Lisa was born in Nottingham in 1980. She spent most of her childhood drawing, daydreaming and making up stories in her head (but never getting round to writing them down). As a teenager she was bitten by the acting bug and at 19 moved to London to study drama at university.
Following graduation, Lisa adopted the stage name of Lisa Cassidy and spent several happy and chaotic years occasionally getting paid to pretend to be other people. Between acting roles she worked as an office temp and started making up stories all over again, only this time she had a go at writing them down.
Lisa lives in Walthamstow, where she is lucky enough to split her time between writing and acting. In her spare time she reads a lot of books, continues to daydream and eats way too much ice cream.
Lisa’s and Mia’s Reading List
I just checked my to-read list on Goodreads. It has 271 books on it. I am officially ridiculous. In contrast, I doubt Mia, the heroine of my new novel All About Mia knows Goodreads even exists.
Mia Campbell-Richardson is many things, but a reader isn’t really one of them. She associates books and reading with her Oxbridge-bound older sister Grace, with whom she repeatedly clashes, and the English A level she’s barely scraping through. Mia is everything I wasn’t at sixteen – sexy, daring and confident, favouring drunken nights out with her mates over curling up with a good book. Behind all the bravado and attitude though, lies a fiercely bright girl desperately trying to make sense of her place in the world.
Here are three YA titles I’m most looking forward to getting stuck into in 2017, along with three titles I’d love to have a go at converting non-reader Mia with.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.
Holy moly, this sounds good. My Twitter feed is jam-packed with praise for this debut and I can’t wait to read it. Oh so timely, it already feels like a future classic. I’m told it’s shocking, funny and powerful and features some of the best flirting dialogue ever written. Sold!
The Fallen Children by David Owens
But change is coming…
I love how creepy and mysterious this sounds. Inspired by the Midwich Cuckoos and billed as ‘Stranger Things meets Asking For It’, this promises to be one of the most unique and unsettling YA novels of 2017.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder.
I’m so in love with this title. And how pretty is that pink and gold cover? A love story between selectively mute Steffi, and Rhys, who is deaf, this sounds both tender and original. It’s also been praised for its honest and sensitive depiction of anxiety and grief. I really rated Sara’s debut, Beautiful Broken Things so I can’t wait to get my hands on this one.
Truth or Dare by Non Pratt
Sef will do anything to help his brother. Claire wants to prove she isn’t a coward. Together they come up with a plan to raise money to pay for Sef’s brother through a ‘secret’ challenge channel on YouTube. As their videos gather views and internet fame beckons, Claire and Sef are about to discover what it really takes to be brave…
It’s no secret I adore Non’s writing. She just gets teenagers, writing dialogue that is fast, funny, fresh and true. Mia hates being patronized or talked down to so I reckon she’d be all over Non’s next offering, out in June.
The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
I recently read Yoon’s debut, Everything Everything and completely fell for her warm and inventive writing. Mia is a bit of a romance skeptic, but I reckon this love story, set over a single day might just have the potential to win her over.
Mafiosa By Catherine Doyle
Protected by an infamous mafia family, Sophie is living a dangerous lie, pretending to lead a normal life. But the deceit can’t last forever. Her heart belongs to a killer and Sophie’s the prime target of a rival clan. She’s determined to seek revenge on her mother’s murderers, but can she pay the price – can she be a mafiosa?
Cat’s writing is sexy, thrilling and full of twists and turns – just like Mia. Mia loves a bit of danger so I think this tale (the third in Cat’s US-set Blood for Blood trilogy), packed with action, intrigue and a squad of super hot brothers would be right up her street.
All About Mia is out now!
One family, three sisters.
GRACE, the oldest: straight-A student
AUDREY, the youngest: future Olympic swimming champion.
And MIA, the mess in the middle.
Mia is wild and daring, great with hair and selfies, and the undisputed leader of her friends – not attributes appreciated by her parents or teachers.
When Grace makes a shock announcement, Mia hopes that her now-not-so-perfect sister will get into the trouble she deserves.
But instead, it is Mia whose life spirals out of control – boozing, boys and bad behaviour – and she starts to realise that her attempts to make it All About Mia might put at risk the very things she loves the most.