Tuesday 29 May 2018


Title: The Adventures and Discoveries of a Feminist Bride
Author: Katrina Majkut
Genre: Humour, Science
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Release Date: 22/02/18

BLURB from Goodreads
The Adventures and Discoveries of a Feminist Bride invites readers to join author Katrina Majkut on a personal and powerful prenuptial journey. With fearless curiosity and fun feminism, the book asks such questions as: Why do brides need their parents’ permission to marry? Why don’t men wear engagement rings? And why do women change their surname? 

With cheeky insights into the origins of Western wedding traditions (like how the wedding cake is not just dessert but a sexy fertility talisman), Majkut uncovers eye-opening truths about how social traditions impact people’s lives. More than a wedding planning book, readers will learn how to modernize outdated traditions that support the wage gap, street harassment, sex and gender discrimination, and that limit reproductive rights.


Occasionally I like to read something a bit different, some humour, non-fiction or memoir type book so when I saw this book I fancied giving this one a go.

The cover depicts a rather fed up looking bride. Why is she fed up? Maybe it because its usually the bride that has to plan everything!?

The genres listed for this book are humour and science, I agree with the humour although there is a lot of serious points made in the book too. I'm not sure about the genre label of  "science" unless its behavioural science as peoples' behaviour in regard to weddings is included within the book. I guess you could also add memoir/diary as we are going along on the pre-wedding build up to the big day and what it all entails for Katrina.

The book begins with the engagement ring, which is usually a diamond and every little girl has dreamt about for years. There's a part in the book where Katrina compares her desire for the perfect engagement compares to Gollum in Lord Of The Rings! She puts it all so much funnier than I would so I'll leave the exact statement for you to read in the book, but if you're anything like me I was giggling and picturing Gollum as I read it. Katrina also goes into why the wedding ring is a simple band with no beginning and no end to hopefully represent the marriage too. 

Katrina goes on to give us, the reader the different traditions and rituals of a wedding and her sometimes amusing thoughts on them. 

I have to say I totally agree with the whole "why should the woman change her name to that of her husband/partner". Personally I was self employed when I got married so for my business I still used my maiden name. Though I did bow to convention and take my husbands surname for everything else.

Katrina also suggests alternatives to the brides' parents paying for the whole wedding. In this day and age couples have either lived on their own or perhaps lived with their partner prior to the marriage, so why does the financial burden fall on the brides parents? Why can the financial burden be shared between both sets of parents and the couple themselves too?   

I enjoyed reading the book and varied between laughing along, tutting, shaking my head and dare I say feeling I wanted to wave the feminist banner along with Katrina. There are even more areas within the wedding she could have covered, like families interfering with choices for bridesmaid, maid of honour, best man, ushers and little flower girl/page boys too. There's the "where to get married" arguments as well as the hymns (if marrying in church) or music. . .which guests sit where at the reception, then "sit down meal" vs "buffet" there always seems to be something for family and friends to complain or sulk about.

My immediate thoughts when I finished the book were that the book began really interesting, and I definitely learnt where some wedding traditions came from, and I found the book thought provoking as to why women seem to meekly give in to so called tradition by taking or rather conforming to taking their husbands surname when they marry.

My final thoughts are that the book was a good read. I enjoyed the lighter hearted sections of the book. I have to say the book pace felt like it was slower and dragging a bit in the latter part of the book. I stuck with the book and read it too the end. I just wish the pace and laugh out loud moments had been the whole way through to the end rather than just the first half /two thirds of the book.

Tuesday 22 May 2018


Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Genre: Teens, YA, Contemorary
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books, Hachette Children's Group
Release Date: 8th March 2018

BLURB from Netgalley
Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party.
But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car?
It's true. Ask ANYBODY.

Rumour has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the 'slut stall' in the girls' bathroom at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumours start to spiral out of control.

In this remarkable novel, four Healy High students - the party girl, the car accident survivor, the ex best friend and the boy next door - tell all they know.

But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.


I felt in the mood to read something more contemporary for a change and when I read the title of this book it immediately made me curious, I wanted to know who Alice was and what her story was. 

