1. A Lady’s Guide To Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin is published in hardcover by HarperCollins, priced at £14.99 (ebook £7.99).
The season’s diamond, A Lady’s Guide To Fortune-Hunting is a Regency-style romantic comedy with all the classic character tropes, plenty of scandal, and more than a hint of sass. Sophie Irwin’s timely debut is the perfect balm for Bridgerton fans looking for a new heroine. Enter Kitty Talbot, a cross between Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair and Elizabeth Darcy from Pride And Prejudice, in the ruthless pursuit of marrying a rich man to save her three sisters from ruin. She soon meets her match in Lord Radcliffe – the Mr. Darcy of this story – and so ensues a tumultuous story of pretend until you do. Parodying the pecking order of high society with its endless meaningless rules, Irwin’s modern take on Austen is pure entertaining escapism.
(Review by Rebecca Wilcock)
2. Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister is published in hardcover by Michael Joseph, priced at £14.99 (ebook £7.99).
Wrong Place, Wrong Time contains layers of intrigue and secrecy, uncovered through the lens of Jen, who travels back in time to try to save her son’s future. It’s the kind of book that will make you think about all the seemingly insignificant details we take in, or miss, over a 24-hour period – or a week, or a year – that eventually come together to make a lifetime. . Jen goes back in time one day at a time, trying to figure out why her teenage son ended up committing such a horrific crime. You’ll turn every page of Jen’s story, eager to discover – as she did – what secrets have been hiding in plain sight from the start. Although the ending isn’t as satisfying as you’d hope, you’ll still recommend this book to everyone you know.
(Review by Karis Pearson)
3. The Pharmacist by Rachelle Atalla is published in hardcover by Hodder & Stoughton, priced at £16.99 (ebook £6.99).
Rachelle Atalla’s debut album is a thought-provoking addition to the post-apocalyptic genre, filled to the brim with disturbing tension. The world is reduced to the confines of an underground bunker, and Atalla cleverly draws intricate details about this new way of life – without revealing much about the events that caused it. Through Wolfe, the bunker’s pharmacist, we experience a gloomy “new normal”, challenging individual morality and the indomitable need to survive, while reason unravels in a desperate and claustrophobic environment. A lack of speech punctuation blurs the line between actual conversations and inner thoughts, lending a sense of detachment to the prose that reflects the inhabitants’ grip on reality. Oppressive and uncomfortable but compulsive, you will have to remind yourself to get some fresh air periodically.
(Review by Rebecca Wilcock)
4. Fix The System, Not The Women by Laura Bates is published as a hardcover edition by Simon & Schuster, priced at £12.99 (ebook £7.99).
It’s a timely book, with Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, giving a rallying cry. She’s sick of women being continually told to fix the problems they face – like not being able to walk safely at night, not getting that job, promotion or pay raise, having to do more work domestic violence or not being able to obtain justice when faced with domestic violence. Why, she argues, should the oppressed be asked to fix the problem, rather than those causing the problems – especially since so many solutions have been offered and ignored? This is not a book that should be read by women who already know this stuff, it should be read by men. They are the ones with the power to change things, so buy it for the men in your life.
(Review by Bridie Pritchard)
Children’s book of the week
5. I am NOT a prince! by Rachael Davis, illustrated by Beatrix Hatcher is published in paperback by Orchard, priced at £12.99 (ebook £7.49).
This rhyming story is about Hopp, who doesn’t want to be like his fellow frogs – who line up at the edge of the lagoon, waiting to be kissed and made into a prince. Hopp is banished by the other frogs, and in their adventures, Hopp helps other creatures in trouble, until they find a righteous wizard who promises to help them become who they want to be. During this time, they began to miss their friends. We won’t reveal what happened to Hopp upon his return, but it makes for a positive, colorful, and easy-to-read-aloud story. It’s about acceptance and being proud of who you are, and it’s a great way to encourage young children to accept difference.