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My (Secret) You Tube Life By Charlotte Seager

My (Secret) You Tube Life‘My (Secret) You Tube Life’ is the latest book by Charlotte Seager.

YouTuber LilyLoves has an amazing life: a rockstar boyfriend, a totally Insta-worthy London flat and a collection of beauty products that seems to grow daily (thanks, PO Box). Sixteen-year-old Melissa’s life is way less amazing – LilyLoves is the only thing getting her through it. She’s Lily’s biggest fan and spends hours each night watching her videos and liking her posts. Melissa wants that life for herself – or at least to look like she has it. As Melissa starts to grow in confidence – and followers – she discovers a crushing secret about Lily – the ultimate YouTube lie. Does she share Lily’s secret and crush her fame? Or will they both continue to live a lie – both online and off?

This is Charlotte’s debut novel and it’s a really interesting and addictive story that I read in one sitting.

I’ve a keen interest in social media and influencers so for me, this book was the perfect book to curl up with, as it dealt with the positive and negative sides of having a following.

The story is seen through the narrative of LilyLoves, a hugely successful video blogger who has just reached three million followers on YouTube. To her followers, she has the perfect life, the perfect relationship, boyfriend and the perfect lighting to take the perfect selfie. But behind closed doors, her life is far from perfect, battling anxiety and self fear, LIly is trying hard to keep it together for her loyal following.

Meanwhile, 16 year old Melissa, is a huge fan of LilyLoves and believes everything that she reads and sees on social media and she aspires to be just like her idol. So, when she falls in with the popular crowd and gets herself a boyfriend, she uses this to her advantage and uses photographs and filters to create her own following.

I really enjoyed this book, it gives an interesting and realistic insight into the world of blogging and how much pressure there is to be seen as perfect. As it’s currently the number one job that children aspire to do, it shows the stress that people are put under to create perfection, it also shows shallow and reactive it is, as fans can change over the simplest thing and quickly become the enemy. I really liked Lily, she was a sweet woman, who’s hobby slowly took over her life and she was unable to decide what was real or purely staged for social media. She showed the immense pressure that influencers are put under by their audience to always maintain their perfect lives.

Mellisa is a regular teenage girl, who is obsessed with social media and is off a generation where communication is through memes and pictures. She wants to be sought after after and hopes with creating this made up life, that her audience and life will become real.

A story of filters, selfies and followers, ‘My (Secret) You Tube Life’ is an interesting story about the complexities of social media and how fickle and hateful it can be, when things don’t always go the followers way.

You can buy My [Secret] YouTube Life from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Victoria Walters Releases – Summer At The Kindness Cafe

Summer At The Kindness CafeWonderful news for Victoria Walters fans as her book series called ‘Random Acts Of Kindness’ is now being published as one book and under a new name called ‘Summer At The Kindness Cafe’

What the back cover says –

Welcome to Littlewood, a small town community with a big heart…

Abbie has fled London and the humiliation of not being able to make rent after being made redundant. Louise, unlucky in love, has thrown herself into her career at the local hospital. And Eszter, who has travelled from Hungary with her daughter Zoe, hoping to fulfill her husband’s dying wish… to reunite his family.

Can a little bit of kindness really change your life? Three very different women are about to find out when they make a pact to be kinder to others and to themselves.

You can pre-order the ebook now from only £2.99 from Amazon and the paperback will follow next year.

The Adults By Caroline Hulse

The Adults‘The Adults’ is the latest book by Caroline Hulse.

Claire and Matt are divorced but decide what’s best for their daughter Scarlett is to have a ‘normal’ family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did – and it’s too late to pull the plug. Claire brings her new boyfriend Patrick, a seemingly eligible Iron-Man-in-Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, their daughter, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Organized Fun activities, drinking a little too much after bed-time, oversharing classified secrets about their pasts and, before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends – where this story starts – with a tearful, frightened, call to the police…

‘The Adults’ is a deliciously fun and chaotic story about the antics of couples when they go on holidays with their new partners and children. Christmas should be a time of relaxation and fun, but not for Claire when her new partner, Matt organises a Christmas getaway with his ex-wife Alex and her new boyfriend Patrick and their daughter Scarlett and imaginary friend, a rabbit called Posey.

Dysfunctional from the start, the story offers a comedic and honest insight into modern families, trying to move forward and create a comfortable environment for the children without animosity and where Mummy and Daddy are friends.

The story is seen through the different narratives of the characters and this an interesting insight into everyone and their feelings towards the situation and each other. Scarlett is particularly entertaining with her imaginary friend Posey, much to the concern of her parents.

The story starts at the vital moment that a life changing situation happens and then flows back and forth in the past and present tense, which is very reminiscent of Liane Moriarty’s writing.

A witty and past paced story about the politics of family, ‘The Adults’ is a cleverly written and well observed story of family dynamics and how nothing can ever go quite to plan, no matter who much you prepare.

You can pre-order The Adults from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 23rd August 2018.

The Brighton Mermaid By Dorothy Koomson

The Brighton Mermaid‘The Brighton Mermaid’ is the latest book by Dorothy Koomson.

