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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

 

Cath and Wren are identical twins who are off to University. Wren wants to experience life without her nerdy sister, while Cath needs to finish her beloved fanfiction series before the real author publishes the last book. An introvert and confessed geek, Cath prefers her own company and that of her characters, rather than braving the dinner halls and meeting new people. With a turbulent home life to contend with too, will Cath finally engage with the real world? I laughed a lot reading this; it reminded me of my own University days. There are some serious themes too though and I worried over the characters and their wrong decisions.

 

 

 

 

 


The Things We Never Said
The Things We Never Said
The Girl With All The Gifts
The Girl With All The Gifts

 

The Things We Never Said by Susan Elliot-Wright

An excellent debut novel from one of this year’s Read Regional authors. We are introduced to Maggie, a mental health patient in 1964 and Jonathan, a teacher in 2008 whose wife, Fiona is pregnant and we are told their stories in alternating chapters. Eventually and predictably, their stories come together but we follow a difficult and heartbreaking journey along the way. I can completely understand why this book has been compared to those of Maggie O’Farrell and am looking forward to her second novel, The Secrets We Left Behind - recently published and now in stock in Gateshead Libraries.

 

 

The Girl With All The Gifts by M R Carey

Wow, this book is not what I expected at all, but it was excellent. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. She is strapped into a wheelchair and taken to the classroom with the others.  Melanie loves learning about the world and sums and Greek myths. She knows she is special. She just doesn’t know why.This book grabs you by the heartstrings and doesn’t let go. It is all at once tender, scary, horrifying and engrossing. I loved Melanie; even once I knew the wider implications of her situation. I don’t want to give anything away; not knowing what to expect makes the book all the more shocking. I was desperate to know how it would end. Please read this book!

 

 

Someone Else's Skin
Someone Else's Skin
Food of Love Cookery School
Food of Love Cookery School

 

Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary

This debut novel is a crime story with a dark, dark soul. DI Marnie Rome, a detective with a traumatic past, goes to a woman’s refuge to interview a woman assaulted by her brothers. On their arrival they are confronted with a dangerous situation, one of the women has just stabbed her husband…It’s beautifully written and sharply edged, with characters that are intensely human. A very compelling and thoughtful read!

 

 

Food Of Love Cookery School by Nicky Pellegrino

Four women from different backgrounds visit Sicily to learn about traditional cooking. Luca is the chef who will teach them about flavours, textures and more. Friends are made and secrets are discovered, generally over a mouth-watering meal. You can be sure that by the end of the holiday, everyone will have been affected by their experience. The descriptions of the landscape make me want to jump on a plane and the food made me hungry. For those with the desire to make the featured food, there are recipes in the back for you to try. A lovely book, perfect for upcoming holidays or to help you escape the dull skies at home.

 

 

A Tale For The Time Being
A Tale For The Time Being
The Taste of Apple Seeds
The Taste of Apple Seeds

 

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

On a beach on an island off Canada, Ruth discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox. Inside is a diary that may have travelled across the ocean after the 2011 tsunami in Japan. It’s the diary of a young Japanese girl, Nao, and as her story unfolds, so does Ruth’s life irrevocably alter. This is a lovely, magical tale that slowly unfolds. Its themes are wide ranging and diverse, and I absolutely loved Jiko, Nao’s great-grandmother, a 104 year old Buddhist nun.

 

 

The Taste of Apple Seeds by Katharina Hagena

 It’s not the fastest paced book by any means, but there’s a dreamy, romantic lyricism to this that I really appreciated. Iris’s grandmother dies, and leaves her the family home in a small German town. When she goes home for the funeral and discovers her inheritance she is forced to confront a tragedy that happened there in her teens. The slow unfolding of the past, the way the past and present both mesh together and jar, the development and the decline of relationships all had a penetrating resonance. There was an emotional depth, particularly to the portrayal of Bertha’s dementia, that was very sensitively done, though in contrast to that the teen characters, one in particular, almost seemed a caricature. Very engrossing read.

 

 







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