Browsing Tag

blog tour

Blog Tour UKYA Uncategorized

Life Lessons from Suzy P | Suzy P Blog Tour

Hi everyone! I’m Suzy Puttock, and I’m back in the third book in the Suzy P series, Suzy P, Forever Me. And, guess what, I’ve put my foot in it yet again… because I’ve made a promise I can’t keep. Kind of a big promise. To my entire school!

Why, oh why, did I say The Drifting would be performing at the Collinsbrooke fundraiser? As if trying to sort out that mess wasn’t enough, I also need to make sure Dad’s birthday bash isn’t a total disaster – especially as he’s already showing signs of a mid-life crisis…

Even with my best mates helping out, will I be able to pull off TWO parties of a lifetime?

It’s certainly not going to be easy…

Somehow these things just keep happening to me – if you’ve ever read the other Suzy P books you’ll understand. So here, without further ado, are some lessons I’ve learned in my life, which will hopefully stop you embarrassing yourself as much as I do on a daily basis. Cringe.

1. Think before you speak. Always engage brain before mouth. Don’t, for example, promise world famous bands at your school party, when it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to make it happen. That would be a seriously stupid thing to do.

2. Never cartwheel near a canal.


3. Don’t run in public. Especially near football players – you could fall over, pull someone’s shorts down, and reveal their Bart Simpson pants to the whole school.

4. Avoid camping holidays like the plague.

5. Always make sure you’re fully dressed when a fire alarm goes off.

6. No good can come of a date in a seafood restaurant.


7. A good hair serum is a must if you have out-of-control-wild curly hair. This may take some time to find

8. Never been seen in public in a bridesmaid’s dress.

9. Avoid mean girls with camera phones.

10. Most problems can be helped with hot chocolate with marshmallows. And/or cake.

Suzy P, Forever Me; Suzy P and the Trouble With Three and Me, Suzy P by Karen Saunders are available to buy online and from all good bookshops. If you’d like to find out more about the books or the author, do visit Karen online at, ‘like’ her on Facebook at or follow Karen on Twitter @writingkaren. Suzy tweets too, @suzyputtock, so don’t forget to follow her, too!

Blog Tour Book Review UKYA

REVIEW: Fashion Assassin by Sarah Sky


I was a HUGE fan of Sky’s debut novel, Code Red Lipstick, and so I was delighted to read the second instalment, Fashion Assassin.

In Fashion Assassin, the stakes are even higher as Jessica Cole works to discover Vectra with the setting of Monaco as a backdrop. With bratty models to guard and a deadly mission, Jessica truly is back with even more action.


Kickass Protagonist

I love Jessica so much! She’s so much fun to read about, and she’s such a refreshing protagonist.

Gripping Action

Sky’s books are SO awesome. I was gripped for two days and found it incredibly hard to put down. All I wanted to do was read, read, read! There’s always something massive happening that means you HAVE to know what will become of the characters.

Amazing Setting

One of my favourite things about the series is the diverse range of settings. The first book was set in Paris, and the second in Monaco! It’s so exciting to read about such interesting cultures that are different to many others written about in UKYA. Sky also writes them incredibly well, so that I feel like I’m actually there.


The third book in the Jessica Cole Model Spy series cannot come sooner. I need to know what happens immediately!

Blog Tour

Life in the 1950’s – Helpful Tips and Tricks by Robin Talley, Author of Lies We Tell Ourselves

My first book, Lies We Tell Ourselves, is set in 1959 Virginia. Since the book focuses on the school integration movement, I had to do a LOT of research to write it.

I read memoirs and watched recordings of oral histories. I dug up old newspaper articles and magazine coverage. I spent every Saturday for many weeks in the Virginia history room of a nearby library.

But in addition to learning the details of school integration, I also needed to know general background information on what life was like for teenagers in the late 1950s. So I read teen novels from the period, watched popular movies from 1959, and visited the Library of Congress to read vintage copies of Seventeen magazine.

I also poked around on YouTube for videos from the time. I was amazed to discover that YouTube is full of uploads of 1950s short videos that were produced by textbook companies. I assume these videos were shown in schools on film strips when the teachers wanted a break. (Which I would definitely want, if I had to teach kids who were anything like the ones in these videos.)

Since these short films were produced and written by adults who were trying to teach kids moral lessons, I doubt they actually have valuable information about authentic teen life at this time ― but they’re nonetheless pretty amazing to watch.

I expected them to be about things that I was taught in school health classes, like dental hygiene and the birds and the bees. Some of them were, but a surprising number were about how to manage one’s social life.

Like this one, about the dangers of snobbery. (Choice line: “Mother, don’t be so corny!”)

Or this one, about how having bad posture will cause you to be ostracized by everyone you love:

Or this video about how to choose a girl to ask on a date. “One thing you can consider is looks. … But it’s too bad Janet always acts so superior and boring.”

But it isn’t all fun and parties in old-school PSAs. This video from 1961, “Girls Beware,” includes the unforgettable line, “You can never find the right words to tell a mother her daughter has been murdered.”

