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Book Review: The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell

Title: The Shape of Darkness

Author: Laura Purcell

Length: 398 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Raven

Synopsis: When silhouette artist Agnes’s clients start being mysteriously murdered, she approaches Pearl, a renowned child spirit medium to try and make contact and reveal who killed them. But Agnes and Pearl soon discover they may have opened the door to something that they can never put back…

I know Laura Purcell is a hugely popular author, who many of my fellow bookstagrammers absolutely love, but I’ve never read a book by her before. So The Shape of Darkness is my first.

I really did enjoy this book. I found it super intriguing throughout and I can definitely say that Laura keeps her readers on their toes. I never knew what was going to happen and I absolutely love that.

We follow to main characters, Agnes and Pearl, as they team up to try and find out who is murdering Agnes’s customers. I really enjoyed the character of Agnes. From the start I just connected with her. I felt for her. It took me a little while to connect with Pearl, but I can definitely say she is an interesting character. There characters arcs and the way they connect is so interesting.

The Shape of Darkness is wonderfully gothic. It’s at times dark, and I’m not going to lie to you at times I was very creeped out. This book is really atmospheric. It’s also meticulously researched, you can tell. The detail Laura goes into about Agnes’s job as a Silhouette artist is phenomenal. It’s such an interesting aspect to the story.

I said earlier that this book is intriguing and keeps you on your toes and it’s true. You just never know where the story is going to go. And I will say I didn’t expect it to go that way. At all. I was so shocked. I won’t give anything away as I know so many of you are going to read this book, but you’ll know what I’m talking about when it happens.

I can’t recommend this book enough, it’s a wonderfully gothic, intriguing story with some character depth. I don’t think you’ll forget this book once you’ve read. Now you’ll have to excuse me, I’m off to buy Laura’s other books!

Thank you so much to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out January 21st.

Until the next review

JTH

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ARC Book Review: All The Young Men by Ruth

Title: All The Young Men

Author: Ruth Corker

Length: 304 pages

Publisher: Orion

Synopsis: In 1986, 26 year old Ruth visits a friend in hospital when she notices that the door to one of the hospital rooms is painted red. She witnesses nurses drawing straws to see who would tend to the patient inside, all of them reluctant to enter the room. Out of impulse, Ruth herself enters the quarantined space and immediately begins to care for the young man who cries for his mother in the last moments of his life. Before she can even begin to process what she’s done, word spreads in the community that Ruth is the only person willing to help these young men afflicted by AIDS, and is called upon to nurse them. As she forges deep relationships with the men she helps, she works tirelessly to find them housing and jobs, even searching for funeral homes willing to take their bodies – often in the middle of the night.

All The Young Men was a book I’d seen some of my bookstagram friends have this book, so I was lucky to be sent a copy of from the publisher.

This is a tricky book for me to review because it’s a memoir and it’s always strange to review a memoir because it’s someone’s life. But unfortunately for me, this book just missed the mark.

I’m not saying it’s a bad book, but with it’s subject matter I just think it could’ve been really profound and moving but it was just meh. There’s a few reasons why it didn’t work for me, so let’s chat about them.

In this book Ruth talks about her experiences with gay men, that are often in the last hours of their life dying of AIDS, but I just found their was no emotional connection. Especially in the beginning, you didn’t get to know any of the men and it just felt a bit rushed. Towards the end of the book, you got to know the men a bit more and I found it more emotional, but it just didn’t work for me.

It was very informative about AIDS and it really highlights the horrific symptoms and the shocking treatment that AIDS patient received in the 1990. It does highlight how far we’ve come in our attitudes and science.

The book was mix between the men the author meet and her own personal life. For me the balance was off, but I don’t know why. Is it bad to say I just wasn’t that interested in person life? I know that does sound bad but it’s the truth. I just had no emotional connection to any part of this book.

And the ending was so strange and abrupt. I turned the page and couldn’t believe it was over. And then there was the epilogue that was packed full of the authors personal life but it was rushed. I just didn’t get it.

I don’t know if I’d recommend this one. Like I said it didn’t have the right balance for me, but I did like how informative it was.

