Lost and Found Blog Tour: More of Me by Kathryn Evans

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Usbourne Publishing

Pages: 336

Release Date: February 1st 2016

Summary:

Teva’s life seems normal: school, friends, boyfriend. But at home she hides an impossible secret. Eleven other Tevas.

Because once a year, Teva separates into two, leaving a younger version of herself stuck at the same age, in the same house… watching the new Teva live the life that she’d been living. But as her seventeenth birthday rolls around, Teva is determined not to let it happen again. She’s going to fight for her future. Even if that means fighting herself.

Review:

I read the blurb of this book and thought it sounded fantastic, and just a few days later Chelley from Tales of Yesterday got in touch to ask if I’d like to review it for the Lost and Found Blog Tour – I think it was fate! Big thanks to her for arranging a copy for me, as well as this whole tour.

More of Me follows the story of Teva, or rather, the 16 year old version of Teva, as every birthday she splits in two and leaves her younger self left at home while she lives the next year of her life. 16 year old Teva is desperate to keep living her life, but as her 17th birthday approaches and she feels something stirring inside her, she gets more and more desperate.

I was really blown away with this book. It had me hooked from the very beginning and I raced through it, desperate to unravel its mysteries and see if this Teva could really stop the cycle. No spoilers here so you’ll have to read it to find out 😉

I really connected with Teva’s desperation to remain herself. The idea of not having a future, of not being able to make any plans beyond a year of your life is depressing, but at that age is seems doubly bad. Being 16 is all about planning for the future: passing your A levels, choosing a university or apprenticeship or career. Imagine being surrounded by all that and having to play along but knowing that soon you’ll be stuck inside a house with all your younger selves. The image of all these different stages of Teva like ghosts around the house is really haunting.

Part of me thought the Tevas should have more sympathy for each other, but it’s the tension between Teva and Fifteen that really drives a lot of the story. I suppose, even though you know it’s inevitable, you can’t help but resent the person who’s going to take over your life. I did feel for Fifteen though, who lost her boyfriend as well as her freedom, and the new Teva couldn’t keep up that same relationship, proving they weren’t exactly the same person each time.

Although this is a sci-fi/fantasy, there’s plenty of issues that teens can relate to in real life too – Teva’s itchy, scaly skin (I feel her there, having suffered eczema on and off myself) boyfriend jealousies, feelings for a new boy and lots of identity issues

I’ve already started recommending this to people. It’s an outstanding debut and I can’t wait to see what Kathryn writes next.

Copy of an art exhibit

About the Author

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From a back ground in theatre, Kathryn somehow ended up running a fruit farm and raising two children. In addition to writing, Kathryn loves to belly dance, fences competitively and is Finance Co-ordinator for SCBWI British Isles. It took Kathryn fifteen years to get published, her mum says if she were a dog, she’d be a terrier, a hound of tenacity.

Website: https://mrsbung.wordpress.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mrsbung

About The Lost and Found Tour

What?

5 YA SCBWI debut authors get together for a UK tour.

Who?

Olivia Levez (The Island), Patrice Lawrence (Orangeboy), Kathryn Evans (More of Me), Sue Wallman (Lying About Last Summer), Eugene Lambert (The Sign of One)

Where?

Birmingham Waterstones for the launch event chaired by Chelley Toy!

When?

Saturday, 1st October, 2-4pm

Join us for a discussion of identity, loss, and the darkness inside; of self-discovery, friendship, and hope for a better tomorrow as part of the #LostandFound Book Tour.

Unflinching, clever and honest, our five authors explore what it means to grow up when the cards seem to be constantly stacked against you.

Don’t miss your chance to meet these amazing authors, ask questions, and get your books signed.

