Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Alwyn Hamilton's favourite things & signed Rebel of the Sands giveaway

It's brilliant to be part of the YA Shot blog tour and to host one of my favourite authors!

YA Shot is a YA and MG festival that raises money to run a year-long programme pairing libraries and schools for free author events, with an emphasis on books and opportunities for all. YA Shot is a one day annual festival running on Saturday 22nd October 2016 in London. Around 70 authors sign their books and run panels, workshops and in conversation events. You can follow
this link to buy tickets and find out more or follow @AlexiaCasale on Twitter.

You've probably already read the fantastic 'Rebel of the Sands' by Alwyn Hamilton (and if you haven't you really should!) What you might not know is that Alwyn is a pop culture master. She's kindly agreed to share her favourite YA characters and other recommendations through the medium of Gifs. Details about the giveaway follow. Enjoy!

Favourite YA Characters on Screen

Mulan from Mulan
Umm…best Disney character ever obviously.

Nancy from Stranger Things

I just finished watching Stranger Things on Netflix and fell head over heels for Nancy, the older sister who gets embroiled in the mystery when her best friend goes missing. She goes from a naïve nerdy girl just beginning to become popular to a stone cold badass who will point a loaded pistol at you if you get in her way.

Olive from Easy A 

So let’s be real, the true heroes of that movie are Olive’s parents. But from her quick snappy way of talking to the guts to own her reputation once she had acquired it rather than curl up and cry, Olive has my respect in this movie. And I would happily be her BFF when hers dumps her to get churchy on her.

Caroline Forbes from The Vampire Diairies 

I started off, like everyone else, thinking Caroline Forbes was around to fill the role of the bitchy blonde bimbo to Elena’s relatable Brunette. But then came the moment where a sobering up Caroline, head down on a restaurant table, asks, “Do you ever feel like there’s not a person in the world who loves you?” Which was the beginning to all of Caroline’s Hidden Depth on the road to her becoming a badass who pushes men twice her size into trees when rescuing her friends.

Bellamy Blake from The 100 

I mean…the Abs, the face…need I say more? Ok there’s also the fact that he is ultra protective of the people he cares about and develops from narcissistic coward to fearless leader.

Buffy Summers from Buffy The Vampire Slayer 

She’s the Slayer with the Sass. Enough said.

 Veronica Mars from Veronica Mars

She’s the PI with the Sass…Enough Said.

Favourite Adult Character in TV or Film

Lesley Knope from Parks and Recreation 

Relentlessly optimistic feminist icon. Need I say more?

Dr. Mindy Lahiri from The Mindy Project 

Mindy Lahiri might seem, to the uniniated, like some cliché ditzy gilr chasing love from a rom com. But she’s actually a badass doctor who is exceptional at her job and is willing to make a fool of herself for love and doesn’t feel the need to apologize for the girlier parts of herself.

Detective Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn 99 

I’m scared to talk about Rosa she might punch me in the face.

Robin Scherbotsky from How I met your Mother 

She’s a fellow Canuck who never feels the need to put her life on hold for a man even though that is basically the whole concept of the show she’s on. There is so much greatness to get into with Robin I don’t know where to start…she sparkles basically.

Poe Dameron from Star Wars: The Force Awakens 

Someone wrote a whole article somewhere on the perfection that is Poe Dameron. Find it and report back please.

Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Carribean

It’s Captain, Captain Jack Sparrow.

Favourite YA characters in Books – Current
(And we descend into less easily gifable, and yet I soldier on!)

Kestrel Trajan from The Winner’s Curse 

She’s a warrior girl who fights with her brains instead of with brawn.

Nina Zenik from Six of Crows 

I’m not sure if I want to go out and eat cake and try on dresses with Nina or flatten armies with her. Both maybe?

Marigold from It’s a Yuletide Miracle Charlie Brown short story
in My True Love Gave to me Anthology 

I read this story over and over each Christmas and I love it as much every time. Marigold is the perfect mix of vulnerable and strong and hopeful but realistic that I want in my YA contemporaries.

