Author Archives: kirstyes

The 24 – Hour Café by Libby Page – Blog Tour Book Review 

About the Book
Welcome to the café that never sleeps. Day and night Stella’s Café opens its doors for the lonely and the lost, the morning people and the night owls. It is many things to many people but most of all it is a place where life can wait at the door. A place of small kindnesses. A place where anyone can be whoever they want, where everyone is always welcome.

Meet Hannah and Mona: best friends, waitresses, dreamers. They work at Stella’s but they dream of more, of leaving the café behind and making their own way in life.

Come inside and spend twenty-four hours at Stella’s Café; a day when Hannah and Mona’s friendship will be tested, when the community will come together and when lives will be changed…

About the Author
Libby Page previously worked in marketing, moonlighting as a writer. She graduated from The London College of Fashion with a BA in Fashion Journalism before going on to work as a journalist at the Guardian. THE LIDO is her first novel. It was pre-empted within 24 hours of submission for six figures in the UK, pre-empted for six figures in the US, and will be published in 2018 by Orion UK and Simon & Schuster US, followed by eleven other territories around the world. 

Libby has been a leading campaigner for fairer internships and has spoken on TV and in parliament in support of fair pay for interns. Libby has been writing from an early age and when she was 16 she wrote an illustrated book called Love Pink to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.

After writing, her second passion is outdoor swimming. Libby lives in London where she enjoys finding new swimming spots and pockets of community within the city.

What I Thought


This book is such a slice of life. 24 hours (plus a jump forward) in a 24-hour cafe in London following Hannah and Mona, waitresses who long to be something more. But, who are already more to the customers who come through the doors into this refuge, and to each other. 
Bursting with humanity author Libby Page had me feeling for each individual she writes (I nearly used creates but it feels like she draws them from real life). At first the style felt a little distant like we were simply observers but this mix of point of views cleverly weaved us into each of the character’s lives. It’s like she draws us into a modern day version of the painting Nighthawks by Edward Hopper. 
There’s one character in particular that I was anxious to see again but we never really knew if they would come back. In some ways it might have been more realistic to have them not show back up, but that wouldn’t necessarily have been as satisfying to the reader. 
I love that the main focus is on friendship between women in its many complexities, from jealousy to true care, from forming to breaking. It was simply beautiful. 
Life in Stella’s cafe was peaceful and frantic, celebrated beginning and endings, saw heartbreak and joy. Above all it this is one those stories that reminds us to be kind because we never know what someone is facing. 
I did manage to get gifted a copy from #orionontour which Libby kindly signed but when I found out about the blog tour I waited to read it and it feels like it popped into my life as I needed it. There were aspects of the story that touched me very personally and I shed a tear or two. 
I would definitely recommend and am glad I now have Libby’s first novel The Lido lined up to read soon. 

Witness X by SE Moorhead – Blog Tour Book Review 

About the book
Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner. A dark and gripping crime novel set in a convincing near future – SE Moorhead is the future of crime writing.’ STEPHEN BAXTER

From one of the most original new voices in fiction comes a startling vision of a world where hero Kyra must fight the past to save our future. A genre-bending thriller for the Netflix generation, for fans of Altered Carbon, Dark and Mindhunter.

She’s the only one who can access the truth…

Fourteen years ago, the police caged a notorious serial killer who abducted and butchered two victims every February. He was safe behind bars. Wasn’t he?

But then another body is discovered, and soon enough, the race is on to catch the real killer. Neuropsychologist Kyra Sullivan fights to use a new technology that accesses the minds of the witnesses, working with the police to uncover the truth. Will Kyra discover the person behind the murders, and if so, at what cost? And how far will she go to ensure justice is served?

About the author

Born in Liverpool, S.E.Moorhead has told stories since childhood and  uses writing as bubblegum for her over-active brain – to keep it out of  trouble. Fascinated by meaning, motivation and mystery, she studied Theology at university.

Over the last twenty five years, apart  from teaching in secondary school, S.E.Moorhead has attained a black  belt in kickboxing, worked as a chaplain, established a Justice and  Peace youth group, and written articles for newspapers and magazines  about her work in education and religion.

She still lives in her beloved hometown with her husband Seán and two sons.

What I Thought 
Crime isn’t my natural genre but I was totally drawn in by the tag line Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner. 
Kyra is immediately a loveable heroine who you can see has her heart in the right place. She has developed a mind reading technology that can delve into people’s memories – but it’s not quite ready for public consumption for a number of reasons, and she’s definitely not behind the use of it by force. 
And suddenly the killer is back, along with some horrifying memories she doesn’t need a machine to bring back to life. Kyra has a very personal reason to want them caught, and works with the police to see justice done. 
The writing is great, pacy and thrilling. The characters are intriguing: as well as directly hearing from Kyra we get to delve into the mind of the killer and the victim they are on the clock to save. 
Relationships are a vital plot point and there are a whole host of complex ones explored. 
The book is set in 2035 so it still has relevant references as well as new technology to make it both present and futuristic. And I always enjoy when the ethics of technology is explored well, which it is here.
I found it interesting that the memory device didn’t really come into real play until half way through so we got some “old fashioned” detective work thrown in the mix too. 
With some clever misdirection and just enough of the reader being steps ahead of Kyra this was an on the edge of your seat thriller that I would highly recommend. 
This was published on the 6th February so it’s out now. If crime, psychological thriller, and/or sci-fi are your bag you won’t want to miss this. 
Thank you to @TrapezeBooks  for the gifted copy for the purposes of an honest review. @semoorhead 

#40for2020 Reading Challenge

In the year 2018, the year they turned 40, four friends set up a reading challenge – #40yrs40bks. In 2019 it was #40morebks and now in 2020 it’s #40for2020. As always we are inviting you to join us.

Here are the prompts:

and a spreadsheet for you:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/luu59uu6qw0lvi0/AACLuC70pspArYV9yneBZdIca?dl=0

I still have a few books to go on my 2019 challenge so I’ll do a round up of that when it’s completed. One thing I’ve confirmed this year is that I am very much a mood reader so this time I’m not going to plan out what books I’m going to read and stick rigidly to that but go with the flow.

As ever this is your challenge so interpret the prompts as you like… and Happy New Reading Year 2020.

Who is joining us?

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