Title: The Chalk Man

Author: CJ Tudor

Pages: 280 Pages

Publisher: Crown Publishing

The Blurb

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.

That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

When a group of young boys find a dismembered body in a local park they are disturbed and baffled. The one clue is a man drawn in chalk.

Years later, the chalk man symbol starts appearing again and the mystery of the past returns.

The story of Eddie and his friends could be categorised as a coming of age under mystery thriller but it in’t really a genre that blends will in my opinion. I wanted to be completely hooked on the story and at times I will admit to feeling creeped out and, at times, a little disturbed but the pacing was a little to languorous for my liking.

The Chalk Man is an interesting take on a blended genre but I don’t really think this was my kind of story.

The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor is available now.

For more information regarding Crown Publishing (@CrownOublishing) please visit www.crownpublishing.com.

The Lesser BohemiansTitle: The Lesser Bohemians

Author: Eimear McBride

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Crown Publishing/Hogarth

The Blurb

The captivating, daring new novel from Eimear McBride, whose astonishing debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, was an international literary phenomenon and earned the author multiple awards and recognition.

Upon arrival in London, an eighteen-year-old Irish girl begins anew as a drama student, with all the hopes of any young actress searching for the fame she’s always dreamed of. She struggles to fit in — she’s young and unexotic; a naive new girl — but soon she forges friendships and finds a place for herself in the big city.

Then she meets an attractive older man. He’s an established actor twenty years her senior, and the inevitable, clamorous relationship that ensues is one that will change her forever.

A redemptive, captivating story of passion and innocence set across the bedsits of mid-nineties London, McBride holds new love under her fierce gaze, giving us all a chance to remember what it’s like to fall hard for another.

The Review

When I first started reading The Lesser Bohemians I didn’t like it. Even as an avid reader, I have never come across this writing style before and I won’t lie to you it got me cross. There were unfinished sentences and thoughts and I will admit I just thought that Eimear McBride was writing in this style to be artsy and different. I found it to be a pretentious style of writing. However, my mama didn’t raise no quitter so I persevered and I am awfully glad that I did.

The overall story is really good. The relationship between the two main characters is developed nicely over time and you can feel the struggles of this bourgeoning relationship because of the age different and life experiences.

Therefore, I liked the story as a whole but the writing style is just not my cup of tea.

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride is available now.

For more information regarding Eimear McBride please visit www.eimearmcbride.com.

For more information regarding Crown Publishing (@CrownPublishing) please visit www.CrownPublishing.com.

For more information regarding Hogarth Books (@HogarthBooks_UK) please visit www.vintage-books.co.uk.

3 Stars

The Blurb

A stunning debut about a young teenager on the brink and a parent desperate to find the truth before it’s too late.

Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she’s raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene. As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She’ll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn’t understand what’s happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger.
This raw and beautiful story about the intensity of adolescent emotions and the complex identity of a teenage girl looks unflinchingly at how cruelty exists in all of us, and how our worst impulses can estrange us from ourselves – or even save us.

The Review

Hyacinth Girls was another book that I chose to read because I found the cover interesting. Fortunately, the content of the book was equally as compelling.

The story centres on Rebecca’s relationship with her godchild Callie. Having raised Callie from a young age due to the death of both of her parents Rebecca finds that as Callie gets older the less that Rebecca knows about parenting.

Things take a turn for the worse when Callie is accused of bullying. Not wanting to believe that Callie could do this Rebecca becomes defensive and protective only to be faced with shocking consequences.

What is really special about Hyacinth Girls is that Lauren Frankel understands of the cruelty of school children. She accurately describes the torment that can take place in the school environment. Frankel brilliantly keeps the reader on their toes throughout the book and constantly pulls the rug from under your feet. With each chapter you develop an opinion only to have it kyboshed in the next.

You see how difficult it can be for both of the protagonists and you empathise greatly with them both. You also see the shocking behaviour people can (and do) display over social media. Dealing with some dark and disturbing issues makes Hyacinth Girls definitely an interesting multilayered read.

Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel is available now.