Kat Bishop from Heist Society 

Any girl who can form a crew of teenager Ocean’s 11 style thieves after conning her way into a boarding school is my kinda gal.

Day from Legend 

Another criminal on this list, doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons and overturning corrupt governments in his path.

Cress from The Lunar Chronicles 

She’s so sweet and so innocent and so naïve that you can’t help but love her!

Eleanor Fitt from Something Strange and Deadly 

Eleanor is a girl who has to step up in a judgey society that is not used to girls stepping up.

Vivian Apple from Vivian Vs. The Apocalypse 

I feel like if there was an apocalypse I would basically be Vivian Apple in this situation. Or maybe I just HOPE I would be as awesome as Vivian. Also she has a baseball Bat.

Favourite YA characters in Books – That I read as a YA

Harry Crewe/Harimad Sol from The Blue Sword 

Oh Harry Crewe, how I love you, let me count the ways. Ok, there’s no time to count all of them.

Apart from her desert setting that she and Amani both belong to, there is a line that always sticks with me from The Blue Sword. Where it’s mused upon by another character how proud and unwilling Harry is to show weakness. I remember reading that line and being determined to become more like her. And I think a piece of that is in every female character I have ever created, including Amani.

Alanna of Trebond from The Song of the Lionness 

I think I talk about Alanna more than I talk about Amani most days. Alanna was the first heroine I ever encountered who looked at the sexist society around her and decided to subvert it by disguising herself as a man to prove her worth. Every cross dressing heroine since, including mine, is compared to her in my mind.

Ella from Ella Enchanted

You’d think a girl who has to do what she is told would be a shrinking violet…instead she’s Ella!

Countess Meliara (a.k.a Mel) from Crown Duel

Another Fiery Red Head on the list. Is it any wonder I desperately wanted to be a red head as a kid?

Cimorene from The Enchanted Forrest Chronicles

I couldn’t not give a shout out to this princess who refuses the fate of being married to someone she can’t stand, and goes off to live with dragons instead. As you do.

Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire

Stick them with the pointy end Arya!

Favourite YA book to film adaptation/s

Catching Fire

Hunger Games book was better than the first movie, but with a bigger budget and added stakes…we get this beauty!

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl

I cried every tear in my body watching this movie. I loved it.

The Princess Diaries

Mia Thermopolis. Iconic.


One of very few movies I think might be better than the book…I mean, it has Sigourney Weaver!

Favourite Webseries

I mean everyone has seen this one right? It’s a pitch perfect retelling of Pride and Prejudice via Web Videos. Watching this as it aired was pure torture waiting for Darcy!

This is the only show that deconstructs pop culture to the same extent I do. Best episodes for me are the Disney ones.

I’m not even into Video Games and I loved this one!

It’s the story of 2 actors who keep being cast along side each other in roles that require them to kiss in the rain and the gradual development of their off screen relationship.


Thanks so much to Alwyn for that fantastic post! I feel the need to read and watch all of those things immediately, but first onto the giveaway!

Alwyn has kindly offered a signed copy of Rebel of the Sands to celebrate YA Shot! To enter, all you have to do is leave your name and Twitter handle in the comments.

Important update - this giveaway has now ended and the winner has been announced on Twitter. Thank you to everyone who took part!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I would love to win a copy. Would celebrate and cry for joy. :D

  3. Aleksander Cristea (@Alek_Cristea)

  4. What a great post :) This was such an interesting and unique interview!
    Isabella Borsutzky @nochmehrbuecher

  5. Oh yeah, thank you for the awesome giveaway <3 My Twitter handle is @theworddigger

  6. I'm really looking forward to this book!!!
    Theresa Snyder - @TheresaJSnyder

  7. Really excited to finally read this!
    Ingeyla Karim @IngiRKSnob