Blog Tour | Love and Other Human Errors by Bethany Clift

Thank you to Steven and Hodder and Stoughton for the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for Love and Other Human Errors and also for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

An unforgettable story about love in all its chaotic glory from the author of Last One At The Party

A book synopsis is fundamentally ridiculous. How can I possibly convey, in only 100 words, the events of the past year and their impact on my perfectly ordered existence?

It is insufficient space to accurately detail how I was blackmailed into demonstrating my flawless algorithm to find a soulmate, despite having no desire for one. 

In my former life I avoided trivial human connections. I was alone, accomplished and brilliant.

Unfortunately, that solitary and driven woman no longer exists.

My name is Indiana Dylan and this is the extraordinary account of how I fell in love.

There: 100 words exactly.

Review

Love and Other Human Errors is a wonderfully original, unpredictable story about love and what it is to be human.

The story begins in September and ends in January, followed with an update Eight Months Later. The story covers each month alongside some additional poignant events such as Christmas Day and New Years Day.

It is told through the first person perspective of three characters, Indiana, Lina and Jack. You gain a real insight into each character and their personalities are fiercely unique and distinguishable right from the start.

Indiana is immediately honest and straight to the point, characteristics that made me drawn to her straight away. She grows so much as a character as the novel progresses and I thoroughly enjoyed being alongside her for the journey.

Lina and Jack alongside Frank, Alan and Peggy are all brilliant and I loved each of them. They bring a lot, both to the story and to Indiana’s world. They’re all wonderfully likeable and create such a wonderful ‘cast’. The character’s histories are revealed slowly through the story and with each bit of information I loved them a little bit more. So exceptionally three-dimensional and brilliant.

The concept of TRU and the DataLet is fascinating. finding love through science is an interesting and unconventional idea which is thoroughly explored. Bethany Clift writes wonderfully and her attention to detail is incredible. The science focus and the mention of specific terminology had me learning from the outset. The in-depth descriptions of code and computers, combined with the brutal world of business and marketing is fascinating and I enjoyed it. I found myself learning little bits along the way and it was all very clever!

The reimagined London and other details accrued within the country’s state of affairs in 2030 was an interesting perspective. I enjoyed the faux history lessons and the imaginative, yet extremely realistic, detailing.

There are multiple topics and stereotypes which are broken within the novel and it’s timeframe which is extremely refreshing. The candidness and normalising of breastfeeding was something I enjoyed reading about as, personally, I have found it’s not often present in fiction outside of novels centred around new Mum’s.

Love and Other Human Errors is an emotional ride that’s worth taking. It’s creative, fascinating and a downright lovely read. It’s out now from Hodder and Stoughton. You can purchase a copy using the link below, and also help to support independent bookstores.

Bookshop.org

Note: This is an affiliate link. If you purchase via this link, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

Until next time,

Blog Tour | Smorgasbowl by Caryn Carruthers

Thank you to Becky and Lit PR for the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for Smorgasbowl and for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

About The Book

Smorgasbowl isn’t only a fun word to say, it’s a fun way to cook and eat. Smorgasbowls are a simple and effective way to create meals that inspire. When stuck in an uninspired food rut or accommodating food allergies, creating smorgasbowls will free you. Using bowls, sauces, toppings, interesting cooking methods and even leftovers you will learn to create delicious and exciting meals using the four pillars of bowl building detailed in the book.

You’ll be a master of unique and crave-able recipes like: Apple-Chickpea Kale Salad with Orange-Mustard-Dill Dressing, Spiced Cauliflower with Beans, Slaw and Vegan Ranch Dressingand Roasted Veggie and Millet Bowl with Anchovy-Walnut Dressing. Your journey to the exciting and delicious world of eating smorgasbowls starts here. Let’s begin!

Review

Smorgasbowl is an interesting and unique recipe book, perfect for expanding cooking with the added bonus of being free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar.

The book’s layout is clear and concise, with information on Smorgasbowl’s themselves, examples, equipment, recipes, and more! A thorough manual of all you will need to successfully adopt a new style of cooking.

Caryn Carruthers provides you with the four pillars of a Smorgasbowl, four key things which create balance in your dish. I found this really interesting and it’s evident Caryn really knows what she’s talking about and has created a fantastic concept.

There are a multitude of examples for the four pillars, starting with basic ingredients examples and then expanding to recipe examples. I really like that you’re given direction but once you’re familiar with the idea then you can easily adapt, alter and even create your own recipes.

