Sunday, 29 July 2018

Colour Me In by Lydia Ruffles

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 320
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Released: 8th of August 2018 

Nineteen-year-old actor Arlo likes nothing more than howling across the skyline with best friend Luke from the roof of their apartment.

But when something irreparable happens and familiar black weeds start to crawl inside him, Arlo flees to the other side of the world, taking only a sketchbook full of maps.

With its steaming soup and neon lights, this new place is both comforting and isolating.

There, Arlo meets fellow traveller Mizuki. Something about her feels more like home than he's felt in a while. But what is Mizuki searching for?


What I Have to Say 

I loved this book so much! It a little slow to get into and finish, but it was so, so beautiful. The way everything was described and the magic of the abandoned places that Mizuki and Arlo go to. The fact that there were no place names at all in the book added greatly to the magic. It made it so that it could be anywhere, even after you've figured out what countries are being described. 

I liked Arlo a lot. He was buried in grief and depression, his mental health already crashing before the accident that sends him running. It's a very good look at how depression can infect your whole life and even when you're not struggling with it, you're still worried about it coming back and turning your life upside down again. 

I loved Mizuki too. Her quest for a photograph that had never been taken before, her enthusiasm to go to the abandoned places and find new things to capture with her camera, the fact that she has her own things that she's hiding from. 

Two characters travelling around, exploring places from islands full of wilds rabbits, to abandoned hospitals and theme parks, finding the magic in the places left behind. This is an amazing book about mental health. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Hodder for providing me with this copy for review.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

The Island by M. A. Bennett

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 304
Publisher: Hot Key Books 
Released: 9th of August 2018 

Link is a fish out of water. Newly arrived from America, he is finding it hard to settle into the venerable and prestigious Osney School. Who knew there could be so many strange traditions to understand? And what kind of school ranks its students by how fast they can run round the school quad - however ancient that quad may be? When Link runs the slowest time in years, he immediately becomes the butt of every school joke. And some students are determined to make his life more miserable than others . . . 

When a school summer trip is offered, Link can think of nothing worse than spending voluntary time with his worst tormentors. But when his parents say he can only leave Osney School - forever - if he goes on the trip, Link decides to endure it for the ultimate prize. But this particular trip will require a very special sort of endurance. The saying goes 'No man is an island' - but what if on that island is a group of teenagers, none of whom particularly like each other? When oppressive heat, hunger and thirst start to bite, everyone's true colours will be revealed. Let the battle commence . . .

What I have to Say 

This book was amazing, even though I hated almost every single one of the characters. As with STAGS, this is a novel full of privilege teenagers who treat each other in the most hideous ways. Link starts off as pretty much the slave of the school, forced to do everything his classmates tell him to do. So when he ends up with them on the island and is the only one able to make fire... Well shall we just say he takes full advantage.

The thing is, as much as I grew to hate Link throughout the book, it was still exciting to see what he was going to do next. It was like watching a disaster movie, you want to see just how bad it can get.

A lot of the plot twists, I saw coming, but that didn't put me off reading further the way that it sometimes can. It just made me look forward to when the character discovered what I'd guessed.

As with STAGs, this is a great book, but be prepared to see some awful sides of humanity

My thanks go to Netgalley and Hot Key Books for providing me with this copy for review.  

The Survival Game by Nicky Singer

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 384
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books 
Released: 26th of July 2018 

In a world full of checkpoints and controls, can love and hope defy the borders? A searing, timely story, as arresting as it is beautiful. 

Mhairi Anne Bain owns only two things: a gun with no bullets and her identity papers.

The world is a shell of what it once was. Now, you must prove yourself worthy of existence at every turn, at every border checkpoint. And if you are going to survive, your instincts will become your most valuable weapon.

Mhairi has learnt the importance of living her own story, of speaking to no one. But then she meets a young boy with no voice at all, and finds herself risking everything to take him to safety.

And so Mhairi and the silent boy travel the road north. But there are rumours that things in Scotland have changed since she has been away. What Mhairi finds there is shocking and heart-breaking, but might finally re-connect her to her sense of self and to the possibility of love.

