Reviews of writing projects from when I was smol and not-so-innocent (ft. me mercilessly roasting my younger self)

HEY GUYS what's up. Today I'm going to be writing book reviews. But not just any book reviews. And not just any books.

I'm going to be reviewing writing projects that I wrote when I was younger. I KNOW HOW EXCITING IS THIS?! I love reading through my old writing projects and brutally criticising coming up with ways that they could be better! It's also interesting to see how much my writing has evolved over the years. (Because holy crap has it evolved in the past five years.) I thought it might be interesting for you guys to see how my mind worked when I was younger! Because my writing reflects what I was into and what was going through my head during a particular phase in my childhood/pre-teen-hood.

I've worked on about a zillion writing projects in the past five years, but most of them didn't make it past a few pages long before I got bored and moved onto something else, so I'm only going to include projects that I worked on for a couple of months or more, i.e. "big projects".

For each project, I'm going to be saying when and how old I was when I penned it, a list of the characters, a brief synopsis, things I like about it and things I don't, a rating, and advice for my younger self on how she could have made it better. Just for fun, I'm also going to include a diversity rating - i.e. whether a book contains minority groups such as characters from different ethnic backgrounds, characters with a disability/mental illness or LGBTQ+ characters - because I believe that representing minority groups in books is something VERY important, and also because there's zero diversity in any of my older writings and it might be amusing for you guys to watch me go red in the face and call my younger self a bigot and SCREAM.

Is this post going to end badly?


Am I going to regret doing it?


Am I going to end up running around in circles like a headless chicken, screaming at the top of my lungs like a banshee?


Let's do this.

Mesherlock’s Adventures

Date written: Summer 2012

How old I was when I wrote it: Ten and awww so smol and cute

How much I wrote of it: Completed – 4,000 words (I thought 4,000 words equalled a novel back then AWWWW SO ADORABLE.)

Genre: I have no idea – mystery perhaps? Wait, no, I think the genre is weird-things-coming-out-of-a-ten-year-old’s-head. Much more accurate.

Inspired by:
Ok, so I probably have to do some explaining about this. Basically, when I was around nine or ten and smol and innocent, I made up this world called “Memiland”. “Memiland” was inhabited by creatures called “memitas” and “memitos” that were basically… merpeople? Only they lived on dry land? And they somehow managed to walk using fins? And they were always little kids, they never grew older. Yes, I’m pretty confused too. But never mind. And sometimes, when I read a book or watched a movie or series that I really liked, I would create the “memita” version of it. So I would take the characters and imagine them as little kids and give them a mermaid’s tail and add “Me” to the start of their names. So in this case, Sherlock Holmes became Mesherlock Meholmes and Watson became Mewatson. And they lived at 221B Mebaker Street.

Look I was a weird child with too much imagination don’t judge me.


- Mesherlock

- Mewatson

- Two weird “Cave Memita” people, I don’t know??


Mesherlock gets a letter from some girl who thinks that her uncle has a treasure map that leads to a hidden treasure and she wants Mesherlock to investigate. Look, I don’t know, I WAS TEN WHEN I WROTE THIS. So basically, Mesherlock and Mewatson break into the uncle’s house and steal the map? Because that obviously makes a lot of sense? But they can’t figure out where the map leads to, so they go back home to sleep… but they can’t sleep so they go out and have a midnight feast?? (This was probably because I was reading Mallory Towers at the time and they were always having secret midnight feasts, so of course I had to put one into my story…) Then in the morning they figure out that the map leads to some secret tunnels and they go inside the tunnels but they can’t find the treasure. Which is very disappointing, everyone is upset, sob sob sob. But then they go back into the tunnels and they discover some other tunnels and they find out that some “Cave Memitas” stole the treasure and took it to their underground home. And they find the Cave Memitas and ask them politely to return the treasure and the memitas as all like “oh sorry we didn’t realise it belonged to someone else” and they return the treasure. So Mesherlock and Mewatson re-bury the treasure and everyone goes home and everything is fine now. The end.

What’s good about it:

Well, considering that this was written by a ten-year-old, I don’t mean to brag but it’s actually pretty impressive. The writing is quite good. There are no spelling mistakes, the grammar is fine and the writing flows well. The dialogue is alright. The story itself is a bit odd, to say the least, but I had pretty good writing skills for someone my age.

