Friday 19 December 2014

Dear Committee Members - Julie Schumacher

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

Review by M

For me, this was more self-indulgent than a chocolate box (or whatever else is your guilty pleasure). A series of increasingly disgruntled – and often hilariously cringeworthy – letters, are written by Jason Fitger, a well-established professor of English Creativeve Writing and Literature.  His lengthy letters show he is overwhelmed by the increasing academic protocol of writing recommendations for colleagues, funding and students. All of this is set within the context of university cuts (which seem to affect English creative writing university courses more so than the Economics department) as well as his personal relationship and publishing debacles.

This is a short book and each page is almost tediously ‘more of the same as the last page’ – but I found it immensely addictive. Recommended as a light but spot-on read.

Publication details:  The Friday Project, 9 October 2014, London, hardback

This copy: digital review copy from the publisher

The Midnight Dress - Karen Foxlee

The Midnight Dress by  Karen Foxlee

Guest Review by Alice (15)

Rose Lovell and her dad arrive in yet another town, she knows it will be the same as always, they will stay a while, her dad will get drunk and they will move on, it's happened before and it will happen again, won't it? But this time it's different, Rose makes friends with Pearl Kelly, the 'town sweetheart' who convinces the closed-book Rose to take part in the town's harvest parade. Rose goes to Eddie the town dressmaker whose life is riddled with secrets, tales, and according to the townspeople, witchcraft. Together they create a dress woven and stitched from memories, stories and magic. On the night of the parade the girl with the midnight dress goes missing, and nothing will be the same, ever again.

On top of having a beautiful plot line this book is one of the most spectacularly written books I have read in a long time. Rose is a bit of a goth, loves all things black and most of all the rainforest she discovers after hearing  Eddie's stories. When she meets Pearl she starts to come out of her shell. The way the character Rose is written made me fall in love with her and also feel a little bit of empathy for her, she had never really had any friends before Pearl and her dad doesn't really care about her. The book is written in a way that at the beginning of each chapter you find out a little bit more of the end and that helped me to understand the story more as the plot twisted on.

Anyone over the age of 11 could easily get as absorbed by this book as I did!

This book is brilliant for anyone who loves a good bit of friendship and mystery in a book. If you do then this book is most definitely for you!

Publication details: 2013, Hot Key Books, London, paperback
This copy: review copy from the publisher