Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman | 1 Minute Reviews

If I could explain to you my immediate reaction when I discovered that Malorie Blackman’s new book was gender swapped Othello in space, it would probably be a combination of these images.

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I lost some good crockery that day

Malorie Blackman is one of my favourite authors and I lost my mind.

Honestly this was a great treat! Vee (our Othello) and her brother Aidan are alone on their ship travelling back to earth, their whole crew dead due to a mysterious virus.

Meanwhile, Nathan and his friends escape life as a slave in a mining colony, only to be attacked by the vicious Mazon, and rescued by cunning Vee.

also excuse me have you seen this cover 

Onboard, the secrets the two groups harbour sew discontent, while Vee and Nathan fall deeply in love. Their swoony passionate romance reminds me of Sephy and Callum from Noughts and Crosses, a truly passionate teen romance against a backdrop of horror as tensions flare and people start to get bumped off.

If you know the plot of Othello, you know this doesn’t exactly go to plan. If you don’t, well you’re going to have a lot of fun. This is a real nail biter!

I really loved the confidence that Vee was imbued with; a young girl shown to be completely capable of captaining a ship and being truly badass.

I met Malorie Blackman recently after the publication of Chasing the Stars during an event in Piccadilly Waterstones where she revealed that this won’t be the last book in the Chasing the Stars universe, so cross your fingers we get an extended series like we did with Noughts and Crosses.


Come on, treat yourself. Get it here.

What to read next:

Thank you so much to DoubleDayBooks and Penguin Random House for the review copy!!

The Call by Paedar O’Guillin | 1 Minute Reviews

The Call by Peadar O’Guilin is easily the scariest book I’ve ever read and boy was it good!!


In Ireland, war against the mystical Sídhe has left its mark, as children are taken to their world for 3 mins and 4 seconds – their Call. In the “Grey Land” they run for a day, fleeing pursuit of the Sídhe and torture.

Nessa, like all other young people in Ireland, has trained all her life for her Call and she’s not going to let anything stop her – not her Polio damaged legs, not Connor and his army of bullies, and certainly not the Sídhe themselves.

Nessa is such a fantastic protagonist, and O’Guillin balances the fear of the Sídhe with the very real stigma that disabled people face. This is a fantastic coming of age story, with a brilliant disabled protagonist.

This book has quite rightly made the YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist!

Interested? Get it here.

What to read next:

  • As I Descended by Robin Talley
  • The Graces by Laure Eve
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

So so glad that David Fickling Books gave me a copy and they and Daren Stobbart hassled me into reading it because it was so brilliant!

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard | 1 Minute Reviews

I few months ago I went to a Pan Macmillan evening to talk young adult books, only for the magnificent publicist Bea to tell me why I should read Sara Barnard’s work. She was completely right, and I read the two of them back to back. My review for A Quiet Roll of Thunder is here.

Beautiful Broken Things is a stunning book about female friendship, the importance of boundaries, and severe mental health problems.

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Caddy and Rosie have been best friends their whole lives, despite their separate schools. At the start of the school year, Rosie meets new-girl Suzanne, warm hearted with a dry humour. But Suzanne has just escaped an unsafe home life and is struggling. As the girls get closer, they see Suzanne’s increasingly erratic behaviour becomes clear. Can they help her? Can they save her?

I found the representation of severe mental health issues such as self harming and suicide realistic, honest and well written. As someone with mental health problems and close friends with them too, I felt the balance of friendship, carer and knowing when to put your own oxygen mask on first so brilliantly put.

I also think Sara handled the delicately contradictory mindset of love and hate towards an abusive family life, and subtly includes key information for people on how to support friends and family who are struggling.

Interested? Buy it here and I get a little tip! It’s only £3.85 with free delivery!!

The novel requires trigger warnings for: self harm, suicide, domestic violence.

Thank you to Bea at Pan Macmillan & My Kinda Book for sharing this copy with me.