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.
Ancient Japanese gods and monsters are unleashed on modern-day London in this epic trilogy from an acclaimed fantasy writer. Great for fans of Tamora Pierce, Maggie Stiefvater and Cassandra Clare. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Night Itself a small number of teenagers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I really enjoyed this book, found the characters fun and interesting and liked the cultural aspect of the book. I enjoyed learning a bit about Japanese life and history.!' Scroll down to read more reviews...
July 2013 Book of the Month. Wise, wry, realistic and richly entertaining, Fanny Blake's The Secrets Women Keep celebrates the passionate, emotional lives women lead as wives, mothers and grandmothers. After decades of marriage a single text turns Rose's life on it's head but that, sadly, is just the start of a series of life changing events. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Buchan. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Secrets Women Keep a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'The Secrets Women Keep was a breath of fresh air, something lovely to read on a Summer's day or a beach-read...a five-star read and I absolutely adored it.' - Rebecca Jayne Barrett. Scroll down to read more reviews.
July 2013 Debut of the Month. Seen through the omniscient eyes of Maddy's childhood friend Walter, a narrator akin to Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, Indiscretion is a story about the complexities of love, the dangerous nature of desire and how obsession can tear apart even the most perfect of worlds. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Indiscretion a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'It's hard to believe that 'Indiscretion' is a debut novel for Charles Dubow as he writes with incredible elegance and fluidity... The occasional references to other writers and literature are never pretentious, but they help the reader to connect with the text, albeit through the filter of Walter, and they make 'Indiscretion' a sophisticated and captivating read. I loved it.' - Linda Hill. Scroll down to read more reviews.
One of Maxim Jakubowski's Books of the Year 2013. Maxim Jakubowski's October 2013 Book of the Month. There are quirky detectives and there are even quirkier sleuths, but Claire DeWitt is the most bizarre and endearing of them all. As a teenager she came across a bizarre detection manual by an apocryphal early 20th century French master detective and set herself up as a modern incarnation of Nancy Drew alongside a close friend, who later disappeared. Her whole life since has followed the enigmatic rules of the book. Following her introduction in CITY OF THE DEAD in which a case in New Orleans unfolded in the most surreal way, she is now back in San Francisco and more than ever struggling with her inner devils, drugs and the presence of the past. Colourful cohorts and a zen-like approach to investigative work characterise her progress through a devious plot with hidden treasures, thrills and surprises, but more than the actual meandering story, it is this most unique sleuthette who will stay in your mind for a long time. I can't wait for her next case and secretly hope against hope she will find some form of peace. July 2013 Book of the Month. The Lovereading view... The Bohemian Highway is the eagerly awaited second book in the Claire DeWitt series that began with City of the Dead and introduced us to a smart, hip detective whose expertise and methods derive from a unique source; a certain book she cherishes called Detection written by the great and tragic French private detective, Jacques Silette. Her second case is a lot more personal as it is the murder of her ex-boyfriend. An extraordinarily powerful, mystical and moving literary thriller from a talented author who is well worth discovering. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Claire De Witt and the Bohemian Highway a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'I set this novel alongside those of Chandler, Hammett, Millar and Macdonald without hesitation, and recommend it to any fan of the PI genre who wonders how Marlowe, Spade, Sands and the rest of them would have coped with the twenty-first century' - Cath Humphris. Scroll down to read more reviews.
July 2013 MEGA 'New Gen' Debut of the Month. How can this be? One hundred teenagers are imprisoned in a concrete cube. They are all criminals. But what have they done? Not one of them can remember...Alyn, Jes, Ryan and Elsa are locked in Nowhere. Attempts to escape fail. All they can do it try to work out what is happening to them and why anyone wants to hold them there. It’s a gripping, edgy thriller pulsating with questions which it seems just impossible to answer. A must-read for all those fans of The Bourne Identity! A Piece of Passion from Ben Horseln, Editorial Director. 'Nowhere is the stuff of nightmares - a world in which teenagers are imprisoned without arrest, trial or right of reply. It's part Prison Break, Part Minority Report and three parts pure adrenaline-fuelled originality. It gripped me from start to finish. Jon Robinson is an author with a big future’. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Nowhere a small number of teenagers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'Nowhere is a brilliant, un-put-downable book...Thrilling and fast-paced, readers will be hooked from the first page and will not want to stop reading this action-packed, emotive book.' Scroll down to read more reviews...
