Thursday 28 July 2016

5-4-3-2-1: Louise Gornall

Special 5-4-3-2-1 today, over at this site rather than the usual home of Teens on Moon Lane (slight scheduling conflict and I REALLY wanted to get this one in this weekend, as it's with Louise Gornall and I'm incredibly excited to meet her on Sunday at YALC, where she'll be at the Chicken House stall from 1:30pm!) Louise's debut, Under Rose-Tainted Skies, is one of the best debuts of 2016 for me so far - although it's a difficult read as she captures main character Norah's mental health issues so, so well. Despite finding it tough going at times, I'm incredibly glad I read it - books about mental health are hugely important and, along with The Rest Of Us Just Live Here, Am I Normal Yet?, and Radio Silence, this is one of the best of recent years.

Over to Louise!   

Books you can read over and over again

There are some books you can't just read once, right? You know the kind. They don't even have to be your ultimate favourites, they just have to be brilliant. If you’re a reader it’s probably the book you turn to when you're suffering from Can’t Find A Good Book Syndrome. If you’re a writer it’s most probably the book you pick up when writer’s block kicks in. Here are five books that I have read, an embarrassingly large amount of times.

1.)    The Twilight Saga.
2.)    The Sky is Everywhere.
3.)    The Scorpio Races.
4.)    We Were Liars.
5.)    This Is Not A Test.

Brilliant books of 2016 (so far).

This list is already a decade long and we’re only in July. In particular, it’s been a great year for fantasy and contemporary novels -- and I have gone broke several times trying to keep up with all the greatness. I’ve been loving the intense topics that are being explored across the board in YA. p.s this list is anything but conclusive.

1.)    Radio Silence.
2.)    This Raging Light.
3.)    Firsts.
4.)    One.

Literary heroes

I was trying to come up with lists in which I could drop some of my favourite books from over time, but then when you start looking at your literary heroes and trying to pick titles, you discover that most of their back catalogue is too epic not include. And then you’ve already exceeded a five count before you’ve even reached your second author. So, instead, I thought I would drop the names of some literary greats, and you could go check out all their titles. It’s like cheating Jim’s system, but don't tell him that ;)

1.)    Malorie Blackman.
2.)    Jane Austen.
3.)    William Shakespeare.

Diverse must reads.

I couldn't not make a list that included diverse titles. I think YA is making great strides in becoming all inclusive. For me, personally, it makes my heart so happy to see mental health being explored in YA. I know I don't need to tell you guys how important it is for everyone to see themselves represented in great literature. So, this was a hard choice to make, but here are two amazing titles that stuck with me long after I turned the last page.

1.)    I’ll Give You The Sun.
2.)    Mockingbird.

A genre you’d like to explore more.

I’m primarily a contemporary writer, though I have dabbled in urban fantasy and horror before. I never seem to fall short of story ideas for a contemporary audience, and they always seem pretty cool... until I talk to my friend Claire. Claire is a fantasy writer, and the story ideas she has are, quite literally, out of this fricking world! I am so jealous of her world-building brain. When she asks me to brainstorm an idea with her, I actually start salivating. So, if there is one genre I’d LOVE to explore more…

1.)    Fantasy.

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