author, book, book review, review, Uncategorized, yaliterature

Will I Read It?- Sampler Reviews

As I said in my summary YALC post I planned to read every chapter sampler I had picked up and review them. Let’s just say this was more complicated and time-consuming than I had expected so as of now I have read half and in hindsight, it is more like a 1/3. I then thought I would split this literal try a snippet in half and hopefully next week I will have the second part ready.



Naondel by Maria Turtschaninoff– This was beautiful, sensuous and elegant. I loved the writing style but after a few pages, I was just waiting to be grabbed and this never happened…. However, I would be intrigued to see what Maria Turtschaninoff releases in the future!

Will I Read It?- No, it’s just not for me.




Long Way Down by  Jason Reynolds – This was one I was very excited to read after it OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhad been described to be at the publisher’s stall. I mean the promotional quote is ‘No crying. No snitching’ – doesn’t that sound epic! Well, it was amazing, fantastic, mind blowingly beautiful. When I was finished I was bereft. I had travelled an emotional rollercoaster in the space of a few pages. WOW.  And I have to wait until January! ☹ That is so far away!?

Will I Read It?- Do you even need to ask? Hell Yes! Give it to me now!




Everybody Hurts by Joanna Nadin & Anothny McGowan – I loved Sophia, her OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcharacterisation was amazingly vivid. But I just didn’t like this enough to want to read the rest.

Will I Read It? Nah






Another Place by Mathew Crow – I wasn’t that interested in this when I heard about it. IOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA honestly only grabbed it because the cover is stunning! However, I was very surprised when I was left wanting to know more! Claudette is a great character with depth and personality- it wasn’t like she let her past or mental health struggles identify her.

Will I Read It? Yes. I want to, don’t know when because although I’m intrigued it isn’t enough to seek it out.




Black Wing by Ed McDonald – The writing style of this was beautiful! The world OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbuilding was phenomenal and I was drawn in straight away. However, despite this, I was just left a bit bored which I think is down to y lack of interest in the plot. So I shall not seek out this book.

Will I Read It?- If my literary tastes evolve yes. But at the moment no.




Book Of Dust by Phillip Pullman – I was desperate for this! I would have elbowed my OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAway through to get one. I grew up reading Phillip Pullman, I was obsessed with his books I successively read all of ‘His Dark Materials’ followed by ‘The Ruby in the Smoke’ series. They are two of my all-time favourite reads! When I read this I was taken right back to when I was 11 absorbing this world it kinda felt like meeting an old friend. I’m considering doing a re-read of his books if anyone would be interested in joining me?

Will I Read It?- I have been waiting for this book for 8 years! YES!


Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn – When I heard Connie Glynn had published a OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbook I was intrigued but honestly thought another Youtuber becoming an author ugh. I then felt very guilty once I had read this because this sampler was magic! My negative views were far from the case! Connie Glynn is a wonderfully brilliant new voice! This reminded me a lot of Enid Blyton’s ‘Malory Towers’ which was great as I was obsessed with that series but in my eyes, the addition of a Princess placed this a step up. I’m not sure if I will read it because I think I am past that phase in my life but WOW!

Will I Read It?- Possibly.


It Only Happens In The Movies by Holly Bourne – All I can say is why haven’t I read OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHolly Bourne before! Hysterical! Brilliant! I want the rest of this book like yesterday…

Will I Read It?– Yes! And all her books!






The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr– I still don’t know how I feel about this OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsampler. It was gripping, intriguing and definitely unique. Weird. And that is as far as my thoughts go I would be interested to know what someone thinks who have read it as I can’t fathom the direction of the story.

Will I Read It? If someone aids me in understanding what I read yes. If not, no.




Hope you enjoyed this post. If you would like more like this let me know!

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‘This is Where it Ends’ by Marieke Nijkamp- Review

I have got a blog post planned which is the reading the samplers I picked up at YALC but I am very behind but didn’t want to let you all down so I have decided to post a simple review. With these, I am trying something new where I sum the book up in a sentence let me know what you think?- Enjoy!


