#THEPOOLREADS This week we’re reading 1 min #THEPOOLREADS This week we’re reading 1 min A tale of police brutality and racism through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl, the British Mean Girls – but with murder, and the female equivalent of Hunter S Thompson, whose story is filled with bad decisions and earth-shattering romances Added on 14.09.18 Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Email LinkedIn A tale of police brutality and racism through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl, the British Mean Girls – but with murder, and the female equivalent of Hunter S Thompson, whose story is filled with bad decisions and earth-shattering romances Louise Stephenson is reading… Zero by Gine Cornelia Pedersen I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but if this cover is anything to go by then it’s safe to say the whole thing is utterly fabulous. Every page resembles an almost poetic structure, which is a beautiful way for us to enter the protagonist’s world, where she speaks frankly about her life with mental-health problems. And having won the prestigious Tarjei Vesaas First Book award, as well as starring in the TV show Young and Promising (Walter Presents), Pedersen is definitely one to watch. • BUY Zero by Gine Cornelia Pedersen on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. ELAINE ROBB IS READING… ALTERNATE SIDE BY ANNA QUINDLEN As a diehard Londoner born and bred, I love novels where a big city features as a character in its own right, as New York does here. Only thing is, New York was about the most interesting character in the whole book. The blurb promised “tensions in a tight-knit neighbourhood and a seemingly happy marriage” exposed by an “unexpected act of violence”, but the reality is an incredibly slow-paced detailing of the minutiae of middle-aged, middle-class life. I just couldn’t get on board with Nora Nolan’s musings on the humdrum tribulations of family life (probably because I’ve got enough of that in my own world) and the fact that it took until page 234 to really get going was a step too far. Quindlen writes well – I just didn’t enjoy what she was writing about. • BUY Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. Caroline O’Donoghue is reading… Valencia by Michelle Tea Ever wondered who the female Hunter S Thompson is? I've got news: it's Michelle Tea. Her 2000 novel follows Tea throughout her early twenties in San Francisco, and it's a story suffused with sex, drugs, bad decisions, callous decisions and earth-shattering romances. It's a cult classic for a reason and, by the end, you'll feel like you have a new group of friends that your mum doesn't approve of. • BUY Valencia by Michelle Tea on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. Lauren Bravo is reading… Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid I recently tore through this brilliant debut from journalist Rebecca Reid (out on ebook and audiobook now, paperback coming in February). She describes it as "British Mean Girls with murder", which is pretty bang-on – it's darkly humorous, pacy and clever, exploring oh-so-relatable issues through a thrillingly escapist plot. Through her three central characters, boarding-school friends 18 years on, Reid unpicks the more toxic elements of female friendship and the pressures on women to present a perfect, glossy facade. Plus, the ending is killer. • BUY Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. Emily Baker is reading… The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas It's rare that my sister will recommend a book, as she's not the biggest of readers, but she wouldn't stop talking about The Hate U Give. If it's ringing a bell, you've probably heard of it because it's been adapted into a film that will be out in November. Starr is the main character, though there are technically two of her – the polite Starr at her posh private school and the sweary, lively Starr who lives out in the black, underprivileged neighbourhood of Garden Heights. One night, after a party, Starr's best friend Khalil is pulled over by a policeman, who fatally shoots him. Starr is pulled into a world of grief, activism and politics, where she must decide whether to speak up, or hide away. The Hate U Give tells the tale of police brutality and racism through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl – a narrative we're only used to hearing via the media. I really hope the film does it justice, because this story deserves to be heard. • BUY The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop.