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Following the much acclaimed debut Everything, Everything is Nicola Yoon’s second novel The Sun is also a Star. This is a story unfolding over a course of a single day in New York; told in alternating chapters from Natasha's and Daniel's viewpoints, interwoven with chapters on a variety of subjects in a socio-historic context.

Natasha’s family will be deported to Jamaica in twelve hours. Natasha is practical, a realist, some might say; a cynic.  Daniel Jae Ho Bae has an interview at the Yale admissions office to study medicine, but if it was up to him, he would be writing poetry and travelling the world.

A chance encounter entwines their day as they travel around New York in a complicated maze of appointments. 

Nicola Yoon writes about her characters with warmth and humour and you want to follow Natasha and Daniel from page to page. Observing their chance encounters with other New Yorkers, the glimpse into their lives painting a brilliant picture of a city simultaneously busy and some tim...

I’m a huge fan of Maggie Harcourt’s wonderful UKYA romance Unconventional, published by Usborne, so it’s great to have the chance to get her to do a 5-4-3-2-1 post today!

5 – songs that sum up the last novel you wrote perfectly.

I had the radio on quite a lot while I was planning “Unconventional”, and one morning, quite early on, these first three songs played back to back while I was sitting at the kitchen table, surrounded by notes and old convention programmes… and they were exactly how the book felt in my head. I think it might have been fate.

Stitches – Shawn Mendes

Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon

Let it Happen – Tame Impala

These two tracks – to me, at least – sum up a lot about Lexi and Aidan, from different points of view. (It probably doesn’t hurt that the Sia song is one of my all-time favourites anyway!)

Fire Meet Gasoline – Sia

Hole in My Soul – Kaiser Chiefs

4 – authors you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island.

Miranda Dickinson (because I love her storytelling,...

As big fans of Julie Mayhew’s last novel, The Big Lie, we’re extremely excited to read her recently-released Mother Tongue! To celebrate, we have her taking on our 5-4-3-2-1 feature.

5 ~ Songs that sum up the last novel you wrote perfectly


I never start working on a book with words, always with pictures and music. These are the songs I was listening to on repeat while writing Mother Tongue…

Caught A Long Wind – Feist
(The first song I’d play when I say down at my desk each day. It got me into Dasha’s head)
Little Bird – Boris Lvov
(This short, beautiful tune is Nika’s theme)
Sha! Shtill! (L-Vis 1990 Remix) – Gucci Vump
(This song, though not Russian, is Moscow for me – big, loud and chaotic. Play this when you read the section where Dasha gets a scooter ride)
Oh Fields, My Fields – The Red Army Choir
(A traditional Russian song that reminds Dasha of home and school)
Rybka – Fabrika
(This piece of Russian pop would have been playing on the radio in 2004 – and it becomes an earworm fo...

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