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Stripes YA Showcase

On Saturday 18 February, Kate joined lots of lovely bloggers, the Stripes YA team and some fantastic guests for a YA showcase, to hear about some of their wonderful upcoming …

Today Will Be Different: Maria Semple blog tour

Today Will Be Different is the new novel from Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and when I spotted early copies, it’s safe to say I was pretty unashamed about seeing if I could nab one as I was really keen to read it and share my thoughts with you.

I really enjoyed it, I think even more so than Maria’s previous novel, in part because of the ingenious way that the whole book plays out over the course of one day, albeit with the clever use of flashbacks, as the main character, Eleanor, encounters various objects or thinks about different people, especially her husband and sister.

I’m very pleased that Maria Semple has stopped by to answer my question about her choice to write in that way…


“When I wrote that first page and felt its electricity, that pretty much dictated the form of the novel. It told me I was writing about a woman who was waking up one morning determined to be her best self. And despite Eleanor setting the bar almost comically low for herself, her plans still go awry.”

As well as the fascinating way it’s written, I loved the wit and humour of Today Will Be Different, as well as the way that Semple creates the most extraordinary characters who are also completely human and relatable. I am desperate to watch the animated series the Elanor works on – it sounds like sassy My Little Ponies – and Timby, her son, is delightful. Her relationship with her sister is sometimes tender, sometimes tragic to the point of heartbreaking. There are also some wonderful slapstick moments – especially in a sculpture park – that have to be read to be believed…

Look out on my Twitter for a chance to RT and win a copy of the book, and have you been following the tour so far?

  • 18th August: Nina Stibbe
  • 25th August: Beth Book Blogger
  • 1st Sept: Notes From The Chair
  • 8th Sept: Amy Pirt
  • 15th Sept: Adventures With Words
  • 22nd Sept: Queens Park Books
  • 29th Sept: Alison Percival
  • 6th Oct: Marian Keyes

Description 

Eleanor Flood knows she’s a mess. But today will be different. Today she will shower and put on real clothes. She will attend her yoga class after dropping her son, Timby, off at school.

She’ll see an old friend for lunch. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action – life happens. For today is the day Timby has decided to pretend to be ill to weasel his way into his mother’s company.

It’s also the day surgeon Joe has chosen to tell his receptionist – but not Eleanor – that he’s on vacation. And just when it seems that things can’t go more awry, a former colleague produces a relic from the past – a graphic memoir with pages telling of family secrets long buried and a sister to whom Eleanor never speaks.

#BuyBooksForSyria: Why I’m championing The Knife of Never Letting Go

It’s always great to be able to champion a great book, but even better to do that in aid of a good cause. Waterstones have launched #BuyBooksForSyria, teaming up with a host of publishers to offer a huge selection of books on sale at full price in their shops, with 100% of that price going to Oxfam’s Syria crisis appeal. They’ve also been reaching out to bloggers who might have a favourite or be able to recommend one of the titles on the list, and as soon as I saw The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, I knew I had to share my review of the Chaos Walking trilogy with you again. Read on, and if you like the sound of The Knife, you can head to your local Waterstones branch to buy a copy. You can even click and collect to make sure it’s there waiting for you… (more…)

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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Podcast: Rock The Boat and Goodbye Malorie

In June’s YA Edition of Adventures With Words, Kate looks at the four titles in new YA/Children’s imprint Rock The Boat’s launch list, talks about some new books she’s received recently and the last YA book she’s read, as well as paying tribute to outgoing Children’s Laureate, the inspirational Malorie Blackman. (more…)

#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… (more…)

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. (more…)