Tag Archives: The Girl Who Read Too Much

Could This Be My Year for YA?

Yesterday I told you about the incredible novel that was ‘A Monster Calls’ and now I want to try his Chaos Walking series, at the same time the book that is currently highest on my wish list at the moment (and this has come completely out the blue as I don’t really like horses or war in real life or books) is ‘War Horse’ by Michael Morpurgo. ‘Erm, and, so what?’ I can hear you cry. Well, the thing that these two books have in common is that they are YA novels. What makes that all the more interesting is that I will admit that I have been somewhat of a YA snob, hey honesty is the best policy, in the past. So I am wondering if 2012, and oddly the year I go into my thirties, might be the year that I start to become a convert to YA novels.

I got talking about this rather a lot on twitter the other day and there were several novels discussed that came from that stable. One was ‘The Hunger Games’ which I have tried (loathed) and failed with and sadly got a bit cross and bored with everyone talking about when it came out, the next were the ‘Twilight’ series  which I tried and read some of but then decided the films were better. The two titles that came up that I fancied were ‘My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece’ by Annabel Pitcher which I was sent last year and have yet to read and the other was ‘Life: An Exploded Diagram’ by Mal Peet about the Cold War which The Book Boy has read and really enjoyed.


Naturally I thought I would ask you all for recommendations as people aren’t on twitter 24/7 (not that I am saying any of you are on Savidge Reads all day either, ha) and your thoughts on adult dipping their toes into YA. I should note I was asking my 13 year old sister for some recommendations at Xmas but she was re-reading SJ Watson’s ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ though will be reading ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’ by Patrick Ness next, as might her big brother. So what say you, which titles modern or classics have you loved and would recommend giving a whirl?

We will be discussing this on The Readers in a few weeks too.


Filed under Book Thoughts

Bookmarked Debut Night… The Report

It’s been over a week since an idea I had became a reality and the Bookmarked Literary Salon opened its doors in Manchester’s Waterstone’s Deansgate for its debut night. I thought I would give those of you who couldn’t be there a report on the event, which started with me being unusually nervous. In fact have to admit I don’t think I have been that nervous before. I went all giddy at about lunchtime however my Mum and sister aka ‘The Girl Who Read Too Much’ (who read both books the weekend before, impressive) had come to visit, sadly no Granny Savidge Reads, and offered support and calming words like ‘get a grip’ before I had to leave to pick up our Bookmarked t-shirts and go and meet the authors off the train.

After an initial slightly shy hello at the station, I had met SJ before yet still felt rather nervous, I took Sarah Winman, SJ Watson and their lovely publicists Helena and Alison off to the venue in style… on the free bus. Soon we were chatting away like we had known each other for ages, then shared some pots of tea and chips before being joined by my co-host Adam and getting holed up in the Managers Office so that the authors could prepare and also so I couldn’t keep popping in the events room had actually turned up. You might spot the slightly nervous smiles from em and Adam just before we were ready to go and meet our audience…

We then went in and couldn’t quite believe out eyes, the room was pretty much full; people were standing at the back (though there were a few seats at the front, why does nobody ever want to sit at the very front), I have to say I could have done a little weep of joy, instead – like true professionals – we introduced the authors and started with a reading. Sarah had everyone in stitches with her reading from ‘When God Was A Rabbit’ and SJ had us all on the edge of our seats when he read from ‘Before I Go To Sleep’.

Adam and I then lead a sort of ‘grilling/conversation’ about some of the in-depth themes of each book and how the books compared and contrasted…


Which seemed to keep the authors on their toes, especially when we asked about their debut author journeys and their writing process (I cannot for the life of me remember what I asked that got this response)…

Soon we handed over to the audience (some not in the photo below, my Mum managed to hide somehow) who all had great questions to ask, one included my mother who almost had me saying ‘yes Mum, what would you like to ask?’ she asked about the grieving process that leaving characters behind might cause. I don’t think the authors had been asked that before. The rest of my family who included my aforementioned mother and sister were joined by ‘The Aunt Who Doesn’t Read So Much’ (who had read ‘When God Was A Rabbit’ beforehand and has since read ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ in about three days and three sittings) and ‘The Bookboy’ kept unusually quiet…


These too kept the authors in great discussion as we discussed the second still in writing process novels, adaptations, and their previous books ever seeing the light of day and what their writing lives are like…

Then suddenly over an hour had vanished before our eyes and it was time to stop and also time for a quick photo again, can you see the mix of relief, joy and ‘oh no its finished’ on my face?

The authors then took part in a signing or several…


Before it was all over and we were saying goodbye as the authors headed back to the train station and I headed for a strong drink and a meal with friends and family. I did manage to ask Sarah which she preferred, a comfy chair with me and Adam or with Richard and Judy… I am too polite to share the response, hee hee. 

