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Discover new authors and titles through our hand-picked perfect matches that are not selected by a computer as they are on other online bookshops but in the traditional way by human hand and thought!
A story about identity, courage and searching for the truth of who you are. This book made me cry, it made me feel, it made me think and it made me want to read on. Emma Young brings us a whole new take on the issue of identity and body image. The idea of waking up with a completely different body was incredibly thought provoking, from looking at a different face in the mirror to discovering new freckles, the shape of your knuckles and the fall of your hair. After years of being trapped in a body slowly dying of a nerve disease, Rosa is offered an experimental brain transplant and given the chance to live. Yet as she struggles to come to terms with her new body she begins to question who she is and if she even deserves this healthy, able body when the girl who it belonged to is dead. She is told very little about her donor Sylvia, yet she knows she was young, pretty and a girl who seemingly had everything to live for and yet whose body has given her, Rosa, the chance to live. Soon Rosa becomes obsessed with finding out more about Sylvia and who she was. As Rosa embarks on a journey to discover who Sylvia was, can she find a way to rediscover and accept herself? ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here. Perfect for fans of Extraordinary Means, Faceless and The Art of Being Normal.
This is a sensitive, often funny and thoroughly engaging story of teenagers coming to terms with who they are. It’s easy to think in these liberal times that anything goes, but teens will be quick to point out that growing up is as difficult as it’s ever been. It’s particularly hard for David, one of the two central characters in this assured debut. David has known since the age of eight that he wants to be a girl. Teased as a freak at school, he feels he can’t even tell his family. New boy Leo seems to have problems too and when the two become friends they discover they have more in common than they ever thought. This ultra-readable, highly entertaining story could also provide readers with some much needed reassurance that normal is as normal does. ~ Andrea Reece
A dynamic, dramatic, and deliciously entertaining tale exposing friendship flaws, secrets and lies. Sophie, Emily, Amy, and Melissa go away for a weekend break once a year, and we see how their lives change for both better and worse between 1997 and 2012. These are women who make mistakes, occasionally get it wrong as well as right, and rely on their friends for advice, help, and love. Helen Warner allows direct access to the holidays, the rest of the year remains either hidden or briefly reviewed, ensuring the story just whizzes along. The movement through the years allows you to quickly form a relationship with these women, it also raises questions, and suspicions. While I found myself occasionally tutting and frustrated, I also celebrated, smiled and laughed, and then in the next moment my heart ached for them. ‘The Story of Our Lives’ is so readable, it beckons you in, and then gathers you up in an intimate, weaving dance of friendship… what a fascinating, lovely read this is.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 23 February 2012. One of Richard Bacon's favourite books. A 2011 World Book Night selection. Winner of the Galaxy Book of the Year 2010. Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 6 May 2010. Now a film starring Anne Hathaway as Emma and Jim Sturgess as Dexter. Two people meet on the last day of university and forge a friendship which the reader follows on the same day of the year, every year, for the next twenty years. Emma and Dexter are so believable, so simply and eloquently drawn that you will take them to your heart. You will laugh and you will cry and if you don’t you are a hard, hard person!! Absolutely brilliant! Our Editorial Guru, Sarah Broadhurst, has suggested others book and authors that would be perfect for you to read next or to pass on the recommendation - so your gift will keep on giving enjoyment. Her selections for this title are: Jonathan Coe, Nick Hornby.
February 2018 Debut of the Month. Simply superb, this is a dark, gritty and stormingly fast read with real attitude. Formerly of the SAS, John Carr is now working in private security for a Russian, however the past is stalking him, ready to take his legs, and his life. If I tell you that the author James Deegan spent 17 years in the SAS and was described by his commanding officer as one of the most operationally experienced SAS men of his era, it should tell you all you need to know about the validity of his voice. The book begins with the CV of John Carr, it really sets the tone, gives you an understanding of his background, allowing the story to explode from the get-go. James Deegan delivers short punchy sentences, simply told, yet the words took hold of me, dumped me in the middle of the action, made my breath stop and my heart race. Once A Pilgrim bristles with energy and authenticity, it is an addictive, absolute whammy of read and I loved it - highly recommended.