What’s wrong with it:

Uhhh… The plot?? It makes zero sense? The ending feels really rushed and I distinctly remember just wanting to finish it off quickly so I could move on to my next writing project. I probably didn’t plan what was going to happen at all, just rushed off writing and made it all up as I went along.

Overall rating:
I think I’m going to give myself a healthy 3/5 for this, mostly on the basis that I had very good writing skills for a ten-year-old.

Advice for my younger self: 
Umm? Just keep writing kid, you’re doing good.

Undercover Star

Date written: June-December 2013

How old I was when I wrote it: eleven

How much I wrote of it:
Completed – 16,000 words

Genre: Umm… spy?

Inspired by:
I want to say that it was inspired by the Ruby Redfort books, but it wasn’t inspired by them: I FREAKING COPIED THEM. I am cringing soooo hard reading through this story because I basically plagiarised the first book in the Ruby Redfort series and IT IS SO EMBARRASSING. I mean: thirteen-year-old super-genius girl gets hired by top-secret agency to solve a case? That’s taken straight out of the Ruby Redfort books. To make it worse, the way I started it – with the main character as a young child, then describing the incredible things this young genius had done growing up, before introducing her as a teenager, is just shamelessly copied. I am not proud of this project, okay? I don’t know what eleven-year-old me was THINKING.


- Lily McFarlane – thirteen-year-old genius

- Theo – Lily’s fellow teenage secret agent and friend

- Sydney – also a fellow teenage secret agent and friend

- Emilia – head of aforementioned secret agency

- Melanie – Lily’s best friend

- Martha – Lily’s mum

- Martin – Lily’s dad

- Agent Z – head of rival secret agency (a.k.a the bad guys)

- Sherlock – Lily’s cat

Lily gets hired by a secret agency to help them find one of their agents, Sydney, who disappeared while on the trail of the infamous Agent Z. The last time Sydney was seen was at a nearby café, so Lily goes there and just happens to find a pamphlet advertising some spa resort place lying around on a table. She goes to this place and discovers that it is actually the headquarters of Agent Z’s secret agency and that Agent Z is *gasp* planning on taking over the world! But she gets kidnapped, which ends up being good because she gets locked up in the same place as Sydney. They manage to escape in the least exciting escapade of ever (they literally walk out the freaking front door what the hell) and waltz back to their agency’s headquarters and then the day after they (and their new friend Theo) go back to the mean agents’ HQ and basically foil the plan in the most boring way imaginable. Then they all go home and pat themselves on the back because they just saved the world. The end.

What’s good about it:

I’m struggling here. I mean, I’m pretty certain there’s something good about it?? Something??

What’s wrong with it:



- Ok, let’s start with the fact that there isn’t the slightest bit of originality here. Everything is basically copied off other books (I mentioned Ruby Redfort but I’m pretty certain I plagiarised other books as well).

- It’s cliché as hell. I mean, bad guy taking over the world? Urgh.

- Lily is just the worst main character ever. She has no personality?? One moment she’s being all smart-mouthed and sassy, then suddenly she’s all quiet and awkward and shy? MAKE YOUR FREAKING MIND UP PLEASE. I’m sorry, inconsistencies like this drive me insane.

- She talks to her cat and this bothers me so much. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with talking to your cat. I do it a lot. It’s the way she talks to her cat that bothers me. She basically has conversations with him? And… he understands her? Like? How is this realistic? Is this a thrilling spy story or a children’s story about a girl who has a cat for a friend? Also, she takes him around in her bike’s basket and like. *facepalm* In what universe does a cat allow himself to be carried around in a basket like this? Come on, eleven-year-old me. You were obsessed with cats and read loads of books about cat behaviour! You should know better!

- In the first half of the story I introduce all these characters; Lily’s parents and best friend and the head of the secret agency and the lady who runs the local café. But then… none of these characters have anything to do with the resolution of the story? They just get in the way and add absolutely nothing to the plot. I think I did this because in loads of the mystery stories I read, there were often there seemingly irrelevant scenes featuring the main character’s friends and family. But the thing that makes these books so good and satisfying is that all these apparently unrelated events then tie together at the end of the book. Unfortunately, my eleven-year-old brain did not comprehend this yet.

