Title: Nightbird

Author: Alice Hoffman

Pages: 208 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

The Blurb

Twig lives in a remote area of town with her mysterious brother and her mother, baker of irresistible apple pies. A new girl in town might just be Twig’s first true friend, and ally in vanquishing an ancient family curse. A spellbinding tale of modern folklore set in the Berkshires, where rumours of a winged beast draw in as much tourism as the town’s famed apple orchards.

The Review

I am not a huge fan of fantasy books. The odd one I am okay with but it certainly isn’t my “go-to” genre. However, there is one author who always manages to seamlessly weave the fantasy element into her stories that you don’t even question any of the out of the ordinary moments. That author is Alice Hoffman. 

In her book Nightbird we meet Twig. Twig is lonely. She has never really had any friends. She has been told not to get close to people because her family have a dark secret. However, when her new next door neighbour persists in forming a friendship Twig realises that it may come at a cost. 

Nightbird is magical. I loved Twig. I loved the story. I loved the setting. I loved the element of magic and mystery. I just loved everything about it. Alice Hoffman has written a winner of a story.

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman is available now.

For more information regarding Alice Hoffman (@ahoffmanwriter) please visit her Twitter page.

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

Title: Born to Run

Author: Bruce Springsteen

Pages: 528 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.

He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.

Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.

Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs (“Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “The Rising,” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I love Bruce Springsteen. My favourite song in the world is Born to Run. I was lucky enough to see him perform at Glastonbury in 2009. Yet I have had his autobiography sitting on my bookshelf for a few years now. I picked it up a few times and then opted for something else instead.

Eventually, I did sit down with the book (a mixture of physical book and audiobook) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Springsteen’s lyricism goes far beyond the song and his way with words plays out in his life story. It is almost like it is one big lyric. I don’t think he knows how to be anything but poetic.

It was interesting to learn about Bruce Springsteen’s earlier life and the events that shaped him to become who he is today. It was also quite moving to be there for the moments that I knew about such as Clarence Clemmons’ death.

Overall, it is a warts-and-all biography worthy of 528 pages of your time.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen is available now.

For more information regarding Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) please visit his Twitter page.

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

 

Title: Everyday Sexism

Author: Laura Bates

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

In 2012 after having been sexually harassed on London public transport, Laura Bates started a project called Everyday Sexism. Astounded by the response from all over the world, she quickly realized that the situation was far worse than she’d initially thought.

In a culture that’s driven by social media, for the first time women are using this online space, now in 19 countries, to come together and to encourage a new generation to recognize the problems that women face.

In April of 2015, to commemorate the 100,000th entry, the author led a successful Thunderclap campaign that enabled the project to become the #1 internationally trending topic that day, gaining several million retweets to become the leading tweet in the English speaking world.

The Review

I work in a school and I often have conversations with students over the relativity of feminism and how sexist attitudes and practices still exist. When I try to show them real life examples I always tell them about a time that I was walking home from work, minding my own business, listening to my iPod when a man that I didn’t know stopped me in the street. Firstly, he invaded my personal space, poked me in the stomach and told me I would be much prettier if I smiled more. Thanks, random stranger.

It may not seem like much but it is this low level everyday sexism that girls and women are faced with on a daily basis. Everyday Sexism is chock full of stories like this. It is a compendium of women being subjugated to the toxic male gaze.

Laura Bates is feisty and will not stand for it. This book is for everyone who has had to deal with this kind of BS. Or for those girls who walk down the road with their keys pressed between their fingers just in case. It is just for women. You just need to read it.

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates is available now.

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

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

Author: Rachael Lippincott

Pages: 276 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

Now a major motion picture starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson!

In this #1 New York Times bestselling novel that’s perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within a few feet of each other without risking their lives.

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

The Review

There has been a strange trend in YA literature over the past few years that focus on terminal illnesses. This often leaves me feeling confused. Partly because I feel that books and literature should be escapism from life but the greater part of me thinks that without literature people, especially young adults, are not exposed to bigger, more important subjects.

Exposure is exactly what the reader will get with Five Feet Apart. It is the story of Stella and Will and their battle with Cystic Fibrosis. It chronicles the daily battle with the life limiting disease and also the isolation that comes with having it. Imagine having something in common with a small set of people but not being able to be close to those people because it could kill you. It must be so lonely.

I was quite moved by this story. It was uplifting and heartbreaking and funny all in one go. I was consumed by this story and was bereft when it ended.

Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott is available now.

For more information regarding Rachel Lippincott (@rchllip) please visit her Twitter page.

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

Title: Loner

Author: Teddy Wayne

Pages: 203 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

David Federman has never felt appreciated. An academically gifted yet painfully forgettable member of his New Jersey high school class, the withdrawn, mild-mannered freshman arrives at Harvard fully expecting to be embraced by a new tribe of high-achieving peers. Initially, however, his social prospects seem unlikely to change, sentencing him to a lifetime of anonymity.

Then he meets Veronica Morgan Wells. Struck by her beauty, wit, and sophisticated Manhattan upbringing, David becomes instantly infatuated. Determined to win her attention and an invite into her glamorous world, he begins compromising his moral standards for this one, great shot at happiness. But both Veronica and David, it turns out, are not exactly as they seem.

Loner turns the traditional campus novel on its head as it explores ambition, class, and gender politics. It is a stunning and timely literary achievement from one of the rising stars of American fiction.

The Review

Loner is genuinely one of the creepiest campus novels I have ever read. It focuses on freshman David Federman who is a bit of a social outcast but now that he has reached Harvard he has a chance to reinvent himself. However, the reinvention isn’t exactly the best version of himself that he could be. And it is all because of one girl – Veronica Morgan: David’s new obsession.

Teddy Wayne does a great job of building up the creepiness. At first you feel sorry for avid but the more we see of him, and the more questionable his actions become, the more the reader start to feel uncomfortable.

Loner looks at themes such as mental health, voyeurism, and sexual conduct. It is only a small novel but it really does deal with a lot of important issues.

Loner by Teddy Wayne is available now.

For more information regarding Teddy Wayne (@TeddyWayne1999) please visit www.teddywayne.com.

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