Posts Tagged ‘British book’

Unboxed

Non Pratt

Unboxed is about four teenagers who come together after several months apart. In previous years, they had put together a time capsule about their best summer with a friend who was dying. Now that their friend has passed, they reunite to open the box.

I went into this book with high expectations. Having heard of many people who had read the book and really enjoyed it, I expected it to be a good read. Fortunately, I am here to report that I really liked the book. It was a short book so I was a little worried that I would not have a chance to fully connect to the characters but I need not have worried at all. All of the characters were well grounded, well thought-out and easy to imagine and like. I especially connected with Alix who is our main protagonist. I loved how you could really get inside her head not only to understand more about her but also to understand more about this small group of teenagers and the lives that they live.

It was wonderful getting to know each of the different characters and this small brief part of their lives. I loved that it felt like you were witnessing something magical as they delved into their past and what it was that essentially brought them all together before tearing them all apart again. It was beautiful in so many ways and the book ends in such a hopeful and bright way that you can’t help but imagine that from now on, these four will not let anything get in the way of their friendship. It’s just such a perfect short but poignant story that I would highly recommend to others.

Verdict:This is essentially a very emotional and magical book that will touch your heart when you least expect it.

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Publication Date: August 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 140
Genre: Contemporary
Age: YA
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British book
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Blog Tour: The Elders

Inbali Iserles
FOXCRAFT THE ELDERS Isla’s search for her missing brother, Pirie, has brought her to the vast Wildlands. The forest is a treacherous place for a fox cub, but Isla is talented in foxcraft — ancient arts of cunning known only to her kind.
Skilled though she is, Isla’s grasp of foxcraft is still new. And she’s not alone… A cruel and mysterious fox stalks the forest, with the power to enslave others to his will. In order to survive, Isla must learn to trust in the rustic Wildlands foxes.
But there are tales of others — a council of Elders who are masters of foxcraft, and who warily guard its most potent secrets. If Isla wishes to master her gifts and find her brother, then the Elders may be her only hope.

First things first, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
Hello! Hmm, let me think… I was born in Jerusalem but if you go back far enough, the Iserles family was Spanish – and interestingly, that’s where most people guess I’m from on the basis of looks.

What else? Not a lot of people know that while I love aubergines in almost every form, I’m scared to touch them because I burned my hand on one as a child.

And finally… Although I have an incredibly sweet dog, a Japanese Spitz called Michi, I would never define myself as a “dog person” or a “cat person”. I’m an animal lover and it’s in my DNA. As a child, I appalled my grandmothers by feeding stray cats and nagged my parents for pets of every kind (including hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, cats and a guinea pig). I love all animals really… Yes, even rats. Even snakes. This doesn’t mean I’d invite either into my bed!

How different was it writing a sequel?
In some ways, writing a sequel is easier as you have already established the parameters of the world – something that requires careful handling in fantasy. One of the challenges is how to recap on the previous book without bogging down the action. I prefer a light touch where possible, with gentle clues and reminders buried in plot-driven sequences.

What is your favourite aspect of writing?
I absolutely love thinking up stories. The thrill of new landscapes, of magic and fantasy worlds… The shaping of characters… This is what I live for. I’m less of a natural editor as by the time I’m editing the manuscript, I already know what happens, and I’m excited to get to the next thing. To edit, one needs patience – a quality I possibly don’t have in abundance…

Where is your favourite place to write?
I usually write in my study. I love the idea of writing in cafes but I’m far too easily distracted. I download playlists for each book but I don’t listen to music while I actually write. I’m a fan of writing retreats when these are feasible, and my favourite bolt hole is a lovely little place on the Suffolk coast, nestled between marshes, woodland and sea.

Can you tell us anything exciting about your main protagonist?
The series is told in first person through the eyes of Isla, a young fox. She returns to her den to discover that her family has disappeared and strange foxes are circling. The den itself smells of cinders. The foxes turn on her and she flees into the night. That is how the adventure begins…

I found it thrilling to narrate a story through a fox’s perspective. Isla is brave, loyal and stubborn. True to her kind, she is inquisitive – sometimes at her own expense. She takes risks.

If you could live in any fictional world, where would you choose to live?
Hobbiton in Middle Earth, but only after Sauron has been vanquished!

What was your favourite book to read as a child?
As a young child, I was a fan of Mog, Judith Kerr’s famously forgetful cat. I then became enchanted by Tove Jansson’s Moomin adventures. I still adore all things Moomin! Moving into my teens, my favourite book was Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Such characters, such a sense of time, of mood. Of jeopardy and hope!

