This is the WASTED BLOG. For my main author website, click this link.

Awards: WASTED won the Read it or Else category in the Coventry Award and was runner-up in the North East Book Award. It is longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Manchester, Grampian, Angus, and RED Awards.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


I'd love to hear your views on Wasted. Just comment below. (But be kind to me: I'm very nervous about my book and it's only little and fragile. And so am I. Well, not very little, but...)

Some of you have already read the book and given feedback. I've pasted extracts below - THANK YOU!

If you can't comment below, do email me and my assistant at and we will post it here.

Link to Amazon reviews Here 

Link to The Scribbling SeaSerpent review here

Vanessa Robertson, bookseller - on Twitter @edinbookshop
 "Wasted is an outstanding book. If it doesn't sell hugely and win awards ... there's no justice."

Clare Donaldson – parent and reader
WOW! I was riveted, from the brilliant first chapter right through to the end.... I HAD to know how it (potentially!) ended. Sinister, chilling, contemporary, pacy, thought-provoking and highly original in presentation - if you don't have huge success with this there is something VERY wrong with the market.
My daughter, at 13, also raced through it and I was fascinated to see how excited she was by it - it's a while since I've seen that particular response from her.

Nikki Heath – school librarian
Oh, my gawd, Nicola! Your book arrived at work today and I brought it home to read. It was supposed to last the weekend but I just could not bring myself to put it down and only reluctantly did so to cook tea. I adore it. Love the apparent randomness that isn't, the sadness of the 2 mums and the alcoholic mum theme. 2 kids who could have been incredibly messed up but aren't. As for the coin, spookily I was chatting to a child about 'what if ... had happened' yesterday.

Would happily give it to both girls and lads. Want to go read it again NOW. Loved the way you chose the ending, too, as well as the partial repetitiveness of both choices. Makes it so much sadder and more poignant - much more hard hitting. Wow wow wow wow wow!!! Can see in my head a whole tribe of kids I want to give it to who I know will love it too!!!

It'll fly off the shelves! it's such a different format to others out there in a way and I LOVE it!!

Linzi Heads – school librarian
Wow! (More to follow!)

One magazine reviewer is writing a review – meanwhile she said “Wasted is the best thing you’ve done.”

Diana Esland – Head of English, The Mary Erskine School
.... The tensility of the narrative is gripping and there is a mixture of a kind of shadenfreude mixed with doubt that kept the plot on a tightrope between believability and the hope that there may be a happy ending.

From Lucy Coats - author
Just finished Wasted (and yes, I did play Jack’s Game and it came out heads). I can only say that I was hooked and entranced right from the first page and now I think even more than before about choices and whether or not they will make a difference—I was always horribly superstitious anyway. What a brilliant idea—I love it. And I love seeing all those different angles and aspects of the plot. In both real life and in my writing head I am constantly asking the question ‘what if?’ What would my life be/have been if….What would my characters do if…. Wasted is so absolutely my kind of book, and I know it’s going to get a lot of well-deserved praise and attention.

Iffath at lovereadingx blog – you are a genius! Wasted is awesome! (From Twitter)

Catherine Hughes – reader with teenagers (Also my assistant - but she reviewed it because she wanted to!)
I've read several of Nicola's books and this is the very best of them. I absolutely adored this book. … she writes about how it feels to be able to sing with such authenticity and feeling that it brought tears to my eyes. ... the appeal of the book for me lies mainly with its beautifully-drawn characters. I sang in a band as a teenager and I remember it well; 'Wasted' evokes those memories perfectly.

'Wasted' brings up classical myth (the story of Oedipus and his mother Jocasta) and blends it with quantum physics (Schrodinger's cat) and philosophy. There is, within this one book, huge food for thought and so much for me to to discuss with my children. ....

Jo Treggiari – author and reader, works with teenagers
I just finished Wasted. It kept me up for two nights .... I found it intriguing, exciting, and touching. .... I was so caught up in Jack and Jess's lives that at the end, when the reader is asked to flip a coin to determine what happens next, I was really nervous. Fantastic, thought-provoking read. Great writing.

Isla – teenage reader
I think “Wasted” is a really good book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I have never read anything like it before. I especially liked the parts of the book where there are two possible paths for the book to follow, with the slightest variations leading to huge differences in the story. … “Wasted” is definitely a book for deep thinkers. It makes you think of all the possibilities and consequences that could arise from your actions, even just by varying them in the tiniest way. It makes your mind boggle!

As I was reading “Wasted”, I found it hard to put it down! It was gripping and also slightly eerie, what with Kelly and her gang and the knives and the fortune-teller, Farantella. That brings me to the coin and Jack’s Game. What a unique idea!

I really enjoyed reading “Wasted” and would recommend it to other readers of my age or older. I think perhaps you should send a copy to my English teacher, to show her what kind of great books teenagers of this day and age should be reading!

Thank you, everyone - I'm overwhelmed and delighted. (So far...)


Colette said...

Nicola, will it be available in the US on May 3rd as well? I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

catdownunder said...

And I am already worrying about Spike's safety!

Nicola Morgan said...

Colette - it's not being published in the US yet (tell a US publisher to request buying the rights, please! but I think I'm right in saying that the Book Depository posts to anywhere in the world and I THINK postage is free.

Cat - Spike is fine! He is in safe hands!

Nicola Morgan said...

Comment from bookseller Vaness Robertson on Twitter:

"Wasted is an outstanding book. If it doesn't sell hugely and win awards and stuff there's no justice."

Oh, let's hope there's justice...

catdownunder said...

Er, thankyou!

womagwriter said...

I had an email from Amazon saying Wasted is going to be available earlier than expected, then just now I've had one saying my copy's been despatched! Looking forward to receiving it.

Damyanti said...

Sounds great, and after I've read it, will recommend it to your target audience...lads and lasses!
LOve your other blog, btw.

Nicola Morgan said...

womagwriter - hooray (and mysterious)!

damyanti - thank you!

womagwriter said...

It arrived in the post today!

Nicola Morgan said...

AMY, from St John's RC Community School in County Durham emailed me with this review. Thanks Amy! (You'll be hearing a lot more from that school later...)

"I’ve read many of Nicola Morgan’s young adult novels in the past, and they have consistently been good reads, but I have to say that Wasted has been my personal favourite! The story was great, with the many twists and unexpected turns that Jess and Jack’s relationship takes us, but the thing I absolutely loved was how Jack’s Game began to mess with my mind a little, too. Even when we know that tossing a coin can lead to an awful sense of paranoia, and we can see how it affects the characters’ lives, we still get drawn into the ‘what if’s. I think that’s what makes the book a little bit frightening – there are no real monsters, just an unnerving idea that maybe you would get drawn into the Game if you were in Jack or Jess’ place.

If you’re going to read any of Nicola Morgan’s books, read this one. No other book lets you – or Fate – decide how it will end. Who will be Wasted thanks to luck, love, and all those things that are out of our control? Toss a coin and find out."

womagwriter said...

My review here

thanks for a great read!

Nicola Morgan said...

womagwriter - that is a fabulous review, and all the more important because it made me proud that i opened your eyes to what YA fiction is. Thank you do much!

Anonymous said...

My review is here

Nicola Morgan said...

Bookwitch - it is indeed and very fab it is! PHEW! Thank you so much.

maryom said...

My review is here

An excellent book that I loved from start to finish.

Hubby and daughter (13) have also read it now - hoping they'll put up reviews as well.

Anonymous said...

I love Wasted. It is amazing in the way it is written and the description. I feel I know the characters personally as they are so vividly presented. I love the idea of luck and spinning a coin to determine the fates of the character. When I came to that point at the end, i didnt even want to spin, i was worried that if i did, Jack may be lost.
Shannon at Buckie High School.