Tag Archives: Eve Ainsworth

Guest Post – Tender – The Book That Made Me Cry by Eve Ainsworth

 


Today I am thrilled to be sharing a fantastic guest post from one of my favourite UKYA authors, Eve Ainsworth.

Tender was released on the 1st March 2018 and is Eve’s fourth YA and is another thought provoking read which Eve does so brilliantly.

Today Eve tells us a little about Tender – the book that made her cry….


Touching on mental health, family, friendship and the pressures that teenage carers face, as author Cat Clarke says, TENDER is “a compassionate, compelling and unflinching novel”.

Marty and Daisy spend their lives pretending. Marty pretends his mum’s grip on reality isn’t slipping by the day. Daisy pretends her parents aren’t exhausting themselves while they look after her incurably ill brother. They both pretend they’re fine. But the thing about pretending is, at some point, it has to stop. And then what?


Tender – The Book That Made Me Cry

I’m often asked why I decide to write the book that I do, or why I chose to explore a particular theme. It’s never a ‘light bulb’ moment where I wake up one morning and think ‘That’s it! That is the book I must write next.” But it’s more of an organic, gradual thing that grows slowly in my mind. Usually the seed begins with a character. A character is born in my imagination and through them, through their background and experiences, the themes will develop.

Even while I was writing Damage, I had this other voice fighting for my attention. It was a boy and it was strong. I made some notes. I quickly worked out that this male voice was a bit of a mash up of someone I used to know and a person that I would like to know. He was loud and argumentative, but he was warm too. And he had challenges. I realised that this boy was someone who put other people before himself.

From this, the idea of young carers developed.

I had worked with young carers before and they had inspired me, mainly because of their stoic and selfless attitudes. These were the young people that often struggled without complaint. They could have huge pressures at home, but they didn’t talk about it much. To them, this was their normality and the need to keep their family ‘going’ and not be a further burden was their priority.

Once I knew I was going to write about young carers I met up with one of my ex-students. She had been an excellent pupil, never been in trouble, never really got herself noticed by senior staff. But when we met, she told me more honestly about how day-to-day school life had been a struggle and how she seemed to be ‘managing’, but inside she was often anxious and worried. Her saviour, her positive outlet had been Young Carers’ sessions where she could meet other teenagers in a similar situation to hers – where she could be free from pressure, be silly, have fun. Be young!

Around the same time I was talking to a close friend. We had had children at the same time. But sadly for my friend, her youngest son had been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy from a young age. Through my friend, I not only learnt to understand the pressures she was under – but also the pressures her entire family were under as they constantly cared and worried about this young boy. Through this, the character of Daisy was born. Daisy is a caring, resilient girl – but she is being torn apart by the worry caused by her brother’s ill health.

Quickly Daisy and Marty became my main characters, both telling their versions of what ‘caring’ can mean and how this impacts on their lives. They meet each other and this has a huge influence on how they move forward.

Tender was a book that made me cry over and over. It covers such emotional subjects that I had to take occasional short breaks. It hits home that what I’m writing is something that people are actually experiencing in real life. It can be hard going, but whatever happens these characters, these people, keep fighting on.

The developing romance between Daisy and Marty was also something new for me – but I was keen to have an uplifting and positive theme in the book too and I ended up loving these two so much – I found it quite hard to let them go.

 Tender is a book about resilience and hope. It’s about loving and fighting for the people you care for, but also that its important to find time to love yourself.

You can buy a copy of Tender here or from your local bookshop!


About Eve Ainsworth

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 David Bowie.

Seven Days, Eve’s Young Adult debut, was published by Scholastic Uk in Feb 2015. Crush followed in 2016. Eve’s latest YA novel, Damage was published in March 2017. All of her novels explore real life, contemporary issues that are relevant to teens.

Eve has also self published The Blog of Maisy Malone, which is an adult comedy novel that has received pleasing reviews on Amazon.

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

You can find out more about Eve on her website –  www.eveainsworth.com

Or follow her on Twitter @EveAinsworth


A huge thank you to Eve for a fab guest post and asking me to host!

Have you read Tender?  What did you think?  What are your favourite part?  Have you read any of Eve’s other books?  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

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        

7 days

 

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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Review – 7 Days by Eve Ainsworth


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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…


Publisher – Scholastic

Date Published – 5th February 2015

Pages – 288 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – UK YA

Source –

I was sent a review copy of this book by the wonderful author Keris Stainton as I was talking about it in my anti-bullying post and she offered to send me her copy when she had read it.  I was also lucky enough to attend the Scholastic Blogger Book Feast last week and was given a finished copy which I got signed!  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you all for sending / giving this to me to read!


