all over the world), the stories in Derby Shorts rand from the bittersweet and beautiful to the brutal and bizarre, but keep one thing in common; their obsession with a sport and subculture far too fierce, fearless and exciting to stay underground.

(GOODREADS BLURB)

The Review

As a child, every Saturday my mum took me and my big sister to a sports centre that hosted a roller disco. It lasted about an hour and a half and played 80s tracks that were in heavy rotation – if memory serves, my favourite one to skate to was Cocoon by Timerider most famous for being the theme tune to Hit Man and Her. Skating reminds me of freedom, of the feeling that I could fly and since then I have wanted to be a member of a Roller Derby team. Alas, I bruise like a peach so I don’t think it is the sport for me but if I was going to be a member of any sporting team it would be, without a shadow of a doubt, a Roller Girl.

It is probably this weird fascination with a sport I cannot play that led me to buying Derby Shorts. It is a quirky collection of stories that all have one thing in common. At the core of each story is a celebration of roller skating.

I read a lot of books of short stories and you usually get a small handful of ones you enjoy next to a bunch of fillers. I genuinely didn’t feel that way about this collection. Every story is enjoyable. The genres range from historical fiction to crime to sci-fi. No one has interpreted the spirit of the sport in the same way. It truly is wonderful.

Derby Shorts by Jane Bradley is available now.

For more information regarding For Books Sake (@forbookssake) please visit www.forbookssake.net.

Title: Spilt Milk

Author: D. K. Cassidy

Pages: 122 Pages

Publisher: Pluvio Press

The Blurb

Within these pages you will meet an array of characters. Choices are made that will change lives. Are they right or wrong? You decide. Each brief story deliberately distills a life’s essence. Mika Sugano’s original illustrations compliment D. K. Cassidy’s flashes of fiction, heightening these refreshing ideas and themes on the page.

Welcome to Modern Gothic stories that are droll, horrific, and thought provoking.

  • George, a child who collects things
    •Cinderella’s stepmother in therapy
    •A paraplegic finds her true life
    •Caleb, unwanted, neglected, now grown
    •Jared, baptized in a coffee world
    •A mother lost in her torn past
    •And six others

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Spilt Milk by DK Cassidy is a curious little collection of short stories that are all interwoven. The twelve story collection wasn’t necessarily for me because I like closure with my short stories but you cannot deny the creative talent on DK Cassidy. She manages to make you feel uncomfortable and equally intrigued at the same time.

Spilt Milk by D. K. Cassidy is available now.

For more information regarding D. K. Cassidy (@moongie) please visit www.dkcassidy.com.

For more information regarding Pluvio Press (@PluvioPress) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Rio Grande, Wisconsin

Author: JoAnn Novak

Pages: 28 Pages

Publisher: Day One

The Blurb

This story was originally published in Day One, a weekly literary journal dedicated to short fiction and poetry from emerging writers.

Frankie is twelve, and she’s feeling a bit too old for family vacations. So on yet another trip to the Wisconsin Dells, she’ll use the rudimentary coping skills available to preadolescents: fake-sleeping in the car, ignoring her parents, tormenting her brother. And, of course, fantasizing about Bill Murray.

Her mother wants Frankie to watch her weight, but the tween refuses to police her body—or to be ashamed of her enjoyment of it. At every opportunity—in the pool, during dinner, at the wax museum—her mom pushes, and Frankie pushes back.

Imaginative and honest, Rio Grande, Wisconsin is a coming-of-age story about the awkward and dysfunctional ways mothers and daughters show love, and how one unique girl attempts to feed the insatiable existential hunger that comes with growing up.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Oh dear.

I read Rio Grande, Wisconsin unsure about what it would be about but I was intrigued by the cover. What I got was a story that was just a little bit pointless and a lot under-developed. The development of the story, of there being an actual point to the story would have made it more enjoyable but all I felt after reading it from beginning to end was that I had just wasted my time.

Rio Grande, Wisconsin by JoAnn Novak is available now.