I was researching the first essay of my Masters when I had a moment of panic: how the hell do I actually write this? That’s where I fell back on a plan I’ve been implementing since my senior years in high school. I can’t guarantee you good grades, but it does limit the stress and make writing a brilliant essay just a little easier. The plan has changed a little over the years, but the basic structure has stayed the same and I’ve used it to tackle almost all my assignments.Read More
Today I am so pleased to welcome the gorgeous Gab Williams to The Unfinished Bookshelf to talk about her wonderful new novel My Life as a Hashtag.
My Life as a Hashtag explores what happens when something unexpectedly goes viral. It’s not hard to see where you got the inspiration – it happens so frequently online. But why did you feel it was important to explore this in a young adult novel?
Social media is a great way to feel connected, but of course, some aspects of it can be brutal, especially when everyone makes the ‘group think’ decision to hop online and condemn a person for their behavior. I wanted to explore how it feels to be the person being slammed, with the weight of the world coming down on you. Read More
What’s a girl to do when her parents have split up; her mum’s trawling Tinder; and one of her best friends has decided not to invite her to the biggest party of the year, which she then has to watch unfold on everyone else’s social media? If you’re a girl called MC, you get mad as hell, that’s what you do. But what begins as one girl’s private, no-holds-barred rant soon snowballs in the most public way possible.
Sometimes I think it’s time for a social media cleanse. I mean, giving up swiping seems to be as popular as sucking down a kale and spinach smoothie these days. But then I remember I’m a journalist, blogger and podcaster. It’s basically impossible to quit when scrolling and timelines are such a huge part of my work and personal lives. Yet, as invasive as social media is for me (and pretty much everyone I know) it’s not usually explored well, or at all, in the novels I read. There’ll be a text here or there, maybe a mention of generic social media or uploading a photo, but for the most part it takes a back seat. It can save books from being dated in years to come, but there is so much fodder for amazing stories in our behaviour online. It’s something Gabrielle Williams has tapped into perfectly in her latest YA novel, My Life as a Hashtag. Read More
Ellie Marney’s Sherlock Holmes-inspired YA series is one of my favourite, and I don’t say that lightly. I’m so pleased to share with you today a little mini-Q&A we did leading up to the release of her brand new standalone romantic crime novel. No Limits publishes in August and I am very excited to get my hands on a copy. If you’re looking for a thrilling read, Ellie is your girl. You’ve said on your blog the writing process for No Limits was one of the easiest ever, that the characters sort of took over. Tell me more about that, how did it differ to the Every series?
I had a similar experience with Every Word as I had with No Limits – both books seemed incredibly easy to write. This is like a sign from above or something, that I take as ‘this story wants to be written’ – it feels less like you’re running the show, y’know? The characters feel fully developed in your mind, they have their own direction and their own ideas about how things should turn out. I mean, it sounds kinda wanky to say that – ‘oh, I’m just channelling my characters!’ – but honestly some books are just like that! In terms of differences to the Every series: this story felt somewhat older, the perspective of the characters is slightly older (so the characters of Amita and Harris are 18-20yo) and also the themes of the book (drug crime in country towns, domestic violence) are certainly darker and more mature.Read More
I’ve loved Jessica Marais ever since Packed to the Rafters, so of course when I saw the advertisements for The Wrong Girl, it was on my must-watch list. My best friend Caitlin and I started watching this when it was on television, but when she went to Cuba and Mexico last year we couldn’t keep up with the episodes. Of course, this just gave us the perfect excuse the binge watch when I bought the DVD. At only eight episodes, it’s easily watchable over a weekend (although we watched it over a couple of weeks, two episodes at a time). Read More
Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on This beautifully written thriller will grip you from its very first page.
The wonderful thing about studying literature is I get to read heaps of books. Of course, the downside is I have very little time to read anything other than the novels each class requires. By the end of my first semester I was hanging out for a YA read I could pick up purely for enjoyment and The Graces proved the perfect pick. Mysterious and thrilling, I was spellbound by this story from the very first page.
I’m incredibly excited to reveal the cover of Ellie Marney’s new standalone romantic crime novel, No Limits. Fans of Ellie’s award-winning Every series will recognise main character Harris from the final book in the Sherlock Holmes-inspired trilogy. Stay tuned for a little Q&A with Ellie later this week… Read More
I’ve never bought a book subscription box before, although I’ve seen them all over Instagram and they always look so appealing. But when I saw the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary edition boxes from Be Bookish, I just couldn’t help myself. I’m so glad I decided to buy my Ravenclaw hardback edition in this box, although I was totally tempted to get the paperback edition as well. Read More
As a little kid, I couldn’t wait to start school. My enthusiasm for the classroom never really dimmed and throughout high school, I always found a sense of comfort in achieving that perfect mark. I genuinely loved learning and putting all the theory into my essays, presentations and assignments. There was never any question I’d study at university and when I finally figured out what I’d apply for, I was again eager to learn. Unfortunately, my perfectionism came at the detriment of my mental health. When I graduated, I was sure I’d never be back. Study was done. I was learning so much in my workplace, I wouldn’t need to study again. So why, then, have I gone back to university to study a Masters? Read More
Riley Rose doesn’t want to be at Spirit Ranch Holiday Camp. Riley wants to be partying with her best friend Chloe at the beautiful Ben Sebatini’s house. She has a plan to get away from the jumpsuit-wearing counsellors, the feel-good mantras, do-gooder campers and the monotonous schedule of team-building exercises and outdoor activities. But is everything at the Spirit Ranch as it appears? What secrets are waiting for discovery in the abandoned Fraser house? And why doesn’t anyone want to talk about the accident that landed the mysterious Dylan in a wheelchair last year?
I really can’t believe it’s taken me so long to read Everything Beautiful, given how much I adored Girl Defective. It’s one of those gorgeous, underrated Aussie YA books which captured my heart from the very first page. It didn’t take me long to fall for almost every character and become completely absorbed Riley Rose’s story. Read More