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


This book had me smiling, shouting no! at the characters in the book and with my bottom lip trembling and eyes welling up very often I realised what a powerful, important thought provoking book Eve Ainsworth has written and I really encourage every one to read it!

7 Days tells the story of beautiful and popular, Kez who excels in art at school and really does not care who she hurts and finds an easy target to bully in overweight and awkward 14 year old Jess. Told from the alternate perspectives of Jess and Kez over the course of a week, 7 days, and with a Facebook conversation with Kez and her friends before each day I really got a sense of feelings from both sides and of what was to come each day often with heartbreaking outcomes.

The book opens with a heartfelt letter which immediately sets the tone and gives the sense of what’s to come and as soon as I read this I knew that this book was going to be special.

I loved the way how as each day goes by the characters start to unravel and reveal themselves to the reader but not necessarily to each other.  Home life for Jess is hard, taking care of her little sister Hollie a lot after her Dad recently left her Mom and her Mom working nights Jess and her family seem to struggle juggling everything and whilst trying to support each other seem quite detached from each other.  As the story progresses there is a touching scene between Jess and her Mom that really brought tears to my eyes and really made the relationship develop and open Jess’s Mom’s eyes in a sense to how much her daughters need her.  It was lovely to see this develop over the course of the 7 days.  On the flip side Jess sees Kez as having the perfect little house and the perfect little life, but as the story progresses we find that behind closed doors or beneath someone mask or shell things are not always as they appear.

One of my favourite characters was Lyn (find my character Q&A with Lyn here)!  Boyfriend of Kez, Lyn has known Jess since they were 4 years old and I loved the memory Jess remembers of them playing in the paddling pool together when they were little.  I have known my now husband since I was 4 years old so I really could relate to memories of being young and thinking back on times shared.  This is maybe why I liked his character so much.  I also loved Jess’s friend Phillip…I loved they way he stands up to for Jess against Kez and sticking up for his friend saying to Kez “at least I’m happy with who I am unlike you”.  This sentence speaks a thousand words to me and sums up, in my opinion, Kez’s character completely.

This book was un-put-downable (is that a word?)!  I read this book really quick due to the pacing and the way the book just flowed.  I felt fully invested in the characters and cared for them, even Kez and I think that’s what made this book so special and Eve’s writing spectacular as Kez does some awful, un forgiving and horrific things to Jess and as a reader you hate her, but somehow as the story progresses Eve writes in such a way that you have pangs of caring for this character too which in your mind you know you don’t want to, which to me, to do this to me whilst reading, makes Eve’s writing very special indeed.

Eve Ainsworth gets the message over to the reader powerfully and raw without sugar coating anything.  There are scenes between Jess and Kez that are just horrific for Jess often bringing tears to my eyes.  There’s also scenes in Kez’s homelife that are heartbreaking to.  There’s one particular scene with Jess in the girls changing rooms where Jess goes through her thought process on getting changed in front of all of the other girls.  I could definitely relate to this from school.  Whilst I can’t say I was ever bullied at school, even though people did test the waters, I was too much of a hardworking, guitar playing joker to really care what other people thought (except boys of course).  I was always a big girl and yes people at school did comment on my weight a lot, but I was lucky that I used to brush it off easy, but PE was always horrific for me!  I hated it!  It was just humiliating!  Especially getting changed afterwards so I could totally relate to Jess trying to cover up whilst getting changed or doing it as quick as possible so people did not see!

I found in the last third of this book that due to being so invested in the characters it was heartstopping and one particular scene I was reading as fast as I could, gripping the book so tight and thinking no this can’t be happening!

Everyone should read this book!  If your being bullied, doing the bullying, a parent concerned for their child or just to get an understanding or sense of what people go through when being bullied then please read this book.  I really hope schools invest the time to put this book into their libraries as I really feel that it could help.  I also like to think that as much as it is raw that the ending will give people hope or change peoples lives. My 10 year old son has shown an interest in reading this book and I have handed it over to him with pride! Well done Eve!  You should be proud of this book and all it stands for!  Thank you for writing this book…thank you!

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

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You can buy the brilliant 7 Days Here

Or why not visit Eve’s website or follow her on twitter using @eveainsworth

You can find my Q&A with character Lyn here

You can check out a review of Eve’s second book, Crush, which features Lyn from 7 Days here

Eve has also written some brilliant posts Why I Wrote Seven Days, Bloggers Book Feast and fab guest post yesterday over on YaYeahYeah here.

