‘The Doctor Will See You Now’ by Dr Amir Khan – Book Review

I first came across Dr Khan watching ‘GPs behind closed Doors’ with Chris my Mother In Law one evening. All the staff were lovely, but we both instantly loved Dr Khan, he was warm, caring, and had a lovely aura about him. I especially loved that he was a northerner, as I myself am from Leeds, and born on Yorkshire day! Northern Souls bond!

We’d come across the series by mistake browsing the tv for something different to watch. It looked interesting, let’s give it a go we thought. We were hooked within seconds. We recorded the series just in case we’d miss an episode, all the while waiting to see Dr Khan each time. ‘Where’s our Amir gone?’ we’d say until he appeared.

We were gutted when the series featuring his practice finished. At some point later I noticed he was launching a book. ‘I need that when it comes out!’ I told my husband Mark. Sure enough, I got the book, and was super excited to start reading it. Then life comes along with its busy winding road, and I’ve only just managed to read it. I wasn’t disappointed at all, and it was worth the wait.

It’s my kind of book. I love how Dr Khan talks openly and honestly about his life in a GPs practice. Each chapter is entwined with stories of some of his patients, and the day to day experiences of both him and his colleagues. It does make you realise there is ALOT more to what goes on at your GPs than just the regular 10 minute appointments we’ve all had. ALOT more. And at a time when the Country has been through challenging lockdowns, and are still in the midst of a pandemic, Dr Khans book really does make you think about how amazing GPs and the NHS are. They are a godsend to all of us.

Indeed Dr Khans book is one of true admiration for his profession and colleagues, and he really does enlighten you to understand better the role of a GP. It was so heartwarming to hear him talk about his patients in such a lovely warm manner, and having watched him on tv, I found myself reading the book ‘in his voice’ if that makes sense? Making it even more meaningful.

The way he is absolutely honest about how some situations made him feel, yet explaining how and why is important and truly admirable. He explained the highs and lows in great detail, and as a reader a book like this has the ability to touch you in such a way that you feel sad, or actually laugh along with it. Indeed I found myself laughing out loud to some parts; Dr Khan is naturally funny, and naturally calming which comes across in his patient consultation descriptions.

Our son Christopher has Autism, ADHD, learning difficulties and other conditions, so I wondered if I’d come across anything related to them in his book, if Dr Khan would cover any of these areas. I’m also a Charity Champion for Dr Anna Kennedy OBE and her autism Charity https://annakennedyonline.com/ so I was extremely happy to read Dr Khan tell his story of a young special needs patient and their family, and how he’d helped them. I had the biggest smile on my face as I read that having undergone an appointment in a familys car due to the youngsters special needs, he vowed to seek out change at his practice. A change that would mean reasonable adjustments were made for special needs visiting patients, going forward. This was Dr Khans initiative at his practice, and he was able to get the whole team there on board to bring about such change, to set up a system to help those with special needs – I also felt heartened to read he enlisted the help, advice and support from the family he did a consultation for in their car. Speaking to the family for their first hand experience was crucial. For this, I would like to thank Dr Khan from the bottom of my heart. As a special needs parent, it is people like Dr Khan who inspire and bring about change for the greater good; and I’ve no doubt the special needs community in his area are hugely grateful for his initiative. Thank you Dr Khan !

Dr Khan is truly an amazing advocate for GPs and the NHS. He really does fly the flag for them all, and not forgetting that he speaks highly of his patients too. He has been able to clearly describe how much his profession and patients mean to him, which actually makes you think about when you visit your own GP – you really are important to them and they do truly care. It’s easy to feel like a number, but with GPs like Dr Khan around, he is most definitely making a positive change for us all.

I really enjoyed the book, and I truly hope a follow up will ensue! A truly huge thank goodness for GPs, Dr Khan and the NHS – where would we honestly be without them?!


Asperger’s, Autism & You by Ian Hale, P.h.D.

