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One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Julia Eccleshare's Debut of the Month, April 2016 TV historian Lucy Worsley is gifted at bringing the past to life and shows it to great effect here. Her detailed knowledge of the Tudors, the people and above all the places, provides the perfect background to a coming of age story set in a different time. Eliza Camperdowne comes from an old but impoverished family; she knows that the future of her family’s fortunes depend on her making the right kind of marriage. Ideally, that means marrying a man with money and a title. But Eliza’s life plan is changed when she is sent with her cousin to be a maid of Honour at the Court of King Henry V111. Katherine may be a cousin but can Eliza trust her? As Katherine finds favour with the King himself, Eliza must learn to survive the intrigue and treachery of the court. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for April 2016 Eliza Rose by Lucy Worsley Tidy by Emily Gravett Freddie Mole, Lion Tamer by Alexander McCall Smith Slug Needs a Hug by Jeanne Willis There's a Moose on the Loose by Lucy Feather Nature's Day: Out and About by Kay Maguire
TV historian Lucy Worsley is gifted at bringing the past to life and shows it to great effect here. Her detailed knowledge of the Tudors, the people and above all the places, provides the perfect background to a coming of age story set in a different time. Eliza Camperdowne comes from an old but impoverished family; she knows that the future of her family’s fortunes depend on her making the right kind of marriage. Ideally, that means marrying a man with money and a title. But Eliza’s life plan is changed when she is sent with her cousin to be a maid of Honour at the Court of King Henry V111. Katherine may be a cousin but can Eliza trust her? As Katherine finds favour with the King himself, Eliza must learn to survive the intrigue and treachery of the court. ~ Julia Eccleshare
The first in a powerful new series, this is a spellbinding love story fuelled by overwhelming supernatural powers and the conflicting forces of good and evil. The sole survivor of a car crash in which her parents, younger sister and pet dog are all killed, Ever recovers to find she has the strange ability to see the auras surrounding other people. Mostly she tries to protect herself from looking too closely but, when new boy Damen arrives at school, Ever can no longer resist. Ever’s powers tell her that Damen is not what he seems but he also appears to be her destiny. How can she resist him?
September 2015 Debut of the Month. A great new debut about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love. “Love makes people crazy,” observes Maddy, the eighteen-year-old protagonist of this remarkable debut. It’s “worth everything. Everything.” Exploring the risks we'll take for love, and to protect those we've given our hearts to, Maddy’s story is utterly unforgettable. Since she was an infant, Maddy’s world has been confined to the books she devours, her devoted doctor mom and her loveable full-time nurse, Carla. For seventeen years, she’s lived with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or ‘bubble baby disease’, which means venturing outside could trigger fatal allergic reactions. But everything changes when a new family moves into her Californian neighbourhood, and Maddy is inexorably drawn to the enigmatic, black-clad Olly. They strike up a relationship, initially via instant messaging and then in person, when Maddy persuades Carla to allow Olly into their air-sealed house. He’s the biggest risk she's ever taken, Maddy comments. And Olly likens her to a fairy tale heroine, shut away like Rapunzel, except in Maddy’s case being rescued by a prince could kill her. But the deeper they fall in love, the more necessary it becomes for Maddy to take these risks. They share their first kiss and, “just like that, everything changes,” so much so, Maddy feels ready to risk everything to realise a lifelong dream with the person she loves.With enriching illustrations by the author's husband, David Yoon, himself a designer and writer, this is a heartrending, sparkling jewel of a novel, and its subtly-laid twist will take your breath away. - Joanne Owen
In a nutshell: upstairs downstairs time-slip adventure | Evie is feeling sorry for herself. Her mum has – selfishly in Evie’s opinion - gone on honeymoon with her new husband leaving Evie with a godmother she hardly knows. Her godmother lives in a flat, part of an old mansion house and Evie’s room seems haunted by the ghost of a girl with a sad story to tell. When Evie finds herself back in time and working as a lowly house maid she gets the opportunity to help the ghost. In the process she learns lots too about the ordinary lives of children the same age as her who had to work as servants in Victorian England. Beautifully told this is a thrilling story and will grip young readers; like Evie, they may see their own lives differently by the story’s conclusion too. This tale of adventure and self-discovery is one to recommend to fans of A Little Princess. ~ Andrea Reece The Editor at Nosy Crow says: “There’s so much to love about this book. It’s spine-tingling, moving, funny and heartbreaking – a real rollercoaster ride!
Falling in love is a wonderful feeling and when Luce falls headlong for Daniel as she arrives in the strange environment of her new reform school she feels its full impact. But who exactly is Daniel and why does she feel she has been in love with him before? Bursting with emotion, this is a roller coaster story of unbridled and dangerous desires.
