S4S – Blogging highlights

Hello hello hello!

It’s Sunday again! Time for some reflections on what have been some of my top moments of the year! Today’s #SixforSunday looks at:

2018 Blogging Highlights

2018 has been QUITE THE YEAR for me… so let’s find some of my highlights.

  1. Winning a UKYA Blogger award. 
    I’m still not sure how I won the ‘Best Newcomer’ category, but my word, what a moment that was!
  2. Chairing an event with my absolute queen, Melinda Salisbury, and the brilliant Alice Broadway
    I was SO NERVOUS for this, but it was absolutely incredible. I love both Alice and Mel so so much.
  3. Chairing Laura Steven and David Levithan
    HE’S A MASSIVE AMERICAN AUTHOR and she’s one of the best people in my life, so this was an absolute honour. I’m still not sure how I was asked to do this event.
  4. Hitting 30,000 views on my blog
    I NEVER thought I’d get to the point where I thought 10s of 1000s of people would view my blog, but here we are and I legit cried when I hit 30,000 views. It’s insane.
  5. Watching #SixforSunday get some new friends
    Any time someone has joined in #SixforSunday, my little heart grew exponentially. I’ve absolutely loved creating and doing #SixforSunday. Watch this space for the prompts for next year! 
  6. Having my words immortalised in books!
    This year has seen some of my blogging words included on books and that is INSANE. It’s an incredible feeling and I am ALWAYS here to shout about books! 

These are not in any order really, but there’s so many amazing things that happened in 2018. It’s been such an incredible year for blogger me. I can’t believe this is quite my bookish life.

S x

Looking for a brilliant read for a teen in your life?

Here we are, day 3 of my gift guide. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them! It’s been a blast looking back at my year in books and thinking which ones I would recommend people buy and read AND SHOVE IN EACH OTHERS FACES *ahem*.

Today, on this here final day of recommending, I’m sorting through the MANY MANY YA books I’ve read this year and giving you 12 that you ABSOLUTELY need to buy for the YA fan in your life! (Just as the past few days, none of these books will REALLY come as a surprise!) Without further ado…

2018 ya recs

Scythe/Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury (while we’re at it… The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy too, LBR)

Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard (and ANY of her other books too)

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Show Stopper/Show Stealer by Hayley Barker

White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin

Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt

Clean by Juno Dawson

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber (and Wing Jones too)

Floored by the Floored Seven

TADAAAAH. You made it. This list could’ve been so much longer. GO AND BUY THEM ALL. READ THEM ALL. LOVE THEM ALL.

Do you agree with my recommendations?
Can you add any to my list?
Which of these books have you loved most?

Talk to me in the comments! Are you SHOCKED by my choices?

S x

S4S – Authors I’d love to see collaborate…

STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN! 

Hello there! Wecome to another installment of #SixforSunday! This week sees me take on something that took an AWFUL LOT OF THOUGHT. Mainly because I needed to get it right. And I didn’t want to miss out anyone who I loved. Mainly, I have too many choices! 

Today we take on:

Authors you’d love to see collaborate

Now… the majestic book that is Floored came along and saw many of my faves ACTUALLY collaborate in an EPIC way, so if you’ve not got on that yet, I’d really like you to. 

  1. Melinda Salisbury and Sara Barnard
    This is a YA collab I will shout about forever. LADIES I NEED THIS TO HAPPEN. (C’mon, none of you will be surprised by this at all)
  2. Kiran Milwood Hargrave and Piers Torday
    I think this MG book would break my heart and be the most beautiful book ever!
  3. Sara Barnard and Alice Oseman
    This one literally just came to my brain and I think my brain is a genius. I think this could be such a brilliant combination!
  4. Sara Barnard and Laura Steven
    GUYS. I need this to happen… I just think these 2 would boss a YA contemporary that punched me in the face and made me cackle with laughter.  
  5. Maz Evans and Lisa Thompson
    I just think this would be a BRILLIANT MG book pairing… happy to read WHATEVER!
  6. Melinda Salisbury and Alice Broadway
    I think this would be such a brilliant meeting of minds… 

So if there’s anyone reading this who can make these things happen, that’d be amazing thanks!

Remember to share your #SixforSunday posts with me and I look forward to going “OMG YES THAT WOULD BE A MINT PAIR THANKS!” at all of your suggestions! 

S x 

S4S – Ultimate panels

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the hiatus this week… there was just a little need for my brain to take a break after a very busy half term! I am back though! And today’s #SixforSunday sees me taking on:

Dream panels/events

So, my dream panels? WELL THIS IS GONNA BE FUN. I’m gonna go 3 MG and 3 YA because LOVE.

“Contemporary YA: Why it matters” with Laura Steven, Alice Oseman, Sara Barnard and Katherine Webber.

“Writing badass characters” featuring Leigh Bardugo, Melinda Salisbury, Alice Broadway and Alwyn Hamilton.

“Writing stories that make our readers cry (we love it)” featuring C.G.Drews, Karen Gregory, Lisa Healthfield and Adam Silvera.

“Creating worlds kids want to read about” featuring Helena Duggan, Maz Evans, Ross Mackenzie and Kiran Milwood Hargrave.

“Writing incredible characters” featuring Peter Brown, Lisa Thompson, Alex Bell and Jessica Townsend.

“Books: an ode to books” featuring Anna James and Piers Torday in conversation.

Side note: I am still waiting for a Floored Seven panel

There we go! I LOVE hearing authors talk about their books, so please GET ME MORE EVENTS IN THE NORTH. I’m more than happy to host any of these *wink*

Remember to share your dream panels using #SixforSunday! I can’t wait to see what you all think! 

S x 

The 90s Movie Tag

Hello there!

How are we all? It’s Friday again! It is FINALLY half term. My first half term over as a teacher – prepare yourself for quite a mammoth blog post next week about what I got up to in my first 8 weeks as a teacher!

Today I’m taking on the ’90s Movie Tag’ which I saw on my brilliant friend Aoife’s blog. You should go read her post and follow her blog! I loved the premise of this tag, so thought I’d take it on.

She’s All That – Name a book couple that is an odd pairing but they still fit perfectly together

Lukas and Nell from The Hurting by Lucy van Smit. He’s pretty much a rich wolf boy and she was brought up with a drunken dad, a poorly mam and a little sister. They have an interesting dynamic. The Hurting is one of those books that pushes you to think for a while after you read it.

10 Things I Hate About You – A book/series you have a love/hate relationship with

OH MY WORD. For me, there is only one candidate. Gone Girl. I have SUCH a complex relationship with this book. I HATED the characters. So much. Man, I think I need to write a blog post about my feelings about this book. However, I did think it was so cleverly written. But yeah, this book makes me want to shake my fist (yknow, like the gif of the little girl?)

Clueless – A character who is totally clueless but you love them anyway

I don’t know that I have a character who is Clueless quite like Cher. I’ve gone for Citra and Rowan from Scythe. They had NO idea about the corruption and horrendous acts in Scythedom, but I loved them.

Titanic – Name a book that made you cry

LOLOL. Hello, do you know me AT ALL? I could list almost every book I’ve ever read. I am a crier. You’ll get used to it. However, if we’re going for books that have had a lasting impact on my emotions, I’d have to go with Countless by Karen Gregory. I can’t think about that book and not tear up.

American Pie – A book that makes you laugh

This was another one where I was like ‘I KNOW THE ANSWER STRAIGHT AWAY’. Guys, if you’re yet to read The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven, then you need to get on it. I remember reading the first chapter of that book and cackling SO SO MUCH. Izzy O’Neill is just remarkable and hilarious. Everyone needs her in their life.

Can’t Hardly Wait – A book with a crazy party

I don’t know that I can recall many books with parties in (which, considering I read a lot of YA books, does blow my mind slightly). But, after some thought, Clean by Juno Dawson features some wild parties. It must, right? It’s all about drugs and alcohol and sex.

Cruel Intentions – Name a character you can never fully trust

I 100% do not trust Mael from State of Sorrow (by the Queen Salisbury). I am still suspicious of him. I won’t say what it is, incase you haven’t read it, but if you have and wanna know… hit me up. I NEED SORROW 2 NOW PLZ THANKS.

Drive Me Crazy – Name your favourite “boy next door” or “girl next door” couple

I mean, Simon and Blue from Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda are pretty much “boy next door/boy next door” vibes for me. I adore them. I want a book of just Simon and Blue romantic fluff.

Scream – A book with a memorable villain

Every time I do one of these tags and a question about vilains comes up, I think of the SAME character. J from The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James. I mean, that’s gotta be some memorable character.

The Craft – Name a book with witches

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw was my first thought. A brilliant book about witches and falling in love and being who you really are.

Why don’t you take on this tag? I’d love to know your thoughts on my choices!

ALSO, if you do a tag you’d like me to take part in, let me know! I’m loving tag life!

Speak to you soon!

S x

S4S – Rereading books?!

Morning friends!

How are you all on this here Sunday morning? What are you up to today? Anything nice? What are we all reading?

Today’s #SixforSunday is all about:

Books I want to reread

Now, I’m not a regular rereader of books. I am a keeper of books that I love, but I don’t often reread them.

1. The Sun Eater’s Daughter trilogy – Melinda Salisbury

2. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

3. Nevermoor – Jessica Townsend

4. The Explorer – Katherine Rundell

5. The Exact of Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven

6. A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard

Easiest #SixforSunday in a long time. I love each of these books with all of my heart and for different reasons. The magic of all of them, experiencing them for the first time was just great. Reading them a second time, I might get to witness something new! (Will I ever get round to reading them again? Who knows!)

Thanks so much for popping along! Don’t forget to check out my other posts this week and join me next week for more #SixforSunday! Share your post using the hashtag!

S x

S4S – Books that made me want to shout

Hello my friends!

How are you all? What does this fine Sunday have in store for you? Are you partaking in a cup of #SixforSunday on this day? 

We’ve been though a lot of emotion with #SixforSunday this month so far, crying, laughing, anger… today brings us:

Books that made you want to shout

Whether its shouting in anger, joy or just sheer frustration, books that make you want to shout can be excellent. Or maybe its those books that you want to shout about them because they’re SO GOOD.

  1. Clean – Juno Dawson
    Oh Lexi. Poor little Lexi.
  2. The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven
    Now I wanted to shout about this because IT IS SO SO GOOD, but also Danny. What a doylem.
  3. State of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury
    If you read this book and don’t want to shout at the dad, then we need to talk. (But also, you all know how much I love Mel, so I needed to shout about how awesome this book is!)
  4. One of Us Is Lying – Karen M. McManus
    This book though… SO VERY GOOD. The shouting for this book is “I want everyone to read it”
  5. Hero at the Fall – Alwyn Hamilton
    ALWYN WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING TO US? Ahem. 
  6. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
    I want to shout at Leigh Bardugo and ask her how DARE she write a character as brilliant as Kaz. How dare he be fictional. 

There you have it! 6 of the books that have made me want to shout. (Let’s be real, a lot of books make me want to shout at their brilliance!)

Remember to join in and link to me, or tag me on twitter! Use the hashtag #SixforSunday so I can check out your posts… I love reading them all! 

Thanks for stopping by. Come back next week for…

Books that made me fall in love!

 S x

S4S – books that made me angry

Hello! Happy Sunday to you all! 

It’s the World Cup final today AND the men’s Wimbledon final… I shall be partaking in beverages and viewing of both! 

Today’s #SixforSunday post is brought to you by the emotion: anger. Today, we’re talking:

Books that made you angry

Now, I don’t get angry often, so books that make me angry (for whatever reason) stick in my head! There’s a common theme with some of my angry books… I’ll see if you can spot it!