August 2017 Book of the Month Criminal turned soldier - Now he must stop a war on London's streets. London gang member Sean Harker is down on his luck. After a car heist gone wrong, he finds himself in a young offender's institution... aged only 16. Locked up and afraid, a horrifying incident convinces Sean to turn his life around.
May 2018 Debut of the Month Our narrator Jasper is thirteen years old. He has synaesthesia which means he hears sounds, voices etc as colours and recognises individual by those colours and not by any physical appearances. We spend nearly a hundred pages learning about the disadvantages of such a condition becoming aware of many of the lad’s traits which are similar to autism. He lives in a confused world misinterpreting interactions and events and “blowing up” in panic attacks. It makes for harrowing reading. A couple of years ago his mother died and shortly after her his grandmother. His father finds the boy difficult to deal with. Now something has happened. Jasper thinks he has killed his neighbour Bee. Jasper is a very unreliable narrator. To discover what happened he has to recreate the colours of the last day of Bee’s life and try to match them to the events of that day. He spends a lot of time surmising and then painting naturally in those colours. The investigating police officer, “Rusty Chrome Orange” is a saint who eventually the boy learns to trust, but the poor lad is suspicious of everyone else, even at one time, his father. How it all works is naturally steeped in colour. Interesting.
February 2018 Debut of the Month. Oh my word, this is an absolutely cracking psychological thriller. Anna is unable to leave her house, she views the world from her window and connects with it on her laptop, when she witnesses a horrific incident in a neighbouring house, turmoil awaits. The first few pages set me on edge, and I remained on high alert throughout the story, doubting and questioning my own reasoning. Even if you suspect, you can’t be confident, and there are plenty of shocks and surprises lying in wait. Set over a few weeks, the short chapters whipped into my consciousness, yet the story reveals itself gradually. A. J. Flynn allows the tension to build, slowly, torturously, and exquisitely. Anna tells her own story, wounded herself, can she be trusted? When the revelations came, they spilled from the page and slapped my thoughts. So clever and focused, yet utterly mind-bending, ‘The Woman in the Window’ is a heart-hammering read and I highly recommend stepping into Anna’s world.
Shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award 2015. A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. In the footsteps of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and S.J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep, the unreliable narrator domestic drama of untruths is the new 'hot' genre. The author was best known under another name for chick lit entertainments. Hawkins's book is the first stone in a veritable avalanche of titles mining the territory as publishers rush in with a vengeance and has already catapulted to the top of the charts both in the UK and the USA. And deservedly so. The parallel narratives of three women protagonists twist and turn in an unsettling spiral where nothing is what it seems, from what Rachel sees from her train window or Megan does watching the same train from her house by the line, or even Anna down the same road who, coincidentally, stole Rachel's husband. Deliberately unlikeable and dishonest characters add spice to the devilish web of proceedings and make this a terribly clever hit. Every now and again a debut novel really breaks through and shines. This is one. After a slow start the pace picks up and tension builds through the many twist and turns. Strangely you keep re-evaluating your opinion as to whom the real villain of the piece may be – all very clever. Written in three first-person female voices you slowly see how the women connect and how past events in their lives have helped shape them into the people they are today. Rachel, the girl on the train, is a highly unreliable narrator, Megan is the girl the mystery surrounds as she disappears and Anna is married to Rachel’s ex-husband and neighbour of Megan. It is very good indeed.
The brand-new feel-good story from bestseller Veronica Henry - a perfect mix of family, friends and delicious food. So absolutely and completely gorgeous in every way! I do look forward to the latest Veronica Henry, I fairly danced with glee when ‘A Family Recipe’ arrived. Number 11 Lark Hill, Bath sits centre stage in this story, set during the Second World War and 2017. The house connects two tales, two women and the people they love. I read this in one sitting, once started, I quite simply didn’t want to stop. Jilly and Laura became known and loved, each and every character pops with intensity, fully realised, touchable, real. Veronica Henry has such a beautiful touch, she paints an entire world, deeply rich and vibrant, bringing to life thoughts, emotions, heart-ache, joy. I stepped though the pages into Bath, wandered the streets, travelled back in time, and salivating, I even looked up the food market to see if I could visit! I know I say this every time, but each new novel becomes my favourite by Veronica Henry, that is her gift, and ‘A Family Recipe’ most certainly continues that tradition.
