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Vlogger Zoella’s fans will fall headlong into this sharply observed, super-realistic teen story. Against a background of first the ordinary ups and downs of life at school followed by an amazing fairy tale trip to New York with her wedding-planner parents and very best friend Eliot, sensible Penny records the rollercoaster emotions of being a teenager. When the going to particularly tough, Penny shares what she feels on her blog. Through responses to her posts Penny finds support for herself while also learning how much emotional strength she is giving her thousands of followers. Amy McCulloch, editorial director of Penguin Children’s, says “Zoe has an incredible voice for teens and she drew on her wealth of experience dealing with real issues like anxiety and cyber-bullying to deliver a poignant, romantic and heart-warming debut novel. The whole team was bursting with excitement at the prospect of working with Zoe, and we know her fans – and the rest of the world – are going to fall head-over-heels with her writing.”
By turns thrilling, funny and spiritually enlightening, this is a real-life Kick-Ass. Martin Faulks grew up in a Norfolk village. Returning from the rec with a friend one day they were attacked by a gang of older boys. Martin ran away leaving his friend to be beaten up. He vowed that would never happen again. He trained in the martial arts and in his teens he began to hear intriguing rumours of two local Norfolk Ninjas said to have been in the special forces and to have trained in Japan. They proved highly elusive but one day Martin was watching a stage magician in a club, and realised that the man on the stage was one of the guys he had been looking for. So began a series of initiations that would take him eventually to being trained by the Dalai Lama's bodyguard and living with the Yamabushi, the most secretive of the Ninja sects, living in the mountains of Japan.
Susan Frobisher and Julie Wickham are turning sixty. They live in a small Dorset town and have been friends since school. On the surface Susan has it all - a lovely house and a long marriage to accountant Barry. Life has not been so kind to Julie, but now, with several failed businesses and bad relationships behind her, she has found stability: living in a council flat and working in an old people's home. Then Susan's world is ripped apart when Barry is found dead in a secret flat - or rather, a sex dungeon. It turns out Barry has been leading a double life as a swinger. He's run up a fortune in debts and now the bank is going to take Susan's home. Until, under the influence of an octogenarian gangster named Nails, the women decide that, rather than let the bank take everything Susan has, they're going to take the bank. With the help of Nails and the thrill-crazy, wheelchair-bound Ethel they pull off the daring robbery, but soon find that getting away with it is not so easy. niest writers.
One of our Books of the Year 2015. August 2015 Debut of the Month. A wonderful and fascinating insight into hidden happenings at Wuthering Heights, from the perspective of Nelly Dean. Focusing on Nelly, a tantalising new world is opened up for the reader, one that joyfully holds hands with ‘Wuthering Heights’ yet remains a distinctive and beautiful read in its own right. Alison Case has gently and sensitively linked these two novels with a velvet ribbon of empathy and consideration. This story creeps into the background detail; the daily working of life in service and the moors and surroundings are all bought vibrantly to life. Hidden depths are revealed, heartrending secrets are spoken and a new panorama of understanding is offered for discovery. Whether or not you have devoured and loved ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Nelly Dean’ is a clever, enticing and stimulating must read. ~ Liz Robinson
Beth is a woman in supreme control of all aspects of her life and family, with a stellar career and her house an oasis of calm. Her closest friend, Megan, is very different; somehow she swims through the chaos of her family with ease, the clutter on the stairs, the cat footprints on the kitchen work space. And while they could not be more different, Beth and Megan have a genuine friendship built on years of laugher, tears and true understanding of each other's strengths and weaknesses. Because that's what friends do, isn't it? But when Beth's daughter reveals a surprising secret, a wedge is driven between Beth and Megan. What begins as mild recrimination and misunderstanding develops into a full-blown row and then a simmering feud. As the two women square up to do battle in the London suburbs, there's everything to play for. All's fair in love and war...
Jen is a trainee journalist working on Chester's local paper, dreaming of something bigger. Her sister, Helen, is beautiful but damaged, and hides a secret that has affected the whole family, one they cannot escape but one she is trying to move on from. As Helen learns to become a whole person once again, her family struggles with the past, and how they will move forward together. And Jen realises that the one person she needs to help her through is the one person she cannot have - Helen's boyfriend, Ned...