Can you describe your book in a tweet? (140 characters)
Foxcraft: The Elders

Isla’s quest continues. The mysterious Elder Foxes hide deep in the Wildlands. Can they unlock the secret of her brother’s disappearance?

Questions by Faye

Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: October 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Genre: Fantasy
Age: MG
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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Salvage

Keren David
salvageAidan Jones was my brother. But I couldn’t really remember his face. I couldn’t remember talking to him or playing with him. He was just a gap, an absence, a missing person.
Before she was adopted by a loving family and raised in a leafy Home Counties town, Cass Montgomery was Cass Jones. Her memories of her birth family disappeared with her name. But when her adopted family starts to break down, a way out comes in the form of a message from her lost brother, Aidan. Having Aidan back in her life is both everything she needs and nothing she expected. Who is this boy who calls himself her brother? And why is he so haunted?
I glance at the paper. There’s a big picture on the front page. A girl with dark red hair. A girl with eyes that might have been green or they might have been grey. I sit down and stare at Cass, and it is her, it is. My stolen sister.
Aidan’s a survivor. He’s survived an abusive step-father and an uncaring mother. He’s survived crowded foster homes and empty bedsits. His survived to find Cass. If only he can make her understand what it means to be part of his family. . .

What were your initial thoughts of the book?
I have been meaning to read Salvage for months now and when I finally got around to reading it, I felt like kicking myself for waiting so long. Salvage is an interesting story about a family that is broken in more ways than one. Personally, I love both issue books and books that are character-driven and this book was both. It was also a book that took me on an emotional rollercoaster. I found myself quickly getting attached to all of the characters and just really enjoyed reading about their journeys.

What was your favourite aspect of the book?
That the story was character-driven. This wasn’t about how things impacted the characters but was instead about how the characters were affected by the changes happening in their own lives. It was about a brother seeking his sister and his sister deciding to take a leap of faith. I admired that so much in this book and just loved watching the characters grow because of the decisions they had made. It made the story very entertaining and thrilling – the perfect gritty read.

Who was your favourite character and why?
This was a hard pick for me as all the characters in this story have their own unique merits that make them fantastic – such as kind and generous Will, and smart, sweet and strong Cass, but eventually I chose Aiden. Aiden has overcome so much in his life to become the person he is in the book. I loved reading about his past and present and can just imagine how his future will now play out. I thought Aidan was such a strong, thoughtful, kind and loving character who just had some difficulties to overcome in his life. He was also very well-written!

Would you recommend this book?
Absolutely! I know that there are people who don’t like to read issue books but if you do, I would highly recommend this one. While there was one small moment that I had a problem with, overall this book was incredible. It was full of a fascinating and moving plot, fully realistic and loveable characters and is a book that is just full of heart. So if that is what you look for in a book, definitely read Salvage.

Summarize the book in one sentence. (Verdict)
An emotional, but wonderful book about becoming our best selves despite our pasts. A book that is a definite must read.

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher:Atom
Publication Date: July 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Genre:Contemporary
Age: YA
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: British book
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The Sin Eaters Daughter

Melinda Salisbury
sin eaters daughterSeventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.
She’s the executioner.
As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.
But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.
However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

What were your initial thoughts of the book?
I very much enjoyed this book. I instantly connected with it, found it to be truly fascinating and struggled to put it down. I had been dying to get my hands on a copy of this book because I had heard so much about it and thought that it sounded like a truly brilliant read that I would love. And I did. There were so many things going on in this book and Melinda truly knows how to bring forth emotions in a reader. I’m very much looking forward to the sequel.

What was your favourite aspect of the book?
There were quite a lot of fantastic elements in this book that I adored reading about and choosing just one is proving to be rather difficult but I think I’m going to go with the world. I loved the world that Melinda has created in this book. I loved the idea of the Daunen Embodied, loved the idea of the Sin-Eater and I just loved the different countries that were mentioned. I could really picture this world and that isn’t always easy to do with fantasy books.

Who was your favourite character and why?
Finally, a favourite character that wasn’t the main protagonist! I loved all of the characters in this book but my favourite of them all had to be the Queen. I loved her so much. Melinda has truly created the embodiement of an evil queen. She’s created someone who is evil but also flawed and still human and it was just so great to read. I loved that she reminded me of the Red Queen but also that she felt different from her too. I think this was a really strong character that worked so well in this story.