- The prologue is honestly the weirdest thing I have ever read. It’s set the day Lily was born, and she… learns how to say her name?? Like what the heck? She is a day old? We can see what she’s thinking and… day-old babies do not use rational thinking like this?? Not even super-genius ones? THIS IS SO IRRATIONAL

- I’m always going on about how super-smart Lily is, but honestly… she does these really dumb things? And misses really obvious clues? This does not work?

- Lily’s parents just conveniently go away on a week-long holiday while the story is taking place, and leave her alone at home. … Like… what kind of parents leave their thirteen-year-old daughter alone for a week? I think this is because I was eleven at the time, so I thought that by the time you were thirteen, wow you’re practically an adult right.

- Also Sydney has just been kidnapped but a day later she’s running around stopping secret plots – WHERE ARE HER PARENTS AND WHY AREN’T THEY KEEPING A CLOSER EYE ON THEIR CHILD.

- At one point Lily, Theo and Sydney are at HQ and they have a conversation that is literally: “oh, we need to come up with plan to stop Agent Z” “hmm what shall we do” “oh, I know, let’s break into their headquarters tonight”. And so these bunch of teenagers just run off and sneak into the headquarters? Like… there are adult agents too. WHERE ARE THEY AND WHY AREN’T THEY DOING SOMETHING.

- Agent Z’s secret plan is to take over the world by inserting small disks under the skin of customers at the spa place while giving them a massage or whatever, and this disk then allows him to control their minds, IDK. But, like…is the entire world going to go to his spa and get mind controlled? I think not???





- SENSE!!!

Diversity: None and it’s probably just as well because judging by my writing skills, it probably would have been super badly written and offensive.

Overall rating: 1/5 This is total shit, this is the most awful thing I’ve ever read in my existence MY EYEBALLS ARE BLEEDING MY BRAIN IS BLEEDING EVERYTHING IS BLEEDING OKAY. I AM NOT OKAY RIGHT NOW.

Excuse me, I think I need to take a moment to calm down…

Advice for my younger self:


- Try and make sure your plots make sense


Untitled project 

(or if it had a title it’s not written down anywhere and I can’t remember it)

Date written: Summer 2014

How old I was when I wrote it: Twelve

How much I wrote of it: Up to the middle of Chapter Three – 43 pages of a notebook (it’s handwritten so I have no idea what the word count is)


Inspired by:
I don’t really remember – I think I’d been reading a lot of alien invasion type books around that time, so I was probably inspired by them.


- Phoebe Jadford – twelve-year-old main character

- Luke Jadford – her thirteen-year-old brother

- Athel Kavamye – daughter of the Leader of England (who I guess is sort of like the prime minister or president? I don’t really know.)

- Sophia Kavamye – her fourteen-year-old little sister

- Julian – Athel’s business partner and friend

- Marcus and Florence Kavamye – Athel and Sophia’s parents (they die pretty early on though)

- Katia – Athel and Sophia’s older sister


It’s set in the far future, and some aliens called the Stormbringers are invading Earth. In the prologue, the Stormbringers are about to attack England, and Marcus Kavamye and his fifteen-year-old daughter Athel in the command room, watching their approach and hoping that the defences will hold. But the Stormbringers manage to get through and they realise that they’ve been betrayed by Marcus’s eldest daughter, sixteen-year-old Katia. The Stormbringers are attacking, so Marcus sends Athel and her four-year-old sister through a teleporter to London, where the defences are much stronger and will definitely hold. Then in chapter one, ten years have passed since that and London has been sealed off in a sort of bubble – they have no idea what is happening in the rest of the world. We meet Phoebe and her long-suffering brother Luke, who are just a couple of normal kids, running around the city. In chapter two, we see that Athel – who is now in her twenties – has settled in London and has a good job, but all she wants is to leave and avenge her parents. Chapter three takes us back to Phoebe and Luke, but there’s only a few more pages and then I abandoned this project – I think I was intending to have Phoebe and Luke somehow end up on some mission alongside Athel and Sophia to save the world from the Stormbringers? I don’t really know.

