Posted in Audiobook Review, Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young @suzanne_young @simonschusterUK #AudiobookReview @Netgalley #GirlsWithSharpSticks #NetGalley

If you like a YA book, then you are going to LOVE this one, I’m super happy to bring you an audiobook review for this great start to a new series.

Why Did You Pick It Up Vicci?

Well I’d actually requested it from Netgalley waaay after it was published, but I didn’t think it would be granted as it was so over the publication date, so I used a credit for it as I’d been reading some great reviews….and then guess who got approved!!

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My Thoughts

🅸🆃’🆂 🆃🅷🅴 🆀🆄🅸🅴🆃 🅾🅽🅴🆂 🆈🅾🆄 🆂🅷🅾🆄🅻🅳
🅱🅴 🅰🅵🆁🅰🅸🅳 🅾🅵

Welcome to Innovations Academy, the boarding school that will help your daughter become her best self.

We will teach her to be a smart young girl, we will teach her lessons of life, and we we absolutely make sure that she will learn to keep her pretty little mouth shut!

Oh, you caught that last bit did you?

You see, here at Innovations Academy, we like to teach our girls, all 12 of them, that they are not important, worthy of anything and also that their opinion doesn’t mean anything at all, they are just girls, and everyone knows that a woman’s voice is so much better when it is not heard!

No, we will teach them how to sew, we will give them proper vitamins every day, we will give them a balanced diet (we don’t want them getting fat) and we will also schedule sports to tone up those flabby muscles!

The Guardians here can sometimes be a little “over-zealous” but don’t you worry about that, I mean who needs to hear about any problems, not us Hahahaha…..no we have a special councillor here that the girls can speak to and make all of their problems disappear!!

Philomena, Mena for short, is one of the 12 lucky girls that have been picked to go to this highly prestigious school, and she loves it here, for the most part, her friends are the best thing about the school, and she loves them fiercely.

They talk about things that normal teenagers do, boys, sex, kissing, but not in front of the teachers, talking about boys is strictly prohibited, they all know that their parents will allocate them a husband when they graduate.

They must learn to be beautiful, respectful, and to obey everything their husbands ask of them.

You are at this academy to become better girls—the best girls. That means you are”—he counts on his fingers—“beautiful, quiet, and pure. Take the last part away and you’re not special. You’re a common whore.” Several girls flinch at the statement

I know what you are thinking while reading this review…….am I right?

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Well maybe you are wrong, maybe you need to dip your toe into this mind fu@k of a book and see for yourself!

🎧🎧

Narrated by Caitlin Davies, a new to me narrator who did a fantastic job with this book, I will definitely be looking out for other books that she has narrated.

**Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK Children’s, Netgalley and the Author for a copy of this book**

About The Book

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Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon U.S

Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.
The girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved – it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their guardian, they receive a well-rounded education that promises to make them better. Obedient girls, free from arrogance or defiance. Free from troublesome opinions or individual interests.
But the girls’ carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears. As Mena and her friends uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there – and who they really are – the girls of Innovations Academy will learn to fight back.
Bringing the trademark plot twists and high-octane drama that made Program a best-selling and award-winning series, Suzanne Young launches a new series that confronts some of today’s most pressing ethical questions.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Dystopia, Horror

Until the end of the World by Sarah Lyons Flemming @SLyonsFleming @justjuliawhelan #Audiobookreview #PostApocalyptic

Hello book friends,

I’m super happy to bring you a review for a new series that I think is going to keep me busy for a while as I couldn’t tear myself away from it.

Sorry for being MIA for a while, Real Life bitch-slapped me in the face for a while and I kind of got stuck in a bit of a slump!

But I think I’m back and ready to make up some lost time (and reviews!)

Why did you pick it up Vicci? 

Well, I saw lots of people talking about this book in a Facebook group that I am in, and you know how I don’t like to be left out of anything!!

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Well, I have found myself a new series to binge, I can’t wait to read the next one in this series, I was on the edge of my seat for most of it.