Would you recommend this book?
Yes. Definitely. This book is fast-paced, addictive and has such a wonderful complex and tantalizing plot. It is full of in-depth characters that you can easily imagine, a beautiful, well thought-out world and is just one of those books that you can’t stop reading. It’ll hook you from the start and will leave you dangling at the end. So if you like fantasy, intriguing plots and lovely, heart-throbbing romance, then you should definitely give this book a go.

Summarize the book in one sentence. (Verdict)
A fantastic read that will keep you entertained for hours… and then begging for more.

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 2015
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy
Age: YA
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book, Debut author
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The Baking Life Of Amelie Day

Vanessa Curtis

Amelie DayAmelie Day loves to bake – cupcakes, biscuits, bread, tarts and muffins – so she’s thrilled when she’s invited to compete in Britain’s Best Teen Baker of the Year. But Amelie has Cystic Fibrosis and some days she can barely breathe. Determined not to let her condition or her mum stop her, Amelie musters all her flour power, but will it be enough to get her there?

Amelie Day loves baking, in fact she LIVES baking. She’s always concocting new recipes and making up cookie/cake/biscuit related ideas. She could bake for Britain, in fact she really could bake for Britain as she’s won a place in Britain’s Best Teen Baker competition and can’t wait to get started. Sadly, there’s a problem, she’s got cystic fibrosis, a condition which is hard to live with, some days she finds it hard to breathe.

Amelie has always wanted to win this competition and she tries out all her food out on her two best friends and guinea pigs, Gemma and Harry, they know how to help with her condition and she tries her best to get on with it but its really hard. Will she be able to overcome her condition (and her mum) and win the competition? Or even be able to get to the competition?

I don’t want to ruin the ending for you all but I know that there are some parts in the book which will make you laugh, some bits that will make you cry (I know because I cried!) and you will realise that people with CF are really brave and inspiring to get on with life like that.

Verdict: I think this book is inspirational, brilliantly written and covers important topics.

Reviewed by Daisy (13)

Publisher: Curious Fox
Publication Date: September 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 240
Genre: Baking, Diversity, Disability
Age: YA
Reviewer: Daisy
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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Book Blogger UKYA Awards: The Winners!

UKYA Award

Hello All!
Today I am here to announce the winners of the Book Blogger UKYA Awards!
Before I do so, however, I just want to send out a quick thank you to every single person who nominated and voted.
I also want to take another minute to thank all of the wonderful bloggers who helped out.
Faye @ A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
Jim @ Ya Yeah Yeah
Caroline @ Big Book Little Book
Daphne @ Winged Reviews
Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary
Debbie @ Snuggling on the Sofa
Luna @ Luna’s Little Library
Sarah @ Feeling Fictional
Cicely @ Cicely Loves Books
Charli @ To Another World
Fi @ Bookish Outsider
Raimy @ Readaraptor
Michelle @ Much Loved Books
Shaila @ Hush Hush Revealings
Andrew @ The Pewter Wolf
Sam @ The Little Munchkin Reader
Julianne @ This Fleeting Dream
Laura @ Bookish Treasures
Samina @ Escapism From Reality
Catriona @ Fabulous Book Fiend

But now onto what you’re all really here for…

The Winners!

Funniest Book3 Best First Sentence1
Best Ending1 Most Heart-Breaking3
best contemporary1 best historical1
Best Crime-Mystery1 Best LGBT1
Best Horror1 Best Paranormal1
Best Sci-Fi-Fantasy1 Best Adventure1
Best Protagonist1 Best Friendship1
Best Couple1 Best Villain1
Best Self Published3 Most Social Author Online3
Most Social Author Offine Author Whose Mind You Wish Was Yours2

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!

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Lies Like Love

Louisa Reid
lies like loveLIES
‘There were a few problems . . . bullying . . . a fire . . .’
LIKE’
I think she’s verging on psychosis . . . now she’s lashing out.
‘ LOVE’
She’s got no one else to fight for her.’
Sixteen year-old Audrey just wants to be normal.She’s trying to fit in.But what happens when the person closest to you suffocates you with their love? What happens then?

What were your overall thoughts on the book?
Two agonising years were spent waiting for the release of this book. After devouring Louisa Reid’s debut book, Black Heart Blue, I simply couldn’t wait for the next book written by this talented author. Fortunately, the wait was definitely worth it! Lies Like Love is an extraordinary book that pulled at my heartstrings and tore my soul in half – in the way only an amazing book can! While the style of the book took a little time to get used to, it quickly grew on me and I was reminded of why I was so excited for this book in the first place. I was truly sucked into this story and it stayed with me for days afterwards. (Book hangover!)

