Review: ‘Grown Ups’ by Marian Keyes

Thank you to Netgalley and Michael Joseph Publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Marian Keyes has a certain gift for writing alluring family drama. I know this for a fact because I’ve never really considered her novels “my thing”, what with the networks of secrets threatening to break apart already complex relationships – and yet there I was, utterly engrossed in the Casey family’s dysfunction. Honestly, it was difficult to focus on anything else for the three short days I spent reading Grown Ups.

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Review: ‘Craigslist Confessional’ by Helena Dea Bala

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

A collection of forty anonymous stories, Craigslist Confessional is the passion project of a D.C. lobbyist with a desire to fulfil a fundamental human need: to have one’s story heard. Helena Dea Bala’s story begins not with the ad she posted on Craigslist offering to listen (anonymously and without charge) to secrets people felt they couldn’t share with anyone, but rather with her own experience of confessing her own problems to a homeless man outside her work. The conversation prompted a realisation of the dissonance between her internal reality and the person she presented externally to the world: “I felt inherently dishonest,” she writes in her introduction. “And, I often thought, if I couldn’t be honest with others, how could I be honest with myself? Had I gotten so warped, so sucked into playing the role of the perfect daughter, the perfect employee, the perfect girlfriend, that I could no longer tell my genuine life from the one I was projecting?”

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Review: ‘Sashenka’ by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Winter, 1916: In St Petersburg, Russia on the brink of revolution. Outside the Smolny Institute for Noble Young Ladies, an English governess is waiting for her young charge to be released from school. But so are the Tsar’s secret police… Beautiful and headstrong, Sashenka Zeitlin is just sixteen. As her mother parties with Rasputin and […]

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Review: ‘Verity’ by Colleen Hoover

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish. Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready […]

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Review: ‘Code Name Verity’ by Elizabeth E. Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943 – A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun. When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret […]

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Plagiarism in Publishing

Studying Literature at university may not make me an expert (yet or maybe ever, who knows?) on all things academia, but one thing I can be certain of is my extensive knowledge about plagiarism. Although, in all fairness, this knowledge came about more from my experiences as a tutor than as a student myself. I […]

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Review: ‘The Winter Soldier’ by Daniel Mason

Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives, at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains, he finds a freezing […]

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Review: ‘The Price Guide to the Occult’ by Leslye Walton

When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Instead, guilt and fear led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona invoked the privileges of a witch; she cursed them. But such a spell always comes […]

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Review: ‘A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities’ by Mady G and JR Zuckerberg

In this quick and easy guide to queer and trans identities, cartoonists Mady G and JR Zuckerberg guide you through the basics of the LGBT+ world! Covering essential topics like sexuality, gender identity, coming out, and navigating relationships, this guide explains the spectrum of human experience through informative comics, interviews, worksheets, and imaginative examples. A […]

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Review: ‘Red Sister’ by Mark Lawrence

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade […]

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