Title: Rocks

Author: Joe Perry

Pages: 432 Pages

Publishers: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

Before the platinum records or the Super Bowl half-time show or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Joe Perry was a boy growing up in small-town Massachusetts. He idolized Jacques Cousteau and built his own diving rig that he used to explore a local lake. He dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. But Perry’s neighbors had teenage sons, and those sons had electric guitars, and the noise he heard when they started playing would change his life. 

The guitar became his passion, an object of lust, an outlet for his restlessness and his rebellious soul. That passion quickly blossomed into an obsession, and he got a band together. One night after a performance he met a brash young musician named Steven Tyler; before long, Aerosmith was born. What happened over the next forty-five years has become the stuff of legend: the knockdown, drag-out, band-splintering fights; the drugs, the booze, the rehab; the packed arenas and timeless hits; the reconciliations and the comebacks. 

Rocks is an unusually searching memoir of a life that spans from the top of the world to the bottom of the barrel—several times. It is a study of endurance and brotherhood, with Perry providing remarkable candor about Tyler, as well as new insights into their powerful but troubled relationship. It is an insider’s portrait of the rock and roll family, featuring everyone from Jimmy Page to Alice Cooper, Bette Midler to Chuck Berry, John Belushi to Al Hirschfeld. It takes us behind the scenes at unbelievable moments such as Joe and Steven’s appearance in the movie of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (they act out the murders of Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees). 

Full of humor, insight, and brutal honesty about life in and out of one of the biggest bands in the world, Rocks is the ultimate rock-and-roll epic. In Perry’s own words, it tells the whole story: “the loner’s story, the band’s story, the recovery story, the cult story, the love story, the success story, the failure story, the rebirth story, the re-destruction story, and the post-destructive rebirth story.”

The Review

Rocks is the extremely interesting musical memoir of Joe Perry from Aerosmith. I won’t claim to be the biggest Aerosmith fan – although I can name enough of their songs to not feel like a total fraud – but I found their musical journey completely fascinating.

Perry discusses the influences on his music, the impact of his family and also the choices that helped and hindered the band at certain pivotal points in time.

One of the most fascinating elements of the memoir is the relationship between Joe Perry and Steve Tyler – where musical direction and ego often clashed. Rocks really is a must read for anyone interested in the rock music history.

Rocks by Joe Perry is available now.

For more information regarding Joe Perry (@JoePerry) please visit www.JoePerry.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@SimonBooks) please visit www.simonandschuster.com.

Title: Seven Exes

Author: Lucy Vine

Pages: 432 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

The Blurb

Esther is out with her two friends, bemoaning her lack of relationship, when she finds a magazine from the noughties. Seeking comfort – and a laugh – she turns to the dating advice only to find an article that feels a little too close to home. According to the journalist, there are seven people a woman will date before finding the one: 

The First Love, The Work Mistake, The Friend with Benefits, The Overlap, The Missed Chance, The Bastard and The Serious One.  

Her friends laugh but Esther realises each of her exes fits these roles perfectly. Deciding that she’s mistaken her true love in the reject pile she decides to contact each of her exes to find out which is the one that got away… 

The Review

After a few intense weeks, I needed to read something that was light-hearted, fun and would make me giggle and oh boy did I get that with Seven Exes.

The story centres around Esther and her desire to finally get into a committed relationship. After reading an article in an old edition of Cosmo, she applies the logic to her own life and starts pursuing her exes to find which one was actually the one.

Hilarity ensues.

I really liked Seven Exes. The mix of comedic moments with dramatic storylines kept me hooked and I also kept voicing my opinion on which ex I wanted Esther to get with.

Seven Exes is a story that will make you look at your own exes with nostalgia and relief. A great read for the summer.

Seven Exes by Lucy Vine is available now.

For more information regarding Lucy Vine (@Lecv) please visit www.lucyvine.co.uk.

For more information regarding Simon and Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: Preloved

Author: Lauren Bravo

Pages: 445 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

A love story about things…

Gwen’s life has stalled. She’s in her mid-thirties, perpetually single, her friends are busy procreating in the country and conversations with her parents seem to revolve entirely around herbaceous borders and the council’s wheelie-bin timetable. Above all she’s lonely. But then, isn’t everyone?

When Gwen’s made redundant from a job she drifted into a decade ago and never left, she realises it’s time to make a change. Over what might be the best – and most solitary – meal she’s ever eaten, Gwen vows to find something meaningful to do with her life, reconnect with her family and friends – and finally book herself a dentist appointment.

