Book Review: Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida

Book Review: Siri who am I by Sam Tschida

Publisher: Quirke

Date: 2020

Genre: General Fiction

Plot: Mia might look like a Millennial but she was born yesterday. Emerging from a coma with short-term amnesia after an accident, Mia can’t remember her own name until the Siri assistant on her iPhone provides it. Based on her cool hairstyle (undercut with glamorous waves), dress (Prada), and signature lipstick (Chanel), she senses she’s wealthy, but the only way to know for sure is to retrace her steps once she leaves the hospital. Using Instagram and Uber, she arrives at the pink duplex she calls home in posts but finds Max, a cute, off-duty postdoc supplementing his income with a house-sitting gig. He tells her the house belongs to JP, a billionaire with a chocolate empire. A few texts later, JP confirms her wildest dreams: they’re in love, Mia is living the good life, and he’ll be back that weekend.

But as Mia and Max work backward through her Instagram and across Los Angeles to learn more about her, they discover a surprising truth behind her perfect Instagram feed, and evidence that her head wound was no accident. Who was Mia before she woke up in that hospital? And is it too late for her to rewrite her story?

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Book Review: The Awful Truth about Sushing Prize by Marco Ocram

The Awful Truth about the Sushing Prize by Marco Ocram

Publisher: Tiny Fox Press

Date: 2019

Genre: Humour

Plot: Should I tell him about Sushing or play dumb?

Sticking in my comfort zone, I played dumb.

Writer Marco Ocram has a secret superpower—whatever he writes actually happens, there and then. Hoping to win the million-dollar Sushing Prize, he uses his powers to write a true-crime thriller, quickly discovering a freakish murder. But Marco has a major problem—he’s a total idiot who can’t see beyond his next sentence. Losing control of his plot and his characters, and breaking all the rules of fiction, Marco writes himself into every kind of trouble, until only the world’s most incredible ending can save his bacon.

Fast, funny, and utterly different, welcome to the weird world of The Awful Truth.

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Book Review: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott book cover

Author: Louisa May Alcott

Title: Little Women

Publisher: Scholastic

Date: 1868

Plot: The timeless tale of four sisters – Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth – experiencing both hardship and adventure in Civil War New England.

Though the March family may be poor, their lives are rich with colour, as they play games, put on wild theatricals, make new friends, argue, grapple with their vices, learn from their mistakes, nurse each other through sickness and disappointments, and get into all sorts of trouble. In this simple, enthralling tale, Louisa May Alcott created four of American literature’s most beloved “little women”.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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Book Review: Four Minutes to Save a Live by Anna Stuart

Four Minutes to save a life by Anna Stuart

Author: Anna Stuart

Title: Four Minutes to Save a Life

Publisher: Orion Publishing Group

Date: 2020

Plot: There’s always time to help out a stranger…isn’t there?

Supermarket delivery driver Charlie enjoys his new job because he doesn’t have to spend too long with people, who, he’s found, are nothing but trouble. But when he’s assigned the Hope Row street, he realises there are a lot of lonely people out there – and for some, he’s their only interaction.

The supermarket boss tells Charlie he’s a driver, not a social worker – but Charlie can’t abandon the Hope Row residents and he sets about trying to draw them out of their shells and back into the world. But will his helping hand make everything worse?

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Book Review: In the Heat of the Light by Stephen Kearse

In the Heat of the Light by Stephen Kearse

Author: Stephen Kearse

Title: In the Heat of the Light

Publisher: Kindred Books

Date: 2019

Plot: The book documents the rise and fall of an Atlanta graffiti crew. Set during a brutally hot Atlanta summer, the novel chronicles how each member of the crew reacts to the aftermath of their biggest tag, an audacious defacement of Georgia’s Stone Mountain. As the crew gradually unravels, two FBI agents attempt to untangle the knot of rage and confusion that led to the tag, surveying Atlanta’s underbelly in the process and becoming entangled themselves.

This novel explores the topography of Atlanta in vivid detail, dwelling in the city’s lesser-known corridors and assembling the city’s various ghosts — the Civil War, Jim Crow, the 1996 Olympics, the slum clearance of the 50s, and the Civil Rights Movement — alongside the city’s modern currents — gentrification, Black Lives Matter, traffic, and trap music. Five Atlanta teenagers choose between property and the commons when neither is immediately available to them, a heightened dilemma in this age of mass surveillance and income inequality.

