Tender by Belinda McKeon

Advance Reader Copy (ARC) via Netgalley included.

Tender by Belinda McKeon

Sometimes you come across a book that you know you will re-read numerous times and recommend to anyone who will listen. Tender by Belinda McKeon is one of those books. Not since I read The Hours by Michael Cunningham for the first time have I been so enamoured with a novel.

Set in 1990s Ireland, this is a novel about friendship, youth, love, obsession and sexuality.

Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye

Advance Reader Copy (ARC) via Netgalley included.

Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye

Under A Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye

Vanessa Lafaye’s debut novel, Summertime (published as Under a Dark Summer Sky in some countries) is a fictionalised story set against the backdrop of real events. Namely, the 1935 Labour Day Hurricane that devastated some of the Florida Keys.

Heron Key (a place of the author’s own invention) is a small, segregated community where lynchings are common place. It is a town affected by the Depression and the remains of World War One. There are deeply held resentments between those who left to fight the war and those who stayed behind.

Intimacy Idiot by Isaac Oliver

Advance Review Copy (ARC) via Netgalley included.

Intimacy Idiot by Isaac Oliver

Intimacy Idiot* is the debut collection of essays from playwright, author and performer Isaac Oliver. I’m not familiar with Oliver’s other work, but I have been on an essay reading kick lately so thought I would give this book a go.

From conversations he overheard on the subway, to poetry about random people, to tales from being a theatre box office attendant, and kiss-and-tell stories about his experiences with the men he had sex with, most of whom he picked up online; it seems that nothing is off limits for Oliver as he takes us into his world and entertains us (often in graphic detail).

The Last Moriarty by Charles Veley

Advance Reader Copy (ARC) via Netgalley included.

The Last Moriarty by Charles Veley

The Prime Minister and his cabinet need Sherlock Holmes to solve a murder that could jeopardise a high stakes British-American summit. The summit is to be attended by John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan.

While working on the case Holmes is visited at 221B Baker Street by a young American actress who asks for help after she received threats. Holmes agrees to help, much to the annoyance of those counting on him to enable the summit to go ahead.

Boo by Neil Smith

Advance Reader Copy (ARC) via Netgalley included.

Boo by Neil Smith

When 13 year-old Boo wakes up in heaven he assumes his defect heart is responsible and sets about figuring out how to settle in to his new life, his reborn life.

Boo, whose real name is Oliver Dalrymple, didn’t fit in at his school back in America. He was a science geek who memorised the entire periodic table and didn’t really mix well with people.

When he discovers that heaven is divided by age and nationality, meaning he will remain a 13 year-old surrounded by other 13 year-olds, he isn’t pleased. But heaven is the perfect opportunity to carry out some new science experiments, so at least he has that to occupy his time and his mind.

If She Did It by Jessica Treadway

Advance Reader Copy via Netgalley included.

If She Did It

What if you began to suspect your child of an unspeakable crime?

Three years ago Hanna Schutt was almost bludgeoned to death in her bed. Her husband, Joe, didn’t survive the attack. Hanna was left with a disfigured face and no memory of the night in question.

The man convicted of the crime was her daughter’s boyfriend, Rud. Dawn was never charged for the murder of her father and the attempted murder of her mother but that doesn’t stop people believing that she played a significant role in the crime, especially since she stood by Rud throughout his trial.

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Advance Reader Copy (ARC) via Netgalley included.

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Kody Keplinger’s debut novel, The DUFF*, was originally published in 2010 and is currently being re-promoted to coincide with the release of the film.

Bianca Piper is a particularly cynical seventeen year-old. Her mother is rarely home, her father has his own issues to deal with and a “relationship” that ended badly a few years ago has left her no longer believing in true love. This “relationship” isn’t explored nearly as much as it should be, it’s alluded to and we find out how it ended but we don’t learn a whole lot else and the parts that left me feeling uncomfortable aren’t elaborated on at all.

Bianca has her friends; Casey and Jessica and a crush on classmate Toby Tucker. Whatever is happening at home, she will be alright.

Dare To Dream by Carys Jones

Advance Reader Copy (ARC) included.

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“The world was going to end. Of that, Maggie Trafford was certain.”

Dare To Dream* tells the story of Maggie Trafford, her nightmares and the end of the world.

Maggie is a typical fourteen year-old, dealing with family life, school and friends. That is until the nightmares begin. Maggie dreams of red lightning that destroys everything in its path.

Dreams, even nightmares, are just dreams right? But Maggie can’t shake the feeling that the red lightning means something more. Then Stonehenge starts to collapse and Maggie realises that her nightmares are premonitions of the end of the world.

The Book of You by Claire Kendal

The Book of You

Clarissa Bourne is being stalked by Rafe Solmes, a colleague. He is always there. He watches her. He follows her. He knows what her favourite things are. He believes they are in a relationship and that Clarissa is trying to hurt him with her cold behaviour. Clarissa’s cold behaviour is actually fear. Fear for what Rafe will do when he next shows up.

Clarissa doesn’t know how to make him stop. He will not take no for an answer. As a result, Clarissa spends her time trying to keep records of his behaviour in order to build a case against him. The last time she contacted the police it didn’t end well and Clarissa is sure that they, and everyone else in her life, won’t believe her; a feeling that’s familiar to far too many victims of abuse. She tries to follow the advice from domestic abuse leaflets, hence the note-taking, but she is at her wit’s end.

If I Fall, If I Die: A Novel by Michael Christie

Advance Reader Copy (ARC) via Netgalley included.

If I Fall, If I Die

If I Fall, If I Die* is the story of 11 year-old Will Cardiel, his mother, his love of skateboarding and a troubled childhood.

Will’s mother, Diane, suffers from agoraphobia and mental ill-health. She hasn’t left the safety of her house for years and her fear of something awful happening to her son has meant that Will hasn’t left the house either. Will has no family or friends, other than his mother. Will has never been ‘Outside’, his entire life has consisted of ‘Inside’.