Review of Daughter by Jane Shemilt

Does anyone else agree that the cover of this reminds them a lot of Room by Emma Donoghue? Just me then...The premise of this novel is that the teenage daughter of Jenny and Ted goes missing one night and as they start to search for her, secrets and lies slowly unravel.

Then and Now

The story is told both from the days leading up to and after Naomi's disappearance, then over a year on. It is told from the mother's point of view, Jenny who is a GP and has teenage twin boys as well as Naomi. We learn about the days leading up to Naomi going missing and the hunt for her afterwards. We also learn of what has happened over the past year, how the family have fallen apart and still they have no answers about Naomi. That is until a secret is revealed and finally both Jenny and the police start to unravel the truth about what happened to Naomi.

I found the parts talking about what happened around her disappearance more interesting than the year on, which tended to be quite slow.Also, I didn't find any of the characters to be very likeable, especially Jenny the narrator of the novel. Whilst I did feel sorry for her over her missing daughter, another part of me kind of blamed her to a degree. Saying that, it did seem that Ted, the father was at home even less, yet we are made to blame Jenny for not knowing what was happening to her teenage children. I did find some of the many secrets to be far fetched but I suppose it was to highlight how little Jenny and Ted knew about their children.


It was one of those novels which you have to keep reading to find out what happened to Naomi and I wasn't disappointed, especially with the extra twist at the end. With this kind of novel, I don't mind not liking any of the main characters as I was reading ti to find out what happened, rather than to have any emotions for them. If you like to bond with characters in novels, you may find it difficult to in this case. I did have high hopes for this novel, especially with all the hype, and whilst it was gripping at times, it wasn't as good as I had hoped.

Review of The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

Publisher-Headline Review
25th September 2014

This long awaited new novel by Victoria Hislop is based around real historical happenings, this time in Famagusta, Cyprus in the summer of 1972.At the beginning of the novel, Famagusta is one of the most popular resorts in the Mediterranean. Both Turkish and Greek Cypriots work together in harmony, two sets of families decide to make Famagusta their own after escaping violence in other areas of the island.We follow what happens to both sets of families and that of a couple who have built a luxury hotel 'The Sunrise" there after a Greek coup ensues.

Worth the wait

I was really looking forward to reading The Sunrise, as a big fan of Victoria's previous novels and I wasn't disappointed. It was a little slow to get going, in order to establish the main characters, and a number of chapters in until the coup happened. She brings the history to life in a very personal and tragic way and describes perfectly the island as it was before the Turkish invasion and how it affected the inhabitants afterwards.

For any fans of Hislop's previous work, you will not be disappointed, and for those that like historical fiction, or even a good heart wrenching story, I would thoroughly recommend giving this a read.

Review of Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Butter is the story of a sixteen year old boy who is morbidly obese, weighing over 400 pounds. He narrates the story and we learn how alone he is both at school and at home. Butter has a great sense of humour and this is executed well throughout the novel, given the subject matter that unfolds. I found myself getting really annoyed and upset for him with how his schoolmates treat him, but at the same time I could understand why they behaved in that way. His mother overfeeds him and his Father ignores him, and he just can't stop eating.

"The only thing that ever really fitted was food.Inside me.And the more food I fitted in me, the less I fitted anywhere else."

There is quite a harrowing story of how and why he got the nickname 'Butter', but everyone calls him this. One of his only friends, a music teacher at the school, calls him Butter as he thinks he plays his beloved saxophone 'like butter'. Butter spends his days at school alone, eating at the oversized table in the canteen and the oversized desks in class. At home he plays the saxophone or speaks to the gorgeous Anna online. She only knows him as 'SaxMan' and doesn't know he is the obese guy that sits at the back of the class. He often drives to the mountains he used to visit with his dad, before his dad stopped talking to him and plays and plays his saxophone.

New Years Eve

One day he gets so fed up of living this life of overeating and being isolated, he decides that on New Year's Eve he will eat himself to on the internet.He creates a website called and as his classmates start to see what he is going to do, they give him attention, invite him to social occasions, parties and Butter starts to realise that having friends and socialising is all he ever really wanted. As the story progresses he starts to learn that maybe they aren't genuine friends after all, and they really do want to see him have his last meal. 

As a reader I was really intrigued as to wether he would go through with it, hoping he wouldn't and I have to say it was really well written in the end.Somehow, Erin manages to make Butter seem so real, not perfect, full of flaws but so very relatable and human. His every emotion is captured so well and at times can be uncomfortable, sad and upsetting. Other main characters include Tucker, Butter's friend from FatCamp, who annoyed me with his lack of empathy for Butter and Anna, I could never really work out why Butter liked her so much apart from being beautiful. For me, Butter is the only character that comes to life off the pages and the rest of the characters are merely background.

This novel is definitely for fans of John Green, the humour and writing style, the characters set in high school, are all very similar. This is a unique story but also a coming of age story, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would recommend to all.

Published 4th September 2012
Publisher Bloomsbury USA books

Eren by Simon P Clark- Blog Tour Stop

"People are keeping secrets from Oli. His mum has brought him to stay with his Aunt and Uncle in the countryside, but no one will tell him why his dad isn't with them. Where is he? Has something happened? Oli has a hundred questions, but then he finds a secret of his own: he discovers the creature that lives in the attic...

A beautifully written story about stories, beginnings and endings, imagination and storytelling. The story centres around twelve year old Oli, who knows something has happened to his father, but no one will tell him the truth. He goes up into his uncles loft one day and meets Eren, a strange creature who likes, if not craves, stories. It is hard to decipher now, after reading the novel, what Eren is or if he is an evil being as his physical appearance suggests. After all, he was the only one who truly listened to Oli and tried to teach him the truth about stories.But does this come at a price?

