Thursday, 16 February 2012

Guest Post: Katie Dale, author of Someone Else's Life and Giveaway

Hi everybody! 
Today I'm happy to welcome Katie Dale, author of Someone Else's Life, for a stop on her blog tour!


Today Katie is going to tell us about her favorite contemporary reads!




Top Contemporary Reads

There’s nothing I love more than snuggling down with a good book, and for me that generally means YA. I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a Peter Pan when it comes to books – I’ve read and enjoyed my share of adult books, and love a good Jane Austen, Jodi Picoult or James Patterson, but given the choice, the books I still find most inviting, intriguing, romantic and exciting – the books I really delight in picking up and losing myself in – are still YA. It’s such a vital stage of life – when there are so many choices and complications and heartaches and discoveries – and that to me is endlessly fascinating, and probably why I choose to write YA myself.

And within the YA genre, while I’ll read and enjoy a paranormal or dystopian novel now and then, the stories that really get to me are the contemporary ones. For me, you can’t beat the feeling of “what if this happened to me” and while I can fantasize about having a werewolf and a vampire fighting it out over me, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen any time soon! Contemporary novels about people like me (alright, me when I was a teenager!) with realistic problems and heartaches and issues can be just as gripping and exciting and terrifying – if not more so – as any imaginary world.


The Long WeekendFor instance I couldn’t sleep after reading Savita Kalhan’s The Long Weekend, in which two young boys are kidnapped by a paedophile. Skilfully and tautly written, Kalhan’s story subtly implies terrifying and horrific scenes without once being graphic, and I made the mistake of reading it on the bus home one dark night and totally missed my stop and ended up in a part of town I wasn’t familiar with. It was the most terrifying walk home I’ve ever had – I was jumping at every shadow! – and I live in what is probably one of the safest suburbs in the country! It is also a masterclass in suspense – I could not put it down. With the end of each chapter I just had to know what was going to happen next, how the boys could possibly get out of each impossible situation they found themselves in – or whether they’d get out at all…


Looking For JjLooking For JJ by Anne Cassidy is another gripping read – but this time the “evil villain” is the book’s narrator, the eponymous JJ, newly released from prison after killing her friend when she was a young child. Cassidy effectively shows us that behind every villifying newspaper headline are real human beings with their own stories to tell, and I found it difficult not to sympathise with JJ, whilst being horrified by the events that led up to that one life-defining moment. It left me with a new perspective and plenty of food for thought long after I turned the last page.


While JJ is after a new life, what if you suddenly discovered you’re living the wrong life? This is exactly what happens in Sophie McKenzie’s gripping fast-paced Girl, Missing, when Lauren finds a photo of herself as a toddler on a missing children website. A hunt for the truth turns her life upside down – and Lauren finds herself in terrible danger…


When I Was Joe (When I Was Joe, #1)Similarly, what would you do if you witnessed a terrible crime, and you had a choice to lie and betray an innocent victim, or tell the truth and run for your life? Ty in When I Was Joe (Keren David) finds himself in a terrifyingly realistic situation when he witnesses a knife crime that sends him and his mum into
hiding. He suddenly has to take on a whole new identity in a whole new town in order to hide from the gang who’ll do anything to stop him testifying. But Ty is hiding more than just his real identity…

That Summer
Of course not all contemporary issues are so dramatic, and I equally love immersing myself in the worlds of first love, family conflict, self-discovery, and frenemies as deftly painted by authors such as Sarah Dessen, Judy Blume, Caroline B. Cooney, and Sharon Creech. Cooney and Blume 
between them effectively created an invaluable guidebook to my teenage years, describing problems and experiences I was going through and reassuring me that I was not alone, with novels such as Among Friends (Cooney) and Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret (Blume) and me and my friends used to pass them round our class until they fell to pieces! Nowadays, Sarah Dessen does the same thing – every time I pick up one of her novels I know I’m in for a treat, spending time with her well-drawn characters, families and relationships (especially in That Summer), while Sharon Creech connually surprises me with her clever twists and emotional depth, particularly in the wonderful unforgettable Walk Two Moons.


Whether I’m in the mood for romance, family drama, social politics, self-discovery, humour, excitement, or a thriller, contemporary fiction has it all.


Top Picks:
The Long Weekend – Savita Kalhan
Looking For JJ – Anne Cassidy
Girl, Missing – Sophie McKenzie
When I Was Joe – Keren David
Among Friends – Caroline B. Cooney
Are You There God? It’s me, Maragert – Judy Blume
That Summer – Sarah Dessen
Walk Two Moons – Sharon Creech



Chosen by Katie Dale author of Someone Else’s Life
Published by Simon & Schuster February 2012.
Twitter: @katiedaleuk Website: http://katiedaleuk.blogspot.com
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e5OmLHHcDo



Thanks so much Katie! I'm a massive fan of contemporary but there are a few on there that I haven't read that now have to go onto my own to read list!



Giveaway!
Someone Else's LifeKatie has agreed to give a copy of 'Someone Else's Life' to one luck UK winner.
There's only one entry available but of course I'd be happy if you spread the word!
This giveaway is open to followers only.
Giveaway will end on the 30th of February!

2 comments:

  1. This book as been on my TBR pile since I first saw it as a WoW post. I loved the interview!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great guest post. It's always interesting to see the authors favourite books. I'm ashamed to say that I've not read any of those, but I'll have to try and check them out.

    ReplyDelete

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