I swear when I read through this a few months ago it was like reading it for the first time… I wrote this?? Okay then, if you say so. I mean, I sort of remember writing it, but it’s really faraway…

What’s good about it:

- It’s engaging!! It’s interesting! It has intrigue! I wanted to keep reading, and I was a little miffed when it suddenly ended in the middle of a scene. There are a few plot holes, but while I was reading it I didn’t really care because I was engaged with the writing.

- I like Phoebe and her relationship with Luke: Phoebe’s a bit unthinking and crazy and always coming up with wild schemes, and dragging her much more sensible brother along with her. Their personalities really come through through the dialogue, which is great.

- Sophia is a wheelchair user and this just makes me so happy?? I mean, in a super-technologically-advanced world you’d think that there would be some cure for conditions that leave you in a wheelchair, but kudos to my younger self for wanting to include a character with a physical disability!! Also she’s depicted as basically just a normal teenage girl (she seems to be really sweet and caring, and loves to read) who just happens to be in a wheelchair, and YES! THIS IS GOOD! THIS IS VERY GOOD!

What’s wrong with it:
- There are a few plot holes: apparently the leader of the Stormbringers kidnapped Katia Kavamye, and like… how did he do this? How come no-one noticed?

- The world it’s set in isn’t developed enough; there’s all these mentions of the “defences” but I don’t really specify what they are. Also the inhabitants of London have been living in a sort of “bubble” for ten years, completely cut off from the rest of the world, and like… where do they get supplies from? How do they live? And I would have liked to see more descriptions of the technology they have, this story is set in “the far future” (I don’t specify what year) but the only kind of futuristic tech we get to see are teleporters, which take you from one place to the other… not much else is described.

- Athel was a little disappointing; she’s rather bland. I keep mentioning that she’s a natural-born leader and a fighter, but to be honest she’s just … meh. Her personality doesn’t really come through.

Diversity: Well, I mentioned that Sophia is in a wheelchair, so yay! Diversity! Also I remember imagining Phoebe and Luke as having very dark hair and eyes and sort of brownish skin, maybe they’re of Middle Eastern or perhaps South American descent? More diversity whoop whoop.

Overall rating: I’m going to be generous and, despite the plot flaws and lack of development, I’m going to give this a 4/5, mostly because 1) the writing was engaging, and 2) Sophia.

Advice for my younger self: Develop your story worlds more


Date written:
November 2014 - June 2015

How old I was when I wrote it: Twelve/thirteen

How much I wrote of it:
Up to the middle of Chapter Five – 69 pages of a notebook


Inspired by:
I don’t know… this was a story I had in my head for a very long time and finally wrote down, I’m not sure what inspired it.


- Claris Myren – thirteen-year-old Shadow Spy

- Ephanel – Leader of Redcloud City

- Rya – head of Shadow Spies

- Irissa Copperfield – Leader of Copperfield City

- Magnolia “Nolia” Copperfield – her younger sister

- Marley – Nolia’s best friend

- Jasper – head of the Copperfield City army, friend of Irissa


The two cities of The Island (I’m 100% certain I intended to change the name later on, but I never did), Redcloud City and Copperfield City, have been at war since before anyone can remember. Claris is a Shadow Spy, the spies that work for Redcloud City, that have special stones called Shadow Stones that allow them to teleport from one place to the other, so long as they are standing in darkness. But since Claris’s mother died four years ago, her status as a Shadow Spy has been in danger (i.e. they want to kick her out). She gets sent on a mission to prove that she is worthy of being a Shadow Spy, to scout out a secret Copperfield City hideout in the woods, but it all goes wrong and she gets captured and taken prisoner by the enemy. She manages to escape, but when she gets back to her city she finds that because she failed the mission, she is no longer a Shadow Spy and no longer has a home in the district of the city reserved for the spies. She gets really angry at the people who are in charge and they try and take her prisoner because of the way she talked to them, but she runs away into the forest again. She gets caught by agents from Copperfield City for a second time, but this time she’s not a prisoner; the Leader of the city, Irissa, doesn’t like the idea of a kid being a prisoner, and takes her into her home. Claris meets Irissa’s sister Nolia and Nolia’s friend Marley, and starts to trust them.

