The Girl with More than One HeartTitle: The Girl with More than One Heart

Author: Laura Geringer Bass

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Abrams Kids

The Blurb

When Briana’s father dies of a heart attack, she feels a new heart grow inside her. Through this heart, her father’s voice guides her through her grief and helps her navigate her new, not-so-normal life at home.

When her mother’s own grief becomes overpowering, Briana feels like she’s responsible for her autistic little brother, Aaron. Spending much of her time and energy caring for Aaron, she wonders: Did his special needs hurt her father’s very fragile heart? The voice of Briana’s “new heart” helps her to cope with the messy uncertainties, as she balances her first feelings of romance, making new friends, and following her dream of writing for the school newspaper. And as Briana finds strength and knowledge in herself, she’s finally able to let go of her new heart and rely solely on her own.

The Review

So many YA books have been based on grief recently. There has been a trend of grief among peers; people who are sick losing friends who have helped them through their illness. Yet I haven’t come across one about the loss of a parent.

This is the subject of the The Girl with More than One Heart by Laura Geringer Bass. Bass uses her own real life experiences of losing her dad, albeit as an adult, as she transfers that grief into an intense feeling shared by a child.

The story focuses on Briana who is dealing with the death of her father. She is a burgeoning teenager with a brother who is on the autistic spectrum and who, rightfully so, is quite demanding of time due to his needs. When she loses her father she also loses her mother too. Her mother is awash with grief and cannot come to terms with her husband’s death making Briana grow up faster than she should have to.

Laura Geringer Bass deals with the subject of loss so well it made a painful topic easier to read about. This is definitely a book you want to use to show understanding and empathy towards others.

A great MG-YA read.

The Girl with More than One Heart by Laura Geringer Bass is available now.

For more information regarding Laura Geringer Bass (@LauraGeringer) please visit www.laurageringerbass.com.

For more information regarding Abrams Kids (@abramskids) please visit www.abramsbooks.com/abramskids/.

4 Stars

Dead FeministsTitle: Dead Feminists – Historic Heroines in Living Colour

Author: Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring

Pages: 192 Pages

Publisher: Sasquatch Books

The Blurb

A national bestseller, this gorgeously illustrated letterpress-inspired book combines feminist history with a vision for a better future. Dead Feminists is a lushly illustrated and inclusive celebration of inspiring women who transformed the world and created social change.

Based on the beloved letterpress poster series of the same name, Dead Feminists interweaves intricate broadside art with archival photographs and ephemera. This book brings feminist history to life, profiling 27 unforgettable forebears of the modern women’s movement such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Gwendolyn Brooks, Rachel Carson, and more. Across eras and industries, passions and geographies, this collection of diverse, progressive, and perseverant women faced what looked like insurmountable odds and yet, still, they persisted.

Dead Feminists, which features a foreword by Jill Lepore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman, is an illuminating and innovative reminder that women can be extraordinary agents of change. The future is female, but in many ways so is the past. Dead Feminists takes feminist inspiration to a new level of artistry and shows how ordinary and extraordinary women have made a difference throughout history (and how you can too).

Featured Feminists: Adina De Zavala – Alice Paul – Annie Oakley – Babe Zaharias – Eleanor Roosevelt – Elizabeth Cady Stanton – Elizabeth Zimmerman – Emma Goldman – Fatima al-Fihri – Gwendolyn Brooks – Harriet Tubman – Imogen Cunningham – Jane Mecom – Marie Curie – Queen Lili’uokalani – Rachel Carson – Rywka Lipszyc – Sadako Sasaki – Sappho – Sarojini Naidu – Shirley Chisholm – Thea Foss – Virginia Woolf – Washington State Suffragists

The Review

I’m currently on a bit of a feminist wave. I’m reading lots of books about female figures throughout history that haven’t been celebrated to their fullest. That is why I was really happy to have been approved Dead Feminists on NetGalley.

O’Leary and Spring have combined their personal print making skills and used this to celebrate certain women throughout history. Some of these women are well known; others less so. What is interesting is seeing how O’Leary and Spring accentuate the role that these women have played and doing so in a visual way.

I genuinely loved this book. What is more is that I learned about women who I hadn’t ever come across before and it has inspired me to research into them further.

Overall, Dead Feminists is a quirky and inspiring look at the ways and whys women should be celebrated.

Dead Feminists – Historic Heroines in Living Colour by Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring is available now.

For more information regarding Chandler O’Leary (@AnagramPress) please visit www.chandleroleary.com.

For more information regarding Jessica Spring (@SpringtidePress) please visit www.springtidepress.com.

For more information regarding Sasquatch Books (@SasquatchBooks) please visit www.sasquatchbooks.com.

3 Stars

Murder Lies and Cover UpsTitle: Murder. Lies, and Cover-Ups – Who Killed Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Princess Diana?

Author: David Gardner

Pages: 292 Pages

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

The Blurb

Uncover the real truth behind mass media accounts of how they died, and learn the reason for their murders.

These five deaths stopped the whole world in its tracks. We all famously recall where we were and what we were doing when JFK was assassinated, as well as the moments Elvis, Princess Diana, and Michael Jackson died. As for Marilyn Monroe, the candle flickered out long ago, but only now can the truth be told about how—and why—she died.

