Author Archives: kirstyes

#UKYAday – Take your pick

Today has been #UKYAday, a day organised by the wonderfully committed Lucy Powrie @LucytheReader over at Queen of Contemporary.
UKYA day is about promoting Young Adult literature by writers who were born in or now live in the UK. Lucy also runs @ProjectUKYA, hosts #ukyachat on twitter and has many many other fantastic ideas for continuing to promote UK Young Adult literature.

My blog post comes a little late in the day because I’ve spent the day reading a book cover to cover – what a perfect way to spend Easter Saturday. The UKYA book I chose to read, thanks to @YAyeahyeah and @kimmiebells was Trouble by Non Pratt. I adored it – glowing review to follow. 

The topic of my post today though is – Take your pick

One of the issues often with the label Young Adult is that it isn’t all that helpful as a genre category apart from seeming to indicate to some people that those books are for teens and if you are a few years past the voting age then they aren’t for you. Of course that attitude is changing, I hope, and it certainly isn’t one that I subscribe to with YA providing the majority of my reading material over the past couple of years. One of the benefits though of YA all being lumped in together is that it has certainly introduced me to more genres than I might have read otherwise. UKYA is so varied, from contemporary to dystopian, fantasy to horror and many others in between. 

As a ‘very much older than teen’ YA reader I have enjoyed reading books that reflect my experiences of school. We don’t have prom or cliques in the same way as the US so there are some experiences in US YA books that I have found it tricky to relate to. However, Dawn O’Porter’s Paper Aeroplanes, published last year is set in the mid 1990s and was a book that I could directly relate to. I’m looking forward to her follow up Goose. 

The quintessential teen angst books were the Adrian Mole series, the first of which was published in 1982 when I was four. Last week sadly their author Sue Townsend passed away –  Below is a picture of my collection and I’ve just discovered there are even more that I can read in Sue’s memory. 


I’ve already raved about Holly Smale the author of the Geek Girl series which I’m so excited has been extended, so instead of the initial three books we’ve been promised we are to get five or even six tales of Harriet Manners Geek turned model. Here are links to my reviews of the first two books of the series. Geek Girl and Model Misfit

Horror/Thriller wise I’d recommend James Dawson - I read three of his books back to back last summer – Hollow Pike, Cruel Summer and a very welcome non-fiction book Being a Boy. I am anxiously awaiting the publication of his next book Say Her Name which is based on the Bloody Mary Urban Legend that had me petrified as a schoolgirl. I will need to save that one for a sunny day.


Other reads I’ve read and can recommend:
Fearsome Dreamer by Lauré Eve
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
Gemini Rising by Eleanor Wood (reviewed here)

Reads I’m looking forward to from my TBR pile:
Acid by Emma Pass
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Lexiland by Suzi Moore
The Savages by Matt Whyman
Slated series by Terri Terry
Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

I have booked my ticket for YALC – the Young Adult Literature Convention this July. Just check out the list of authors that will be there - Even more UKYA to find (although I’m aware we have some international authors coming too).

As an aspiring UKYA author I have to say that Lucy’s work to bring all of this together today has been inspiring and certainly helps with the hope that there is a market for a range of UKYA genres – now I just need to finish my books. 

One thing I must complain about though is that following all these UKYA bloggers and authors on twitter has really expanded my TBR piles! Avoid the hashtag on twitter if you are already in danger of being crushed by your pile? But just in case you think you can balance a few more check out #ukyaday #ukya or #ukyachat. And if you have any recommendations for me then please post them below. 


Insecure Writer’s Support Group April 2014 #IWSG

Back in February I spoke about my fear of editing. Well I’ve signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo (link to my profile) and plan to edit/addit to Tetrana to the tune of 20,000 words. It’s nearly the end of day two and I have achieved the grand total of 0 words edited or addited so far. However I’m going to aim for at least 100 before bed after I’ve posted this.

The difference between Camp and NaNoWriMo is that you can choose your own wordcount and writing project.

Has anyone else signed up for Camp?

What target/project have you gone for?

What’s your favourite camp activity?

I went with toasting marshmallows because I actually quit girl guides after a camping holiday, although cabins I could probably manage better than tents. I want marshmallows now!

No April A-Z for me this year – I wasn’t going to do Camp but I want to work on Tetrana so I thought why not combine the two.

Hope you aren’t feeling too insecure this month.


Divergent European Premiere Ticket Giveaway

IMG_0297I’m so excited and grateful to be saying that myself and my friend Stacey are off to the Divergent European Premiere on Sunday 30th March 2014 and thanks to HarperCollins Kids you could be too. We both absolutely adored the brilliant trilogy by Veronica Roth and are really looking forward to seeing the story’s transition to the screen.

I have one pair of tickets to giveaway and you have a number of chances to win tickets by choosing the rafflecopter entries you are happy to do.

To answer a couple of the questions you will need to be familiar with the story, examine the picture above and to visit this blog post of mine that tells you about a plan I have to face my fear.

Information below taken from the Divergent Movie Facebook page here (they are also running ticket giveaways)

On Saturday March 29th and Sunday March 30th Leicester Square will be transformed into the dystopian world of DIVERGENT, where fans will be invited to undergo initiation tests and, like Tris Prior, choose where they belong. Would you survive in Dauntless? Fans will be put through their paces with Dauntless training to see if you are brave enough to join their faction!

But that’s not all – On the Sunday at 1.30pm the European premiere of DIVERGENT will also take place, at Odeon Leicester Square. The premiere will be attended by stars of the film Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet. As a thank you to the fans who have supported the film, we will be giving away a number of tickets to the European premiere, competitions will run over the next week. Keep checking our official Facebook & Twitter for opportunities to win.

The Divergent Fan Experience Timings

Saturday March 29th

11.00am – 6.00pm

Sunday March 30th

11.00am – 12.00pm

3.00pm – 6.00pm

Admittance to the Fan Experience event will be on a first come, first served basis.

Premiere timings

Sunday March 30th

Doors open – 1.30pm

Doors close – 2.30pm

Film starts 3.00pm


Unfortunately Rafflecopter doesn’t fully embed in so you’ll have to follow the link below to enter (opens in the same window unless you right click to open to a new tab/window)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or you can enter here on my facebook page


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