Monthly Archives: June 2019
Sometimes you need to risk everything…
To find your something
All Andrew wants is to be normal. He has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after a long day. At least, that’s what he’s told people.
The truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think and his little white lie is about to catch up with him.
Because in all Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it’s about time for him to start.
Trigger warnings – Death and Suicide
Richard Roper lives in London. This is his first novel, inspired by a newspaper article about the council workers who deal with situations when someone dies alone.
What I Thought
Excuse me whilst I just wipe away a tear or two and compose myself.
This is a story of loneliness, and hope too, with a strong cast of characters. I can totally see why the TV rights have sold.
Our protagonist Andrew is in his early forties and lives alone surrounded by model trains. He works for the local council inspecting the properties of people that have died alone to try and find their next of kin and enough money to pay for their funeral. He writes their obituaries and, although not part of the job, he attends their funerals, usually just with the vicar. Throughout there is a hint that he might be in danger of the same happening to him one day.
The massive lie he has kept going is both a source of comfort and anxiety to him and throughout the story there is a gradual mystery that unfolds.
I got completely swept away by Andrew’s life and laughed and cried along with this charming novel. In reality he’d probably be the source of ridicule but that’s what I love about stories, they allow you to step into someone’s skin and see beyond the surface. This book reminds us to take the time to listen to people’s stories and rely less on snap judgements.
I love how that each person him and his work partner Peggy find is given a name, a story and due care and consideration. There is one person’s tale that Peggy and Andrew get caught up in and there was one line in reference to this that bought a lump to my throat.
Of course things happen that mean Andrew’s world is about to be shaken but if that helps him “Find His Something” surely things can settle again? Can’t they?
Family, Friendship, Love and Humanity is all explored with humour and pathos by debut author Richard Roper and as well as a tear or three this book should also leave you with a smile and a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart.
Just one negative. I’m not sure I’ll be able to forgive the missed opportunity to make a subtle Platform 9 3/4 Hogwarts Express reference!!! 😉
Thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers and Orion for the gifted copy for the purposes of honest review.
Do check out the rest of the blog tour stops below.
It was a stupid, insane, suicidal idea. Which makes it quite hard to explain why I decided to help. I guess it boils down to this. Charlie was my best friend. I missed him. And I couldn’t think of anything better to do. Really stupid reasons which were never going to impress the police, the headmistress or my parents.
Looking back, I reckon this was the moment when my whole life started to go pear shaped.
Mark Haddon is the author of bestselling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. boom! was originally published as Gridzbi Spudvetch! in 1992 with this rewritten version published in 2009.
What I Thought
boom! Is a fun, pacy middle grade where Jimbo (James) and his friend Charlie discover something unusual when they bug the teacher’s staff room at school. With echoes of the Demon Headmaster it is up to them to uncover the nefarious plot. Then Charlie goes missing. Older sister Becky turns out to care more than she lets on, and the two of them head off on her boyfriend’s motorbike to discover what goes boom!
Very much of its original age there is some gender stereotyping that is perhaps a little unhelpful at times but Jimbo is a likeable little imp and you want him to triumph.
Jimbo and Charlie have a fun friendship. The adults are most definitely comic relief. Charlie’s mum is a little extreme!
Full of adventure and humour with the kids most definitely in charge.
Molly Darling wants life to be as simple as wellies and porridge – this is rural Ireland after all. Instead, Mum’s hiding in the attic; Dad’s run away, leaving only a PowerPoint to explain; her sister has a ham sandwich for a fiancé; there’s a boy and THE silence; her BFF will stop at nothing to go viral; and the chickens are missing. It’s enough to make a girl cantankerous. But she’ll fix it all. Easy, right?
Alvy Carragher grew up in rural Ireland. She has an MA in Writing, as well as a first collection of poems published by Salmon Poetry. A former resident of both Louisiana and South Korea, she is currently holed up in Vancouver where she is tinkering away at a second novel and learning to speak Canadian.
Find her on twitter at @alvycarragher
What I Thought
This is such a fun book, from the very first line you know you are going to be in for something different.
The Molly Darling of the title is an Irish teen who has every right to be cantankerous. She lives on a run down farm, her parents are separated, her mum is throwing herself into her art and her new boyfriend, and neglecting Molly and her sister Polly.
To top it off Molly’s pet chickens have “just disappeared”. The chickens were the only bit of normality in her life, giving her companionship and routine. And they form much more of the plot than you might be expecting. Like Molly, and everyone on social media, you will fall in love with Lady Macbeth the rooster that is at heart a chicken. Will they get their peaceful ever after?
Mum’s new boyfriend happens to be the father of one of the hot boys in school and complicated relationships with boys, friends, enemies and veganism abound. Polly’s imminent wedding brings their absent father back into the mix too!
The rural setting of the farm gives a unique backdrop to daring chicken rescues, activist meetings in a chicken shed and a family farm house with a teetering Great Wall of Books on the stairs. With the addition of viral and doctored social media videos you just know the peace and tranquility is going to be toppled.
Alvy Carragher writes with wit, warmth and humour and this book is just simply a joy to read.
Thanks to Laura and Chicken House Books for my #gifted copy for the purposes of an honest review.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour stops.