In a sentence- It presents a unique perspective on tragedy which is like nothing else you will read as it forces you to focus on who is truly to blame for this ghastly event.


This follows four students on their first day back after their holidays in a small American town. Everything is at it seems and then someone shoots. This book takes place in the fifty-four minutes after the shooting began.


The structure is incredibly clever mixing the four students point of view with social media messages revealing the reaction inside and outside the school.  These accounts of the events are muddled with recollections of the past which slowly develop the snippets into a bigger picture. In my opinion, a genius way to construct a book.

You instantly become invested in the lives of the characters even though you are only given short aspects of their lives. Impressively, she manages to , in the space of 285 pages, make you fall in love with these characters as they face the most harrowing event of their lives.

It is a must read, not only that but one everyone should read it. It makes you think about the world around you thus giving a greater understanding of human nature. To me, it showed the power of secrets and how no one truly understands what is going on in someone else’s life.

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YALC Summary

Last weekend I finally attended YALC for the first time and let’s just say it was epic! It was better than I expected and more fun than I could have imagined.


What I Did

An illustration workshop with Alexis Deacon- This was great fun I learnt how to draw characters. Did you know that the legs are essential to portraying the scenario with the balance of weight?

Regency dancing- This was great fun and surprisingly easy.

Queued- A lot of YALC is queuing, for signings, arcs, games, activities.


Went to a couple of talks- I attended part of the thriller talk on Friday but I was so far back I couldn’t hear much so I left and watched the signing area to work out where to queue. Then on Saturday, I watched half of the unconventional romance talk which was fascinating perhaps that was down to having a better seat.



Had a glitter makeover

Went to the Teen Blogger’s Chat meet up- This was really fun I got to meet lots of other bloggers and hear about what they do.

What I go

I managed to pick up a lot of stuff so I have sorted into 3 sections.

Here are all the books and samplers I picked up.  I am planning to read all the samplers for a post and discuss my thoughts on whether I will pick the book up. I am most intrigued by Floored.


Here are all the postcards, bookmarks, badges, bags and anything else… I picked up a lot for my wall because I want to add to it. At the Fairyloot stall I managed to get a really cool pair of cushion covers.


Then the books on their own from left: what I picked up, what I had signed, what I bought.  I honestly don’t know where I’m going to start if you have any suggestions let me know.

What I learnt

I would definitely say next year I want to achieve more of what I set out, however, I am pleased with how my first year went. So what did I learn?

  • Timing is key- I should have left earlier, and need to remember to keep track of the time to ensure I make things on time.
  • I don’t like queuing- I have no patience just waiting for ten minutes bored me, therefore I plan to only go to essential signings so books that I am obsessed with. This led me to give up on queuing for V.E Schwab I had a virtual ticket which said 75 and then lost it and did not want to 100 and something.
  • Workshops are great- I want to do more of them they fill the time and I learnt a lot in the one I attended.
  • A suitcase is a good idea- I took a backpack which was fine but on Saturday I had to fill it with books and put it in the cloakroom, therefore, I was left with totes to lug the stuff I needed round.
  • Talk to people- I didn’t do this much on the Friday but on the Saturday I actively worked at speaking to people. This made my experience more enjoyable.
  • Do the book swap- This was a last minute decision on my part but it was definitely worth it, I manged to pick up a couple of things I had really wanted to read.


From now I plan to have a fairly regular posting schedule twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays but bear with me whilst I get organised.

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Packing for YALC!

Here it is my last pre-YALC post about what I am packing in my back for the convention. I honestly can’t believe that it has come around so soon….

Bag- I kept umming and ahhhing about what bag to take I was torn between a trolley bag OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAor a backpack. In the end, I chose the latter considering I had to take a lot of tubes to get to the convention from where I’m staying.  It’s quite a large back pack so lots of room to buy more books….




OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABooks-Then there are my books on each day I’m bringing 4 to 5 which means it’s not too heavy but leaves room to get more if that’s what I wish. On the Friday I’m taking theese and on Saturday I’m taking ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’, ‘Windfall’, ‘One of Us is Lying’ and a copy of ‘Soulmates’.


