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The Agathas By Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Dawson

The Agathas‘The Agathas’ is the latest book by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson.

After falling from grace last summer, Agatha Christie-obsessed Alice Ogilvie needs to stay out of trouble. While smart and reclusive Iris Adams just wants to get the hell out of Castle Cove. But now they have a murder to solve. There are clues the police are ignoring, a list of suspects a mile long and some very dangerous cliffs. Amateur detectives Alice and Iris are about to uncover just how many secrets their sleepy seaside town is hiding.

If you enjoy Young Adults novels with a side of mystery, then look no further as the wittily named ‘The Agathas’ is for you!

The story is seen through the narrative of Alice and Iris, who attend the same school in Castle Cove but are complete opposites. Alice Ogilvie was once part of the popular school gang called ‘the mains’ whilst Iris Adams sits on the outside with the other nerds. She and her mother struggle for money and making ends meet, so when the opportunity arises for Iris to get extra funds by tutoring Alice, she jumps at the chance. But their tutoring are put to one side when one of Alice’s former best friends, Brooke is found dead and Alice’s ex-boyfriend is accused of her murder.

The story then flows between the characters as the pair of them embark on finding Brooke’s killer as well as finding out somethings about themselves along the way. I really enjoyed this story, it’s dark, relatable and reads like a traditional whodunnit but from the fresh approach of teenage girls.

Both Alice and Iris are great characters, although polar opposites in life, they have a respect for each other’s lives. Where Iris has poverty, she has a mother who loves her dearly and where Alice has an absent family, she has an abundance of wealth at her fingertips. Their determination to solve the crime much to the local police’s despair along with the Alice’s love of Agatha Christie novels really made for entertaining reading. Alice has had some issues in her past life and because of this has lost her status at the high school and this makes for sad reading when former best friends turn on her.

As well as some great lines from and tips from Agatha Christie novels, there were also the inclusion of text messages and communications from students at the the high school. This insight gave the bitchy, gossipy side from teenage girls, cliques and how malicious rumours can harm lives.

This story is the first book written by writing duo Kathleen Glasgow and Elizabeth Lawson and it was written wonderfully, I’d love to know more about the writing process of the book, whether they each played a character or simply wrote alternating chapters.

A story filled with murder, good old fashioned mystery and packed with hormonal teenagers and gossip, ‘The Agathas’ was a tremendous book and I look forward to reading more from this writing duo.

You can buy ‘The Agathas’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Allured By You By A.D Graves

Allured By You‘Allured By You’ is the latest book by A.D. Graves.

In the quiet town of Cherry Hills, Colorado, life gets stirred up for sixteen-year-old Bridget Bulgari. When the tranquil community gains new residents Bridget quickly develops an addictive interest in the girl next door. Seventeen-year-old Veronica Delacroix is uprooted from her life and thrown into a whole new world. She has the opportunity to reinvent herself, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. Bridget, fascinated by Veronica, monitors her at all times. However, when her obsession begins to spiral out of control and Veronica’s life is put in danger, Bridget discovers if she has the strength to do what needs to be done.

I hate writing reviews about books that I didn’t particularly and sadly this was the case with ‘Allured By You’.

Initially I was excited about this story, as I really enjoy Young Adult books and thought the premise was great but I really struggled with the story.

The story is seen through the narrative of Bridget who develops an obsession with her new neighbour Veronica. Veronica begins an emotional and physically abusive relationship with Jamie which Veronica watches from her bedroom window. It’s whilst obsessing over Veronica that Bridget starts a new relationship with Danny, the son of her family’s maid and they rapidly fall in love and he also takes part in watching Veronica. And whilst Veronica’s parents are away working in Syria, Bridget volunteers to tidy the house whilst they’re away, using this as an opportunity to get closer to Veronica.

The main struggle I had with this book was Bridget, I disliked her immensely. Her obsession with Veronica was intense and as much as she wanted to be Veronica’s friend, she stood by and watched her be repeatedly beat up, never intervened or behaved like the friend she aspired to be. Her obsession verged on voyeurism and the graphic details of the fights as well as Veronica’s substance abuse as well as self harm make for unsettling reading. I also found Bridget’s relationship with Danny, quite condescending as she brought him to the fanciest restaurants and expected his life to fit seamlessly into hers.

‘Allured By You’ is a dark, twisted story of obsession that the potential to be a gripping story but unfortunately that wasn’t the case for me.

You can buy ‘Allured By You’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Momentous Expiration of Tremmy Sinclair By Michael F. Stewart

The Momentous Expiration of Tremmy Sinclair‘The Momentous Expiration of Tremmy Sinclair’ is the latest book by Michael F. Stewart.

Seventeen years old. Rich. Hot. Captain of the Drone War team. Head prefect of a surreally elite boarding school. Tremmy is dying.His illness strips everything from him—including the support of his teachers and friends who once nurtured his bright future. Worst of all, his best friend’s meteoric rise has come at the expense of Tremmy’s spectacular fall. Far from going out with the bang he’d hoped for, Tremmy faces betrayal. But his illness has the power to expose the best as well as the worst of his school, his friends, and himself. Tremmy sets out to prove that the community he loves has to overcome its fear of death in order to truly begin to live. And Tremmy receive the momentous end he so fervently desires.

For a book that is marketed towards young adults, this book is hard hitting and reactive, so it’s good that it comes with a warning.