Oh my word! This is knock-out of a read, punchy and raw, it made me flinch and yet I couldn’t stop, didn’t want to stop reading. If you haven’t yet read ‘Ragdoll’, do start there, mostly because it’s truly fabulous, but also because it’s the beginning of the ‘Fawkes and Baxter’ trilogy and you don’t want to lose out on any part of this story. ‘Hangman’ starts with the most intriguing prologue, I read it twice to let it sink in. It’s 18 months since the conclusion of the Ragdoll Murders for Baxter, a new chilling and gruesome killing spree begins, targeting both New York City and London, and Emily finds herself with two new partners. My advice is to set plenty of time aside, as once I started reading, I couldn’t bear to put this book down for a single second, and I read late into the night in order to finish. I find Daniel Cole’s writing compulsive, it makes me sit up and take note, I was on high alert at all times, buzzing with anticipation. The humour has a definite dark tone, yet it is there, and a welcome addition as an avalanche of horror descends. I wasn’t sure if Daniel Cole could live up to my expectations, he actually manages to exceed them, as ‘Hangman’ stands defiant, mind-blowing, striking… joining ‘Ragdoll’ as most definite must-reads.
Just gorgeous, this is a story to shine a light in the darkness, even in moments of despair. Constantinople in 1921 is a confusing, often frightening place to be, in the first few pages, two reports from 1918, perfectly sum up the two opposing sides, each report almost interchangeable. Nur’s house is in the hands of the British and being used as a hospital, she finds her thoughts on the occupiers altering and conflicted when she takes an orphan in her care to be treated by George Munroe. Five separate yet entwined stories exist side by side, different time frames ensure the past spears the present, while the future whispers to the past. Lucy Foley has developed a beautiful writing style, the vivid colour stamps its impression on the pages, conjuring taste, touch, smells and sounds, as well as creating a feast for your eyes. As the book began to come to a close, it felt as though two trains were on an inevitable collision course. The sweeping horror of war and occupation, both momentous and insidious, is clearly felt, yet it is the intimate, the individual connections, that were the highlight of this read for me. ‘Last Letter from Istanbul’ caresses, sparks and skewers thoughts and feelings, it is a truly penetrating and captivating read - highly recommended.
A 2013 World Book Night selection. Winner of Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007.Something a bit different, a bit special. A well-researched family history which takes the present day characters back to Crete and the horrors of leprosy. From 1939 to today we follow a tragic and eventful story with believable characters and a believable storyline. I really enjoyed it. Incidentally she is Ian Hislop’s wife. Similar this month: Joseph Boyden, Rachel Hore.
