Title: Here’s To Us

Author: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Pages: 472 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

Ben has spent his first year of college working on his fantasy manuscript with his writing partner Mario, who is a great Spanish tutor, and an even better kisser. So why can’t he stop thinking about the fact that Arthur’s back in town two years after they called it quits?

Arthur is in New York for a dream internship on Broadway, with a boyfriend back at home that he couldn’t be happier with. But when he comes upon Ben cuddled up with a mystery boy, he starts to wonder if his feelings for Ben ever truly went away. 

Even as the boys try to focus on their futures, they can’t seem to help running into each other in the present. Is the universe forcing them to question if they’re actually meant to be?

Possibly not. After all, things didn’t work the first time around.

Possibly yes. After all, the sparks are still flying.

Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and raise a glass.

Here’s to celebrating old friends!

Here’s to embracing new beginnings!

Here’s to believing in second chances!

The Review

It has been a long while since I have rooted so fervently for a couple of characters. I felt myself getting to the point where I would either a) throw the book in frustration because Ben and Arthur are meant to be together or b) shouting out loud “Kiss him, you fool!”

Okay, so it is always tricky with a sequel. Will it live up to the predecessor? Will it ruin the story? I can genuinely say that Here’s To Us is on par with What If It’s Us or possibly even better.

Ben and Arthur have grown up and so have their problems and I feel they make it a bit more relatable. Ben and Arthur needed a challenge to their almost perfect love story start and boy do Albertalli and Silvera provide it. But oh, how they pull at those heartstrings.

Here’s To Us is phenomenal as is the whole series. My heart was stolen by this book and I don’t want it back.

Here’s To Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera is available now.

For more information regarding Becky Albertalli (@beckyalbertalli) please visit www.beckyalbertalli.com

For more information regarding Adam Silvera (@AdamSilvera) please visit his Instagram page.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@SimonBooks) please visit www.simonandschuster.com.

Title: The Lost Chapter

Author: Caroline Bishop

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

The Blurb

1957, France. 

Florence and Lilli meet at finishing school in Lyon. Despite some differences, they forge a firm friendship that promises to last a lifetime. But a terrible betrayal prematurely tears them apart.

Years later in England, Florence has become the woman her friend knew she could be – creative, bold, and independent. The exact opposite of Alice, a young woman troubled by a recent trauma, whom Florence is determined to help bring out of her shell. Just as Lilli once did for her.

When Florence discovers that the novel she’s reading is written by Lilli and is based on their time at school, the two stories begin to unfold together. Past events illuminate the future, and it becomes clear that long-held secrets can’t stay buried for ever.

The Review

The Lost Chapter by Caroline Bishop is a brilliant novel that has the ability to sweep the world away as you read it.

The dual timeline narrative of The Lost Chapter allows you to see just how much the world has changed in a relatively short period. In 1957, we see out protagonist Florence as a young woman having to learn the ways of the world and live up to the expectations her privileged upbringing requires. In our second timeline, we see Florence as an old woman – wiser, more experienced and trying to impart guidance and help to those around her all the while trying to keep her own secrets from being revealed.

The Lost Chapter is a joy of a novel and one that really is unputdownable. Usually with a dual timeline novel there is a preference of era and I hunger for more of that narrative thread but both of the timelines had me thirsty for more. I wanted to read it as fast as I could and yet I didn’t want it to end. The Lost Chapter was such a glorious read.

The Lost Chapter by Caroline Bishop is available now.

For more information regarding Caroline Bishop (@calbish) please visit www.carolinebishop.co.uk.

For more information regarding Simon and Schuster (@simonschusterPR) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: The Book of Gutsy Women – Favourite Stories of Courage and Resilience

Author: Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton

Pages: 464 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

She couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. “Go ahead, ask your question,” her father urged, nudging her forward. She smiled shyly and said, “You’re my hero. Who’s yours?”
Many people—especially girls—have asked us that same question over the years. It’s one of our favourite topics.

HILLARY: Growing up, I knew hardly any women who worked outside the home. So I looked to my mother, my teachers, and the pages of Life magazine for inspiration. After learning that Amelia Earhart kept a scrapbook with newspaper articles about successful women in male-dominated jobs, I started a scrapbook of my own. Long after I stopped clipping articles, I continued to seek out stories of women who seemed to be redefining what was possible.

CHELSEA: This book is the continuation of a conversation the two of us have been having since I was little. For me, too, my mom was a hero; so were my grandmothers. My early teachers were also women. But I grew up in a world very different from theirs. My paediatrician was a woman, and so was the first mayor of Little Rock who I remember from my childhood. Most of my close friends’ moms worked outside the home as nurses, doctors, teachers, professors, and in business. And women were going into space and breaking records here on Earth.

Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. While there’s a lot of work to do, we know that throughout history and around the globe women have overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us. That is the achievement of each of the women in this book.

So how did they do it? The answers are as unique as the women themselves. Civil rights activist Dorothy Height, LGBTQ trailblazer Edie Windsor, and swimmer Diana Nyad kept pushing forward, no matter what. Writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie named something no one had dared talk about before. Historian Mary Beard used wit to open doors that were once closed, and Wangari Maathai, who sparked a movement to plant trees, understood the power of role modeling. Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai looked fear in the face and persevered. Nearly every single one of these women was fiercely optimistic—they had faith that their actions could make a difference. And they were right.

To us, they are all gutsy women—leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do. Because if history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs gutsy women.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I love hearing about amazing women throughout history. More and more books are being released celebrating the lives and achievements of women from the past…and about time too!

For me, the brilliant thing about Gusty Women is the diversity of the women being celebrated. I had only heard of a few of them but even with those that I did know I still managed to learn things about them that I was unaware of.

What was equally enjoyable was the candid style in which the book has been written. Both Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton have equal time to speak and extol the virtues of the women celebrated. They make no bones about voicing a controversial opinion such as disagreeing with the current government and also governments of the past.

I really enjoyed this Gutsy Women. It is definitely a palette cleanser of a book. I wouldn’t advise reading it all in one sitting. Cherish it and learn more about the fabulous women inside the pages.

The Book of Gutsy Women – Favourite Stories of Courage and Resilience by Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton is available now.

For more information regarding Hilary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) please visit www.onwardstogether.org.

For more information regarding Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) please visit www.facebook.com/chelseaclinton.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@SimonSchusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton

Author: Anstey Harris

Pages: 330 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

GRACE ATHERTON HAS FALLEN OUT OF LOVE … AND INTO LIFE

Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is the story of a woman who has her heart broken, but then puts it back together again in the most uplifting and exquisite way.

The Review

Before I start this review, I must thank Sara Jane at Books and the City for sending me a physical copy of this book to review.

Grace Atherton. What can I say about Grace Atherton? Well, she is a quiet thing who lives a seemingly quiet life but underneath her exterior façade lives a young woman with infinite adventure in her life. She has a dramatic relationship with an older man, she is an accomplished cellist, a shop owner and she is a friend two others.

Dig deeper and you find that her quiet little existence is not so quiet at all.

I really don’t want to give too much away about The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton because it is a damn good read and so it would be unfair to leak any spoilers before you pick it up. What I will say is that one of my favourite things about this novel was the multigenerational friendships that prove to be the heart of the story. You have the fiestiness of youth and the wisdom of age with Grace firmly plonked in the middle. I think it is this element which I enjoyed the most.

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton has the potential to be as loved as Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It is a heart-warming and engaging story that will make you want to find out what has happened but equally to not want it to ever end.

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris is available now.

For more information regarding Anstey Harris (@Anstey_Harris) please visit www.ansteyharris.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

A song for tomorrowTitle: A Song for Tomorrow

Author: Alice Peterson

Pages: 448 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

The Blurb

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.

Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

The Review

Sometimes books are unfair. They make you fall in love with characters, with their fictional family and with their made up story before breaking your heart in the cruellest way possible. Sometimes books are even more unfair by having the story based on real life situations and they are even more impossibly cruel.

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson is one such book. It is a story of a young girl called Alice who has always had to watch what she is doing, making sure she isn’t putting herself in harms way, making sure she isn’t taking risks with her health. But Alice realises that this is no way to live life. She may have a chronic life shortening illness but she wants to live it not just go through the motions.

Alice decides to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. She falls in love. She allows herself to be painted. She lives. She experiences life. It is heartwarming. However, with happiness comes great sadness and that is part and parcel of Alice’s journey. You need to read A Song for Tomorrow to find out more.

I loved A Song for Tomorrow. I laughed and I cried and after I read it I bought 6 more copies and gifted them to friends so that they could feel how I was feeling – #greatfriend. With this book Peterson has the innate ability to hold your attention and forget to breath; there were times when I literally felt like I was drowning because I couldn’t breathe. It is a truly wonderful story that is tinged with unbearable sadness.

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson is available now.

For more information regarding Alice Peterson (@AlicePeterson1) please visit www.alicepeterson.co.uk.

For more information regarding Simon and Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonschuster.co.uk.

5 Stars