I was instantly attracted to the cover of this book, partly as our autistic son loves the colour yellow – and the cover photo has plenty of yellow…. and partly because the scene intrigued me.

The synopsis on the back cover with reviews of Dr. Ian Hale subsequently made me think, yes …. this is a book I want to read!

Dr. Ian Hale has written extensively in this book about autism. The one thing which stands out from the outset, is that he himself is on the spectrum and he’s an amazing advocate and voice for our autism community.

It’s always great to read about someone who talks about something that they experience themselves firsthand. We’ve all had that person say to us ‘Oh he has autism? My best friends sisters daughters neighbour is autistic we know all about it’ …. of course it’s great to share ideas with each other, support can come from many different areas in many different forms. Yet it’s always that extra bit more special when it comes from someone who knows.. firsthand.

So step forward Dr. Ian Hale.. he ‘knows’. Being on the spectrum he has taken his experiences and expert knowledge, then put them into this book to help others. It’s a great resource for anyone who is connected with autism, and he explains from start to finish in an easy to read format.

It’s refreshing to read a book which imparts so much information in such an effective and simple way. I love the way Dr. Ian Hale starts with some history about autism, then takes you on a journey, highlighting many areas which are often not written about.

A book discussing openly different areas connected with autism, its genetic roots, tips, and topics that are often debated publicised and quoted by professionals – yet this is refreshingly honest and open from someone actually on the spectrum – combining both personal and scientific information.

I love the autism family tree, the way he talks about the science behind autism, right down to the selected reading and resources section, there’s something in this for everyone.

Grab yourself a copy, read the book including the reviews highlighted in the opening pages which show the reader how well received Dr. Ian Hales resource is. You won’t be disappointed, and I can assure you that it’s clear this highly intellectual author is not just an expert on autism, he is an expert at explaining simply and easily so the reader will understand.

Excellent book and author, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Mickeypedia – The A to Z of an Autistic Savant by Mickey Mayhew

Mickey Mayhew was one of our fabulous Anna Kennedy Online Charity deserving Autism Hero Awards Winners at our Annual event in 2018, and what a night it was! If you’ve never been to one of our Awards nights then checkout this website for details of our next one this year https://www.autismheroawards.com/categories/

Infact Mickey showcases Dr Anna Kennedy OBEs words on the back cover of his book which gives you a very brief synopsis about Mickey. When you read this, you will definitely want to delve into the book to hear from the man himself!

Mickey is the most amazing talented person which is abundantly clear from this brilliant book – and it’s not the only one he’s written either. The book title and format are so clever, I was so very impressed. It totally negates any comments from those who’ve ever said neurodiverse people cannot be creative and imaginative! Well have a look at this book!

I’m so pleased I got to read it, it’s outstanding. I love how Mickey cleverly takes you through the alphabet, whilst drawing upon his own journey and experiences in each area. The book had me laughing out loud in so many parts, yet also feeling cross for Mickey in some instances.

I felt connected even more so for growing up in the same age group and era as Mickey. He took me back to many childhood memories watching ‘Chorlton and the Wheelies’ on tv and how life was different then. If you’re an autism family it also makes you realise that some things still haven’t changed, YET many things have.. if that makes sense?

His writing style felt so brilliantly ‘cool’ to me, and very conversational which I love, so much so that I couldn’t put the book down. Not only did I come away from reading this thinking how talented he is, but I could ‘feel’ the brilliance and amazing sense of humour he has. Who says those with autism have no sense of humour?! I beg to differ !!

His book gives you so many tips about different areas of autism with each chapter representing a letter of the alphabet. He then relates this subject into areas of his own life and how he experienced things. For example ‘S’ is for stimming which Mickey explains then relates his own experience of this in his life. It’s just a brilliant genius way of highlighting so many different aspects of autism, whilst you also get to learn of the struggles and successes Mickey has experienced.

