Tag: ya lit

Praise for How Hard Can Love Be?

Hello fellow Spinsters, Amy from Usborne here. I’ve stolen Holly’s blog today to do a little round-up of some of the amaazing reviews coming in for How Hard Can Love Be?, out now. Here are a few of our favourites:

“This is the second book in the new Holly Bourne Normal trilogy and is
COMPLETELY FANTASTIC. Not that I expected anything less after the
amazing after the stunning Am I Normal Yet?” – Guardian children’s book site teen reviewer

“Holly Bourne is one of the most talented YA writers of the moment and I cannot wait to read the next instalment to find out what happens to the Spinster Club. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!” – Lucy from Queen of Contemporary

“Emotive and thought provoking this searingly honest book deals with the biggest life lesson of all: nobody’s perfect.” – South Wales Evening Post, Book of the Week

“Holly Bourne has become a true feminist legend of YA!” – Emma from Never Judge a Book by Its Cover

“The second installment in [Holly’s] Normal series…and tells Amber’s story of first love, friendship and addiction.” – The Sunday Express, S Magazine

Read the first chapter of How Hard Can Love Be? at www.usborne.com/readHolly.

Meet Holly Bourne on the How Hard Can Love Be? tour

To celebrate the release of How Hard Can Love Be? Holly will be touring the UK and Ireland and she wants to meet YOU.

All public events are listed here, with more to be added soon, so stay tuned!

SPINSTER SUNDAY with Holly Bourne

Sunday 7th February, from 1pm at St Annes Place, Lytham St Annes

An afternoon of events to
celebrate friendship, feminism and frankly brilliant books. Hosted by Storytellers Inc this empowering
afternoon is sure to pass the Bechdel test with a fantastic line-up of current
teen/YA authors including Non Pratt, Keris Stainton, Sara Barnard, Natasha Farrant and Jenny Maclachan.

A SPINSTER CLUB EVENING at Easons

Thursday 11th February, 6pm at Easons O’Connell Street, Dublin

Join Holly for an evening of book chat, a reading and Q&A plus lots of other fun activities.

There will be CHEESY WOTSITS!

YA SPEAKEASY

Tuesday 23rd February, 7pm at Drink, Shop, Do, London

Join Holly, fellow Usborne author Kathryn Evans, Eve Ainsworth and Nicci Cloke for readings, cocktails, an utterly ridiculous short story challenge and book signings.

Tickets are free – book your place via Eventbrite.

WORLD BOOK DAY TEENFEST LIVE

Wednesday 2nd March, 6pm at Stratford East Picturehouse, London

Join Holly, Juno Dawson and Sara Barnard for an awesome night of books, writing and creativity at World
Book Day’s first ever live premiere for teens.

Hosted by performance poet, author and playwright LEMN SISSAY. 

Tickets £3 (available via the Picturehouse website)


VERY SPECIAL EVENT IN MANCHESTER – to be announced soon

Sunday 6th March

Stay tuned for more on this soon!

OXFORD LITERARY FESTIVAL

Saturday 2nd April, 5pm

Three of the very best writers for YA, Sarah Crossan, Sita
Brahmachari and Holly Bourne join forces for a session guaranteed to
entertain, to inspire, and to provoke debate and laughter.

Tickets are available via the festival’s website.

It’s day 2 of #14DaysofLove and we have something very special for you. Here’s a little YouTube treat in the shape of a Quickfire Q&A with Holly. We asked you for your questions and Holly answered them.

We love it – and hope you do too!

Read an exclusive extract from Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne at http://bit.ly/1RcGJ74.

OCD Awareness Week

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Hello! We’ve hijacked Holly’s tumblr today for OCD Awareness Week, a global campaign to promote
awareness and understanding of OCD. We wanted to share an exclusive extract with you from Am I Normal Yet? – it’s one that definitely made us think about the language of mental health, as well as the many misconceptions of OCD. We’ve asked Holly to introduce it: 

“I’ve been blown away by how one section of Am I Normal Yet? has resonated with my readers. It’s Evie’s rant about how we use the language of mental health. So, to celebrate #OCDAwarenessWeek, here’s the extract. Let’s try and stamp this language out. As Evie, and so many others of you out there know, OCD is not being neat and tidy!