A genre that I wouldn’t usually read was being banded around on a FB group that i am in, then I heard the narrator, Julia Whelan…..and I was invested.

I promptly bagged the who series on KU and upgraded the Audio’s for £3.47 each!!! what a bargain!

Told in the POV of Cassie, we see her in her home town of New York, there seems to be some sort of “flu” epidemic that is sweeping the city, so people are being quite cautious, but until she gets a call from her friend explaining that people are dying and there is no cure does she really start to worry.

Her friends tells her to get out of town immediately, so her and her friends try and do just that, except it turns out that the people that are dying from this epidemic, have not done being dead yet!

This was such a great story, I was so invested in all of the characters, and they were all brilliantly narrated by the awesome Julia Whelan, one of my favourite narrators, ho bought every one of them to life in my head.

This is not a gory book, there is a little gruesome talk, but nothing too bad, if you liked The Walking Dead then you will probably like this, as it is about a group of people trying to survive.

Try it, You never know, you might like it!!

Book 1 is only £2.49 on audio or free on KU, what have you got to lose?
Until the End of the World – Book 1

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About the book 

Until the End of the World
By: Sarah Lyons Fleming
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Series: Until the End of the World, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
Publisher: Podium Publishing

Cassie Forrest isn’t surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk.

Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too. This is difficult enough, but Cassie’s tag along ex-boyfriend and her friend’s bratty sister have a knack for making everything, even the apocalypse, more unpleasant.

When the two attract a threat as deadly as the undead to their safe haven, Cassie’s forced to see how far she’ll go to protect those she loves. And it’s a lot farther than she’d anticipated. This, coupled with Adrian’s distant voice on Safe Zone Radio and, of course, the living dead, threaten to put Cassie right back into the funk she just dragged herself out of. Survival’s great and all, especially when you have leather armor, good friends and home-brewed beer, but there’s something Cassie must do besides survive: tell Adrian she still loves him. And to do that, Cassie has to find faith that she’s stronger than she thinks, she’s still a crack shot and true love never dies.

 

Posted in Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction

Folsom by Tarryn Fisher & Willow Aster @DarkMarkTarryn @WillowAster #BookReview #Romance #SciFi #Dystopian

Hello again, I’m so pleased to bring you this review for a fantastic series that had me flipping those pages and staying up late to finish!

Why did I pick it up? – HELLO …Tarryn!!!!! As you all probably already know by now, I am a sucker for a Tarryn Fisher book, she writes the most messed up characters, and they all have depth to them.

In this book Ms Fisher has collaborated with Willow Aster and created a world where the Women are in charge, in fact Men are on the verge of extinction!

Think of this book as a little like a reverse take on the Handmaids Tale and you will be nearly on the right track.

Men are no longer in charge, in fact there are barley any of them left, this is why they started the “End Men” 12 men who’s sole job is to save the world, their sole purpose is to repopulate the Regions.

The rich people can afford to buy Folsom for a day, however the poor are not so lucky, they must rely on a national lottery to have their numbers pulled out, and to have the opportunity of maybe becoming pregnant by one of the End Men, if you do, well your life will change for the better, you will become a celebrity, coveted by others.

Folsom actually hates being and End Man, although he gets to have meaningless sex with strangers all the time, it isn’t as fun as it sounds, he is unhappy, empty and lonely.

Gwen’s number finally comes up! She gets to have the chance at something she has always wanted, a child of her own, she has seen Folsom in the fancy magazines and on the TV, and now she finally gets the chance to actually meet him, not only to meet him, but to potentially bare his child.

Only she finds much more than a man looking to have mindless sex with her, she sees the person underneath, she sees the injustice of what is happening to him, and she does her best to save him.

By looking at the blurb of the book, and the picture, you probably will already have guessed that there is going to be sex in the book, this is necessary to the story, you can’t have a story about men having sex with people, to not have sex in the book.I loves me some smexy times in my books, but if lots-of-lovin’ isn’t really your thing, then maybe look in the other direction, but you will be missing out on a great read, I can’t wait to read book 2.