What I Have to Say 

I adored the first half of this book, but the second half was really, really dull. I don't think I've ever been this divided about the book. The first part is an amazing journey of survival in the face of immigration and guards who will lock anyone up for trying to cross the boarders. The second half though is all waiting and laws and although it was vaguely interesting to see the laws in place in Mhairi's home, I just really didn't need to read it. 

Mhairi's journey across to Scotland though was amazing. It was gripping, suspenseful and full of the ways that Mhairi has had to cope with things she's done and seen, all the trauma that she has to compartmentalise because dealing with it is impossible to do while also trying to keep herself and the boy alive. 

I loved Mhairi' character, her communication with a boy that can't speak. The flashbacks to what happened in her life before she got to Heathrow and the journey that she had to make, avoiding the guards and escaping capture. 

It really was great. It's worth reading just for the first half. I just wish that the second part had been as good. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Hodder for providing me with this copy for review. 

Monday, 23 July 2018

A Bad Boy Stole My Bra by Lauren Price

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 304
Publisher: Ink Road 
Released: 12th of July 2018 

Imagine waking up in the dead of night to find your hot new neighbour dangling out of your window. What’s more, he's clutching your tattiest bra in his hand.

What. The. Actual. Fudge.

When bad boy Alec Wilde moves in next door to Riley, sparks fly. After their 'unconventional' introduction, Riley is determined to get her own back. A nemesis is just the distraction she needs: inside, she's barely holding it together. It's game on.

But behind the banter, there's a side to Alec that Riley actually likes. How can she get through to the real him when she can't even take herself seriously?

What I Have to Say 

This was a disappointment. I'd heard quite a lot about the book and it seemed like such a funny idea, but it actually fell quite flat on me and I'm not really sure why. The swear words also really put me off. I can't imagine anyone ever saying "grasshole", even a teenager with a younger brother. Just say the actual word or use a different word. 

I really liked the relationships, not just between Riley and Alec (talk about a slow burn!) but also all the friendships and family relationships in the books. It was a really good set of characters and even so many of the side characters felt really real and honest. 

I guess it just didn't have the humour that he title implied. It was more centred around the grief and guilt that Riley and the people around her feel about what happened to her cousin. And though that wouldn't usually put me off, I just wasn't prepared for it. I just didn't manage to engage with the book the way I do with most books. 

I'm really disappointed. It wasn't a badly written but I just couldn't get into it.. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Ink Road for providing me with this copy for review. 

Sunday, 22 July 2018

The Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 368
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books 
Released: 1st of July 2018 

Everyone knows what happens in the end.
A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss.
But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends.
One feared, one royal, and one already dead.


Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch. 

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain. 

What I Have to Say 

This was a lovely story with a really great ending that tied so beautifully into the original fairytale, but I found it very hard to get into. I think it's because this is the third retelling of the Little Mermaid that I've read this year. It's funny how trends happen like that, but I can't deny that it effected the way I took to the book. Still, by the end of the book, I was immersed in the world and relishing in the way it concluded, so it all worked out for the best. 

I loved the Nordic society that Henning built. The way she pulled so much culture into the story by setting it everything in the big festival that celebrated the goddess and the food styles they ate and everything important in society. It conveyed the setting in a way that gave so much life and information into it all without just dumping a load of boring information into the readers lap. It made for a lively story and showed the relationships forming between the characters really well. 

But as I said, I think there is a point where you can't find interest in another retelling of the same story. It's a shame, as I think I would have really liked this book a lot more if I'd read it at a different time. It may be one to reread in a couple of years 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Harper Collins for providing me with this copy for review. 

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 288
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books 
Released: 28th of June 2018 

There are two monsters in this story. One of them is me.

Ask anyone in Winship, Maine, and they’ll tell you the summer camp Quinn’s family owns is a magical place. Paper wishes hang from the ceiling. Blueberries grow in the dead of winter. According to local legend, a sea monster even lurks off the coast. Mostly, there’s just a feeling that something extraordinary could happen there.