Eve also featured 7 Days on my post titled Does music influence UKYA – to read this click here

I also wrote quite a personal post for last years Anti Bullying Week which features 7 Days and some other books that helped my son deal with bullying.  You can find it here.

Happy Reading!

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Tales Q&A with Eve Ainsworth


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Following being lucky enough to have received a copy of Eve’s debut novel 7 Days published by Scholastic I have been honoured to have been asked to be part of the blog tour in the 7 days leading up to its release date of the 5th February (although I do believe some copies are now out in the wild!!!).

 Scholastic and Eve gave me free reign on what post I would like to feature for the blog tour (evil laugh) to which I suggested this – a Q&A with a character from the book.  I like to do things a little different so rather than a main character I picked another character I loved from the book who I felt played a pivotal role in so many ways.


7 days

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…


About the Author

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A writer, a mother and a lover of books.

Eve is represented by Stephanie Thwaites at Curtis Brown.

Eve is a YA Author with my Debut YA novel – Seven Days due for publication with Scholastic in Feb 2015. One bully. One Target. Two Victims.

Eve’s Adult comedy novel – The Blog of Maisy Malone – is available on Amazon in Kindle format for instant download, and also in paperback


7 Days is the story of one bully, one target, two victims.  It tells the story of beautiful and popular, Kez who excels in art at school and really does not care who she hurts and finds an easy target to bully in overweight and awkward 14 year old Jess. Told from the alternate perspectives of Jess and Kez over the course of a week, 7 days, and with a Facebook conversation with Kez and her friends before each day I really got a sense of feelings from both sides and of what was to come each day often with heartbreaking outcomes.  Find my full review here.

 One of the characters I loved the most in 7 Days was the love interest of Kez and childhood friend of Jess who I thought would be the perfect character to interview due to his connections to both characters in the book.  So here goes…..

Day – Wednesday Time 11am

 Hi Lyn.  Thanks for being here today and agreeing to this Q&A.  You have a very unusual name?  Is this short for something? 

 Yeah – it’s short for Lyndon. I hate it. I was named after some dead American President. Everyone calls me Lyn unless they want a slap…

 You live with your Dad on the local estate?  What is it like?

 What, the Mac? It’s cool. It suits me.

 Tell me a little about yourself.

 Jeez – I hate stuff like this, there’s not much to know. I’m just me. I hang about on the estate. I try not to get too involved with anything too heavy. I’m really not that interesting.

My mates mean everything to me. I like loyalty, I respect that.

 You go to the same school as Jess and Kez.  Are you in any of their classes?

 Nah – I’m in Year 11, they’re younger than me.

 What’s your favourite class at school?

Erm. I’m not so good in school to be honest. I like P.E and Music is ok…

 I understand you have known Jess since you were 4!  How did you get to know each other?

 Yeah we go way back. Our Dads are old mates and I used to go to hers to play. My dad used to joke that we’d end up married. She had a much bigger place then. It was cool, we had fun.

 Are you still friends?

 Well, not so much. We move in different crowds now. But she’s a cool girl

 For those who haven’t met Jess could you describe her?

 Jess? Ok….well she’s dead pretty. She has dark hair, very long and nice eyes and she smiles a lot, which is amazing really…

 Who would you say are her friends?

 I’m not sure to be honest, she hangs out with Year 9 kids. She used to be mates with Hannah I think. I see her a lot with that geeky kid. Will I think he’s called.

 Does Jess live on the estate?  Who does she live with?

Yeah she lives in Bevan Court now, round the back, with her Mum and sister. My Dad told me her Dad had done a runner. That’s a shame coz Jess really loved him, you know…

I don’t see her as much as I used to now. Not round the Estate anyway. I don’t know why…

 How do you know Kez?

 Kez was hanging around the Estate. She’s mates with Marnie and I’ve known her for years.

 Describe Kez for those of us who have not met her.

 I hate this!. Err – Kez is cute. I think she looks prettier without all the make-up though, she doesn’t need as much (she’ll kill me for this!)

 Do you get along with Kez’s friends or hang around together?

 Marnie’s alright, but I wouldn’t want to spend all day with her. She’s not my type, put it that way. The girl’s kind of hang around with us, I guess we’re irresistible.

 Does Kez live on the estate too?  Who does she live with?

 No-way, Kez is posh! She has a big house on the other side of town. She won’t let me see it, she’s probably ashamed of me or something. I think it’s just her and her parents.

