Tag Archives: Hot Keys Books

Tales Quiz – Which Lydia Syson Character are you?











I am super excited to be a part of the UKYA Extravaganza Blog Tour again and if you haven’t guessed already I have been paired up with the lovely Lydia Syson!

This time around the UKYA Extravaganza is taking place in Nottingham on the 10th October 2015 and is featuring all of these amazing authors!


When I was paired with Lydia we quickly got our heads together and have hopefully come up with a post for the tour that is fun and different.

Today we get to find our which Lydia Syson character you are most like!

About The Books


Paris, 1871. Four young people will rewrite their destinies. Paris is in revolt. After months of siege at the hands of the Prussians, a wind of change is blowing through the city, bringing with it murmurs of a new revolution. Alone and poverty-stricken, sixteen-year-old Zéphyrine is quickly lured in by the ideals of the city’s radical new government, and she finds herself swept away by its promises of freedom, hope, equality and rights for women. But she is about to be seduced for a second time, following a fateful encounter with a young violinist. Anatole’s passion for his music is soon swiftly matched only by his passion for this fierce and magnificent girl. He comes to believe in Zéphyrine’s new politics – but his friends are not so sure. Opera singer Marie and photographer Jules have desires of their own, and the harsh reality of life under the Commune is not quite as enticing for them as it seems to be for Anatole and Zéphyrine. And when the violent reality of revolution comes crashing down at their feet, can they face the danger together – or will they be forced to choose where their hearts really lie?


Romney Marsh, July 1940. When invasion threatens, you have to grow up quickly. Sixteen-year-old Peggy has been putting on a brave face since the fall of France, but now the enemy is overhead, and the rules are changing all the time. Staying on the right side of the law proves harder than she expects when a plane crash-lands in the Marsh: it’s Peggy who finds its pathetic, broken pilot; a young Polish man, Henryk, who stays hidden in a remote church, secretly cared for by Peggy. As something more blossoms between the two, Peggy’s brother Ernest’s curiosity peaks and other secrets come to light, forcing Peggy and Henryk to question all the loyalties and beliefs they thought they held dear. In one extraordinary summer the lives of two young people will change forever, in a tense and gripping historical drama.


Spain, 1936. Felix, a spirited young nurse, has travelled to Spain to help the cause of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. But she is also following Nat, a passionate young man who has joined the International Brigades fighting Franco. And George – familiar George from home – is not far behind, in pursuit of Felix … As Spain fights for its freedom against tyranny, Felix battles a conflict of the heart. With the civil war raging around her, Felix must make choices that will change her life forever. An epic and moving historical adventure.

Which character are you most like? 

Take the quiz to find out and share your results with us on twitter or leave a comment.

If you cannot see the quiz below click here and scroll down

About Lydia Syson


Lydia Syson has worked with words and stories all her life, in her early career as a radio producer for the BBC World Service, and now as an author of critically acclaimed YA fiction which ‘brings history to life’. A World Between Us (Hot Key Books, 2012), a story of politics and passion set during the Spanish Civil War, was Highly Commended by the judges of the Branford Boase Award, and longlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize and the UKLA Book Award (2014).  Her second novel,That Burning Summer (Hot Key Books, 2013), chosen by The Independent as a Children’s Book of the Year, is set on Romney Marsh in Kent during the Battle of Britain.  If you want to know what happened in Paris after the events of Les Mis, look no further than Liberty’s Fire, a Telegraph ‘Best YA Novel of 2015’, which tells the unbelievable story of the 1871 Paris Commune. Lydia is also the author of a PhD (2003) about explorers, poets and Timbuktu and Doctor of Love (2008), the biography of James Graham, an 18th century medical entrepreneur who designed an electrical, magnetic Celestial Bed for conceiving perfect babies. She is currently a Royal Literary Fund writing fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

You can follow Lydia on twitter using @lydiasyson

Or check out her website www.lydiasyson.com

You can buy Lydia’s books here

Lydia also did a write up about the this post and me here

Blog Tour

You can follow the rest of the blog tour below or why not check out my UKYA Extravaganza Blog Tour post here detailing all posts on the tour and authors attending the event!

UKYAX October Blog Tour Banner FINAL

You can find out more about the UKYA Extravaganza in Nottingham on the website here

Or follow them on twitter using @UKYAX

Or find out what we got up to at the Birmingham UKYA Extravaganza here

You can find out more about the Birmingham UKYA Extravaganza authors and the blog tour that took place here

Or why not catch up on the Nottingham UKYA Extravaganza Blog Tour posts and authors here

UKYA logo new

A huge thank you to Lydia for being fab and together creating something fun and different!

