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Tin Man cover

Tin Man

"I wonder what the sound of a heart breaking might be. And I think it may be quiet, unperceptively so, and not dramatic at all. Like the sound of an exhausted swallow falling gently to earth."

More than just a love story, Tin Man is an exquisite piece of art. Sarah Winman captivates readers with a beautifully touching story of three individuals, Ellis, Michael and Annie. The book is a tender portrayal of love, friendship and loss.

The first half of the book is written in third person and tells the story of Ellis. While exploring Ellis's life, we also meet Michael. Their bond and closeness commences instantly, and never leaves either of them, even after Ellis meets Annie. In the second half of the book the writing switches to first person, and we hear Michael's very sad and detailed account of his life with and without Ellis.

A print of one of Van Gogh's paintings, Sunflowers, won in a raffle in the prologue by Ellis’s mother, features strongly throughout the book. It is a perfect metaphor for the freedom of love and the trials of grief experienced by the characters.

Tin Man gets five big shiny stars from me.

Every Lie I’ve Ever Told cover

Every Lie I’ve Ever Told

Following on from her bestselling memoir The Anti-Cool Girl, Rosie Waterland’s Every Lie I’ve Ever Told is another honest and hilarious account of her journey through life. Trigger warning: This book deals with some difficult issues, including mental health, suicide, abortion, and abusive relationships.

Every Lie I’ve Ever Told reveals the struggles that Waterland faced when she lost her best friend and “soulmate” to a tragic accident while he was on the other side of the world. The friendship they shared is recounted in the most beautiful and blissful way.

Waterland speaks openly about her nervous breakdown and suicide attempt, but the book is also filled with hilarious stories, like the time she posted a naked selfie on social media, and cringe-worthy sexual encounters.

Waterland has the ability to make you cry from both laughter and heartbreak without even turning to the next page. I am eagerly awaiting her next memoir.

If you do read this book and feel triggered, do not be afraid to speak to someone. If you do not feel comfortable with opening up to someone you know and trust, I encourage you to call the amazing people at Lifeline on 13 11 14.

The Power cover

The Power

Any book that is endorsed by celebrated author Margaret Atwood already has my tick of approval before I open to page one. Naomi Alderman’s The Power is a genius story that turns society so perfectly on its head. It begins when teenage girls worldwide develop a 'skein', a strip of muscle in their collarbone which conducts electricity, allowing them to instantly inflict pain and death.

Virtually overnight, the world changes beyond recognition. Women are elected as political leaders, the army is almost completely made up of women, God changes gender, and sex-trafficked women break free from their bonds.

The story moves between chapters from the point of view of four very different characters. Allie is an adopted young woman who uses the power to murder her abusive foster father, and becomes “Mother Eve”, the head of a worldwide movement re-writing world religions to emphasise the primacy of women. Roxy is the daughter of a gangland boss. Tunde captures video footage of one of the first manifestations of the power and quickly becomes the reporter on the emerging phenomenon. Margot is an American mayor who gains confidence as the result of her Power, and use that confidence to fuel a rapid rise to power.

The Power is well deserving of the 2017 Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction. Alderman has created a unique world with this clever and thought-provoking story, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves first-class dystopian fiction.