That’s about as far as I wrote; I’d planned that later on in the novel, Claris would find out that her mother, who was also a Shadow Spy, defected to Copperfield City when she was younger. She met, fell in love with, and married the brother of Irissa’s father, who was Leader back then, and they had a baby together: Claris. Effectively this means that Irissa and Nolia are Claris’s cousins. But Claris’s father died in the war and Claris’s mother was forced to go back to Redcloud City for some reason I can’t remember, so Claris grew up a Shadow Spy and never had a clue who her father had been.

There was also some deal with some kind of dangerous weapon that the people from Redcloud were developing but I have no clue what all that was about, just a vague memory.

What’s good about it:
A lot of the characters who appear in this story also appear in the story I’m working on now – they have different names, different backstories and completely different lives (the plot of my current WIP has NOTHING to do with this project’s plot) but their “essence” is the same. For example, Leader of Copperfield City Irissa was developed to become Isra Soto, Captain of Base Nine – they may have completely different lives, but their personalities are the same – they’re both tough, stubborn, strong-willed leaders who also care deeply for the people around them. Jasper and Nolia also have counterparts in my current WIP. So in a way, Shadow lay the foundations for my current project.

What’s wrong with it:

Honestly, I feel really disappointed reading through it. I remember putting in so much work and so much dedication and so much love into this story… but then the actual story is something of a disappointment.

It’s very rushed. It moves along too fast: oh, we’ve met Claris – okay now she’s on some mission – now she’s a prisoner – wait now she’s a prisoner again? – now she’s with the guys from Copperfield – wait weren’t they the enemy? – maybe not – um – who’s Claris again?

Nothing is quite developed properly; the world, the characters. I remember that everything was beautifully developed inside my head; I just didn’t quite manage to transmit it onto paper. I guess I just didn’t have the writing skill yet. I remember wanting to get to the “exciting bits” so I sort of rushed the “not so exciting bits”, but this meant that the quality of the writing really suffered.

Diversity: NONE AND THIS REALLY BOTHERS ME?? Everyone is white and straight and eww. There was SO much opportunity in this story to add a diverse cast of characters… and I didn’t take it. The sad bit is it didn’t even occur to me to add diversity. It’s pretty obvious that none of the fantasy books I read during this phase had even the smallest bit of diversity, and this is sad! 

Overall rating
: 2/5 I’m sorry Young Andrea, I know you put in a lot of work into this, and it was a good story idea, but the execution just went really wrong.

Advice for my younger self: CHILD. Be patient. Don’t rush things, jeez. This story had potential and you kinda threw it all away because you had no patience.



Date written: August-October 2015

How old I was when I wrote it: thirteen

How much I wrote of it:
Up to the middle of Part Four, approx. 17000 words

Genre: Fantasy

Inspired by: This was originally inspired by Arabian Nights Island on a computer game called Poptropica; I came up with a single scene based on something that happened in the game, and built a whole story around it.


- Katia – fourteen-year-old main character; she’s suffering from amnesia

- Aralyn – eleven-year-old maid at the Emperor’s palace, Katia’s friend

- The Emperor – self-explanatory

- Emrys – the Emperor’s assistant

- Chief Bandit/Princess Leanna – leader of the Bandits and the Emperor’s daughter.

- Kanny – young Bandit who helps Katia out


Katia wakes up in the middle of nowhere; she doesn’t remember anything about herself except her name. She walks through a forest until she gets to a city, where she’s taken in to the palace by the Emperor as an act of goodwill – apparently. A few nights later, the Bandits – an infamous group of thieves that operate around the city – break into the palace and steal the Darkstone, a jewel that is very precious to the Emperor. Katia volunteers to go to the Bandits’ hideout and try and steal it back. She gets caught and taken prisoner, but she’s helped out by a young Bandit who unlocks her cell at night. She goes back to the palace, where she accidently stumbles into the room of the Emperor’s daughter, who mysteriously disappeared five years ago, aged twelve. That night she hears a sound in the middle of the night, and discovers that the Chief Bandit has broken into the palace, but when Katia startles her she leaves without taking anything.

While at the city’s market, Katia meets Kanny, the young Bandit who helped her; she asks him what all the fuss is about with the Darkstone and he tells her that it has dark powers. It can control everyone in the city. The Bandits only stole it to prevent the Emperor from using it. Meanwhile Katia pieces together things she’s heard and comes to the conclusion that the Chief Bandit is the Emperor’s daughter Leanna.

