February 15, 2021
Blurb: Written by a thirteen-year-old author, this exciting and captivating page-turner transports you into the fascinating story of sixteen-year-old aspiring singer Fiona Watson who runs away from her family, oblivious to the dangers outside her shielded comfort zone. As she journeys through her new world, leaving her past behind and determined to find a new identity, she uncovers surprising secrets buried deep within her long ago…
How do her new friends link to her past? What secrets are they hiding behind their misleading smiles? How much of herself has she really left behind? And how will she cope when she realises that she has made a huge mistake… one that could ruin her forever?
On her sixteenth birthday. Fiona runs away from peer pressure and parents, who do not understand her, to chase her dream of becoming a singer. Fiona has some incredibly lucky escapes from the dangers of the grown-up world and is fortunate to meet new friends who help her achieve her goals. Some of these new friends are unexpectedly tied to Fiona’s past. These connections slowly reveal themselves throughout the story to unearth family secrets.
Legal Crime is a complete story. I found the narrating confusing in the first part of the book, but this could be because I am not a young adult, and the format and language is aimed at that age group. I could picture the characters and visualise the story, Samiksha ties up the ends of this story beautifully, which I found to be very enjoyable. Samiksha started this story at 7 years old and evolved and completed Legal Crime at the age of 13 years, which I find inspirational. How many of us wrote stories as a child or dreamed of writing a book? I know I did, I still romanticise about sitting down to write a novel. If Samiksha continues to develop I genuinely believe she could become a great author.
I give Legal Crime 4 stars.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Guest Post from the Author
Hello! My name is Samiksha and I’m a thirteen-year-old author from London. I recently found out that I am the youngest YA author in the UK, so that’s really exciting for me! I’m super happy to be here with you today so that I can talk about my publishing journey as a teenager and hopefully inspire you to start writing
My debut novel, Legal Crime, was recently published this year and is a YA contemporary-thriller following the story of runaway teenager Fiona , touching on themes such as underage drinking, drug consumption, bereavement and suicide. It focuses on peer pressure and the struggles of being a teenager and highlights the importance of family and true friends.
I started writing the novel when I was seven… but to be perfectly honest, I had no idea that six years later, my book would be published and shared around the globe! I genuinely thought that I could not write a story any longer than ten pages, but I’m glad that I kept carrying on with the story. It’s been a really long journey and I’m so happy that I am able to share it with the world, and I will definitely be continuing with writing; I love it as much as reading!
However, I, like most authors, came across the dreaded wall of writer’s block at times. I just didn’t feel motivated enough to continue writing, or I just couldn’t think about what could possibly happen next. What I found helped me was eating, meditating… and of course, reading! I also tried to sleep on it, but sleep doesn’t come that easily to me because I have insomnia.
I really enjoyed the experience of being able to craft my own world and let my imagination run free, creating a new universe to add to the multiverse of books. However, writing Legal Crime took many years (I took breaks because of schoolwork and exam preparation), and it was difficult to come up with a writing style that suited me and addressed the difficult side to being a teenager. I hope that now, the writing style of Legal Crime reflects on the mind of a confused teenager and the hard life decisions that she makes!
The publishing industry was far different than what I thought it would be: I just thought that you needed to email a book to any random publisher and it was printed and became a bestseller the next day.
Sadly, this is not how the publishing industry works. I researched a lot and when I finally got a vague idea as to how it all worked, I told my parents that I had written a book and it was accepted by the first publisher that my book was submitted to, two days after my thirteenth birthday!
I feel that in order to get more teenagers published, which I would love to see, we need to encourage them and educate them about the publishing world. I have spoken to many teenagers who feel that they just can’t publish a novel, or don’t know that it is legal for people their age to become authors! I’ve also seen articles discouraging teenagers from publishing their work because we ‘don’t have enough life experience’ or ‘haven’t learnt enough’ and although this is true to a certain extent, it is no reason to not become a teen author. Why can’t teens write books for other teens? Also, teenagers writing books, regardless of whether they are published or not, is a great life experience and is an enjoyable way to pass time!
Writing is also a wonderful way to connect with other amazing authors – I am honoured to have received messages and best wishes from so many of my favourite authors including Karen M. McManus (One of Us is Lying), Louis Sacher (Holes), Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns), Cathy Cassidy (The Chocolate Box Girls), Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), C.L Taylor (The Island), Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together), J.Elle (Wings of Ebony) and Kathryn Evans (Beauty Sleep). All authors are an inspiration to me for doing what they do the best – creating fantastic worlds and bringing them to life with writing.
I’m definitely going to be writing more books… in fact, I’m currently writing a YA dystopian fantasy! More details coming soon…
Thank you for reading this, if you want to connect with me you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or via Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21266746.Samiksha_Bhattacharjee), visit my website (https://www.legalcrime.co.uk), subscribe to my newsletter (https://www.legalcrime.co.uk/subscribe) and follow Legal Crime’s FB page (www.facebook.com/legalcrimeuk). Also, you can add Legal Crime to Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57369118-legal-crime.