Tag Archives: Crush

Guest Post – Celebrating YA by Cynthia Murphy


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Today I am honoured to bring to you a brilliant guest post from awesome blogger, writer, friend and basically all round awesome human being who I hugely admire, the lovely Cynthia Murphy.

Cynthia has been doing a fantastic job blogging recently about mental health in UKYA and following an article that was released this week (that shall not be named) asked if I would feature a guest post here on Tales.

I jumped at the chance and can confirm that and can confirm that this blog post is glitter free…..


Celebrating YA

Another week, another article shaming young adult literature.  Is it just me, or is it getting boring now?

Yes.  Yes, it is.

I’m proud to say that I, unlike some newspapers which shall remain nameless, have been busy setting up a blog series that actually celebrates YA, instead of constantly tearing it down.  I have actually read these books and loved them, just like many of you.

My first post was on Halloween reads – all a far cry from cute and glittery, without a manic pixie dream boy in sight.  There’s some cracking teen horror around at the moment (I’m 32 and had to read FROZEN CHARLOTTE with the lights on) that has come a long way since the Point Horrors I read as a teen.  You can see the rest of my creepy reading recs here.

Yesterday, I posted something very close to my heart – Mental Health in UKYA.  The books I covered were all excellent examples of how young adult literature is making a difference for readers.  In five book recommendations (which you can see here

I had covered PTSD, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, OCD and attempted suicide.  Two of those books just happened to be titles from Zoella’s book club, the very one that was unnecessarily criticised this week.  Yet I think these books are important, not only because they allow readers to explore content they may not be familiar with, but because they are good.  They are well written, adventurous and often hilarious.  They allow you to see yourself in the character.  They make you laugh, cry and gain empathy and understanding of serious topics in a compelling way.  What’s so cute and glittery about that?

As I’ve been concentrating on UKYA, I’m delighted to be guest blogging for Chelley, as this way I’m able to recommend some more wonderful, important books from around the world. As far as I’m concerned they’re all excellent depictions of a wide range of issues and genres, as well as being fabulously well written.  I hope you agree and that you find your next great read amongst the list!

The Micah Grey Trilogy by L.R. Lam

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One of the most beautifully written fantasy worlds I’ve ever come across.  This series has just been re-released and features an intersex main character who craves freedom and runs away to the circus.  I dare you not to fall in love with Micah.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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This book made me laugh, ugly cry and feel all the feelings.  It touches on the issues of growing up as a mixed race teen, poverty and abuse, all while making you yearn for first kisses and hand holding on the bus.  Plus, I really want to borrow Park’s X-Men comics.

The Spinster Club Series by Holly Bourne

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Holly has captured exactly what it’s like to be going through sixth form and does it with real feeling and some pee-inducing laughs.  Though the books link together, each can be picked up as a stand-alone and they cover mental health, drinking, dodgy dates, split families and feminism.  Oh, and how could I forget the cheesy snacks?

Crush by Eve Ainsworth

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A story told from two points of view, Crush examines an abusive relationship as it plays out, from start to finish.  It’s beautifully done and not only looks at why the relationship is wrong, but what leads both parties to act the way they do.  Important and empathetic.

You can check out a Tales Of Yesterday review of Crush here

Or a Q&A with Eve Ainsworth here

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

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Parker Grant is one of my favourite characters.  Yes, she’s blind, but she’s bolshy, bright and full of resolve, too.  She has taught herself to navigate around her home town, but finding her way through family problems and relationships proves a lot more difficult…

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

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Heart. Wrenching.  Paper Butterflies examines the physical and mental abuse of June, a character you will want to wrap up in a blanket and hold until it’s all over.  The ending was a million miles away from what I expected and absolutely broke me.  An important lesson on why you should always speak out and characters you won’t forget in a hurry.

Well, there you have it. I could go on and on and on but I think I’ve made my point.  YA is exploring important topics in amazing ways and if you don’t believe me, give one of the books above a try and let me know how it goes.

You can find a Tales Of Yesterday review of Paper Butterflies here

You can find my Celebrating #UKYA series over at The Scribblers (https://thescribblersonline.com/) where I will be covering a different topic every two weeks.  The next one will be live on Friday 25th November and is on those books that are breaking taboos in UKYA, including the fabulous ASKING FOR IT by Louise O’Neill and THE ART OF BEING NORMAL by Lisa Williamson, to name just two.

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You can find a Tales Of Yesterday review of The Art Of Being Normal here

Or a character Q&A with Lisa Williamson here

I hope to hear from some of you with your thoughts and recommendations and if a certain newspaper is reading, I’d be happy to write you some honest reviews of books I have actually read


About Cynthia Murphy

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Cynthia is a primary school teacher from Manchester who loves to read, write, bake and eat. She will read anything and everything and favourites include The Historian, The Secret Garden, Harry Potter and Eleanor & Park, to name a few. She’s inspired by her travels and believes that magic is real…

Cynthia also blogs over at https://cynthiamurphywrites.wordpress.com where she has documented how meeting her literary agent led to a breast cancer diagnosis.

She is currently editing her debut novel, a contemporary middle grade mystery and is repped by Nicola Barr at Greene and Heaton.

You can follow Cynthia on twitter – @Cyn_Murphy

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The home of The Scribblers – a group of writers on a whirlwind adventure from slush pile to publication – from slush to lush! The Scribblers are a group of writers who first met on the CBC Online Writing for Children Course with Catherine Johnson in Autumn 2015.

https://thescribblersonline.com/


A huge thank you to Cynthia for such a fab guest post!

Have you read any of these brilliant books? What books would you recommend?  I would love to here from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Happy Reading!

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Spotlight – #ThisIsWhoIAm Tour – Birmingham


IMG_1193On the 8th June 2016 Waterstones Birmingham have a fab event with an awesome author line up!

I had reserved my ticket and was all set and ready to attend and then Waterstones contacted me and asked me a question….

tiwiatThat’s right!  The people at Waterstones Birmingham are letting me loose in these fab authors!

With thanks to Waterstones (and persuasion from my hubby and friends Jim Dean and Faye Rogers – thanks guys) I will be chairing this fab panel at this fab event!

I am a little nervous I have to admit but I am also hugely excited!

Do tweet @WaterstonesBham for a free ticket!

So whilst I am busy reading these fab authors books (or the ones I’ve not yet read yet) and prepping questions I thought it would be fun to shine the spotlight on them a little and find out a little more about them……

You can also check out what I would put in my time capsule here


Eve Ainsworth

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Eve Ainsworth is a writer of Adult and YA fiction. She also loves tea (lots of it), 80’s music and most things relating to The Beatles.

Seven Days, Eve’s Young Adult debut, was published by Scholastic Uk in Feb 2015. The Blog of Maisy Malone is a adult comedy novel that has received pleasing reviews on Amazon.
Crush, also published by Scholastic will be published in March 2016.

Eve has had short stories published in magazines such as Writers’ Forum and Prima.

She is now working on her third YA novel for Scholastic.

Please check out her website www.eveainsworth.com or follow her on Twitter @EveAinsworth        

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School should be a safe place for Jess, but at the moment it’s everything she dreads. Jess’s life is difficult enough without Kez picking on her. Kez’s life isn’t any sweeter. She has plenty of problems too but she finds comfort in knowing she is better off than Jess – or so she thinks… Told from the point of view of the bullied and the bully, this is a taut, powerful story of two girls locked in battle with each other and themselves, spiralling towards a shocking conclusion.    

 

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Love hurts … but should it hurt this much? Reeling from her mum’s sudden departure, Anna finds the comfort she needs in her blossoming relationship with Will. He’s handsome and loving, everything Anna has always dreamt of. He’s also moody and unpredictable, pushing her away from her friends, her music. He wants her to be his and his alone. He wants her to be perfect. Anna’s world is closing in. But threatening everything is a dark secret that not even Will can control… Eve Ainsworth’s gripping second novel is a pitch-perfect exploration of love at its most powerful, addictive and destructive. 