I’ve never read a book like this before, it’s so unique, informative and relatable. You will find yourself immersed in areas of Mickeys life, you will cry, laugh out loud, get angry, be defensive for him, and feel a sense of being proud of the amazing guy he is.

Another must for all those with links to autism, families, carers and professionals alike. Mickey was going through his autism journey long before many people had heard or knew about it in the 1970s and 80s, and infact in the late 80s the film Rain Man was released which some people still to this day think is all autism is about. Mickey was faced with years of school exclusions in those decades sadly until one person finally signposted him the right way ..

Mickey is an amazing guy, an inspiring role model, and someone that everyone could learn something from. He very carefully, kindly, and expertly opens a window for you to dip into the World of Autism. He shows how with the right direction, a huge difference can be made to a persons whole life. In all honesty he was left for so long with little or no support and yet he never gave up, and finally with the right help together with his determination and talent, he has become a talented researcher, and an all round fabulous guy.

Well done to Mickey on an outstanding book, combining a valuable alphabetical resource of information with his own journey through life. An absolute true example of sheer excellence and a masterpiece!! Mickey you really put a huge smile on my face.

What you waiting for everyone, grab yourself a copy now!

Garden of Evan – A Sensory Story Book by Samantha Grierson Schwarz – Book review

Illustrated by Deborah Wilson

The Garden of Evan Charity was organised in memory of the authors lovely son Evan Louis Schwarz – with the aim of raising funds to provide much needed sensory equipment for children with additional support needs. This book was their first launched, and I’ve no doubt having read it, that it will be a great success.

What a beautifully colourful book this is! Packed full of some brilliant and clear illustrations with clear bold wording – it is fabulously user friendly. Follow Charlie as he goes on a journey of discovery in the amazing surroundings of Evans garden. So well thought out!

You might ask what is a ‘Sensory Book’ ? .. The book explains all clearly, and in detail for you. As well as the clear illustrations and wording, the sensory story gives prompts to physical stimuli to the persons learning experience. It explains very easily other senses often misunderstood or that we are not often thinking of on top of the usual five; sight, touch, taste, smell and sound.

I love the clear way it explains that by working more of our senses, you are actually strengthening them. Each page has a brief prompt that lets the reader know which sensory action to take. Each prompt is then explained in full detail on the Sensory Chart at the back of the book. It’s brilliant! Everything is worked out for you, in such detail that you can also improvise and think of your own other ideas. The book helps you to create your own bespoke interactive experience. Genius !

It’s not often you find a book with a cool journey encapsulating all that nature offers in an easy vibrant way – so families with additional needs can resonate and make use of its content for both fun and learning.

It’s a really useful book that would be great to stock in educational settings. It’s great you have the sensory prompts and as a bonus in the middle is an additional interactive area of spot the difference to challenge minds and observation. Indeed this book would be useful for all children, not just those with additional support needs.

I can totally imagine this book being used in schools, and also parents, and families can join in with their loved ones as they immerse themselves in exploring all the senses and more. Also put it to great use during school holidays, that would be a lovely way to utilise the book as quiet family time.

Thoroughly recommend this book, I think it’s a great gateway to an immersive sensory experience. Enjoy!


Daddy and the Two Bears by Gary Anderson – Book Review

I can’t seem to find the right words to do this book the justice I believe it deserves. So, I’ll just try to do my best to honour its author, Gary, his wife Michelle, and of course Alana and Dana, their twins.

Parenthood is a journey all of its own, and no two journeys will ever be the same. Most of us have endured sadness and loss of some kind on our own journeys, yet this loss, the loss that Gary and Michelle had, was like no other.

I cannot even begin to imagine how I would feel in their shoes. It’s impossible to. No parent should ever have to lose their child. Having had a difficult pregnancy, to then lose both of their twins, is just total sadness, and heartbreak. Gary writes in this book how he felt throughout, and he gives us a very personal insight into his innermost feelings. He relates back to his own childhood, and gives us a glimpse of how it has affected his thought process and life. He discusses Mental Health so openly, and in a way that helps those to understand more, raising key awareness of something so vital.

