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Blog Tour Review - The Only Way Out is Death by Varun Gwalani

 Blog Tour Review - The Only Way Out is Death by Varun Gwalani Twelve powerful people are kidnapped and imprisoned in an empty hotel. Each one of them has three choices: Live out the rest of their days peacefully in the hotel, Die by suicide so the rest of their companions can go free, Or murder one of their companions so they alone can go free. The Only Way Out is Death follows the story of these twelve people from the perspective of a young lawyer, Kiriaki, told as the events unfold. She has to forge messy alliances, navigate complex relationships and feuds, and, above all, try to stay alive. Meanwhile, the mastermind of this death game is lurking just out of view, watching them closely, making sure they are primed for murder. Will Kiriaki find the mastermind before it's too late for her? Will she outmanoeuvre the cutthroats before they cut her throat? There are twelve selfish lives in the hotel. Will it end in twelve selfish deaths? The Only Way Out is Death is a fascinating nov

Blog Tour - Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll

 Blog Tour Review 

Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll

12-year-old Cora is dragged to a party by her brother Gregor, who is keen for her to meet
his boss – the intimidating CEO of the Pomegranate Institute, Magnus Hawkins. Once
there, she unexpectedly strikes up a friendship with his son, Adrien. They soon discover
that their difference is what draws them together – Cora is autistic and Adrien has ADHD.
Cora is intrigued by Pomegranate, who are using AI to create life-like holograms of people
to provide comfort to grieving families. Magnus and the charming head scientist Dr Gold
are keen to get Cora more involved, but her Dad is suspicious of their motives. It becomes
clear that Pomegranate have a much darker aim. . . Can Cora be the one to stop them?

Show Us Who You Are is a dream of a better tomorrow. It is powerfully emotional and stunningly beautiful. I absolutely adore this book, and I wept my way through a good half of it.

Elle McNicoll first burst onto our bookshelves with last year's A Kind of Spark, another gorgeous book about an autistic young heroine which has gone on to win the 2021 Blue Peter Book Award, been longlisted for the 2021 Brandford Boase Award and shortlisted for the 2020 Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, and deservedly so! 

Now she's back with her second novel, Show Us Who You Are. Like A Kind of Spark, this novel deals with an autistic heroine, Cora. Elle McNicoll is neurodivergent herself, and her knowledge and experience really help to bring Cora startlingly and brilliantly to life.

There's a definite feel of Black Mirror here, in the way we're shown important and frightening truths about our world through a touch of sci-fi. Like so many episodes of Black Mirror, Show Us Who You Are deals with technology that is possibly slightly beyond our current abilities, but is so believable. In this case it is holograms of people that you can sit with and chat to, as if they were there with you. It's a little like that super creepy hologram Kanye got Kim of her dad talking to her, except that it is realistically interactive, and maybe not as super creepy? Or maybe it is? A lot of that is left up to the reader to decide.

This isn't really a story about hologram technology. It's a story about scientific and medical ethics. It's a story about friendship and family. It's a story about grief and how we deal with it. It's a story about a girl who is autistic and a boy who has ADHD and how they see the world and how that's okay and normal and wonderful. It's a story about an extraordinary girl who stands up and says, unashamedly "This is who I am." It is heartbreaking, and inspiring and utterly, utterly beautiful.

It is absolutely a five-moon book too.

Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll is out now, published by Knights Of. 

I was given a review copy in return for participation in this blog tour, and an honest review. Please do check out the rest of the tour!


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