Also a huge thank you to Kerry Drewery and Emma Pass for organising the UKYA Extravaganza and having me on the blog tour!

See you there!


Review – Say Her Name By Juno Dawson


Drip…drip…drip…In five days, she will come…Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of Bloody Mary: say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear…But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it? Next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her bathroom mirror – five days – but what does it mean? And who left it there? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are now in a race against time before their five days are up and Mary comes for them, as she has come for countless others before…

Publisher – Hot Keys Books

Date Published – 5th June 2014

Pages – 240 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – UKYA

Source – Bought

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

I read this book back in June 2014 upon it’s release and have recently re-read as a Halloween challange set by the author herself Juno Dawson on her twitter account.  The challenge was to start the book on Halloween and read a day each day.  The book is classed for the Young Adult reader, but is just as enjoyable for an adult reader too.

The story is basically Juno’s modern twist on the Bloody Mary urban legend and is broken down into days and chapters.  The legend states that if you stand in front of a candlelit mirror and say Bloody Mary three times (In Juno’s book its five times) Bloody Mary will appear and come for you!  I have fond memories of sleepovers at friends houses daring each other to say Bloody Mary and I’m sure I have a memory of my older brother scaring me and my younger sister with urban legend stories including the legend of Bloody Mary!  Terrifying!

The opening pages of the book, set thirteen years before the main story, sets up the legend nicely and really sets the tone and atmosphere of the story to come giving a sense of what reading Say Her Name is going to bring to the reader.

The story begins on Halloween night, day zero, and is told from the main character, Bobbie Rowe’s, point of view who basically gets roped into a Halloween dare with her friend Naya and a hunky male character called Caine who Juno says is based on a guy she fancied in school (from the description of Caine I can imagine exactly why).  The dare is to say Bloody Mary five times in a candlelit mirror in the bathroom of the boarding school for young ladies, Pipers Hall where a young lady called Mary Worthington used to attend many years before.  What persues is what happens to Bobbie and her friends following summoning the Bloody Mary and the obstacles they need to overcome to find the truth!  Is  Bloody Mary real?  What will happen to Bobbie, Naya and Caine?  Is someone playing a nasty trick?  Will they survive?

As well as Bobbie, Naya and Caine the book offers us a “mean girls” style character in the form of Grace (who reminded me very much of a girl who was the popular, pretty mean girl at my school), Sadie who initiates the dare and the fabulous character of Dr Price who is the head teacher at Pipers Hall.  With the exception of Bobbie, Dr Price was by far my favourite character in the book.  So stern and to the point and such a stand out, stand alone character.  Juno always does such a fantastic job in all of her books of making you feel like you have known her characters all your life and Dr Price is no exception.  At a recent book event Junorevealed that her character of Dr Price was written very much with the actress Tilda Swinton in mind and I have to say this sums the character and her presence in the book up perfectly.

I really loved this book.  I am a big Juno Dawson fan and this book, for me, is a great addition to her fiction work.  The feel of the book reminded me a bit of the Point Horror series from when I was younger, but obviously updated and following re-reads of the Point Horror series so much better and scarier.  On my initial read back in June and my re-read this October I was left chilled and definitely looking at my mirror that sits at the end of my bed with fear!  I loved the whole back story also that Jauno provides in the book and the setting of Pipers Hall is chillingly perfect.

For me there are some truly scary moments in this book, which as I don’t like to give spoilers away I can only call mirror, bed and bath (if you have read the book you will know EXACTLY what I am referring to here) but I guess it would depend on what the reader finds scary.  I like to let my imagination run wild and enjoy being scared and scared I was especially reading late at night with the wind and rain outside!  This is a great addition to the UKYA and horror genre and for me is a perfect scary ghost read.  I would (and have) recommended this to readers who love a scary ghost story, but have also managed to convince of couple of readers who would never read a scary ghost story to give it a try as its that good.  If you are a fan of Juno Dawson’s work also then it is a must read as Juno’s works her writing magic again with this book and its scarily brilliant.

On a side note there is a sneaky reference to a fictional TV programme called Satanville that I found in this book on the re-read following hearing a reference to Satanville at a recent book event with Juno.  Look out for this as it will all make sense in the New Year or so Juno tells us…..Satanville is coming….

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


You can buy this book here

If you would like to know more about Juno Dawson and her other books check her out on her website www.junodawson.com or follow her on twitter using @junodawson

Find out more about Juno and her books here

Have you read Say Her Name?  What did you think?  Do you believe in Bloody Mary?  Have you ever dared to say her name in the mirror?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !


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