REVIEWS & WRITING: EPISODE III | ARCs Edition – Sawkill Girls, Floored & A Sky Painted Gold

SHOCK, I’m back on my blog in a timely manner! So I’ve recently had the pleasure of reading some ARCs provided to be by lovely publishers and thought I’d get the reviews up before I lose track of time and it becomes another manic, ridiculous amount of half-remembered reviews. HERE WE GO.


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Name: Sawkill Girls
Author: Claire Legrand
Genres: YA, Paranormal
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: Shrina at Harper360YA
Rating: ★★★★★
Release: 22nd October 2018

I received a proof copy from Harper360YA in exchange for an honest review.

Probably more of a 4.5-4.75 because there were a few questionable choices here and there, but overall, this book was everything I wanted. It has on-page Ace rep, Bi rep, and an F/F romance. Much like Legrand said on Goodreads this book is all about girls. Girls loving themselves, each other and their family. It’s about friendship, overcoming obstacles and realising who you are. 

So here’s a baseline. Someone or something is killing girls on the island of Sawkill Rock, so when Marion and her sister move there, they too are drawn into the mystery and the drama along with Zoey, the daughter of the Sheriff and Val, youngest in a long line of the matriarchal Mortimer family. These three are the POVs we see throughout and, honestly, I loved them all.

This book has a spoopy, halloween, paranormal feel to it, and honestly, there were times when I was slightly terrified and/or disgusted, but it wasn’t exactly horror either. I adore Legrand’s writing, but found it so very different from her recent release, Furyborn – more lyrical at times and abstract. My favourite sections were actually that of Sawkill Rock, the personified force of the island who is given brief, one-page prose sections overlooking the girls’ journey.

“The Rock felt its daughters’ feet beat angry paths into its ravaged flesh,
and sent out its call, and waited for them to wake up.”

Also, huge shout out to Legrand’s sly mentions of smashing the patriarchy because it made me laugh out loud so many times, even in the tense moments.


Name: Floored
Author: Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson & Eleanor Wood
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Macmillan
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: Beatrice at My Kinda Book
Rating: ★★★★
10th July 2018

I received a proof copy from My Kinda Book in exchange for an honest review.

This book had such an interesting concept, and I got a sampler last summer at YALC, so as soon as ARCs became available, I requested it. I’m actually on the blog tour next week so look out for my post!

Seven authors collaborated to create this novel about six teens thrown together in a lift when tragedy strikes, and how their lives keep intersecting as they grow up and realise who they are and who they want to be. The novel follows them for five years, with each character having a chapter each, plus one chapter for the “narrator” which summarises what is happening in everyone’s lives at the time.

The Characters
Dawson: the child star | Kaitlyn: the fangirl | Sasha: the dutiful daughter
Hugo: the asshole | Velvet: the fraud | Joe: the swot

The thing I loved most about this is that more than anything, it explored the idea of growing up and finding out your journey, which can be so different from those around you. You do not have one path. You do not have to go to university. You do not have to do what your best friend since you were four years old is doing. You do not have to stay friends with the same people you went to school with. Each of the six characters follow completely different paths from each other and from their “home friends” and I find that so refreshing and reassuring. I wish everyone could read this book when they’re 16 and being told that they have to have their lives figured out because guess what, you don’t. And, if you do, it probably won’t go to plan anyway!

“They all felt it, that itch – the realisation that there’s more to life than this. That you can be
with people that you want to be with. Not people that you 
have to be with through circumstance
or mere geography – family, teachers, colleagues – but people who are willing to make room
for you in their lives when they don’t have to.”

Bonus points for disability rep, LGBT rep, lower socio-economic classes rep, literally so much rep because each of the six characters is so drastically different. Also set in Manchester which I’ve never seen before in YA and was awesome because I live there.

61AnND5DVBL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgName: A Sky Painted Gold
Author: Laura Wood
Genres: YA, Historical
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: Northern YA Lit Fest
Rating: ★★★★★
5th July 2018

I received a proof copy at the Northern YA Lit Fest in exchange for an honest review.

I think this was my favourite June read. I was so lost in the world Wood created and completely swept away right alongside the protagonist Lou, into this Gatsby-esque, high society world. The Cornish setting was a great bonus and gave me And Then There Were None vibes (which is like totally wrong because this isn’t a murder mystery, though Lou is obsessed with Agatha Christie). I’m actually still in the *heart eyes* faze where it’s difficult to articulate my feelings for this book but I’ll do my best.

“I found the Cardew House, a house full of shadows, and I knew,
with a huge sense of relief, that I belonged there.”

Lou is from an ordinary Cornish family, expected to grow up, get married and never leave her village, until she is thrown into the world of the infamous socialites, the Cardews, whose summer home is located on an island just over the causeway from her home. From there she is thrown into a whirlwind, rural summer in the roaring 20s, full of love, family, friendship, and jazz. I fell in love with so many of these characters and I just want everyone to read this and fall as deeply in love with them as I am.

The story is addictive, woven beautifully and honestly, I loved every second and would re-read it immediately if I hadn’t loaned it to Ellie.


Okay, good news. I sadly haven’t started writing again, BUT I have a fresh new project that is making me really excited. I don’t want to talk about it yet, but it’s very different from TSH and a lot more chilled out and fun which is a lot less pressure. Hopefully, it’ll get me back into the swing of writing and then I can smash TSH out of the park.

Also considering going back to my fanfic writing… unsure as of yet but a new chapter may be on the horizon…

next week

  • Soon, I will be starting my ARC of All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth which I will be buddy reading with my girl, Ellie.
  • And just to keep with my mermaids and pirates theme, Louise O’Neill’s The Surface Breaks, just in time for YALC at the end of the month!


How’s your week been? What have you read? Have you posted any reviews? Let me know in the comments – feel free to leave links!

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3 thoughts on “REVIEWS & WRITING: EPISODE III | ARCs Edition – Sawkill Girls, Floored & A Sky Painted Gold

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