Like Quinn falling in love with her best friend, Dylan.

After the accident, the magic drained from Quinn’s life. Now Dylan is gone, the camp is a lonely place, and Quinn knows it’s her fault.

But the new boy in town, Alexander, doesn’t see her as the monster she believes herself to be. As Quinn lets herself open up again, she begins to understand the truth about love, loss, and monsters—real and imagined.

What I Have to Say 

This book pulled up a lot of my own issues for me, so I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have really, through no fault of the book. It was a fantastic setting with great characters with a lot of magic, monsters and a really strong story line of guilt, grief and a family torn apart by one small thing. I think I could have really enjoyed it if it hadn't triggered so many of my own feelings.

I liked all the stuff about monsters and sea creatures. This book has made puffer fish my new favourite fish, so I have it to thank about that! (If you don't know about the mating rituals of the puffer fish, you /have/ to google them. I also liked the symbolism of the sea monster, the desperation that Quinn had to find it because it gives her something to pin the blame on other than herself.

I truly think that this is a well crafted book with a great story and I'm sad that it was so tempered by my own emotions. I hope in the future once my head is back in a better place that I can read it again and give it the enjoyment it deserves.

My thanks go to Netgalley and Macmillan for providing me with this copy for review. 

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Toxic by Nicci Cloke

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 304 
Publisher: Hot Key Books 
Released: 26th of July 2018 

 Hope has never been happier. She's on her way to Crete, after a group of her friends have made her an honorary 'lad' and let her tag along on their boys' holiday. There's a slight complication in that one of those boys, Logan, is Hope's ex-boyfriend, but they're still friends and Hope's pretty confident it won't be too awkward.

The next couple of days are exactly what Hope was hoping for - lazy days in the sun, and long, drunken conversations. She can't help but notice that Logan's flirting with her. Logan and Hope end up alone and Hope is horrified when, after she leans in to kiss him, Logan completely rejects her.

Embarrassed and annoyed, Hope is on a mission to get drunk, and with the alcohol flowing, and the sun going down, Hope's starts having a great time.

The next thing Hope knows, she's being woken up on the beach by two strangers. It's 9 o'clock the next morning and she can't remember anything about the previous night . . . what on earth happened?

What I Have to Say 

This is an excellent look at drinking culture, lad culture and toxic masculinity among other things. 

I have to admit. I've never understood drinking culture. I've never understood these party destinations that people go away to just to spend a week getting drunk in a foreign country either. So it was interesting to read about a group having a fun time out getting drunk and partying in bars. Some of it actually sounded reasonably enjoyable, until it went dark really, really fast. 

The first part of the book has a very different tone to the rest of the book. The first part is a fairly lighthearted story about young people on holiday. Obviously, I was expecting it to go bad, but I wasn't quite prepared for how dark it's got. It was like Cloke painting this happy, fun picture of a nice group of friends in the first part and then ripped it off in the second to show the darkness hiding inside the seemingly nice, normal exterior. A little bit of a shock to the system, but a very interesting way of showing how these things can hide away in dark corners until you see it. Because it resembled life. When you start to see these things, you start seeing them everywhere and you can't imagine how you were so blind before. The perfect metaphor. 

So though this book definitely lulls you at the start into thinking this will be a fairly nice summer read and then tramples over your feelings and leaves you feeling horrified and slightly sick, it really is a fantastic read. 

My thanks go to Hot Key Books and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review. 

Monday, 16 July 2018

The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker by Kerry Wilkinson

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Publisher: Bookouture 
Released: 26th of July 2018 

‘I will never forget the night I drowned…’

A village with something to hide.

Seventeen-year-old Eleanor Parker wakes up cold and alone in the river that twists through her quiet village. She has no memory of how she got there. But she does know that another girl was drowned in the same river the summer before, held under the water by an unknown killer…

A community torn apart.