Gary writes candidly about how he tangles with how he thinks he should feel , and how he does feel. His struggles internally, mentally and in the here and now during his toughest experience. His writing is absolutely honest, transparent and you are compelled to read through to the end. It’s often difficult for anyone to write exactly how they feel and to get the reader to understand. However, Gary clearly explains the trauma, sadness and frustrations he goes through from a Dads perspective, and from the personal view of a guy who’s working through his own mental health challenges.

A truly raw and heartbreaking account of a tragedy too hard to imagine. Having suffered through his early life growing up, Gary is faced with something he had no control over. How he explains his struggles in coping, or not coping, his true story reaches into the depth of your heart and beyond.

Garys description on how he faced people and situations after makes you stop and think. How would you ‘deal’ with this if faced with the same scenario? Nobody could truly say. How long would you feel sad for? Nobody can say, it’s an impossible question, and I truly appreciate how Gary highlights that there are so many things in a persons mind that can affect this and it’s outcomes. He makes you stop and think – makes you realise that everyday we may walk past, work with, or know people who are facing their own tragedies who may be keeping it in, or are reacting in some way …. we should never judge people as we don’t know what they are going through.

Gary and Michelles story takes me back to thinking about my sister in law. Her gorgeous first daughter was stillborn. I had tried to do all I could to support her, she asked me to be present when she had to be induced and give birth, and I remember it all being so sad, yet surreal like it wasn’t happening in real time, but like I was watching it happen on a tv or something. The emotions I had were real, yet I could never compare it to my sister in laws – this book explains a journey which makes me understand more, that she dealt with what happened in her own way, as did Gary and Michelle.

I would truly recommend this book. It has a lovely foreword from Paul Whitehouse, acknowledging the courage and hope Garys words give. A book that covers so many different areas, that everyone who reads it will learn something new. Gary talks about mental health, grief, pain, and the resilience he didn’t realise that he had. What an amazing couple he and Michelle are, allowing the reader to share their most inner thoughts, and feelings, whilst also raising awareness of TTS – Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

An emotional rollercoaster, make sure you grab your tissues beforehand – you won’t want to put the book down and will feel yourself willing the powers that be to shine some happiness on their lives. Thank you to Gary and Michelle for allowing us the privilege to read about their journey.

Not Stupid by Anna Kennedy – Book Review

This is an inspirational true account of a lady called Dr Anna Kennedy OBE, and her fight alongside her husband Sean Kennedy for their children Patrick and Angelo. To say this book inspires is an understatement, it’s a shining example of how Anna says; ‘You either give in, give up, or give it all you’ve got!’.

The foreword of Annas fabulous book is written by Dame Esther Louise Rantzen DBE, tv presenter and journalist – check this out on Annas website with further information it’s really informative https://www.annakennedyonline.com/not-stupid/

At the outset, Anna was faced with the rejection of so many schools all saying they could not meet her childrens needs. Infact in all, 26 schools turned them away. TWENTY SIX !! It’s hard to imagine 26 schools turning children away, not because of the usual catchment area or for being full, but because Annas children had both been diagnosed with autism and needed specialist educational provision – something these 26 schools felt they couldn’t provide.. imagine as a parent being faced with that amount of rejection.

The fight to help her children was to become the start of many ‘you can’t do that’ challenges that Anna would face …. and ultimately overcome. If you’re ever lucky enough to meet Anna, you will be bowled over by her energy, aura, enthusiasm and commitment to create equal opportunities for those with autism, to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance. All this on the number of hours sleep you can count on one hand on a regular basis. Outstanding dedication and resilience!

Truth be told, too many people still have the ‘Rain Man’ film in their minds of what everyone with autism is like. Yet in reality, just like all neurotypicals differ, so do those with autism – there are no two alike, all are different in some way.

