19 Oct 2014



Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh. Melanie is a very special girl. Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year.

When I'm trying to describe this book to people I always describe it as The Walking Dead meets Matilda - and as soon as you read it you'll see exactly what I mean.

It's very difficult to review a book when you want to keep all the twists and turns as fresh as shocking for the next reader as it was for yourself... All I will tell you is the bare bones, which is this:

The Girl With All The Gifts is set in a post-apocalyptic England where a deadly virus has destroyed most of the population - what becomes of these people, and how Melanie ends up in the midst of it all is brutal, terrible, and infinitely fascinating. It is honestly one of my favourite books of this year, and one of the best thrillers I have ever read. It is also one of the first sci-fi books to make it on the the Waterstones Book Club. That takes a lot.

So remember: The Walking Dead meet Matilda. And if that doesn't intrigue you enough to go out and pick it up then more fool you because it's definitely an experience worth having.

Please note: this book is not suitable for younger readers, and is so awesome your heart might stop. Or explode. I take no responsibility for either occurrence.

16 Oct 2014


People are keeping secrets from Oli - about where his father is, and why he hasn't come to join them at his uncle's house in the country.

But Oli has secrets too.

He knows what lives in the attic. Eren - part monster, part dream, part myth. Eren who always seems so interested, who always wants to hear more about Oli's life. Eren, who needs to hear stories to live, and will take them from Oli, no matter the cost.

Eren is one of the strangest books I have ever read, and it's a debut that's one of the most unique and exciting stories I've read this year.

When Oli's Mum moves him away from his London home he begins to feel isolated from his life. He goes to live at his Uncle's house and when exploring the attic meets a very strange creature... Eren. Eren feeds off stories of all sorts, and the more detailed and imaginative the better. They make him stronger. He begins to take over everything in Oli's life.

Eren is really a story about what happens when children are protected from the hardships of adult life. By not telling Oli what is happening with his Dad or why they had to move to London, Oli's imagination begins to take on a life of his own, spreading from simple storytelling to reconstructing his own history with the detail and flourish that Eren keeps pushing him for.

Storytelling affects everyone. Everything is an interpretation of the truth and affects the way we see ourselves and our histories. It can bring magic and wonder, sometimes giving us new ways to see situations, to understand and explore emotions.

Eren is a beautifully produced fairytale for both adults and children, about the power of imagination and how easily it spills into and influences our everyday lives.
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