Review: The Good Mother by Sinéad Moriarty

The Good Mother by Sinéad Moriarty

Title: The Good Mother
Author: Sinéad Moriarty
Genre: Contemporary, Chick Lit
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK (2nd November 2017)
Source: The publisher
Blurb:

Kate has been through the fire with her three children . . .

Having been left devastated and homeless after her husband’s affair and the break-up of their family, somehow Kate has pulled through. Though times are still tough, she’s beginning to see the start of a new life.

But when twelve-year-old Jess is diagnosed with cancer, Kate’s resilience is put to the ultimate test. She has an eighteen-year-old son consumed with hatred of his father, a seven-year-old who is bewildered and acting up, and an ex-husband who won’t face his responsibilities. And in the middle of it a beloved child who is trying to be brave, but is getting sicker by the day.

Kate knows she must put to one side her own fear and heartbreak and do right by her children, particularly Jess. But maybe doing the right thing means doing the unthinkable?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

In THE GOOD MOTHER Sinéad Moriarty takes us on a rollercoaster of emotion. The story follows Kate, a mum of three children – 18, 12 and 7 – in Ireland. Her ex-husband Nick had an affair and left her and their children. The story start with Kate and her children moving out of their home as since Nick left they can no longer afford to live there. Kate sees it as the chance for a new beginning. When 12 year-old Jess is diagnosed with cancer everything changes, especially when she seems to be getting sicker by the day. Kate is determined to do the right thing by her family.

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Review: Truth or Dare by Non Pratt

Truth or Dare by Non Pratt (UK edition; front cover)

Title: Truth or Dare
Author: Non Pratt
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books (1st June 2017)
Blurb:

How far is too far when it comes to the people you love?

Claire Casey hates being the centre of attention. But if it means getting Sef Malik to notice her, it’s a risk she’s happy to take. Sef is prepared to do anything to help his recently disabled brother. But this means putting Claire’s love – and life – on the line. Because when you’re willing to risk everything, what is there left to lose?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

TRUTH OR DARE by Non Pratt is a contemporary young adult book set in the UK. It tells the stories of Claire and Sef, who get together and create a YouTube channel designed to raise money for their friend who was very badly injured. They do this by creating alter egos who play a version of truth or dare. The story follows them as they become friends and try to help. The book itself is split into three sections. The first tells the story from Claire’s point of view; the second from Sef’s; and the third section is split between them.

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Review: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

The Names The Gave Us by Emery Lord (UK edition)

Title: The Names They Gave Us
Author: Emery Lord
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books (1st June 2017)
Blurb:

Lucy has her perfect summer planned out: perfect boyfriend, perfect job and quality time with her perfect parents.

Then her mom’s cancer comes back, and suddenly life makes no sense.

Before she knows it, Lucy finds herself agreeing to volunteer as a counselor at a camp for troubled kids, where lives are more different from her own than she could have imagined possible. Here Lucy meets the dashing but mysterious fellow counselor Jones, who will change the way she sees the world forever.

With tragedy hovering at the edges of Lucy’s life, this summer she must find out who she really is and what it means to love.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

THE NAMES THEY GAVE US is the fourth book from Emery Lord. It’s a standalone young adult novel that tells the story of Lucy Hansson. The story takes place over several months – it starts in April and ends in August. When the book starts Lucy already has her summer planned out, but after she returns from prom she learns her mother’s cancer has come back and that changes everything. Her mom talks her into volunteering as a counsellor at a camp for troubled kids, that’s close enough for a weekly visits; hopefully allowing Lucy space to come to terms with everything. There, despite the tragedy hovering on the edges of her life, Lucy meets some great people and makes some wonderful friends.

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Review: One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (UK edition)

Title: One Of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Books (1st June 2017)
Blurb:

FIVE STUDENTS WALK INTO DETENTION.
ONLY FOUR LEAVE ALIVE.

Yale hopeful BRONWYN has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star COOPER only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad boy NATE is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen ADDY is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider SIMON, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it was no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus is a cross between the film The Breakfast Club (1985) and a who-done-it. It tells the stories of five high school students who end up in detention together and one of them ends up dead. There’s Bronwyn who wants to go to Yale, Cooper who has a promising career in baseball ahead of him, Nate who the gossip mill claims is on probation, Addy the prom queen, and Simon the creator of the notorious Bayview High gossip app. He dies twenty-four hours before he could lift the lid on the other four’s darkest secrets, and the police say it’s no accident.

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Review: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Title: Moxie
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books (21st September 2017)
Blurb:

Vivian Carter is fed up.
Fed up with sexist dress codes.
Fed up with gross comments from guys during class.
Fed up with her high school teachers who let it happen!
But most of all, Viv is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mum was a punk rock Riot Grrrl, inspiring Viv to create MOXIE a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her class mates.

She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond and begin to spread the MOXIE message:
MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!