Anna from the outset of her sons diagnosis’, and from being turned away by so many schools, was determined to prove her sons were ‘Not Stupid’, that they had something to offer and COULD achieve. The book explains, and Anna clearly demonstrates that she did just that! Proving that anything is possible, if you believe.. then you CAN achieve. Hence the title of Annas book..

There are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK diagnosed with autism, and Anna wanted to show the World that having autism didn’t mean they were ‘stupid’. She pulled every ounce of determination from her soul and succeeded in creating a vital centre of excellence for those with autism. A dedicated place to help those with autism to thrive and succeed in the best way they possibly could with support and encouragement, making them feel valued and part of society. And why shouldn’t they?!

A truly inspiring story of true grit, determination and love for two boys Anna believed in – but not just for her boys, the whole autism community, and all those with special needs. You will enter this book and go on a journey, following a winding road of emotions, tears of sadness and joy, and come out the other side feeling inspired, with a deep love and admiration that those with autism deserve the right to be heard, understood and accepted just the way they are.

She was ‘just a Mum’ of two boys with autism. But in reality, she was much more than that. She was a light, a beacon of hope, of inspiration.. someone who would continue her journey forever on this path of inclusion for all, indeed a role model for all. Have your tissues ready, as you delve into the TRUE story of a family who were determined to prove their boys deserved more. And they did just that, and MORE. Enjoy.

Follow Anna and her Charitys’ journey here, and don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter! https://www.annakennedyonline.com/email-updates/

“Not Stupid” written by Anna Kennedy: A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

Arna & Ruby written by Helen Eaton Illustrations by Kris Coley – Book Review

The author Helen Eaton writes about her background in back of this book, as does Illustrator Kris Coley. Both are absolutely outstanding and have come together to communicate Autism to the World in this magically brilliant book. It’s a real gem!

The illustrations are monochrome throughout, in a graphic book form of story telling. They are amazingly drawn with such detail, and each page is filled with a myriad of content. Absolutely and intricately professional!

The book follows the journey of a boy called Arna, and a girl called Ruby from two different families, and their different experiences of Autism. I love how it doesn’t just highlight Autism in terms of the children diagnosed, but also from the parents perspective – the questions they have, how they feel, their worries, anxieties, hopes and dreams for their children.

All too often books focus on the children diagnosed only, explaining what Autism means and how it affects the diagnosed person. However this book is expertly written also from the parents perspective, as they navigate their journey, from hearing the diagnosis, to including life at school.

I also love the way the author manages to convey the unique differences and nuances of how a male and female present – this is so very important and has been cleverly described and illustrated. The words and the illustrations both tell a story, both complimenting each other beautifully.

This book is a must for all parents, and indeed anyone who feels unsure or those struggling with understanding how autism can present. I read it thinking this would be useful for so many people, parents, their children, and would definitely have a place within educational settings to help with awareness, understanding and acceptance.

Whether you’ve read tons of books about Autism, or had training, I would say this book will definitely have something more to give. It’s unique in how it covers so many areas and situations of Autism in its format, and would be of particular great use for parents of / and children transitioning to Secondary school, older children, and mainstream settings.

Its a must on any readers list regarding Autism in any shape or form. Informative, open and honest, and representative of both a parents and older childs view. Skilfully illustrated on every corner of each page. Totally loved it!


Our Lockdown Cookbook by The Students of the ASD Base – Book review

First of all, when I picked up this book it made me smile instantly! The front cover is beautifully colourful with some fabulous quirky illustrations by Jack D. Evans, with a lovely clear bold heading at the top. I don’t know about you, but I’m always drawn to a book initially by the front cover, .. and then I always turn to the back for the synopsis..

The back cover displays some truly admirable people, greatly respected for their efforts and contribution in their own fields in society. Great advocates I thought, and it was inspiring to read their thoughts and acknowledgements for the cookbook content.