The cover of this book is bright yellow so really grabs your attention. When you read the book you realise that it is a representation of the toilet cubicle wall at Healy high. The title of the book is written in a social media/graffiti style that works well. The authors name is done in a font/style that could be a pupils name on their locker perhaps which continues the school theme very well. There is also a recommendation for how good the book is by Zoella the author of Moxie. This book should really stand out on a bookstore shelf!

The genres I've seen listed for this book are Children's fiction, Teens & YA which is the age group the book is aimed for and fits well. I would also add contemporary and realistic fiction to the genre list.

This book is set in and around Healy High and it's pupils. Healy is very proud of it's sporting achievements and the boys in the team often get given extra time or an extra helping hand to complete assignments. 

This book's main character is Alice, a teenager who at the beginning of the book is firmly within the circle of the popular gang at school. Alice doesn't have an easy life, there's just her and her mother at home. Her mum is always going out leaving Alice at home to fend for herself. Being in the popular clique doesn't come cheap, you need the latest fashionable clothes, as well as the make-up and confidence to pull it all off. Alice has always done odd jobs here and there for people to earn her own money. During the summer Alice got a job at the sports centre where the older good looking male Tommy Cray and Mark Lopez both work as lifeguards. Alice's best friend at the time also hangs around and flirts with the guys.

I really enjoyed the various different views on exactly what happened and how it happened too. We have points of view from the super popular girls Elaine O'Dea, the girl who has THE party where IT happens. Then there's Brandon Fitzsimmon's best friend Josh Waverly as well as the loner math & science geek Kurt Morelli and the trying so had to remain popular and in with the cliche so much so she blanks her former best friend to remain one of the popular girls! I found it interesting how the different characters had such varying opinions of the same person and set of circumstances. 

Everyone that's anyone is at Elaine's party it is the place to be seen. Even though Elaine and Alice had a run in years ago about Alice making out with Brandon, whilst Brandon was supposed to be with Elaine. Though Elaine and Brandon were on and off so much I don't know how Alice was supposed to know if they were on or off! Anyhow Elaine certainly hadn't forgotten or forgiven. So when someone says that Alice has had sex with both Brandon and Tommy on the same night upstairs in one of the bedrooms during Elaine's party it soon gets around.

Then more fuel is added to the fire when the drunken Brandon Fitzsimmon's and best friend Josh Waverly are involved in a car crash. Brandon dies and Josh is taken to hospital but thankfully survives to tell the tale. Josh is of course questioned by the Police who have already tested samples of both boys blood and know they were well over the limit. Josh is stunned and set completely adrift by the loss of his best friend, Healy High star sports player Brandon. Josh really is devastated and when his best friend's mum comes to see him asking what happened, and if Brandon was distracted. Josh is still kind of shell shocked but manages to blurt out that Brandon had been distracted by texts from Alice Franklin. 

So now the whole school has a real grudge against Alice as it is she that caused the death of Healy High's star sports player. That combined with the other gossip about her having sex with two different guys inn one night gives the popular girls enough ammunition to make her life hell. No one actually confronts Alice face to face.. It is all done behind her back by those she once thought her friends. Even best friend Kelsie shuts Alice out. In fact Kelsie goes even further to cement her place in the popular clique. When the popular girls, headed by Elaine are all in the toilets one day talking about how disgusting, and how much a slut  Alice is Kelsie just blurts out that Alice had an abortion too! The girls believe Kelsie as they know her stictly religious mum makes her go down to the abortion clinic to protest against abortion so it seems viable that if Alice went to get an abortion that Kelsie & her mum would have been there and seen her go in. The girls look at Kelsie quite doubtful of what she has just revealed. Kelsie panic's and has to quickly think of something to do that will ensure her place with the popular girls so she takes a black sharpie and writes something nasty about Alice then hands the pen to another girls. One by one they write something on the toilet cubicle wall which soon becomes widely referred to as the "slut wall". 