Camera- I don’t have a great phone, therefore, I have decided to take my camera to OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArecord the day for a summary blog post.








A Ziplock Bag-  I always end up having some food leaking on my possessions so I decidedOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA this time that I will store any food in here to try and prevent this.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Notepad and Pen- I  decided to bring this to firstly make any notes of things authors say and secondly to perhaps have authors sign in there.

Schedule- This is my schedule which I posted last week. I have highlighted the key events


I wish to attend and along with it, there is a list of things I hope to pick up.



Let me know if there is anything you think is essential.

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Trying a Chapter- YALC Part 2

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have had this book for a couple of years and had never read it. I had always wanted to read it but never gotten around to it but then I received in a Willoughby Book subscription and thought ‘I finally will read it!’.  But then here I am two years later only now reading it because Elizabeth Wein is attending YALC.

My thoughts? I have read well over one chapter probably about 100 pages ish, and I did start to enjoy it but then put it down in preference for another book. But still, I have returned to it I want to but there are just more appealing books. I feel like I might get back to it since I have left it on my Goodreads in a hope of guilting myself to return to it.


Vendetta by Catherine Doyle  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have never been interested in this series I placed it into the same box as the Lux series, something addictive for a specific mood. But then YALC came along and I gave it ago thinking I would put it down. Nope. I read it in two days and liked it but didn’t plan to pick up the next one because the revelation about the Falcone family made me laugh. Sorry, it was too weird not bad just bizarre. But I then read an extra on Catherine Doyle’s website and now it’s on my shelf to be read post-YALC.



After the Fire by Will Hill OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I won this one a few months back on Maximum Pop Books and planned to get to at some point. Then like all these other books YALC pushed me to read it now.  The premise fascinated me because I have always had an interest in the inner workings and psychology of cults. I did at points put it down after reading the first chapter but in the end, I loved it!



Showstopper by Hayley BarkerOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I thought this sounded great and was very happy when it arrived at the library. I did read a couple of chapters and quite liked it but it didn’t grab me. I had planned to return to it by now and haven’t so I guess that is one I have dnffed.




Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin WinterOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

From the start, I was unsure I’d like this book but I still gave it a try. I surprisingly liked it more than I thought I would after one chapter so I read a few more. In the end, I read about 35 pages, I liked the character, and the style of writing but the plot, for me, was disinteresting. So, I put it down.



All About Mia by Lisa WilliamsonOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This was actually the one I put Code Name Verity down for because I was desperate to read it but it was too heavy to lug around London.  I read a chapter of this and I was obsessed; Mia is my new favourite character, Lisa Williamson is now my new favourite author and this is now one of my top reads!



Hope you enjoyed my (late) part two which was a significant success in comparison I have managed to try a wide range of books.  Look out for my YALC packing post on Thursday!




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‘Close Your Eyes’ by Nicci Cloke: Illustration


I chose charcoal because I wanted something which easily smudged, had a textural quality and was dark. However, it was very difficult to work with because the fact it easily smudges makes it tricky to create refined lines that the font requires.


When I read this part of the book the image of the shooter in a hoody saying ‘Close your eyes it will all be over soon….’ had dark connotations. I pictured the words like smoke drifting away into the darkness joining the horrors of the past and present.


I began by drawing the words in pencil and then outlining them in charcoal. Next, I began to add a P7220077.JPGswirl or curved lines to mimic smoke plumes in a diagonal across the quote to make them into one entity. Lastly, I smudged the smoke and font which removed the harsh lines and turned them into a natural flow.



I thought I’d let you know what my posting plan is for this week. I am going to post my Part 2 of my YALC Trying a Chapter, a YALC packing piece and hopefully a couple of other ones if I have time. Sorry for the inconsistency this week I should be back to normal next week.


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‘Close Your Eyes’ by Nicci Cloke: Review


Southfield High School is oh so normal, with its good teachers, its bad, and its cliques. But despite the cliques, there’s a particular group of friends who have known each other forever and know that they can rely on each other for anything.