 

You can buy Eve’s books here or from your local bookshop.

Check out my review of 7 Days here or Crush here

Also check out this fab character Q&A with Lyn from 7 Day’s here


Harriet Reuter Hapgood 

harriet_reuter_hapgoodHarriet Reuter Hapgood is a freelance journalist who has worked with Marie Claire, ELLE and InStyle in the UK. The Square Root of Summer was inspired by her German mathematician grandfather and her lifelong obsession with YA romance, which includes an MA thesis on Dawson’s Creek from London College of Fashion and a dissertation on romantic comedies at Newcastle University. She lives in Brighton.  

You can find out more about Harriet on her website – http://harrietreuterhapgood.com/ or follow her on twitter – @hapgoodness 

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My heart is a kaleidoscope, and when we kiss it makes my world unravel . . .

Last summer, Gottie’s life fell apart. Her beloved grandfather Grey died and Jason, the boy to whom she lost her heart wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral. This summer, still reeling from twin heartbreaks, Gottie is lost and alone and burying herself in equations. Until, after five years absence, Thomas comes home: former boy next door. Former best friend. Former everything. And as life turns upside down again she starts to experience strange blips in time – back to last summer, back to what she should have seen then . . .

During one long, hazy summer, Gottie navigates grief, world-stopping kisses and rips in the space-time continuum, as she tries to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last.

The Square Root of Summer is an astounding and moving debut from Harriet Reuter Hapgood.

You can buy The Square Root Of Summer here or from your local bookshop.


Lauren James  

71cXRJuzSVL._UX250_Lauren James is 23, and graduated in 2014 from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Her first novel The Next Together, a YA reincarnation romance, is out now with Walker Books in the UK and has been translated into over six languages worldwide. The Last Beginning will be published in October 2016.

She is an Arts Council grant recipient, and is longlisted for the 2016 Branford Boase Award. She lives in the West Midlands. You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James or her website laurenejames.co.uk  

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A powerful and epic debut novel about fate and the timelessness of first love. Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. How many times can you lose the person you love? For Matthew and Katherine it is again and again, over and over, century after century. But why do they keep coming back? How many times must they die to save the world? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different.  

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The epic conclusion to Lauren James’ debut The Next Together about true love and reincarnation. Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives. But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history? Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove’s investigation? For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future.    

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Winter, 1940: there is a murderer on the loose at Bletchley Park, the headquarters of Britain’s most daring codebreaking operation against the Nazis. Can two young codebreakers Kitty and Matthew catch the killer?

This standalone short story can be enjoyed by new readers and existing fans of Lauren James’s The Next Together series.

You can buy Lauren’s books here or from your local bookshop.

NB – The Last Beginning is due to be released on the 6th October2016 and the e-short Another Together on the 2nd June 2016


Leila Sales   

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I was born in 1984, and I grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, with my parents and our cat. When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be a writer, actress, or singer. The writing part turned out to be easiest to accomplish, since it turns out I can’t really carry a tune, though I can do a pretty compelling karaoke rendition of “Hey Mickey.”

I wrote and illustrated approximately one million picture books when I was in elementary school, all of them about unicorns or cats or princesses, or princess unicorns who were best friends with princess cats. When I was seven, I wrote a longer story about quintuplets named Marissa, Larissa, Clarissa, Melissa, and Alyssa. The quintuplets were not princesses, but they did get invited to a royal ball.

During middle school and high school, I wrote five unpublished YA novels. I also acted in plays, competed in gymnastics meets and debate tournaments, babysat, and did an awful lot of schoolwork. My favorite school subject was math, and my worst subject was either science or Spanish.

I went to college at the University of Chicago, where I majored in psychology. I also performed in Off-Off Campus (an improvisational and sketch comedy troupe), competed in debate tournaments all over the world, helped judge the world’s largest scavenger hunt, and wrote a humor column for the school paper. And I wrote another unpublished YA novel, for which I was awarded the Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Prize for Fiction Writing.

After graduating, I got a job at a children’s book publishing company in New York City, where I remain to this day. My first novel was published in 2010, and since then, I’ve just kept working on more. During the daytime I read other people’s books, and during the nighttime I write my own. What more could I need?

Learn more about me by following me on Twitter or befriending me on Facebook.

You can also find out more about Leila on her website – http://leilasales.com/

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All her life, Elise Dembowski has been an outsider. Starting a new school, she dreams of fitting in at last – but when her best attempts at popularity fail, she almost gives up. In a cry for help, she self-harms, and when news of that gets around school, things get even worse for Elise.

But then she stumbles upon a secret warehouse party. There, at night, Elise can be a different person, making real friends, falling in love for the first time, and finding her true passion – DJing.

But when her real and secret lives collide, she has to make a decision once and for all: just who is the real Elise?

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Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose: it makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her – including her needy best friend and her absent mum.

Arden stumbles upon a blog called ‘Tonight the Streets Are Ours’, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, and it feels like she’s finally found a kindred spirit. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night in NYC filled with parties, dancing and music – the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does – Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was either.

You can buy Leila’s books here or at your local bookshop


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It would be awesome to see you there!

Do tweet @WaterstonesBham for a free ticket!

You can also check out what I would put in my time capsule here

Have you read any of these books or met any of these fab authors before? What questions would you ask if you were chairing the panel?  I would love to here from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Wish me luck!

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Review – Crush by Eve Ainsworth


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It’s no secret that I LOVED Eve Ainsworth’s debut 7 Days when I read it last year ( you can find my review here ) so I was super excited and very lucky to have received a copy of her second book, Crush last year!  Crush was released on the 3rd March 2016 published by Scholastic and I loved ever page of it!

I am so over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for this book!

For my stop on the blog tour I am going to share my thoughts on the book and post a review!

A huge thank you to Faye Rogers , Eve Ainsworth and Scholastic for having me on this wonderful tour and for sending me the book to read.


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Love hurts … but should it hurt this much? Reeling from her mum’s sudden departure, Anna finds the comfort she needs in her blossoming relationship with Will. He’s handsome and loving, everything Anna has always dreamt of. He’s also moody and unpredictable, pushing her away from her friends, her music. He wants her to be his and his alone. He wants her to be perfect. Anna’s world is closing in. But threatening everything is a dark secret that not even Will can control… Eve Ainsworth’s gripping second novel is a pitch-perfect exploration of love at its most powerful, addictive and destructive.


Publisher – Scholastic UK

Published – 3rd March 2016

Pages – 340 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – Contemporary YA

Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful people at Scholastic as part of the blog tour organised by Faye Rogers.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Scholastic for sending this to me to read and to Faye for organising!


** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**


After reading and loving Eve’s debut, 7 Day’s, last year I could not wait to get my little mitts on her second book Crush and I have to say it did not disappoint.

A story about a toxic relationship and a reminder that domestic abuse is never okay in any way, shape or form.

 Crush tells the story of Anna who, since her Mom has left home, is struggling to cope living with her Dad and her younger brother.  Everything seems to cause an issue between her and her Dad and she is generally not happy at home.  She then catches the eye of Will, one of the schools heart throbs, who whilst is slightly older than Anna she enjoys the attention that Will gives her and she can’t quite believe that Will would be interested in someone like her.  Will makes Anna feel good about herself and gives her something to take her mind off things.  Anna is so wrapped up in Will that she doesn’t see that the relationship takes a somewhat toxic turn.

 The story is told from the perspective of Anna, but also at the end/start of every chapter we get a brief glimpse into Will’s thoughts and feelings with regards to his actions.

 As a character I gelled with Anna and really wanted her to get out of the situations she finds herself in. As a character she is strong even if she does not believe that to be true.  Anna’s feelings of love and being swept away by love are both endearing and heart wrenching because as a reader you kind of know what’s coming and you really want her to wake up and realise it for herself.   The relationship between her and her brother, Eddie, was a classic sister/brother relationship.  I loved Eddie a lot and loved how Anna and Eddie’s relationship develops over the course of the book.

