• Book Review,  Reviews

    Never Ending – Martyn Bedford

    “Waking in the dark chill before dawn, she imagined her first glimpse of the swimming pool, shimming at their journey’s end.  The sun soaking honey-coated heat into her skin as she stands at the water’s edge.  Liquid light unfurling before her. Blue and white and silver and gold.  She imagined diving in.” Kyritos was meant to be Shiv’s best family holiday. But when tragedy hits in the glorious sun of the Greek island, it hits Shiv harder than anyone else. She knows she’s to blame and knows that the best place for her now is the Korsakoff Clinic where she can face the truth about her brother’s death. The unconventional…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Castle – Sophia Bennett

    “What is wrong with this picture?  It’s Saturday afternoon. We’re in the small, ancient church of St Thomas the Martyr in Winchelsea, where my granny does the flowers, and where I was christened fourteen years ago.  I’m in a satin dress. An old-fashioned bridesmaid’s dress with a sash. It’s apricot satin, apparently. Or peach. Some soft fruit or other. And it comes down to my ankles. Did I mention the sash? There are no words.” Peta is watching her mother marry a family friend, just a year after her dad has been declared dead, when she gets a phone call. Its not great timing but the caller, who she doesn’t…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Red Ink – Julie Mayhew

    “This is the recipe.  Take five pounds of hulled whole wheat. Hold it in your arms. Feel that it weighs nothing compared to the load that lays heavy on your heart. Wash the wheat, let your tears join in. Strike a match, strike up faith, light the gas. Watch the wheat bubble and boil. See steam rising like hope.” All her life Melons mum told her The Story. The Story was like a fairy tale gone wrong, but it was beautiful all the same. It was the story of how Melon came to be, how her mum became the person she was and of how the Fouraki family is cursed…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Love Letters to the Dead – Ava Dellaira

    “Dear Kurt Cobain, Mrs Buster gave us out first assignment in English today, to write a letter to a dead person. As if the letter could reach you in heaven, or at the post office for ghosts. She probably meant for us to write to someone like a former president or something, but I need someone to talk to. I couldn’t talk to a president. I can talk to you.” An assignment for English, a pointless, idiotic assignment, but maybe not. Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, they are all dead and they are all going to get letters from Laurel. She wants to speak to someone about…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Year of The Rat – Clare Furniss

    “The traffic light glows reed through the rainy windscreen, blurred, clear, blurred again, as the wipers swish to and fro. Below it, in front of us, is the hearse. I try not to look at it. My hands fidget as though they don’t belong to me, picking at a loose thread on my sleeve, stretching my skirt down so that it covers more of my legs. Why did I wear it? It’s way too short for a funeral.” Pearl has a new baby sister. However that sister – The Rat – is the reason Pearl no longer has a mum and Pearl isn’t sure if she’ll ever be able to…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Bird – Crystal Chan

    “Grandpa stopped speaking the day he killed my brother, john. His name was John until Grandpa said he looked more like a Bird with the way he kept jumping off things, and the name stuck. Bird’s thick, black hair poked out in every direction, just like the head feathers of the blackbirds, Grandpa said, and he bet that one day Bird would fly like one too. Grandpa kept talking like that, and no one paid him much notice until Bird jumped off a cliff.” Jewel has lived in her brothers shadow all her life. On the day he died the only people not out looking for Bird were Jewel’s mother…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Soul Storm – Kate Harrison

    ***Please note that this is the third in a trilogy. Whilst I have tried to refrain from spoiling any aspects of the story there may be some assumptions about the previous books that can be made from this review*** “Loneliness is worse than death.  It rots you from the inside out, making you disappear. I avoid mirrors, because I am afraid I will see a space where I should be. And when I accidentally catch a glimpse of my reflection in a window, I am surprised at how solid I look. How ‘normal’.” For a year now Alice has been visiting Soul Beach, a website where she can talk to, touch and…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    See You At Harry’s – Jo Knowles

    “The very best day of my life, I threw up four times and had a fever of 103 degrees. I was pretty sure I was going to die, and sometimes by the look on my mom’s face every time she took my temperature, I think she was pretty sure, too.” Fern has spent the past four years invisible, ever since her little brother Charlie turned up, her dad’s restaurant got busy, her mum started trying to find her inner peace and her older brother and sister have their own lives to lead. When tragedy strikes the family is turned upside down and they each have their own issues to deal…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Heart-Shaped – Siobhan Parkinson

    “People are always saying this are a nightmare. The traffic is a nightmare. There are three people ahead of them in a queue, and it’s a nightmare. The ATM only gives fifties, and it’s a nightmare. They can’t open their shoelace because it’s knotted too tightly and they’ve cut their fingernails and that’s a nightmare too. They don’t know much if that is their idea of a nightmare.” Annie is in love, and the thing about love is that it’s a nightmare, when you can’t work out if the boy you like likes you back and you read into everything that happens. Love often leads you into a hell, but…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Friday Brown – Vikki Wakefield

    “My life has been told to me through campfire tales – stories that spill over when the fire has burned low and silence must be filled. They’re like old coats hauled from the back of the cupboard. Dusted off, aired out, good as new. My mother, Vivienne, doled them out as reward or consolation, depending on her mood. And so I came to know myself – through the telling and retelling. They became as much a part of me as blood or bone. On the night of my eleventh birthday, Vivienne told me that I was cursed.” Friday Brown has spent all her life on the run. Being brought up…