I really liked the character of Alice, had she been a male character in the book who'd had sex with two girls on the same night at a party she would have been patted on the back and congratulated for it! It would have been another two notches to add to the belt or bedpost.
It just shows how society view things from totally different angles and their opinions differ depending on the persons gender. I don't want to give away the whole story or even hint at it so I can't really go any further on that point. I do feel sympathy for Alice. Even though Alice sort of shrugs her shoulders, keeps her head down and just tries to go through the motions of school. Even her schoolwork begins to suffer. Which brings me to my other favourite character in this book, Kurt Morelli, the quiet loner at school who is the nerd who is great at maths and science. His parents died in a car cash and he is being brought up by his grandmother. Kurt lives near Brandon, in fact they sometimes share a beer whilst sitting on Brandon's roof, though neither of them would tell anyone about this. Kurt and Alice become friends when he offers to help her with her homework. Initially dubious Alice thinks he wants sex with her but that is not Kurt's true intention. Sure I think if Alice had offered maybe Kurt would have thought about it but his feelings for Alice are more admiration and he is mainly wanting friendship.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing reading this book were that this was a very realistic tale that could well be happening in any high school near you. 

It is the combination of a rumour, some gossip and a large portion of peer pressure that make what happens in this book so convincing and life like. The whole writing graffiti on the toilet cubicle wall that has been going on for years. It just takes that first person to set the ball rolling by being the first to write something. The book illustrate very well how one small lie can lead to another and how quickly it can all get out of control.

Tuesday 15 May 2018


Title: The Big Alpha In Town
Authors: Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden & Kate Baxter
Genre: Romance, Anthology
Publisher: St Martins Griffin
Release Date: 15th May 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
Three hot stories about three sexy shifters from a trio of today's hottest paranormal romance authors, headlined by bestselling authors Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden!
Bearing His Name
Meeting his mate should have been cause for celebration. There’s just one teeny tiny problem. Jade thinks Ark might have impregnated her sister. He didn’t, but convincing Jade is going to take a bit of honey.
Owned by the Lion
Keir’s been told to stop playing the field and settle down—difficult advice for a hard and hot man with a lion’s heart to follow. But his sights have always been set on Ally. She’s his mate, plain and simple. With her sweet and delicious curves, she’s nothing but sugar and trouble all rolled into one. But he’s known her and sparred with her for years. She’s his best friend’s little sister, and it’s going to take a whole new level of convincing that he’s the mate for her.
No Need Fur Love
Moving with his pack to the tiny town of Stanley, Idaho has Owen Courtney a little on edge. With literally no women in sight, Owen will be lucky to find a date, let alone his true mate. But you know the saying about a werewolf walking into a bar…
Gorgeous wood nymph Mia Oliver is on a mission: Find a suitable male to get her good ‘n pregnant and provide her with an heir. But when Mia decides to pick up a gorgeous and oh-so willing werewolf at the bar, she realizes she might be in over her head. …


Once again I was asked if I would be interested in reading and giving my honest review of this trilogy of steamy shifter tales by the publisher. After reading Thanks Fur Last Night trilogy and surprising myself by really quite enjoying it I decided this was a book I actually wanted to read. I was aware some of the content was steamy and maybe a little explicit but I feel there is enough plot and story line that I can still enjoy reading.

The cover of this book fits very well with the previous book I read Thanks Fur Last Night with the icy blue colour and the bear on the left side. There is also the couple on the cover in a slightly different position to the couple on Thanks Fur Last night. After reading Thanks Fur Last Night i would probably picked this book up irregardless of the cover to learn more about it but once again I find the cover attractive. It certainly makes you want to ask questions about the couple on it as well as the bear. The cover could represent a couple of different scenes in the different tales. Would the cover make me pick it up from a book shelf? Yes definitely! 

The genres I have seen listed for this book are Anthology and Romance which certainly fit. I would also add shapeshifter, and paranormal to that list too.

So this book is made up of three separate tales, Bearing His Name by Eve Langlais, Owned By The Lion by Milly Taiden and No Need Fur Love by Kate Baxter.

