published: 7th January 2021
Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions. No history to hold on to. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.
But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And when she finds a photograph pointing her to a town called Phalene, she leaves. But when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.
Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?
Continue reading “Book Review: Burn Our Bodies Down”
published: 7th January 2021
When Dimple Met Rishi meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this rom com about two teen girls with rival henna businesses.
When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.
Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realised.
Continue reading “Book Review: The Henna Wars”
published: 10th June 2021
Ash Persaud is about to become a reaper in the afterlife, but she is determined to see her first love Poppy Morgan again, the only thing that separates them is death.
The last thing Ash hears is the snap of breaking glass as the windscreen hits her and breaks into a million pieces like stars.
But she made it, she’s still here. Or is she?
This New Year’s Eve, Ash is gets an RSVP from the afterlife she can’t decline: to join a clan of fierce girl reapers who take the souls of the city’s dead to await their fate.
But Ash can’t forget her first love, Poppy, and she will do anything to see her again… even if it means they only get a few more days together. Dead or alive…
NOT EVEN DEATH CAN TEAR THEM APART.
Continue reading “Book Review: Afterlove”
published: 12th November 2020
If everything in your life was based on a lie
Would you risk it all to tell the truth?
At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there, but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning with his political career in tatters.
Montverre has changed since he studied there, even allowing a woman, Claire Dryden, to serve in the grand jeu’s highest office of Magister Ludi. When Léo first sees Claire he senses an odd connection with her, though he’s sure they have never met before.
Both Léo and Claire have built their lives on lies. And as the legendary Midsummer Game, the climax of the year, draws closer, secrets are whispering in the walls…
Continue reading “Book Review: The Betrayals”
published: 19th January 2021
A funny, fiercely feminist YA epic fantasy—following the adventures of a tavern wench
Tanya has worked at her tavern since she was able to see over the bar. She broke up her first fight at 11. By the time she was a teenager she knew everything about the place, and she could run it with her eyes closed. She’d never let anyone—whether it be a drunkard or a captain of the queen’s guard—take advantage of her. But when her guardian dies, she might lose it all: the bar, her home, her purpose in life. So she heads out on a quest to petition the queen to keep the tavern in her name—dodging unscrupulous guards, a band of thieves, and a powerful, enchanted feather that seems drawn to her. Fast-paced, magical, and unapologetically feminist, Wench is epic fantasy like you’ve never seen it before.
Continue reading “Book Review: Wench”
published: 14th May 2020
From the internationally acclaimed bestselling author of Code Name Verity comes a thrilling story of wartime secrets, intrigue and wild courage.
Windyedge Airfield, Scotland. World War II.
When her mother is killed in the Blitz, and her father’s ship goes down, Louisa Adair feels she has lost everything. The country she has called home since her family left Jamaica is not a friendly place for an orphaned girl with brown skin, and she badly needs money and a roof over her head.
Finally she finds work looking after an old lady at a pub near an airfield in Scotland. There she meets Ellen, a driver for the RAF, and Jamie, a pilot – two other young people just as exhausted by the toll the war has taken on their loved ones, and just as desperate for a way to fight back.
Then the impossible happens. A German defector lands at the airfield carrying a precious package, and Louisa, Jamie and Ellen find themselves hiding a codebreaking machine that could alter the course of the war. But there are powerful people hunting for the machine, and soon Louisa and her friends are playing a deadly game that threatens everything they hold dear.
A thrilling story of wartime secrets, international intrigue and wild courage from the award-winning author of Code Name Verity, with three young heroes you’ll never forget.
Continue reading “Book Review: The Enigma Game”
Yoon Ha Lee
published: 9th June 2020
Dragons. Art. Revolution.
Gyen Jebi isn’t a fighter or a subversive. They just want to paint.
One day they’re jobless and desperate; the next, Jebi finds themself recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers.
But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes—and the awful source of the magical pigments they use—they find they can no longer stay out of politics.
What they can do is steal Arazi, the ministry’s mighty dragon automaton, and find a way to fight…
Continue reading “Book Review: Phoenix Extravagant”
published: 7th April 2020
Raised on a small island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Willa has a picture-perfect life: hanging out at the beach with her friends, living in a cozy sea-side cottage, working at a sailing store, and running a hugely popular sailing Instagram. At least, her life seems picture-perfect. When a group of followers enters her into High Seas, a televised national sailing championship, it should be no problem. Too bad Willa doesn’t actually know how to sail at all. Desperate to avoid having her carefully curated life come crashing down around her, Willa tracks down Lane Cordova, the winner of four previous High Seas competitions, and begs her for a crash course in sailing before the race begins. But Lane’s competence on the water is only matched by Willa’s ineptitude, and her growing crush on Lane isn’t helping matters. When the competition threatens to go awry and take her entire idealized life with it, Willa has to figure out if she can save her reputation while taking a chance at authentic love.
Continue reading “Book Review: Tack & Jibe”
Michael R. Johnston
published: 13th February 2020
Reclaiming Earth from the Zhen was only the beginning. For the first time in a thousand years, humans walk the world where their civilizations first arose. Settlements have become towns, swelling with new settlers fleeing the oppression and lies of the Empire. For the first time in a thousand years, the human race is free. But freedom never comes without a price, and a year of rebuilding ends with the human homeworld pushed to the brink of collapse by a series of Zhen attacks. Tajen Hunt, the man who found Earth and uncovered the truth about the Zhen, is sent to the Kelvaki Assembly to ask for ships and pilots to bolster Earth’s defenses. Between an assassination attempt on the Heir to the Assembly throne and the labyrinth of loyalties that is Kelvaki politics, it’s not an easy task. And it’s made impossible when the Zhen Empire seizes control of Earth and sets up a brutal Occupation. Now Tajen and his team must return to Earth and find a way to end the Zhen occupation. But unlike the first Battle of Earth, the lines between friend and foe are no longer clear – because the Zhen have human agents among the people of Earth – and not all of them are known.
Continue reading “Book Review: The Blood-Dimmed Tide”
published: 6th February 2020
How well do you know your family?
Estranged for a decade, sisters Leslie and Robin must reunite if they are to claim the fortune their father left them. Leslie desperately needs that money, but when she arrives at her sister’s apartment, she finds her body instead. Leslie needs another plan. Without Robin, she won’t see a penny.
Mary, an aspiring actress, spends her nights slinging beers at a seedy restaurant. She’d do anything to start her life over. When Leslie offers her a huge sum of money and the chance to be someone else – to be Robin – she takes it.
But Robin’s life isn’t as straightforward as Mary thought it would be. And Leslie seems to have secrets and a past of her own . . .
Told from three perspectives: Leslie, Mary, Robin.
The question is: who is the better liar?
Continue reading “Book Review: The Better Liar”