Title: The Burning

Author: Laura Bates

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Books

The Blurb

A rumour is like a fire. You might think you’ve extinguished it but one creeping, red tendril, one single wisp of smoke is enough to let it leap back into life again. Especially if someone is watching, waiting to fan the flames …

New school.
Tick.
New town.
Tick.
New surname.
Tick.
Social media profiles?
Erased.

There’s nothing to trace Anna back to her old life. Nothing to link her to the ‘incident’.

At least that’s what she thinks … until the whispers start up again. As time begins to run out on her secrets, Anna finds herself irresistibly drawn to the tale of Maggie, a local girl accused of witchcraft centuries earlier. A girl whose story has terrifying parallels to Anna’s own…

The compelling YA debut from Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and bestselling author of Girl Up.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

The Burning by Laura Bates is a brilliant contemporary YA Fiction novel that packs a heart and relevant punch. It toys with the ideas of blame, shame, and social media.

The story follows Anna, a young girl who has been persecuted for decisions she has made in the past. Now, away from the life that she once knew, she plans to start afresh and hope that the negativity from the past doesn’t catch up with her.

Parallel to the main plot runs a story about how girls have always been persecuted by narrow-minded people and how they have always been persecuted – especially by men – which mirrors what Anna is going through.

The Burning is a powerful book that I will be shoving into the hands of all the students that I work with. This book needs to be read, the problems within it need to be understood, and the issues it discusses need to be rectified.

You NEED to read The Burning.

The Burning by Laura Bates is available now.

For more information regarding Laura Bates (@EverydaySexism) please visit www.everydaysexism.com.

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

Title: Geek Girl Special (1) – All Wrapped Up

Author: Holly Smale

Pages: 220 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins UK

The Blurb

All I want for Christmas is… a new GEEK GIRL story!

Harriet Manners knows a lot about Christmas.
She knows that every year Santa climbs down 91.8 million chimneys.
She knows that Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was almost definitely a girl.
She knows that the first artificial Christmas trees were made out of goose feathers.
But this Christmas is extra special for Harriet, because four days ago she had her First Ever Kiss.

Now she just needs to work out what’s supposed to happen next…

A romantic festive treat from the internationally bestselling award-winning author of the GEEK GIRL series. Also includes a BONUS previously unpublished GEEK GIRL short story TEAM GEEK!

The Review

I read Geek Girl by Holly Smale ages ago. It was so long ago that I can’t actually remember when it was. At the time I loved it. So it is a massive puzzle to me as to why I haven’t read the rest. I own them but I just haven’t read any of them. It is rather curious.

The Geek Girl Special (1) – All Wrapped Up sees Harriet go on her first real date. As we have come to expect from Harriet, she is awkward and gawky but she manages to actually come across as the more in control person when she is taken ice skating. Something she is surprisingly good at. But will she get a Christmas kiss?

Geek Girl Special (1) – All Wrapped Up has made me want to hurry up and read the rest of the series and that is what I intend to do.

Geek Girl Special (1) All Wrapped Up by Holly Smale is available now.

For more information regarding Holly Smale (@HolSmale) please visit www.holly-smale.com.

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

Title: One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories

Author: Paige Toon

Pages: 390 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

One year after movie star Joseph Strike swept schoolteacher Alice off her feet, they are spending Christmas together in snowy Cambridge. But despite the romantic setting Alice can’t help but question whether life in the spotlight is really what she wants. Will a Christmas provide some perspective? Or will the life she’d be leaving behind be too much to lose?

In this irresistible collection, bestselling author Paige Toon reunites a much-loved cast from across her fifteen novels, including Johnny Be GoodThe One We Fell In Love With and Thirteen Weddings. Fall in love with nine witty and heartfelt romantic stories, published in print for the very first time.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

The first time I came across Paige Toon’s work was in Dublin Airport. Some friends and I had been to the OXEGEN Festival at Punchtown Racecourse and we were all shattered waiting for our flight back home to Liverpool. One of my friends tootled off to WHSmith to pass the time and came back with Johnny Be Good – a perfect title of book for three book loving girls (and Back to the Future was said friends favourite movie – see, the stars were aligned on this one). We all took turns reading the book and we all loved it. This was the start of my book love towards Paige Toon.

