Love is in the air….

LoveYA

Hi!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we have been thinking about our favourite couples from YA literature. Whether your are Team Gale or Peeta, what you think the future holds for Eleanor and Park or whether you think Magnus and Alec can overcome their difference and end up together… we want to hear from you!

Tweet us @7stories #loveYA, comment below or email lauren.regan-ingram@sevenstories.org.uk with who you think the most perfect couple is and why (including the book title and author) and see if your suggestion makes it onto our Top Ten list which we will post on Valentine’s Day.

All entries will be entered into a prize draw to win a £10 book token for the Seven Stories Bookshop where you can discover shelves of the best new YA fiction titles.

Lauren x

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Say Her Name – James Dawson

Book 3 on the #yabookprize shortlist is James Dawson’s Say Her Name … Here’s why I loved it.

Drip…Drip….Drip…

The story is set at Pipers Hall Boarding School for Girls where a Halloween dare sets off a series of chilling events.

The dare is simple, stand In front of a mirror and say the name Bloody Mary 5 times and Mary will appear….. Only problem is those brave enough to Say Her Name seem to disappear without a trace.

Drip….Drip….Drip…

Not one to back down from a dare Bobby agrees to do it along with her best friend Naya and the hot local boy Caine.
5 Bloody Mary’s later nothing happens…. Or so they think…..

But the countdown has begun
5 days….

5 days is all they have before she comes for them can they stop the curse before the curse stops them?

Truly chilling from the very first page this really did keep me awake at night.

Are you brave enough to Say Her Name……

Drip…Drip….Drip…

Say Her Name certainly deserves its place in the short list, and so far, for me is holding the number one spot.

Hope you all love it as much as I did.

Salvage – Keren David

This week sees book 2 – Salvage, being championed for the #yabookprize.

“Not everything that’s broken can be mended”

“Aidan Jones was my brother. But I couldn’t really remember his face. I couldn’t remember talking to him or playing with him. He was just a gap, an absence, a missing person.

Before she was adopted by a loving family and raised in a leafy Home Counties town, Cass Montgomery was Cass Jones. Her memories of her birth family disappeared with her name. But when her adopted family starts to break down, a way out comes in the form of a message from her lost brother, Aidan. Having Aidan back in her life is both everything she needs and nothing she expected. Who is this boy who calls himself her brother? And why is he so haunted?

I glance at the paper. There’s a big picture on the front page. A girl with dark red hair. A girl with eyes that might have been green or they might have been grey. I sit down and stare at Cass, and it is her, it is. My stolen sister.

Aidan’s a survivor. He’s survived an abusive step-father and an uncaring mother. He’s survived crowded foster homes and empty bedsits. His survived to find Cass. If only he can make her understand what it means to be part of his family. . .”

Separated ten years earlier, half brother and sister Cass and Aiden are now back in each other’s lives.

The story is told from alternating view points, Cass who was adopted by a good middle class family, sent to a good school, and is heading for Oxford, appears to have it all. That is until her dad has an affair and leaves the family.

Aidan was never adopted, instead he was bounced from one foster home to another, left school with no qualifications and then at the age of 16 has to stand on his own two feet with no one to support him.

After Aidan sees a picture of Cass in a local newspaper, he tracks her down via social media and thus their story begins.

David weaves many intricate plot lines into the narrative, but the main focus is all about nature v nurture. The impact your upbringing has on you and how it shapes you.

This tale is emotionally raw and very gritty, it will leave you with questions and make you see things in a different light.

I can see why this book made it onto the shortlist, and I think it will appeal to teens everywhere as there is something in there for everyone to identify with.

This contemporary certainly packs a punch, and stands a very good chance of winning the #yabookprize !

Next week – Say Her Name by James Dawson.

A Song For Ella Grey – David Almond

As the #YAbookprize gets underway bloggers across the country will be blogging about their favourite title(s) on the shortlist. So for the next 9 weeks I’ll be blogging about the titles and telling you why I think they should win!

First up is A Song For Ella Grey by David Almond.

“I’m the one who’s left behind. I’m the one to tell the tale. I knew them both…knew how they lived and how they died.”

“Claire is Ella Grey’s best friend. She’s there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her. But the loss of her friend to the arms of Orpheus is nothing compared to the loss she feels when Ella is taken from the world. This is her story – as she bears witness to a love so complete; so sure, that not even death can prove final. ”

Almond has such a distinctive style to his writing that you, the reader can not help but be pulled into the worlds he creates.

Ella Grey, a retelling of the myth Orpheus & Eurydice, is probably Almonds best to date. ( Although I will always have a soft spot for Mina)

The writing is poetic, and lyrical and spellbindingly romantic and brings to life those intensely heartfelt feelings of first love.

For me, this was not only the tragic love story of Ella & Orpheus, but also a story about Claire’s love for Ella, and David Almond’s love for the North East, his depictions of the Northern landscapes are just stunning. And of course I was overjoyed that Seven Stories was mentioned too!

Alluring, beautifully written and completely captivating.

It’s no surprise this book was shortlisted for the #YAbookprize.

Stay tuned for reviews of the other shortlisted titles.

Paperweight by Meg Haston

“Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.

Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.

Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn’t plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.”

My first read of 2015, and what a read it was.
Haston takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster, in this her debut Young Adult novel.

Stevie is lost, in more ways than one. She’s completely convinced that the only way to end her pain and suffering is to end her life.

As the anniversary of her brothers death approaches, Stevie feels that it would be fitting that she ended her own life on the same day. Only she wasn’t counting on her dad sending her to a treatment centre for the eating disorder that is completely consuming her.

Presented with no option but to face her demons, Stevie has to make a choice. Fight for her life or just give up.

Will Stevie realise that she has something to live for before it’s too late.

A heart-wrenching, beautifully written novel that is undoubtedly going to be one of the most talked about novels of 2015.

S

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