Bearing His Name
I really enjoyed reading this story. The central characters are Jade and Ark and I adored both of them. Ark receives what can only be described as a blackmail note accusing him of making someone pregnant! Ark approaches his cousin Stavros who is not only a bear shifter but also works for the Police too. Stavros reveals to Ark that he is not the first to approach him with a blackmail letter. It is Jade Cadeux that has sent the letters because it is her sister Ruby who is pregnant. When Ark knocks on her door and she opens it he instantly knows she is his mate! Though he knows better than to try to tell Jade that until they figure out who is the father of Ruby's baby. 
I really enjoyed reading this tale by Eve Langlais, I liked how she played on the bear shifter and his love of honey and how he needed "honey" or rather had to sweet talk Jade quite a lot! Ark really has his work cut out to get Jade to believe him that he is not the father of her sisters baby. Ark has to use all his powers of persuasion because Jade's father abandoned her when she was younger so she is suspicious of any man.
I thought the cliff hanger at the end about Stavros finding a green eyed female by the bins was brilliant. I hope Eve Langlais tells his story of perhaps finding his mate soon. I am definitely interested in reading about more the family of Ark & Stavros.

Owned by the Lion
I adored this story, it is set around some of the same characters that are in Bought By The Bear that is featured in the Thanks Fur Last Night anthology. This time the lucky bear that finds his mate is Xander's best friend and work colleague Keir. Of course things don't go straight forward for him. Keir has a reputation for dating lots of different women and he thoroughly enjoys his lifestyle. His father wants him to take over the family business the bank and settle down, though Keir is reluctant to settle down with anyone he knows that he will have to take over the family business sooner or later. We meet more female characters this time and they enjoy playing match maker with Keir and Ally. In fact Xander and the others find it amusing that the one woman that Keir wants isn't falling at his feet as other women do. 
I really loved this story and totally adored the fact I got to catch up with Xander and Josie as well as meeting new characters too. I definitely want to read more, both by this author and set in this world with its great characters. My favourite character in this tale had to Keir, he was so perplexed when Ally didn't just fall for his charms and into his arms straight away like most women usually did!

No Need Fur Love
I did enjoy this tale but I have to admit it took me a little longer to feel drawn into it. Once the story got going I didn't want to put it down! Again this tale takes place within the same setting as The Alpha And I was. (from Thanks Fur Last Night)
The two main characters that are mates in this story are Owen a hot werewolf shifter and Mia a beautiful, mysterious, conniving wood nymph. Mia's father wants to choose her a mate and for her to get pregnant to produce an heir! Mia doesn't want an arranged match so she comes up with the idea to go out and get pregnant, thinking that if she produces the heir he wants he will not force an arranged pairing on her. It just happens that Owen is sat in a pub drinking and thinking he will never find his mate. He readily admits he is jealous of his Alpha Liam who has found his true mate Devon. Mia just happens to be searching for someone to make her pregnant in the very same bar and she soon sets her eyes on the rather hot looking guy at the bar. 
There is so much going on in this tale, there's the werewolves settling into their new territory oblivious to the fact that there is a group of wood nymphs with a crazy male leader who wants them out of what he considers his territory. Why can't they co-exist there is lots of land and space for both groups. I really loved the character of Owen. To begin with he is so overwhelmed that he has set eyes on his mate he gets carried away and they fall straight into bed. It's when he wakens the next day and Mia has gone that his worries begin. Naively he thinks its because Mia doesn't understand the true mate bond. Between the deception by Mia an the war Mia's father wants with the werewolves there's loads going on in this tale. I really didn't want to put it down. I would certainly love for more tales about Owens pack as shifters are one of my favourite paranormal beings to read about. I admit I was a little skeptical about a wood nymph's as I haven't read about them before but Mia was an interesting character, though werewolves remain my favourite!

This anthology as a whole was a really great read. I enjoyed reading more by these authors, and definitely would want to read lots more by them. I readily admit I have avoided books and authors who write erotica but having read a couple of tales by Eve Langlais I would be interested in reading other titles by her now, though not those labelled as erotica. I found I loved all the tales and certainly want to read more by all these authors.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing this anthology were, Wow steamy, sizzling hot shifters! I want more! 

