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Snakeskins by Tim Major – Blog Tour Book Review

Synopsis

Caitlin Hext’s first shedding ceremony is imminent, but she’s far from prepared to produce a Snakeskin clone. When her skin fails to turn to dust as expected, she must decide whether she wishes the newcomer alive or dead.

Worse still, it transpires that the Hext family may be of central importance to the survival of Charmers, a group of people with the inexplicable power to produce duplicates every seven years and, in the process, rejuvenate. In parallel with reporter Gerry Chafik and government aide Russell Handler, Caitlin must prevent the Great British Posperity Party from establishing a corrupt new world order.

About the Author

Tim Major has authored You Don’t Belong Here, Blighters and Carus & Mitch, The YA novel Machineries of Mercy, the short story collection And the House Lights Dom, and a non-fiction book about the silent crime film, Les Vampires. His shorts have appeared in Interzone, Not One of Us and numerous anthologies including Best of British SF 2017. He is co-editor of the British Fantasy Society’s journal, BFS Horizons.

What I Thought

This book has such an intriguing premise. A proportion of the population have been “given” special abilities as Charmers. Every seven years they shed like snakes and rejuvenate their original bodies meaning they live longer than ordinary humans. Usually the skin lasts only a short time before disintegrating into ash. But Caitlin’s skin stays, is clearly displaying human emotion and is taken away by the government…

The very government who have cut the U.K. off from Europe, call themselves The Great British Prosperity Party and appear to be Charmer led. Russell works for one of the ministers and gradually starts to uncover the truth.

Gerry is a journalist who is also working to tell the real story and Caitlin is just trying to come to terms with what being a Charmer means and why much of society is against them. Suspicion and lack of understanding, thinking all Charmers are the same!

A biting social commentary, a mysterious thriller and engaging characters to root for. Tim Major has created something pretty unique. I don’t think we’ll ever look at politics the same way after the last few years and this book contributes to that unease.

Thank you to Lydia at Titan for gifting me a copy of this book for the purposes of an honest review.

Snakeskins is out now.

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Reader, I Married Me! By Sophie Tanner – Blog Tour Book Review

Synopsis

Based on Sophie Tanner’s true story comes a fresh twist on the traditional love story.

Chloe Usher has just broken up with the love of her life. All her friends urge her to find another man before she disappears down the slippery slope to spinsterhood. After a particularly messy date and several gins, she decides that she doesn’t need an ‘other half’ to complete her and announces that she is going to marry herself. The news goes viral and, in the sober light of day, Chloe finds herself thrust firmly into the public eye to the embarrassment of her friends and family. Planning her wedding solo takes Chloe on a bumpy journey of self-discovery, as she realises why wish away your life waiting for ‘the one’ when YOU are, in fact, the one?

About the Author

Sophie Tanner writes fiction as well as working as a digital PR and content consultant. She lives in sunny Brighton with her bumptious Labrador, Ella, a more romp away from the beach. She loved spending time outdoors in nature and is also a bit of a culture vulture; lapping up the buzzing arts scene. Eternally studious, Sophie enjoys meeting people and having new experiences; she’ll try anything… at least once. Instagram: @thesologamist, website: http://www.imarriedme.co.uk

This novel has a strong personal story, as it was inspired by the author’s own sologamist wedding in 2015! For Sophie, realising that she didn’t need a soul mate in order to be truly happy was her biggest life lesson. She learnt that treating herself with self-compassion and realising that she was enough, just as she was, has made her infinitely happier!

What I Thought

This was a really fun read with an important and empowering message. Whilst I am not likely to commit to marrying myself in a big ceremony (the cost!!) I am definitely on board with the principles behind it – self-compassion and self-love.

The characters felt real and were well observed. I loved the Brighton setting. I also enjoy being a step ahead of the main character and did guess a few things before she worked them out. Just a word of warning always check out abbreviations on online dating sites!!!

As you can expect poor Chloe doesn’t get 100% support behind her venture and the online trolls are matched by some real life ones too. Media attention and a film crew bring additional complications.

As well as the fun there is some serious stuff too and the communication between Chloe and one blog reader was very emotive.

The character Muriel, the older lady Chloe befriends as part of a work’s community charitable engagement was one of my favourites.

This is written in first person and it’s very engaging. Chloe comes across as likeable and very sane in a world where single women are still seen as spinsters and crazy cat ladies.

This is a book fans of Holly Bourne’s Spinster Club series can move on to enjoy. I highly recommend it. It’s a feel good feminist read, with great social commentary on a number of issues.

Thanks to Alex from Orion for my gifted copy for the purposes of an honest review. Published by Trapeze today – 16/5/19.

Love And Other Things to Live For by Louise Leverett – Blog Tour Book Review

Synopsis

‘I don’t smoke, barely drink, have never experienced casual sex

so, this will be the tasting menu for new discoveries’

Meet Jess, an aspiring photographer living in London. With a newly broken heart, she’s facing a battle between the past and the future, choosing between having a life, or making a living – finding her feet or spreading her wings. Ultimately, she must ask herself: who is she really living for?

Bored of bottomless brunches and swiping right, Jess is looking for something a little more from London life. After quitting law school to pursue her dreams of becoming a photographer, Jess is determined to lap up every fresh experience the city has to offer, especially when it comes to love.

Yet Jess refuses to tackle this brave new world alone.
This is a book for everyone with a girl squad or in desperate need of one. This is about women coming together to tackle today’s world, taking the hand of those either side, saying the words loudly, together…rock my tribe.


About the Author

Louise Leverett graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London on a full scholarship, before moving on to study at the Lee Strasberg Institute of Film in New York. Since establishing her own business ‘Rock the Tribes’ she is now working on a collection of writings that will eventually be turned into adaptations for screen.

You can find her on the web at http://www.rockthetribes.com or @louiseleverett

Louise on writing Love And Other Things to Live For

What I Thought

This book wasn’t quite what I was expecting from the synopsis. There was slightly more romantic love in it. Now considering that is the largest word on the cover it shouldn’t really have shocked me. I guess as a single woman I was expecting an ode to being on your own and surrounded by good friends.

Instead this book is a much more nuanced look at the many varieties of love – friendship love, romantic love and most importantly self love. It’s about navigating and negotiating life and dreams. And this was what spoke most to me.

Friendship Love

“The collection of people whom you choose to ride the wave with: the truth-tellers, The heart-menders, my people to live for.”

Jess lives with Amber “life is a little less scary knowing she is on my side”.

Sean is “a jester in a cashmere cardigan” and a listening ear.

Marlowe “She is perfect and I am a mess.”

Jess picks up other friends on the way through her story. Sometimes we don’t see her best friends for a while but they are always there when needed and that’s what true friendship is about. We also get to find out about their lives and challenges too and even get some of the story from their points of view.

Romantic Love

“In a sexually charged game of cat and mouse, it can sometimes be hard to know when to stop running.”

Charlie is the man from her recent break up and he remains a presence in Jess’ life even though she meets and dates other men.

Self Love

“For the first time I wanted something that was within me.”

Jess has decided law is not her desired career path and that she wants to be a photographer but that’s not a job you can just walk straight into either.

This story is about working out and following dreams, the trials and tribulations of working in the creative industry, balancing your needs with the needs of a partner and having good friends around to help you put your jigsaws together. It is beautifully written and clever and definitely deserves a re-read with less expectations. Much like life deserves to be experienced rather than planned.

Love And Other Things to Live For was published on 18th April. I was gifted my copy for the purposes of an honest review.

Check out the rest of the blog tour to see what everyone else thought.

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