 I’ve heard rumours of Kez bullying Jess and have seen things on facebook!  Have you ever witnessed Kez bullying Jess?

 I’ve seen the stuff on Facebook. It does my head in, I don’t know why she has to do stuff like that. I’ve heard that she’s giving Jess some hassle and I don’t like it. Jess doesn’t deserve that. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on. I need to talk to Kez really.

 What type of things have you witnessed?

 Look I just said I haven’t and if I did – I would say something. It’s bang out of order. I did hear Kez was calling Jess fat. What’s all that about? She looks fine to me. I just assumed Kez was jealous or something.

 How does this make you feel?

 How do you think it makes me feel? Angry! Frustrated. I don’t understand why she has to be nasty like that.

 Do you know how Jess feels?

 Not a clue but I don’t imagine she’s feeling great.

Look – why all the questions? It’s not me doing this is it?

 Do you try and help in anyway?

 Not yet, I’ve not had reason to. But I will if I have to

 How does Kez react when you tackle her over bullying Jess?

 I’ve not said much I’ve just told her it’s out of order, saying that sort of stuff and I don’t understand why she does it. Kez is alright really, I think she’s better than that.

What is your opinion on bullying?

 I’ve got no time for it. If I‘ve got a problem with someone, I sort it out my way – but I don’t terrorise them.

Bullying is just the cowards way isn’t it?

Jeez – do you really think Kez is a bully then?

 I heard a rumour there’s going to be a party at your flat on Saturday!  Firstly can I come?  And secondly are you looking forward to it?

 Err, I’m not sure it’ll be your sort of party! Should be a laugh though. Yeah, I think it’ll be good.

 Who’s invited?

Most of my year. Lads from the Mac. A few girls in Kez’s year. I’ll probably invite Jess too.

 What does the future hold for you and Kez?

 Who knows, it’s still early days. I do like her but….well, let’s just see.


 Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these and feature on Tales Of Yesterday.  It really is an honour and I adored 7 Days…such and important powerful book and Eve should be very proud.

 You can buy the brilliant 7 Days Here

Or why not visit Eve’s website or follow her on twitter using @eveainsworth

You can find my full review of 7 Days here

Eve has also written some brilliant posts Why I Wrote Seven Days, Bloggers Book Feast and fab guest post yesterday over on YaYeahYeah here.

Eve also featured 7 Days on my post titled Does music influence UKYA – to read this click here

I also wrote quite a personal post for last years Anti Bullying Week which features 7 Days and some other books that helped my son deal with bullying.  You can find it here.

You can check out a review of Eve’s second book, Crush, which features Lyn from 7 Days here

Happy Reading!

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Tales Post – Anti Bullying Week 2014

 


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This week is anti-bullying week a cause I completely support.  Bullying can take many different forms and is unwanted, aggressive behaviour that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.  Bullying includes actions such as spreading rumours, making threats, attacking someone verbally or physically and exclusion and can involve a persons size, gender, sexuality appearance etc.  Anti-bullying week is run with a view to help people affected by bullying and to try and prevent it – Stop bullying for all.


Back in September my son, Corey, who is 9, opened up to his cub scout leader about how he was being bullied at school.  His cub scout leader then told myself and my husband.  Inside I was shocked that Corey hadn’t opened up to me about it, but upon bringing up the subject with Corey sensitively and supportively I realised that he did not want to worry us as parents so had kept it to himself.  Corey’s bullying was in the form of verbal abuse and slightly physical.  He was very upset but was brave enough to talk about it with us in detail.  As parents we tried to provide the support he needed, asked if he would want us to speak to his teacher (which he did but requested a specific teacher at his school) and of course said he could talk to us at any point no matter how small the problem.  Luckily the bullying seems to have been nipped in the bud hopefully for the long term, but some children and even adults are not that lucky.

As Corey enjoys reading I reached out to some authors on Twitter at the time and asked for some book recommendations that deal with bullying and that maybe could provide some further support to Corey in some way and to help me as a parent be supportive and read a few with Corey to enable us to talk through the issues and I have to say this actually did help.

I would like to share some of these suggestions below that helped Corey.  Thank you to these wonderful authors who were so kind with there suggestions Keris Stainton (@keris) , Robin Stevens ( @redbreastedbird ) , Tom Easton ( @tomeaston ) and Emma Haughton (@emma_Haughton ) .


 

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MATILDA BY ROALD DAHL

Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she’s knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centred parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school mistress, Mrs (“The”) Trunchbull, a former hammer- throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience and an innate talent for revenge.