July 2013 Book of the Month. How can you forgive the unforgivable? The exceptional new novel from Richard & Judy selected author Charity Norman proves her star is still rising. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Son-in-Law a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'I just could not put this book down after reading the first page it is an amazing, heart tugging and emotional story with characters who are human and easy to relate to' - Kath Thornton. Scroll down to read more reviews. A 'Piece of Passion' from Sam Redman, Asisstant Editor at Allen & Unwin... 'Well, what can I say? Charity Norman just keeps getting better and better! THE SON-IN-LAW is written with such a deft touch, yet it plumbs the depths of one family's experience and leaves you feeling as though you too have lived through the turbulent times faced by both the Wildes and Joseph. I'm still not sure who I feel for most in the horribly unfair situation Charity presents, she makes you identify with every single character. Overall though, yet again, she made me laugh, weep and pause a moment to consider the all-important question - What would I do?'
One of our Books of the Year 2013. Dark, comic with captivating prose, this is a stunning first novel and quite rightly being talked about as one of the literary debuts of 2012. A seemingly perfect East Coast upper crust american family are brought together by the oldest daughter's wedding. But the daughter is seven months pregnant and family tensions simmer just below the surface. Over the three days of the wedding run up and celebrations, the 59 year old patriarch, Winn's life implodes. Highly enjoyable, heartily recommended. July 2013 Debut of the Month. Winner of the 2012 Dylan Thomas Prize. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Seating Arrangements a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'This was an awesome and often touching read full of moments to reflect on' - Edel Waugh. Scroll down to read more reviews.
July 2013 Debut of the Month. A beautifully written, moving and redemptive debut about families, expectations and rebuilding relationships. An idyllic facade hides the turmoil of the Adair family. Broken marriages, lost faith, abandoned dreams are all brought into sharp focus after the controlling patriarch William has a stroke. Desperate to bring the family back together the three sisters come together to restore the father’s most beloved place The Carriage House. Set in contemporary Philadelphia and likened to Jane Austen’s Persuasion, this debut has deservedly received some stunning reviews. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Carriage House a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'A stunningly beautiful tale of family expectations, consequential change and relationships...Full of heartwarming poignancy' - Lucinda Fountain. Scroll down to read more reviews. A 'Piece of Passion' from Viking Publisher Venetia Butterfield... 'Warm-hearted, intelligent and hugely compassionate, The Carriage House is a beautifully written novel about families and expectations, growing up and finding your place in the world, and rebuilding lost lives - from fantastic debut author Louisa Hall. William Adair, patriarch, doting father of three girls, Men’s Tennis Club Champion from 1967-1974 wakes up in his hospital bed and realizes that his family are less extraordinary than he had believed. For more than thirty years, his faith in life was grounded on two indisputable principles: his daughters’ exceptional beauty and talents and the historical resonance of a carriage house built by his grandfather. Now, both have begun to collapse. The three Adair daughters once so brilliant have all returned home; Elizabeth, the divorced but once promising actress, tennis ace Diana, now a University dropout and beautiful, sorrowful 18 year old Isabelle. Having lost their father’s pride they struggle to define themselves. To help him recover, William’s daughters take on the battle for their dilapidated carriage house and attempt to recapture some of the promise of their former selves. Told through the alternating perspectives of the family, a dramatic fire jolts them out of their self-absorbed misery and each of the Adairs start to overcome their wrong turns and to find the promise of a fresh start.' A message from the author... 'Just before starting The Carriage House, I re-read Jane Austen's Persuasion and realized that it was, in part, about a young woman who's forgotten how to be her previous self. Anne Elliot is twenty-eight years old, and everything about her has changed; she's lost her looks and her confidence, and she can barely remember how she used to carry herself when she was her younger, prettier version. At the time I also felt as if I'd wandered out of a previous existence. When I left my early life as a professional squash player to pursue a literary career, I lost all of the ways I used to measure myself, I found it hard to imagine life without the reassurance of a numerical ranking.Between my own and Anne Elliot's loss of a former persona, I became fascinated by the idea of characters who are suspended between two iterations of their life. I wanted to see how each of them could move forward, whilst mourning the loss of a former version of their self and their family. The Carriage House is my exploration of such characters.' – Louisa Hall
One of our Books of the Year 2013. Winner of The Melissa Nathan Award For Comedy Fiction About Life and Love 2013. I don’t like books written in emails, journals, notes etc and had not realised this was, just as I hadn’t realised Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was! This has the same feel, same contagious look, same wacky scenario (well not quite), same relentless pull. From page one I was smitten, my dislike for emails forgotten. It is the mother/daughter relationship which is so brilliant, that and the character of Bernadette – a prize-winning architect who doesn’t realise that what she needs in life is a new project. Clever, witty and hugely satisfying. July 2013 Debut of the Month. Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013. The Lovereading view... The Curious Incident meets A Visit from the Goon Squad meets The Simpsons - this is a wildly imaginative, laugh-out-loud but also very poignant novel that will generate huge word-of-mouth buzz... A "Piece of Passion" from the Arzu Tahsin, Deputy Publishing Director, Weidenfeld and Nicolson Fiction... 'It’s the sort of novel that you can’t wait to finish and then feel bereft when you have. It is also an extremely satisfying novel to give to friends and family while you can guarantee they’ll love it too. I don’t think I’ve read anything as irresistibly funny or deeply poignant for a very long time. Bernadette is a wonderful character and there is something of her in us all which is why I found her so compelling. She puts her family under a lot of pressure, but there is something about Bernadette that keeps them on her side. She is a delightful conundrum, and her daughter Bee adores her unconditionally. So, when Bernadette disappears and her husband appears to have reached the limits of his compassion, it is left to Bee to try and find her. And then the novel plunges into a journey to the wild seas and devastating chills of Antarctica. But redemption is a very distant location and almost a hard to navigate as Antarctica itself. I can promise that it is almost impossible to put this book down.'
