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GUEST POST - Chloe Seager talks about making and maintaining friends...

Hi Everyone, I continue my #Bk2Skool September (I finally came up with a cool hashtag name for it.) If this is your first post that you have seen of my blog then here's a brief catch you up. 

#Bk2Skool September was created by me as I work in a school, a librarian. I see first hand what it's like going to school for the first time with a new cohort of Year 7s, but also to those who are going back to school, starting their GCSEs etc. So I've asked some of favourite authors that explore school life in their books. 

Last week I had Tamsin Winter, author of Being Miss Nobody discussing her top tips to starting secondary school. Today I have the lovely Chloe Seager author of Editing Emma and her latest book Friendship Fails of Emma Nash talking about the heart of her book, friendships and how scary it can be fitting in, finding friends, or keeping the ones you've had for years. Here is a bit more about her book. 

Emma Nash is back….and determined to work out the world of friendships and relationships once and for all (…ish).

Now she’s in the sixth form, Emma’s expecting life to be a breeze but when her best friend Steph suddenly has a boyfriend who she’s spending more time with Emma’s not sure what to do with herself.

So Emma’s got a mission in mind: making new friends. Signing up for the school fashion show seems like the perfect opportunity. Although soon, through a series of mishaps that are absolutely not Emma’s fault (well, sort of), her world is teetering on the edge of disaster again.

Would going back to creating a life for herself online reaaaaaallllyyy be so bad?


School Friendships

In Friendship Fails of Emma Nash, Emma is navigating not only trying to find new friends at school, but also keeping on top of her existing ones. I definitely went through many friendship highs and lows during my teen years, so here are some of my top tips for making and maintaining friends at school.

1. Take your time choosing

When you start a new school/college, there’s a lot of pressure to ‘make friends’ straightaway. I’ve heard that statistically, you’re 90% likely to make friends with the first person you sit next to in a new school. This doesn't make me think, ‘oh wow, how lucky that 90% of us instantly sit next to a BFF,’ it makes me think that some people must surely settle with the first person they meet. With all the pressure and fear that surrounds entering a new place it’s totally understandable, but try to talk to as many people as possible; you want to make sure you’re making the right lifelong friends.

2. Be brave about switching groups

If you do end up feeling you’ve chosen the wrong friends somewhere down the line, it can feel an awful and impossible task to change them. After starting school in Year 7, I didn’t find the right friendship group for me until I was in Year 9. That is two whole years of shifting groups. It involved a lot of guilt (about leaving people behind who were perfectly nice, I just didn’t feel the ‘chemistry’ with), a lot of nastiness (when I’d accidentally fallen in with some very mean girls) and a lot of loneliness (during shifts, and from hanging out with people I didn’t really click with). I began to think the problem was me; that friends who were right for me didn’t exist. Then I tried moving on one last time, and bam! I found girls who were lovely, clever, fun and just the right amount of dorky for me.

3. Remember school friendships are intense

In a way, friendships when you’re at school are unlike any other, because school is such a big part of your life. You might walk into school with your friends, sit next to them all day, walk back together and hang out together in the evening to watch TV or do homework together. You might even hang out on weekends and in the summer holidays, too. As a teenager you don’t realise it, but THAT IS A LOT. It’s natural that sometimes you’re going to get on each other’s nerves and fall out. It’s unavoidable that things will get blown out of proportion. Arguments will happen, so try not to blow the thing that got blown out of proportion, out of proportion…if you see what I mean. The storm will pass and if your friends are good friends, you’ll resolve problems between you.

4. Communicate

You won’t resolve problems without talking to each other (calmly) about what’s gone wrong and how to change it in future. It took me a long time to discover this and this actually isn’t just a tip for school friendships; once I learnt it, I carried it into my friendships for the rest of my life.

5. If BFFs don't happen at school, don’t beat yourself up

For some people finding amazing friendships happens as soon as they join a new school, for some (like me) it takes time, and for others it happens at university or during their adult life. If it’s not happening don’t place blame on yourself; it’s not you, it’s just that you haven’t found ‘your people’ yet. If your people aren’t at school that’s ok - they might be outside it; on your street, at an after-school club, or on Twitter! Keep looking and trying, because they are out there.

