A Strange and Brilliant Light by Eli Lee

Firstly, a huge thank you to Quercus Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Quercus Books
Publication Date:
22/07/2021
Length: 416 pages
Genre:
Sci-Fi | Speculative Fiction | Literary Fiction

CW: n/a

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Lal, Janetta and Rose are living in a time of flux. Technological advance has brought huge financial rewards to those with power, but large swathes of the population are losing their jobs to artificial intelligence, or auts, as they’re called. Unemployment is high, discontent is rife and rumours are swirling. Many feel robbed – not just of their livelihoods, but of their hopes for the future.

Lal is languishing in her role at a coffee shop and feeling overshadowed by her quietly brilliant sister, Janetta, whose Ph.D. is focused on making auts empathetic. Even Rose, Lal’s best friend, has found a sense of purpose in charismatic up-and-coming politician Alek.

When vigilantes break in to the coffee shop and destroy their new coffee-making aut, it sets in motion a chain of events that will pull the three young women in very different directions.

Change is coming – change that will launch humankind into a new era. If Rose, Lal and Janetta can find a way to combine their burgeoning talents, they might just end up setting the course of history.

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Blog Tour – Grown Ups by Marie Aubert

Welcome to my stop on the Grown Ups blog tour! Huge thanks to Pushkin Press for giving me the opportunity to take part in this! I was provided a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Pushkin Press
Publication Date:
03/06/2021
Length: 160 pages
Genre:
Contemporary Fiction | Translated Fiction

CW: n/a

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Ida is a forty-year-old architect, single and struggling with a feeling of panic as she realises her chances of motherhood are rapidly falling away from her. She’s navigating Tinder and contemplating freezing her eggs – but tries to put a pause on these worries as she heads out to the seaside family cabin for her mother’s 65th birthday. That is, until some supposedly wonderful news from her sister sets old tensions simmering, building to an almighty clash between Ida and her sister, her mother, and her entire family.


Exhilarating, funny, and unexpectedly devastating, Grown Ups gets up close and personal with a dysfunctional modern family.

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Common Ground by Naomi Ishiguro

Firstly, a huge thank you to Tinder Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Tinder Press
Publication Date:
25/03/2021
Length: 432 pages
Genre:
Literary Fiction

CW: Racism

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Did you ever have a friend who made you see the world differently?

It’s a lonely life for Stan, at a new school that feels more ordeal than fresh start, and at home where he and his mother struggle to break the silence after his father’s death. When he encounters fearless, clever Charlie on the local common, all of that begins to change. Charlie’s curiosity is infectious, and it is Charlie who teaches Stan, for the first time, to stand on his own two feet. But will their unit of two be strong enough to endure in a world that offers these boys such different prospects?

The pair part ways, until their paths cross once again, as adults at a London party. Now Stan is revelling in all that the city has to offer, while Charlie seems to have hit a brick wall. He needs Stan’s help, and above all his friendship, but is Stan really there for the man who once showed him the meaning of loyalty?

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Blog Tour – Song by Michelle Jana Chan

Welcome to my stop on the Song blog tour! Huge thanks to Random Things Tours for giving me the opportunity to take part in this! I was provided a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Unbound
Publication Date:
31/08/2021
Length: 464 pages
Genre:
Historical Fiction | Literary Fiction

CW: Racism, sexual assault, torture, murder

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Song is just a boy when he sets out from Lishui village in China. Brimming with courage and ambition, he leaves behind his family, hoping he’ll make his fortune and return home. Chasing tales of sugarcane, rubber, and gold, Song embarks upon a perilous voyage across the oceans to the British colony of Guiana, but once there he discovers riches are not so easy to come by and he is forced into labouring as an indentured plantation worker.

This is only the beginning of Song’s remarkable life, but as he finds himself between places and between peoples, and increasingly aware that the circumstances of birth carry more weight than accomplishments or good deeds, Song fears he may live as an outsider forever.

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Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date:
02/03/2021
Length: 320 pages
Genre:
Dystopian | Literary Fiction

CW: n/a

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‘The Sun always has ways to reach us.’

From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.

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Little Gods by Meng Jin

Firstly, a huge thank you to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Custom House
Publication Date:
14/01/2020
Length: 288 pages
Genre:
Historical Fiction

CW: n/a

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On the night of June Fourth, a woman gives birth in a Beijing hospital alone. Thus begins the unraveling of Su Lan, a brilliant physicist who until this moment has successfully erased her past, fighting what she calls the mind’s arrow of time.

When Su Lan dies unexpectedly seventeen years later, it is her daughter Liya who inherits the silences and contradictions of her life. Liya, who grew up in America, takes her mother’s ashes to China—to her, an unknown country. In a territory inhabited by the ghosts of the living and the dead, Liya’s memories are joined by those of two others: Zhu Wen, the woman last to know Su Lan before she left China, and Yongzong, the father Liya has never known. In this way a portrait of Su Lan emerges: an ambitious scientist, an ambivalent mother, and a woman whose relationship to her own past shapes and ultimately unmakes Liya’s own sense of displacement.

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