Eleanor is a normal, every day teenager. She argues with her mum, spends her days with her best friend, and is looking forward to a carefree summer of sunshine and music. Who would want to hurt her?

A shocking secret.

Determined to unlock the mystery of what really happened to her, Eleanor can't escape the feeling that something awful links her to the previous summer's murder. But will she find out the truth before it’s too late?

What I Have to Say 

This was the weirdest book I've ever read, but it was pretty good. I wouldn't say it was anything particularly special to me really, but I enjoyed the story and the mystery of who killed Eleanor (and whether she was actually dead). 

The death stuff was a bit weird though. It was what drew me to the book to begin with, but it was mostly just weird with her not being able to eat or sleep so just wandering around trying to work things out. 

In general, though it was a fairly good story. The mystery was pretty good though. There weren't really enough suspects for my liking, but it was a really satisfying conclusion. 

In general, I liked it enough, but it wasn't really anything special. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Bookouture for providing me with this copy for review.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

The Truth About Lies by Tracy Darnton

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 256
Publisher: Stripes Publishing 
Released: 12th of July 2018 

Jess has an incredible memory. She can remember every single detail of every single day since she was eleven. But Jess would rather not be remarkable and, after years of testing at the hands of a ruthless research team, she has finally managed to escape.

Just when Jess thinks that she’s managing to settle in to living a normal life, everything changes. Her boarding-school roommate dies and the school is thrown into a state of chaos and grief. Then new boy Dan appears and Jess can’t help but find herself drawn to him. But building relationships is hard when you can’t reveal who you really are and Jess is getting hints that someone knows more about her than she would like.

Is it time to run again? Will she ever be truly free?

What I Have to Say

This was deliciously suspenseful and full of action, secrets and lies.  Jess is a fantastic character, unique and tormented by her past. Most of the things that the program put her through are only skimmed over, but the effects of them are so obvious in her voice and actions. She's so traumatised and closed off. And she just feels very, very real. 

There are so many mysteries here. First in the facts surrounding Hanna's death and how much Jess did or didn't do to encourage her along and second in Jess's history. In the details of the program and in her mum's death. It's so interesting that right from the start Jess knows all the answers, all of them locked away in her memory, or so she thinks. 

I have to say, I enjoyed every single second of this book. I loved the characters and the plot. It was just a brilliant book from start to finish. 

My thank go to Netgalley and Stripes for providing me with this copy for review. 

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Chasing Eveline by Leslie Hauser

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 300
Publisher: Pen Name Publishing
Released: 11th of July 2018 

Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.

Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.

The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present. 

What I Have to Say 

This book was really sweet. A story of hijinks and adventure as a couple of best friends try to raise money to go see their favourite band live, based on a story of grief and loss as Ivy continues to try to get over her mother leaving. It was mostly a fairly light hearted novel, but it had a depth to it that is always great in this kind of story. 

I loved a lot of things about this book. The band felt real and lifelike, especially the nostalgia-like feel of it. Two teenagers obsessed with a band who broke up before they were born and lamenting over the rest of their peers not wanting to listen to anything made before the 1990s is something that is easy to relate too if you've ever had the feeling of liking something that no one else is into. There was also a whole load of Gilmore Girls references, which always makes a book awesome in my opinion. 

The thing I loved most though was the friendship between Ivy and Matt. It's so great to see a male and female friendship in a book. One that is completely uncomplicated by love (aside from Matt's incessant whining about his ex). In fact when love does turn up on the horizon for Ivy, Matt is so encouraging and sweet about it all. It's something you rarely see in YA books even though this kind of friendship exists so much in real life. 

The ending was perfect for me as well. It was a very good blend of realism and a satisfying ending. Some people may have been disappointed, but this was definitely a good book for me. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Pen Name Publishing for providing me with this copy for review.   

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Floored by Sara Banard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Bynre, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 320 
Publisher: 12th of July 2018
Released: Macmillan Children's Books

When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn't that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he's the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn't match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn't as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who's losing her sight but won't admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn't be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.

