Informative, candid and trusted, book reviews by our own book experts are unique to Lovereading. But within our loyal members and browsers of Lovereading are also prolific readers with years of experience and a real passion for sharing their love of books. So, we decided to invite them to join the Lovereading Reader Review Panel. All the titles in this category have been selected and reviewed by our own Lovereading editorial experts but also reviewed by members of our Reader Review Panel, a panel of book lovers across the UK.
April 2015 Book of the Month. The arrival of this book on my desk made me extraordinarily happy. It allowed me to reconnect with characters I have come to love, yet it also made me sad as I really do not want this amazing series to end. It began with A Discovery of Witches one of the most original and compelling fantasy novels and continued with the remarkable story, Shadow of Night. You have to read them in that order. Rich, complex, engaging, intelligent and purely enjoyable I really cannot recommend this series highly enough. All Souls Trilogy:1. A Discovery of Witches2. Shadow of Night3. The Book of Life The Book of Life is the final novel in the no.1 internationally bestselling All Souls trilogy. Step inside a world of breathtaking imagination, where history, science, magic and romance are woven into an intoxicating tale. In February 2011 Book One in The All Souls Trilogy, A Discovery of Witches was unleashed on the world and became a global smash hit. A Sunday Times and New York Times top ten bestseller it has gone on to sell over 1.5 million copies as well as being sold into 38 foreign territories and a Warner Bros film adaptation is underway. The sequel Shadow of Night, published in July 2012, was a No.1 New York Times and No.2 Sunday Times bestseller, surpassing the success of the first book.
April 2015 Book of the Month. A hugely enjoyable romance with the horsey world of thee-day eventing as its backdrop overshadowed by a creepy tale of a power freak and his outrageous and devastating behaviour. So through both a romance, light-hearted and often humorous, and a thriller, dark and powerful, we follow a tale of fear and love, of horses and relationships. This is very good indeed. Chic-lit with bite and a great twist.
April 2015 Debut of the Month. Our narrator is Sam, an eighteen-year old girl just accepted at Oxford, who goes with her father and a fellow school chum, Tom, to the Orkneys to ‘keep an eye’ on her dad for her mother is unable to go. We get odd little gems from Sam’s childhood as she grows up with a father who may be an undercover cop, a detective or even a spy. Whatever he is Sam has always known his work is secret. Now, with Tom, she turns detective herself and with the magic, history and myth of the Orkneys the backdrop, stalks her father becoming more and more worried. The menacing tension ratchets up and we follow trails and red-herrings with our heart in our mouth. A most enjoyable read.
April 2015 Debut of the Month. A fabulously refreshing and fascinating debut, there’s nothing to solve here - or is there! The first chapter shows us the crime, most of the rest is history (50 years or so); we hear individually from each character as they air grievances, raise suspicions and confess secrets - it almost feels as though you are sitting inside their minds as they allow themselves thoughts and feelings that have been stifled and quashed for years. This is clever writing, each character stands distinctly in their own right and the sometimes matter of fact disclosures and revelations somehow emphasises the heart break and pain. Even if you have your suspicions, be warned, there are still several stings in this smart and skilfully written tale. ~ Liz Robinson Winner of the IBA Crime Fiction Book of the Year 2014.
One of our Books of the Year 2015. April 2015 MEGA Book of the Month. What a terrific and powerful book, I reckon it is her best yet. It covers race, adoption, rejection and even murder (or does it?). Our hero, Smithy, a black girl, white adopted parents, white long-term boyfriend, discovers her biological family in Brighton. Naturally there are secrets in the cupboard but you certainly don’t see the details coming. With a jealous and bitchy cousin and a demanding, and frankly most unpleasant ‘birth’ grandmother both making unreasonable requests, this is, as I’ve said, terrific, especially when the final twist hits you in the stomach.
April 2015 eBook of the Month. Returning with another warm and delightful tale, Emma Hannigan, much loved author of The Summer Guest, will delight fans of Patricia Scanlan and Cathy Kelly with this big-hearted novel of Ireland. Clara, two years a widow, decides she must try and contact her estranged son Max who walked out of the family twenty years ago. She writes to Max’s daughter Nathalie and catches the teenage girl at a crisis time. Her grandmother offers the perfect escape. A bond quickly develops between the two especially as they both excel in quilting. Nathalie finds a tin of letters in the sewing room and so discovers some dark family secrets dating back to before World War II. It is pretty obvious Clara left the tin for Nathalie to find but it has the desired effect. Much drama and revelation ensues and a satisfactory ending is nicely arrived at. All good fun.A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...‘From the moment Emma shared with me her inspiration for her new novel, I knew we had something truly special on our hands. The Secrets We Share was inspired by Emma’s Austrian grandmother’s story. On the day of Emma’s twenty-first birthday, her Oma (German for grandmother) whispered to her that her gift was not one she could unwrap. It was something far more precious – her story. She told Emma things she had never told anyone else before. At the heart of Emma’s novel lies the warmth, wisdom and love of her grandmother – and the secrets you’ll want to share…’Sherise Hobbs, Associate Publisher, Headline
The arrival of this book on my desk made me extraordinarily happy. It allowed me to reconnect with characters I have come to love, yet it also made me sad as I really do not want this amazing series to end. It began with A Discovery of Witches one of the most original and compelling fantasy novels and continued with the remarkable story, Shadow of Night. You have to read them in that order. Rich, complex, engaging, intelligent and purely enjoyable I really cannot recommend this series highly enough. The Book of Life is the final novel in the no.1 internationally bestselling All Souls trilogy. Step inside a world of breathtaking imagination, where history, science, magic and romance are woven into an intoxicating tale. In February 2011 Book One in The All Souls Trilogy, A Discovery of Witches was unleashed on the world and became a global smash hit. A Sunday Times and New York Times top ten bestseller it has gone on to sell over 1.5 million copies as well as being sold into 38 foreign territories and a Warner Bros film adaptation is underway. The sequel Shadow of Night, published in July 2012, was a No.1 New York Times and No.2 Sunday Times bestseller, surpassing the success of the first book.