Book review: In the Heat of the Light by Stephen Kearse
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Book Review: Dark Mother Earth by Kristian Novak

Dark Mother Earth by Kristian Novak

Author: Kristian Novak

Title: Dark Mother Earth

Publisher: AmazonCrossing

Date: 2020

Plot: As a novelist, Matija makes things up for a living. Not yet thirty, he’s written two well-received books. It’s his third that is as big a failure as his private life. Unable to confine his fabrications to fiction, he’s been abandoned by his girlfriend over his lies. But all Matija has is invention. Especially when it comes to his childhood and the death of his father. Whatever happened to Matija as a young boy, he can’t remember. He feels frightened, angry, and responsible…

Now, after years of burying and reinventing his past, Matija must confront it. Longing for connection, he might even win back the love of his life. But discovering the profound fears he has suppressed has its risks. Finally seeing the real world he emerged from could upend it all over again. 

Book review: Dark Mother Earth by Kristian Novak
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Book Review: The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

Author: Ruth Hogan

Title: The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Date: 2019

Plot: Masha is drowning. Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, her life has been forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds solace in the silent company of the souls of her local Victorian cemetery and at the town’s lido, where she seeks refuge underwater – safe from the noise and the pain. 

But a chance encounter with two extraordinary women – the fabulous and wise Kitty Muriel, a convent girl-turned-magician’s wife-turned-seventy-something-roller-disco-fanatic, and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice – opens up a new world of possibilities, and the chance to start living again.

Until the fateful day when the past comes roaring back…

Book review: The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan
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Book Review: The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

Author: Liv Constantine

Title: The Last Time I Saw You

Publisher: Harper Collins

Date: 2019

Plot: The internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish follows that success with an addictive novel filled with shocking twists about the aftermath of a brutal high-society murder.

Dr. Kate English has it all. Not only is she the heiress to a large fortune; she has a gorgeous husband and daughter, a high-flying career, and a beautiful home anyone would envy.

But all that changes the night Kate’s mother, Lily, is found dead, brutally murdered in her own home. Heartbroken and distraught, Kate reaches out to her estranged best friend, Blaire Barrington, who rushes to her side for the funeral, where the years of distance between them are forgotten in a moment.

That evening, Kate’s grief turns to horror when she receives an anonymous text: You think you’re sad now, just wait. By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll wish you had been buried today. More than ever, Kate needs her old friend’s help.

Once Blaire decides to take the investigation into her own hands, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems in Baltimore high society. As infidelity, lies, and betrayals come to light, and tensions rise to a boiling point, she begins to alienate Kate’s friends and relatives with her relentless, accusatory questions, as she tries to find Lily’s killer. The murderer could be anyone—friend, neighbor, loved one. But whoever it is, it’s clear that Kate is next on their list…

Book review: The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine
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Book Review: Her Husband’s Mistake by Sheila O’Flanagan

Her Husband's Mistake by Sheila O'Flanagan

Author: Sheila O’Flanagan

Title: Her Husband’s Mistake

Publisher: Headline

Date: 2019

Plot:Roxy’s marriage has always been rock solid.

After twenty years, and with two carefree kids, she and Dave are still the perfect couple.

Until the day she comes home unexpectedly, and finds Dave in bed with their attractive, single neighbour.

Suddenly Roxy isn’t sure about anything – her past, the business she’s taken over from her dad, or what her family’s future might be. She’s spent so long caring about everyone else that she’s forgotten what she actually wants. But something has changed. And Roxy has a decision to make.

Whether it’s with Dave, or without him, it’s time for Roxy to start living for herself . . .

Book review: Her Husband's Mistake by Sheila O'Flanagan
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Book Review: Suicide Club by Rachel Heng

Suicide Club by Rachel Heng

Author: Rachel Heng

Title: Suicide Club

Publisher: Sceptre

Date: 2019

Plot: Lea Kirino is a “Lifer,” which means that a roll of the genetic dice has given her the potential to live forever—if she does everything right. And Lea is an overachiever. She’s a successful trader on the New York exchange—where instead of stocks, human organs are now bought and sold—she has a beautiful apartment, and a fiancé who rivals her in genetic perfection. And with the right balance of HealthTech™, rigorous juicing, and low-impact exercise, she might never die. 

But Lea’s perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality, and instead chose to live—and die—on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it’s also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.

Book review: Suicide Club by Rachel Heng
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