It’s been a while since I updated my blog (it’s had a little change around, you might have noticed, that’s still happening so it’s not 100% updated just yet, bare with us)
However, that’s not the point of this blogpost today at all. As a lot of you are probably aware from watching my vlogs (and all my other social media lol) I’m currently on holiday, and i figured a lot of you guys are probably about to go away as well, so I thought I’d recommend a book to you that I know you’d all love and that I’ve been lucky enough to work with in a bit more depth.
This book is ‘The Moonlight Dreamers’, written (very well) by Siobhan Curham. I would only ever recommend something if I 100% loved it, and when it was sent to me I started it with an open mind and instantly was hooked! It’s one of those books you just can’t put down until it’s over and even then you’re still left wanting more. It tells a tale of friendship as well as covering every single other teenage issue you could possibly have from boyfriends, to the pressures of social media, to homophobia, honestly it covers everything and more and I really recommend it! I think I loved it so much because I can definitely relate to it, and it gives across a message that I already use and think about a lot, the following of dreams and believing that you can, a lot of you guys might recognise my Instagram and twitter bio’s: “If you can imagine it, you can make it happen” and this book gives across a very similar message! As well as this I was actually lucky enough to be able to ask the author a few questions about it, things that if you read the book you might want to know the answer to as well:
Was Oscar Wilde an inspiration of yours before writing this book?
Before writing The Moonlight Dreamers I was a real fan of Oscar Wilde quotes. ‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars’ was a kind of personal motto for me. But it wasn’t until I’d decided to make Amber from The Moonlight Dreamers a devoted fan of Wilde’s that I really became familiar with his life and work and he became a true inspiration to me too.
If you had to pick your own favourite Oscar Wilde quote which would you chose?
This changes all the time, depending on the mood I’m in, but at the moment it’s this one, which forms the starting point for The Moonlight Dreamers sequel: ‘With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?’
3) You covered a lot of issues many teenagers go through in this book. Which do you think is most prominent in society for young people today and why did you chose to cover it in your book?
I think maybe it’s the pressure on young adults to conform to certain definitions of ‘normal’. There’s so muchpressure to all be the same and look the same and wear the same fashions and hair-styles etc. And you can be made to feel a freak if you don’t fit in with those definitions. That’s why I created the character of Amber – someone who’s defiantly different. She dresses in vintage men’s clothes and styles her hair in a quiff and she lives with her two gay dads. She gets bullied for being different but she doesn’t give in to the pressure to conform. The biggest theme of The Moonlight Dreamers is the power of female friendship and how the girls support each other in being their true selves and holding fast to their dreams. I wanted to create something that would help counteract all the pressures on girls to dull themselves down and play small.
4) Being a social media influencer myself I saw a lot of relatable issues especially to do with body image and sending photos online. Why do you think that’ s something that’s effecting teenagers now more then ever before, other than the advance in social media?
I think that the rise in celebrity culture has a lot to do with it. There’s so much pressure on celebrities to look a certain way and if they don’t they get slated in the media and online and this attitude trickles down to the rest of us. The worst thing about it is that so often the photos we see of celebrities have been heavily air-brushed. So we’re being pressurized to look like images that aren’t even real.
5) I saw a lot of myself in Maali’s character. If you had to pick one Moonlight Dreamer most similar to yourself who would you pick and why?
Ah, that makes me instantly like you, as I loved writing Maali! I think Sky is probably the most similar to me as I’m a bit of a hippy at heart and I’d love to live on a house-boat.
5) The fact that you set the book in London opened a door for it to become very open to multicultural and modern. I especially loved Maali’s and Amber’s characters, showing how anyone from any background can become friends. Why do you think it is that this should be addressed more?
I think we’re living in quite scary times politically with a lot of racism and fear. By creating Maali, who is devoted to her spiritual faith, I was trying to show that religion isn’t something to be suspicious of. None of the other Moonlight Dreamers are religious but they’re open-minded enough to accept Maali and there end up being several occasions when they benefit from her spiritual perspective on things. I think this should be addressed more in YA literature because many teens are religious and yet they get very little representation in books. And being friends with people from very different backgrounds can be such an enriching thing.
6) Something I know I’d love to know the answer to is will there be a second book? I read this one over two days and literally could not put it down. Are the cards on the table for a second Moonlight Dreamers? I’d love to know what they all get up to next!
Thank you so much! It’s so lovely to get this kind of feedback, especially as I’m just putting the finishing touches to the sequel! So yes, there will be. It’s called Tell it to the Moon and it will be out next year. I’ll give you a little exclusive teaser – one of the Moonlight Dreamers ends up becoming a vlogger! (this makes me very excited omg)
8) Where did your original inspiration for the book come from? And when writing the book did you have a clearly set plot line from when you began writing or did you get inspiration as you went along?
I’d wanted to write something about the importance of female friendship and daring to dream for a long time. When I was at uni I had a crisis of confidence and ended up dropping out and giving up on my writing dream for several years. Now I see that your teenage years are when you need your dreams the most. Your life goals can literally become life rafts, carrying you through the difficult times. I also wanted to do things a little differently with The Moonlight Dreamers – having four main characters instead of one and including Tumblr posts, poems and recipes to keep the format fresh and interesting. I didn’t have a rigid plot at the beginning but I did work out a rough storyline for each of the girls – what their dreams were, the challenges they’d face and how they’d come together to help each other.
Thank you so much to Siobhan and her team for sending these over, it honestly makes me SOO excited that there’s going to be a sequel because I loved this first book so much and I know a lot of you guys would do as well! I’m going to leave a link HERE to were you can buy the book, it’s such a nice and easy read I’d definitely recommend giving it a go over summer as it really does change the way you look at the world around you!
I’m going to leave you with that today guys, in the hope that some of you go out and read the book and maybe look up a few Oscar Wilde quotes! For those of you also on holiday, I hope you’re all enjoying your summer and I’ll (try and) be back with another post very soon!