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About the book

The nation as we know it is a thing of the past. With the male species on the verge of extinction, a society called the End Men is formed to save the world. Folsom Donahue is one of twelve men whose sole purpose is to repopulate the Regions. The endless days spent having sex with strangers leaves Folsom with an emptiness no amount of women, money, or status can fill.
Until Gwen.
Gwen has wanted a child for as long as she can remember, but when she finally gets a chance to have her own, she uncovers a long-hidden truth. The injustice she sees moves her to help save the men whom no one else believes need saving.
A forbidden love, grown in a time of despair, ignites a revolution. Folsom and Gwen, torn between their love for each other and their sense of duty, must make a choice. But some will stop at nothing to destroy them.

Folsom is book one of the End of Men series.

Hope you enjoy

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Vicci

 

Posted in Dystopia, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction

Year One by Nora Roberts #NoraRoberts @justjuliawhelan #AudiobookReview @audibleuk #BrilliancePublishing #Dystopian #Fantasy #Magic #aktbmbookblog

4 Dystopian Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I do love myself a Dystopian story, most of mine that I have read have been Young Adult, and I haven’t really thought about reading any others.

Nora Roberts isn’t really an author that I have picked up, which is strange because her one other book that I have read, ‘The Witness’ is one of my favourite books (Which i still need to review)

It also isn’t a secret that Nora’s pseudonym is J.D. Robb, and her hugely successful ‘In Death’ series is something that keeps getting recommended to me time and time again, but quite frankly the size intimidates me (insert joke here)

Anyhoo, Audible UK had a Boxing Day sale, and I may (or may not) have seen all of the books for £2.99 and went a bit crazy…12 books crazy! This was one of my bargain buys, so I thought let’s try it.

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The Blurb

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed–and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practising in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river–or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travellers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a saviour, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

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My Thoughts

4 Dystopian Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Looking at the cover picture, I honestly thought that this was going to be a fantasy book…and it is, but it also isn’t, clear as mud right?

I was crossing my fingers that this wasn’t going to be a High Fantasy book, I’ve tried so many times to read them, and each time I’ve failed…HUZZAH…It isn’t!

The story starts on New Years Eve, and here begins the end!

After the Doom Virus is contracted, it soon starts to spread like a plague, first through the hospital, then to the streets, then to the rest of the world, wiping out EVERYONE!

Well, almost everyone, you see some people seem to be immune to the virus, a good thing right? But some of these people also seem to have developed a side effect of the virus, giving different magical powers to those left alive that varies from person to person.

Some have developed wings (Fairies) some have ‘The Sight’ some can also Shape-Shift, these people are now known as Uncannies, and are very unwelcome.

We watch three separate groups, coming to realise that they are probably the only people left, we watch them try to survive in a place that is now full of people that wish to do more harm than good, how would a pregnant woman cope?

We see how people help each other out, and how power hungry others can get when faced with certain decisions.

🎧🎧 – Narrated by Julia Whelan

You won’t be surprised to hear that Julia Whelan is one of my favourite narrators, in fact, if I hadn’t seen that she was narrating this book, then I probably wouldn’t have picked it up, because as I mentioned earlier, I thought this was going to be a High Fantasy book.

As usual, Julia gives a fantastic performance, her narration always makes me feel comfortable, and wraps me up in her gorgeous warm blanket voice.

If you are thinking about trying a new genre and are a little worried about it, then give this one a shot, I’m so glad I did, and will be adding book 2 to my Audible Wishlist

Try it, You might like it!

Vicci

Grab your copy here:

Audible UK – https://amzn.to/2St9ns0

Audible U.S – https://amzn.to/2SqGOeO

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Flashback Friday Featuring – Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer – #fbf #young adult @susanbpfeffer #Sci-fi

Life as We Knew It

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stock up on tinned goods stars

Synopsis

Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all–hope–in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

Review

This one my first (of now many) YA books I loved this series, but this one will hold a special place in my heart for the introduction of other fantastic books.