The photos, which are spread through every page of the book are a combination of arty culinary shots, ingredients and the recipes themselves. Vibrant and clear images really entice you in and if you weren’t already hungry, you definitely will be by the end.

Having a book filled with recipes that are both gluten and dairy free, with the added bonus of no refined sugar, was a real treat for me. It’s rare to find something which covers both my needs, and more. It definitely opened my eyes and brought me out of a rut. Being restricted by foods can be tough at times but having something which opens your eyes to new ways of looking at food was brilliant and I know the book will continue to be used in my house!

A collection of recipes for breakfast, salads, entrée’s and even sauces, it really does cover a wide variety. There’s definitely something for everyone, whether your looking into different food options, stuck in a rut, cooking for someone with allergies or even just fancy trying something new, I’d recommend checking out Smorgasbowl.

Smorgasbowl is out now from Radicle publishing.

Until next time,

Blog Tour | Isaac and the Egg by Bobby Palmer

Thank you to Alara and Headline for the opportunity to be part of the blog tour and also providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

Isaac stands alone on a bridge and screams.

Something screams back.

And that, like everything which follows, is unforgettable.


This is a book about a lot of things – grief, hope, friendship, love. It’s also about what you’d do if you stumbled into the woods at dawn, found something extraordinary there, and decided to take it home.  

It’s a tale that might seem familiar. But how it speaks to you will depend on how you’ve lived until now.

Sometimes, to get out of the woods, you have to go into them. Isaac and the Egg is one of the most hopeful, honest and wildly imaginative novels you will ever read.

Review

Isaac and the Egg is a completely unique read, navigating grief and loss from an original perspective.

The story is told in two parts: Part One Egg and Part Two Shell. It’s separated out into pivotal elements, almost like a hard egg and a broken shell.

I found myself instantly drawn to Isaac, with his sadness being only part of him. I immediately felt his emotions regarding the egg and how he straight away treasured it, wanting to protect it by giving it its own seatbelt in the car.

The history of Isaac and his past is really well inspersed within the novel. The pages tell his story and delve in slowly, as we learn of him bit by bit. Gaining more information about his character in both timelines, really creates a broad picture of him as a person. Before and after combine beautifully to create an interesting, emotionally-driven story.

The egg is a cute and interesting, alternative character, which I really enjoyed. I definitely found it opened my eyes to the concept of the egg and what it represented by the end of the book, as I originally found it quite difficult to grasp.

As the story unravels, more information is given to a reader about what has caused Isaac to feel so low. It’s a real emotional blow, followed by further blows and surprises. A real winding road of discovery!

The little surprises within the typesetting were just brilliant and made me eager to see what would be next. My personal favourite was the whole page of type shaped like an egg, such a creative idea.

An extremely original and open portrayal of grief and loss, Bobby Palmer has a real way with words. Despite the more eccentric concept of a character which is a literal egg, there are many ways in which it feels like a truly natural occurrence within Isaac’s world.

Like nothing I’ve ever read before, and probably like nothing I will read again! Isaac And The Egg is out now from Headline. You can purchase a copy using the link below, and also help to support independent bookstores.

Bookshop.org

Note: This is an affiliate link. If you purchase via this link, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

Until next time,

Book Review | All About Evie by Matson Taylor

Thank you to Matson, Scribner and Squadpod for sending me a copy of All About Evie in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

1972. Ten years on from the events of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth and Evie is settled in London working for the BBC. She has everything she’s ever dreamed of (a career, a leatherette briefcase, an Ossie Clark poncho) but, following an unfortunate incident involving Princess Anne and a Hornsea Pottery mug, she finds herself having to rethink her life and piece together work, love, grief and multiple pairs of cork-soled platform sandals. 

Ghosts from the past and the spirit of the future collide in a joyous adventure that sees Evie navigate the choppy waters of her messy twenties. Can a 1960s miseducation prepare her for the growing pains of the 1970s?

Big-hearted, uplifting, bittersweet and tender, All About Evie is a novel fizzing with wit and alive to the power of friendship in all its forms.

Review

All About Evie is a wonderful, emotional yet humorous and uplifting novel.

The story is told through two timelines, Summer 1972 alongside interludes from the past in Yorkshire, Edinburgh and Nepales. I varied expanse and an interesting selection of locations, all thoroughly relevant to the path of the story.

Evie’s funny personality and humour returns right from the outset. Her mischievous ways causing chaos from the first page. Returning to her ten years after The MisEducation of Evie Epworth felt like returning to an old friend! Joining her as an adult and ‘catching up’ with her life was a joy.