Thanks to Orion books for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest unbiased review. It’s out January 21st

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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Book Review: How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

Title: How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

Author: Cherie Jones

Length: 320 pages

Publisher: Tinderpress/Headline

Synopsis: In Baxter’s Beach, Barbados, Lala’s grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister, a cautionary tale about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers. For Wilma, its the story of a wilful adventurer, who ignores the warnings of those around her, and suffers as a result. When Layla grows up, she sees it offers hope – of life after losing a baby in the most terrible of circumstances and marrying the wrong man. And Mira Whalen? It’s about keeping alive, trying to make sense of the fact that her husband has been murdered, and she didn’t get the chance to tell him that she loved him after all.

I am so thrilled to be on the blog tour for this amazing book, make sure to check out my these other reviews

Let me state this now, I absolutely loved this book. I loved it so much. I had high hopes, but this book surpassed them in every way. It is absolutely one of my favourite reads of the 2020, there is no doubt about that. It was in my top 10 of the year for 2020. It’s the book I’ve been recommending to everyone. So I’m absolutely recommending it to you. It’s brilliant.

I don’t want to say to much about the plot of this book, I want you to experience it for yourself. How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House (can I quickly mention what a fantastic title that is) is at times heartbreaking and it also at points made my stomach drop. It’s so immersive and I was absolutely enraptured from the beginning, I really was. It’s beautiful, it has something to say

We follow multiple perspectives in How The One-Armed Woman Sweeps Her House and they are all fantastic. I mean, my heart now belongs to Lala. Lala is one of our main protagonists along with Mrs Whalen. They are brilliant and complex. There’s also Adan and Tone. All the characters are so well crafted. I also loved how Cherie, mentioned characters throughout this novel and then they got their chapter perspectives and they are brilliant. It made the whole book feel so connected. My favourite is character that you get a snippet of is Sheba.

How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House is the kind of book you can’t stop thinking about. I would be baking cakes at work and thinking of Lala. Or be thinking about where the plot was going to go. Or how I wanted to get home and read it. It’s also the kind of book you tell everyone about. I was telling everyone at work about this. Most of them don’t read (sad I know) but I just had to let them know about this book and how it was consuming all my thoughts.

The writing is absolutely phenomenal, Cherie has such a wonderful way with words. Chapter 25 is a masterpiece. The writing is just so assured. It’s so powerful and emotive. There are also some really tough moments in this book, but Cherie handles them so honestly. This is Cherie’s debut and it’s one of the best debuts I’ve ever reads. It’s so assured. I just think this book is outstanding. I don’t reread books but I know I’ll be rereading this one, just to experience the beautiful writing again.

By the end of this novel, if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough. There was so much building up towards the end and there was such an atmosphere. I couldn’t believe what was happening and Cherie paced it perfectly. I won’t say anymore. All I’ll say it didn’t disappoint me in anyway. I also had to put the book down and really take in what happened. Ugh, it was so good.

I can’t recommend this book enough. Could you tell I loved it? Please read it. It’s a powerful, intimate debut that is unforgettable. I’m already looking forward to what Cherie writes next.

Thank you to Antonia at Tinder Press for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out on January 21st.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: Love is a Revolution by Renée Watson

Title: Love Is A Revolution

Author: Renée Watson

Length: 289 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Ya UK

Synopsis: When Nala reluctantly goes to an open mic night for her cousin-sister-friend Imani’s birthday, she finds herself falling in instant love with Tye Brown, the MC. Tye’s perfect, except… he’s an activist and Nala would rather watch movies and try out new ice cream flavours. So, in order to impress Tye, Nala tells a few tiny lies so she’ll have things in common with him. But as they spend more time together, those lies become harder to keep up. As Nala falls deeper into her lies she’ll learn live can be hard, but also self-love is truly revolutionary.

Love Is A Revolution is a sweet, funny, romantic and brilliant book that was such a quick read. I couldn’t put it down. It was full of fantastic messages and great characters.

I was really looking forward to reading this book and was very lucky to receive a proof copy.

This book is full of brilliant characters. I absolutely loved Nala. I loved the journey she goes and seeing her growth. I also loved her sense of fun, we don’t actually see that enough in YA. I loved Imani too. I loved how they were both empowered young black women, who celebrate it and I think that will be inspiring for a lot of people.

I also loved the representation of body image. Both Nala and Imani are plus sized, but it’s not important to them, they know there’s so much more to them than their weight and I love that message. This book is full of important messages.