– Holly x”

WHAT REALLY ANNOYS ME ABOUT PEOPLE AND MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS

I don’t really “get” angry. If I’m going to be emotional, I do
sad. Crying. Not swearing and yelling and punching walls.
Apart from about this.
Sarah once told me about the “dark ages” of public
awareness, where people didn’t really know much about
mental health problems. And what they did know was
mostly wrong. There was loads of MISINFORMATION and
STIGMA and it was really terrible and everyone suffered in
silence for ages, not knowing what was wrong, and not
seeking help because they didn’t understand what their
brain was doing to them and why.
But then we decided we needed to CHANGE THE WAY
WE THINK about mental illness. Huge awareness campaigns
were set up. A few soaps gave their characters depression
and whatnot, following each episode with a voiceover saying,
“If you’ve been upset by anything seen on this programme,
go to this website and yadda yadda yadda.” Slowly, but surely,
mental health eked its way into the public consciousness.
People began to learn the names of conditions. People began
to understand the symptoms. People began to say the oh-soimportant
phrase “it’s not their fault”. There was SYMPATHY and UNDERSTANDING. Even some politicians and celebs
came out, as it were, and told national newspapers about
their own suicide attempts or whatever.
We couldn’t stop there, could we?

I can say, with some confidence, that it’s gone too far the
other way. Because now mental health disorders have gone
“mainstream”. And for all the good it’s brought people like
me who have been given therapy and stuff, there’s a lot of
bad it’s brought too.
Because now people use the phrase OCD to describe
minor personality quirks. “Oooh, I like my pens in a line,
I’m so OCD.”
NO YOU’RE NOT.
“Oh my God, I was so nervous about that presentation,
I literally had a panic attack.”
NO YOU DIDN’T.
“I’m so hormonal today. I just feel totally bipolar.”
SHUT UP, YOU IGNORANT BUMFACE.
Told you I got angry.
These words – words like OCD and bipolar – are not
words to use lightly. And yet now they’re everywhere. There
are TV programmes that actually pun on them. People smile
and use them, proud of themselves for learning them, like
they should get a sticker or something. Not realizing that if
those words are said to you by a medical health professional,
as a diagnosis of something you’ll probably have for ever,
they’re words you don’t appreciate being misused every single
day by someone who likes to keep their house quite clean.

People actually die of bipolar, you know? They jump in
front of trains and tip down bottles of paracetamol and
leave letters behind to their devastated families because
their bullying brains just won’t let them be for five minutes
and they can’t bear to live with that any more.
People also die of cancer.
You don’t hear people going around saying: “Oh my God,
my headache is so, like, tumoury today.”
Yet it’s apparently okay to make light of the language of
people’s internal hell. And it makes me hate people because
I really don’t think they get it.
“Oh, you have OCD. That’s the thing where you like to
wash your hands a lot, right?”
It annoys me that I’ve got the most clichéd “version” of
OCD. The stereotypical one. But it’s not like I chose it. And,
yes, I do like to wash my hands a lot. Or did. Well, I still
want to, every second of the day, but I don’t. But I also lost
two stone because I refused to eat anything in case it
contaminated me and I died. And I have a brain on a
permanent loop of bad thoughts that I cannot escape so I’m
technically imprisoned in my own mind. And I once didn’t
leave the house for eight weeks.
That is not just liking to wash your hands.
No, you don’t have OCD too.
If you had OCD, you wouldn’t tell people about it.
Because, quite simply, despite all this good work, some
people Still. Don’t. Get. It.

EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT taken from Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne.

WIN a signed limited edition of Am I Normal Yet? with Maximum Pop!

We’ve teamed up with the fab Maximum Pop! to give you the chance to win a signed LIMITED EDITION of Am I Normal Yet?.

Want to get your hands on one of these little beauties? Maximum Pop! have 10 to giveaway. For a chance to win head over to the Maximum Pop! website.

Good luck!