Title: Everyone in This Room will Someday Be Dead

Author: Emily Austin

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Atlantic Books

The Blurb

Meet Gilda. She cannot stop thinking about death. Desperate for relief from her anxious mind and alienated from her repressive family, she responds to a flyer for free therapy at a local church and finds herself abruptly hired to replace the deceased receptionist Grace. It’s not the most obvious job – she’s queer and an atheist for starters – and so in between trying to learn mass, hiding her new maybe-girlfriend and conducting an amateur investigation into Grace’s death, Gilda must avoid revealing the truth of her mortifying existence.

A blend of warmth, deadpan humour, and pitch-perfect observations about the human condition, Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a crackling exploration of what it takes to stay afloat in a world where your expiration – and the expiration of those you love – is the only certainty.

The Review

Everyone in this Room will Someday Be Dead is an interesting novel about a girl called Gilda. Gilda appears to have an OCD, she is fatalistic and obsessive. As a young gay woman you would hardly find her to be working in a church but by chance she finds herself getting a job there. What unfolds is a mystery and the actions of a self-destructive characters.

I would be lying if I said I loved this book but I did like Gilda as a character and I enjoyed going on her journey with her.

Everyone in this Room will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin is available now.

For more information regarding Atlantic Books (@AlanticBooks) please visit www.atlantic-books.co.uk.

Title: I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are

Author: Rachel Bloom

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

The Blurb

A collection of hilarious personal essays, poems and even amusement park maps on the subjects of insecurity, fame, anxiety, and much more from the charming and wickedly funny creator of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

“It’s nice to know someone as talented as Rachel is also pretty weird. If you’re like me and love Rachel Bloom, this hilarious, personal book will make you love her even more.” – Mindy Kaling

“Rachel is one of the funniest, bravest people of our generation and this book blew me away.” – Amy Schumer

Rachel Bloom has felt abnormal and out of place her whole life. In this exploration of what she thinks makes her ‘different’, she’s come to realise that a lot of people also feel this way; even people who she otherwise thought were ‘normal’.

In a collection of laugh-out-loud funny essays, all told in the unique voice (sometimes singing voice) that made her a star, Rachel writes about everything from her love of Disney, OCD and depression, weirdness, and female friendships to the story of how she didn’t poop in the toilet until she was four years old. It’s a hilarious, smart, and infinitely relatable collection (except for the pooping thing).

Readers love I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are.

The Review

Okay, I won’t lie to you. I don’t really know who Rachel Bloom is. I downloaded this book because the cover looked similar to the 90s Sweet Valley High series book covers so I assumed it would be a pastiche about the 80s/90s. It was interesting to find out that it was in fact a memoir. I could have DNF’d it at this point but I decided to stick it out and see if I enjoyed it. I did.

Rachel Bloom is funny in that self-deprecating geeky way that shows just how socially awkward she once was. I work in a school and the kids that tend to be my favourites (I know we shouldn’t have favourites but we do) are those that bang to the beat of their own drum. Rachel Bloom appears to be that kind of person. Unapologetically herself.

In I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are you travel with her through her awkward teen years. You cringe along with all the shockingly awful things she had to deal with and you marvel with just how cruel school kids can be. Bloom handled it so much better than I ever could.

I’m glad I read I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are. I know my reasons for doing so where a bit strange but it is one of those serendipitous moments where things turn out alright.

I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom is available now.

For more information regarding Rachel Bloom please visit her website www.racheldoesstuff.com.

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBooks) please visit www.hodder.co.uk.

Title: Gut Feelings

Author: CG Moore

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: UCLan Publishing

The Blurb

At school,

I learned that words,

More than weapons,

Could destroy bodies,

Could break hearts

More than fists or fury.

This is the story of Chris, what happened to him at the age of eleven and how that would change the rest of his life.

Based on personal experience, Chris Moore’s Gut Feelings is a life-affirming and powerful coming of age verse novel that shines a light on chronic illness, who we are and how we live. Chris’s condition – familial adenomatous polyposis, an inherited disorder characterised by the rapid growth of small, precancerous polyps in the large intestines – would come to define all aspects of his future, from his everyday life to his personal relationships.

Gut Feelings is Chris’s brave story of how he attempted to come to terms with this devastating diagnosis as a teenager.

Perfect for fans of Sarah Crossan, Louisa Reid and Dean Atta, the novel also tackles issues of invisible disability, family dynamics and LGBTQ+ themes.

The Review

I had personal reasons for wanting to read Gut Feelings. I have suffered with gut problems for as long as I can remember and I have never seen someone like myself or what I have gone through represented in books. I am so grateful that disability awareness – in particular invisible illnesses – is getting recognised in writing. Plus own voice stories are so powerful.