Book your tickets here:

https://www.waterstones.com/events/lostandfound-with-kathryn-evans-eugene-lambert-patrice-lawrence-olivia-levez-and-sue-wallman/birmingham

When? Where?
Sat 1st Oct, 2pm Birmingham Waterstones
Thurs 6th Oct, 6pm London Islington Waterstones
Sat 26th Nov Guildford Waterstones
Thurs 1st Dec Liverpool Writeblend
Sunday 22nd January Hampshire Libraries, Petersfield
Sat 4th March Glasgow Waterstones

Blog Tour

Follow the #LostAndFound for fab blog posts and reviews from 12th September – 30th September with some awesome bloggers!

lost-verticalMonday 12th September

Howling Reviews

Wednesday 14th September

YA Under My Skin

Friday 16th September

Tales of Yesterday

Sunday 18th September

The Book Magnet

Tuesday 20th September

The Pewter Wolf

Thursday 22nd September

Bart’s Bookshelf

Saturday 24th September

Dani Reviews Things

Monday 26th September

Chouett

Wednesday 28th September

The Mile Long Bookshelf

Friday 30th September

Maia and a Little Moore

 

 

 

Book Review: Eidolon (Sofi Croft)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Accent Press

Pages: 300

Release Date: August 11th 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

Paul is in trouble – moved from a young offenders’ prison to a hospital for the mentally ill because he sees and talks to his dead sister. He knows she’s real. And she has something important to say.

The doctors’ methods are painful and disturbing. As the treatments build up, Paul is increasingly confused about what is real and who he can trust.

But he is not the only patient – not the only one who hears voices that seem connected to strange and inexplicable powers. When some of his friends are transferred to the mysterious Ty Eidolon, Paul becomes suspicious that they are destined for a sinister fate.

As his grip on reality weakens, Paul must make a decision – whether to escape alone or help the others escape with him into an uncertain and dangerous future.

Review:

Eidolon follows Paul, a boy in a hospital for the mentally ill, who has a troubled and secretive past and sees his dead sister. Something seems off about the doctors treatment of him, and when he begins to meet the other patients, it forces him to question everything he knows is true.

The book first won my favour when it mentioned Paul was staying in Ty Hapus – I used to live in Wales near a Ty Hapus, although I hope it wasn’t quite the same as the one Paul was in!

Eidolon forces the reader, along with Paul, to question what is real. Although the events in the book point towards something supernatural, Paul is in a hospital for mentally ill children: can you really trust his word? One of my favourite things about the book was that I was never really sure what was real and what wasn’t.

I really felt for Paul, whose ability to converse with his dead sister was like a lifeline to him: even if it meant he was crazy or something more supernatural, he just wanted to keep her around. As the events surrounding Debbie and Paul’s childhood and Debbie’s death emerge, it’s clear why he doesn’t want to let her go.

When Paul is moved to Ty Eidolon he meets a lot more young people with abilities like his. It all felt very X-Men/Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children which are two of my favourite things. Again, we’re kept guessing as to what’s going on. Ty Eidolon is controlled by a mysterious director that the children say can control your mind. But everyone is in charge of their own medication and taught to control their powers, so is it really a bad place, or should Paul stay and give it a go? I really didn’t know which way things were going to go.

This is a great start to a trilogy that I’m really looking forward to finishing. Great for fans of Miss Peregrine’s, this is an action packed mystery which makes the reader question what’s real and what’s not, while touching on themes of loss and grief.

4

Book Review: Mango and Bambang – The Not-a-Pig (Polly Faber & Clare Vulliamy)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Walker Books

Pages: 144

Release Date: October 1st 2015

Summary (from Goodreads):

A charming collection of four beautifully illustrated stories about the unlikely friendship between Mango, a little girl, and Bambang, a Malaysian tapir. Mango Allsorts is good at all sorts of things, not just karate and chess. Bambang is most definitely not-a-pig and is now lost in a very busy city. When the two unexpectedly meet, a friendship begins, filled with adventures, and of course, plenty of banana pancakes.

Review:

This is a charming collection of stories about Mango Allsorts, a girl who lives in a busy city with a busy father and likes to keep herself busy so she doesn’t get lonely. One day she meets Bambang, a tapir who is definitely not a pig. She helps him overcome some of his fears and he helps her with her music and stops her being lonely.

Mango is a great protagonist, smart and brave and resourceful, all the things you want a girl to be! Bambang made me laugh a lot, especially when he explored Mango’s apartment and experimented different ways of going up and down the stairs.

I loved the illustrations and colours in the book: this one is all purple themed and was just beautiful. Although this book is too old for Little Moore, I read it to him anyway and he seemed to enjoy – I think the colours and cute pictures helped to keep his attention.

This is the first collection of stories featuring Mango and Bambang and I’m really looking forward to reading more from them! The stories teach great lessons about kindness and acceptance and are definite keepers for Little Moore’s bookshelf for when he’s older.

