My novels are character-driven, sometimes thrilling and, I hope, both thought-provoking and occasionally funny too. Focusing on relationships and contemporary society, they deal with subject matter as diverse as self-harm, social networking, celebrity culture and quantum physics. They have been critically acclaimed (see below for reviews), garnering award shortlistings. They’re all available to buy on Amazon and at most good bookshops, and they have been translated into many different languages including German, Spanish, Polish, Dutch, Indonesian and Norwegian.
I have spoken at several literary festivals and I am available for bookings for school visits to talk about my books and the writing process.
Once, I was the 'guest author' at a child's birthday party. I'd be happy to do this again, although I would prefer not to jump out of a cake.
My first novel, Loving Danny, about a girl on her gap year who falls in love with a troubled musician, was published in 2006. It was shortlisted for the Lancashire Children's Book of the Year Award 2007 and is also part of an anthology, called Shades of Love (2010).
Don’t Ask tells the tale of a girl who invents a new internet identity in order to obtain information about her boyfriend. It came out in 2009.
Lifted (2010) is the story of a compulsive shoplifter who finds fame through her blog. It was shortlisted for both the Lancashire Book of the Year Award and the Portsmouth Book Award.
The Celeb Next Door (2011) is the first in a series called Camden Town Tales, about the adventures of a group of friends who live in Camden Town, London. It was followed up by Stuck On Me (2012) and The Boy from France (2013), with each tale narrated by a different character.
When I Was Me (2015) is a contemporary psychological thriller about identity, memory and the decisions that make us who we are, with a dose of quantum physics. It was supported by a grant from Arts Council England.
Please scroll down for more detailed information and links to each book.
When I Was Me
When Ella wakes up one Monday morning, she discovers that she is not herself and that her life is not her own. She looks different, her friends are no longer her friends and her existence has been erased from the internet. Even worse, years of her history appear to have been rewritten overnight. And yet, nobody else thinks that anything weird has happened. Desperate to cling on to her identity and to piece her life back together, Ella attempts to uncover what has happened to her. Does she have amnesia? Is she losing her mind? Or is she the victim of something more sinister?→
Reviews for When I Was Me:
“This is a book of startling originality and consummate story-telling. Not many books for young adult readers have the courage to tackle the quantum.”
Rebecca Butler, Books for Keeps
"The mystery at the heart of this classy, intense psychological thriller depends on big ideas and a touch of quantum physics."
Geraldine Brennan, The Observer
“This curious tale of mis-identity is a real page turner. It explores the traditional YA theme of true character from a new angle; commenting on how our relationships with family and friends can shape our future in ways we never anticipated. Freeman paints her characters with well-judged subtlety. Furthermore, Freeman must be credited with creating something rare: a teenage sex scene with passion and just enough inexpert fumbling to make it plausible and (dare I say it) sexy.”
We Love This Book
The Boy from France
When Vix's classmates find out that their visiting French exchange students will include boys, everyone is very excited. Everyone, that is, except Vix – who has a sick mother to cope with, and no time for boys.
But her student does turn out to be a boy, and, what's more, he's both gorgeous and charming. All her friends and schoolmates are jealous, especially when he appears to have eyes for no one but Vix.
But is he for real? How long can it last?
And will Vix's secrets and lies destroy the relationship?
Reviews for The Boy from France:
"A fast-paced, easy to read story perfect for teenage girls. It's chock-full of romance, friendship and celebrities and paints a brilliant picture of London. Each character is realistic and likeable. Freeman has a great style when it comes to writing teen behaviour. Fans of Cathy Hopkins and Cathy Cassidy will love this."
"Familiar teen themes of friendships and boys are given a celebrity twist in the first of a new series: Camden Town Tales. Fresh, funny and very readable, with a pretty cover too."
"A bright, gossipy novel. Will have teenage girls desperate to experience 'the excitement, noise and colour' of Camden, its market and its bohemian atmosphere."
Books for Keeps
Stuck On Me
More friends, fun and fame in amazing Camden Town!
Sky is going through a growth spurt and, terrifyingly, her nose seems to be growing faster than the rest of her face!
Sky's best friends Rosie and Vix don't understand her obsession. She's pretty – what's the problem? But when Sky's boyfriend dumps her, it's the final straw. Determined to do something about her nose she sets out on a journey that takes all three girls to parts of Camden Town they have never seen before . . .
Reviews for Stuck On Me:
"Sky feels alone with her problem as her obsession alienates her boyfriend and frustrates her long-suffering friends. In one hilarious scene, she consults her GP about a rhinoplasty while the doctor presumes she wants contraception advice. Later, she hands her savings over to an unscrupulous cosmetic surgeon. Only news of the father who disappeared when she was eight (leaving her with his nose) can distract her.