What was your favourite aspect of the book?
The rich, deep, raw theme and messages in the story. I like issue books. I like books that are dark but tell you something by not shying away and this book does exactly that. Just like with Black Heart Blue, Louisa Reid has created a book that is meaningful. It holds important messages and will really make you think. I loved how tense the book made me and how I was just able to put the characters firmly into my heart. Needless to say, I cannot wait to see what Louisa will do next!

Who was your favourite character and why?
Audrey! Audrey, Audrey, Audrey, Audrey. Here is a character that is written so realistically, she may as well be real. Honestly, Audrey is not perfect. She has fears, anxieties, worries, and pressures from all over the place. But she also has heart and soul. She has the ability to smile wide, to dance, and be free. But the reason I truly found her to be so amazing is her strength. The strength in her character was mind-blowing. Here is a character who will do everything she can, not just for herself, but also for her loved ones. She was easy to get attached to and I just loved reading about her journey so much.

Would you recommend this book?
100%. Definitely. I know there are some people out there who will dislike this book. Maybe it’ll make them uncomfortable or they simply don’t like reading books like it but I also guarantee that many, many people will love this book. It has heart, it packs a punch, and it is just incredible powerful. So, if you enjoy “issue” books, or if you want a book that is deep, dark, rich and emotional, then you should read Lies Like Love as I am sure you will not be disappointed in it.

Summarize in one sentence. (Verdict)
This is a book that will wrench your heart out and rip your soul apart – in the best possible way. An intense read that simply demands to be read.

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: July 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 457
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Age: YA
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: British book
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Book Blogger UKYA Award Nominations

 photo UKYAAward_zpsb1be5f88.gif

Hey Guys!
Today I am proud to announce that the Book Blogger UKYA Award Nominations are open!

Use the form below to nominate the books and authors that you love!
You can nominate up to three books and authors per category – choose wisely!

Nominations will stay open until 24th August. (That’s two weeks!)
Then the shortlist will be sorted and voting will begin on the 1st September.

Good luck to all the lovely books and authors!

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#CountDownTo7th August : Interview With Emma Carrol

Big Book Little Book are absolutely delighted to host author Emma Carroll as she counts down to the August 7th release of her second novel The Girl Who Walked On Air . The Girl Who Walks On Air is a beautifully written middle grade novel which perfectly balances breath holding daredevilry and adventure with a compelling personal mystery.
TGWWOAAbandoned as a baby at Chipchase’s Travelling Circus, Louie dreams of becoming a ‘Showstopper’. Yet Mr Chipchase only ever lets her sell tickets. No Death-Defying Stunts for her. So in secret, Louie practises her act- the tightrope- and dreams of being the Girl Who Walked on Air. All she needs is to be given the chance to shine.
One night a terrible accident occurs. Now the circus needs Louie’s help, and with rival show Wellbeloved’s stealing their crowds, Mr Chipchase needs a Showstopper- fast.
Against his better judgement, he lets Louie perform. She is a sensation and gets an offer from the sinister Mr Wellbeloved himself to perform in America. But nothing is quite as it seems and soon Louie’s bravery is tested not just on the highwire but in confronting her past and the shady characters in the world of the circus . . .

Both TGWWOA and your debut, Frost Hollow Hall, are set in the Victorian era. What is it about historical fiction and this time period that inspires you?

To me, historical fiction gives you freedom to put characters in situations that wouldn’t occur nowadays- a 13 year old walking a tightrope without a safety harness, for instance. There weren’t health and safety laws, crash helmets, antibiotics. Danger is everywhere in historical fiction!

Reading your work you really get a feel for the Victorian era, but without feeling like you are being given a history lesson. It is obvious you have had to undertake a great deal of research in order to get the setting of your books just right. What is your favourite fact/ piece of research about the era that you didn’t include in your work?

When researching ‘Frost Hollow Hall’ I found out about post mortem photographs, where people had their picture taken with a loved one who’d just died. It was one of many Victorian grieving rituals which to us seem creepy, but at the time were a popular mark of respect. For The Girl Who Walked On Air I loved reading about Charles Blondin. I had no idea he’d cooked an omelette on a tightrope over Niagara Falls! What a nutter!

On the surface Frost Hollow Hall and TGWWOA are two very different novels. Where do you find your inspiration for such varied subject matter?