In her latest collection – One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories – we get to go back and visit much loved characters. We get to either see scenes from different perspectives or extension stories which let us know how they are getting on now. Some people don’t like this style of book but I personally love getting back in touch with old characters.

If you are a Paige Toon fan you will appreciate this book. If you have not read anything by Paige Toon before and you want a taste of her writing style this could be the book for you too. I loved it and I have to thank Sara-Jane from Books and the City for sending me a copy.

One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories by Paige Toon is available now.

For more information regarding Paige Toon (@PaigeToonAuthor) please visit www.paigetoon.com.

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

Title: Faithful

Author: Alice Hoffman

Pages: 272 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers comes a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.

The Review

I have never read a book by Alice Hoffman before and whilst I know she has been handed praise from all corners I still didn’t know what to expect.

I will admit, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Faithful.

Faithful is a story of redemption. Our protagonist Shelby is seeking redemption. She blames herself for an accident that left her best friend in a comatose state. She has survivor’s guilt and she sets on a path of self destruction. Along the way she hurts herself and other people but she also grows and begins to rescue lost souls much like herself.

Faithful is a wonderful journey of self discovery and you cannot help but root for Shelby and beg her to forgive herself.

I really enjoyed Faithful. I will definitely be returning to Hoffman for more of her books.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman is available now.

For more information regarding Alice Hoffman (@ahoffmanwriter) please visit www.alicehoffman.com.

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

Title: Shockaholic

Author: Carrie Fisher

Pages: 176 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

By the time Carrie Fisher wrote Shockaholic, it had been a roller coaster of a few years since her Tony- and Emmy-nominated, one-woman Broadway show and New York Times bestselling book Wishful Drinking

The electro-convulsive shock therapy she’s been undergoing is threatening to wipe out (what’s left of) her memory. She lost her beloved father, Eddie Fisher, but also her once-upon-a-very-brief-time stepmother, Elizabeth Taylor, as well as over forty pounds of unwanted flesh, all the while staying sober and sane-ish.

Yes, of course, Shockaholic is laugh-out-loud funny, acerbic, and witty as hell. But it also reveals a new side of Carrie Fisher that may even bring a pleasant shock your way: it is contemplative, vulnerable, and ultimately quite tender. From the woman who took us to space and back, we bring you Carrie Fisher: the woman, mother, daughter and of course, Princess.

Carrie Fisher, the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, became an icon when she starred as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Her star-studded career included roles in numerous films such as The Blues Brothers and When Harry Met Sally. She was the author of four bestselling novels, Surrender in the PinkDelusions of GrandmaThe Best Awful and Postcards from the Edge, which was made into a hit film starring Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep. Her first work of non-fiction was the cult hit Wishful Drinking. Carrie’s experience with addiction and mental illness – and her willingness to talk honestly about them – made her a sought-after speaker and respected advocate. She was truly one of the most magical people to walk among us.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Earlier this year I read Carrie Fisher’s book Wishful Drinking. I admitted at the time to know little to nothing about the late actress besides a few roles that she had played but I enjoyed her writing style very much. Therefore, it was with pleasure I read another of Carrie Fisher’s books – Shockaholic.

With her continuing acerbic wit and enthusiastic candour about her mental health struggles I found Shockaholic to be an equally delightful read. She is amusingly self-deprecating whilst also being hyper aware of the unreality of her reality.

Both of the books I have read by Carrie Fisher – Shockaholic and Wishful Drinking celebrate the family nucleus that she herself found so normal in the completely bonkers setting of Hollywood post its golden age.

A very entertaining read for anyone who is a fan of tales of Hollywood.

Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher is available now.

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