YA Shot Blog Tour: Interview With Orlagh Collins!

Today is my stop on the YA Shot Blog Tour, and I have been looking forward to this for such a long time! Today, I will be sharing an interview with Orlagh Collins, author of No Filter, her stunning debut novel about love, friendships, and switching off from social media. You can read my review of No Filter from a few weeks ago here, and thank you to Orlagh, Bloomsbury, and the wonderful YA Shot media team for making this happen! I am also hosting a giveaway of No Filter over on my Twitter, so make sure to check that out.

1. Three words to describe No Filter?

(Refreshingly) grounded & sweepingly romantic. These are Bloomsbury’s words, but I’ll take ‘em.

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Five Feminist Book Recs (for five different genres!)

Happy International Women’s Day! I have spent some time thinking about what sort of blog post I wanted to put out to celebrate this day, and I decided that I wasn’t quite ready to do a personal sort of post (but maybe next year). So, today I am sharing some feminist book recommendations. I did a similar post last year on International Women’s Day, however this year I am picking five different types of books, so that no matter what kind of reader you are, fan of YA or not, hopefully at least one of these books appeals to you!

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For fantasy lovers – although fantasy is probably my favourite genre, unfortunately the tropes that accompany this genre are often problematic and distinctly un-feminist (think damsel-in-distress, alpha males, etc.). That said, I have found that the fantasy YA being written and published is becoming more and more empowering, and one example of this is Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. This is a Mulan retelling, and is just as awesome as the Disney film – the main character, Mariko, is a wonderfully fleshed out character, and I just love the pro-female message that runs throughout this book! My review of Flame in the Mist is here.

An older book – 1600s kind of old, in fact. The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster is one of the plays I am studying for English A Level, and although its Shakespearean language can be hard to decipher at times, myself and all my classmates have loved how progressive the main character, the Duchess, is. The other characters in the play are incredibly misogynistic and try to oppress the Duchess, but she herself is very dignified and surprisingly feminist, considering the book is set in the early 1500s.

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Second Chances: Will I Reread These DNF’d Books?

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DNFing books is an all-too-real struggle for readers, and for years I have been discarding books that I found boring, badly written, or just didn’t like. However, I thought it was time to reflect on the books I DNF’d a while ago, and consider giving them a second chance. For now, I have simply chosen three books – one that I will definitely reread, one that I may try again, and one that will remain unfinished.

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Review – No Filter

29478908Title: No Filter
Author: Orlagh Collins
Published by: Bloomsbury
Publication date: 13th July 2017
Pages: 355, hardback
Genre:
 young adult, contemporary, romance

This is the story of THAT SUMMER … the one when everything changes.

Emerald has grown up in a privileged world – the beloved daughter of a wealthy family, friends with all the right people, social media addict. But Emerald’s family has secrets – and when Emerald finds her mum unconscious on the bathroom floor, no one can pretend any more. Now she’s being packed off to stay with her grandma in Ireland while her mum recuperates and her dad just works and works and works. 

Grandma’s big, lonely house is set back from the beach, and there’s no phone signal or wifi. It’s going to be a long summer … Until she meets Liam. 

When you’re falling in love, it’s hard to tell someone everything. Even if you’ve got nothing to hide any more. And when secrets and lies are all you’re used to, how do you deal with real love – brave and true – with no filter? 

The fresh, funny and poignant debut novel from Orlagh Collins, a bright new voice in YA fiction. Authentic, down to earth and sweepingly romantic all at once, No Filter is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Goodreads | A Great Read 

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No Filter was one of the books I read last month, making it one of my first YA reads of 2018! I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of this book by Orlagh, the author of No Filter, as I am going to be interviewing her next month as part of the YA Shot Blog Tour. In the mean time, I read this book, and thought I would review it!

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Blog Tour: Shell – Interview with Paula Rawsthorne

Today I am so excited to be participating in the blog tour for Shell by Paula Rawsthorne! This book has been on my radar for a while, and I finally read it in December, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! I will begin by sharing a bit about the book itself, before moving on to an interview with Paula Rawsthorne about her writing process.

The Book

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What if you thought you had died, only to wake up to find that your brain and eyes had been transplanted into someone else’s body? 