4

YAShot Guest Post: Rachel McIntyre – Where I Work

Today on the blog, as part of the #YAShot2016 blog tour, I have Rachel McIntyre talking about where she writes.

Welcome Rachel!

Finding a place to write used to be as tricky a task as finding time to write. When I started ‘Me and Mr J’, I was writing purely for fun; grabbing spare minutes between childcare and work. The same went for a space. I’d set my laptop up on the dining room table in among the piles of ironing-in-waiting and random stacks of toys and try to work.

Fast forward a couple of years, I’ve moved house and finally got a dedicated study just for me and I love it! It’s filled with things I’ve collected over the years, like my vintage glass birds and the snow globes I buy from every new country I visit. And the books…I arranged them all in colour groups because a) I think it looks good and b) it helps me to find them quickly. I’m terrible at remembering titles, but I’m great at visualising the covers. The only downside is the gaps when I lend them out to people and yes, I have chosen books based on the spine colour. But that’s not as bad as it sounds as it’s encouraged me to pick up new reads I might not normally choose. I have overspill bookcases other rooms, but even so, the books do creep onto the floor in here.

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Moving on to my desk…I was a bit unsure about the chair from Dwell, but it’s actually really comfy. I used to get a really bad back from hours hunched over the keyboard and it does seem to have sorted that. I don’t like much clutter on my desk as I find it distracting, but I do have the lovely Minecraft mug my son painted to keep my pens tidy and a disco light, well, just because. I tend to write on my PC more than my laptop as it’s not wifi enabled which has completely halted my online- shopping-not-working tendencies.

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The two coffee tables are trunks that double up as storage where I keep all my notebooks- I still write a lot by hand- and I have a big portable whiteboard stashed away under the sofa but I like to keep all my notes either on paper or on my PC. I’ve tried Post-its on the wall and index cards, but it doesn’t really work for me right now. Maybe I’ll try again in the future.

And that’s where I work! Thank you for coming to visit, Maia.

And thank you for having me Rachel. I have such bookshelf envy now!

Check out my reviews of Rachel’s two fabulous books, Me & Mr Jand The Number One Rule for Girls.

Book Review: The Number One Rule for Girls (Rachel McIntyre)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Egmont UK

Pages: 309

Release Date: February 25th 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

Daisy knows a thing or two about love and romance. She’s surrounded by it – in fact, there’s no escape! Not only are her parents childhood sweethearts turned soulmates, they also run the very successful wedding agency ‘Something Borrowed’, helping couples to tie the knot in whatever frilly, quirky, tasteful, outrageous way they choose. So it’s no surprise that Daisy has a pretty clear vision of how her life with boyfriend Matt is going to pan out.

There’s one major flaw in this plan – Matt and Daisy have split up! Determined not to brood, Daisy sets out to re-invent her life and her dreams. And that’s when Toby enters the scene, who appears to be perfect, but is turning all the Rules upside down..

Review:

I fell in love with Rachel McIntyre’s Me & Mr J last year (seriously, it’s amazing, go read it if you haven’t yet) so I was really excited to read her new book. I read this in preparation for a guest post from Rachel for the YAShot 2016 blog tour, which I’m really excited for you all to read.

I didn’t really know what this was about when I went into it so I was surprised at the turn the book took. After breaking up with serious boyfriend Matt, Daisy starts a new college and is determined to reinvent herself. Until Toby shows up, with his gorgeous face and interest in her. But is he all he seems to be?

I think this review is kind of spoilery if you don’t know what the book is about. So fair warning y’all!

The development of Daisy and Toby’s relationship was really interesting to me. At first, Daisy loves his little quirks: he turns up at a wedding she’s working at and helps, he asks her to take selfies for him when she’s out and he always takes her down because he says she looks better that way. But then his insecurities begin to get in the way: he’s paranoid when she talks to other guys and doesn’t trust her with them, he gets angry suddenly but makes it up by being sweet later on. While Daisy talks about herself a lot to him he never opens up to her.

This is a controlling relationship that develops so subtly you’re not sure what’s happening until you step back and take stop and realise that all these little things aren’t sweet and caring: they’re paranoid and jealous and isolating you from your friends. I’ve read other books about similar relationships but this one captured it best for me: it’s not obvious what’s going on at first, it’s not one big clue but lots of little ones that all add up to something being very wrong. And that’s what it’s like in real life, and why it’s so easy to get sucked in and keep on forgiving and forgiving.

