Title: Fleishman is in Trouble

Author: Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Pages: 373 Pages

Publisher: Headline

The Blurb

Finally free from his nightmare marriage, Toby Fleishman is ready for a life of online dating and weekend-only parental duties. But as he optimistically looks to a future that is wildly different from the one he imagined, his life turns upside-down as his ex-wife, Rachel, suddenly disappears.

While Toby tries to find out what happened – juggling work, kids and his new, app-assisted sexual popularity – his tidy narrative of a spurned husband is his sole consolation. But if he ever wants to really understand where Rachel went and what really happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen it all that clearly in the first place . . .

The Review

I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when I began reading Fleishman was in Trouble but quickly realised that I was in for a bit of a ride. It is the story of recently divorced Toby Fleishman who wakes up one morning to find that his ex-wife has sneaked the children into his apartment and has disappeared. What happens next is a funny series of events and watching as Toby struggles to find his pace as a single father. 

Fleishman is in Trouble is very much a character driven novel as not much actually happens throughout the story however we do delve into our main characters life, his way of thinking and the ennui he feels about being an adult. 

It was an interesting story but it was often hard to empathise with Toby and there were times when I questioned his decisions. Overall, it was an enjoyable read.

Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner is available now.

For more information regarding Taffy Brodesser-Akner (@taffyakner) please visit www.taffyakner.com.

For more information regarding Headline (@headlinepg) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Keanu Reeves is Not in Love with You – The Murky World of Online Romance

Author: Becky Holmes

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Unbound

The Blurb

One woman’s hilarious and fascinating quest to expose the truth behind fraudulent Twitter profiles: romance scammers beware, you have met your match!

Online romance fraud is a problem across the globe. It causes financial and emotional devastation, yet many people refuse to take it seriously. This is the story of one middle-aged woman in a cardigan determined to understand this growing phenomenon. 

No other woman has had so many online romances – from Keanu Reeves to Brad Pitt to Prince William – and Becky Holmes is a favourite among peacekeeping soldiers and oil rig workers who desperately need iTunes vouchers. By winding up scammers and investigating the truth behind their profiles, Becky shines a revealing, revolting and hilarious light on a very shady corner of the internet. 

Featuring first-hand accounts of victims, examples of scripts used by fraudsters, a look into the psychology of fraud and of course plenty of Becky’s hysterical interactions with scammers, this is a must-read for anyone who needs a reminder that Keanu Reeves is NOT in love with them.

The Review

With a title like Keanu Reeves is Not in Love with You you would expect this to be a really funny comedic novel about the perils of online fraud and Becky Holmes definitely delivered on that front. There were moments of this book that I laughed out loud. Becky Holmes really has got the funniest comebacks. 

The best way I can describe this book is a bit of a sad sandwich. When you are holding your stomach giggling Becky Holmes blindsides you with the harsh realities by showing you the true devastation with real life stories.

Keanu Reeves is Not in Love with You is a funny book with a serious message and is definitely worth a read.  

Keanu Reeves is Not in Love with You – The Murky World of Online Romance  by Becky Holmes is available now.

For more information regarding Becky Holmes (@deathtospinach) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Unbound (@unbounders) please visit www.unbound.com.

Title: Living and Loving in the Age of AIDS – A Memoir

Author: Derek Frost

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Watkins Publishing

The Blurb

This is the tale of a devastating pandemic, of lives cut painfully short; it’s also a love letter.

Derek, a distinguished designer and J, his husband, a pioneering entrepreneur and creator of both The Embassy Club, London’s answer to Studio 54, and iconic Heaven, Europe’s largest gay discotheque, met and fell in love more than 40 years ago. 

Their lives were high-octane, full of adventure, fun and fearless creativity. Suddenly their friends began to get sick and die – AIDS had arrived in their lives. When they got tested, J received what was then a death sentence: he was HIV Positive. While the onset of AIDS strengthened stigma and fear globally, they confronted their personal crisis with courage, humour and an indomitable resolve to survive. J’s battle lasted six long years. Turning to spiritual reflection, yoga, nature – and always to love – Derek describes a transformation of the spirit, how compassion and empathy rose phoenix-like from the flames of sickness and death. Out of this transformation also came Aids Ark, the charity they founded, which helped to save, amongst the world’s most marginalised people, more than 1,000 HIV Positive lives.