And before Viv knows it, she has started a girl revolution.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

MOXIE by Jennifer Mathieu tells the story of high schooler Vivian Carter who lives in East Rockport, Texas. Vivian is fed up with certain attitudes that seem to permeate East Rockport High School: the sexist dress code and the gross comments some of the guys make during class – and, to make matters worse, the teachers let them get away with it. Vivian is used to following the rules and being ‘good’, but the things she sees happening in her high school make her more and more uncomfortable. Inspired by her mum’s love of the punk rock Riot Grrrl movement, Vivian creates MOXIE – an anonymous feminist zine – that resonates with other girls who are just as unhappy as she is.

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Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Title: Geekerella: A Novel
Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: Contemporary, Fairy Tale, Re-Telling, Young Adult
Publisher: Quirk Books (4th April 2017)
Blurb:

ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN ONCE UPON A CON . . .

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her step-mother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all – not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws hear, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake – until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, GEEKERELLA is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

GEEKERELLA by Ashley Poston is a young adult re-telling of the fairy story Cinderella, but set in the world of the fictional fandom of Starfield. The story is split between Elle, who grew up in the Starfield fandom as a young child and who now runs a blog, and Darien, the actor playing the main character in the new Starfield reboot and a fan of the original series. The producers of the Starfield reboot sponsor a cosplay contest at ExcelsiCon, and Elle sees it as a way for her to escape a seriously dire situation even if she is unimpressed with the reboot. Darien meanwhile is trying to deal with feeling more and more like a fake, as he hides his own history with Starfield, until he meets a girl who reminds him what he loves about the series and fandom.

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Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (UK edition)

Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: Contemporary, Social Realism, Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books (6th April 2017)
Blurb:

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and the posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

THE HATE U GIVE is Angie Thomas’s debut novel. It tells the story of sixteen-year-old Starr who lives with her family in a place called Garden Heights; it’s a poor neighbourhood with a strong community. Starr and her brothers don’t attend the local school; instead they travel to a posh high school in the suburbs. This means that Starr lives something of a double life, so she can fit into both worlds. The balance is destroyed when Starr is coming home from a party with her best friend Khalil and they are pulled over by a police officer, and she witnesses him shoot and kill her unarmed best friend.

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Review: Blood Sisters by Jane Corry

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry (ARC edition)

Title: Blood Sisters
Authors: Jane Corry
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Penguin Books (29th June 2017)
Blurb:

Three little girls set off to school
one sunny May morning.
Within an hour, one of them is dead.

Fifteen years later, Alison and Kitty are living separate lives. Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here, or her life before it.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison. Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day.  And only another life will do…

(Blurb taken from Goodreads)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

BLOOD SISTERS is the intricate new novel from Jane Corry. The novel follows the stories of Alison and Kitty fifteen years after a horrific event: one sunny May morning three girls set off to school, on the way one of them died. Kitty lives in a care home unable to speak with no memory of that tragic day or her life before it. Alison meanwhile has become an art teacher, and on the surface everything looks fine with her. But looks can be deceiving. Someone is watching both girls, because they think they got away lightly. Someone wants them to pay for what happened on that sunny May morning.

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Review: Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (Blog Tour)

DoNotBecomeAlarmed-blogtourbannerNEW

This review is part of the Do Not Become Alarmed blog tour.

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (ARC copy)

Title: Do Not Become Alarmed
Author: Maile Meloy
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Viking (6th July 2017)
Blurb:

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship’s comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship’s safety.

One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.

What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents – now turning on one another and blaming themselves – try to recover their children and their shattered lives.

(Blurb taken from Penguin.co.uk)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

DO NOT BECOME ALARMED is the latest book to come from Maile Meloy. It’s a standalone novel that tells the story of a group of tourists who are on a cruise in Central America. Liv and Nora are cousins who decide to take their husbands and children away together to celebrate the holidays. After days spent aboard the ship they start to feel restless so they decide to leave the ship, and take part in one of the activities organised by the cruise liner. Unfortunately a series of small mishaps lead to a larger disaster for the women: their children go missing.

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Review: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (UK Edition – Zoella Book Club)

Title: If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Usborne Publishing (1st June 2016)
Blurb:

AMANDA HARD IS the NEW GIRL AT SCHOOL.

Like everyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is holding back. Even from Grant, the guy she’s falling in love with.

AMANDA HAS A SECRET.

At her old school, she used to be called Andrew. And secrets always have a way of getting out . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL is Meredith Russo’s debut novel. It tells the story of Amanda Hardy an eighteen year old who has moved in with her dad for the first time, and is starting a new school. Like everyone else, she just wants to make friends and fit in. Amanda has a secret, one that has caused (and is causing) her a lot of heartache and pain: one that has pushed her and her family to their limits. Amanda used to be called Andrew. The trouble with secrets is that they have a way of getting out, whether you’re ready for them to or not.

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