That night the Chief Bandit breaks into the palace and Katia tells her not to run, she just wants to talk. Leanna tells her about how she found out that her father was creating an object with dark powers, and tried to kill his own daughter when she tried to stop him. She ran away and ended up joining the Bandits, where she rose through the ranks and ended up becoming the chief. She also tells Katia that she’s being watched; not only are the Bandits watching her, but the palace guards are keeping a very close eye on her too.

And that’s as far as I wrote. I don’t remember what I had planned, other than that Katia was going to end up joining forces with the Bandits against the Emperor.

What’s good about it:

It’s definitely intriguing; there are SO MANY unanswered questions. For one thing, Katia doesn’t remember how she is. She keeps saying and doing things and she doesn’t understand why she does it or how she knows what to do. Then there’s all these weird things going on; she gets the feeling that the Emperor and Emrys know who she is, but they deny it. Those two keep acting in very suspicious ways. Katia keeps getting the feeling that she’s being watched. Towards the middle of the story you have no idea who to trust; the Emperor has just turned out to be a power-hungry liar and has been keeping a very close eye on Katia since she first entered the city, and the Bandits, who were the “bad guys”, are now actually good.

What’s wrong with it:

A bit like in Shadow, I simply lacked the writing skill to be able to pull it off properly. The characters, the development, the storyline are all a bit lacking. It was a good plot and good characters, I just didn’t quite manage to do them justice, which is a little disappointing.

Diversity: Well, as I said it was inspired by a computer game set in olden-times Middle East, so I sort of based the story in that sort of setting. There’s a few references to the Emperor and Leanna having black eyes and nut-brown skin, so I guess I always sort of imagined them as coming from that sort of part of the world. Other than that, not really.

Overall rating:
3/5 The plot is good and it’s intriguing, but it’s not really that well written.

Advice to my younger self:
Just keep writing, you’ll get a lot better at it, trust me. I know.

And that, kids, takes us to the end of the show. There's a couple other projects I could have reviewed, but one of them I only finished writing a year ago, and I don't feel like I can review it yet. There's also another project from when I was 11-12 but I re-wrote it so many times and I kept changing the story partway through without editing the beginning, and honestly I'm confused to tears. So this is it.

Hope you enjoyed reading about my younger self's insanity. Guys, I really really enjoyed writing this post, seriously. Re-visiting my old fantasies and laughing and cringing, omggg so many memories.

Now it's your turn: tell me about a writing project you wrote when you were younger! 'Fess up: have you ever copied a book you really admired? (It can't just be me...) Is there some project that you discontinued that you wish you hadn't? What's the WORST thing you've ever written? TELL ME EVERYTHING.

Stay awesome,



  1. Aaah....I might have copied something...can't remember. Oh gosh, something I wish I had never written...probably a story called The Misty Farm (or something like that) I ripped it out and threw it away, but it was horrible.


    1. Haha, I feel like ripping out and throwing away a lot of my old stories... I make myself keep everything I've ever written though

  2. Haha, I liked reading about these stories. XD Some of them were actually quite good.
    I only wrote one novel when I was younger, about 11; it was a pretty unique mystery story involving a family of...8...I think…siblings that were living by themselves in early 20th century England. They find a will that leads them on a merry chase throughout the countryside in an attempt to find their relatives. It had pretty good dialogue and characters, but needed a little work on the plot. :-D

    1. I'm glad you did! Eh, yeah I guess some of them aren't too bad...
      Ooh, that sounds like a cool story! Lol, it's mostly the opposite with me, I had good ideas for plots but then the dialogues and characters totally failed XD

  3. Oh, don't worry, mine are probably many more in number and equally, if not more terrible. I'm sure I've copied many a book in my time as well. Just call it 'fanfiction' lol. I always feel like after I've read an amazing book I don't want the story to end! So often I just try and rewrite it or carry it on, it never works. Some of these actually sounds pretty awesome.

    1. Haha, it's good to know I'm not the only one XD Yeah, that's probably what I felt when I was younger! I wanted to write something similar to books I'd read so I could stay in the story world for a bit longer.
      Thanks! :)

    2. You're definitely not! Me too!


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