I really love McIntyre’s ability to write teenage characters. Just like Lara in Me & Mr J, Daisy’s voice is so realistic it feels like I’m hearing my 16 year old sister’s thoughts. There’s a ton of modern references and colloquialisms that my sisters use which make the voice authentic. And then there’s Daisy’s wit and sarcasm. She’s very dry, the snarkiest of snarks and she made me laugh out loud a lot. I loved her confidence and colourful outfits and it broke me when she started to lose that.

Daisy now goes to a different school to her friends and their relationships keep getting between them, but they all have each other’s backs when it comes to the crunch. Their ‘Rules for Girls’ were great and something we could all do with having in our lives! I also loved the variety of different weddings we see as Daisy works too: I’m not a big wedding person but ‘Something Borrowed’ sounded like the company I’d want doing mine if I was! It was a great way to see different relationships and have Daisy reflect on them: what works and what doesn’t and what she wants for herself.

This is a funny book on a serious subject, with a good dose of girl power friendships thrown in the mix too. It explores the mental side of abusive relationships, with subtle comments and actions that work towards breaking someone down and isolating them so they become dependent on the abuser. I’m glad Daisy’s friends were able to help her see what was really going on, and I hope anyone out there in a similar situation can see the way out too. This book will make you laugh but it’ll give you a lot to think about too.

4

 Check back in a couple of days for my guest post with Rachel McIntyre for #YAShot2016

Book Review: I’ll Be Home for Christmas (by lots of awesome YA authors)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Stripes Publishing

Pages: 384

Release Date: September 22nd 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

The UK’s top Young Adult authors join together in this collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home. Contributors include: Tom Becker, Holly Bourne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Melvin Burgess, Katy Cannon , Cat Clarke, Juno Dawson, Julie Mayhew, Non Pratt, Marcus Sedgwick, Lisa Williamson and Benjamin Zephaniah. GBP1 from the sale of every book will be donated to Crisis, the national homelessness charity. To find out more about Crisis, see www.crisis.org.uk

Review:

This was the perfect book for me to read at the moment as I’ve got super excited for Christmas, way too early this year! I’m a big Christmas fan normally but this year will be Little Moore’s first Christmas which is doubly exciting. Christmas has always been a family affair in my house and I know I’ve been lucky to always be surrounded by them at this special time of year.

For most of the people in this book, they’re not so lucky at Christmas, and it’s good to be reminded of that. The book is made up of short stories by some of the top UKYA authors, plus a competition winning entry. I normally struggle to remember all the stories in a collection like this when it comes to reviewing, so I made little notes as I went along, which I’ve put below, with a few additions. It’s a little bit different than a normal review but at least I can say something about each story.

Benjamin Zephaniah – Home and Away Poem made me very nostalgic at first, then sad. Very thought provoking.

Non Pratt – Ghosts of Christmas Past I really connected with this story. I wish I could revisit some of my old houses. I can still picture my first house at Christmas

Marcus Sedgwick – If Only in my Dreams That was a weird and creepy space story. I kind of wanted it to be longer, was very intrigued.

Cat Clarke – Family You Choose That was really uplifting in a sad kind of way. I love the idea of having a Christmas meal for people who don’t have other people to spend the day with.

Kevin Brooks – The Associates Mm, that one didn’t really do anything for me.

Holly Bourne – The Afterschool Club I love Holly Bourne’s writing. Can’t believe it ended that way, I want to read more.

Juno Dawson – Homo for Christmas A sweet story but I felt like I didn’t connect to the character much. I didn’t like the language but not sure if it’s because I’m too old or too southern.

Sita Brahmachari – Amir and George That was painfully sad. A real punch in the gut. Very topical at the moment too.

Tracy Darnton – The Letter I can see why that was the winner. Great voice. Look forward to seeing more from her.

Tom Becker – Claws Awesome little Christmas horror. A favourite so far.

Katy Cannon – Christmas, Take Two A sweet story, enjoyed it a lot.

Melvin Burgess – When Daddy Comes Home Interesting story but I’m not a fan of the monologue style.

Julie Mayhew – The Bluebird A very poetic fairytale

Lisa Williamson – Routes and Wings Sad but with an uplifting ending. Lovely to see more writing from Lisa Williamson.