My favourite thing about this book is the relationships. Of course the romance between Nala and Tye was swoon worthy. Oh it was so good. I was willing them to be together. I also loved the friendships too. The friendship between Nala, Imani and Sadie was really organic and heartfelt. And I loved Nala’s relationship with her Grandma. Renée really created some believable connections between them.

I loved the message of self love and gratitude towards the end of the book. I think it’s really important and I hope a lot of people that read this book will really get something out of it. I also loved how Renée dealt with it in the book.

Love Is A Revolution feels fresh, especially the ending. I love the ending. I thought it was going to be a bit predictable, but it wasn’t and I liked that. It really solidified the message of the book and made me like Nala even more. I couldn’t recommend it more.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Book Review: Here The Whole Time by Vitor Martins

Title: Here The Whole Time

Author: Vitor Martins

Length: 267 pages

Publisher: Hodders Children’s books

Synopsis: Felipe doesn’t believe someone like Caio could ever fall for someone like him. But over the next fifteen days, everything will change…

If you read my blog they’ll you know I read a lot of queer books and I’ve often said that so many of them are the same, but finally we have one that is different. Shall we talk about why?

In Here The Whole Time, we see a plus sized person that is the main character and it’s so refreshing to see. They are also the love interest. It’s so refreshing to read a character in a queer book that is real. And they’re not a high school student that somehow looks like a super model.

I absolutely loved this representation. It’s necessary and important. In all of queer YA books the characters all look like supermodels with fantastic bodies but in Here The Whole Time Vitor has given a voice to people that don’t fit into this absurdity. It’s brilliant to read. It’s also wonderful to see how Felipe confidence blossoms.

It’s full of fantastic characters. As I said Felipe it a great character. He’s so likeable and funny. Caio is also great. I also really loved Felipes mum Rita and Becky they are a real highlight of the novel. They were brilliant. I found myself caring for all of them.

We’ve got a slow burn romance and it’s a good one. A really good one. It was so sweet and romantic and it just made me swoon. I absolutely loved it. I was willing them to get together. They had real chemistry and it felt organic. I loved when Felipe gave Caio the book. I mean who doesn’t want to be given books right?

I loved this book. I loved it’s important message about self love and standing up for yourself. Of course I had to have a little cry at the end.

I definitely recommend this book. It’s a must have for any queer shelf on your bookcase.

Thank you so much to bmkr for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now I’m eBook and comes out in paperback January 7th.

Until the next review

JTH

blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

December Wrap Up

Phew, December was not a great reading month for me. It got off to a bad start when i DNF’d two books, which I never do. Although I’m not going to actually class them as proper DNF’s because i do plan on picking them up again at some point. And then I think it took me nearly two weeks to finish my first book. It’s not like me at all.

I finally did get going and I finished five books this month, which isn’t very many for me, but as well know its not the amount you read, its what you learn from each book and how much you enjoy them.

So lets talk about the five books shall we?

First I read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This has been on my shelf for a long time and I had high expectations but ultimately it was disappointing for me. I know people love this one, but for me it just had so much missing. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t my favourite. I’m gutted I didn’t love it, but there’s plenty more books on my shelves.

Up next I read Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green. This was my favourite of the month, I loved it. I love what Simon is doing for Queer UKYA. It’s a sweet, funny road trip romance between to young boys with an important message. You can check out my full review here.

Thirdly, I read All The Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks. This just wasn’t it for me. It’s a memoir, but I’m struggling to see what the intentions of the book was. The balance was just totally of for me. Thank you to Orion for my copy and its out on January 21st if you’d like to check it out.

Then I read The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. This was a brillant historical fiction book. If you loved The Nightingale by this author, you’ll love this one. It’s got a gripping story and characters you’ll love. It had me crying at the end. Thank you so much to panmacmillon for my copy of this book. It’s out February 2nd.

Lastly, I read insatiable by Daisy Buchanan. This to was a really important book. It’s modern, it’s filthy and it has a brilliant message. It definitely made me laugh out loud a few times. Thank you to Sphere books for my copy. It’s out February 11th.

So that’s it for my reading month. Let’s hope in January I can get my reading mojo back. Especially as I’m back in lockdown and what am I going to do besides read?

Until the next review

Jthbooks

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Top 10 Books of the year.

Well my friends 2020 is finally over. Finally. Shall we all breath a collective sigh of relief. It’s been a tough year hasn’t it? But I always try and look at the positive side of things, and being in a nearly 4 month long lockodown I have managed to read more books than ever before. I had a lot of time on my hands.

