…champagne and lovely lunch and boooooooooooooooooks! Oh, glee. It’s not in the shops till April, so until then you’ll just have to make do with a rubbish cameraphone picture which in no way conveys the sheer SHININESS of the beautiful wee thing. And the inside looks even more pretty. I love it to bits, I do.
I might be convinced to part with one or two – mainly to stop me from spending the next six weeks in a giddy stupor, unable to stop just gazing lovingly at its shiny woo-some self. You’ll have to be very persuasive, though. I am open to all forms of bribery involving either tea or cake. Let the bidding commence!
Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine (YA 12+, contemporary fiction). I loved her debut last year, Finding Violet Park, and we’re in similar territory here, with another teenage hero struggling with the responsibility of taking on an adult role within a family. FVP‘s Lucas was trying to become his missing father while searching for him: Broken Soup‘s Rowan has to play parent to both her little sister and her ailing Mum, in the absence of her dynamic big brother. There’s romance too, and a puzzle to solve – but unlike her first book, precious few laughs. Yet however much I found myself missing Lucas’s sly little asides, there’s really no place for them in this heartbreaking story. Any reservations I had about the meandering plot and the slow place were crushed by the latter half of the novel, in which difficult subject matter and a slightly creaky plot twist are handled with such skill that there is not one false emotional note. Not fun, exactly, but absolutely worth the work. (Contrast Anne Kelley’s The Bower Bird, winner of the 2007 Children’s Costa and the last in my trio of ‘books about kids at death’s door’, which I will be kind enough not to pass comment on. If you can’t say anything nice…)
Compulsively listening to the Moldy Peaches and Kimya Dawson (baa baa, yes, I know); being in Wales; ice-skating (which apparently is a Thing I Can Do now: how odd); becoming strangely obsessed with Masterchef (though if Emily doesn’t win, this will lead to sulking).