Maxim Jakubowski's August 2015 Book of the Month. A man and a woman meet for a drink in a conveniently empty California cafe. Years before they had been lovers and both involved in spying until an operation went badly wrong. He is still haunted by her memory and preoccupied as to why she left the espionage business following the fiasco. She is now married and out of the game. As their conversation unfolds, we realise both suspect each other of past treason and the game of cat and mouse superimposed over the embers of their romance becomes a compelling X-ray of the past, with level over level of subterfuge unveiled. Short, pithy and compelling, this is a spy thriller like no other and a scalpel-like dissection of a relationship that has you guessing differently with every passing chapter and your sympathy shifting endlessly between the two characters. A melancholy achievement that will leave you gasping until the bittersweet final twist. A total gem. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
August 2015 Reading Group Book of the Month. With most of us besotted by The Great British Bake Off this lovely book comes to further nurture our appetite. It is indeed about baking, but its heart is about relationships, about being wives and mothers. It’s a dual-time telling of the life of the Queen of Baking in the 60s and the lives of the five amateur bakers competing for her crown today. It is a nice device to illustrate diverse lives and the reasons behind the contestants’ desires to win the title. A good slice of social history and the contrast of the periods are produced alongside a lot of emotional trauma; a great title for reading groups. ~ Sarah Broadhurst A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... From the very first page of The Art of Baking Blind I just knew I had to publish it. I was gripped by the characters and the way their stories play out, by the novel’s unflinching emotional honesty, by what Sarah Vaughan has to say about women and what is important to us – today and in Mrs Eaden’s time – and by the warmth, compassion and inventiveness of the writing. This is a genuinely democratic story, sophisticated and yet also accessible, that appeals right across the generations - whoever we are, whatever baking means to us and however we live our lives. It’s a book to pass on to your friends, to your mother, to your sister and to your daughter – the equivalent of the most delicious lemon sponge you have ever tasted: rich yet more-ish - and with just the right amount of bite...' - Kate Parkin, Editor, Hodder & Stoughton
Haworth, West Yorkshire, 1848. Branwell Bronte - unexhibited artist, unacknowledged writer, sacked railwayman, disgraced tutor and spurned lover - finds himself unhappily back in Haworth Parsonage, to face the disappointment of his father and his three sisters, the scale of whose own pseudonymous successes is only just becoming apparent. With his health failing rapidly, his aspirations abandoned and his once loyal circle of friends shrinking fast, Branwell resorts to a world of secrets, conspiracies and endlessly imagined betrayals. But his spiral of self-destruction only accelerates the sense of his destiny to be a bystander looking across at greatness, and the madness which that realisation will bring...
A beautifully descriptive and cleverly intriguing read with a monumental secret lying buried at it’s heart. As Willow realises her memories of her childhood may be distorted, she begins a quest to piece the history of her family together. The storyline weaves between 2016 and the past in the most captivating way. Tracy Buchanan gradually raises an enigmatic veil to expose secrets, revealing that further surprises lie in wait, ready to ambush your attention. There are moments that are described so eloquently they are seared like a lightening strike onto your imagination, enabling a connection to the essence that binds this story together. The ache and intensity of feelings from the different time frames breathes life through and over the pages, which almost turn themselves. ‘My Sister’s Secret’ is not only fascinating, it is also unpredictable, deeply emotional, and a truly captivating read. ~ Liz Robinson
A lovely warm, evocative story with a lightening sharp edge that highlights the conflict of the Second World War. Set mainly in the USA, with a sojourn in London, the beginning of the book steps back, back and back again in time, which effectively snares your attention. Addie is searching for acceptance, love and a sense of belonging, her relationship with the Connally’s is complicated, yet the family acts as a magnet to her. Pam Jenoff writes with a beautifully sincere and simple style, she covers the complexity of emotions within the storyline with integrity. ‘The Last Embrace’ has hidden depths, it is easy to lose yourself to the obvious relationship side of the tale, yet it is the veiled, the concealed and the undertones that really make this an enjoyably compelling read. ~ Liz Robinson
Convincing and commanding, this is a successfully emotional and haunting read. There are similarities to the style of Mary Kubica’s impressive debut ‘The Good Girl’, three main characters again tell their story, however this is an entirely different and original tale. Heidi and her husband Chris explain their thoughts and feelings after Heidi brings a stranger with a baby into their lives. Willow’s narrative, set in a future time slot, slices through the main storyline, creating tension and effectively keeping her remote and apart from the family. The author is able to present clashing and warring emotions and activities by all three characters without fracturing the storyline. Piece by tantalising piece, information is revealed, layering misgivings, upon foreboding, upon suspense. 'Pretty Baby’ flickers and ripples across your consciousness, this is clever, subtle writing and deserves to be highly recommended. ~ Liz Robinson
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eBooks have at last come of age and although you have been able to see if an eBook is available on a title by title basis on Lovereading for a while now, we also wanted to create a special section which features all of our eBook recommended reads.
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