The story is seen through 17 year old Tremendous Sinclair, he’s got his whole life in front of him only to be diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. Once the popular and successful boy of the school, he’s been moved to the shadows as people fear dying is catching and all Tremmy wants to do is spend his last days with his friends.

This book is quite the emotional rollercoaster. I found Tremmy to be a fascinating character, now dying he has a fascination with death and wants to able to control his remaining time. As much as he fears death, he’s frank and honest and regularly rebuffs his parents idea of miracles happening. His family are extremely rich and think they can pay for a miracle. The story is a countdown to his last days and it’s terribly to read his slow demise from an athletic prefect to a frail young boy who still wants to go to school. It’s hard hitting in parts, how people rebel and behave towards him particularly the staff who describe the school as for the living and not the dying.

The book is dark in humour in parts, as Tremmy refers to his tumour as ‘Peanut’ that brings the odd smile to the readers face. It also touches on other issues such as bullying and peer pressure, these issues featured predominantly in scenes with Tremmy’s best friend Jenkins, who was jealous of Tremmy and uses Tremmy’s demise to his own advantage. He’s overpowering jock who doesn’t realise his actions until they are almost too late and he was least likeable character in the story.

This story is a story of courage, that really connects with the reader. The lead character is just starting out in life and instead of looking forward to university, is looking for help with assisted suicide and this really is sad reading. It’s also a reflective story as Tremmy makes amends for his wrong doings and apologises for his past behaviour.

Hard hitting, honest and poignant ‘The Momentous Expiration of Tremmy Sinclair’ is a tough read about no matter the wealth or class in life, everyone has an expiration date.

You can buy ‘The Momentous Expiration of Tremmy Sinclair’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

We Go On Forever By Sarah Govett

We Go On Forever‘We Go On Forever’ is the latest book by Sarah Govett.

Arthur is dying. He must transition within the next four weeks or face permanent memory loss. Alba is studying, preparing to impress the Mentors in an all-important interview. If she’s picked as the next Apprentice she will be reunited with her best friend and cross the Wilderness for the first time.They meet and everything comes together. And everything falls apart.

I’ll be honest when I initially started this story, I found it a bit hard to get into, but as the story progressed, I find myself hooked by this bittersweet dystopian story.

The story is seen through the narrative of Arthur and Alba, both from polar opposites of life. Alba is a young woman who’s her real name is F but her best friend calls her Alba due to the paleness of her skin. She lives in a world where she is waiting for her mentor. Whereas Arthur is living on borrowed time, he’s dying and he has to translation to another body, he thinks Alba is perfect until he realises that he’s fallen for her.

The story is a dark and bleak one that is reminiscent of now with people walking around with masks and gloves. Antibiotics no longer work, so people transition to other bodies, but not everyone is that fortunate and people like Alba are created to become to hosts to the lucky ones.

Once I initially got into the story, I liked the pace of it, alternating between Alba and Arthur and it was interesting to see both sides of the story, from the privileged to the naive and unknown. I loved Alba, she’s sweet with a kind heart who’s keen to see beyond the four walls that she’s restricted to and is fascinated by it all. I loved her interaction with Arthur and their tentative awe of one another made for sweet reading.

A story of friendship, hope and courage, ‘We Go On Forever’ is a genuinely moving and beautifully written story with a haunting conclusion that will take your breath away.

You can buy ‘We Go On Forever’ from Marotte Books and a signed copy of the book is available at no extra cost.

The Search Party By Simon Lelic

The Search Party‘The Search Party’ is the latest book by Simon Lelic.

16-year-old Sadie Saunders is missing.Five friends set out into the woods to find her. But they’re not just friends. They’re suspects. You see, this was never a search party. It’s a witch hunt. And not everyone will make it home alive.

I really enjoyed ‘The Search Party’ a fast paced whodunnit since from the narrative of the detective investigator investigating a young girl’s disappearance as well as her 5 closest friends, who are all suspects in the case.

The story revolves around the 5 friends going out on their own search party in the woods for their friend and then them telling their perspective to the police being interviewed. It’s during these moments, that you really see the different personalities come to light and shows the friction between the friends. The five friends are Mason; Sadie’s boyfriend, Luke; Sadie’s twin brother, Cora, Abi and Fash. It’s during this time whilst searching the tensions rise, opinions are voiced and the friends turn on each other especially when their phones are stolen and they feel that they are unable to trust each other.

The detective in charge, DI Fleet is under a lot of pressure to solve the mystery, as the search for Sadie is turning out to be one of the biggest and most expensive searches of all time. Even though, all fingers are being pointed at Mason, but he doesn’t believe it’s as clear cut as that and is determined to find the culprit. Fleet comes with his own baggage, having returned to his hometown for the first time in 17 years after the death of his sister and is working through a separation with his wife.

The book is a gripping and tense story and for me, read like a Young Adult novel. The troubled group of teenage friends all going through the hardship of losing a friend whilst battling with peer pressure, abuse and the pressure of social media. The multiple narratives gave an interesting slant to the story, with perspectives from Fleet including police procedures and the tension between the teenagers kept the reader on edge, as all of the supposed friends had issues with Sadie.

Atmospheric from the first page, ‘The Search Party’ is a well written and cleverly crafted thriller. With unreliable characters and everyone with a motive, this book is a compelling story with an ending that will take your breath away.

You can buy ‘The Search Party’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.