This will be a perfect Christmas present, or great to read in the run up to Christmas too, to get you all excited. Plus £1 from each book will be donated to Crisis, the national homelessness charity, so you can’t really go wrong.

4

Book Review: The Deviants (C. J. Skuse)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Mira Ink

Pages: 320

Release Date: September 22nd 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

When you set out for revenge, dig two graves

Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.

Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. Their lives are so intertwined Max’s dad even sponsors Ella’s training for the Commonwealth Games. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near. Or the real reason she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level.

When underdog Corey is bullied, the fearless five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?

Review:

Ugh where to start with this one?! It left my head reeling and my heart stinging for days after.

As always, I’m committed to a spoiler free review but man it’s going to be hard not to just gush everything out about this. The book is brilliantly written with such life like characters I felt like they were real – like people I’d known at school with a full history. They’re easily some of the best I’ve read this year/ever.

Ella and Max are living true loves young dream, only everything is not what it seems. A series of events leads them to be united with their childhood friends, Corey who’s being bullied by an old friend and Fallon whose life is about to change. As the friends are reunited old secrets bubble to the surface and nothing will be the same for them again.

The characters were all brilliantly fleshed out and I couldn’t help but love them all, even the bullying Zane. You know a character is well written when they do something awful but you still love them – he wasn’t your normal big bad bully and the flashes of the friends when they were younger really helped to show a different side to him, as well as everyone else. I adored Fallon too: she was a little kooky and 100% adorable and I hope she gets a happily ever after.

It’s hard to say too much about this book without spoiling it so I’m going to keep this brief. The story is dark and full of twists which I didn’t see coming. One was a definite sucker punch that left me reeling. There’s one line that just grabbed my heart and twisted it and I really could have cried. This is a dark story with a lot of complex themes which really sums up YA to me: it’s not just fluffy reads for teens (though there’s nothing wrong with those books) but can deal with important issues that young adults can read and relate to.

In short, just read this book. It was really bloody fantastic and I want to read everything else by C. J. Skuse after reading this. If you pick up one book this year, make it this one.

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Book Review: Cell 7 (Kerry Drewery)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Pages: 400

Release Date: September 22nd 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

Should she live or die? You decide

An adored celebrity has been killed. Sixteen-year-old Martha Honeydew was found holding a gun, standing over the body.

Now Justice must prevail.

The general public will decide whether Martha is innocent or guilty by viewing daily episodes of the hugely popular TV show Death is Justice, the only TV show that gives the power of life and death decisions – all for the price of a phone call.

Martha has admitted to the crime. But is she guilty? Or is reality sometimes more complicated than the images we are shown on TV?

Review:

Cell 7 starts as Martha is arrested at the scene of a crime, holding a gun and confessing to killing a celebrity. She’s taken to prison, deathrow, where she will spend a week, during which time the public will vote for her: innocent and she is released, guilty and she will die.

As a reader you know Martha is innocent, but you don’t know why she is insisting she is guilty and who she’s covering up for. The mystery carries on throughout the book and keeps you guessing until the end.

I loved the format of this book. It’s not just Martha’s story: we see her in prison, but we also get Eve’s story and other bits told through a TV show called Death is Justice which discusses the criminals currently on death row (while sneakily swaying the audience vote). It really showcased the way the justice system worked (or didn’t work) much better than it would have with just Martha’s POV story. Martha’s bits were probably my least favourite to be honest: while interesting, I think it’s hard to maintain interest when someone is stuck in a cell and monologuing.

I know that dystopian needs a certain amount of suspending disbelief but I have to admit I didn’t see how this kind of justice system could get approved. It’s so obviously weighted in rich people’s favour (I know, isn’t everything?!) But hey, I guess that’s part of the message of the book. Corruption is rife in politics and people don’t always see what can seem obvious to others. The media plays a huge part in influencing our views and decisions, as is seen in the book. I cringed every time they called it a fair system and promoted its awesomeness on the TV show. I could perfectly imagine the plastic smiles and subtle manipulating.

This is a dark book with a mystery that unfolds little by little and a shock ending which makes you want to read on: I couldn’t believe it ended like that! This is the first book I’ve read by Kerry Drewery and I thoroughly enjoyed it: I’ll be checking out more of her books in future.