Winner of the 2012 Branford Boase Award for an outstanding debut novel. The Branford Boase judges said: A very accomplished piece of writing by an author with a clear talent. The descriptions of the way the father handled his daughter’s death and a small child’s reaction to this are very well handled. Heartbreaking and funny in equal measure, 10-year-old Jamie's direct and wide-eyed account of the emotional chaos he and his family live through following the death of his sister in a terrorist attack is poignant and warm-hearted. Beginning a new life in the Lake District with his older sister and his father, who mourns his daughter through alcohol and a wild rage against her killers, Jamie knows he should feel sadder than he does. The truth is, he can hardly remember his sister; and what is happening with his new school and new friends, especially Sunya, is more urgent – as is his yearning for his absent mother. Emotionally charged, this is a wonderfully touching story which never slips into worthiness. Shortlisted for the 2012 Carnegie Medal. Shortlisted for the Galaxy Children's Book of the Year Award 2011. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion abovefor My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece we have a number of reviews from Lovereading members....scroll down this page to see what they think.
Winner of the Waterstones prize for new and emerging talent 2013. Award-winning author Annabel Pitcher’s new teen novel is a taut and dramatic adventure with a deep yearning at its heart. Ketchup Clouds vividly captures the terrifying roller coaster of emotion that envelopes Zoe when she gets caught in a tragic love triangle between two brothers. Zoe’s heart races for the mysterious Aaron but, despite his seeming keenness, he already has a girlfiend. And then there is younger brother Max, unattached and very keen on Zoe. How can Zoe manage her own feelings without hurting the boys especially when she’s also coping with puzzling dramas at home? A Piece of Passion from the Editor, Fiona Kennedy It’s hard to imagine that Annabel could follow her debut, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, with a new novel that is even more… captivating, moving, memorable, deft, insightful, compassionate, true to life, brilliantly observed, accomplished and exceptional (and those are just a few of the things that people are already saying), but she has. Ketchup Clouds is an extraordinary piece of writing about life: families, love, infatuation and just getting through days and nights carrying the burden of a terrible, terrible secret. Zoe reveals all in a series of letters that she writes to a prisoner on death row. You cannot hep but read her story with your pulse racing and your heart in your mouth. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Ketchup Clouds a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here’s a taster from one of the reviews. “Wow. Ketchup Clouds is without question one of the best books I have ever read…" Scroll down to read the rest of this review and all the reader reviews.
A chilling story of werewolves and other supernatural happenings lies behind this gripping tale of the dark secrets and rich strand of mythology that are woven into the fabric of the village of Wolfstone. Peter joins his father on an archaeological dig and is soon spooked by mysterious happenings at nearby Wolfstone manor as he gets dangerously close to uncovering some of the sinister werewolf mysteries and what they are disguising. Although he is warned off, Peter continues to probe. How will he and Carys, a local girl who helps him, stay safe from the Wolfstone Curse? Much is unexpected in this many layered and richly textured story. A Piece of Passion from Helen Boyle,Commissioning Fiction Editor at Templar: The werewolf… that ancient beast, the stuff of legend. Part man, part wolf –cursed for eternity and unable to escape their fate. Intriguing and tragic aren't they? That's what I first thought when I read Justin Richards' proposal for The Wolfstone Curse. And now, as we near publication time, I know readers won't be disappointed. Monsters, werewolves, secrets and intrigue – The Wolfstone Curse has it all. In the skilled hands of Dr. Who author and editor Justin Richards, readers will be swept away by this exhilarating adventure. As teenager Peter discovers more about the strange town of Wolfstone and its ancient manor, can he survive the ancient Wolfstone Curse? Read on, if you dare… In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Wolfstone Curse a small number of teenagers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'With interesting characters, a carefully woven plot and never a dull moment, readers will be hooked. Adventure and action keep the reader wanting more, an intricate plot and lots of mystery keep the reader interested and excited.' Scroll down to read more reviews...
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.