Dear Unpublished Me

As of next week something really exciting is happening and I've been dying to tell you all about it for a little while now. With the help of some AWESOME authors I have been able to put together a weekly feature that will give you, the reader, an insight into what it's really like to get your book on the shelves.

Over the next two months I will be posting weekly letters from 8 authors to their unpublished selves. I didn't know what to expect when I asked these writes to pen a letter to their past selves but they have completely surpassed my expectations. 

There are funny letters, letter that show just how hard putting yourself out there can be, there are letters that let you into the authors heart and they are so much more than I could have hoped for.

I've loved reading these letter and putting together this feature and I hope you love reading them as much as I did.

I know that a lot of bloggers and readers these days are aspiring authors themselves and I bet at least one of you will be at the stage some of these letters are written to in your journey. So if nothing else I hope these show that no matter how hard it can be putting your work out there, it is always worth it!

Up First, Josh Martin - author of Ariadnis . 

REVIEW: One Dark Throne

One Dark Throne
by Kendare Blake

Pages: 464
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 19th 2017
Received From: HarperTeen

The battle for the crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail? 
With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favour without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before - ones that put those around her in danger that she can’t seem to prevent.

When I read Three Dark Crowns I think I gushed about it for about a month! The world in which Kendare Blake creates pulls you in and the story keeps you on tender hooks until last page is closed... and I have to say One Dark Throne is no different! I was so excited to get a copy of this and I read it within a couple of days. The three Queens are just as kick ass and awesome as I remembered and the story just kept getting better and better. 

One Dark Throne picks up where Three Dark Crowns finished, with the three queens, Katherine, Mirabella and Arsinoe about to start their Ascension Year. The purpose of this year is for the Queens to kill each other until only one is left to rule over Fennbirn and after the events of the The Quickening it is set to be a very exciting and dangerous year indeed. With the hurt of Arsinoe's betrayal still hanging heavy in Mirabella's heart, with Katherine's sudden strength and Arsinoe's new found ability no one knows quite where they stand. But when the poisoned gifts arrive and the festivities begin only one thing is certain... no one is safe from the three deadly Queen's as they fight for the throne and for their lives.

This is one of those reviews where I keep it all quite vague as I don't want to give anything away. I love YA fiction but with it such a huge genre it can mean the stories become a bit predictable. However, One Dark Throne had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, I didn't know what was coming next or how the story would unfold. If I'm honest I didn't know how Kendare was going to keep up the pace after Three Dark Crowns but holy moly on toast she did it! I couldn't put this book down, I NEEDED to know what was going to happen to the characters that have well and truly made their way into my heart and I must say I was not disappointed! 

When reviewing the first installment I wrote, "All three queens have their moments where they could do with a slap," and this book was no different! Kendare creates these characters that will have you wanting to give them a good shake and yet, by the end of the book you want to wrap them up in your arms and tell them everything is going to be okay. I found that with this book more than the last this was the case and I went on an emotional roller-coaster within the covers of One Dark Throne

Overall One Dark Throne is fast paced, unpredictable, exciting, heartbreaking and everything I hoped it would be. For those of you that adored Three Dark Crowns as much as I did you will fall in love with this book in less time than it takes you to make a cup of tea. The island of Fennbirn takes no prisoners and this book will leave you begging for more! If there is only one book you read this month can I recommend that it be this one... you wont regret it. 

REVIEW: Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

Pages: 288
Publisher: Penguin UK
Publication Date: September 19th 2009 (originally October 18th 2007)
Received From: Penguin UK

You can't stop the future.

You can't rewind the past.

The only way to learn the secret is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and first love – who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

Hannah's voice explains there are thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.

All through the night, Clay keeps listening – and what he discovers changes his life... forever.

"I hope you're ready, because I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you're listening to these tapes, you're one of the reasons why."

By now the majority of the human race has heard of Thirteen Reasons Why... I mean I'm pretty sure any UFO's flying around up there logged into Netflix this Spring to watch it. However, what some of you might not know (I'm actually shocked the amount of my friends that didn't know this) that before Katherine Langford and Dylan Minnette broke our hearts on screen this unbelievably brave and honest story started off as a book. I must confess that I watched the show before reading the book myself and there are some differences... so if like myself you haven't read the book because you're like "I've already watched it on Netflix" DONT BE!!! I read this book in one sitting and even though I knew what was coming the way in which Asher writes has you on tender hooks from the very first page.

For those of you that don't know this is what Thirteen Reasons Why is about. Hannah Baker killed herself, that's no secret but no one really understands why. One day she was in class like everyone else and the next she was gone. However, two weeks after Hannah's death Clay Jensen comes home from school to find a package with no return address on it and inside is 7 tapes. Over the course of one night Clay listens to each and every side of the tapes, 13 to be exact, and as he does he discovers why Hannah Baker died. 

I've read one of Jay Ashers books before, What Light, and as much as I did love the story I found it all a little too sweet... which is probably the last word you can use to describe Thirteen Reasons Why. This book is hard to read, and guess what? It's meant to be! Hannah's story speaks to everyone in one way or another, you get to read what it is like to have life taken out of your hands and throughout the course of the book we as the reader sees how truly damaging a teenagers life can be. 

"I could have helped you. But when I tried,  you pushed me away.
I can almost hear Hannah's voice speaking my next thought for me. "Then why didn't you try harder.""

Okay so lets discuss the elephant in the room shall we? I know that after the TV show came out there was a huge debate on whether or not this story promotes teen suicide and if it was healthy for young people to be watching it. Well here is my opinion on this... For me the book isn't actually about Hannah's Death - I know, curve ball right? - no, it is about the actions, choices and mistakes of very human characters. It is a story that challenges people to really look at the way in which they treat other, to understand that every action as a reaction and most importantly to see that our decisions, our choices, don't just affect us. This book DOES NOT promote teen suicide but it does bring to the forefront a topic that is still very much tabboo. Thirteen Reasons Why invites a conversation that I think more people should be having, it's not just about who did what to who and who killed Hannah, it's about the 'why'. Why did a beautiful, healthy teenage girl feel the need to end her life? Why did no one see Hannah was falling apart? Why didn't anyone stop her? WHY didn't she ask for help? 


From start to finish this story had me hooked. I struggled to read this book at times, it is honest, raw, heart breaking and felt very very real. Mental health is something I bang on about a lot and I know that but it's books like this that challenge our preconceptions, open our minds and start a conversation that needs to be had. Everything affects everyone in different ways, the things that seem small to you could spiral for someone else and the consequences could be bigger than you ever imagined. This isn't a book for the faint hearted but I honestly could not recommend you to read this more.