Pony

by R.J.Palacio, hardback £12.99 for ages 10+
(reviewed by Octavia)

‘Pony’ is the new book by R.J Palacio. The author of award-winning, bestselling book, ‘Wonder’. It is an utterly original and beautifully written story. When Silas Bird’s father is captured by three strangers, their quiet life in the Wild West will never be the same again. Silas must begin an extraordinary adventure with his beguiling pony companion, who appeared, as if by magic, after his father’s disappearance. Nothing is what it seems and the perils that he must overcome make a truly emotional journey for the reader. I loved this book and cannot recommend it enough.

A book suitable for children above 10 years but also adults.

O Caledonia

by Elspeth Barker, paperback £8.99 for adults
(reviewed by Octavia)

As someone who considers ‘I Capture the Castle’ to be one of their favourite books ever, ‘O Caledonia’ echoes the eccentricities and joys such a book brings. Set in a wild, windy, isolated gothic country pile in Scotland that is falling apart at the seams, much like its residents, who are shadowed by the unnerving presence of daughter Janet. With a jackdaw as her beloved pet, poor Janet is horribly misunderstood by her family, except for perhaps her drunk mad cousin Lila who only really loves her bald cat and whisky. This was Elspeth Barker’s only novel, as predominantly a journalist and critic, but it is perfect.

Escape Room

by Christopher Edge, paperback £7.99 for ages 8-12
(reviewed by Anthony)

I absolutely loved ‘The Escape Room’ by Christopher Edge. This Times Children’s book of the week uses beautifully descriptive language, allowing for an exciting and thrilling Indiana Jones style journey for 8–12-year-olds.
The description of the characters and setting allow for an intrepid experience and as a reader we really feel for the main character, Ami, and will her to succeed in her mission and to escape the game she has willingly entered.

The Wolf Wilder

by Katherine Rundell, paperback £7.99 for ages 10+
(reviewed by Anthony)

‘The Wolf Wilder’, by Ruth Rundell (author of one of our all-time favourites, ‘The Explorer’) Is about 12-year-old Feo Petrovna and her mother, Marina, who live in the snowbound Russian woods with a pack of wolves nearby. The pack of wolves were once aristocrats’ tamed pets but wolf wilder Marina, with Feo’s help, help the creatures discover how to be wolves and live normal lives. This beautifully descriptive story is based on true historical events which may scare some younger readers – it really is best suited for 10-year-olds and up. I read it in a day as I couldn’t put it down! Superb.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

by Thomas Hardy, hardback £20.00 or paperback £6.99 for adults
(reviewed by Amelia)

I would recommend ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy, author of other classics such as ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’, as the perfect first novel for those looking to get into reading classic literature. Your heart will bleed for Tess as she endures heartbreak, is cast out by society, falls in love, and seeks revenge. This was one of the first radical novels to feature a female protagonist who rebels against societal standards, and will take any reader on an emotional journey that they won’t soon forget.

Daisy Jones and the Six

by Taylor Jenkins Reid, paperback £8.99 for adults
(reviewed by Amelia)

From the author of bestselling book ‘the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ comes a contender for my favourite book of all time. ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’ is the perfect read for anyone interested in the 70s, rock and roll, and ultimately life. It explores the relationships between the members of the sensational fictional band ‘The Six’, and the fractures that eventually become chasms causing the very final and dramatic breakup of the group. This book perfectly encapsulates the atmosphere of 1970s LA and reads like a gripping thriller.

The Paris Apartment

by Lucy Foley, hardback £14.99 for adults
(reviewed by Remony)

The much-awaited third instalment in Lucy Foley’s unputdownable arsenal. True to Foley’s form, the location and characters are almost so distracting that you miss the sinister… almost. This book takes dysfunctional families to a new level, as Jess searches Paris for her missing brother Ben.
Compulsively readable, full of twists in a style reminiscent of Cluedo, where EVERYONE is a suspect.  Rich with culture and atmosphere, I couldn’t put down Lucy Foley’s latest psychological thriller.

A Nearly Normal Family

by M.T.Edvardsson, paperback £8.99 for adults
(reviewed by Remony)

Not your average legal thriller. The main mystery in this book is arguably the family dynamic (or lack thereof). With a pastor for a father, legal attorney for a mother, and an almighty crime in play, daughter Stella is the number one suspect. Written from the three perspectives there is a joint fight for this family, but everyone is fighting a different corner. Definitely a slower paced thriller, but worth every turn and twist. Feel yourself go part-detective and part-family-therapist as you question every move these characters make. I thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace ‘A Nearly Normal Family’ has to offer, with the pace making the hunt for the truth even more tantalizing.