Since the main characters of Lies We Tell Ourselves are gay, I made sure to seek out videos that discussed 1950s views on homosexuality. What I found was pretty disturbing.

Like “Boys Beware,” a public service announcement warning young kids, “You never know when a homosexual is about”:

And this chilling speech to a school auditorium full of students about how if they’re gay, they’ll get caught, “And the rest of your life will be a living hell”:

That said, these videos don’t portray heterosexuality in an especially positive light, either. This one focuses on the potential traumas of make-out parties and features a subtext-laden conversation about cucumbers:

So, what to take away from this collection, aside from the fact that teenagers in the 1950s appeared to be either eleven years old or in their mid-twenties, were exclusively Caucasian, and wore ankle-length skirts to school and prom dresses to their friends’ parties?

When I was writing Lies We Tell Ourselves, these videos helped me remember that the teenagers I was writing about had grown up in a world where videos like these were often the only information they got from authority figures about important topics like puberty and sex. I also kept in mind that preaching to teenagers about how they’re “supposed” to behave is likely to produce the opposite effect.

We’d like to think we’ve come a long way since the 1950s. In some ways we have, but that “Boys Beware” video always reminds me that there are still people today who view LGBT people first and foremost as predators. There are still people who teach girls that it’s their fault when they’re the victims of violence, too, as the narrator implies in “Girls Beware.” And it’s not as if all parents and teachers today are totally frank with their kids about everything ― many are just as likely to sugar-coat the truth and frame everything in “moral lesson” as the creators of these videos were.   

But I’m pleased to note one difference ― at least we’ve moved on from ankle-length skirts. I mean, seriously. Who can even walk in those?

Wait ― uh oh…

Blog Tour Book Review Uncategorized

10 DAYS TO GO: 5 Reasons to Read The Maze Runner


With the looming release date of the highly-anticipated movie adaptation of The Maze Runner, here are five reasons you should read the book:


The Maze Runner is action packed and will keep you up reading until the early hours. With a unique premise, it’s easy to slip into the world created by Dashner.


Reading the book before you watch the film will give you a major advantage over everyone else!


The world is so original – it even has its own dialect! This book is no pile of klunk.


There are so many dystopia novels out there at the moment, but this novel is one of the best. It’s adventurous and mysterious, with characters that you grow attached to and learn to love.


Once you’ve read The Maze Runner, you can read the rest in the series before those movies are released!

The Maze Runner is out now in paperback (£7.99) from Chicken House. 

Blog Tour

Rainbow Rowell Obsession Self-Diagnosis – Landline Blog Tour

Landline-Rainbow-RowellIt’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of Rainbow Rowell’s books. Like, seriously, if you were to come up to me and mention one of her books, it’s possible I may scream at you. I really am obsessed. Sometimes I even do silly things in the name of Rainbow and her books.

Today, as part of the Landline blog tour, I’m going to be talking about s0me of the symptoms of being a Rainbow Rowell fanatic.

1. You regularly host Emergency Kanye Dance Parties.

There is nothing better than throwing one of these when you’re feeling a bit down, and they remind me of Cath and Levi.

2. You stare at your phone all day, waiting for a phone call from the past.

I’m not sure what I’d even say if somebody rang me from the past. I’d probably be extremely freaked out at first, maybe even the whole time. If I could speak to anyone, I’d speak to my Granddad just because I can’t think of anyone I’d want to talk to more.

3. You desperately want to read the Simon Snow books, and ship Simon and Baz.

I need more Simon Snow in my life. Gemma T. Leslie, why aren’t you real?! I want to go to Watford!

4. You plan on calling your kids either Cath, Levi, Lincoln, Beth, Jennifer, Georgie, Eleanor, Park or Neal. 

I’m serious. It better happen. Populate the Earth with mini Rainbow Rowell characters please!

5. Park isn’t just a place you visit, Levi’s aren’t just jeans, Lincoln isn’t just a president, and Wren isn’t just a bird.

Too many bookish references in everyday life! TOO. MANY. TOO. FUNCTION. NORMALLY.

Are you a Rainbow Rowell fanatic? I know I am!

Landline is out now from Orion Books, and YOU NEED TO HAVE IT IN YOUR LIFE. I mean it! Go out and buy it right this minute (preferably in your local indie bookshop) and then enjoy every single word.

Blog Tour Guest Post

Sealed with a Kiss Blog Tour: Rachael Lucas on Her Top 5 Romantic Novels

21943796Today I’m very lucky to have Rachael Lucas, author of Sealed with a Kiss, on the blog. I loved Sealed with a Kiss and my review will  be up later this week, but, in the meantime, here’s a bit about Sealed with a Kiss:

Kate is dumped on her best friend’s wedding day by the world’s most boring boyfriend, Ian. She’s mostly cross because he got in first – until she remembers she’s now homeless as well as jobless. Rather than move back home to her ultra-bossy mother, Kate takes a job on the remote Scottish island of Auchenmor as an all-round Girl Friday. Her first day is pretty much a disaster: she falls over, smack bang at the feet of her grouchy new boss, Roddy, Laird of the Island. Unimpressed with her townie ways, he makes it clear she’s got a lot to prove.