Her search for meaning soon leads her to volunteer in a local charity shop where she both literally and metaphorically unloads her emotional baggage. With the help of the weird and wonderful people she meets in the shop and the donated items bursting with untold stories that pass through its doors, Gwen must finally address the events and choices that led her to this point and find a way to move forward with bravery, humanity and more regular dental care.

Brimming with life, love and the stories bound up in even the most everyday items, Preloved is a tale about friendship, loss, being true to oneself no matter the expectations – and the enduring power and joy of charity shops.

The Review

Well, what a beautiful surprise of a book. Preloved was a delicious gem of a book.

Lauren Bravo’s novel – Preloved – is the story of finding your true self among the rubbish of your life. It focuses on Gwen. Gwen has just lost her job and has decided to volunteer in a charity shop until she can figure things out. Amongst the detritus of other people’s lives Gwen finds herself – this is through friends, lovers, and relatives.

Throughout the story is a glorious thread of a story woven through the narrative that is heartwarming and breaking in equal measure. What is evident throughout is the value of other peoples preloved items. What is one person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure.

I absolutely flipping loved this book. It was such an easy thing to read and it left me with all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings.

Preloved by Lauren Bravo is available now.

For more information regarding Lauren Bravo (@laurenbravo) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Pages: 390 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s UK

The Blurb

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is the beloved cult classic about family, friendship and first love, from award-winning author Benjamin Alire Sáenz. This lyrical novel will enrapture readers of John Green, Love, Simon and Call Me by Your Name

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison.

Dante is a know-it-all who has a unique perspective on life.

When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they develop a special friendship – the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about the universe, themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

This incredibly moving and powerful Printz Honor Book follows two teen boys learning to open themselves up to love, despite the world being against them.

The Review

I have had Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe on my bookshelf for a long time. I didn’t want to pick it up. Mainly that is because I am quite contrary. If someone goes on and on about something then I tend to avoid it. However, I have had a three month break from doing reviews and I decided to just grab something that looked like an easy read.

It was good. I love friendship novels and so that was a major box ticked. I love coming of age dramas and I love the 80s. I should have been completely sold on Aristotle and Dante. I was confused about the character growth of Aristotle. He presented one way through the whole novel but then changed towards the end which was a bit confusing

However, it was a lovely story and it was well written. A nice novel to get me back into the swing of reviewing.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz is available now.

For more information regarding Benjamin Alire Saenz (@BenjaminASaenz) please visit www.benjaminsaenz.com.

For more information regarding Simon and Schuster Children’s UK (@SimonKIDS) please visit www.simonandschuster.com/kids.

Title: Here’s To Us

Author: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Pages: 472 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

Ben has spent his first year of college working on his fantasy manuscript with his writing partner Mario, who is a great Spanish tutor, and an even better kisser. So why can’t he stop thinking about the fact that Arthur’s back in town two years after they called it quits?

Arthur is in New York for a dream internship on Broadway, with a boyfriend back at home that he couldn’t be happier with. But when he comes upon Ben cuddled up with a mystery boy, he starts to wonder if his feelings for Ben ever truly went away. 

Even as the boys try to focus on their futures, they can’t seem to help running into each other in the present. Is the universe forcing them to question if they’re actually meant to be?

Possibly not. After all, things didn’t work the first time around.

Possibly yes. After all, the sparks are still flying.

Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and raise a glass.

Here’s to celebrating old friends!

Here’s to embracing new beginnings!

Here’s to believing in second chances!

The Review

It has been a long while since I have rooted so fervently for a couple of characters. I felt myself getting to the point where I would either a) throw the book in frustration because Ben and Arthur are meant to be together or b) shouting out loud “Kiss him, you fool!”

Okay, so it is always tricky with a sequel. Will it live up to the predecessor? Will it ruin the story? I can genuinely say that Here’s To Us is on par with What If It’s Us or possibly even better.

Ben and Arthur have grown up and so have their problems and I feel they make it a bit more relatable. Ben and Arthur needed a challenge to their almost perfect love story start and boy do Albertalli and Silvera provide it. But oh, how they pull at those heartstrings.

Here’s To Us is phenomenal as is the whole series. My heart was stolen by this book and I don’t want it back.

Here’s To Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera is available now.

For more information regarding Becky Albertalli (@beckyalbertalli) please visit www.beckyalbertalli.com

For more information regarding Adam Silvera (@AdamSilvera) please visit his Instagram page.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@SimonBooks) please visit www.simonandschuster.com.