She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defence of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable–the big surprise comes when Matilda discovers a new, mysterious facet of her mental dexterity.


 untitledWONDER BY R J PALACIO

‘My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.’

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things – eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside. But ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren’t stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?


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INDIGOS STAR BY HILARY MCKAY

Indigo’s going back to school after a long bout of glandular fever. He’s not looking forward to it, as he knows the bullies will be waiting for him. But he’s determined to stand on his own two feet – so when Saffy and Sarah break up a fight in the boys’ bathroom, he’s furious. Until he meets Tom. Tom is over from the States for a term, staying with his gran while his family sort out their own problems back home. He loves music and joking and is unfazed by the bullies. He helps Indigo to challenge his fears, and in doing so is absorbed into the crazy Casson family and finds some answers of his own. Rose adores him and is determined to help him get the guitar he’s been eyeing in the local music shop – but her attempts to help end in disaster, leaving only one way out: Daddy needs to come back from London to the home (and wife) he’s been neglecting. Rose couldn’t have an ulterior motive, could she?


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BULLIES, BIGMOUTH AND SO-CALLED FRIENDS BY J ALEXANDER

Most books about bullying tell children how to act without addressing how they feel. But the usual advice to ‘ignore it’ or ‘say something smart’ is doomed to fail, as you can’t act brave and confident if you feel stressed and helpless inside.

Jenny Alexander’s approach is to develop readers’ psychological defences. Through an entertaining mix of exercises, quizzes and fictional scenarios, she combines common sense with simple cognitive therapy techniques, to build up children’s self esteem. Her tone is humorous and upbeat, but always sensitive to the reader’s feelings.


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THE APPLE TART OF HOPE BY SARAH MOORE FITZGERALD

Oscar Dunleavy, who used to make the world’s most perfect apple tarts, is missing, presumed dead. No-one seems too surprised, except for Meg, his best friend, and his little brother Stevie. Surrounded by grief and confusion, Meg and Stevie are determined to find out what happened to Oscar, and together they learn about loyalty and friendship and the power of never giving up hope.


 

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A ROOM FULL OF CHOCOLATE BY JANE ELSON

Grace’s fun-loving Mum has found a lump. Her north London world of sleepovers, tap dancing and playing the clarinet fall apart when she is sent to live with her grumpy old granddad on his farm in Yorkshire while her mother goes into hospital to get better.

Grace misses her mother so much it hurts, and doesn’t quite understand what is happening to her. And things go from bad to worse when she starts school and becomes the bullies’ latest target.

But Grace is no longer alone when she meets Rainbow Girl Megan and her pig, Claude – when she’s with them she feels as if she can confront anything.

At Easter time when Grace misses her mum the most, she knows she must find a way to get to London. With Megan’s help, she hatches a plan to run away that involves Claude, chocolate Easter eggs and a risky ID swap. But it’s all worth it if it means that she finally gets to see her mum …

A gorgeous story of courage and friendship that will tug at your heart strings.


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BLUBBER BY JUDY BLUME

Blubber is a thick layer of fat that lies under the skin and over the muscles of whales . . .

When Linda innocently reads out her class project, everyone finds it funny. Linda can’t help it if she’s fat, but what starts as a joke leads to a sustained and cruel ritual of humiliation. Jill knows she should defend Linda, but at first she’s too scared. When she eventually stands up to the bullies, she becomes their next victim – and what’s worse, Linda is now on their side . . .


Due for release in February 2015…I am looking forward to reading this book

7 days by Eve Ainsworth

7 days

This bold, compelling and topical story about bullying is told from the perspective of the bully and the bullied. You won’t be able put it down until you’ve reached the conclusion. Jess’s life is difficult enough without Kez picking on her – it’s turning school from a safe place into a nightmare. Kez has plenty of problems too but she finds comfort in knowing she is better off than Jess – or so she thinks. A hard-hitting and even-handed look at bullying and the issues facing teenagers today.

Check out my review of 7 Days here

Or my Q&A with a character from the book here


These books are books that Corey and myself found useful and enjoyable in view of dealing with feelings and emotions and are by no means the only books or support out there for anybody that may be suffering at the hands of a bully.  I have posted these in the hope that maybe this may be useful and supportive to others.

Check out this fab article by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald about how bullies in a book can help us over come real life bullies – here

For information and support on bullying and anti bullying week please visit some of these website suggestions….please don’t suffer in silence.

www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk

www.bullying.co.uk

www.antibullyingweek.org

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