Once again, this great anthology has indulged my love of werewolf shifters and also introduced me to other shifters and paranormal beings. I always used to be of the opinion that I loved only werewolf shifters but these anthologies have encouraged me to read about other paranormal beings, such as the bear shifters, lion shifters and wood nymphs. I honestly loved revisiting the settings and characters from Bought By The Bear by Milly Taiden and The Alpha And I by Kate Baxter, which featured in Thanks Fur Last Night. I would love more stories in all the settings featured in this book. Are there going to be more anthologies and when can I read them? 

Thursday 10 May 2018


Title: Unraveled
Series: Perfected
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
Genre: Teens, YA
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: 3rd April 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
Ella isn’t anyone’s pet anymore, but she’s certainly not free.

After exposing the dark secrets about NuPet’s breeding program, forcing them to repeal the law that allowed genetically modified girls to be kept as pets, she thought girls like her would finally be free. She never dreamed that it would backfire. NuPet may have convinced the public of their intentions to assimilate pets back into society, but Ella knows it’s a lie.

They aren’t planning mass rehabilitation...they’re planning a mass extermination.

Now, with the help of a small group of rebels, Ella and Penn, the boy she’d give up her life for, set out to bring down NuPet for good. But when her group gets implicated in a string of bombings, no one is safe. If she can’t untangle the web of blackmail and lies that extends far beyond NuPet’s reach, she won’t just lose her chance at freedom, she’ll lose everyone she loves.


After reading and loving Perfected and Tarnished, the previous books in this series I knew that not only did I want to read the third and last book in this series, I really had to. I needed to find out how everything ends for the characters I have come to love. I also wanted to see if the ones I enjoyed hating got their comeuppance too. So when I was asked if I would like to review the book I jumped at the chance.

I have loved all the covers in the Perfected series and the cover of Unraveled fits in beautifully with the other covers. This one has a gorgeous flowing green dress at its centre which certainly draws your eyes to it. Then you notice the open jaws of the trap, which gives a really big hit as to what is going on in the book. There is also another great byline featured on this cover which says, "Rebellion comes at a price" which is also really appropriate for goes o in the book.

The genres I have seen listed for this book are Teens, YA though I would also add that it is Sci-Fi and Dystopian. A plague also plays a important part in the book so I would also add Post apocalyptic to the genre list. 

This book begins with Ella, Penn ad their new liberationist friends Markus, Ian, Dave and Jane gathered outside a large warehouse about to undertake a mission to rescue the NuPets held within. They are acting on intelligence they have managed to gather that says a large number of NuPets are going to be held at the warehouse prior to being exterminated. Sadly for them they are walking right into a well laid trap. The liberationists have been tricked and given false information. The most annoying pat of the failed mission for leader Markus is that they have been sold out from someone within the trusted liberationist group.

Ella is determined to free as many NuPet's as she possibly can. She is most determined to pay what she sees as a debt back to Missy. Missy willingly sacrificed her own freedom so Ella and Penn could get away. Ella will go to any lengths needed in her efforts to free Missy even putting her own life on the line. Even when faced with the choice of swapping places with Missy during the failed warehouse mission, Ella is instantly prepared to give her own life in exchange for her friends freedom.

So since there's a spy in the group Markus decides it isn't safe for any of them to return to their Head Quarters. They need to find somewhere to lay low for a while. They need to take stock of the equipment they have and what skills they have to plan out what to do next. 

Whilst the small now isolated band of  liberationist's are licking their wounds, covertly gathering supplies and trying to lay low they end up being front page news. Several bombs have been detonated first at the Greenwich Kennels, killing Miss Gellner, so at least one person is dead. Then once again at a small restaurant where some of the liberation group have been meeting someone to help them to possibly bring down John Kimballrecently been seen in. Obviously this causes some unrest within the small group of liberationists, first accusing each other, then thinking it could be the liberationists they left at head quarters. Who could be framing them? The spy from within their own group? Or is John Kimball stooping so low as to kill people and the put the blame on his own son Penn and the other members of the liberation group to discredit them and turn the public opinion against them? It seems John Kimball is not above using his own daughter Ruby as a pawn in his relationship with wife Elise. What else or who else will John Kimball discard and "throw to the wolves" to save his own reputation, wealth and career?