I was quite worried about re reading this as this was my first YA book that I read a couple of years ago and it holds quite a nice little place in my heart, however I was not disappointed phew !

16 yr old Miranda gives us a blow by blow account of her life from her diary, and what a life it is.

The strange thing is I’m sure this could happen, I mean REALLY happen, and that is what scares me, I’ve read some reviews that are shouting about the size of the meteor and the trajectory of it etc. but it’s a book, a fiction book but I mean it could happen !

So, everyone and his dog are watching a meteor hit the moon in a ‘Sky at Night ‘ kind of thing.

Everyone is outside watching, there are parties and picnics  – however when it hits IT HITS !!!!!

The moon gets moved off its axis and comes a little bit closer to earth.
The scientists did not really do their math correctly and didn’t realise the size of the meteor, (as I said it’s fiction obviously if the moon was going to be hit by a meteor I would hope that scientists would be able to tell the size of the thing!)

Anyhoo the moon controls our tides and things right?

So after the now mahoosive moon is hit, the world starts going all weird, like tidal waves and tsunamis, volcanoes and earthquakes, you know the usual Saturday night out in town!

Soo most of the world seems to be wiped out, BUT because you are only reading Mirandas diary, you are kept in the dark about what is going on elsewhere in the world, and you feel the suffocation as her world slowly gets smaller and smaller until they are all living in 1 room sharing 1 tin of soup between 4 people.

The starving is this one thing that gets to you, I felt really guilty while I was reading this for even drinking a cup of tea !

I will be reading the rest of the series again and the new book is out this year as well so I hope that it continues from Mirandas point of view.

I would thoroughly recommend reading this book – its fab.

Enjoy,

Vicci

Sunday Swaps: Bird Box by Josh Malerman ~ Including a Double Review ~ #bookreview #SundaySwap

Bird Box

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Synopsis

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

Vicci’s Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ That is some creepy sh*t stars!

This was a reread for me, but it was on our Goodreads group (A Million More Pages, you should totally join, it’s awesome!) as a Book of the Month, so ya know…points!

Anyhoo….

This little Dystopian cracker is a creepy little mind fu*k because you don’t really know why you are scared, I mean how could you while you are wearing a blindfold?

It all starts when seemingly normal people start to loose their sh*t and go mad, not in the “He’s crazy” type thing, i mean totally bat shit crazy, they are normal one second, and the next they are killing their husband/wife/kids, and then turning the weapon on themselves.

When i say weapon i mean anything they have at hand, knives, guns, hammers, even their own teeth!!

This is happening quite far away in a different county, and it is being reported on the TV so it isn’t anything to get really worried about…..

Until it starts happening closer to the U.S.A…

Then in your state, then in your home town!

People start to cover their windows/doors and are scared to look outside, as it seems to be that something out there is causing all of this, but the thing is, if you look…..you die!!

So Malorie is there…

In the house……

All alone……

She can’t go outside…..

She can’t look outside…..

She WON’T look outside…………

Oh yes, i forgot to say that she is a few months pregnant!!!!

Because you are with Malorie throughout this creepy little read you start to feel the claustrophobia as you are not really sure what is out there, especially when you have to eventually open that door and go outside…………

🎧🎧Audio narration for this book was perfect, Katharine Mangold really managed to make me believe that *I* was Malorie, and i was scared out of my pants!! 😱

Berit’s Review

Don’t Open Your Eyes!

What the **** did I just read? This book was NOT what I was expecting… at all! It was disturbing, creepy, and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time…. just going to put it out there if I were in this situation, in this post apocalyptic world, I would so be gone in the first day…. just saying….