Throughout this year I had books. Books that let me discover new worlds while I was stuck inside. Books let m meet new characters while I was stuck inside. They’ve been a gift to me. Of course my reading had dips when I just couldn’t manage to pick up a book.

I’ve read some brilliant books this year. Absolutely brilliant. I’ve loved them. There’s been new found favourites, books that surprised me, books with writing that has moved me. There’s definitely an eclectic selection of books here which I love. There’s some young adult books, queer books, literary fiction.

So shall we talk about these books? Just to clarify they are in no particular order.

1) The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr

I knew I was going to love this book, but I didn’t know I’d love it this much. It’s a masterpiece. It’s genius. It’s the book I’ll recommend to everyone. The writing is stunning beautiful. It’s sublime. I’m already planning on rereading this one next year. It’s truly a work of art. It’s out on January 5th. You can read my full review here.

2) The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Everyone was recommending this to me and I’m so glad I read it. It pulled me out of a reading slump and it changed my life. It had me crying through at its sheer beauty and honesty. It’s a Young Adult book but I think it should be required reading for everyone. What a message. I love this book so much.

3) How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

This one took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. Cherie creates such real characters that stay with you. It’s the book I was talking to all my friends about at work. It had me gripped from start to finish. It’s truly a wonderful piece of fiction. I won’t forget these characters or the book for a long time. What a brilliant debut. I’m on the blog tour for this one, so look out for my review on January 17th.

4) Camp by L. C. Rosen

I adore this book. It’s the book I needed as a teenager, i still needed as a 28 year old. It’s got brilliant representation and it shows you all kinds of queer is valid and worthy and i think that kind of representation is important. Of course its funny, romantic and a brilliant story. You can check out my full review here.

5) Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

This fantasy book stole my heart. I loved the characters, the story and the African inspired world Jordan has created. It’s so much fun, its got a brilliant message of Black Girl magic and its so captivating. I want more. I’m basically just spending my time waiting for the sequel to come out. You can check out my full review here.

6) The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwartz

I’m sure this is going to be on a lot of people’s lists this year and its got a firm place on mine. It’s just a brilliant, moving book that is so original and enthralling. Addie and Henry just take up a place in your heart. And what an original concept. I can’t wait to read more from Schwab as this was my first book from them. You can read my full review here.

7) Girl In The Walls by A. J. Gnuse

This is not my usual type of book but I absolutely loved it. What an original premise. It’s so clever and the author makes it so believable. It had me on the edge of my seat, and my heart was pounding and I just had to know how it would end. Surprisingly emotional also. I really loved this book. It’s out in March and I can’t recommend it enough.

8) Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

I just think this book is so important. Once again showing how important representation is. Of course its entertaining and you’ll enjoy the characters but this book at its core has something to say. It’s just brilliant. You can check out my full review here.

9) Kingdom Tide by Rye Curtis

Now, I didn’t expect this book to be on the list but as I came to write this blog post I realised I couldn’t stop thinking about this book. Then I realised I’d been thinking about it all year. I remember the brilliant writing and the characters and the powerful connections between. And that to me is a sign of a great book. I read this back in January. You can check out my full review here.

10) Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez.

I read this early on in the year and just knew it would make it on the list. I loved every page. It has so much to say on queerness and race in the uk. It’s so captivating and beautifully written and I’d love more people to read this one. It’s stunning. I’ll look forward to whatever Paul writes next. You can check out my full review here.

So there we have it. My top 10 books of the year. And what a crazy year its been. But I’m so thankful to these books for letting me escape inside them and keeping me sane.

Have you read any of these? Or do you plan to? Let me know in the comments.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, historical fiction, interview, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Top 10 Queer books of 2020

Has this been the year I’ve read the most queer books I’ve ever read? Yes, yes it has. Does that make creating a top ten list very hard? Yes. Yes it does. Am I still going to do it? Yes. Yes I am.

2020 has been the year I’ve really expanded my queer reading. As a white gay man, I was mainly reading stories by white gay authors about white boys falling in love. But I’m pleased to say my queer reading has really diversified this year. I’ve read more queer books by black authors, more sapphic books, some queer fantasy, some books by trans and non binary authors. Books like these will only get published if we support them.