  1. The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven
    While this book made me HOWL (thanks Izzy), Danny’s behaviour made me SO ANGRY. Ugh, Danny.
  2. Goodbye Perfect – Sara Barnard
    Again, another book I loved. It just made me SO conflicted. I don’t know who I’m most angry with. Let’s talk about this book please.
  3. Freshers – Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen
    Ugh. This book. Those boys. 
  4. After the Fire – Will Hill
    I can’t even because I’ll spoil it. Just read it. Then lets talk.
  5. The Sin Eater’s Daughter – Melinda Salisbury
    The Queen is NOT someone who should ever be allowed in the world. That woman.
  6. Floored – the Floored 7
    Oh, Hugo. Please go and read this book and then lets talk about Hugo, because… you’ll know why.

Anyone see the common theme?! Let me know if you do!

Thanks for popping by! Why don’t you check out my other #SixforSunday posts or check the hashtag on twitter to see which books others chose. 

See you next week for ‘Books that made you shout’

S x

Playlist: The Exact Opposite of Okay

Hello!

I’m trying something new today. While reading The Exact Opposite of Okay (which you can find my review of here), I was like “OMG, IZZY! A PLAYLIST”. So here we are, with my very first at an attempt at a list of songs inspired by The Exact Opposite of Okay. (If this goes well, I may try other books and songs… but I’m not sure!)

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Some of these songs are songs I think Izzy would love. Some are songs I’d like Izzy to hear. Some are songs that relate to my feelings throughout the book.

Can’t Hold Us Down – Christina Aguilera

Survivor – Destiny’s Child

Part of Me – Katy Perry

Titanium – Sia

Respect – Aretha Franklin

Bleeding Heart – Regina Spektor

Power – Little Mix

Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato

There’s a brilliant guest post featuring Izzy and her very own playlist over on my friend Cora’s club. Check it out here!

S x

S4S – YA besties

Bonjour! 

How are we all? 

Welcome back to anther installment of #SixforSunday, hosted by me, Steph! How are we all doing? Are we all keeping up with this year’s #SixforSunday posts. Remember you can join in by checking out the prompts at S4S – YOU Join In 2018 and the prompts for the second half of the year will be up soon! Thank you for joining in if you have so far! I’ve loved seeing all of your posts! 

Today we are talking:

Characters that would make good best friends

I’ve chosen 6 characters I think would make great best friends. They’re all YA characters, no surprise!

  1. Izzy O’Neill – The Exact Opposite of Okay
    You can GUARANTEE that there would be lots of laughter, lots of sassy texts and I think she’s an amazing human. 
  2. Twylla – The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy
    QUELLE SURPRISE. I KNOW. I’m predictable. Get used to it. She’s brilliant, she’s badass, she’s brave. I ADORE HER.
  3. Eden – Goodbye, Perfect
    This girl has a bit of a disaster with her own bestie, I’d quite like to be her bestie so I could hug her. She’s excellent. She’s loyal, a realist and fiercely honest. 
  4. Amani – Rebel of the Sands trilogy
    OH MAN. I would love to Amani’s best friend. She’s a brilliant human and she could teach me to be a sharpshooter. I’d like to live in her world too – all those stories and mythology. YES PLZ.
  5. Storm – The Extinction Trials
    She’s one of my favourite characters that I discovered last year. Imagine going on a dinosaur hunt with her? She’s brave and not scared to tell you she’s scared. Dinosaurs and swimming? Yes thanks.
  6. Diana – Wonder Woman: Warbringer
    SHE’S WONDER WOMAN MAN. Plus she’s got this like really dry and literal sense of humour which DEFINITELY cracks me up every single time. 

YA has some amazing friends, and some of these aren’t even obvious choices. I’d love to see who you’d have as your best friends! Share them with me using #SixforSunday on twitter. 

S x