4

Weaning: The First Two Weeks

Weaning was one of the things I was really excited for and did lots of research in preparation – see my Thinking About Weaning post.

So how did our first two weeks go?

As per recommendations, we kept the first two weeks as just vegetables, and included a mix of purees and finger foods – mostly finger foods, as I love the idea of baby led weaning, but I wanted to try a few purees for things that were harder to eat, like peas. We did ‘loaded spoons’ for the purees, so we put a little on a spoon and Little Moore fed himself. He’s been playing with spoons for a while now and really has the hang of using them, although he does seem to think they’re one use only – after having a mouthful he’ll throw his spoon to the floor, ready for a fresh one!

His favourite foods were definitely avocado and asparagus. Asparagus are the perfect shape for finger food and he loved shoving them in his mouth. Avocado was a lot harder as it was quite ripe and every time he gripped it, the slice would disintegrate in his hand. I ended holding it for him and he’d lean forward to suck and chew on it.

I loved the new faces and sounds he made, especially when he wasn’t so keen on things! His first food was broccoli and he made a lot of ‘eugh’ noises but chewed on like a champion!

As well as new faces, there were new things in his nappy too (TMI, I know!) I was a bit surprised as I didn’t think he’d swallow much in his first few weeks, but I could identify a lot of different veg in there – a fun new game for changing time!

I love being able to sit down and eat with him and Nathan together, and am looking forward to trying all different kinds of food with him. This week we’re focussing on fruit and I can’t wait to see how he takes to sweeter tastes!

Book Review: 2K to 10K – Writing Faster, Writing Better and Writing More of What You Love (Rachel Aaron)

Pages: 64

Release Date: October 7th 2012

Summary (from Goodreads):

“Have you ever wanted to double your daily word counts? Do you sometimes feel like you’re crawling through your story? Do you want to write more every day without increasing the time you spend writing or sacrificing quality? It’s not impossible, it’s not even that hard. This is the book explaining how, with a few simple changes, I boosted my daily writing from 2000 words to over 10k a day, and how you can too.”

Expanding on her highly successful process for doubling daily word counts, this book, a combination of reworked blog posts and new material, offers practical writing advice for anyone who’s ever longed to increase their daily writing output. In addition to updated information for Rachel’s popular 2k to 10k writing efficiency process, 5 step plotting method, and easy editing tips, this new book includes chapters on creating characters that write their own stories, practical plot structure, and learning to love your daily writing. Full of easy to follow, practical advice from a commercial author who doesn’t eat if she doesn’t produce good books on a regular basis, 2k to 10k focuses not just on writing faster, but writing better, and having more fun while you do it.

Review:

I’ve been reading a few books on writing lately and when this one popped up as being read by some of my Goodreads friends, I thought I’d give it a go. Who doesn’t want to go from 2K to 10K?!

Aaron describes her method for making your writing sessions more productive and greatly increasing your word count. It’t not just about churning out words either, but focusses on how to get quality as well as increase the quantity. As well as her method she’s developed, Aaron talks about her own plotting process and how to keep editing as painless as possible too.

Aaron’s method is actually pretty simple and sounds kind of obvious when you read it, but I realised I wasn’t doing these things and it could really be holding my writing back. The bit I thought was the most useful was the Knowledge part: knowing what you’re going to write before you sit down and write it. I’ve always been a bit of a pantser and it gets me into trouble when it comes to editing or just having  plot that makes sense… Aside from plotting on a larger scale, Aaron suggests you plan what you’re going to write in a session before you do it, so you’re not doing the hard part as you’re writing and making it up as you go along.

As I’ve been stuck in a bit of editing hell recently, I was really interested in the section on editing. It made me realise that a lot of my problems are plotting based – again, another problem with being a pantser – and that editing would be made easier if I plotted better (good work Captain Hindsight, but at least it’ll help me next time). I also liked the idea of editing being a skill just as writing is, that you should practice every day.

I found this book really helpful and I think it’s one that I’ll be dipping in and out of frequently. The only drawback was there were quite a few typos/spelling and grammatical errors, and that irritated me, especially when she was talking about editing your work/checking for errors etc!

While an individual’s writing processes are subjective and not everything works for everyone, there’s a lot here that really makes sense and I’d definitely recommend giving her suggestions a go. It’s a really cheap Kindle book and I think there’ll be something in there for everyone.

4