So lets talk about the queer books shall we? (These are in no particular order)

1) The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr. This is the most incredible book. It’s the queer historical fiction book I’ve been waiting for. It’s heartbreaking, its life affirming, its got the purest and the most intimate love story I’ve read in a long time. It’s a love story between two black slaves, its never been dove before and it needed to be. It gives a voice to queer history.

2) The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. This book is phenomenal. It had me in an absolute flood of tears. It is so beautifully written. It just captures all those feeling of being a young gay person and feeling lost. It truly is brilliant. I think this book should be required reading for everyone. And it’s got some beautiful poetry in too.

3) Camp by L. C. Rosen. I adore this book. It’s the first book I read that tackled toxic masculinity. It was the first time I read a book that saw femme guys as the love interest and I think its so incredibly powerful. It’s the book I wish I had when I was younger. It’s also incredibly fun and entertaining. It’s also got a wonderful love story.

4) Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender. This book is so powerful. It’s the kind of book that will capture your heart and educate you at the same time and to me that great fiction for you. It follows are trans big who is the main character, who is the love interest and that kind of representation is so important. I know this book has helped so many people. Please read this one if you haven’t.

5) Hideous Beauty by William Hussey. This is an incredibly addictive and thrilling young adult book. I read it in one night. I’ve never done that before. I just couldn’t put it down. It’s got a mystery you just want to know the answer to and a sweet lovely. I’m looking forward to Williams next book. You can check out my full review here.

6) You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson. This is a brilliant young adult contemporary novel that celebrates black girl magic and the first time falling in love. The romance between the two girls is so adorable and charming, but this book as has an important message. You fly through it and be left wanting to read more from this author. You can check out my full review here.

7) All Of My Friends Are Rich by Michael Sarais. This book is wild and sexy and provocative but underneath it all it has a really important message about mental health and the pressures we all face, and I think the author highlights these all so well. It’s an honest and emotional account that had me crying by the end of this book. You can read my full review here.

8) Boy Queen by George Lester. This is such a wonderful book about finding yourself and finding the courage it takes to do what you want. In this book again, we see a femme boy at the centre of the story and I love it. This kind of representation matters. All there’s some fantastic drag featured in this book that is so much fun. You can check out my full review and an interview with George here.

9) Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez. I read this one at the beginning of the year and its stuck with me. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking look at growing black and queer in Britain. It’s written beautifully and will stay with you. I’m looking forward to what Paul writes next.

Swimming In The Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski. Another book I read earlier in the year that has stayed with me. It’s such a beautiful, intimate love story between two me in Poland. It’s got a goodbye that’ll make you cry. It’s such a beauty of a book. You can read my full review here.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, queer, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

5 Books to read in 2021

With 2020 coming to an end (I know we all can’t wait right?) I figured it’s time to start talking about some books that are coming out next year. You can never be to prepared can you?

I’ve been lucky enough to be sent some proof copies for next year and in today’s blog post I’m going to talk about some of the ones I’ve loved. I will be doing a post about ones I haven’t read yet but I still want you to know about.

So let’s talk about the books shall we?

First up we have The Prophets by Robert Jones jr from Quercus Books and this out on January 5th. This book is probably my most anticipated book of 2021 and I consider myself very lucky to Have an early copy. I can’t tell you how incredible this book is. It’s outstanding. It’s firmly a new favourite of mine. I’m going to have to read it again just to fully take everything in. The writing is absolutely stunning. STUNNING. This available for preorder now and it’s out January 5th. I urge you to pick this one up.

Synopsis: Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was they way it was since to beginning, and they way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a space of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man – a fellow slave – seeks to gain favour by preaching the masters gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is now seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony.

The next one is How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones. This one is out January 21st from Headline Books. I didn’t know what to expect when I picked this one but I absolutely adored it. It is so engrossing. The characters are so beautifully crafted. And the ending is such a page turner. It’s truly a brilliant debut. Its out January 21st.

Synopsis: In Baxter’s Beach, Barbados, Lala’s grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister, a cautionary tale about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers. For Wilma, its the story of a wilful adventurer, who ignores the warnings of those around her, and suffers as a result. When Layla grows up, she sees it offers hope – of life after losing a baby in the most terrible of circumstances and marrying the wrong man. And Mira Whalen? It’s about keeping alive, trying to make sense of the fact that her husband has been murdered, and she didn’t get the chance to tell him that she loved him after all.

