Archive for the ‘teen fiction.’ Category

First of all. Happy publication day to Alyson Noel. ‘Everlasting’, the final book in the Immortals series is out today! I am very excited about meeting Alyson next week at the Macmillan Blogger’s Brunch and will be telling you all about it.

Today is day two of the blog tour and I kick off the festivities with Alyson sharing her thoughts about publication day and how she feels about the Immortals series finally coming to an end:

Having written 7 stand alone novels before I began THE IMMORTALS series, I thought I had a pretty good idea of how I’d feel once it was over. I imagined a moment of complete jubilation, where I’d leap from my desk chair and engage in my own version of the Snoopy Dance—infused by the thrill of having completed a very long journey—when in truth, it was nothing like that. The moment was bittersweet.

I’ve watched Ever grow from an insecure, grief-stricken young girl who always second guesses herself, into a mature young woman who’s more than capable of facing her biggest challenge yet—who’s willing to do what she knows in her heart and her soul to be right, even though she risks losing everything she cares about.

It’s been an incredible journey for both of us—and I hope that you’ll enjoy EVERLASTING as much as I enjoyed writing it!

The following letter is an extract from the book in which Alyson writes to her readers and gives us a five minute brief on the fantastic Immortals series:

Dear Friends,

Now that my work on The Immortals series is done, I’m often asked which of the six proved the most challenging to write, and the answer is: all of them—though each in their own unique way.

When I started writing Evermore, I was so focused on telling that particular story that I didn’t see it as the start of a series. I was just doing what I always did—attempting to make sense of my own life experiences under the guise of fiction. Ever’s grief over losing her family was directly channeled from my own grief over losing my loved ones, and as I began to find my way out of the darkness, Ever did too. It wasn’t until I’d reached the end of the story that I realized it was really just the beginning, she had a much bigger journey ahead of her, there was so much more still to tell.


In book two, Blue Moon, Ever faces a heart-wrenching decision between the past and the present, and to be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure which path she’d choose until I stood on the precipice right alongside her. It was also around that point that I realized the true scope of her journey—the sacrifices she’d be required to make—and exactly how the series would end.

Shadowland, the third book, provides a major turning point for the series. Not only are the stakes raised to a whole new level, but events that seem simple on the surface—the arrival of Jude, the flip-side of immortality, the Shadowland itself—ultimately bear powerful repercussions that’ll reverberate in later books.

With Dark Flame I made a conscious effort to take Ever’s journey in a much . . . well, darker direction. It’s her struggle with the dark side of herself that allows her to locate the light in the person she once considered her enemy. It’s a powerful moment for Ever—one that redefines everything she once thought she knew about herself.

A lot happens in the penultimate book in the series, Night Star—relationships change, serious decisions are made, and everything is put into motion for the grand finale to come. While getting all those pieces lined up sometimes felt like a very tricky game of chess, at its heart, Night Star is a story of friendships—or, more accurately, the fragile nature of friendships. How they can shift and change into something wholly unrecognizable—and how their dissolution can be just as devastating as any romantic break-up.

As for Everlasting . . . well in an effort to avoid spoilers, there’s not a lot I can say except that it was a very bittersweet moment when I typed “The End.” I’d lived with these characters for the last few years, and probably spent more time talking to them than I did my own husband. They became almost real to me—like imaginary playmates—and I have to admit that saying good-bye was no easy task. Even now, as I continue my work on the spin-off Riley Bloom series, as well as my upcoming YA series, Soul Seekers, I occasionally find myself thinking about Ever and Damen, and Miles and Haven, and Ava and the twins, and Roman and yes, even Drina—wondering where they are, what they’re doing, and if they’re happy with the ending I gave them. Mostly, I hope that they’re happy.


 The Immortals_ Everlasting

By Alyson Noel



7th July 2011

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Today, the Alyson Noel blog tour kicks off!


Check back here tomorrow for an exclusive letter extract from the final book in the Immortals series: Everlasting. Alyson Noel also shares with me her thoughts on the final book and I post my review of the book.



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I have been anticipating this book for months and months following the publication of Keris Stainton’s first teen book ‘Della says OMG!’ And the waiting paid off because what Jessie Hearts NYC is, is a finely written, understanding and substantial teen book. That’s not to say this book is long, far from it. What I mean is, it’s a book full of great warmth and humour but one which also deals with real problems and angst which many teens go through. I’m starting to see Keris as the new generation Jacqueline Wilson (I really hope you like Jackie W, Keris!)

I’m currently promoting this book as the hero title of our ‘Summer fiction we’re excited about: Romance’ at work and I really hope Keris is enjoying her moment in the spotlight because it is so deserved. In fact, I’ve already sold out of her book and have had to order more in!

So what’s it all about? Jessie decides to go to New York for the summer to visit her Mum, whom she feels estranged from due to her Mum putting her career first. Taking her best friend Emma with her for summer fun in the city, Jessie knows this summer is going to be a good one.