Teenagers Nell and Jude find the body of a young woman and when no one comes to claim her, she becomes known as the Brighton Mermaid. Nell is still struggling to move on when, three weeks later, Jude disappears. Twenty-five years on, Nell is forced to quit her job to find out who the Brighton Mermaid really was – and what happened to her best friend that summer. But as Nell edges closer to the truth, dangerous things start to happen. Someone seems to be watching her every move, and soon she starts to wonder who in her life she can actually trust.

After stumbling upon a dead woman on the beach who later became known as the ‘Brighton Mermaid’, Jude and Macy haven’t been able to move on from the appearance of the mysterious woman that no one knows. Obsessed with the ‘Brighton Mermaid’, Jude suddenly disappears one day and Macy’s father becomes the prime suspect in the case, even though he maintains his innocence. For years, Macy’s family is tortured, particularly by one detective who is convinced that he is guilty.

Years later and often wondering about what happened to her best friend and the young woman on the beach, Macy decides to commit her full time to finding people and helping people track long lost family. But, when she decides to investigate the case, finds herself and those around her in jeopardy.

When it comes to Dorothy, she knows how to write a clever thriller with strong heroines and suspense riddled throughout. Like her previous novels, this book is written in the past and present tense and is seen solely through the narrative of Macy and her older sister Nell. Even though the pair of them are close and have been there for each other during the difficult times, there’s an underlying tension between them. Nell has never fully forgiven Macy for discovering the ‘Brighton Mermaid’ and for bringing so much trouble and heartache to their door. Macy has never gotten over the loss of her best friend and often wonders what she could have done differently.

The chapters of the book are short and tense, so it’s easy to get absorbed in one sitting. Both women are independent and complex characters with hidden secrets that could potentially pull the pair of them apart. I loved Macy, she had a strong spirit and sense of humour that immediately made me warm to her. Suspenseful and full of paranoia through, ‘The Brighton Mermaid’ is a simmering and intensive read about obsession and relationships, where nothing is what it seems particularly when it comes to families.

You can buy The Brighton Mermaid from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

My favourite Psychological Thriller Book-To-Film Adaptations By Sam Carrington

Sam Carrington By James HuntleyOn the book tour for Sam Carrington’s new book called ‘One Little Lie, Sam talks about her favourite book to film adaptations.

I chose to write in the psychological thriller/crime genre because I am fascinated by the human mind and love nothing more than exploring the darker side of our nature. So, it probably goes without saying that I also love watching psychological films! I have hundreds of DVDs and can watch my favourite films again and again. (Weirdly, I have only ever re-read one book so far in my life – and that was To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – but don’t tell anyone).

I do still consider myself to be a ‘book person’, though, and if a book has been made into a film, I have generally much preferred the book. It’s still my dream that one of my novels will be adapted for the screen someday – I can only imagine how amazing it must be to witness your characters truly coming to life. With each book I’ve written, I’ve had a ‘dream cast’ in my head who would, in my opinion, be the best at playing each of my characters.

But, despite usually favouring the book, I have enjoyed some film adaptations immensely. Here, in order of preference, are my top five:

Shutter Island – is a best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane published by HarperCollins in April 2003. It became an American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo Dicaprio in 2010. I loved the twists and turns in this movie and that ending was a real ‘wow’ moment!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – is the first book in the trilogy known as the Millennium series written by the late Stieg Larsson and published in Sweden in 2005. It became a Swedish thriller in 2009 and was also a Hollywood film adaptation in 2011. I watched both versions and much preferred the Swedish one. Lisbeth Salander was one of the most original characters I’d read about and I wondered how well she’d be played. I think her brilliant, yet damaged character, transferred well to the screen and Noomi Rapace did a stellar job and even looked just as I’d imagined Lisbeth to look.

Gone Girl – is a psychological thriller by Gillian Flynn. It was published by Crown Publishing group in June 2012. The film was released in 2014 directed by David Fincher and written by Gillian Flynn, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. I enjoyed the book, although it did take me a while to get into it – but I actually liked the film more! (Now, THAT doesn’t happen very often). I thought Amy’s character was well portrayed by Pike, she captured her disturbing nature perfectly. Of course, having read the book first, I knew the twist – but it didn’t stop my enjoyment of the film and there was a scene that even I found shocking! The ending has been discussed a lot by readers of the novel – and was somewhat controversial. But I like that.

The Girl on the Train – is a psychological thriller novel by Paula Hawkins, published by Doubleday in the UK in 2015. The film was released in 2016 with Emily Blunt taking the lead role of Rachel, and although the location changed from England to the USA (which I think was a shame) I was pleasantly surprised with the how the film managed to stick quite closely to the book.

Along Came a Spider – the first novel in James Patterson’s series about forensic psychologist Alex Cross was first published in 1993. It was adapted into a film in 2001, starring Morgan Freeman as Cross. The film received very mixed reviews, mainly due to the fact it failed to include some of the key plot points from the book. However, as film adaptations go I thought it was a good one and it kept me interested from the outset. And anyway, can Morgan Freeman ever do a bad film?

You can buy One Little Lie from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 6th September 2018.