Review – Secrets, Schemes & Sewing Machines by Katy Cannon


Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines is the companion novel to Katy Cannon’s delicious teen read, Love, Lies and Lemon Pies. Grace had a plan for this year – and it didn’t involve learning to sew. But when her world is turned upside down by a family secret, everything changes. Grace’s family is in need of patching up and she’s trying to focus on what really matters. But when new boy Connor appears on the scene, it doesn’t make things any easier. She’s desperate to prove to him that she’s not a drama queen – but why is what Connor thinks so important?

Publisher – Stripes Publishing

Date Published – 2nd February 2015

Pages – 368 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – UK YA, YA

Source –

 The wonderful Stripes Publishing and asked if I would like a copy of this book – to which I jumped at the chance!  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you to Stripes Publishing for sending me this book to read!

** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**

I loved this book which was as the book suggests secrets, schemes and sewing machines all mixed with fun, romance and a fab school play!



Hopefully the above summarises a little about this wonderful book whilst trying to keep the fab layout of the start of each chapter.  You see the start of each chapter in this book gives the reader a sewing task starting with a simple beginners how to at the start of the book and developing into more complex designs by the end and all with what you need and what to do with my personal favourite being how to make an infinity scarf and how to make a book bag!  It really feels like as Grace learns to sew and grows within the book the reader can too!  I may even put my sewing skills to the test and try one!

Now I love the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing and the relationship between Grace and Connor in this book reminded me so much of the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick in the play and according to this fab guest post that I have featured here it was exactly what Katy Cannon was trying to achieve.

One particular scene between Grace and Connor who have a mutual disgust of each other is when Connor sabotages her efforts on stage by messing with the set and putting Grace off whilst standing in for Violet (who is fast becoming a bit of a diva since landing the lead role).  I also loved it when Grace was eavesdropping on Connor and Violets conversation and gets caught out and this really reminded me of a scene in Much Ado About Nothing.  Grace and Connor begin to bond eventually over a good old lemon drizzle cake!  I really liked Connor as although whilst keeping his emotions to himself and dealing with everything alone he bounces off Grace’s personality so well and that really comes across just like Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing.  I also loved the tender moments with Connor especially when Grace hears him singing to his little sister on the baby monitor.

What I also loved about this book was the relationship Grace has with her friends.  Although I found Grace a bit self centred at the start of the book

“I was the Queen of banter.  Nobody could pull off a flirty argument like me.  I was born to play Beatrice”

“But I was still Grace Stewart.  Prettiest girl in my year (officially – there was a vote back in year Nine)”

 As the story progresses we see the caring and determined side to Grace.  There are also times where Grace’s actions made me laugh.  More for the fact that friends and teachers were shocked by her reformed character.  One particular scene that made me chuckle was  when she is with her group of friends and offers her advise to her friend Jasper on writing love letters to his long distance girlfriend, Ella and shocks them all by admitting she has joined sewing club!  Yasmin and Ash’s relationship was also really interesting and I have my fingers crossed that maybe Yasmin will be the focus in the next book by Katy Cannon as I would love to find out more about here…fingers crossed.

Although I have not yet finished Katy Cannon’s first book, Love, Lie and Lemon Pies this book is by no means a sequel, but more of a companion to the first book as both books focus on different characters and tells their individual stories, but I did like how the books centre on a group of friends and their relationships with each other as well as their individual stories.

All in all I adored this book.  I think I found it so relatable as it was very focused on the school play and reminded me very much of the school plays I was involved in at school even snagging the only female lead in Joseph And His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at school beating the favourite who was meant to get the part…..oh the memories! 🙂  I defiantly didn’t go all Violet like though, but it has made me wonder if I was oblivious to the favourite hoping I would fail so she could jump in….la la land as normal then 😉

Excited to here what’s next from Katy Cannon!

I award this book 4 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books


You can buy this book here and on Little Tiger here

Find out more about Katy Cannon by visiting here website here

Or why not follow her on twitter here

Don’t forget to check out Katy’s guest post – Much Ado About Shakespeare and an extract from the book here

Also check out this fab Bake Club Christmas Wish List guest post by Katy here

Have you read this book or Love, Lie and Lemon Pies?  Are you a master baker or super with a needle and thread?  What’s you favourite Shakespeare Play?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy

Happy reading and creating fab sewing projects!



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I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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  1. December 7, 2015

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