Southfield High School is like any other. However, despite the normal cliques one group of friends have been together forever and rely on each other for anything.  Who are they?

The twins: Ash who is intelligent kind and observant whereas Aisha spends her time worrying about the future.

Remy: the loud jock who no one expects to have stayed this long but for some reason is always there.

Gemma: who has little interest in school and prefers crappy clubs and college boys.

Elise: The person everyone wants to be friends with.

However, at the start of Year 11 a new boy arrives, Elijah, and these forever friends are no longer as close.

Still, their perfect group’s lives continue until one day the students are trapped at school and one of them has a gun!




This is a beautiful book which presents with a view point changing question ‘who is to blame in the face of tragedy’? Is it social services for failing to notice the danger this person presented? Or is those closet to them that caused them to seek revenge?

My favourite aspect of this was the narrative structure it was a mix of interviews, messages, diary entries and 3rd person narrative. This made the book feel like a puzzle with each snippet I was piecing together the events of the past to understand the terrible shooting. This structure makes you question everything and feel a part of every moment!

If this was the only brilliance of the book then yes it would all flat, however, Nicci Cloke greats a perfect stage for this allowing it to sing. The characters are gorgeously developed with multiple levels. Let’s just say they are not the ordinary representations of teenagers in High School instead they are raw and honest.



I loved the ending! The whole way through I thought it was Elijah, every little detail led me to this point until it was revealed there was more to Elise than meets the eye. I just assumed the reason she wasn’t a part of the interviews was that he had killed her in revenge for some break-up. But, then when it was revealed to be her it Nicci Cloke presented fundamentally important themes about the cause of her actions. It looked at blame, trauma, bullying, and how someone’s actions can have significant consequences.


Look out for tomorrow’s piece where I explain my illustration! Let me know if you have read the book and have any thoughts or about books you have read for YALC ?


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My YALC Schedule…

I had originally planned to post my review of Nicci Cloke’s ‘Close Your Eyes’ but unfortunately, the weather was not in my favour so I couldn’t take my photos. I know lame excuse but I will get better organised soon.

So I was left full of guilt at failing at the Summer project I had set myself. Which is why I’m here now at 7:12 creating an impromptu rather random blog post.  So now you may be going get to the point! But isn’t it great to see if you read beyond this point? Probably not.

Drum roll, please ……

As the title lays out I will be posting my version of the YALC schedule for Friday and Saturday. Which yes does seem a tad odd because they do create one themselves but being the oddball I am the inclusion of book covers and it being horizontal means I don’t follow it. So I have created two tables (I have added the event activities too) which are linear!

Just to explain it when it is red with times it means it ends or starts par way through an hourly time gap thus I have put the specific time. Then with authors, when they are in red it means they were the signing in the previous block to differentiate between which starts and ends in that time. If that makes any sense!

FRIDAY 28th July 

Time Panel Workshops Agent Arena Signings Event Activities
10:00-11:00 Collaboration: Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison; Katherine & Elizabeth Corr Olivia Levez: Writing Workshop Publishing 101: How to get published, agents, drafts, prepping submissions   Decorative containers


Heroines: Melinda Sailsbury, Alwyn Hamilton, Amy Alward, Laura Eve, Sophia Bennett Liz Flanagan: Creative writing from you own experience Publishing 102: How to get a job in publishing Lucy & Tom, Katherine and Elizabeth, Olivia Levez and Hannah Witton Decorative containers
12:00-1:00 Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells, Your Story?: Elizabeth Wein, Catherine Johnson and Juno Dawson Stefan Mohammed, Ben Illis: Author-Agent tag team   Lucy & Tom, Katherine and Elizabeth, Olivia Levez and Hannah Witton Elizabeth Wein, Catherine Johnson, Juno Dawson, Stefan Mohammed  
1:00-2:00 SFF Now: Taran Mathau, Laura Lam, Elizabeth May, David Owen, Samantha Shannon Alexis Deacon: Illustration workshop Agents 1-2-1: Chance to talk to an agent Elizabeth Wein,  Catherine Johnson, Juno Dawson, Stefan Mohammed