After combing through thousands of recently declassified FBI files and interviewing key witnesses, crime analysts, and forensic experts during years of research, investigative writer David Gardner has unearthed new information that will transform the way we look at these iconic tragedies that have long fascinated and intrigued the general public. Murder, Lies, and Cover-Ups reveals that Elvis Presley died not as a self-obsessed caricature but as a genuine hero who may have signed his death warrant going undercover for the FBI; how Marilyn Monroe’s secret affairs with JFK and his brother, Robert, left her in the crosshairs of a lethal conspiracy; why Princess Diana’s death was no accident; who ordered President John F. Kennedy’s assassination; and how on three occasions Michael Jackson “died” of painkiller drug overdoses in the months before his death.

In the wake of new evidence and testimonies, Murder, Lies, and Cover-Ups provides many of the answers that have been elusive for so long, while explaining what it was about these enduring legends that made their legacies burn so bright.

The Review

I would never have considered myself a conspiracy theorist but there are certain events throughout history that I have my doubts about. For me, it has mainly been about the deaths of Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe. Ergo, when a book became available that looks into these events in more detail I knew I had to read it.

David Gardner’s Murder. Lies, and Cover-Ups – Who Killed Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Princess Diana? is a fascinating read which actually corroborated many of my beliefs about these two iconic women; that there is mystery surrounding their deaths.

What is more I got to read interesting cases about three other celebrities that I hadn’t really given much credence to the conspiracy theories surrounding their demise.

Gardner really does give you food for thought. He does it without forcing his opinions upon you. He opens an envelope of clues and invites you to look for yourself and to make your own mind up. If his manner had been demanding then I don’t think his theories would have had the same validity.

I will be interested to read more from David Gardner.

Murder. Lies, and Cover-Ups – Who Killed Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Princess Diana? By David Gardner is available now.

For more information regarding Skyhorse Publishing (@skyhorsepub) please visit www.skyhorsepublishing.com.

4 Stars

Bookish BoyfriendsTitle: Bookish Boyfriends

Author: Tiffany Schmidt

Pages: 272 Pages

Publisher: Abrams Kids

The Blurb

Boys are so much better in books. At least according to Merrilee Campbell, 15, who thinks real-life chivalry is dead and there’d be nothing more romantic than having a guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. Then she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer to Reginald R. Hero Prep–where all the boys look like they’ve stepped off the pages of a romance novel. Merri can hardly walk across the quad without running into someone who reminds her of Romeo.

When the brooding and complicated Monroe Stratford scales Merri’s trellis in an effort to make her his, she thinks she might be Juliet incarnate. But as she works her way through her literature curriculum under the guidance of an enigmatic teacher, Merri’s tale begins to unfold in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Merri soon realizes that only she is in charge of her story. And it is a truth universally acknowledged that first impressions can be deceiving…

The Review

Ahhhh Bookish Boyfriends. Where were you when I was fifteen?

Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt is a retelling of the classic Austen story Pride and Prejudice with a gentle nod to other great works of literature. Besides being a love story it is a story about great love throughout the history of novels.

Tiiffany Schmidt has captured the perfect tone for this entertaining YA novel. Her main character, Merrilee is a heroine for the feisty teen who happens to also get swept away quite easily. It is such an adventure being on her journey into the deep realms of private school as she tries (and at times, fails) to navigate the socially accepted behaviour with her clumsy and entertaining faux pas’ to keep the reader and indeed Merrilee on her toes.

Bookish Boyfriends is probably one of the better retellings of Pride and Prejudice that I have ever read. It is such a warm book that makes you less embarrassed about falling in love with fictional characters.

Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt is available now.

For more information regarding Tiffany Schmidt (@TiffanySchmidt) please visit www.TiffanySchmidr.com.

For more information regarding Abrams Kids (@abramskids) please visit www.abramsbooks,com/abramskids/.

4 Stars

Sam and Ilsas Last HurrahTitle: Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah

Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Egmont Publishing

The Blurb

Sam and Ilsa Kehlmann have spent most of their high school years throwing dinner parties, and now they’ve prepared their final blowout, just before graduation. The rules for the twins are simple: they each get to invite three guests, and the other twin doesn’t know who’s coming until the guests show up at the door. With Sam and Ilsa, the sibling revelry is always tempered with a large dose of sibling rivalry, and tonight is no exception.

One night. One apartment. Eight people. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, we all know the answer is plenty. But plenty also goes right – in rather surprising ways.

The Review

As far as writing partnerships go, Cohn and Levithan has to be one of my favourites. There has yet to be a book that they have written (either individually or together) that I have not enjoyed. Therefore, even before turning the first page of Sam and Isla’s Last Hurrah I knew I would like it.

And like it, I did.

It is almost like that game were you select ideal dinner guests, except in this circumstance all the guests are alive and not celebrities. We see Sam and Isla through the dual narrative try to come to terms with the empty space ahead of life after high school. Besides not knowing if they are going to college, travelling or getting a job they also have to deal with the fact that they are losing their home; the location for the last hurrah – their grandmother’s New York apartment.

It really is a quirky piece of YA fiction that focuses on half truths and lies and also includes a sock puppet. I know you are intrigued.

Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is available now.

For more information regarding Rachel Cohn (@rachelcohn) please visit www.rachelcohn.com.

For more information regarding David Levithan (@loversdiction) please visit www.davidlevithan.com.

For more information regarding Egmont Publishing (@EgmontUK) please sisit www.egmont.co.uk.

4 Stars