book review

The Best of April

This blog was looking a little sad and neglected during April, but I have been soooo busy!! I completed my WIP all about spies and sirens, revised it, revised it again, felt like chucking the whole damn thing off a cliff…then decided it was as ready as it ever would be.

So after weeks of wrangling with my laptop, trying to get ALL the words down and done, I’ve finally been able to get reading again. My pile of book proofs, debuts and new releases were giving me serious side eye, so I started to binge.

Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton

Has anyone read this? I felt like I had landed smack bang in the middle of England, the rural lanes, intermittent bus service, land lines and mobile phones was a breath of fresh air. I instantly clicked with the narrative, the characters could have been from my home town. The main character, Lily wakes up one Sunday morning on the side of the road. She’s not sure how she got there, she’s not sure why her bag, one purple converse and all her stuff is strewn around her. It’s a heartbreaking opening and so deftly explored from the POV of the protagonist because here’s the thing…she’s dead.

Lily doesn’t know what to do next. She finds herself tethered to her family, watching their agony play out before her eyes. But then she’s given a ‘once in a death-time opportunity…and has to make a decision.

What stood out for me about this book, aside from the characters seeming so real, the situation something that could be reported in any rural newspaper, in any given week, is that you know who dunnit. Pretty early on. How interesting is that?

Thank you to Hot Key books for the book proof, it’s out now and you can purchase it on amazon UK here

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The Electrical Venus by Julie Mayhew

Another gorgeous book proof from Hot Key books (thanks guys!) and the surreal opening instantly swept me into the storyline. Mim was sold off to the circus, a travelling band with a ramble of acts that tours the countryside, duping people out of their money and generally scraping by as they move from place to place. The tone perfectly matches the plot, Mim’s life is far from ordinary. Set in the eighteenth century, you can feel the struggle, the hardship and yet her beaming personality cuts through all the grime, sparkling on the page.

Mim realises her days may be numbered, she needs a new act, and fast. She enlists Alex’s help and together they work on something new, something daring. The chemistry between them is so very sweet, endearing and thoughtful. But then Dr Fox comes along and transforms Mim into the star act…all with an electric kiss.

This is such a fun, magical little read all with the slightly sinister undercurrent of what true poverty was in Georgian England. It’s available on Amazon UK here

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

By now, I’m pretty invested in these characters. I want to know more about Azriel, I want to see what Mor is truly capable of. I want Nesta and Cassian to hook up (come on Nesta, get over yourself!) and for Elain to kick her ‘true mate’ to the curb and pick whoever she damn well pleases. Or no one, it’s her choice, isn’t it?

So when I saw this book was coming out, Maas describes it as a ‘novelette’ I wanted to read it before the next book came out. And it delivered what was promised…a sort of bridge between one trilogy and the next. It reads a bit like a fan fic, an exploration of the characters and what they get up to when they’re not fighting in a war.

It was an easy read, lots of dialogue to sink into but it definitely assumes that you’ve read the trilogy. So if you want to pick up a book by Maas, or if you’ve read ToG and want to explore this world, start at the beginning, read ACOTAR, ACOMAF and ACOWAR and you won’t be frowning and confused!

So yep, I haven’t read an awful lot. I have got addicted to The 100 though, and now I’d love to see a YA version of the first series. Can someone write this please??

Thanks again to Hot Key Books for the proofs!

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