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 death...live on the internet.He creates a website called butterslastmeal.com 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...
Eren."c

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
http://www.simonpclark.com/

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 Chr...no 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?



We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler


I must admit that I haven't read any of Karen Joy Fowler's previous novels, but was drawn to this one for some reason. I didn't know what it was about, but I had read on social media that a few people I knew really enjoyed it. I won't be revealing the twist or too much of the story but I do have to say that after reading about two quarters of the novel I had to stop for the evening as I was absolutely heartbroken and so upset. Animal lovers be prepared for tears!

What is the novel about?

Firstly I would say that this novel is very unique, both the subject matter and the way in which it is written are different to the norm. Whilst it is written extremely well, with humour and with heart, I sometimes found the back and forth nature of the timeline could be slightly confusing. The novel starts with the middle of the story. Rose is at University and she tells us that both her sister and brother have left the family and she feels like an only child. She tells us about her life at the University culminating in her being arrested mistakenly after another girl goes crazy in the canteen smashing everything up. She tells us about what happened when she was five, she was sent to live with her Grandparents and she thought she would never live with her family again, and when she returned to the family three weeks later, her sister Fern was gone and not long after, her brother Lowell left.

The Twist

The twist happens quite near the beginning of the book, probably about a quarter of the way through. Needless to say, I will not say what that is, but it absolutely changes the novel entirely. Rose explains about what happened before she was sent to her Grandparents and the general issue of memory, whether it can be trusted, whether our memories tell us the whole picture, or are we in fact hiding things even from ourselves? There is a lot of physiological theories discussed within the novel, both because of the twist and also because in the novel, Rose's father is a phycologist so it has always been part of her life.After we learn about some of her early childhood, we go back and forth somewhat until the end, which is the age Rose is now as she narrates the story to us.

The characters

Rose is the narrator of the novel and she talks to us as readers, which I really enjoyed and she could be very witty and clever, At University she shares a flat with her friend Todd, but generally finds it very hard to make friends.She makes a sort of friend in the crazy girl who smashed up the canteen, Harlow, who takes Rose drinking and gives her drugs and gets her arrested twice! But, really Rose finds it hard to conform to society as she is not being herself which is revealed as the book progresses. Her parents are in the background for the most part , but we learn more about their pain and suffering as the novel goes on. Her brother and sister Fern are also huge parts of the story, in a number of ways and covering a number of themes and issues.

In conclusion, without revealing too much, I would certainly recommend reading this if you are a book lover. it is very well written, very unique and heartbreaking at the same time.