From my previous review of John Allison's work, you'd be 100% correct in thinking I was a bit of a fan. I adored Giant Days as a spinoff from Scary-Go-Round, but Bad Machinery also presented me with an unexpected cast of characters to love, sticking to the slightly spooky-whimsical direction of its parent comic. I loved the team of child detectives, but perhaps my favourite shining star and hero was Lottie Grote - chaos with big hair, a mad genius and the human incarnation of the phrase "hold my beer."
I read this when I was feeling very stuck in a rut with my reading. This year has felt – for me at least – a lot harder in terms of trying to disconnect from life and really connect with some fiction. It was perfect.
I had been in a bit of a reading slump for the first third of this year or so. I was struggling to find the motivation to consistently pick up a book and finish it. It was taking me weeks to finish novels I would normally have polished off in a number of days. It was no reflection on the books, just that my brain - which had managed pretty well on reading last year, although a lot of that was interview prep - slapped the Time Out button and was just really struggling to grip onto things. This book was like a brain sorbet, a mental palate cleanser. It was sweet, and funny, and easy, and lovely, and I blitzed it like I used to blitz books in a couple of days.
Crazy Rich Asians was one of the books I reviewed in the first year of this blog and I adored it. After being swept away by the film, I was tickled and surprised by how much more biting the book was.
Author: Ronan Hession (twitter) UK Publisher: Blue Moose Books Genre: UpLit, contemporary fiction, literary fiction Leonard and Hungry Paul is the story of two friends who ordinarily would remain uncelebrated. It finds a value and specialness in them that is not immediately apparent and prompts the idea that maybe we could learn from the people … Continue reading REVIEW: Leonard and Hungry Paul – Ronan Hession
Author: Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (website / twitter) UK Publisher: Allen & Unwin Genre: Humour, contemporary fiction Just before her twenty-seventh birthday, Jazzy hatches a plan. Before the year is out, she and her best girlfriends will all have spectacular weddings to rich ang moh - Western expat - husbands, with Chanel babies to follow. As Jazzy - razor-sharp … Continue reading REVIEW: Sarong Party Girls – Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Author: Kate Mallinder (twitter / website) UK Publisher: Firefly Press Genre: Teen, contemporary fiction, coming-of-age After their exams, four sixteen-year-old best friends pledge to live a summer regret-free, doing what they want to do however much it scares them: Sasha agrees to spend the holiday with her father in Geneva, having not seen him for … Continue reading REVIEW: Summer of No Regrets – Kate Mallinder
Author: Candice Carty-Williams (website / twitter) UK Publisher: Trapeze Genre: Comedy Drama, contemporary fiction Release Date: 11th April 2019 Queenie Jenkins can't cut a break. Well, apart from the one from her long term boyfriend, Tom. That's definitely just a break though. Definitely not a break up. Then there's her boss who doesn't seem to see her … Continue reading REVIEW: Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams
Author: Kevin Kwan (twitter / website) UK Publisher: Corvus Genre: Contemporary fiction, satire Buy Now: ebook | paperback When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his … Continue reading REVIEW: Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan
Author: Sophie Page (website) UK Publisher: Arrow/Cornerstone Digital Genre: Romance, contemporary fiction Buy Now: ebook | paperback Bella Greenwood isn't a fairytale girl. If pushed, she'd probably tell you that her perfect wedding would involve a handful of close friends and family. But as she's never met anyone she'd like to marry, it's a moot point. … Continue reading REVIEW: To Marry a Prince – Sophie Page