Book Review: The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could… Continue reading Book Review: The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Book Review: Build Your House Around My Body, Violet Kupersmith

1986: The teenage daughter of a wealthy Vietnamese family gets lost in an abandoned rubber plantation while fleeing her angry father, and is forever changed by the experience. 2011: Twenty-five years later, a young, unhappy Vietnamese-American disappears from her new home in Saigon without a trace.The fates of both women are inescapably linked, bound together by past generations, by ghosts and ancestors, by the history of possessed bodies and… Continue reading Book Review: Build Your House Around My Body, Violet Kupersmith

Book Review: Careless, Kirsty Capes

At 3.04 p.m. on a hot, sticky day in June, Bess finds out she's pregnant.She could tell her social worker Henry, but he's useless.She should tell her foster mother, Lisa, but she won't understand.She really ought to tell Boy, but she hasn't spoken to him in weeks.Bess knows more than anyone that love doesn't come… Continue reading Book Review: Careless, Kirsty Capes

Book Review: The Kaiju Preservation Society, John Scalzi

Jamie’s dream was to hit the big time at a New York tech start-up. Jamie’s reality was a humiliating lay-off. Things look beyond grim, until a chance delivery to an old acquaintance. Tom has an urgent vacancy on his team: the pay is great and Jamie has debts – it’s a no-brainer choice. Yet, once… Continue reading Book Review: The Kaiju Preservation Society, John Scalzi

Book Review: The Island Of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak

It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the… Continue reading Book Review: The Island Of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak

Book Review: Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

After Oliver Twist asks nasty Mr Bumble for more food, he has to flee the workhouse for the streets of London. Here he meets the Artful Dodger, who leads him to Fagin and his gang of pickpockets. When a thieving mission goes wrong, Oliver narrowly avoids prison and finds himself in the care of kind… Continue reading Book Review: Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

Book Review: Mrs Caliban, Rachel Ingalls

Dorothy is a grieving housewife in the Californian suburbs; her husband is unfaithful, but they are too unhappy to get a divorce. One day, she is doing chores when she hears strange voices on the radio announcing that a green-skinned sea monster has escaped from the Institute for Oceanographic Research - but little does she… Continue reading Book Review: Mrs Caliban, Rachel Ingalls

Book Review: Hare House, Sally Hinchcliffe

In the first brisk days of autumn, a woman arrives in Scotland having left her job at an all-girls school in London in mysterious circumstances. Moving into a cottage on the remote estate of Hare House, she begins to explore her new home – a patchwork of hills, moorland and forest. But among the tiny… Continue reading Book Review: Hare House, Sally Hinchcliffe

Book Review: The First Woman, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

As Kirabo enters her teens, questions begin to gnaw at her – questions which the adults in her life will do anything to ignore. Where is the mother she has never known? And why would she choose to leave her daughter behind? Inquisitive, headstrong, and unwilling to take no for an answer, Kirabo sets out… Continue reading Book Review: The First Woman, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Book Review: Exit, Belinder Bauer

Meet Felix Pink. The most unlikely murderer you'll ever have the good fortune to spend time with.When Felix lets himself in to Number 3 Black Lane, he's there to perform an act of charity: to keep a dying man company as he takes his final breath . . .But just fifteen minutes later Felix is… Continue reading Book Review: Exit, Belinder Bauer

Book Review: The Twyford Code, Janice Hallett

Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children's book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. Wanting to know more, he took it to his English teacher Miss Iles, not realising the chain of events that he was setting in motion. Miss Iles became convinced… Continue reading Book Review: The Twyford Code, Janice Hallett

Book Review: Under the Whispering Door, T. J. Klune

Welcome to Charon’s Crossing.The tea is hot, the scones are fresh and the dead are just passing through.When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own sparsely-attended funeral, Wallace is outraged. But he begins to suspect she’s right, and he is in fact dead. Then when Hugo, owner of a most peculiar tea shop,… Continue reading Book Review: Under the Whispering Door, T. J. Klune

Book Review: Silverview, John le Carré

Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian's evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town,… Continue reading Book Review: Silverview, John le Carré

Book Review: Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath -- but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.Sealed… Continue reading Book Review: Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir

Book Review: Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro

'The Sun always has ways to reach us.'From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges… Continue reading Book Review: Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro

Book Review: The Mermaid of Black Conch, Monique Roffey

Near the island of Black Conch, a fisherman sings to himself while waiting for a catch. But David attracts a sea-dweller that he never expected - Aycayia, an innocent young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid.When American tourists capture Aycayia, David rescues her and vows to win her trust. Slowly, painfully,… Continue reading Book Review: The Mermaid of Black Conch, Monique Roffey

Book Review: No One Is Talking About This, Patricia Lockwood

This is a story about a life lived in two halves.It's about what happens when real life collides with the world accessed through a screen.It's about where we go when existential threats loom and high-stakes reality claims us back.It's about living in world that contains both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy,… Continue reading Book Review: No One Is Talking About This, Patricia Lockwood

Book Review: The Appeal, Janice Hallett

Dear Reader - enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death.Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What's… Continue reading Book Review: The Appeal, Janice Hallett

Book Review: Dead Lions, Mick Herron

“It’s a phrase, black swan,” she said. “Means a totally unexpected event with a big impact. But one that seems predictable afterwards, with the benefit of hindsight.” Synopsis Dickie Bow is not an obvious target for assassination.But once a spook, always a spook. And Dickie was a talented streetwalker back in the day, before he… Continue reading Book Review: Dead Lions, Mick Herron

Book Review: The Man Who Died Twice, Richard Osman

Synopsis It's the following Thursday.Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He's made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce,… Continue reading Book Review: The Man Who Died Twice, Richard Osman

Book Review: One Last Stop, Casey McQuiston

“But, you know, that feeling? When you wake up in the morning and you have somebody to think about? Somewhere for hope to go? It's good. Even when it's bad, it's good.” Synopsis For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love… Continue reading Book Review: One Last Stop, Casey McQuiston

Book Review: Luster, Raven Leilani

“I’m an open book,” I say, thinking of all the men who have found it illegible.” Synopsis Edie is just trying to survive. She’s messing up in her dead-end admin job in her all-white office, is sleeping with all the wrong men, and has failed at the only thing that meant anything to her, painting.… Continue reading Book Review: Luster, Raven Leilani

Book Review: Iron Council, China Miéville

In the centre of the swarm, hundreds of figures attending to its complex fussy needs, protected by guards, lookouts at the hills and treetops and in the air, came the cause of it all, the train. Marked by time. It was altered. The train had gone feral. It is a time of revolts and revolutions,… Continue reading Book Review: Iron Council, China Miéville

Mini Book Review: Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia

When glamorous socialite Noemí Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it's clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but her claims that her husband, Virgil Doyle, is poisoning her and her visions of restless ghosts seem remarkable,… Continue reading Mini Book Review: Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Book Review: Slow Horses, Mick Herron

Amongst the wealth of literary fiction and fiction nominated for prizes - specifically the Carnegie Medal and Women's Prize at this time of year - I am often in the midst of worthy or issue-led or meditative novels, all of which I love. But at the same time I am also mired in a morass… Continue reading Book Review: Slow Horses, Mick Herron