Friday, 18 May 2018

Once Upon a Retelling: All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller

Once Upon a Retelling

Welcome to my Once Upon a Retelling interview series! I'm a huge fan of retellings, and I'm really interested in hearing about authors' own love of the original stories, and what inspired them to retell those stories. And so Once Upon a Retelling was born, a feature in which I interview authors about their versions of well-loved tales.

I'm really excited to have Danielle Teller stopping by the blog today to discuss her inspiration behind her debut novel, All the Ever Afters, her retelling of Cinderella.

Danielle Teller - photo copyrighted to Simon Topher
© Simon Topher
Can you tell us a little about All the Ever Afters? What kind of a retelling of Cinderella is it?

All the Ever Afters is the life story of Cinderella's stepmother beginning from when she is ten years old; it takes place in a medieval setting. The characters are realistically complex, and the events in the fairy tale have real-world explanations.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Review: The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill

The Surface Breaks by Louise O'NeillThe Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill (proof) - Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice? Hans Christian Andersen's original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding. From Goodreads.

Trigger Warning: This book features sexual assault, sexual violence, suicide, female genital mutilation, homophobia; though we don't get to see any of these things on page, they are discussed. This book also features an on-page attempted rape.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Once Upon a Retelling: Storm-Wake by Lucy Christopher

Once Upon a Retelling

Welcome to Once Upon a Retelling! I'm a huge fan of retellings, and I'm really interested in hearing about authors' own love of the original stories, and what inspired them to retell those stories. And so Once Upon a Retelling was born, a feature in which I interview authors about their versions of well-loved tales.

I'm really excited to have Lucy Christopher stopping by the blog for the first Once Upon a Telling, to talk about her latest novel, Storm-Wake, a retelling of William Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Lucy ChristopherCan you tell us a little about Storm-Wake? What kind of a retelling of The Tempest is it?

Storm-Wake is a novel inspired by William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It is a sort of reimagining I suppose. I imagined the kind of situation where a modern-day Miranda might be marooned on an island with only her father for company – it would have to be a pretty strange island; it would have to be a pretty strange father to keep them there for an entire decade.

Monday, 30 April 2018

April's First Class Post & Monthly Recap

first class post
First Class Post - because this post is first class!

Blog Tour: The Girl in the Broken Mirror - Savita Kalhan's Favourite Books that Deal With Rape

Today, I'm exciting to be hosting the first stop in the blog tour by The Girl in the Broken Mirror by Savita Kalhan. Savita is dropping by today with a fantastic guest post where she recommends her favourite YA novels that deal with rape and sexual assault.

Savita Kalhan

Hi Jo! Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog today. It’s great to be here. The Girl in the Broken Mirror will hit the shelves tomorrow – May 1st! So this is a great way to introduce the book to the world!

Unsurprisingly, there are not many books on the subject of rape or sexual abuse for the teen and young adult market. It is not an easy subject to deal with. But in this world today of #metoo and #timesup, and with the horrifying statistics on sexual abuse and rape of children, it’s very important that there are books out there that focus on these crimes. It’s important for young people to be aware of rape and its consequences, to be aware of blame culture, and to be able to speak up and find a voice, find help, if they have been victims of such a terrible crime, and ultimately to find hope.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Review: I Stop Somewhere by T. E. Carter

I Stop Somewhere by T. E. CarterNetGalleyI Stop Somewhere by T. E. Carter (eProof) - "I'm not even angry it happened. Mostly, I'm just angry that it could. That it keeps happening."

Ellie Frias has never wanted to be popular, she just wants to blend in, to be accepted. But then Caleb Breward tells her she's beautiful and makes her believe it.

Ellie loves Caleb, but sometimes she's not sure she likes him - the possessive way he touches her, his harsh tone, how he ignores her one minute and can't get enough the next. And one black night, she discovers the monster her boyfriend really is.

Ellie wasn't the first girl Caleb raped. But she was the first he murdered.

Now, trapped, she witnesses him shatter the lives of other girls. Powerless and alone, Ellie tries to keep hold of happier memories, always waiting – hoping – that someone will find her.

The Lovely Bones meets Asking For It - this is a heartbreaking and searing debut about a lost teenager, and the town she is forced to leave behind.
From Goodreads.

Trigger Warning: This book heavily features rape and sexual violence. Although not graphic, it's clear what's happening.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Ramadan Readathon 2018: My TBR Pile

Ramadan Readathon 2018
Banner used with permission of Nadia of Headscarves and Hardbacks.

The Ramadan Readathon is happening again for the second year, and is coming up pretty soon! The Ramadan Readathon - run by Nadia of Headscarves and Hardbacks - is a readathon dedicated to reading books by Muslim authors throughout  Ramadan, between 17th May - 15th June. Follow @MuslimReadathon on Twitter and Instagram for further updates.

I really enjoyed taking part in Ramadan Readathon last year, so I'm taking part again this year! Here's my are the books I plan on tackling during the event:

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan
I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan - Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem, who dreams of being a writer, struggles with controlling parents who only care about her studying to be a doctor. Forced to move to a new school in South London after her best friend is shamed in a scandal, Muzna realizes that the bullies will follow her wherever she goes. But deciding to stand and face them instead of fighting her instinct to disappear is harder than it looks when there's prejudice everywhere you turn. Until the gorgeous and confident Arif shows an interest in her, encouraging Muzna to explore her freedom.

But Arif is hiding his own secrets and, along with his brother Jameel, he begins to influence Muzna with their extreme view of the world. As her new freedom starts to disappear, Muzna is forced to question everything around her and make a terrible choice - keep quiet and betray herself, or speak out and betray her heart?

A stunning new YA voice which questions how far you'll go to protect what you believe in.
From Goodreads.