4 Stars Reviews

Review: Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

As the Second World War brews across Europe, Jack Miller seizes an opportunity to escape London, where he lives in poverty and loneliness. He joins an Arctic expedition as a wireless operator, and whilst he’s conscious of the class differences between himself and his crewmates, they quickly warm to each other. So when Jack ends …

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3 Stars Reviews

Review: Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo Del Toro and Cornelia Funke

Inspired by the film of the same name, Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke brings this nightmarish fairytale to book form. In Spain during the summer of 1944, the aftermath of the civil war plays out in the forests, in between the trees and under the cover of darkness. Republican rebels hide out in the woods, hunted by the capitán and his soldiers who make an old mill their base. Ofelia and her mother, who is heavily pregnant and very weak, arrive at the mill to be reunited with Captain Vidal, Ofelia’s new stepfather. Most do not take notice of her, the cruel capitán is irritated by her presence, but under the ground, creatures are stirring – they sense the return of the long-lost Princess Moanna. Ofelia discovers an overgrown labyrinth and meets the Fawn, who sets her three tasks to prove she is the missing Princess. Ofelia’s love of fairytales guides her, but things soon become far more sinister than they ever did in her storybooks.

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4 Stars Reviews

Review: Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s hugely hyped up novel, Daisy Jones & The Six, comes after the success of her 2017 hit, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Both play with an interview format, spanning the ups and downs of hugely successful celebrity icons. Daisy Jones & The Six follows the eponymous character, Daisy Jones, as she joins forces with rock band The Six to become one of the biggest groups of the 70s. Fuelled by sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll they embark on a rip-roaring career with a killer album and a sold-out tour to boot. But following one of their best shows, and at the peak of their success, they suddenly disband with no explanation, leaving fans heartbroken and bewildered. Decades later, the band and those close to them open up about what happened with Daisy Jones & The Six.

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2 Stars Reviews

Review: House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara

House of Impossible Beauties charts the lives of the drags queens that formed the beginning of legendary Latino drag house, the House of Xtravaganza. In 1980s New York City, Angel is seventeen and finally coming into her own. When her mother rejects her, she looks for a new family in the ball scene, where she meets Hector. They fall in love and decide to create their own all-Latino house, with Angel as the ruling mother, and Hector beside her as house father. When Hector dies from AIDs-related causes, Angel must mother her drag children alone. Venus, Juanito and Daniel all lean on each other and their mother Angel, as they learn how to navigate the ballroom scene, along with sex work, drug addiction, and society’s rejection of their true selves.

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5 Stars Reviews

Review: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Marie-Laure is twelve years old when the Germans occupy Paris, forcing her and her father to flee to the home of her great-uncle Etienne on the coast. Marie-Laure has been blind since she was six, so her father quickly sets to learning the town and building Marie-Laure a miniature replica so that she can find her way around – not that he allows her to leave the house, for fear of her safety. But her father is hiding a secret, and a valuable one at that. Over in Germany, the young orphan Werner is building and repairing radios and catches the attention of the military. He’s immediately enlisted and begins on a path that eventually collides with that of Marie-Laure, and changes their lives forever.

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3 Stars Reviews

Review: The Glass Woman by Carolina Lea

Rósa is sent to the remote Icelandic village of Stykkishólmur to marry Jón Eiríksson. His villagers distrust him deeply after the mysterious death of his previous wife Anna, and Rósa struggles to settle, isolated from everyone. She soon fears that the circumstances around Anna’s death were far more suspicious than she first expected, and she wonders if she may soon meet the same fate.

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5 Stars Reviews

Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

At the age of 79, the elusive Sixties Hollywood starlet Evelyn Hugo decides to tell the story of her life, on the condition that she speaks only to little-known writer Monique Grant. No one can quite understand why Hugo has chosen Monique, most of all Monique, but she jumps at a chance to kick-start her career with this scoop. As Evelyn unravels all her secrets, including the ins and outs of her numerous marriages, her story hurtles towards a tragic intersection with Monique’s own life, finally revealing why she was chosen to tell Evelyn’s story.

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5 Stars Reviews

Review: Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the years following World War Two. Though skilled at bookkeeping, she cannot find a job in the miserable Irish economy. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America–to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood “just like Ireland”–she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

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