‘Frost Hollow Hall’ was inspired by my love of snowy winters and stories set in creepy old houses. I’d like to say ‘The Girl Who Walked On Air ’is inspired by my talent for tightrope walking, but I’d be lying, sadly. One day I was looking at pictures of C19th circuses. It got me wondering what would motivate someone to risk their life every day just for entertainment.

Both of your published works feature very determined young women. What do you think Tilly (Frost Hollow Hall) and Louie’s strongest personality traits are? What are their weakest?

Great question! I think Tilly’s biggest strength is her loyalty to Kit and to her family. Louie’s is her determination to succeed. She isn’t afraid of danger. Weaknesses? Tilly’s rather hot-headed and proud. Louie tends to get the wrong end of the stick sometimes, and she is a bit of a show-off!

Which of your Characters do you identify with the most? Why?

I recognise bits of myself in Tilly and Louie. I think I’m loyal to those I love. I can also be a bit hot-headed and jump to the wrong conclusion at times! They’re both much braver than me- I’d never walk a tightrope, or go up a pitch-black staircase at night. No way!

What is it that attracts you to writing fiction for young people, particularly for the 9-12 year old age range?

For the past 18 years I’ve worked as an English teacher, so I’m around young people a lot. That said, the age I write for is a bit younger than the age I teach. When I started Frost Hollow Hall, I wanted to write a good old-fashioned romp of a story, something that was engaging and uplifting to read. Faber pitched Frost Hollow Hall at the 9-12 market, and I’m so glad they did. School events with this age group have been awesome!

In Louie’s world the ultimate achievement is to become a showstopper. In order to achieve this dream Louie has to maintain her belief and self-confidence in her abilities in the face of external criticism and indifference. Gabriel’s struggles however are internal. He has to face his fears, fears exacerbated by his past experiences. For you how much was writing and publishing a novel about grit and determination in the face of external obstacles and how much was about facing your own internal obstacles?

Interesting question! Writing involves determination. It takes time. It can’t be rushed. Yet it has to fit in around a day job (for me, anyway) and family life. It is hard work- like always having homework, I heard someone once say! But I’d not change it for the world.

Like Gabriel in’ The Girl Who walked On Air’, I think most writers face internal struggles. Not a day goes by where I don’t think ‘ ugh that’s a terrible chapter/scene/sentence’ and when other people say it…well…it can hurt a bit. But at some point you do have to take a deep breath and let go.

Did you have to overcome any personal challenges in your quest to become an established author?

The hardest thing has been juggling a job I find challenging with one I’m desperate to spend more time doing. I’m still so new to all this, so ask me again in a few years time.

IN TGWWOA there is certain level of audience expectation that the circus performers continually push themselves to create and perform more daring stunts. While I’m sure that your publishers didn’t expect you to risk life and limb for the cause, how has your experience of writing a second novel differed from your debut?

Ha ha luckily no they didn’t! Writing The Girl Who Walked On Air to a deadline gave me my first real flavour of writing professionally ie less staring out of windows/checking twitter, more getting words down. I felt I understood the process of crafting a book better so when the editing began, I didn’t quite feel so overwhelmed.

Louie spends many years perfecting her craft before she is ready to share it with the world. Do you have any secret talents you would like to share with us? 😉

If I told you they’d no longer be secret, would they? 😉

While undoubtedly born with a natural talent, I loved that Louie did not just rely on her talent to achieve her dreams. It took practice, self-confidence, determination and commitment to the cause. In our society of instant gratification, reality TV stars and the desire to be famous for five minutes, how important do you think it is for young people, especially girls, to have positive role models like Louie in their life?

This is a very important question on a huge, huge issue. I’d like to think Louie embodies the qualities you mention, yet she’s also flawed. She has to work for what she wants, often doubting herself in the process. She’s an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. It’s vital for girls-and boys- to have positive female role models.

Who are your favourite literary role models?

I do have a soft spot for characters who defy the odds. Jane Eyre isn’t pretty or accomplished, but she knows her own mind. Katniss Everdeen isn’t privileged or highly trained yet she’s a survivor. Hazel Grace Lancaster is terminally ill and still manages to fall in love. It’s a satisfying arc.

Do you envision revisiting any of your characters? In particular, Daisy would love to know if you would ever write a sequel to Frost Hollow Hall?

You’re not the first to ask that question, Daisy! At the moment there are no plans for a Frost Hollow Hall sequel. But, never say never. In the final chapter I did deliberately keep a few story threads open…

Your debut novel Frost Hollow Hall is a ghost story and your current work in progress, “In Darkling Wood” (TBC) also appears to contain a supernatural element. What is it about the supernatural that interests you as a writer? And on a personal level would you believe in Kit (Frost Hollow Hall) if you saw him as a ghost?

