House of Windows guest post, from Alexia Casale

I always think it’s fascinating to get an insight ‘behind the scenes’ into the process which brings a book from a concept to the finished article, ready to be read and enjoyed. House of Windows is Alexia Casale’s second young adult novel, published by Faber, who also published her highly-acclaimed debut The Bone Dragon, and, as I mentioned on the podcast, is the story of Nick, who heads to university at the age of 15. That university is Cambridge and soon he is selected to cox for the college rowing crew, and things take an interesting turn.

Not only was my interest grabbed by those plot points, but Alexia has kindly written a brilliant article which introduces the way in which House of Windows has been shaped by herself as the author but also by the editorial team at Faber, and what that process has been like. It’s illuminating reading for anyone, but especially for any budding writers out there. Continue reading “House of Windows guest post, from Alexia Casale”

Review: The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke – #laurelloganlost blog tour

LOST. 

When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister. 

FOUND.

Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…

Blog Banner - The Lost and the Found

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#UKYAday – loved that? Read this!

I’m a big UKYA reader, but then I’ve had a lot of practise – nearly 20 years worth of eagerly devouring fantastic books written for young people. I was lucky to be that age which coincided with the first big wave of books for teens, laying the foundation for the amazing range being published now. So, I thought I’d use those now-classics to recommend some newer UKYA writers you might like to try, if you haven’t already… Continue reading “#UKYAday – loved that? Read this!”

True Face – Siobhan Curham on Empowering Books for Women and Girls

True Face coverWhen I received an email recently from Faber, offering me the chance to read True Face by Siobhan Curham, and to host a guest post, I jumped at the chance. The effect of the media on young women (and men), in the twenty-teens, is huge – not only is there a bombardment of images telling you what you should look like and how you should act in TV and magazines, but our total immersion in a world of social media means that your appearance is constantly up for discussion and distribution.

While I – thankfully – didn’t have to cope with the combined effects of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and tumblr aged 12, I definitely felt that pressure myself as a teen, and one of the big things that helped me feel positive and empowered was reading about some fantastic female characters and the amazing things they were able to achieve. I asked Siobhan if she could share some of her recommendations of empowering reads for women and girls, and I’m glad to say she’s obliged. Read on, and discover them for yourself… Kate x

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Review: Othergirl by Nicole Burstein

A teenage girl with a burning secret…(…and a lot of homework).
A worldwide network of superheroes looking for hot new talent…and a best friend left behind to pick up the pieces.
Louise and Erica have been best friends since forever. They’re closer than sisters and depend on each other for almost everything. Just one problem: Erica’s a freaking superhero.

When Erica isn’t doing loop-the-loops in the sky or burning things with her heat pulse powers, she needs Louise to hold her non-super life together. After all, the girls still have homework, parents and boys to figure out. But being a superhero’s BFF is not easy, especially as trouble has a way of seeking them out. Soon Louise discovers that Erica might be able to survive explosions and fly faster than a speeding bullet, but she can’t win every fight by herself.

Life isn’t a comic book: it’s even crazier than that. Continue reading “Review: Othergirl by Nicole Burstein”

Review: Me & Mr J by Rachel McIntyre

Lara’s life is far from perfect, but being an upbeat kind of person she saves her venting for her diary. It’s the only place she can let out her true feelings about the family dramas and hideous bullying she has to face every day.
And then a shining light comes out of the darkness – the new, young and MALE teacher, Mr Jagger. The one person who takes Lara seriously and notices her potential. The one person who is kind to her. The one person who she falls madly and hopelessly in love with.
The one person who can never love her back…can he?
Continue reading “Review: Me & Mr J by Rachel McIntyre”