John Kimball really does seem to be the man whom nothing bad ever seems to stick to! It seem's he always has a friend in the right place to smooth everything over for him. However with a little help from a rather unexpected source during a dangerous clandestine meeting means that the liberationists finally have a location for some evidence that will bring him down once and for all, but it all sounds so easy. . . an isolated, unprotected small shack holding information that would bring him to his knees. Well yes the saying if it sounds too good to be true it usually is definitely fits the predicament that Ella and her liberationist friends find themselves in. What with bickering, jealousy and trust issues, its a wonder they.....

I genuinely loved this book there was plenty of action, suspense and betrayal. The way Kate Jarvik Birch had everything slowly unfurl, giving you as a reader the chance to guess at who the spy/double agent was great. Kate Jarvik Bich certainly keeps you o the edge of your seat in this book. 
I also loved the more emotional scenes with Penn & Ella, Penn ad his mother Elise, Ruby & Ella and finally the scenes with Ella & Missy.

Though she is not central within this final book, she is still there and being used as a pawn to punish Elise ad Penn. I loved Ruby and her unquestioning trust and the love she shares with and for Ella. 

I loved Ella and her determination to push on against the odds, even when things are stacked heavily against he she continues her efforts.  

Ella finally has a change of fortune and receives a little help from a unlikely source just when she thinks she has lost everyone and everything.

I enjoyed hating John Kimball and continued to do so even more in this last installment of the series. I hated how John mistreated and used Missy to goad and draw Ella to him. He enjoyed flaunting the bedraggled, hurt, abused, and caged Missy in front of Ella. I fact the only time you see a glimmer of sorrow is when he realises his daughter Ruby has seen ad heard what is going on. 
In the end Ella has a difficult, life changing choice to make, at one point she isn't sure she will be able to carry out her threat. . . . annnd of course I am not going to reveal whether she does or not.

Loved this series from the very beginning, sad to lose such a well loved character. Thoroughly enjoyed reading and seriously hated having to put this book down!

My final thoughts upon finishing this book were "wow! what a series!" I do not like revealing anything spoilery and but I have revealed that there are deaths in this book though I will not reveal which the who or the how. I will say one of the death had to happen or the book would not have been realistic enough. For all the adored characters to simply survive would have been too contrived and I think, ruined the feel and tone of the book. It would have made the ending too "cutesy" and "chocolate box". 

Friday 4 May 2018


Title: The Unit
Author: Ninni Holmqvist
Genre: General Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Publisher: One World
Release Date: 4th May 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
Ninni Holmqvist's uncanny dystopian novel envisions a society in the not-so-distant future, where women over fifty and men over sixty who are unmarried and childless are sent to a retirement community called the Unit. They're given lavish apartments set amongst beautiful gardens and state-of-the-art facilities; they're fed elaborate gourmet meals, surrounded by others just like them. It's an idyllic place, but there's a catch: the residents--known as dispensables--must donate their organs, one by one, until the final donation. When Dorrit Weger arrives at the Unit, she resigns herself to this fate, seeking only peace in her final days. But she soon falls in love, and this unexpected, improbable happiness throws the future into doubt.

Amazon UK

I was intrigued by the idea of people being classed as "dispensable", what sort of society would be okay with deciding who has a meaningful life and who is to be classed "dispensable". Who decides? Do the people accept their allotted fate? 

The cover I have featured above is the UK version. Below this review I have put a picture of both covers to ask which you prefer. So I shall describe and talk about the UK version which has a background colour of a blue/green colour. The title appears twice on the cover. The word Unit dominates the whole cover and gives it a utilitarian, no fuss, almost medical feel to the book but there is also the title "the Unit" fitted around the large I from the word Unit. The word Unit made me think of cubicle walls of a medical room/ward.
There's also a quote about the book by Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaids Tale and is a well respected author. So I guess if she has read the book and liked it what better recommendation could it have. I should admit these quotes from author on front are usually one of my "pet hates" but a comment from Margaret Atwood is wow!

The genres I have seen listed for this book are Sci-Fi, Fantasy and General Adult fiction which I do agree with. Personally I would also add Dystopian and Futuristic too. 