What I Have to Say 

This was always going to be the big release of the summer. Six amazing authors coming together to write a story from six viewpoints (seven if you include the omniscient narrator who pops up from time to time) and it didn't disappoint. It was everything I expected from the authors pulled together in a seamlessly created story. 

I loved each of the characters and how different they were from one another, each facing a different set of problems and anxieties and having to get through life. All the characters were beautiful and real but I think my favourites were probably Kaitlyn, Velvet and Hugo (from love to hate to actually quite like! What a journey!). Kaitlyn was so awesome and badass with an interesting journey throughout the novel. Velvet so much the contrast, so shy and insecure, watching her go through her struggles and come out of the other side having grown as a person. And Hugo, the one everyone loves, because he's a very different perspective from the others. The privilege prick who for most of the novel you want to smack, in a good way! 

If I had to criticise it would be that there really wasn't enough time with each character for the amount of time the novel covers. Six whole years of their lives (and very changeable ones at that. It would have been nice to have had a longer novel and to have seen more of their lives. 

I thought long and hard about which author was writing which characters, especially since I know their writing styles pretty well, but it's just so hard to tell! 

My guesses though... 

Hugo - Melinda Salisbury. I don't know why. I just feel like it's her. 
Velvet - I think maybe Holly Bourne or Non Pratt. Maybe Tanya Byrne or Sara Barnard
Joe - I would say maybe Lisa Williamson. Maybe Non Pratt. Really hard to tell with this one. 
Kaitlyn - I really feel Non for this one. Or Holly. Maybe Sara. I could also see her as Tanya. 
Sasha - Sasha could have been anyone. I didn't even get a sense of who she could be from the writing style 
Dawson - Dawson is another one who could have been a bunch of people. I could see Mel but my biggest guess for her is still Hugo. He feels a bit like Holly. Or Non. Or Lisa. Or Sara. 

So I'm gonna go 
Hugo- Mel,
Velvet - Sara 
Joe- Lisa,
Kaitlyn - Non, 
Sasha -Tanya ,
Dawson-  Holly

So any guesses? I can't wait to see who was who. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Macmillan to provide me with this copy for review.

Monday, 9 July 2018

The Life and Death Parade by Eliza Wass

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 384
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books 
Released: 12th of July 2018 

One year ago, Kitty's boyfriend Nikki Bramley visited a psychic who told him he had no future. Now, he's dead. With the Bramleys grieving inside their rural English home, Kitty sets out to find the psychic who read Nikki his fate.

Instead she finds Roan, an enigmatic medium claiming he can speak to the dead. He belongs to the Life and Death Parade - a group that explore the thin veil between this world and the next.

Kitty is convinced he's a charlatan - but the 'magic' seems to work. The darkness is lifting.

But there are things Kitty can't ignore - evidence of strange rituals, shadows of the boy she lost, and Kitty begins to suspect that this boy had something to do with Nikki's death. More, that he may have the very real power to bring him back ...

What I Have to Say 

This was slow to get into, but so beautiful once I got into it. It was filled with mystery and madness, slowly revealing piece by piece of information about what happened to Nikki, while also exploring the mysterious Life and Death Parade.

I loved how the Life and Death Parade was so involved in everything. How it starts out with just a simple fortune reading but slowly turns out to be so much more rooted in Kitty's life than it first seems. It also just felt so real. All the magic is so hidden away, covered in scams and spectacle so that it feels like it really could exist, tucked away in the secret areas of a travelling carnival type show. 

It was just so beautifully written. It's so evocative, filled with magic and a wonderfully constructed mystery that once I'd got passed the first chapter, I was completely hooked. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Quercus for providing me with this copy for review. 

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Boy Underwater by Adam Baron

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 256
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books 
Released: 1st of June 2018 

Cymbeline (yes, really!) has never been swimming – not ever, not once – so he’s a bit nervous at the prospect of his first school swimming lesson ever. But how hard could it be? He’s Googled front crawl and he’s found his dad’s old pair of trunks. He’s totally ready for this.