The foreword of this book is written by Mrs Esther Nicolaou; the ASD Base Manager of Cwmbran High School. She explains the ethos behind the book, how it came about during lockdown, and what it represents. I love the way she details how the students used the time and developed new skills – and forgive the pun; but the ‘proof is in the pudding’ of their new skills in this fabulous cookbook!

The book shares some amazing recipes from a group of ASD children. ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder, ie Autism as most commonly known. These fabulous children have turned a negative – been stuck at home in lockdown – to a resounding positive! How cool is that?!

Lockdowns have been a strange time for all. A time where most have been able to reflect on their lives, and try something different. Those with autism and their families have experienced highs and lows in lockdown, just as anybody else has. Here are a group of amazing talented pupils using this time to create something which is really rather special.

We sat down as a family and went through the cookbook together, discussing and sharing our comments. Our son has autism and adhd so we were interested in his feedback – he smiled the whole way through it. He said the front cover illustrations made him happy as it reminded him of the animated film ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’! He actually smiled the whole way through reading the book, and he liked seeing the photos of each person along with their name.

We each struggled to choose a favourite recipe as they all sound so great! We loved the way the book shared safety kitchen rules at the start, something lots of cookbooks forget, so a big thumbs up for this! Also we thought it was brilliantly thought out including a list of equipment that might be needed, what a great idea!

The cookbook is clear, and laid out in an easy user friendly way. Each page has the students name, photo, recipe title, with a list of ingredients, step by step method, and a photo of the finished dish. All too often cookbooks are too full of written information lacking interest, and lacking a photo of the finished article. This cookbook shone in all of these areas, and having the recipe authors name with their photo makes the book more personable and relatable. It’s difficult to choose just one favourite recipe as there is something for everyone.

A definite success, and a cookbook that’s a winner in our eyes. Well done to all the students who worked so hard, and delivered on a challenge to learn new skills during a difficult time in lockdown for the whole Country. You really have produced a fabulous cookbook that would inspire and motivate anyone to get cooking. Keep up the great work, you and your cookbook are brilliant!

Please contact Cwmbran High School to buy your own copy, you will love it !

From A Tear to Here by Dawn Avery – Book Review

A Champions review of a Champions Book!

As a Charity Champion for https://www.annakennedyonline.com/ I first met the Averys at Autism’s Got Talent (AGT) at The Mermaid Theatre in London. I attend this show every year, it moves me every time, and to me it’s ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’! The year I met the Averys I had just organised a loan car from my workplace for the Charitys’ upcoming AGT roadshow; which was a spin-off from this London event it was so popular! Dawns youngest son Aston had been on stage in London receiving a standing ovation, he performed brilliantly and everyone loved him – I remember being outside the theatre afterwards with my Mother-in-Law Chris where we saw Aston and family – we were super excited to see him and let the Averys know how much we’d enjoyed his performance as we passed by. We admitted to being a bit starstruck having just seen him perform live on stage!

Dawn had mentioned early on to us that she was writing a book about their families journey, so having read Annas amazing book ‘Not Stupid’ I knew I’d want to buy it. I LOVE a good book, and when it’s about something your family relates to, it makes it all the more important. I especially love seeing Dawns Aston perform song ‘Budapest’ and always call him my ‘Budapest Buddy’! I loved seeing Aston each year, he was thriving more each time – and I also enjoyed supporting families on the day of AGT too as Dawn mentions in her book. I have too many memorable families to mention, you become instantly so proud of them – all of them have their own ‘pocket of greatness’ as I say, and all outstanding!

What a great book this is! From start to finish, anyone in or involved with an autism family will feel a connection to the Averys journey in this lovely book. Indeed I felt many similarities in some parts, and it was nice to actually read something that talked about some of the stuff we too went through, just like Annas book did. If you hadn’t already known the Averys, when you read this book, it has a sense of holding you in such a way that you’d feel like you knew them.