Island life has no room for secrets, but prickly Roddy’s keeping something to himself. When his demanding ex-girlfriend appears back on the island, Kate’s budding friendship with her new boss comes to an abrupt end. What is Fiona planning – and can she be stopped before it’s too late?

My Top Five Romantic Novels by Rachael Lucas

 – and this is such a tricky one to do that I’ve actually sneaked in six, and one is actually a whole series, but shhh, don’t tell… Continue Reading

Blog Tour

Don’t Even Think About It Blog Tour: Q & A Part 1 with Sarah Mlynowski

21399241A Q&A in Which We (Other Authors) Ask Sarah a Bunch of Questions and She Answers Them (part one)

Q. From your first thoughts about writing Don’t Even Think About It to your last revision, what concept or character changed the most? —SUSANE COLASANTI (Susane is the author of seven teen novels. She is thinking that visits to the nurse’s office aren’t what they used to be.)

A. The most radical change in my book was the point of view.   When I outlined the novel, it was all from Olivia’s perspective. But some early readers—hi, Jess Rothenberg!—suggested that the book might be better served by showing multiple points of view. So that’s what I did.

Q. Hi, Sarah! Speaking of point of view, I love how the narrator in Don’t Even Think About It isn’t just one person—it’s everyone! What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in writing from the perspectives of so many characters at once? —JESS ROTHENBERG (Jess is the author of The Catastrophic History of You and Me. She is thinking about how much more fun high school would have been if she could have read everybody’s mind.)

A. The biggest challenge I faced was deciding when and how to jump into various characters’ heads. I had to balance staying true to rules of first person plural with helping the reader care about the individual characters. I also had to choose whose thoughts I showed—and whose I left out.

Q. Should I write a book in first person plural? It seems hard. And I’m lazy. —ROBIN WASSERMAN (Robin is the author of The Waking Dark and The Book of Blood and Shadow. She is thinking about taking a nap.)

A. Since you’ve written over seventy books, I don’t think the word lazy can be applied to you. But yes, it was hard. And yes, you definitely should do it. A book in first person plural by you would be amazing. And likely scary. Oh! Oh! It should be from the perspective of a group of serial killers! Or murder victims! Or decades-old-secret- society members! C’mon, Robin. Everybody’s doing it.

Q. Sarah, there is a character in this book named Courtney. She is not very likable. But you find me likable, don’t you? —COURTNE Y SHEINMEL (Courtney is the author of several books, including Positively and the Stella Batts series for young readers. She is thinking about naming a character in her next book after Sarah.)

Continue Reading

Blog Tour Guest Post

Books I’ve Read Recently – Stella by Helen Eve Blog Tour

Hey everyone! I’m very lucky to have Helen Eve on the blog today, who is the author of Stella. She has written a great post about the books she has read recently, and I really hope you enjoy it.

GONE GIRL (Gillian Flynn)

I was slow to discover this book, but I loved the exploration of unreliable dual narrators, a beautiful anti-heroine and the intricacies of media representation.

THE BONE DRAGON (Alexia Casale)16116963

Narrator Evie both reveals and conceals harrowing details from her past in this haunting thriller which leads the reader, via magic realism, the beauty of nocturnal nature and the redemptive power of revenge, to a wonderfully unsettling conclusion.

DARE ME (Megan Abbott)

I loved the lyrical prose of The End of Everything, and the subject matter is equally dark in this high school-set crime thriller where a new cheerleading coach threatens the status of the current queen bee.

WHY WE BROKE UP (Daniel Handler)

A letter from Min to her erstwhile boyfriend Ed, this vivid colour-illustrated novel details the pain and angst of a teenage relationship gone irreversibly awry.

THE FIFTH WAVE (Rick Yancey)

A beautifully rendered father-daughter relationship was my favourite element of this dystopian novel detailing an alien attack that decimates most of the earth’s population.

THE TWISTED THREAD (Charlotte Bacon)

I found this boarding school-set mystery distinct in its primary focus on the reactions of adults following the murder of a popular student and the disappearance of her previously undiscovered baby.

TheFifthWavecoverTHE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL (Philippa Gregory)

I enjoyed the film but only recently read the book, and was pleased to discover that the sisterly dynamic between Anne and Mary as they vie for the King’s attentions in this historical interpretation was every bit as fascinating as I’d hoped.


Social media is almost a character in this book, such is its part in Amelia’s downfall and her mother’s subsequent investigation of her apparent suicide as she uncovers the rituals of a venomous school clique.


FOLLOW ME DOWN (Tanya Byrne), THE LIST (Siobhan Vivian), AMELIA ANNE IS DEAD AND GONE (Kat Rosenfeld), ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS (Sarah McCarry), BURN FOR BURN (Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian)

STELLA is out now from Macmillan Children’s Books.