Thank you so much Chloe for guest posting on my blog. One thing I couldn't agree more is 'don't beat yourself up'. I promise it gets better when you out of school. 

Chloe Seager grew up in East London with her Mum and much-loved cat, Katie. She studied English Literature and Drama at the University of East Anglia, where she sadly realised she couldn't act, but did rediscover her love of children's books. Children's Literature was one of her favourite modules, and it made her wonder why grown-ups ever stopped reading them. She now works with them full-time as a YA/Children's literary agent at Diane Banks Associates, and lives back in East London with her boyfriend and pet fish. Editing Emma is her first novel.
Website | Twitter | Instagram  

ARC REVIEW - THE CRUEL DESIGN by Emily Suvada

This series is like any other... If you think book 1 is brilliant then the sequel is even better.  Read my review for The Mortal Coil, the first book in the series here


The Cruel Design (The Mortal Coil #2)
by Emily Suvada
Publisher - Penguin Random Children's
Release Date - November 4th 2018
Pre-Order - Amazon | Book Depository


Where can you hide when you're running from yourself?

Catarina thought they'd stopped the Hydra virus. She was wrong.

After laying everything on the line to decrypt the vaccine, Cat realises that Lachlan's daemon code is in the panel of every person on the planet's surface. With it, he can reprogram humanity.

She, Cole and Leoben set out to stop him, but they're on a timer. Cartaxus - the shadowy corporation that's both helped and hindered them - has a deadly end game in play. The virus is evolving, the vaccine is dying, and if Cat can't find Lachlan in three days, they'll use lethal code to wipe out every person on the planet.

Their path takes them to Entropia, an underground city deep in the desert and home to the most extreme gene hackers, run by the queen of coding, Regina.

Struggling with the revelations about her past, and plagued by strange visions, what Cat finds in Entropia is more than just a trail to Lachlan. Because in the vaulted chambers of Regina's kingdom, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts, and discovers that the biggest threat of all may be buried in her own mind.

The best of Science Fiction is right here... Emily Suvada is undoubtedly one of my new favourite writers. I couldn't wait but to head straight into the sequel, I mean if it's in front of you its hard not too, right? The Mortal Coil certainly didn't end in a cliffhanger if that's what your wondering but it left you wanting for more, so if you can read them together then do. Although now I'm wishing the final book was here already, I have to wait painstakenly another year. 

Without giving too much away for those who haven't read it, I'll keep it simple. After a life-changing moment at the end of TMC, her life and those of millions of other rest once again in her hands. Like everything in the world, it changes it state, it moves on but nothing as fast as this virus. It's existence of the virus is evolving far worst than Catarina could ever imagine. It's a race against time, with three days before the shadow organisation wipes out the entirety of the human race. Catarina faces some hard truths as well as some very hard decisions ahead, she's at a point where she is a constant struggle  with herself but also those around her. When she needs her friends more than ever, its times like these that find herself asking, can she really trust them?

Emily Suvada is undoubtedly one of my new favourite writers. New characters are introduced, a team that was broken apart is now rebuilt. You'll find yourself in this book having a lot of trust issues, including and I hate to say this with a certain super soldier. I hated that. Cat really does go through it in this book though, both physically and mentally. This girl is one of the best heroines I've come across in a long time. Her strength, bravery, is to be truly admired, the fight in her, it really makes your heart swell.

I loved how Emily really racked up the tension and excitement in the story. The thrill of the chase, the constant twists in the plotline sent you on the edge of you seat on in my case my bed. Your heart was beating so fast, you literally couldn't contain yourself. Emily really pushed the boundaries with the impossible, the stunning breakthroughs with genetics and technological advancements, it felt like you were in a whole new world, especially when Catarina went to Entropia, they were thriving on the virus, with the use of DNA and coding, panels are a thing of the past in TCD. The writing style is stunning, utterly seamless with the science behind making the realms of the impossible even more surreal, pushing ever closer to our reality which is scary to say the least.