The books covers are striking, standing out in an eye catching design, and when you delve in, it’s a truly lovely read, has a great writing style, and will have you on a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s written in such a way that the reader will feel a personal connection, and gain an understanding of an autism families journey. Dawn writes lovingly so about her boys, husband and family, and quite rightly so. Aston not only has autism, he has other health conditions which added to their journey and quest to do whatever it takes to help and support him.

In fact it’s common for those with autism to have other and overlapping conditions, as does my son Christopher. Dawn has written about their journey in such a way as to show that Aston is who he is WITH various conditions, and NOT in-spite of them. And that’s right don’t you think?!

She has been true to herself and thanked all the professionals and family, and it is clear, you can feel the warmth and love oozing from each page of the book. An added bonus are the pages nestled in the centre with a selection of fabulous photos of Aston and family; just a snippet of his journey .. (and trust me at every event I always manage to sneak a selfie with Aston, I think he’s used to me doing that now and have a few photos .. I’m such a big fan!).

As an autism parent, it’s nice to read something you can truly relate to, where the words resonate with you. I found myself thinking back to our own journey, as Dawns book brought back some memories for me that’s for sure. I loved this book, it was so honest and transparent, such a clear read and would be great for anyone new to autism to get their teeth into. A must on the book list for those just starting their journey.

Infact whether you are just at the start of your journey, or .. already on your own path, you will find something to hold dear from this book, something of true meaning to you. Do give it a read, you can get hold of your copy of Dawns book via our Charity website link below, where you can also read about Aston, Dr Anna Kennedy OBE, all the other Ambassadors, Patrons and of course us Charity Champions! Don’t forget you can sign up there to our Newsletter to hear about all things autism for our Charity with upcoming events, workshops and more! https://www.annakennedyonline.com/donations/from-a-tear-to-here-book/

A Champion’s review of a Champion’s book

Dysfunctional Hearts by L S Pullen – Book review

Having read this authors debut novel ‘Where The Heart Is’, I couldn’t wait for the next book to be published as I had become an instant fan of their writing style. Yes, as I’ve said before, although I have a kindle, I’m still a bit old school and love the thrill of holding that new book in my hand, along with the smell of new print, front cover design and synopsis on the back cover.

Soon enough, ‘Dysfunctional Hearts’ was released by L.S.Pullen, and I couldn’t wait to order my copy. I was extremely excited because it would involve two characters mentioned in the debut novel; Charlie Broadbent and Sophie Taylor. From their initial meeting in the debut novel, you could sense there would be a journey of some kind and indeed this would be true..

The new style front cover drew my attention in and I loved it. I delved straight in and couldn’t put the book down. The book is so cleverly written following on seamlessly from ‘Where the Heart Is’ and does not disappoint! Charlie was one of those characters you could sense as being a cheeky chappie, but as you knew he was Nates best mate, you knew he would be likeable and a great guy. You couldn’t help but fall for Charlie as he would make you laugh, cry .. and yes angry at one point .. yet you still felt a pull to like him.

Indeed Charlie and Sophie were to travel an incredibly heartwarming and real journey that took you on a ride of different emotions. Sophie had her own history to which anyone reading would find incredibly hard not to have deep empathy with. This book was a true love story, and a book of learning how everyone had their own background, their own past, and how they could tentatively move out of the present, and attempt to dip their toes into the water of the future. This was a book of showing how it is is possible to succeed after adversity, and to come through from the darkness to the light.

The story truly pulls at your heartstrings, and did not disappoint with its different turns on a winding path of adventure. A story that makes you realise certain things about life, and yourself, and although of course you hope for a happy ending, I really loved the way it wasn’t straightforward and predictable as so often some books are.. this most definitely was original and would have you on the edge of your seat.

The chemistry between Charlie and Sophie is strong and I would definitely recommend grabbing yourself a copy.. you will be so pleased you did!

A great story, great front and back cover, and I truly believe this author is one to follow. With two books published, and great reviews, you won’t be disappointed. So.. go grab her books now !