Thank you to everyone who came, we had a great time and we so hope that you did. I know Lucy has written up her thoughts, which was really kind, but Lucy why did you not come and say hello, in fact that applies to a few tweeters and followers who turned up. Oh and Emma, thank you for saying hello I am so sorry our conversation was cut short, email me and lets go for a coffee. We hope we will see you all on the 12th of September when we will be having a crime-fest with Val McDermid and a special guest. You can find out more here.

Right, I will stop waffling on and on but I am just thrilled it went so well. If you came, thanks again, if you didn’t thanks to those of you who wished me luck, it meant so much to me.


Filed under Bookmarked Literary Salon, Sarah Winman, SJ Watson

The Girl Who Read Too Much #2

Hello its me The Girl Who Read Too Much again. While Simon is still having a break of sorts I thought that I would take over the blog for the day and let you all know of some books which I have been reading of late. All of these books are books the publishers very kindly sent me which I really wasn’t expecting and so has been very exciting. Thanks publishers!

Dead Man’s Cove – Lauren St John

When I first saw the book I thought it would possibly be really childish and about pirates but in fact it wasn’t! I’d give it to either 11 or 12 year olds. It’s a really good book to read in bed though you might not get to sleep very quickly as it’s a book with a cliff hanger at the end of every chapter!

Laura Marlin is in an orphanage but they don’t know wkether her Dad is alive or not but their is a possibility he’s in America yet they’ve given up looking. But, what they have found is her Mother’s brother, who lives right by the sea. He has agreed to take Laura in to be her guardian. When they arrive at his house it’s the dead of night and all she can hear is a dog barking inside the house. She suddenly feels the terror boiling up inside her and she wants to go back to the orphanige but she can’t. Her driver goes up and rings the bell and the dog goes silent for a minuite but then they can hear it coming closer and closer. Her Uncle opens the door and peers out. He greets them with warmth but Laura isn’t convinced. He still could be a villen out of one of her favourite books, Matt Walker the detective. As she thought of her childhood idol she felt stronger as she was introduced to Lottie the dog who was calmer than she sounded. She was invited in and offered cake. As her new life started she noticed some strange things about the town. Like everyone was scared of a Coast calle Dead Man’s Cove, but why?

The storyline is thrilling and unpredictable I would definitely read more of this series in the future. It’s a spooky ending and is scary to read before bed! See if you dare!

Mistress of the Storm – M. L. Welsh

This book isn’t the best ever book and it takes a while to get into the story, I think I expected more. It has a very good ending though. The main character is interesting yet is also quite hard to understand.

Verity is a bullied girl the sort that every day has something taken out of her school bag. One day in gym class her teacher announces that she needs another girl for the sailing race at the end of the week. Verity is the only girl avalible so she, against her will, is volunteered to do the race. Before the race a strange visitor is announced in the house so she is kicked out of her room. The guest is her horrible Grandma. She needs a kit for the race so all the females in the family come with her (her, her Mum, her sister and her Grandma). She has a lovely kit in mind and finds a perfect one but her Grandma sees a disgusting one and because her Mum wants Grandma to feel welcome she buys the horrible one. All the girls tease her at the race as she gets into the boat. Then when she gets in she feels upset. But, then as if by magic she feels at home. She steers the boat with another girl so well it’s like she’d been doing it for years. She wants to find out more about her family history to see where that gene comes from and that is how it all starts… what happens next you will have to read it to find out. This book has a lot of detail and unfortunately takes too long to set up, maybe it’s because there is a series planned. I am not sure if I would read more. If you want a long read choose this book as it does take a while without being that big.

Half a Sister- Kelly McKain

When I received this book I didn’t think it would be the best book ever. But, when I’d read it all it ended up just that! I recommend it as a present to female teenagers for Christmas!

When I got this book I was instantly pulled into its pages and couldn’t get myself out. An only child called Hannah is always pushed aside by her best friend Maya who has become best friends with another girl called Beth. Beth is a really selfish, spiteful girl who wants to hurt Hannah as much as possible.  But, when Hannah’s parents do nothing but fight Hannah is determined to find out why but when she tells Maya and Beth they aren’t at all sympathetic they don’t really even care. The source of all the fighting is that her Dad has another daughter that he never realised he had. The only problem is the daughter’s not her Mum’s. Her name’s Ellie and she’s half French. Her Mum was in a car crash so she’s now in a hospital in France so she has to go and live with them for a while. Ellie is lovely and beautiful but what Hannah doesn’t realise is that Ellie has a darker side.

The book is in diary format and is a really good read. I found the ending surprising and really suspention full. All in all an amazing book!

So that is all from me for a while, I’ll be back soon. Thanks for reading! Enjoy your books!

The Girl Who Read Too Much.


Filed under Kelly McKain, Lauren St John, M.L. Welsh, Orion Publishing, The Girl Who Read Too Much, Usborne Publishing