Taran Matharu, Laura Lam, Elizabeth May, David Owen, Samantha Shannon, Alexis Deacon, Laure Eve, Harriet Reuter Hapgood, Alison Goodman, Non Pratt

1:30- Regency Dancing
2:00-3:00 Writing what you know: Alex Wheatle, Lisa Williamson, Rachel Lucas, Lisa Heathfield, Hannah Witton Lydia Ruffles: Art Eating Art Agent Author Talk: Conversation between them about how it works Taran Matharu, Laura Lam, Elizabeth May, David Owen, Samantha Shannon, Alexis Deacon, Laure Eve, Harriet Reuter Hapgood, Alison Goodman, Non Pratt 2:30- Regency Dancing
3:00-4:00 Thrillers: Kevin Brooks, Sophie Mckenzie, Teri Terry, Emily Barr, Mathew Crow, Karen M. McManus Nicci Cloke: Creative writing   Lisa Williamson, Rachel Lucas, Lisa Heathfield, Katherine Webber, Eugene Lambert


4:00-5:00 Prize winners: Alex Wheatle, Patrice Lawrence. Overseen by the author of the Bookseller- Caroline Carpenter Harriet Reuter Hapgood, Elanor Wood: Write your own YALC zine   Lisa Williamson, Rachel Lucas, Lisa Heathfield, Katherine Webber, Eugene Lambert

Kevin Brooks, Sophie McKenzie, Teri Terry, Emily Barr, Mathew Crow, Karen.M. McManus, Lydia Ruffles, Nicci Cloke

5:00-6:00 We Love Buffy: Laure Eve, Alison Goodman, Non Prat, Stefan Mohammed, Harrier Reuter Hapgood.     Kevin Brooks, Sophie McKenzie, Teri Terry, Emily Barr, Mathew Crow, Karen.M. McManus, Lydia Ruffles, Nicci Cloke

Alex Wheatle, Patrice Lawrence, Eleanor Wodd.

Top 5 Events of the Day

  1. Thrillers
  2. Alexis Deacon- Illustration workshop
  3. Writing What You Know
  4. Regency Dancing- I don’t want you to thing I’m a complete werido I think it will be great laugh and I do study history so you know…
  5. hmmm…. It would be Nicci Cloke But it clashes with Thrillers 😦 so Nail Art by Bloomsbury


SATURDAY 29th July 

Time Panel Workshops Agent Arena Signings Event Activities
9:00-10:00 9:15– New Voices 1: Alice Boradway, Gemma Fowler, Carlie Soroslack, Vic James, Karen M. Mcmanus, Ed McDonald, Josh Martin, Hayley Barker,       Nail Art- Book covers Bloomsbury
10:00-11:00 Who runs the world: Tanya Bryne, Virgina Bergin, Clare Hennessy, Holly Smale Melinda Sailsbury: Books to Bags How to get published Alice Broadway, Gemma Fowler, Carlie Soroslack, Vic James, Karen M McManus, Ed McDonald, Josh Martin, Hayley Barker, Katherine Webber Nail Art continued
11:00-12:00 Writing from real events: Phil Earle, Julie Mayhew, Jason Wallace, Will Hill, N.D Gomes Katie Birchill: Playing for laughs Job in Publishing Alice Broadway, Gemma Fowler, Carlie Soroslack, Vic James, Karen M McManus, Ed McDonald, Josh Martin, Hayley Barker, Katherine Webber

Tanya Bryne, Virgina Bergin, Claire Hennessy, Holly Smale

Nail art continued
12:00-1:00 Genre-bending: V.E Schwab, Ben Aaronovitch, Zen Cho, Martin Stewart, Dan Vyleta Rubyetc- Illustration workshop   Tanya Bryne, Virgina Bergin, Claire Hennessy, Holly Smale

