The Loneliest Girl in The Universe by Lauren James

The Blurb On The Back:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away? 

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew member on a spaceship bound for a new planet.  She is the loneliest girl in the universe, until she hears that a second spaceship has launched from Earth, with a single passenger on board.  A boy called J.

Their only communication is via email, and the messages take months to transmit, yet Romy finds herself falling in love.  But what does she really know about J?  And what do the strange new messages from Earth mean?  Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone … 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Beyond The Wall by Tanya Landman

The Blurb On The Back:

Can one slave destroy an empire?

Britannia.  A conquered land.

Running.  Weeping.  Blood on her lips.

Blood in her mouth.

Blood that is not her own.

After maiming her master, Cassia has no choice but to run.  Beyond the river, far to the north, stands Hadrian’s Wall – the furthest limit of the mighty Roman Empire.  And beyond the wall?  Freedom.  With dogs on her trail and a bounty on her head, the journey seems impossible.  But then Cassia meets Marcus – slick, slippery, silver-tongued – a true and perfect son of Rome.  And her only hope.  

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Symphony For The City Of The Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M. T. Anderson

The Blurb On The Back:

In September of 1941, Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht surrounded Leningrad in what was to become one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history – two and a half years of bombardment and starvation.  More than a million citizens perished.  Survivors recall corpses littering the frozen streets, the relatives of the dead having neither the means nor the strength to bury them.  Desperate citizens burned books, furniture, and floorboards to keep warm; they ate family pets and – eventually – even one another to stay alive.

Trapped between the Nazi invading force and the Soviet government itself was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who would write a symphony that roused, rallied, eulogised, and commemorated his fellow citizens – the Leningrad Symphony.  This testament of courage was copied onto microfilm, driven across the Middle East, and flown over the deserts of North Africa to be performed in the United States – where it played a surprising role in strengthening the Grand Alliance against the Axis powers. 

This is the true story of a city under siege: the triumph of bravery and defiance in the face of terrifying odds.  It is also a look at the power – and layered meaning – of music in beleaguered lives. 

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The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom

The Blurb On The Back:

The girl who hunted …

Becomes the woman who hunts.

The anger her sprung from the terror I’ve lived with since the moment I found out my dad was taken.  This anger is the flip side, the counterpoint, the shouted answer to the terror’s question.  Asks the terror, what will become of me?  Answers the anger, this.

When her diplomat father is kidnapped, Gwendolyn seems to be the only one with the will and determination to find him.  As she follows a trail across Europe’s criminal underworld, she must relinquish her schoolgirl identity and face a terrifying truth about herself.

To overcome the cruelty she encounters, she must also embrace it.

Who will Gwendolyn become?

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