Children's · Comedy

The Summer I Robbed A Bank – David O’Doherty ★★★★

Blurb; Rex’s parents have split up, he’s about to make the daunting move to secondary school, and to make matters worse he has to spend his summer holiday on a remote and rainy Irish island – with lots of unruly sheep for company.

The only upside: he’ll be staying with his strange and brilliant Uncle Derm.

Then Rex discovers Uncle Derm is about to execute his most hair-brained plan yet – to rob the island’s travelling bank!

Like the local legend of medieval Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley, Uncle Derm plans to redistribute the money to local needy causes on the island.

And he needs Rex’s help . . .

A madcap robbery, plenty of sheep and a summer of discoveries come together in this hilarious and moving novel, perfect for fans of Frank Cottrell Boyce, Ross Welford and David Walliams.

My Review; So I am 26… Yes I still read children’s books. I devoured this in a day an easy read. Boy did this book make me laugh out loud! Super funny. Smiled throughout. I just loved it all it really showed just how clever Rex and Kitty are as children and that the adults did need their help. After all it’s not easy to rob a bank.

The whole story is about coming together during a tough time with his uncle who is still suffering himself but he wants one final adventure, which is to rob a bank. Set on a remote island makes it even more fun. Will have you giggling throughout. A feel good, comedy children’s read. Short chapters with a few illustrations throughout. I absolutely loved it. Got my imagination going. Now children… Don’t be going robbing banks! These lot got away with it, but only just.

Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars from me. Brilliant!

Amazon Link UK

Amazon Link US

crime · mystery · suspense · thriller

Stay Home – Ava Pierce ★★★★

Blurb; LOCKED DOORS DON’T KEEP SECRETS SAFE

LOCK YOUR DOORS

Caitlin has been having an affair for over a year when the country enters lock down. Suddenly, seeing her lover, Daniel, without alerting her husband becomes almost impossible. When she does manage to sneak to his home, she finds him lying in a pool of his own blood, dead.

STAY HOME

Ali is a just-about-functioning alcoholic, recently laid off, and feeling rather lonely. Each day she goes to her local shop to buy her permitted two bottles of wine, leaving food parcels for neighbors on her way home. While keeping an eye on what they are up to, of course.

STAY SAFE

Caitlin can’t tell a soul about what she has discovered for the risk of losing her family. Little does she know that Ali has noticed her coming and going and that she will be drawing her own conclusions.
As Caitlin delves into the life of the man who said he loved her, she finds that maybe she didn’t really know him at all. But if she wants to avoid suspicion, she needs to keep digging until they find Daniel’s killer. Because the doors may be locked, but everyone’s secrets are starting to leak out . . .

Stay Home is a timely story of dark secrets – affairs, addictions, habits and horrors – which are bought to the surface by these unprecedented times we find ourselves in. It explores the dark parts of people’s lives, while at the same time leading us on a breath-takingly twisty race to find a killer.

My Review; Oh wow. I knew it was coming but I’ve just read my first pandemic book! Now this seems its either a love it or hate it book. Maybe it was published too soon after Covid 19? Who knows. I am on the side of love. I absolutely loved this. Think covid 19 lockdown but with a murder, affairs and one nosey neighbour.

This kept me hooked and I devoured the majority of this book in one day. Gripping. Thrilling. Fast paced. Page turner. There’s a lot to this story. An unlikely friendship and death. I would never have guessed the outcome at all. Its a jaw dropping, clever outcome. Maybe non of this would have happened if people just stayed home huh?

Highly recommend. Will remember this story for a long time and I suppose there will be more pandemic books to come in the future but this was my first. A well deserved four stars. Brilliantly written.

Amazon Link UK

Amazon Link US

Non-Fiction · Young adult

The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir – Ta-Nehisi Coates ★★★★

Blurb; Adapted from the adult memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates.

As a child, Ta-Nehisi Coates was seen by his father, Paul, as too sensitive and lacking focus. Paul Coates was a Vietnam vet who’d been part of the Black Panthers and was dedicated to reading and publishing the history of African civilization. When it came to his sons, he was committed to raising proud Black men equipped to deal with a racist society, during a turbulent period in the collapsing city of Baltimore where they lived.

Coates details with candor the challenges of dealing with his tough-love father, the influence of his mother, and the dynamics of his extended family, including his brother “Big Bill,” who was on a very different path than Ta-Nehisi. Coates also tells of his family struggles at school and with girls, making this a timely story to which many readers will relate.

My Review; This is an adapted version for young adult readers. It’s a story about his upbringing as a black male. The education system. The law. His parents. His family. Friends. Employment. Fights. Basically all in one. It’s an eye opener of a read. Especially how much His dad focused on him to do well with tough love.

In parts it’s a tough read. But the author has been honest throughout here and I think many can relate to what he has had to experience himself. A beautiful memoir but he hasn’t had it easy. I’d love to read the full version. Highly recommend. A quick read, not long. A well deserved four stars.

Amazon Link UK

Amazon Link US