The day-to-day life within the novel is really realistic and I could vividly imagine Evie going about her days. I truly felt as if I was alongside Evie going about her daily life and tagging along with her mishaps and wins. The characters are all lovely and I was pleased to ‘see’ some returning favourites, Catherine and Mrs Swithenbank to name a couple, which were a very welcome addition.

Evie’s romantic endeavours and poor choices of men across the years are mainly fleshed out in small boxes relating to words or locations mentioned in the main novel. I feel like they really added to our understanding what I’ve we’ve missed in her life, but also made her seem like I realistic 20-something and allowed us to gain further insight into what’s going on in her mind.

Matson Taylor’s wonderful writing really took me to the early 1970’s with his descriptions and vivid details. Despite not having experienced the era for myself, I really felt like I was immersed in it. Quirky details were not forgotten and I feel like it was well represented.

Accompanying Evie around London was a delight and I really enjoyed being caught up in her whirlwind. A truly unique and lovely character who I’m happy to have had the pleasure of meeting again! All About Evie is out now from Scribner.

You can purchase a copy using the link below, and also help to support independent bookstores.

Bookshop.org

Note: This is an affiliate link. If you purchase via this link, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

Until next time,

Blog Tour | This Wild, Wild Country by Inga Vesper

Thank you to Anne and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for This Wild, Wild Country and for sending me a proof copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

Three women. An isolated town. A decades-old mystery.

They hate me down there, in Boldville. I can read it in their eyes, smell it on their noxious breaths. That dreaded little town hates everything about me: not just my personality and form, the clothes I wear, but the way I think.
The things that I know.

1933. Cornelia Stover is headstrong and business-minded – not the kind of woman the men of Boldville, New Mexico, expect her to be. Then she stumbles upon a secret hidden out in the hills . . .

1970. Decades later, Joanna Riley, a former cop, packs up her car in the middle of the night and drives west, fleeing an abusive marriage and a life she can no longer bear. Eventually, she runs out of gas and finds herself in Boldville, a sleepy desert town in the foothills of the Gila Mountains.

Joanna was looking for somewhere to retreat, to hide, but something is off about this place. In a commune on the outskirts a young man has been found dead and Joanna knows a cover up when she sees it. Soon, she and Glitter, a young, disaffected hippie, find themselves caught up in a dark mystery that goes to the very heart of Boldville, where for too long people have kept their eyes shut and turned their heads away. A mystery that leads them all the way back to the unexplained disappearance of Glitter’s grandmother Cornelia forty years before . . .

Review

This Wild, Wild Country is an adventurous, compelling and unusual novel, featuring a string of brilliant female characters.

The story is told alternatively through Cornelia, Glitter and Joanna’s perspective. The location and date is initially written below so you know where and when they are in time. I found this assisted in the first introductions and I immediately grasped the characters differences. Each one has a very distinctive tone of voice and so it was easy to recall the situations and personalities etc. between chapters from the outset.

Glitter and Joanna’s separate, but combined timeline, make for an extensive view on the present day happenings in Boldville. Told from Glitter as a resident and Joanna as an outsider, and former cop-turned-investigator. The dynamic from the two seems like it shouldn’t work but it really does.

The friendship that develops between Joanna and Glitter, plus some of her hippie commune friends and relatives, is surprising yet also works so well. The two form a really great team and definitely show what being more open minded can occur. They both worked together and helped each other out across the board and it made for great reading.

Cornelia’s story provides the ‘origins’ and mentions some of the older characters when they were younger. The backstory provides history and combines the two timelines really nicely. Her voice is interspersed with her diary entries which create a fuller picture of her life. Her expedition is told through both means, fast forwarding through and also detailing parts accordingly.

Inga Vesper writes so well and I truly felt part of the narrative. Being immersed in America in both the 1930s and 1970s, particularly the latter and the hippie movement. Neither period being one I’m particularly knowledgeable on, and neither was I born, yet I feel like I was part of what was happening in Boldville. It felt like a lesson in history but also a wonderful story with great characters. The ‘baddies’ were perfectly bad and the ‘goodies’ were complete crime and justice fighting good.

The societal pressures and social injustice towards women, groups and racial minorities were unquestionably felt. The novel is filled with emotion and subtle, yet accurate, era related issues. At times these are extremely difficult and some tough topics are covered in a tactful manner, such as sexual assault and domestic violence.

The community really felt realistic and the characters truly believable. The divide between them is really well articulated and I thoroughly enjoyed the differing opinions and clashing of heads.

This Wild, Wild Country is out now from Manilla Press. You can purchase a copy using the link below, and also help to support independent bookstores.

