Relatively Strange by Marilyn Messik

I really love this book. I love the way it is written from Stella’s point of view with her dry and often irreverent humour – there were many times when I laughed out loud. Stella has powers unlike anyone else she knows. She can fly, she can move things with her mind and she can read other people’s thoughts. Sometimes this can be helpful, sometimes it can be a shock to know what others really think of her and sometimes she can just pry and be a nuisance. She can cause havoc and be the instigator of hilarious and disastrous consequences at parties and she can also be dangerous if she isn’t careful with her powers. As Stella herself says in the opening line: “I was five when I discovered I could fly, sixteen when I killed a man. Both events were unsettling in their own way.”

Then part way through she meets a group of people with similar powers who call on her to help them in a dangerous situation. This part I was not so keen on and wondered if the book was actually YA. However, I was still fascinated and kept reading. The last part of the book is different again and I think is probably leading up to the next in the series, which I shall definitely look out for.

Because Stella is a child and teen in the 60s and 70s (and Jewish to boot) I could identify with so much of the background to her family life and the period itself. The prose is so well written and frequently hilarious while at other times dark and scary. A wonderful read. Many thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Last Request by Liz Mistry

I enjoyed reading this book though it’s not really my genre. There are a lot of plot threads which was sometimes confusing but thankfully they all tie up neatly in the end. However I did have my reservations. I found some of the characters to be real stereotypes and not very original. I tried to like Nikki but I still couldn’t by the end. The Yorkshire accents and all the owts and summats are annoying when written in conversations (fine when spoken on TV). Certain things I found rather far fetched but to say what would give it away. Let’s just keep it at oink. I was disappointed with the outcome of one of the threads but again I can’t say any more. On the other hand it would make a great TV series and I would watch it. I love this kind of thing on TV but not in book form.

Many thanks to The Pigeonhole for letting me read this, the other Pigeons and especially to Liz for her involvement and her insights.

PS I know some fellow readers didn’t like the gruesome revelations by the serial killer but personally I thought they were the best bit!!