Julie Mayhew, Jason Wallace, Will Hill, N.D Gomes, Kathy Birchill, Phil Earle

Nail art continued
1:00-2:00 Unconventional romance: Jennifer.E.Smith, Ayisha Malik, Patrice Lawrence, Paige Toon Justina Robson: Creative writing Chance to talk to an agent Julie Mayhew, Jason Wallace, Will Hill, N.D Gomes, Kathy Birchill, Phil Earle

V.E Schwab, Ben Aronovitch, Zen Cho, Lani Taylor, Martin Stewart, Dan Vyleta, Samantha Shannon, Ruby Elliot

Nail art continued
2:00-3:00 E. Lockhart Phillip Womack: World building Author-Agent talk V.E Schwab, Ben Aronovitch, Zen Cho, Lani Taylor, Martin Stewart, Dan Vyleta, Samantha Shannon, Ruby Elliot

Jennifer E.Smith, Alex Bell, Ayisha Malik, Patrice Lawrence, Paige Toon, Justine Robson, Lauren James

Glitter faces-Walker
3:00-4:00 Myth,magic and fairy-tales: Joanne Harris, Julia Gray, Laura Dockrilll, Zoe Marriot, Deidre Sullivan, Pedar O’Gullin Viginia McGregor: writing   Jennifer E.Smith, Alex Bell, Ayisha Malik, Patrice Lawrence, Paige Toon, Justine Robson, Lauren James

E.Lockhart, Phillip Womack, Holly Bourne

Glitter Faces continued
4:00-5:00 Lani Taylor Alex Bell: writing Horror   E.Lockhart, Phillip Womack, Holly Bourne

Joanne Harris, Julia Gray, Laura Dockrill, Zoe Marriot, Deidre Suillvian, Virgina MacGregor, Pedar O’Gullin

Glitter faces continued
5:00-6:00 The Books that Made Me- Lanie Taylor, Joanne Harris, V.E Schwab     Joanne Harris, Julia Gray, Laura Dockrill, Zoe Marriot, Deidre Suillvian, Virgina MacGregor, Pedar O’Gullin- 5:45 Glitter faces continued till 5:30

Non Pratt head shave

Top Five Events of the Day

  1. Melinda Sailsbury Books to Bags
  2. The Books that Made Me
  3. Writing from real events
  4. Uncoventional Romance
  5. Genre-bending

With this five I’m not exactly sure on the order I keep changing my mind but they are the ones I am desperate to make!

I hope you have enjoyed this random post on my organisation, and look out for that review it will hopefully be sunny tommorow!


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My YALC Reading Prep So Far…

It is now two weeks until YALC! I know exciting! So, I thought I would reflect on the reading I have done so far as preparation and what I have left to do. How is your TBR for the event fairing? Have you read much or have any recommendations? If you want more regular updates on my reading take a look at my Instagram!

Since I have never attended YALC before I decided to reserve something in the library from every attending author, try it and read it if I liked it. When I came up with this idea I thought ‘well it won’t be that many-will it? My county just can’t have every book.’ Those were my famous last words surprisingly I have only come across one author who had nothing. Just one! Then I was left with a problem that is a lot of books, I only have so much time and my card has a limit. So, I dismissed some of them, if they were too depressing or the premise did not interest me at all.

Where did that leave me?

With a lot of books!

I realised this post would be a bizilion yards long if I mentioned every book I looked at so I will discuss what I have read and what I have left.

Previously read

The Medusa Project series by Sophie McKenzie

Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab

The Lady Helen trilogy by Alison Goodman

All of Teri Terry’s book’s so far

My conclusion from this was well that’s not many.

The books I’ve read

Windfall by Jennifer E Smith- OMG I loved this so much! Never ever had I finished a contemporary and then I did! It was an amazing light Summery read with characters which you’d fall in love with. I am going to read all her other books and read more contemporary which has meant that I went back to the YALC list and reserved some books I had dismissed.

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus- This was fantastic! Phenomenal! Just unbelievably brilliant! – To find out more check out my review.

