I am so excited to welcome the dynamic duo behind A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY, Tom & Lucy, to the blog so they can share their favorite books!
1. Just William - Richmal Crompton. This was the first book that made me realize how much fun reading can be. It's a series about a mischievous English schoolboy, William Brown, in the 1930s and 1940s, who loves nothing more than coming up with crazy plans and having fun with his friends. I read these books when I was probably 10 or 11, and saw William as a proper hero - he was always very anti-establishment; always in trouble with teachers and his parents, and I remember wanting to be just like him!
2. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and 3/4 - Sue Townsend. This is basically the Bible of awkward teenage comedy. It's a "diary" written by a pretentious, unlucky-in-love, socially awkward British teenager called Adrian Mole. Serious laugh-out-loud comic writing. Reading this for the first time made me realize I wanted to write funny books.
3. Molesworth - Geoffrey Willians & Ronald Searle. Yet ANOTHER funny, old British book about ridiculous, badly-behaved schoolboys...! I read this when I was probably about 13 or 14, and it was the first time I realized a book could be capable of causing uncontrollable laughter. It's the story of Nigel Molesworth, a scruffy, over-imaginative, and usually quite grumpy, public schoolboy, who talks the reader through all aspects of his life, from how to avoid the craziest teachers, to how to attract girls. As well as finding it extremely funny, I also remember (as a 13-year-old) being struck by how deep it was, since it contained lines like: "History started badly and hav been getting steadily worse" and "Grown ups are what's left when skool is finished."
4. At Swim-Two-Birds - Flann O'Brien. This is probably my all-time favorite book. It was written in 1939, and it's the story of a disheveled, permanently drunk, Irish student who tries to write three different novels, only to find that his characters’ start getting away from him and embarking on lives of their own. It switches between insane fantasy and brilliantly grubby reality, and contains such amazing lines as: "My uncle went out to the hall, sending back his voice back to annoy me in his absence".
5. Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling. We have tons of Harry Potter references in A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY, and this is probably my favorite book of the series. It's got it all - the Tri-Wizard Cup, the lake, the dragons, the ball, Ron wearing that ridiculous gown... Everything. Plus, I really fancy Fleur.
6. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith. I think this is one of the most beautiful books ever written. It’s about what it really means to love somebody. It’s about heartbreak and growing up and family. It’s beautiful and perfect and is the first book I felt really spoke to me and what I was thinking and feeling.
7. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen. It’s the most famous for a reason. So many imitations but nothing ever quite matches it.
8. Ariel - Sylvia Plath I studied this when I was seventeen. It has notes I swapped with my friends in class all over it. It just reminds me of school in a way no other book does.
9. Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare. I studied this in year nine and all I could think about was how much I wanted to feel that way about someone else.
10. The Tiger That Came to Tea - Judith Kerr. A tiger just casually turns up for tea and no one really thinks it’s weird. It’s so mental. I just love it.
Make sure you check out the website: atotallyawkwardlovestory.com
You can make your own cover to share with your friends!
About A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY:
The summer before college Hannah is finally going to find The One. Then again, meeting him in the master bathroom of a house party--definitely not romantic. But for five perfect minutes, she's found him. She just wishes she caught his name, because "Toilet Boy Cinderella" really lacks sex appeal.
Sam is over the moon that he met this strange and hilarious girl at a house party. Of course, with his luck, it couldn't last--without knowing her name, he'll probably never see her again, and remain a girlfriendless moony-eyed virgin. Forever. What follows is a summer hell-bent on keeping Sam and Hannah apart. For two people so clearly destined for one another, they sure have a lot of trouble even getting together.
Filled with madcap, hilarious moments, and deep romance, A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY will have teens and adults laughing-out-loud as they commiserate with Sam and Hannah, and remember their own awkward moments. Bustle hailed the book as “totally relatable” and one that will transport adult readers “back to your awkward teenage years.” With Ellen writing Sam’s parts of the story and Ivison writing Hannah’s, A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY has a truly authentic feel and is the perfect balance of humor and heart that all readers will enjoy.
TOM ELLEN AND LUCY IVISION met at the end of high school and quickly became sweethearts. Though they broke up in college, they remain best friends. Lucy runs the online teen magazine Whatever After and teaches in girls’ schools across London, specializing in building confidence and creativity. Tom is a journalist and has written for Time Out, Vice, ESPN, Glamour, and many other publications. They cowrote A Totally Awkward Love Story, which was partially inspired by their own high school relationship. This is their first novel. Follow Lucy on Twitter at @lucyivison
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