The basis of the book is that the world has so many people in it that if by the age of 50 you are not a highly successful person and/or have family relying on you then you are considered dispensable and sent to a Unit where you take part in medical trials, experiments and donate organs to the un-dispensable that are living their fulfilling lives. Once you enter the Unit you have been assigned to you never leave. You are not allowed anymore contact with the outside world, nor are you permitted to walk outside in the fresh air again. You basically give up your freedom the moment you enter the Unit. These Units can't sing their own praises enough, such as how modern they are, how their indoor gardens are so realistic you will think you are outdoors, there are shops you need no money for you just go and choose what you want or request the item you wish for to be ordered in for you. There are movies, books, musical instruments if you want them. The regular monthly intake of newbies that mean a welcome party every month. There are other gatherings such as dances, different restaurants to eat in. If you want to be alone you have your own apartment within the unit. 

The down side of the Unit is obviously kept as secretive and quiet as possible, it certainly isn't widely discussed at any of the newbie meetings or Welcome Parties. When you arrive at the Unit you already know why you are there and that you will be experimented on and be testing new medications etc.

One such trial a female dispensable is put on makes her begin to develop into a male, meaning a deeper voice, more facial and body hair. Some of the tests, experiments, treatments and medications that are being trialed have side effects which can be anything to uncontrollably breaking wind, to being very sick, or even developing serious life threatening disease. The organs that are donated, such as part of an eye or ear that leave the donor blind or deaf. It makes you wonder how these outrageous experiments are allowed to be carried out on live guinea pigs! How can one persons life be deemed less valuable than another's? Then there is the kind of "get out clause" if you cannot cope any longer living in the Unit, which is a "final donation form" you fill in and then you are giving a date to go down to surgery to have all remaining functional organs removed and stored for future use by non dispensable recipients.

My favourite character in the book is Dorrit Weger, she is also the main character of the book. Dorrit has been classified as dispensable. Dorrit seems to have quickly accepted what her new life will be, and realises that as a single woman with no children she is dispensible. This resignation and acceptance of her fate doesn't stop Dorrit musing at how different things could have been. She had been in a long
relationship with a man called Nils who was younger than her. Nils already had a child with someone else but it seems like he kind of wanted to have the best of both wolds, in that he was leading quite a good double life. Though he had never actually said the words "I love you" to Dorrit, when she was nearing he 50th birthday she finally asked him to provide a letter saying he loved her for the authorities. Nils however reveals he wants his child, his son to grow up in a home where both his parents live. Nils breaks down crying saying he cannot lie to the authorities as that would be perjury. Nils continues to howl and say how much he will miss her when she has to leave! Dorrit did not cry, as he did. In fact Dorrit did not cry for her most beloved dog Jock, whom, in my opinion had been a much better companion to her than Nils ever was. Dorrit had found a family nearby that she knew would take care of Jock and give him as much love as she had. 

When we first meet Dorrit she is waiting patiently to be collected from her little home and taken to her "new home" to live in a specially built facility with others like her. Other's that have been deemed dispensable. An unmarked van with blacked out windows arrives to collect Dorrit, she is the only one on the bus apart from the driver. Dorrit cannot see anything outside the van because of the blacked out windows. The only sense that is any use to Dorrit is her hearing, as she can hear the different sounds the van engine makes. Eventually it seems like they maybe in a tunnel of some sort but they don't go out the other side, instead the van stops and she is greeted by a man called Dick and a woman named Henrietta who are both wearing the linden green uniform with the logo of the Unit on the breast pocket. Dorrit recognises the logo from the information pack that had been sent to her a few months ago. Dick and Henrietta escort Dorrit through the complex hallways and lifts and different floors introducing people as they come across them.

Dorrit is surprised by her room/apartment's  fairly generous size and what it contains. It's much more comfortable and furnished a lot better than she had expected. Dorrit is pleased to see the modern tasteful decoration in soft muted colour's. Though Dorrit is not as pleased to notice the camera's and microphones that are hidden in the tiniest nooks and crannies available. Dorrit realises she has no choice but to adapt to this new life she is embarking upon. There is a newbies meeting where they all meet the others in the exact position they are in. There are eight of them in total with only two of them being men. Some of the other newbies that have just arrived at the Unit that Dorrit meets are Annie who had been a hotel receptionist, and Elsa who had worked at the same shoe store since she finished school until now.

