Title: The Binding

Author: Bridget Collins

Pages: 448 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins/The Borough Press

The Blurb

Imagine you could erase your grief.

Imagine you could forget your pain.

Imagine you could hide a secret. Forever.

Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.

In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.

Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.

The Binding is an unforgettable, magical novel: a boundary-defying love story and a unique literary event.

The Review

Well this is an interesting one. The Binding by Bridget Connell is the story of how stories are made. The promise is that there are people called ‘Binders’ who will take away any bad memories and lock them securely in a book. The book will then be locked away. The only way for the people to regain their memories is if the books are burned. So far, so mystical.

We then have the main story which revolves around Emmett Farmer. He is sent to work as a binder but as the story evolves we see that he too has been bound.

I cannot lie to you, I found The Binding really difficult to get into. I wasn’t instantly lost in this world. Then something clicked and I was gone. I mean completely lost. I couldn’t put it down. It is a book that covers so many issues: class, power, LGBT. There is so much in here.

This is definitely a must read for 2019.

The Binding by Bridget Collins is available now.

For more information regarding Bridget Collins (@Br1dgetCollins) please visit www.thebindingbook.com.

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

For more information regarding The Borough Press (@BoroughPress) please visit www.boroughpress.co.uk.

Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning

Author: Lemony Snicket

Pages: 142 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Are you made fainthearted by death? Does fire unnerve you? Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Is cold porridge upsetting to you? Vicious threats? Hooks? Uncomfortable clothing?

It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of Unfortunate Events to be ill-suited for your personal use. A librarian, bookseller, or acquaintance should be able to suggest books more appropriate for your fragile temperament. But to the rarest of readers we say, “Proceed, but cautiously.”

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I’ve had the Lemony Snicket Series on my Kindle for a while now. I took advantage of an offer on Amazon to buy the whole series for 99p (99p – it is currently retailing for £42!). I decided to start reading it because I needed to read a new book with my students in school, after one chapter in to A Bad Beginning I knew that this was the right book.

It is a classic story of orphaned children and insidious family members with a dollop of disbelieving adults thrown in the mix. The Baudelaire children are sent to live with their insidious uncle Count Olaf who is desperate to get his money on the Baudelaire fortune and he will do absolutely anything to get it. Anything.

If you like your books to have high drama and high jinx then A Bad Beginning is the book for you. I’m off to read the sequel.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket is available now.

For more information regarding Lemony Snicket (@lemonysnicket) please visit www.LemonySnicketLibrary.com.

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

Title: Barbara the Slut and Other People

Author: Lauren Holmes

Pages: 272 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

A fresh, honest, and darkly funny debut collection about family, friends, and lovers, and the flaws that make us most human.

The Review

Barbara the Slut and Other People is a quirky collection of short stories from Lauren Holmes. Whilst I enjoyed reading the collection and it was a welcome distraction from some of the heavier novels I have been reading lately I must admit that I cannot recall many of the stories in the collection. Therefore, I would describe Barbara the Slut and Other People as a good collection but ultimately the stories do not play on your mind after you finish reading.

Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes is available now.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollins) please visit www.hc.com.

Title: A Brief Encounter: A Love…Maybe Valentine eShort

Author: Julia Williams

Pages: 34 Pages

Publisher: Avon Books/Harper Collins

The Blurb

A snow storm in the village has meant waitress Rachel is working an extra shift on Valentine’s Night. Hopefully, though, she’ll still get home in time to have her Prosecco with her boyfriend Jamie and tell him her secret…

Daniel is stuck in the snow. He should have left work earlier but he hopes his girlfriend Claire will understand – especially when he produces a very special gift.

He stops to shelter and wait out the storm in a hotel he passes.

Who’s have thought that this one decision could change more than one life forever…

The Review

Well this is a cute little story.

The meet cute between Daniel and Claire happens in a nice hotel. On Valentine’s Day. In the snow. Need we say more?

Well, yes actually.

CUE THE ROMANCE!

For such a short story, Julia Williams packs an awful lot in. It is a cheeky romance about finding the perfect person and the not so perfect time. It is cute and adorable and what I refer to as a cheeky little commute read.

My one bug bear is a personal one and doesn’t really apply to the writing but I am not a big fan of using “big dates” such as Valentine’s Day as a day to propose. It just creeps me out but that is just my own hang up.

A Brief Encounter by Julia Williams is available now.

For more information regarding Julia Williams (@JCCWilliams) please visit www.maniacmum.blogspot.com.

For more information regarding Avon Books (@) please visit www.facebook.com/AvonBooksUK.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

3 Stars

Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Author: Mackenzi Lee

Pages: 513 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions – not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or walking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks n his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and travelling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow,, he vows to make this year long escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turn their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

The Review

I don’t really know what I was expecting from Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I was seduced by the slightly Byronic cover. I wasn’t expecting an intercontinental LGBT swashbuckling adventure.

It was rather a good romp around Europe.

The main crux of the story is the forbidden love between Monty and Percy amidst the hope of developing medicine in the 18th century. Throw in thievery, alchemy and piracy and you somewhat got a picture of how this story develops.

One thing that can be said with utter conviction about The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is that there is no other book out there like it.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee is available now

For more information regarding Mackenzi Lee (@themackenzilee) please visit www.mackenzilee.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollins) please visit www.harpercollins.com.