Bookshop.org

Note: This is an affiliate link. If you purchase via this link, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

Until next time,

Blog Tour | So Happy For You by Celia Laskey

Thank you to HQ for the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for So Happy For You and sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

Robin and Ellie have been best friends since childhood. They’ve been through everything together, from Robin coming out to the death of Ellie’s dad. But when Ellie asks Robin to be her maid of honour, Robin is reluctant.

It’s not that Robin isn’t happy for Ellie, she just hates everything about weddings and marriage – plus the guy Ellie’s engaged to. There’s also the matter of the crazy (not to mention dangerous) wedding rituals that couples are resorting to in the hope of securing a lifetime of happiness.

Despite her misgivings, Robin finally says yes. But as the wedding day approaches, she gets the feeling that everyone in the bridal party is out to get her. And it seems Ellie is willing to do anything for the perfect day. After all, marriage is about sacrifice…

Review

So Happy For You is an interesting story focused on friendship, weddings and the pressure placed by society on women.

The story is told in two parts and both are told from the perspective of Robin. It begins with a story about the day she was asked to be Maid of Honor, and continues from there documenting her journey.

Split up between Robin reminiscing about the true details of her friendship in the past and the current build up to the wedding, you are truly a part of her world. Her thoughts are well articulated and there is never any second guessing her emotions. I took to her straight away and felt fully invested in the scenario from the outset.

Robin’s past is spoken of in a no hold-barred kind of fashion and I feel like we get to know her extremely well through the course of the book. This helped to further peak my interest and made her feel more three-dimensional. Her life is articulated in such detail that you feel a part of it. Her friendship group, opinions and relationship are all talked of in a no-holds-barred fashion. I found myself drinking in the details and even the obscure discussions, eager to learn more of Robin and her somewhat unorthodox situation.

The bridal party gone bad scenario instantly drew me in and the unusual friendship and continual slight tension and off behaviour between Robin and Ellie was fascinating. The friendship is discussed and analysed in minute detail and the good, the bad and the ugly is fair game, discussed in candid detail.

The raw unacceptance and honest conversations surrounding Robin’s sexuality were quite emotional. Especially the situation with her sister, it definitely made me feel for Robin. A portrayal that felt realistic and honest.

The facts about weddings that were dotted throughout, alongside various traditions were a fab addition and I enjoyed learning some trivia along the way.

There was some animal cruelty involved which was a bit graphic. I found it a bit hard to stomach, so just an F.Y.I to watch out for that, or avoid it entirely if you feel it may be too much for you.

So Happy For You is out now from HQ. You can purchase a copy using the link below, and also help to support independent bookstores.

Bookshop.org

Note: This is an affiliate link. If you purchase via this link, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

Until next time,

Monthly Wrap Up | July 2022

July was a definite mixed month, filled with a couple of reluctant firsts! I finally caught covid after 2+ years of avoiding it and felt worse than I have done in years. Looking after two littles when ill yourself is no joke, especially when they each start feeling poorly as the days go by! Secondly, I don’t think I can not mention the heatwave! We got 39 degrees here and wow, it was rough. I mean summer is my favourite season but honestly, that was just too much for me. Definitely a July to remember!

In terms of reading, July was slow! I think it was a combination between not feeling great for a week, being too warm and just generally being more busy now the boys require more of my attention. I didn’t take part in any blog tours but I read four books and reviewed two.

What I Read

Do No Harm by Jack Jordan

The Last Library by Freya Sampson (eBook)

All About Evie by Matson Taylor

So Happy For You by Celia Laskey

Book of the month

This has been a very tough choice as I read some great books this month, but, my book of the month is… All About Evie! I really enjoyed revisiting Evie and her world now she’s older. Her humour and wit return with a vengeance and, somehow, she’s even more likeable than before! If you haven’t read The Miseducation of Evie Epworth (my review can be found here) then I highly recommend it before embarking on All About Evie. You won’t be disappointed, she’s fabulous! My review of All About Evie will be up very soon, and I’ll also link it in this post so be sure to keep an eye out!

Going forward

I have quite a number of blog tours in August so I’ll definitely be posting more frequently to keep up with those. I’ve read one book already but I’ve got three more to go for tours alone, so it’ll be a busy month! I’m going to make sure I take some time to read books I’ve been eager to read from my shelf though as I still don’t do that enough.

As always, a huge thank you to the publishers and authors who provided me with a gifted copy of a book in exchange for an honest review. You’ll find their details tagged in each individual blog post, linked above. 

Until next time,