CG Moore’s Gut Feelings is a story told through poetry and explores Moore’s own experience with having an invisible illness. He brilliantly describes the drained feeling of constant hospital appointments, the fear of the next thing you are going to be told by a specialist, the remission and the flare ups. Maybe it is because my experience has been similar but Moore’s writing feels powerful.

Invisible illnesses are difficult for the person who has it but equally for the patient’s loved ones. They don’t know how you feel or what you go through or the pain you feel. However, CG Moore has done a damn good job of describing it.

Gut Feelings is definitely worth a read.

Gut Feelings by CG Moore is available now.

For more information regarding UCLan Publishing (@publishinguclan) please visit www.uclanpublishing.com.

Title: The Queer Bible

Author: Jack Guinness

Publisher: Harper Collins/HQ

The Blurb

‘We stand on the shoulders of giants. Now we learn their names.’

Read by Jack Guinness, Amelia Abraham, Paula Akpan, Munroe Bergdorf, Joseph Cassara, Juliet Jacques, Paris Lees, Freddy McConnell, Paul Mendez, Mark Moore, Graham Norton, Matthew Todd & Russell Tovey. 

THE QUEER BIBLE is a collection of essays written by queer icons, about the queer trailblazers throughout history who inspired them.

From Elton John on Divine to Graham Norton on Armistead Maupin; Russell Tovey on David Robilliard to Lady Phyll on Moud Goba; Tan France on the Queer Eye cast to Mae Martin on Tim Curry, today’s queer heroes write about the icons that provided a creative inspiration to them. Other contributors include Amelia Abraham, Paula Akpan, Courtney Act, Munroe Bergdorf, Mykki Blanco, Joseph Cassara, David Furnish, Paul Flynn, Paris Lees, Juliet Jacques, Gus Kenworthy, Freddy McConnell, Paul Mendez, Mark Moore, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Hanne Gaby Odiele and Matthew Todd. Each essay is accompanied by exclusive, bespoke illustrations by queer or ally artists, to create a truly beautiful celebration of queer culture.

Based on the popular website QueerBible.com, founded by model and activist Jack Guinness, this timely collection, edited by him, continues his mission – to create a space dedicated to the celebration of queer history.

The Queer Bible is a love letter to the LGBTQI+ community and its allies.

The Review

I have read a lot of Queer literature this year, I love LGBTQIA fiction but I have to say that it has been the non-fiction that has stuck with me. I decided to listen to the audiobook of The Queer Bible and I con honestly say that I think it was the best decision for me. I got something from the audiobook that I don’t think would have had the same impact had I read it on a page. I heard the passion behind each of these essays. Whilst not all of them were read by their author you still got the feeling of importance. It was joyful.

The audiobook opened on an essay about George Michael and straight away I was sold. The rest of the book highlights queer icons. What is fantastic is that you are hearing/reading queer icons talk about their own queer icons and the impact that they had. It is both educational and entertaining and by far one of the most positive books I have listened to in a long time.

The Queer Bible by Jack Guinness is available now.

For more information regarding Jack Guinness (@JackGuinness) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQ Stories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.

Title: How to Kill Your Family

Author: Bella Mackie

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

I have killed several people (some brutally, others calmly) and yet I currently languish in jail for a murder I did not commit.

When I think about what I actually did, I feel somewhat sad that nobody will ever know about the complex operation that I undertook. Getting away with it is highly preferable, of course, but perhaps when I’m long gone, someone will open an old safe and find this confession. The public would reel. After all, almost nobody else in the world can possibly understand how someone, by the tender age of 28, can have calmly killed six members of her family. And then happily got on with the rest of her life, never to regret a thing.

A wickedly dark romp about class, family, love… and murder.

Outrageously funny, compulsive and subversive, perfect for fans of Killing Eve and My Sister, the Serial Killer.

The Review

It is fair to say that How to Kill Your Family is not an ironic title for this book. In Bella Mackie’s story we meet Grace Bernard who sets out on a pilgrimage to kill the members of her family. All very Ronseal so far. It does what it says on the tin…or the book cover in this case.

Through the story we learn about Bella’s past. About the struggles of her mother and the absentee father and we see where she gets he homicidal motivation.

How to Kill Your Family reminded me of the Sweetpea by CJ Skuse. Yet what made the Sweetpea series so interesting is that the protagonist didn’t necessarily always justify her motivations which for me made the book more enjoyable and whilst I did really like How to Kill Your Family, Grace lacked the lackisdaisical and glib nature to make her a memorable serial killer.

How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie is available now.

For more information regarding Bella Mackie (@bellamackie) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.