In the evening Dorrit and the other newbies get to meet other residents that have been at the Unit much longer. As Dorrit and the newbies become friends with other residents we as readers lean more about what happens at the Unit. 

Majken has been at the Second Reserve Bank Unit for 4 years, she has donated her eggs for stem cell research, donated a kidney, as well as a an auditory bone from her right ear. Majken is now deaf in he right ear. Majken is quite open about the fact he life at the Unit is coming to an end, explaining that in a few weeks she will be donating her pancreas to a student nurse who has four kids.

Dorrit and the other newbies, along with those residents that have been at the Unit longer soon get caught up in the different trials, from fitness trials, to medical trials as well as the organ donation too. The "residents" or "inmates" as they also could be called, form relationships with each other, that are not discouraged as long as these relationships do not interfere with the work being done at the Unit. 
The dispensable's live in what some would see as a life of luxury, a place to live, free of charge, food, clothing, entertainment provided what could they possibly wish for? . . . Their own life? Their own chance at love and a family maybe? Many of the indispensables begin innocent friendship's that rapidly develop into more like a permanent relationship they would have if they were non-dispensable. There are lesbian, gay and heterosexual relationships which are all allowed to continue as long as they do not interfere with the purpose of the Unit. Obviously when one dispensable from a relationship gives their final donation that leaves a grieving dispensable behind. Though this can be avoided by being stoic as both of the dispensable know the consequences of their relationships. Also any of the dispensable can fill in a form to end their own life by donations all their body has to offer and therefore dying themselves too. This seems to have worked, until a
dispensable becomes pregnant and immediately becomes elated with the news presuming now she is to be a mother she will be reclassified as being non-dispensable along with her fellow dispensable partner. I mean her pregnancy changes everything now doesn't it? They can be a family? They can leave the Unit together? Can't they? They are both relatively healthy, they can become a real family and bring up their child?

I found this book to be intriguing, deeply thought provoking, and a book that took you through a whole range of emotions. Who decides who is dispensable? Why should dispensibles be subjected to medical trials and also voluntarily give their organs including vital organs that inevitably cause their death to others considered non-dispensible. I really grew to care a lot about Dorrit who is let down by a dishonest man called Nils whom she thinks loves her and wants to grow old with her. Sadly Nils seems to have just been leading Dorrit on. Then she accepts that her life is that of a dispensable, that her chance of love and her own family is gone, but has it? At times in this book I wanted to scream and shout on behalf of Dorrit who seems to be the "victim" in the book. Yet at the very end of the book she does get her way about one thing. This book honestly makes you think about a lot of difficult subjects that are usually "brushed under the carpet" or only discussed "behind closed doors" such as the whole different class system between the dispensable and indispensable. Then there's the younger man who has been using Dorrit and had little intention of growing old with her. There is also the fact families drift apart and how Dorrit finally learns what happened to her older sister as her life ended. I enjoyed the camaraderie and friendships between those living at the Unit. Those that chose short and sweet love affairs before they became so dispensible it was time for them to make the ultimate sacrifice by donating an organ that would mean they could no longer live. You experience the grief when someone makes their "final donation" and dies. Then there will be another influx of newbies, meaning the cycle begins all over again. I could go on and on about this book, it covers so many different subjects that are amazing conversation starters, or maybe the correct term would be debate starters. 

My first thoughts upon finishing this book were what an abrupt, yet understandable and plausible ending. At first I thought the basis of this book and it's dystopian society was very strange, however the more I read and the further I was pulled into the plot I began to realise that this was something that could actually happen in our near future society.

I really loved reading this book, it felt more than just a story, it feels like we aren't that much removed from the possibility that these Units could be in our future! It really is that believable. I could chat/write and rattle on and on about different aspects in the book. I hope I haven't given too much away. It's a difficult book to talk (I know rave about) without revealing certain facts.

Above are the two covers I have seen for this book. I have described the blue/green one above in my review. The one on the left that is a stark white is a great cover, in that it could be a scene from within the book. 
So which cover do you prefer?