This is a story of joy and triumph; about facing universal challenges; about the great rewards that come from giving back. Derek speaks for a generation who lived through a global health crisis that many in society refused even to acknowledge. His is a powerful story chronicling this extraordinary time.

The Review

I have read quite a few books about AIDS – both fiction and nonfiction – and I am always hit afresh with just how awful this time period was and the impact it had on society.

Living and Loving in the Age of AIDS by Derek Frost is a firsthand account of what it was like to be a young gay man during this period. He talks about the fear and the anger but he also celebrates the community of his friends who were all struggling/fighting the same fight and how they came together to offer comfort.

There are moments in this book that feel like you are taking repeated punches to the gut, mostly when Frost drops into the chapter the next person who died, then the next, then the next. It felt relentless to read so I cannot image what it felt like to live through.

It sounds so obvious to say but the more I read about this time period the more I am confronted with individual stories. It is hard to imagine everyone’s individual lives when so, so many were killed by this horrific illness. More exposure to the stories of those who died is needed.

Living and Loving in the Age of AIDS – A Memoir by Derek Frost is available now.

For more information regarding Watkins Publishing (@watkinsbooks) please visit www.watkinsbooks.com.

Title: Two Like Me and You

Author: Chad Alan Gibbs

Pages: 300 Pages

Publisher: Borne Back Books

The Blurb

Edwin Green’s ex-girlfriend is famous. We’re talking cover-of-every-tabloid-in-the-grocery-store-line famous. She dumped Edwin one year ago on what he refers to as Black Saturday, and in hopes of winning her back, he’s spent the last twelve months trying to become famous himself. It hasn’t gone well.

But when a history class assignment pairs Edwin with Parker Haddaway, the mysterious new girl at school, she introduces him to Garland Lenox, a nursing-home-bound World War II veteran who will change Edwin’s life forever. 

The three escape to France, in search of the old man’s long-lost love, and as word of their adventure spreads, they become media darlings. But when things fall apart, they also become the focus of French authorities. In a race against time, who will find love, and who will only find more heartache?

The Review

Life has done the dirty on Two Like Me and You. Why, you ask. Well because this is a damn good YA fiction and I don’t think enough people know about it. And they should. Because it is damn good.

The story follows Edwin Green as he tries to win his famous ex-girlfriend back. In this brilliant coming of age story Edwin learns about the past, travels the world and maybe breaks a few laws along the way.

I really wish this book was more well known. Chad Alan Gibbs is a brilliant writer and I cannot wait to read more of his work.

Two Like Me and You by Chad Alan Gibbs is available now.

For more information regarding Born Back Books (@BorneBackBooks) please visit www.bornback.com.

Title: H is for Hawk

Author: Helen Macdonald

Pages: 300 Pages

Publisher: Grove Press

The Blurb

The instant New York Times bestseller and award-winning sensation, Helen Macdonald’s story of adopting and raising one of nature’s most vicious predators has soared into the hearts of millions of readers worldwide. Fierce and feral, her goshawk Mabel’s temperament mirrors Helen’s own state of grief after her father’s death, and together raptor and human “discover the pain and beauty of being alive” (People). H Is for Hawk is a genre-defying debut from one of our most unique and transcendent voices.

The Review

I was – once again – the victim of requesting due to the cover. I liked it so I clicked it willy-nilly. However, what I got from H is for Hawk is a story with so much heart that I found it a lovely read.

H is for Hawk is a memoir with a difference. It is the story of how Helen MacDonald adopted a goshawk however this story of Macdonald raising the bird parallels a massive change in her life – the loss of her father.

It is a bittersweet story about love and loss and was a genuine joy to read.

H is for Hawk by Helen Mcdonald is available now.

For more information regarding Helen MacDonald (@HelenJMacdonald) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Grove Press (@GrovePressUK) please visit their Twitter page.