 Also I loved Dan…..I think there’s a story in Dan somewhere!  Hint Hint Eve!

 I found Will harder to like as a character and rightly so.  I already felt quite reserved and a bit hostile towards Will mainly because of my initial thoughts to the blurb of the book which gives a good indication of what is to come.  In fact I really hated him but he has been designed by Eve not to like as a character.  He treats Anna badly….very badly and whilst, as mentioned above, we get a glimpse into his reasoning’s behind what he does and his thoughts and feelings I found it a very hard lump to swallow especially with one explosive letter that he writes (I don’t want to say which one due to spoilers but my mouth dropped wide open and I felt so so angry).  But Eve’s writing as always is very clever.  It’s willing you to feel something for this character that you hate and I found myself constantly reminding myself of the wrongs he has done.  His reasoning does not justify his actions in anyway, and the letters sort of try and justify things and reasons why he is like the way he is, but as a reader you know that this could never excuse his behaviour.  It’s evident that Eve, like in 7 Days, is trying to give both sides to a very complex and harrowing story.

 What shocked me about the story is that as a reader you can see the small things that begin to happen to Anna and it makes you angry that she can’t see it, but that just proves how realistic the words written in this book are.  In real life when you are in a situation like Anna finds herself you may not necessarily want to believe it’s true or you may not recognise the signs.

 I loved how Anna lived on the same estate as 7 Days was set.  In fact the same tower block as 7 Day’s character Lyn.  This paved a way for Lyn to appear in Crush and I loved it and him even more so.  I love it when books cross over like this.  It was almost like visiting an old friend and finding out how he is doing and what he has been up to since the end of 7 Day’s.  I also loved the caring way he is with Anna, his genuine concern ….  Oh how I love Lyn.

 The ending, whilst I won’t spoil it, gave me as a reader some closure.  This is Anna’s story and Anna as a character deserved some closure.  Eve gives us as a reader room to think about the events and the characters.

 Again Eve has tackled a raw, hard hitting subject and has done it fantastically well.  Eve’s writing just flows across the page which makes this book quite a quick read.  I really believe, like 7 Day’s that a book like this could help somebody who needed it or who maybe wasn’t aware that their relationship maybe potentially be toxic.

Well done to Eve for another brilliant powerful book.  I’m excited to see the conversations this book will spark and waiting in high anticipation for Eve’s next book as I know it’s going to be brilliant.

I award this book 5 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books!

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You can buy Crush by Eve Ainsworth here

Or why not add it to Goodreads here

Check out my review of 7 Days by Eve Ainsworth here

Or a Q&A with a character from 7 Days and Crush, Lyn, here


About Eve Ainsworth

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Eve Ainsworth has worked extensively in Child Protection and pastoral care roles, supporting teenagers with emotional and behavioural issues. Her debut novel Seven Days was released in 2015 and has been nominated for a string of awards including the Carnegie Medal. Her second novel, Crush, is out March 2016. She lives in West Sussex.

You can find out more about Eve on her website here

Or why not follow Eve on Twitter – @EveAinsworth


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of the blog tour at the following stops

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Monday 7th March

Snuggling on the Sofa

Bookish Outsider

Tuesday 8th March

The Bibliophile Chronicles

Ali the Dragon Slayer

 Wednesday 9th March

Tales of Yesterday

Literary-ly Obssessed

Thursday 10th March

Writing from the Tub

Serendipity Reviews

Friday 11th March

Eat Read Glam

Mia in Narnia

Saturday 12th March

The Book Moo

An Awful Lot of Reading

Sunday 13th March

Maia and a Little Moore

Powered by Reading

 

 


Have you read Crush or 7 Days by Eve Ainsworth?  What did you think?  Has this review made you want to go grab a copy?  I would love to here from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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