Captive by A. J Grainger- I did enjoy this to a point, loved the global conspiracy aspect. I will be soon posting a full review so keep your eyes peeled!

I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson- This was amazing, I never expected to like and then Bam! Read in two days one of my favourite reads in the year! A beautifully, diverse read that everyone should read! To find out more check out my full review.

Moonhead and the Music Machine by Andrew Rae- To be frank, I read this because the art looked beautiful and it was. I just didn’t understand or enjoy the plot as much as I hoped. But still, I would recommend this!

Close Your Eyes by Nicci Cloke- This was fantastic! Brilliant! The mixed media approach to narrating the story was genius! I am currently working on an illustration so look out for that 😊

After The Fire by Will Hill- I really like the subject matter of this one; the topic of the aftermath of a cult is different. It holds a unique perspective with a heroine who everyone should admire and become obsessed with!

All About Mia by Lisa Williamson- Oh wow! I wasn’t sure I’d like this one but it surprised me to no end. Mia is a brilliant, humorous, relatable heroine who adds spark and spunk to a beautiful story.  I would recommend this!

Mind Your Head– I think this was an interesting guide to mental health and a great read if you are seeking to read something on this topic.

Graces by Laure Eve- I really thought I would like this one and was so disappointed when I didn’t. However, it made me realise that I don’t enjoy reading books on witchcraft so there’s a bonus!




What I have left

Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter- I have read about 10 pages but then put it down. However, I plan to pick it up again if time allows, however, it is no one which is a pressing priority.

Showstopper by Hayler Barker- I am really interested in the premise of this one and hope I get to it soon!

Orange Boy by Patrice Lawrence- Honestly, I don’t know anything about this or if I will like it.

Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse- I thought the fact this was about ping pong was different and intriguing I think I might be getting to this soon.

One by Sarah Crossan- 100% my next read the only reason I haven’t read it sooner is I forgot she was going!

If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak- I’m hopeful I like this but not sure I will.

Blade and Bone by Catherine Johnson- I’m hoping I love this one!

Release by Patrick Ness- I do desperately want to read this but I am not attending the Sunday so I may leave it until after YALC.

Smoke by Dan Vyleta- With this I saw boarding school and Oxford and I thought Harry Potter and Northern Lights.

I have a lot of books to go and not a lot of time! There are more I wish to read but they are either on order or being read by someone else so I’m not sure I will get to them until after YALC. Perhaps I’ll do a post-YALC piece on the books I had to wait for?

This has, for me, been surprisingly successful! I was certain that I wouldn’t read much of what I planned and would like very little but boy was I wrong! This has broadened by reading horizons introducing me to books I would otherwise never read. Although, I have DNFFED more books than I have read that was predictable considering how many great authors are going!

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‘I Have No Secrets’ by Penny Joelson- Illustration

So…here is my part two of my ‘I have No Secrets’ review which is my discussion about my illustration.

The Idea

When I had finished the book, I sat there and thought that it screamed good material for illustration. But didn’t know what to do. So, I brainstormed multiple ideas and then it hit me for Jemma it P7090029.JPGwould be exactly like this a storm of thoughts swirling about with no release. Then I fleshed this out a bit thinking about the things she thought were important so her family, the crime, her lack of voice and funnily ketchup.



The Construction

I decided the best thing to do would be to use paint because then I could blend the thoughts into one another as if they were a storm. Initially, I thought I would use Gouache but then I thought Japanese water colours would be better because they would also give be vibrancy but would easily flow into one another.

I then in pencil drew each of the elements starting with her head. I began with words and then added a few sketches like the Ketchup. Next, I painted them in which is when I struggled with the colour palette because I didn’t want two things side by side in the same colour. Yet I wanted each one to have a colour which projected the right mood. So, if you look here I have had that problem at times which actually meant that before the wash of purpley water I disliked it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


However, once I added said wash it made everything blend creating the desired effect of swirling thoughts trapped.

Overall, I like this. I plan to create more illustrations from the books I have reading perhaps even with a bit of mixed media.