The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Title: The Other Black Girl

Author: Zakiya Dalila Harris

Pub date: June 1st 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada in this electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.

Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.

It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.
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The Chalet by Catherine Cooper

Title: The Chalet

Author: Catherine Cooper

Pub date: 31 Oct 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Four friends. One luxury getaway. The perfect murder.

French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

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All About Us by Tom Ellen

Title: All About Us

Author: Tom Ellen

Pub date: 15th Oct 2020

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads


One moment in time can change your life forever…

Ben’s always loved the month of December, but with his marriage to Daphne on the rocks, this year it’s missing its usual magic. So when his old flame Alice gets back in touch, Ben can’t help wonder: did he make the right choice all those years ago?

Yet everything changes one night when a twinkly-eyed stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch, the hands frozen at one minute to midnight. Opening his eyes the next morning, Ben is astonished to find that he has been catapulted back to 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

All About Us is a deeply moving novel about love, loss and heartbreak – and how, with the help of a little magic, it’s never too late to find the one you’ve been searching for.

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True Story by Kate Reed Petty

Title: True Story

Author: Kate Reed Petty

Pub Date: August 4th, 2020

My Rating: ★★★★★

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Inventive, electrifying and daring, True Story is a novel like nothing you’ve ever read before.

After a college party, two boys drive a girl home: drunk and passed out in the back seat. Rumours spread about what they did to her, but later they’ll tell the police a different version of events. Alice will never remember what truly happened. Her fracture runs deep, hidden beneath cleverness and wry humour. Nick – a sensitive, misguided boy who stood by – will never forget.

That’s just the beginning of this extraordinary journey into memory, fear and self-portrayal. Through university applications, a terrifying abusive relationship, a fateful reckoning with addiction and a final mind-bending twist, Alice and Nick will take on different roles to each other – some real, some invented – until finally, brought face to face once again, the secret of that night is revealed.

Startlingly relevant and enthralling in its brilliance, True Story is by turns a campus novel, psychological thriller, horror story and crime noir, each narrative frame stripping away the fictions we tell about women, men and the very nature of truth. It introduces Kate Reed Petty as a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction.

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A Little London Scandal by Miranda Emmerson

Title: A Little London Scandal

Author: Miranda Emerson

Pub Date: 20th August, 2020

My Rating:★★★☆☆

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I had a bit of trouble getting into this story. It seemed like there are too many, too different characters and I was getting lost in all of this. However once I finally got a hang of it, it all was such an intriguing story spanning multiple generations and social classes. What a view into life in London in sixties!


There are three main characters – Nik a rent boy, Anna, a dresser in a theatre and Merrian, a wife of a politician. Three different characters struggling with their past, each in their own way. Their lives brought together because of seemingly unsubstantiated murder accusations against Nik. There are many more interesting characters from different backgrounds circling around them, but the story goes deep into the lives of those three.


I like how the story was structured, on one hand, it is a mystery into the death of a young boy, whose body was found in the gardens of a private club. On the other hand, it brings to light the unfairness of life, how money gives you better treatment. With power, it looks like you can buy yourself anything you want, and you are the only one who will not suffer the consequences no of your actions.


The book gives us also a glimpse of the gay history of England, how much and how little really changed. It’s less likely to find rent boy on Piccadilly Circus (too many tourists I think, but I don’t really know…), but probably there’s the same chance of powerful man hiding their sexuality and abusing people. The book gave me a wonderful feeling of reading something that seemed so out of time, but so timely at the same time.

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The Storyteller’s Daughter by Victoria McCombs #BookTour

Title: The Storyteller’s Daughter

Author: Victoria McCombs

Release Date: July 14th 2020

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a story of Cosette, giftless girl born into world full of gifts – a gift of music, turning apples into peaches, or gift like her father – storytelling. Her father can spin a tale so fascinating that everyone in the tavern listening may think those tales are true. All seems to be good until one of those stories imagines Cosette to have the most amazing gift – she can spin gold. The idea is so unbelievable, yet many people believe it and are cross with Cosette that she is not willing to share her gift with others. This lie brings her before the King, who is not taking no for an answer. In those circumstances, Cosette finds an ally that can help her survive.

The Storyteller’s Daughter is an intriguing read, I was quite quickly drawn into the characters, and I wanted to know what will happen. They all have their secrets and mysteries, and I was keen to find out the truth behind each of those characters. Cosette is a grat man character, she grows through the story and becomes more sure of herself. She even dares to disobey the King, which is unimaginable for a giftless girl from a poor family. Characters around her are not that well developed, but they all have something to them, some mystery that just keeps you engaged in the story,

It is an entertaining read, but sadly the final is disappointing. The final resolution to the mystery is not shown, we just learn about it from someone who been there. It was really anti-climactic and just too much of a sweet happy ending. Even though the book left me wanting more, I’m still content with the time I spent with it.

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Love by Roddy Doyle

Title: Love

Author: Roddy Doyle

Pub Date: May 14th, 2020

My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

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‘A profound examination of friendship, romantic confusion and mortality’ John Boyne

One summer’s evening, two men meet up in a Dublin restaurant.

Old friends, now married and with grown-up children, their lives have taken seemingly similar paths. But Joe has a secret he has to tell Davy, and Davy, a grief he wants to keep from Joe. Both are not the men they used to be.

Neither Davy nor Joe know what the night has in store, but as two pints turns to three, then five, and the men set out to revisit the haunts of their youth, the ghosts of Dublin entwine around them. Their first buoyant forays into adulthood, the pubs, the parties, broken hearts and bungled affairs, as well as the memories of what eventually drove them apart.

As the two friends try to reconcile their versions of the past over the course of one night, Love offers up a delightfully comic, yet moving portrait of the many forms love can take throughout our lives.

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