crime · romance · Short Stories

Nottingham Hill Carnival: A West Side Story – Candice Carty-Williams ★★★★

Blurb; Sapphire is the hot-headed leader of the Red Roses in an area where gang loyalty is all that matters. But after a tragic event, Sapphire vows to leave her old life, friends and her gang behind. Life without the Red Roses and the violence that always followed them is certainly quieter.

When she meets a boy called Apollo on her way to Notting Hill Carnival, she forms an instant bond with him. She thinks he could be the one. Until she discovers he’s a member of rival gang, the Gold Teeth. Will she ever escape her past with the Red Roses, and how many lives will be ruined until she does?

Funny, emotional and raw, with the Notting Hill Carnival acting as the backdrop of this retelling of West Side Story, by the Sunday Times bestselling author of Queenie.

My Review; From the bestselling author of Queenie comes this little beauty at just over 100 pages. Now I don’t know what I was expecting here but what I read wasn’t it. From the cover I was expecting chick-lit, fun & romance. I was wrong. But what a brilliant story this was. One that taught me not to judge a book by its cover.

It’s all about two gangs coming head to head. War. Fights. But surely there becomes a point when we are all too old for that? Well in this story there is a point that stops it all and not a very good one. A scary one that happens multiple of times everyday even now. But it’s also a part love story when two members of the opposite gangs fall in love. Oooh. A brilliant heart warming ending which left me wanting more.

A story which proves love wins. Bullies lose. Amazing story. Eye opening. Life lesson learnt. Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars from me.

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contemporary · Short Stories

Six Foot Six – Kit De Waal ★★★★

Blurb; It’s an exciting day for Timothy Flowers. It’s the third of November, and it’s Friday, and it’s his twenty-first birthday. When Timothy walks to his usual street corner to see his favourite special bus, he meets Charlie. Charlie is a builder who is desperate for Timothy’s help because Timothy is very tall, six feet six inches. Timothy has never had a job before – or no work that he’s kept for more than a day. But when Timothy and Charlie have to collect money from a local thug, things don’t exactly go according to plan…

Over the course of one day, Timothy’s life will change for ever.

My review; Even though this is only 80 pages long this was a brilliant short read. Impacts the reader, well it did for me. Meet Timothy (Tim), he’s 21 and as soon as I started reading this I was thinking a disability or accident victim. He acts miles younger than his age which does get explained in the story. He’s so cute bless him. Loved his character.

Doesn’t lie. Tells the truth. Hates to be alone and the in the dark. But boy did he work hard in this short story and what I also loved was the fact Charlie never took advantage of him or made fun of him like most people would. One I won’t forget for a while. Lovely. Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars.

Amazon Link UK

Could not find this on Amazon US. Apologies.

crime · Emotional · Short Stories · Young adult

Hello Mum – Bernardine Evaristo ★★★★

Blurb; It’s a hot summer afternoon. Tension is in the air. A gang of youths on bikes gathers outside a chip shop. A teenage boy is stabbed and left bleeding on the street. The boy’s mother wonders how this could have happened to her son. She is full of questions, but when the answers lie so close to home, are they really what she wants to hear?

My Review; This is a quick read under 100 pages. It is written as if the boy is talking directly to his mother and how he ended up murdered. Its a tough, emotional and raw read that still happens to this day and how one decision can change your entire life. Heartbreaking read. Impacts the reader. One I won’t be able to forget for a long time.

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