INSTRUCTIONS FOR A SECOND-HAND HEART – TAMSYN MURRAY

31760965Instructions For A Second-Hand Heart by Tamsyn Murray
Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd.
Genres: Contemporary, YA, Romance
For fans of: The Fault in Our Stars, If I Was Your Girl, stories that deal with illness, disability and depression
My rating: 3 stars out of 5

Jonny isn’t like “normal” teenagers. Every day he wakes up in hospital, kept alive by a machine. Every day he wonders if this is the day they’ll find a donor match for his heart. Every day he wonders if this is the day he’ll die.

Every day, Niamh fights with her “perfect” brother Leo. Every single day, Leo wins. Every day, Niamh dreams of a life without Leo. But all that changes on the day of the accident: the day EVERYTHING falls apart.

This is a story about facing the future no matter how frightening. This is a story about healing your heart, no matter how much it hurts.


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THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE | THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE #1

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The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Published by Del Rey
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, YA
For Fans of:  Uprooted, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cruel Beauty
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.


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WAVE – SONALI DERANIYAGALA

16269945Wave: A Memoir of Life After The Tsunami by Sonali Deraniyagala
Published by Virago
Genre: Memoir, Non-fiction,
For fans of: books that will give you Sads, stories about surviving grief and healing
My rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

On the morning of 26 December 2004, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala lost her parents, her husband, and her two young sons in the tsunami that she miraculously survived.

In this brave and searingly frank memoir, she describes those first horrifying moments and her long journey since. She struggles through the months following the tragedy, furiously clenched against a reality that she cannot face and cannot deny. Then, over the ensuing years, she emerges reluctantly, slowly allowing her memory to take her back through the rich and joyous life she’s mourning, from her family’s home in London to the birth of her children, to the year she met her English husband at Cambridge, to her childhood home in Colombo.


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CHINAMAN THE LEGEND OF PRADEEP MATHEW – SHEHAN KARAUNATILAKA

img_20170213_180102Chinaman The Legend of Pradeep Mathew  by Shehan Karunatilaka
Published by Penguin Random House India Pvt Ltd
Genres: Fiction, Sports and Games
Rating: 4/5
Post Book Thoughts: I need to read more local literature stat!!!!

Retired sportswriter W.G. Karunasena is dying. He will spend his final months drinking arrack, upsetting his wife, ignoring his son, and tracking down Pradeep S. Mathew, an elusive spin bowler he considers the greatest cricketer to walk the earth.

On his quest to find this unsung genius, W.G. uncovers a coach with six fingers, a secret bunker below a famous stadium, an LTTE warlord, and startling truths about Sri Lanka, cricket and himself.


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FUNNY BOY – SHYAM SELVADURAI

1075662Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
Published by Penguin India
Genres: Historical fiction, Coming of Age, LGBTQIA
For fans of: diverse books, bittersweet stories of coming-out in times of war.
My rating: 4 stars out of 5

In Shyam Selvadurai’s remarkable debut novel, a boy’s bittersweet passage to maturity and sexual awakening is set against escalating political tensions in Sri Lanka during the seven years leading up to the 1983 riots. Arjie Chevaratnam is a Tamil boy growing up in an extended family in Colombo. It is through his eyes that the story unfolds and we meet a delightful, sometimes eccentric, cast of characters. Arjie’s journey from the luminous simplicity of childhood days into the more intricately shaded world of adults – with its secrets, its injustices and its capacity for violence – is a memorable one, as time and time again the true longings of the human heart are held against the way things are.

Exquisitely written, and masterly in its mingling of the personal and political, Funny Boy has established itself as a classic.


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LATE NIGHT PARTNERS: A TALE OF VAMPIRES AND TWENTYSOMETHINGS – FENNEL STEUERT

vampire-cover-cLate Night Partners: A Tale of Vampires and Twentysomethings by Fennel Steuert
Kindle Edition
Genres: 
Urban Fantasy, Fiction
Rating: 3/5
Post Book Thoughts: ‘OMG Vampires can be angsty humans too!!!’

An old man finds himself the victim of a vampire attack and he and his nephew Roger who comes to help him, struggle with the aftermath of it. A young woman named Doris who is not considered a human anymore shows up at their door one night and proceeds to show Roger an insight into their life. As she shows more and more of her world to Roger an earthquake starts shaking apart an already shaky existence. 
Can Roger and Doris stop a supernatural force before it leads to a sever downfall of life as it was known?


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