A rollercoaster story that will pick all readers up and sweep them along in a story that is romantic, tragic, funny and profound. Twins Noah and Jude live their lives in the shadow of each other. They are very different and yet the details of their lives are so very close. But then suddenly they are not close at all. Noah and Jude are swept apart by love and by a tragedy that changes both of them. Jandy Nelson captures the confusion of adolescence, the power of love and the force of art in a refreshingly original and exciting way. A message from the author... Dear Reader, I’m so excited for you to meet twins Noah and Jude. Noah is this flood in a paper cup. He has a mad desire to draw, to kiss the boy next door, to peel the blue off the sky, to be the blue in the sky. And Jude. She used to surf and cliff-dive and do the talking for both twins, but something’s happened, and now she’s gone quiet and is living with ghosts and following her grandmother’s “bible" of superstitions. These twins became so real to me that one time while in the middle of writing the novel, I went to an art exhibit and my first thought was, “It’s such a shame Noah and Jude couldn’t come with me today.” This is a story about love, crazy complicated love of all kinds: between guys and girls, guys and guys, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, artists and their art, the living and the dead, but mostly it’s about the fierce, roller-coaster love between the twins themselves. Writing Noah and Jude’s story took three and a half years. It was the most exciting, exuberant and challenging creative experience of my life. These characters shook the ground beneath my feet. There’s a moment in the novel when Jude’s watching her stone-carving mentor Guillermo sculpt and she wonders if he’s making the sculpture or if the sculpture is making him. That’s what writing this novel felt like. I so hope you enjoy! Jandy
April 2015 Book of the Month. 1910 and a successful German architect, Thomas, marries an up-and-coming British artist, Irene. This is the story of their lives and families through the next three generations and so the conflict in Europe from both sides, for poor Irene belongs to neither. We get the Jewish and homosexual problem, the turmoil and wretched heartache, the danger and tragedy in a long, eventful and beautifully written tale, a very fine book indeed.
From Salley Vickers, bestselling author of Miss Garnet's Angel, comes The Boy Who Could See Death, an enchanting and unsettling collection of short stories. Charming, sometimes funny, sometimes strange, always well written, these are little jewels from the pen that gave us Miss Garnet’s Angel and Mr Golightly’s Holiday. She is a witty and elegant writer with a beautiful turn of phrase. A few well-placed words bring characters and settings effortlessly to life. Dip in and read one or take them all in order, either way you are in for a treat. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
A provocatively surprising read, at times graphically gruesome writing writhes from the pages, and a strong stomach is required to deal with some of the overtly descriptive and violent detailing. Three different men in different time spans have their thoughts and feelings brought to life, the connection isn't immediately obvious, then unsettling and troubling thoughts start to knock at your minds door as a recognition of repetition and joining of tales occurs. The intense, vivid descriptions of Dublin hint at what is to come, the stories twist together, encouraging the pages to turn faster and faster while a part of you almost fears to look in case your suspicion is correct. A disturbing, unsettling, dynamic, and intensely hard-hitting read; once you start, you really won’t be able to stop. ~ Liz Robinson
The story of this marvellous romance begins in Vienna, then moves to London – the gloomy, tense London of 1939 when the reception for refugees like Ruth and her family was meaner than we’d like to think. It’s a journey Ibbotson herself took, but Ruth’s story has all the elements of a fairy tale. To escape the Nazis she marries a family friend, paleontologist Quinton Somerville. When divorce proves harder to get than either of them imagined, fate throws them together and gives them time to fall in love. Ruth and Quint are delightful characters, as are the supporting cast of relations – passionate Viennese and reserved British. In all fairy stories there is always grief, but there’s also reward for being honest, faithful and good. Ruth gets her happy ending, and it will make readers’ hearts sing. ~ Andrea Reece
Real Reviews from Real Passionate Readers
Since its inception Lovereading has taken a different approach to book reviews relying uniquely on the selection and review of books by editorial experts, all of whom have had many years of experience working within the book trade. They know what makes a good read whatever the genre and actually read the whole book before telling you what they think - radical we know, but sometimes old fashioned ways are the best.
In 2012 however, to complement our expert reviews and human-based Like-for-Like comparisons we decided to invite Lovereading members to join the newly created Lovereading Reader Review Panel. It has been a massive success.
We've now attracted over 1000 and 100's of books have now been read and reviewed by them. Many of them have their own book blogs and help us to spread the word of mouth on a book they've enjoyed. Panel members put themselves forward to read and review a book that we have advance copies of and their reviews are then loaded onto the site and complement those of our own Lovereading editorial experts. We're even now receiving feedback from visitors to Lovereading that the 'Reader Review Panel' reviews are as valued as those of our own Lovereading book experts!
With that in mind we thought it would be very helpful to everyone if we created a category and put all the books that have also been reviewed by some of our Reader Review Panel members, in one easy to find place.
Here are a few testimonials from some of our 'Reader Review Panel' members:
If I can ever do another review for you, it would be my pleasure. Thanks again Josephine S
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to review for Lovereading, it's a great site Lindsay H
Thanks for sending me another fantastic book to review! Emily W
The book reviewing has been a real treat, thank you for a wonderful experience. Tracey U
Just click on any title in this category and you will, in addition to the review from one of Lovereading's editorial experts also see a link through to reviews by members of our Reader Review Panel.