When Lucy, a teen diagnosed with terminal cancer wakes up cancer-free, it should be a dream come true. But faced with a life she didn’t choose and trapped in a new body, Lucy must face the biggest question of all . . . How far would you go to save the one you love?

Goodreads | A Great Read

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Review – Genuine Fraud

33843362Title: Genuine Fraud
Author: E. Lockhart
Published by: Hot Key Books
Publication date:  7th September 2017
Pages: 267, hardback
Genre:
 young adult, contemporary, mystery, thriller

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

***

The hype for this book built up throughout 2017, and having enjoyed We Were Liars and adored The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, I was so keen to read Genuine Fraud. Having read both positive and negative reviews, I was slightly apprehensive going in, and unfortunately, I really don’t think this book was for me.

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Review – The Fandom

the fandomTitle: The Fandom 
Author: 
Anna Day
Published by: Chicken House
Publication date:  4th January 2018
Pages:  416, paperback
Genre:
 young adult, contemporary, fantasy, romance

Cosplay ready, Violet and her friends are at Comic-Con.

They can’t wait to meet the fandom of mega movie, The Gallows Dance. What they’re not expecting is to be catapulted by freak accident into their favourite world – for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands …

***

I had high hopes for this book, and once I started reading it turned out to be very different to what I was expecting – and I do not mean this as a criticism. I adored this book. It was fun and heart-wrenching and clever all at once.

The plot of this book is one of the best I have read in a long time, and it was executed beautifully by Anna. I loved how all the different worlds within the book (the real world, the book’s The Gallows Dance and the one they are launched into) clashed and intertwined with one another. Little details went wrong, or could be used to their advantage, and it was super interesting to see how it all slotted together. Whilst I was envisioning a happy ending, I genuinely had no idea what direction the book was going in, and it really kept me on my toes!

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Review – No Shame (Blog Tour!)

(TW: this review discusses rape and sexual assault.)

No Shame Final Cover.jpgTitle: No Shame
Author:  Anne Cassidy
Published by: Hot Key Books
Publication date: 21st September 2017
Pages: 192, paperback
Genre: YA, contemporary

Stacey Woods has been raped and now she has to go through a different ordeal – the court trial. But nothing in life it seems is black and white and life is not always fair or just. Suddenly it seems that she may not be believed and that the man who attacked her may be found not guilty . . . if so Stacey will need to find a way to rebuild her life again . . .

A tautly told and important book, perfect for readers of Asking for It by Louise O’Neill.

Waterstones | Amazon | A Great Read*

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Anne Cassidy Head Shot (BLUE)I read Anne Cassidy’s No Virgin earlier this year, and I was thrilled to discover that this sequel was coming out – the story hadn’t felt finished to me, and I was left in a mild state of shock after I finished. I would definitely say that No Shame is even better than the first book, and tackled this sensitive subject very well. Today, as part of the Blog Tour for this book, I will be reviewing this book, and discussing exactly why it is such an important book (and thank you so much to the lovely people at Hot Key Books for sending me a copy of No Shame!).

This book explores both the court case itself, which was very detailed, and covered so many aspects of the process (making the whole thing seem horrifyingly real), and how Stacey herself was impacted. Besides the heavy content of this book, I think it was written in a way which made it simple to understand and empathise with the characters – making it suitable for younger readers as well as older ones, in my opinion. It is hugely important that the subject of rape is available for younger teens to read about in the form of fiction, so long as it is done with immense care, and I think Anne Cassidy handled it brilliantly.

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Review – Moxie

35383830Title: Moxie
Author:  Jennifer Mathieu
Published by: Hodder Children’s Books
Publication date: 21st September 2017
Pages: 340, paperback
Genre: YA, contemporary, feminism

It’s time to fight like a girl!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her high school teachers who think the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mum was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates Moxie, a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond and spread the Moxie message. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realises that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

TIME TO FIGHT LIKE A GIRL

A page-turning read with a feminist message, for anyone who has ever had to deal with #everydaysexism

***

It’s official: Moxie is exactly what YA needs at the moment. To be honest, it’s what the world needs at the moment. This book had me so fired up, in a totally inspiring way. Lots of people have been talking about this book at the moment, and it is definitely worth the hype (though for anyone who has not read this yet, please note that this book does touch upon sexual harassment and sexual assault – not in too much detail, but this is something to be aware of)!

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