The book itself is a beautiful small hardback with gorgeous illustrations throughout. It is a modern day fairy tale where reality and fantasy meet and submerge together. It is about the truths of myths and legends, of stories past down the centuries and how the end of a story is just the beginning.

All in all a lovely read, incredibly well written and highly recommended for adults and children alike.

Read more about Simon P Clarke here

Published 18/09/14
You can buy it here

Eren Blog Tour 2014

I am very excited to be part of the Eren blog tour-check out my review on the 2nd October!

Bookseller Recommendations-Old Favourites

Working as a bookseller for almost ten years over the years there were a range of books I recommended to customers over and over again. Many customers who are avid readers are always looking for recommendations and keep coming back based on books recommended to them by booksellers. I wanted to share with you today some of the books I must have recommended a thousand times and more often than not customers really enjoyed them.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

This book was recommended to me by a fellow bookseller years ago and I have to be honest and say it wouldn't have been something I would pick up myself. Historical fiction is not necessarily my favourite genre, although I have read a few fantastic historical fiction novels, but this story is just brilliant. The main reason I would recommend this book is the HUGE twist part way through. I love a clever twist, and this book has just that. The characters are incredibly well written and it gives a real insight into life in 1862 in London for those who have to steal to survive.If you haven't read this, do yourself a favour and give it a read.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The story is written in such an understated way that it slowly dawns on the reader what the story is actually about and I love that it is written this way. It is written in a very classic way about a subject matter which belongs in science fiction. It isn't a read which will fill your spirits, but it gives a very clear reality of how the characters feel and how their lives are controlled from childhood. A very sad, yet interesting read and so different to Kazuo's other novels in terms of subject matter. I would also say that the movie isn't so bad, but given the choice, read the book over the movie every day of the week.

The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

A well loved novel, this has brought most of my friends to tears by the end of the novel. I do know some have given up reading this part way through as the shifts in time can be confusing. The advice I always tell people is to try to read it from the wife's point of view as this makes it easier to cope with the shifts in time by the husband. Although the subject matter would be classed as science fiction, it is ultimately a love story that is written so uniquely, it is a must read in my opinion.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (YA)

If you have read If I Stay and enjoyed that, then you will love this novel. I actually prefer this.Popular girl Sam lives the same day over and over "Groundhog day style" of the day she is fatally killed in a car accident. As she relives this day over and over she starts to realise that she wasn't a very nice person and throughout the novel she learns her mistakes and ultimately fixes them before passing on. Whilst the subject matter is a sad tragic event, the way the story is written is so interesting and moving, and highlights how easy it is to be self-absorbed, especially as a teenager. Get your tissues at the ready for this one.

In The Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami

Firstly, do not read this book if you dislike reading about hard core violence, but if you can put that to one side just for this book, I would highly recommend it.( I struggled, but it was worth it) It is one of those books where you aren't sure what to believe and the truth is so shocking and awful, it really packs a huge punch.Kenji is the main character hired to show an American tourist Frank, around Tokyo. Kenji starts to think Frank may be something rather sinister, but frankly Kenji is not the most upstanding of people, so his thoughts are not necessarily to be entertained...There is an awful shocking scene midway through, totally out of the blue, and whilst I had to skim read the details, it is such a unique novel, short, full of punches and will leave you feeling like you need a lie down. I still recommend reading it though..

New Book Releases I Can't Wait To Read-FALL 2014

As we are now in September the arrival of a delude of new book releases has begun, each vying for the Christmas book buying market. The run up to Christmas is a huge time for publishers, authors and booksellers as people not only buy books for themselves but also for gifts for others. There are lots of fantastic books coming out in the next few months from very popular authors and below I wanted to list just a few of the books I am very excited to read and would make great gifts for I won't say it!

September 2014

Day 21 by Kass Morgan-Released September 16th
The sequel to 'The 100' which is now a hit TV series as well. Great novels, full of twists and turns, a good sci-fi novel for teens featuring teens( including some very evil ones...)
Sunrise by Victoria Hislop-Released September 25th.
The new release from bestselling author Hislop set in Formagusta in Cyprus as the war between Turkey and Greece cause destruction to the resort and to the people of Cyprus.
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion-Released September 25th The follow up to The Rosie Project, an essential read for lover's of the first novel.
The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide-PB released September 25th I love Japanese fiction and this looks to be a very interesting read where a mystery cat brings love and life back into an unhappy couples lives in Tokyo.
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld-Released September 25th I have been a huge fan of the 'Uglies' series by Westerfeld for many years and I can't wait to read this new novel from the Australian author.

October/November/December 2014

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick-Released October 7th. I am a huge fan of the Hush Hush series by Becca and I am sure I will like this novel too which is a 'romantic thriller'.
The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty-Released 23rd October. I really enjoyed The Husband's Secret and Little Lies, by Liane.This should also be a corker!
The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes-Released 6th November. I have never been a 'chick-lit' fan, but Marian's novels are so well written, clever, sad and funny that I always look forward to a new novel by the lovely lady.
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny-Released November 6th. My mother is a massive fan of Louise Penny, so she will also be very excited about her new crime thriller release.
MELT by Selene Castrovilla-Released November 6th.Marketed as a 'brutal love story' set against the backdrop of The Wizard of Oz, this looks intriguing to say the least.
The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant- Released December 9th. A new coming of age novel about  family, friendship and feminsim from the best selling author of The Red Tent.Can't wait.

Which novels are you excited to read this winter?