American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis is back with his first novel in 13 years…
1. The Shards by Bret Easton Ellis is published in hardback by Swift Press. Available now
— Bret Easton Ellis (@BretEastonEllis) January 6, 2023
American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis returns with a disturbing, semi-autobiographical tale dripping with red herrings, doubts and melodrama. Narrated by an adolescent version of himself, Ellis details the supposed events of his senior year in 1980s Los Angeles, when a serial killer began targeting a group of his friends.
But all is not as it seems. Being young, deceitful – and often high on drugs, alcohol or a pairing of the two – our narrator’s story, though aggressive in its presenting of ‘fact’, doesn’t always appear so clear-cut. Who is The Trawler, how does he choose his victims and how can we tell the difference between truth and fiction? A fantastically chilling novel that will stop you falling asleep, and haunt your days in much the same way as The Trawler haunted Easton Ellis. An absolute must-read for January 2023. Warning: R rated.
(Review by Scarlett Sangster)
2. Those People Next Door by Kia Abdullah is published in hardback by HQ. Available January 19th
What would you do if you saw your neighbour rip out the anti-racist banner in your yard? Would you confront them or quietly take it inside?
Salma Khatun does the latter. She's new there and wants to get along but #ThosePeopleNextDoor have other plans...👇🏽 https://t.co/sAZUxS9YgP pic.twitter.com/Mac76vV4O5
— Kia Abdullah (@KiaAbdullah) January 11, 2023
When you move house, stress is expected, but are you really expecting a war with new neighbours trying to tear your home and family apart? Not at all, but when the Khatuns make a move to protect their son from a descent into violent crime, they find themselves caught in a battle with Those People Next Door, which encapsulates race, white Britain, the ways they parent and the language they use.
Despite being a little predictable in the exposition, this novel ramps up the twists and turns to create a moving and disturbing narrative, with powerful characters, who are both brave and malicious on both sides of the fence. With some far-fetched plot features, this novel is definitely gripping, if a little unbelievable at points, but it creates an important dialogue about the communities we live in and the importance of frank discussions about race.
(Review by Imy Brighty-Potts)
3. Avalon by Nell Zink is published in hardback by Faber & Faber. Available now
— Faber Books (@FaberBooks) January 3, 2023
Nell Zink’s Avalon is an often confusing, coming-of-age romance novel set in Southern California. The story follows Bran, a young adult who loses her mother at a young age. With an absent father, she is left in the care of her common-law stepfather Doug. Directionless after graduating high school, she meets Peter, who attempts to dazzle her with his often incomprehensible intellect. The reader may find themselves Googling many of the references made by characters, which can take away from the plot of the book. This was supposed to be a modern day Cinderella story, but the ending was nowhere near as satisfying.
(Review by Lauren Gilmour)
4. Manifest: Dive Deeper by Roxie Nafousi is published by Michael Joseph. Available now
'An empowering and clear read (...) the book explores everything from your inner child to daily rituals, stepping outside your comfort zone and how to stop caring about what people think' VOGUE
The new book from @Roxie_N, #ManifestDiveDeeper is here! ✨https://t.co/ugafKT69z2 pic.twitter.com/9L9zwvH52DAdvertisement
— Penguin Michael Joseph (@MichaelJBooks) January 5, 2023
After the huge success of her 2022 debut, Manifest, Roxie Nafousi is back for more in Manifest: Dive Deeper. This book very much does what it says on the tin, and goes even further into the practice of manifesting. Nafousi lays out the seven steps to successful manifesting – ranging from being clear in your vision to embracing gratitude without caveats.
This is a practical guide, mapping out the key language you need to know, how to go about doing something like a vision board, and with plenty of space to write notes and answer questions on various topics. This is self-help for millennials – if you already follow Nafousi on Instagram and are interested in using manifestation to improve your life in 2023, this is the book for you – while some might find it overly earnest.
(Review by Prudence Wade)
Children’s book of the week
5. The Stolen Heir by Holly Black is published in hardback by Hot Key Books. Available now
— Waterstones Alty (@WaterstonesAlty) January 4, 2023
The first book to Holly Black’s new fantasy duology based in Elfhame, known to her fans from The Folk Of The Air series. The book is set eight years after the Battle of the Serpent. Main character Suren, who some may remember from the previous books, is hiding out in the human world and meets Oak, whom she was promised to in an arranged marriage.
Despite Suren’s hatred of him, they set off on a quest together that leads them back to the north, where Suren’s ruthless mother rules. The world building, as in all of Holly Black’s books, is incredible. However, for people new to the faerie world, it might be hard to follow without reading the previous books. Additionally, this book might leave romance fans longing for more, but there’s hope that will pick up in the second book. The two main characters are both strong and well-written, especially Suren, who makes a great female lead. The plot is at times predictable, but overall enjoyable for the reader.
(Review by Miriam Kuepper)