In a second narrative, we follow the lovely Finn who lives in New York and is hung up on his best friend and similarly to Jessie; dealing with family issues. Cleverly, the author initially connects the two protagonists lives just through the narrative as opposed to having them meet each other from the very start and it works very well, giving the story a real ‘anything can happen’ feeling.

Keris Stainton is really in touch with her audience which is why I liken her to Jacqueline Wilson. She knows what teenagers like; their loves, hates and worries and this book works. It’s a wonderful balance of summer frivolity and romance with family and relationships.

Now, Keris I think you should reward your hard work with a trip to New York …for a sequel?

Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton,




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In the second part of this royal wedding inspired post I’m featuring a brand new book from a somewhat well known author. Any girl who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s must have heard of Sweet Valley High. Whether you read the endless books or loved the TV series; Francine Pascal’s creation was a staple to most girls’ childhoods.

Sweet Valley Confidential, published this month catches up with Elizabeth and Jessica ten years after they graduated from Sweet Valley High but things aren’t going too well.

Jessica has commited the ultimate betrayal on her twin sister Elizabeth and had an affair with Elizabeth’s childhood sweetheart, Todd. Elizabeth, heart broken and angry has fled to New York to pursue her lifelong dream of being a reporter. She’s got a great job, but doesn’t see her family and friends. Meanwhile Jessica can’t move on with her life until she earns Elizabeth’s forgiveness.

The twins we see in this new book aren’t the ones we saw ten years a go. A lot has happened and we learn what got the twins to this isolated point throughout the book.

I’ll be honest, this book is very different to the ones I read when I was younger. First of all, it’s a completely different reading experience because I’m all grown up and so are Elizabeth and Jessica. It can’t be read with naivety and innocence anymore, but that’s part of the charm in seeing how life has changed the twins. If you grew up with Pascal’s book, I really do recommend you read this, if only for old times sake.

And if you can’t quite remember the theme tune from the TV series…

Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal is published by Arrow 9780099557739 £6.99

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I just had to give a link to this fantastic debut by Paula Rawsthorne which is due to be published by Usborne this autumn!

As far as book trailers go, this looks pretty good and I can’t wait to read it. Hurry up, autumn.

“Celia Frost is a freak. At least that’s what everyone thinks. Her life is ruled by a rare disorder that means she could bleed to death from the slightest cut, confining her to a gloomy bubble of “safety”. No friends. No fun. No life. But when a knife attack on Celia has unexpected consequences, her mum reacts strangely. Suddenly they’re on the run. Why is her mum so scared? Someone out there knows – and when they find Celia, she’s going to wish the truth was a lie… A buried secret; a gripping manhunt; a dangerous deceit: what is the truth about Celia Frost? A page-turning thriller that’s impossible to put down.”

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When I first received this book to review for my magazine job, I set about reading it like I would any other; without having read any previous reviews or really knowing anything about it. When I finished reading, only a few days later I was deeply moved and that feeling stayed with me for a long time after. Since then, I’ve recommended the book to my fellow booksellers and to every customer I can stop.

Written by debut author Annabel Pitcher, ‘My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece’ is nothing short of a triumph. It is rare to come across a book by a new author that is so well established and confident in the story that is being told. But it’s a story of human loss and love…of raw emotion – something we all deal with but can rarely share with one another. We follow the story of Jamie who has been through a lot of tragedy in his life – far too much that a boy should ever have to go through. Hiis sister lives on the mantelpiece…in an urn. Ever since Rose was killed in a London terrorist attack things have been terribly hard for James; his Mum has left and Dad drinks. The only hope he has left is from sister Jas and intriguing new school friend, Sunya. This really is a heartbreaking story, not only for James and the devastation left in the wake of her death but also for the reader. But it’s also a read full of hope and moving on and is sure to resonate for a long time.

Be sure to watch the beautiful and haunting trailer for ‘My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece’ by Annabel Pitcher. Published by Orion Children’s Books on 1st March 2011 HB £9.99 9781444001839

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Liz Kessler, author of the Philippa Fisher and Emily Windsnap series’ is back with a book of heartache, humour and knowing what to do when life doesn’t always go your way. A Year Without Autumn is a magical read in notion, but in reality is disarming and deals with real, compelling issues.

When Jenni Green is taken in to the future, she can’t comprehend the life in front of her. Her best friend Autumn’s life is in turmoil; her Mum is close to a breakdown and her brother Mikey is in a coma. But given a rare opportunity, Jenni has the power to change everything and help her friend. But it’s not always easy getting back to present day…especially if you have no idea how you ended up in the future in the first place! 

This is a charming book which really made me stop and think about fate. Written with wit and passion, this is sure to be popular this spring. I really can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a welcome break from the frustrating trends we have seen in teen fiction recently and although there is the supernatural time travel element to contend with, we are rewarded with wonderful characters that I couldn’t help but become attached to. And have you seen the cover? Pure joy.

‘A Year Without Autumn’ by Liz Kessler is published by Orion Children’s Book on 7th April, 2011 HB £9.99 9781842555866

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