Something is out there, something that makes you go mad if you lay your eyes on it…. mad to the point you will kill others, yourself, or both…. mad to the point of no return…. so how do you survive? You board up your house with cardboard and cloth, you never go outside unless completely necessary, and then you wear a blindfold…. sounds fun, right? Oh yes and I forgot to mention sometimes when you’re outside you will feel or sense whatever is out there around you…… creepy!

Mallory the protagonist in this book was a quietly strong woman…. when things started going completely sideways not only did she find her way to a safe place, but she was also pregnant…. The story is told in alternating time periods… Mallory on a river trip trying to find her way to an even safer place… and Malory‘s backstory…. I have to give it to Mallory… not only did she have herself to take care of but two young children who she needed to train to escape and survive….

I’d recommend if you like postapocalyptic books, creepy books, or are just in the mood to be freaked out….

🎧🎧🎧5 huge stars for the audiobook narration by Cassandra Campbell… I absolutely 100% enjoyed this book more because of her fantastic narration, she made me feel as though I was there on that rowboat with her going down that river….

*** thank you so much to my amazing blog partner V, this is a Sunday Swap read and I probably would have never picked it up otherwise ***

Enjoy the creepiness,

Vicci and Berit

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Noisy Stars!

WOAH! !!!!!!!!! 6 Stars ♡

Synopsis

Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

Review

Hang on there a minute…….

This book was sooo good I can’t explain.

This has loads of good stuff in it including spacemen and a talking dog!! I know right, sounds like a complete disaster but it works

Todd is a young boy, he will be a man soon, he is twelve years and twelve months old, and will be 13 and a man in one months time.

Todd and every other man in Prentistown is plagued by ‘the noise’ where everyone can hear your thoughts, EVERY thought!

There are no women as they all died when they caught the virus when they landed on the new world.

The virus was spread by the Spackle, the alien race that lived there before and who they killed in the war, there is none left.

Todd has a dog called Manchee who is hands down the best character ever, as he is a talking dog!!

When the men caught the noise virus, all of the animals also started to talk, I mean really talk not just woof woof.

It reminded me of Doug from Disneys UP, (I even googled it to see if the book was written after, and guess what….it was BEFORE!)

The 1st paragraph is the funniest ever….

The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. About anything.
“Need a poo, Todd.”
“Shut up, Manchee.”
“Poo. Poo, Todd.”
“I said shut it.”

Classic!

Todd finds a secret that he wasn’t supposed to and had to run away from the town, he now has to leave where he grew up and everything he knows and find his way, however he doesn’t know where he is going or what he is running from.
All he has is a map and a book from his mother….trouble is, he can’t read.

The audio was brilliantly narrated by Nick Podehl, very funny when the dog was talking and all of the characters were well narrated, it even had a little singing in it.

A fab read with a huge cliffhanger at the end, get ready to queue up #2 straight afterwards!

Prepare to be amazed,

Vicci

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Book rating: ☆☆☆☆•5

Narration rating: ☆☆☆☆•5

Blurb

From the acclaimed author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, a moving new novel that subtly reimagines our world and time in a haunting story of friendship and love.

As a child, Kathy – now thirty-one years old – lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.

And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed–even comforted–by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailsham’s nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood–and about their lives now.

A tale of deceptive simplicity, Never Let Me Go slowly reveals an extraordinary emotional depth and resonance–and takes its place among Kazuo Ishiguro’s finest work.

Review

Wow this book is going to be really hard to review.

This is one that you really have to read yourself, don’t read any reviews and go in blind!

It is quite a slow read, and then it builds up, and you find that you can’t stop reading as you have to know………

The story in itself is about 3 children and how their lives are in a type of bording school known as Hailsham.
Tommy is a boy that no one really bother with as he has quite a temper, that is apart from Kathy who has always been friends with him, and Ruth, who’s stories are sometimes a little bit “out there”

Kathy is now 31 and is telling the story and is looking back fondly on her memories at Hailsham, but then the story starts to take a more sinister edge, and we are then allowed to look at the school for what it is, and why the children are so special.

A shuddering 4•5 ☆ read.

Enjoy,

Vicci