Monthly Archives: February 2011

Blog Tour/Guest Post: Sophia Bennett’s Cover Story

I am so pleased to welcome Sophia Bennett, talking about the cover for the third book in the Threads series – Sequins, Stars and Spotlights!

When Threads originally came out in 2009, Chicken House ran a competition forreaders to design their own outfit, inspired by Crow’s ‘Swan’ dress. The prize was forthe winning outfit to be professionally made by Tammy, and for the winner to visit afashion show with me. Which meant I got to visit a fashion show. Yay!

Hundreds of people entered and in the end we chose a pink dress (technically ‘nude’, according to the fashionistas on the panel, and ‘very next season’) with a delicate corsage of flowers and sequins. It was duly made, worn by a model in a fashion shoot for Bliss, and given to the winner, Jewel (yes, her real name), aged 11, to keep.
More than a year later, when the time came to choose a dress for the cover of Sequins,we trawled through hundreds of images on the internet. So many, in fact, that I became bored of looking at them. The day actually came when I was tired of looking at dresses! After several weeks, I suddenly thought of Jewel’s dress and realised it was better, more photogenic and closer to what we were after, than any of the designs we’d been looking at.

Luckily, my publisher and the designer agreed, and got Jewel to lend us her dress for a photograph. And there it is. Beautiful in its own right, but extra lovely for me because I had a great day choosing the competition winner and another one meeting Jewel at the V&A to go to that fashion show together. Even though she was only 11 she was so cool that Scott Schuman, one of the most famous style bloggers in the world, asked if he could photograph her that day.

Covers matter so much. (I’ll be writing more about them later in this tour …) So far ,I’ve heard only good reactions to this one, but that hasn’t always been true. The first two seem to provoke a love/hate relationship in readers (except in Brazil, where the Threads cover is universally adored, for some reason). You’d never guess I originally wanted a mannequin, a spotlight and a machine gun on Threads, but I did. As you can see, I was massively outvoted. Perhaps rightly.

I’m very fond of the dress on Beads, Boys & Bangles because it was designed by a graduate of Central St Martins called Tanielle Lobo, who I got to know when I visited her show. But I think everything’s come together best in the new book. The series is all about the joy of making things, and there’s a lot of joy (and a Jewel) woven into this cover. And I prefer the hanger on this one! Don’t get me started on hangers …

Thank you so much Sophia! And why on earth a machine gun?!

Want to see where else Sophia has been? The blog tour schedule is as follows:


Win Sequins, Stars and Spotlights by Sophia Bennett

Threads is a fabulous series written by Sophia Bennett, and Sequins, Stars and Spotlights is the third book in the series. You can read my review, here.

Thank you so much to Sophia for providing the book for this giveaway, and so kindly visiting the blog 🙂

The giveaway is UK only, and the deadline is 28th February. The winner will be notified by the 2nd March, asking for your mailing address and a dedication to be added to the book by Sophia! 🙂

You can enter by clicking here!

Sequins, Stars and Spotlights by Sophia Bennett

Check back tomorrow for a great post from Sophia Bennett herself, as part of the Sequins blog tour!

Title: Sequins, Stars and Spotlights
Author: Sophia Bennett
Published: 7th February 2011
Format: Finished Paperback
Pages: 323
RRP: £6.99
Rating: 12/13+

Now in their last school year, best friends Nonie, Jenny, Edie and Crow are so close to beginning glittering careers. So why do their challenges suddenly seem overwhelming?
The girls have choices to make. Who will wait for fame and success? Who will emerge an outright star? Who will fall in love? And who will turn her back on all her dreams?

Sophia Bennett keeps the loveable tone of the past two books but adds a touch more real life to it – stress, essentially. This does not make the book less enjoyable though! I was close to tears several times during the book.

Now, I am a person who really loves the fashion industry, and would find it pretty cool to get a job in the industry, so this series has been a gem to me – so unrealistic to me (12 year old designer, 14 year old planning the fashion show?), but really enjoyable to read.

Bennett’s writing is fantastic, full of description and I can totally relate to exam stress, it makes it SO much more realistic with the added pressure in this book! Nevertheless, I love reading her books, I love love love the writing style and quality, and I love how she has developed the characters from young teens to young adults.

Nonie is just as sarcastic as she used to be, but she seems a lot more mature in some aspects. It took her a long time to realise that she should be focusing on school work, but hey, everyone has an element of procrastination in them.

Jenny, whom I thought was really shy/awkward in the first novel, in a good way – it was really contrasting to see a more reserved “star”, is now a fully fledged Hollywood star, with the drama to match. Cliche? Not so. She is full of secrets too, and it was really interesting to find out more about her family life.

Edie… wow. After book two I thought she couldn’t get more generous, but she outdid herself. I am facinated by her perfectionism, and was shocked by some of her actions in this book…. SO fun to read – like I said, I was close to tears!

Ultimately, the characters have grown up, and matured a little. They are more developed than in the first book, and it’s really nice to have read all three and seen them essentially “grow up”.

Now, I couldn’t write this review without mentioning Crow! Aww she is so grown up, and when I found out she was 15 in this book, I was both happy and sad at the same time! I couldn’t believe she was such a grown up girl already :’) She definitely was developed well to show her growth. She had definitely changed in the aspect of attitude, and action. It was very realistic in the way.

Overall, for fans of the series, this is an absolute must read. For people who aren’t fans of the series, this is an absolute must read. For people who have not read the series, or not heard of it, I thoroughly recommend! You may expect a happy ending, but don’t go counting your eggs if you don’t have chickens!

*cluck cluck*

Plot: 9/10
Full to the brim with a captivating plot, interesting side plots and loads of events happening!
Writing Quality: 9/10
Fantastic writing quality
Originality: 10/10
I sure haven’t heard of another British series about realistically written about (is that a phrase?) teens involved with a  teen Ugandan designer?
Characters: 9/10
I love the characters to PIECES!
Descriptions: 9/10
Lovely descriptions, made it really fantastic to read!

46/50 = 92%


Thank you to Sophia for providing this copy for me to enjoy!