But he’s not ready for an accident at the pool to reveal a family mystery that turns his life completely upside down. Only Cym and his friends can solve it because, as usual, the grown-ups aren’t telling them anything.

For the answers you really need, sometimes you have to go deep..

What I Have to Say 

This was so much better than it sounded from the blurb. I'd been hearing a lot of how great it was, so I thought it was worth a read and I'm so, so happy that I went for it because despite the stupid name and the ridiculous attempted to try and learn how to swim from the internet (I mean seriously, he just seemed to be way too dumb for his age). But they had a really super smart girl to contrast him, showing how kids can be smart and maybe it's just that there's a range of different intelligence. 

The mystery part was amazing. With his mother disappearing, his dad out of the picture and this mysterious connection to swimming and water that no one will ever talk about. Add in Cym and his friends and it makes a nice crack team of child investigators ready to solve this mystery. 

The conclusion was brilliant. I loved how it all came together and how dramatic it was. A fantastic mystery with great characters for any fan of children's books. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Harper Collins  for providing me with this copy for review. 

Thursday, 5 July 2018

All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 512
Publisher: Penguin
Released: 12th of July 2018 

Charlie Calloway has a life most people would kill for. A tight knit family. A loyal set of friends. A fast-track to whichever college she chooses.

But Charlie isn't interested in what most people want.

She's a Calloway. She's special. And she's been taught to want more.

So when she's invited to join an exclusive secret society, her determination to get in is matched only by her conviction that she belongs there.

But behind their mysterious facade is a history of lies which unravels everything Charlie thought she knew... including the story behind her mother's disappearance ten years ago.

What I Have to Say 

This was the perfect mix of lies, mysteries and privileged kids that you just love to hate. I don't know what the draw is of rich kids with very few morals, but I can't get enough of reading about the dark side of prep schools and the elite. Combining that backstabbing, selfish society with a tantalising mystery that changes everything in Charlie's life. 

Charlie was a great character. The way she developed over the course of the book, finding more and more about what happened to her mother. It was the perfect story of a rich, privileged, self-absorbed girl waking up to the world around her and realising that perhaps her comfortable world isn't as harmless as it seems. 

I loved how Charlie's life at school, trying to get into the As and getting together with the boy she likes seems so unconnected to the mystery she's trying get to the bottom of it, but how it all intertwines in the deeply satisfying conclusion.

 If you like elite societies filled with dark secrets, this is definitely one for the must read list. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Penguin for providing me with this copy for review. 

Monday, 2 July 2018

Killing It by Asia Mackay

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 378
Publisher: Zaffre
Released: 12th of July 2018 

Every working mum has had to face it.

The guilt-fuelled, anxiety-filled first day back in the office after maternity leave.

But this working mum is one of a kind.

Meet Alexis Tyler.

An elite covert agent within Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Her first project back is a high-stakes hit of global significance and the old boys network of government espionage is far from ready for the return of an operational mother. But woe betide anyone who ever tells Alexis Tyler 'you can't'.

She will have it all. Or she'll die trying . . .

And yes, she damn well will be home for bath time.

What I Have to Say 

I wasn't sure how this book would be, but I really enjoyed it so much. It's a unique idea, a new mother working as an assassin. It had a good blend of the comedy of the juxtaposition of the two ideas. I loved seeing her going from being the loving mother with her daughter and husband to spending the next day spying and breaking into places while planning an assassination. 

It also convinced me that all spies and assassins should be women. We have far more things that we tend to carry around that can be turned into gadgets. From tampons to lipsticks, no one looks twice at a women carry that sort of thing. Despite the sexism that Alexis faced, she really proved that having a women, a mother, on the team is nothing more than a asset. 

This book is a beautiful, feminist piece about a woman fighting tooth and nail to be recognised in her field after being on maternity leave. It's a powerful story with a suspenseful, funny and all round entertaining story of assassinations and covert ops on top. Definitely a story that's gonna stay with me. 

My thanks got to Bonnier Zaffre and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review.