An authoritative yet easy to read, absolute romp of a novel set during the turbulence of the French Revolution. This is the first adventure in ‘The Chronicles of Thomas Pryce’, a vicar who studied at Oxford and is trained in the use of the sword and pistol. On hearing that the safety of his wife’s family is compromised, Thomas makes his way to Paris to rescue them. Seamlessly weaving fact and fiction Mark Stibbe and G. P. Taylor have created a world of political intrigue, cunning spies, and perilous endeavours. Historical figures such as William Pitt and Lady Hester Stanhope populate the pages ensuring the period wrapped itself around me, and set me firmly in place. The more I read, the more I wanted to read and I found myself fully immersed in the story. The Fate of Kings is an excellent start to what promises to be a thoroughly entertaining series, long may it reign! ~ Liz Robinson
A well-written and interesting account of the Romans in Britain to join the many. It begins a series, Twilight of Empire, set here in AD305 and features an old Roman campaigner, Aurelius Castus, who feels he’s been put out to grass in the inhospitable terrain of Hadrian’s Wall. Only the Picts want to talk and Castus gets to lead a dangerous mission across the border. Pacy and very readable if you’re a Roman addict, this is well worth a go. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
An engaging and charmingly bittersweet slice of fiction set during the Second World War. In a Kent village during 1940, the vicar closes the choir, as the ladies of the village start their own choir, the small rebellion creates a chain reaction within their hearts and minds. The war lurks in the background, it’s presence undeniable, yet this tale almost feels timeless. The story is told in a variety of methods, from journals, diaries and letters, to newspaper articles, notices and telegrams. The author Jennifer Ryan creates a beautiful balance in this tale, gentle humour sizzles alongside slicing reality, and a spoonful of love helps proceedings along very nicely. We are allowed to see into the souls of the characters, and yet the gaps are filled in by the telling observations of others. Soft and gentle, yet cutting and knowing, ‘The Chilbury Ladies’s Choir’ is an absolutely gorgeous debut. ~ Liz Robinson
January 2018 Book of the Month A thoroughly entertaining, raw, and fast-paced read, stuffed full of tension and drama. Jason Rampling didn’t have the best start in life, he is determined that with his charm, intelligence and good looks, he can create a better life, even if that means living a life of crime. The story starts in 1994 and swaggers through the years with style, finishing in 2010 with an almighty wallop. Kimberley Chambers creates a storyline to rival a soap, with punchy characters and a vibrant setting. I almost felt as though I was watching the television as the colourful story came to life. Life of Crime is easy to read, yet feels weighty, there is real bite here, which creates an entirely captivating tale.
Martina Cole’s twenty-third East End thriller is as raw and involved as one has come to expect. With huge family betrayals and some very nasty goings-on indeed. It fair pounds along leaving you breathless and probably shattered. We are introduced to the O’Hara family where rising star, Aiden, has an affair with an older madam, Jade, who has his child, Aiden Junior. Jade is the real power behind the throne and watches out for both Aidens. Naturally the Columbian drug network and its lucrative control is a prize worth fighting over … and fights they certainly are. It is when brother is pitched against brother that it all gets very bitter and exciting. Every girl seems to get pregnant out of wedlock which also adds to the rising tension. Wow, this woman is good, her characters sadly believable with everything neatly tied together at the end. Highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Wow! This was a gripping, thought-provoking read. Totally compelling, Scythe is a dark, original take on the ultimate power – the power over life and death. Death and disease have been eradicated and life can continue quietly without fear of death or illness. Revival centres are on hand if you suffer an accident and even a fall from a thirty-nine-storey building will simply require a few days speed-healing. Unless you are chosen to be gleaned by a Scythe. These elite humans are given the task of choosing their victims in an effort to maintain the population. Citra and Rowen are strangers until they are both chosen to be apprentice scythes. Thrown together in an isolated and strange world they soon strike a bond. As they undertake the arduous and difficult training they begin to discover that not all is as it seems and even a 'perfect' society suffers as corruption infiltrates those of power and a new generation of Scythes begin to breakout. With a cruel turn of events Citra and Rowen discover that only one of them can become fully ordained as a Scythe and then must glean the other. As their feelings grow stronger they each search for a way to save not only themselves but also the reputation and sanctity of the Scythedom. The subject matter is handled sensitively and although at times can be brutal there is no gratuitous violence. As I began reading I was fascinated by the idea behind the story and was soon pulled in, unable to stop until I found out what would become of Citra and Rowan ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here.
The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. In a dark vision of the near future, The Hunger Games is set in the ruins of a place once known as North America. The cruel Capitol keeps order in its twelve outlying districts by forcing them each to send one boy and girl to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a terrifying reality TV show broadcasting a live fight to the death. Click on the link to visit the Hunger Games website - www.thehungergames.co.uk The Hunger Games came into the author's psyche whilst she flicked between television channels broadcasting real war coverage and reality television programmes. It is the first in a trilogy. The Hunger Games Trilogy: 1. The Hunger Games 2. Catching Fire 3. Mockingjay
New Author Recommendations from Passionate Book Experts
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