Zoella Book Club title Summer 16 An utterly captivating love story about opening your heart by major US bestselling author, Rainbow Rowell, whose debut novel in the UK, Eleanor & Park was a huge hit and her ever-growing legion of fans here in the UK will love this latest tale of fan fiction, family and first love. Identical twin girls Cath and Wren have always been close but now as they head to university the outgoing one of the two, Wren, wants to branch out on her own and not forever be considered one half of a pair. Perhaps this is Cath's chance to step out from behind her sister and out of her comfort zone. Sounds easy but in practice when it comes to love, things rarely run smooth. Read a Q&A with Rainbow Rowell on Fangirl. Here's a taster first: You don't usually base characters on real people - does that include yourself? Do you see yourself in one of the characters? There's a lot of me in Cath.......we both crave collaboration.... Read more here
September 2015 Debut of the Month **PLEASE NOTE this title is now classified as an ADULT title due to the content** Told through the eyes of three utterly unforgettable characters, this is a bold and poignant Young Adult debut about the wonders and complexities of love in all its forms. Mira is trying to forge a fresh start at high school after being hospitalised for recurring depression. Sebby, her best friend, is a lifeline, a whirlwind of warmth and energy, though he’s not without problems of his own. Sebby’s a foster kid, an impulsive risk-taker who’s hardly attended school since being badly beaten up by homophobic bullies. While Mira and Sebby struggle when they’re apart, together these infectiously unique individuals keep each other sane. Then they befriend Jeremy, an excruciatingly shy art geek and fellow outsider, and the three of them make a pact to live the impossible life, to sparkle like jewels ‘in the sad desert of the world’. With wit, warmth and remarkable honesty, it shows how friendship can provide shelter from the worst the world has to offer, and the strength to face it again. ~ Joanne Owen
August 2020 Book of the Month | Hot on the heels of Happy Girl Lucky comes this second book in Holly Smale’s The Valentines series – a wildly entertaining tale in which aspiring actress Faith seems to have it all, before realising she needs to shirk off the shackles of impossible standards and speak from her own script. Stunning and wealthy, with a mega-famous musician boyfriend – what more could a girl want? And coming from a line of talented actresses, Faith’s future as a major movie star is laid out before her like a red carpet. In her grandmother’s words, “You are a Valentine, darling…The entire world has been handed to you on a plate. All you have to do is not screw it up.” But, despite Faith’s privilege, not screwing up is an impossible task when - also in her grandmother’s words, “there is no intermission, Faith. For us, the curtains are always up.” Constantly in the public eye, everything Faith says or does is scrutinised, often wilfully misinterpreted and, when the truth isn’t juicy enough, the press invents their own. Desperate to keep everyone happy, Faith always says what’s she’s supposed to, but that backfires too: “The Daily Mail has once more referred to you as aloof and an Ice Queen. Darling, if you were a man, that would be a way of saying enigmatic. As a woman, it just means nightmare. You must try to come across as warmer. But not so warm that you look desperate, obviously.” Quite simply, Faith can’t win. What’s more, her auditions aren’t going well either, and it’s not long before everything starts to unravel. Faith’s journey really is an additive rollercoaster – she’s someone to root for, and all the characters are fabulously formed. Readers will truly love “I’ll-do-and-say-and-eat-what-I-want, when-I-want” Scarlett who offers Faith a life-changing sisterly hand. With the novel’s exposure of double standards - and impossible standards - seamlessly thread through the pacey plot, this is feminist fiction at its most thoughtful, thrilling and funny. Find out more as Holly Smale talks to us about her fabulous new trilogy!
Audrey’s family life is reassuringly normal. There’s her Daily Mail reading mum, computer game addicted big brother, and well-meaning dad trying, and generally failing, to say the right thing. It’s sharply observed comedy, and very funny. Audrey has problems though which make her life different to most teens. She suffers from an anxiety disorder which means any contact with other people, even looking them in the eye, is very difficult. With real understanding and a light touch, the book describes her efforts to cope. Audrey’s tentative relationship with her brother’s friend Linus makes for a very sweet romance, while the story gives full weight to the pressures she’s facing. ~ Andrea Reece A Letter from the author Sophie Kinsella Dear Reader, As the author of the Shopaholic series, I have always tried to write about contemporary issues that readers will relate to. To my delight, millions of readers across the globe have enjoyed the tales of my debt-ridden heroine, Becky Brandon. I have now taken a new direction with my first Young Adult book, Finding Audrey, which I am excited to introduce to you. Audrey is a teenage girl suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder. She has experienced bullying, and as a result has become virtually a prisoner in her own home. This is the story of her journey to recovery, with the help of a boy named Linus. It’s sad in places, but funny, too, and romantic as only a teen story can be. Audrey has been through a difficult time but she never loses her wit, nor her positive spirit. As a parent of teens myself, I am well aware of the tough issues that they face – frombullying to screen addiction and fledgling relationships. I melded all these issues into the story of a family battling through as best they can. Perhaps that is one of themessages of the book – the curveballs will always come in life, and all we can do is try our best, keep our chins up and stay looking forward. It was a wonderful experience for me to write in a new style, to a new audience. I quite fell in love with the whole Turner family. Part of Audrey’s therapy involves her filming her family for a fly-on-the-wall documentary. The reader gets to ‘see’ the documentary through snippets of film script and this was an exciting new twist for me.I hope that readers find the story of Audrey and her chaotic family a funny and uplifting one. I also hope that it provides reassurance to any young reader – or indeed parent - going through similar problems. Audrey is a brave, charming and resourceful girl and I hope she will inspire my readers as much as she has inspired me. Sophie Kinsella
An edge-of-your-seat paranormal romance for girls who want more than just a romance. When Sky and Zed meet something lights up between them that tells them they’re meant for each other. But when Sky is kidnapped their relationship is put to the ultimate test and it’s Sky who must fight the demons of her past if she’s ever to see her family and her soul mate ever again. This is not just paranormal romance, it definitely has a really big kick in the form of suspense and high drama that stands it out above the paranormal romance many of us like to read. Click here to visit the author's website.