Thursday, 9 August 2012

Blog Tour: The Twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones by Susie Day (Young Adult, 10/10) review & guest blog post

2nd August 2012, Scholastic
184 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Themes: summer holidays, new life as a teenager, bad choices, being timid and shy of life, new sibling on the way, fairground, parents who are in a band, an older sister who prefers girls to boys, taking things for granted, photography, learning to make true memories, mild romance, paranormal mystery, good dose of humour

Summary from Scholastic
On her thirteenth birthday, Blue makes a desperate wish. To be transformed into a cool, confident teenager. Enter Red, appearing from nowhere like a wacky fairy godmother. She's only visible to Blue - in fact, she IS Blue, but a year older! With Red by her side to guide her, Blue can avoid all the gruesome embarrassments that go hand in hand with being thirteen. But Blue's future self is soon causing heaps of crazy trouble. And that's not all. As she guides Blue through the minefield of teenage life, there are dark secrets she's not telling...

Nayuleska's thoughts
Initially I related to Blue a lot, because that's how I was when I was a teen. I had an impossible image of being a wonderful me which didn't match who I was. Like Blue I thought one day I'd suddenly be the ideal me. Now I'm content with who I am, embracing life with less inhibition just as Blue did. And you know what? Just like Blue i enjoy life a lot more than when I set ridiculous goals.

That's where the similarities end. I thought Blue was a bit stupid to try and be her future self so soon because others really liked her as she was, before she went weird. Probably because I have a cold & struggle with philosophical concepts that the last part of the book where Blue was figuring out Red's role confused me. I thought 'A good read but I don't like who Blue is becoming'. Then the book ended with a big surprise. I've never read an ending like it. Everything slotted into place and I was left going 'What?' and totally flabbergasted in this 10/10 read.

You can find out more on Susie's website, including the first chapter of this book.

Suggested read

For more ghostly goings with a slightly lighter ending check out My So-Called Afterlife by  Tamsyn Murray.

Guest Blog Post

 Here's Suzie! 

I'm delighted to present a guest blog post by Susie which talks about plot twists, the point of them, and the impact they can have.  


I’ve got a new book out. It’s called The Twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones, and in it something happens which is guaranteed to shock you. Seriously, you’ll gasp. You’ll never see it coming.

Only now I’ve told you that, of course you will.

When is a twist not a twist? Do you like to be taken by surprise? Can you even be surprised these days? I didn’t see the new Batman film on the night it came out; someone posted one big twist on the internet and I read it before I’d realised. I didn’t need 100 pages of hints before I found out why Edward Cullen is quite so pale; the book blurb told me. Does it ruin The Sixth Sense if you know that, well... you know?

 I saw The Sixth Sense in the cinema, in the same week I saw Fight Club. Twist-a-rama! In both cases I got ‘it’ exactly when I was meant to, when it was unfolded to me by the film-makers, and I went ‘ohhh’ and ‘I see’ and felt satisfied by having been told a fable and told it well. I think both work brilliantly when you know what’s coming, too. It’s two films for the price of one: the ‘unaware’ and the ‘spoilt’ version, each a different experience.

In the internet age it’s hard to hang onto that doubling, that second bite of the cherry. But does that really matter? JK Rowling’s new murder mystery, The Casual Vacancy, has been embargoed even from translators, for fear that someone might give away ‘whodunnit’ - as if ‘whodunnit’ is the only reason anyone will read that book. I made a friend watch the original Star Wars trilogy a few years ago, and when we got to ‘Luke, I am your father’ she gasped out loud. I’d forgotten that even was a twist. (You should’ve seen her face when we got to Leia in ROTJ.)

A surprise, a reveal, a twist: they might feel big but they’re only part of the machine. As John Green wrote just the other day, a shock is nothing to the pleasure of anticipation. [LINK;]

And if there is a shock, a twist, a thing you’ll never see coming in The Twice-Lived Summer Bluebell Jones? It’s all right there, plain as day, on the very first page. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

Thank you Susie for an interesting article on twists. I have different perspectives of twists as a reader, a reviewer, and a writer. 

Enter an awesome competition to win a copy of Susie's The Twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones as well as a camera! To enter, just check out the page of Susie's website.

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