It was said to me that The Cruel Design is even better than The Mortal Coil. In a way I didn't want to get my hopes up, you know how some sequels can be and I really didn't want to be disappointed. But boy was a wrong, this is a series that really exceeds everything in the first, it intensive, thrilling and quite simply stunning. I can't wait for book 3 but the wait will be excruciating. Take a breath, grab the book and sink into on the best sci-fi series ever.

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you so so much to the lovely Penguin publishers for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

GUEST POST - Tamsin Winter discusses her tips to surviving secondary school...


Hi Everyone, it's a new term, a lot of us are returning to work like me as librarian or a teacher and some of you are heading back to school. Some of you are heading back for GCSE year, starting college of Sixth Form, going to University or could you be starting that journey from scratch with your first year in secondary school.

There are a lot of books in Teen and YA that really captures a teenagers life, through school, family, friendships, and social media. So this month I've got some of my favourite authors that really talk about all aspects of school, life as a teenager, pressures and today begins that journey with the lovely Tamsin Winter who has written her top tips for surviving school. These are rules to live by I think.

Her debut novel came out last year, Being Miss Nobody and here is a little bit more about it.


Eleven-year-old Rosalind is mortifyingly shy and cannot speak at all, well, not in front of anyone at school.

Her classmates CALL HER weird and she becomes the perfect target for bullying - someone who cannot fight back.

So, Rosalind starts Miss Nobody - an anonymous blog to expose the bullies at her school.

But, as her blog starts trending, things begin to spiral out of control. There is only one thing Rosalind has to do - speak up.

But how do you do that when you can't actually speak?



Starting a new secondary school: my best tips to help you boss it 

1. Get Organised. Starting a new school is THE best excuse to buy a load of new stationery. Don’t worry about what pencil case or bag or everyone else might have – choose the stuff that makes you happy. Being prepared for a new term by having all the right equipment is majorly dorky, and that is a GOOD thing. 
 
2. Good Friendships Take Time. Some people seem to befriend everybody within about three seconds of meeting them. Most people’s friendships take a bit longer than this. Don’t worry if you haven’t made a new best friend in the first week. You will likely be with these people for FIVE YEARS. It’s okay to take time getting to know them. 
 
3. Take A Photo Of Your Timetable. Because you will lose it. 

4. Join A Club. Clubs can be a brilliant way of meeting people with the same interests as you, and people who you might not come across in your usual school day. Most schools have an extensive programme of lunchtime and after-school clubs, ranging from Book Club (I strongly recommend) to Boxercise (I did this once and afterwards could not move my arms). Clubs are great for socialising, learning new skills or even just avoiding the crowds. 

5. DO NOT GET A PERM. I literally did this the week before I started secondary school in 1990 and I have regretted it ever since. 

6. Find The Library. Then Visit It A lot. One of the best things you can do with your school days is to spend it reading books. It’s one of the few times in your life when you have a library on your doorstep, so make the most of it. Also, it will make your new English teacher very happy. And that can only be a good thing. 
 
7. Be Yourself. The pressure to be like everybody else when you start secondary school is IMMENSE. I spent almost so many years pretending I liked stuff just because everyone else did. I wish somebody had told me at the time that it is okay to not be into the same stuff as your classmates. The right friends won’t expect you to be a carbon copy of them. 
 
8. Tell Someone If Something’s Wrong. It can be really hard to ask for help when you’re at a new school. Sometimes, you might not know who to ask. But if something is wrong, tell someone. Your form tutor is a good place to start. If they seem busy photocopying or something, don’t worry. That’s just start-of-term normalness, believe me. I’ve never met a teacher who was too busy to help a young person in need. It’s literally their job. 

9. Report Bullying. Unfortunately, some people will tell you bullying is just a normal part of school life, and not to worry about it. This is the biggest lie ever. Bullying is not acceptable. It should not be a normal part of someone’s life. And it should not go unreported. If you experience it yourself, or if you see it happening to someone else, report it. IRL and online. You could be saving a life. 

10. Be Kind. If there was only one piece of advice I could give you about starting secondary school, this is it: be kind to people. It’s just about the greatest thing you can be.


Thank you so much to the lovely Tamsin for guest blogging on here. These are certainly tips to live by.