As a child I loved anything spooky or ‘unexplained’- obviously, I still do! I think it comes with having an active imagination, the idea that we don’t ‘know’ everything and that some things are beyond our understanding.
Would I believe in Kit Barrington? Absolutely. I’ve never fallen into a frozen lake, but once when I was very ill, I had a dream about a work colleague who had just died. He sat on my bed and told me I was going to be all right. This was my inspiration for how Kit appears in Tilly’s dreams.

Are you able to tell us anything about your current work in progress?

‘Alice’s little brother Theo is dangerously sick. When a donor is found, he’s rushed into hospital for a heart transplant and Alice goes to stay with Nell, the grandmother she barely knows. Darkling Cottage is a strange old place, surrounded on all sides by an even stranger wood.

Meanwhile Flo is writing letters to her older brother Alfred. It’s November 1918. The war is over at last. She can’t wait for him to come home. There’s something in the wood she’s dying to show him. No one else will believe what she’s seen….’
The first wobbly draft is nearly complete.

emma carrollFrost Hollow Hall won The North East Book Award 2013. It was longlisted for the Brandford Boase Award 2014 and The Leeds Book Award. It was named a top book of 2013 by The Daily Telegraph, and was a LoveReadingForKids Book of the Year 2013.
When she isn’t writing, Emma Carroll teaches English part-time at a secondary school in Devon. She graduated with distinction from Bath Spa University’s MA in Writing For Young People. ‘Frost Hollow Hall’ is Emma’s debut novel for Faber. Her second, The Girl Who Walked On Air is out in August 2014. It is set in a Victorian circus. She is currently working on a third book based on the Cottingley Fairies story.
In another life Emma wishes she’d written ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne Du Maurier. She lives in the Somerset hills with her husband and two terriers. To learn more about Emma and her work visit her website here

Questions by Daisy and Caroline

countdownbuttonv2A huge thank you to Emma for taking the time to answer our questions. The Girl Who Walks On Air will be published by Faber and Faber on the 7th of August.
To learn more about the fantastic #CountDownTo7thAugust blog tour and to take a look at the full schedule visit the Count Down YA website here.

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Have A Little Faith

Candy Harper

have a little faithBeing fourteen is a minefield: with fashion dilemmas, teacher trauma, embarrassing parents and boy drama, Faith is just hoping to make it through Year Ten without too many disasters. But when she and her best friend Megs sign up to take part in an inter-school choir with the local boys comprehensive, Faith’s life gets even more complicated… just how is she supposed to concentrate on becoming the next Cheryl Cole when she’s trying to understand how teenage boys’ minds work?

My relationship with my book loving friends pretty much revolves around mutual book pushing and promotion. There are the books fellow bloggers recommend, there are those that they rave about, escorting you to the shops or your amazon account to supervise your purchase or if you are lucky (and trusted) they will lend their copy to you. Then there are books, which they adore so much that they buy nine copies, just so that they can give them away and share the adoration (Yes, I’m looking pointedly at you Jim of YA Yeah Yeah fame). Nope? It was a first for me too!

Have A Little Faith came in to my possession (Thank you Jim) at just the right time, feeling under the weather, with a particularly busy home life, I was in the need for something light and uplifting. Told in short diary entries over the course of a school term, it was perfect for dipping in and out of as my schedule allowed. Although if I had had the time there is no doubt that I would have devoured it in a single sitting.

Sniggering and snorting with laughter from the very first page I couldn’t help warming Faith and the cast of supporting characters. Sassy, intelligent and fun, Faith is a girl who believes that gossiping about her TV shows with her friends is as vital as breathing and that at aged thirty her teacher has one foot in the grave! At times obnoxious and superficial she has vulnerability and a genuine affection for those around her, which allows you to forgive her flaws.

For me the thing that stands out the most, aside from the humor, are the fabulous relationships. I loved the dysfunctional-functional family and the supportive friendships. The teasing, one-upmanship and, at times, antagonistic interactions also shone though with feelings of familiarity, warmth and love.

The plot itself is fairly simplistic and predictable and there is minimal character development (thank goodness, as Faith is perfect just as she is!), never the less it is a fantastic, fun read and I look forward to diving in to the sequel.

Verdict: If you don’t read this book you are missing out- just saying ☺

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: August 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Gifted
Challenge: British book
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