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson from Viking Books UK out February 4th. This is a short novel but it packs a punch. The writing is absolutely phenomenal. Phenomenal. It’s such an intimate look into the life of a young black man in the UK. It writing like this that makes the book unforgettable. Out February 4th.

Synopsis: Two young people meet at a pub in South East London. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both now are artists – he a photographer, she a dancer – trying to make their mark in a city that both celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence.

Then we have Girl In The Walls by A. J. Gnuse from 4thestate and it’s out March 4th. This is a book I can’t stop thinking about. It went above and beyond my expectations. And at times I was genuinely scared. It’s got that kind of ending where you’ll be turning those pages as fast as you can. My heart was genuinely pounding. It’s that’s good. Out March 4th.

Synopsis: Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the Walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what. Eddie is a teenager now, almost a grown-up. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his fierce older brother senses her, too, they are faced with the question of how to get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists. And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite into their home?

Lastly is The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. I finished this just last night and I loved every page. It’s an epic tale with brilliant characters that really capture your heart. If you loved The Nightingale then you’ll love this one. And yes I can confirm you’ll be weeping at the end. I definitely was.

Synopsis: Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli has finally found the life she’d yearned for: a family, a home and a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all that she and her community hold dear, Elsa’s world is shattered to the winds. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonising decision of her life. Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Lorena and Ant, west to California in search of a better life.

So there you have it, five books that are coming out early next year. And they are all brilliant. I loved every single one, each in there own way. I can’t recommend them enough to you.

Are any of these books on your tbr? Have you been intrigued by any? Comment and let me know.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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Book Review: Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green

Title: Heartbreak Boys

Author: Simon James Green

Length: 405 pages

Publisher: Scholastic Uk

Synopsis: Jack’s summer of love just became the summer of dumped. Nate is newly out and newly broken-hearted. Together they’re on a mission to prove to the world (or at least Instagram) that they are totally over their exes. But between dismal campsites and clapped-out camper vans, is there a sparkle of something that might change this summer from Insta-fake to forever?

December has been a rough reading month for me but thankfully Heartbreak Boys came along and saved my reading month and made me remember that I actually enjoy books.

In Heartbreak Boys we follow Nate and Jack, who after finding out their boyfriends have been cheating on them, rekindle their friendship and go on a road trip with Nate’s family.

The first thing I’m going to talk about is how much I loved the characters. Nate has my whole heart. I wanted to look after him, I want to give him a hug, I wanted to be his friend. And then there’s Jack, all I can say is Jack is a way cooler Jack than I will ever be and one day I hope to be authentically myself as Jack in the book is. Also, we love Rose for her side comments and is it weird I’d like to spend the day hanging out with Mrs Nate?

The story is told through two perspectives and Simon has created such individual characters that you never get mixed up which character you’re reading and I love that. Simon really does write fantastic characters.

This book is full of both heart and humour. You can really feel Nates heartbreak at being cheated on and how both the boys deal with it. It’s really emotional to read. Of course there’s a wonderful slow burn romance that I was so swooning over. It was such a good one. It was so quiet and tender, which made it super believable. They’ll be together forever and won’t have any problems and no one can convince me otherwise. Rose is incredibly funny, as is Mrs Nate after she smokes a ‘special cigarette’. Hilarity happens on the road trip of course. Simon can really write comedy. It’s a laugh out loud book.

Throughout the book, Simon subtly tackles toxic masculinity and living in a heteronormative world without ever mentioning it and I think it’s incredibly important. Towards the end of the book Jack considers turning down his personality in order to make other people more comfortable, to be less queer and thankfully he doesn’t do it but it really highlights how queer people are treated. It’s shows young kids, hell anyone reading it, that you are perfect the way you are and you are valued and you deserve love. I think it’s brilliant.

I love what Simon is doing for UKYA book, especially queer UKYA books. I would’ve loved books like this when I was a teenager and I’m so glad to read them and I still enjoy them just as much because Simon is a brilliant writer.

I loved this book, I couldn’t put it down. It’s a super easy, quick read filled with love, fun and, an important message. I loved ‘Alex in Wonderland’, I loved ‘Heartbreak Boys’, I’m excited to read ‘Noah Can’t Even’ and ‘Noah Could Never’. Simon also has a new book called ‘You’re The One That I Want’ coming out in June 2021 that I’ll definitely be picking up.

Until the next review

JTHBOOKS