The Camden Town Tales are pitched a little younger than Hilary’s first three novels for older teenagers and the serious issues are served up with plenty of humour. All the books have real heroines who make up in imagination and loyalty to their friends what they sometimes lack in common sense."
Camden New Journal
"I wish I could send this book in a time machine back to my teenage self. The way this book tackles body image issues is fantastic. It also shows a realistic, sensible approach to romance and I adored the Camden setting... An absorbing read that has the perfect mix of escapism and reality."
The Celeb Next Door
Friends, fun and fame in amazing Camden Town!
Rosie Buttery has lived in Paradise Avenue in Camden Town all her life. Her mother is a GP at the local doctors' surgery, her dad is a frustrated artist, and her brother . . . well, he's just a pain.
Living in Camden Town is great. Not only do Rosie and her best friends, Sky and Vix have the market to hang out at and gigs to go to, there are also celebrities to spot, and TV studios, where they might just get noticed.
When Rosie finds out that the drummer from a chart-topping group is moving in to the big house at the end of her street, she makes it her mission to befriend him. But things don't work out quite the way she expected.
Reviews for The Celeb Next Door:
“...fresh, funny and very readable, with a pretty cover too.”
“Hilary Freeman's latest novel is the start of a series set in Camden, with characters so realistic you feel you might bump into them at Camden Town tube! The setting is wonderfully described, including details of market purchases, events at Koko, the view from Primrose Hill and even a visit to Marine Ices that made me cheer. Rosie, Sky and Vix are great characters whose friendship is tested by their differing attitudes to relationships – and to fame... Camden comes to life on the page in this engaging and fun story of friendship and celebrities. I can't wait for the next instalment!”
“In her author’s acknowledgements in this bright, gossipy novel about three 14-year-old girls, Hilary Freeman pays homage to the star of the story, Camden Town: ‘If you didn’t exist, I’d have to invent you.’ The book, and the series which is planned to follow, will have teenage girls desperate to experience ‘the excitement, noise and colour’ of Camden, its market and its bohemian atmosphere... The series should prove to be very popular with young readers, particularly girls, from the age of 10 up.”
Books For Keeps
Shoplifting and blogging . . . now Robyn's a celebrity.
Robyn is a compulsive shoplifter - with a difference. Everything she steals, she donates to charity shops, then blogs about it anonymously. She doesn't need to steal, but shoplifting gives her a buzz like no other.
Soon everybody's talking about the mystery blogger. At last Robyn has the fame she craves. Only one person knows who she really is, and he's sworn to secrecy . . .
Will Robyn risk everything by revealing her true identity – is fame worth any price?
Reviews for Lifted:
“The chatty, easy-to-read style and the unusual plot hooked me from the first page. Ruby's home life and her relationships with family and friends are well drawn and utterly believable ... I enjoyed the dark-edged but sweet romance in the book, and although there's a sense of impending doom throughout, the storyline always kept me guessing. ... Lifted is a compelling, original and thought-provoking novel.”
“Ruby, the silly but likeable antiheroine of Hilary Freeman's perceptive and fast-paced Lifted comes from a more recognisable contemporary teen world, where insecurity and boredom are the sources of most ills. Displaying the common sense and warped desire for fame of a Big Brother evictee, Ruby creates a blog to publicise her serial shoplifting in the persona of Robyn Hood, who donates stolen goods to charity shops. If parents are anxious about the shoplifting tips, rest assured that this is a truly cautionary tale.”
“Hilary Freeman is a genuinely amazing author, almost uniquely able to be both gritty and frothy at the same time. Lifted is delightfully written and beautifully plotted and, in Ruby, has a great central character. The shoplifting scenes are incredibly vivid ... Heartily recommended.”
Anthony McGowan, Author
“This contemporary story evolves from a study of teenage relationships to a serious satire of consumerism, celebrity and the power of the internet, with more than a dash of Ealing comedy.... Freeman provides a recognisable background of family life and the process of growing up in this well written and enthralling tale about a girl worried about being ‘average’... this is a gem of a novel which should appeal to mature readers of all ages.”
Books for Keeps
Lily believes her boyfriend Jack is perfect, but wonders why he won’t talk about his past. Wouldn’t it be fantastic, she thinks, if she could talk to his ex and fill in all the gaps?Lily devises a way to do just that. But what begins as a bit of fun has unexpected – and disturbing – consequences . . .Don’t Ask is a story about love, friendship and secrets. Sometimes it’s better not to ask too many questions.→
Reviews for Don't Ask:
“The characters are believable and the narrative is pacy... a good read.”
“A really good read . . . funny, yet realistic and had a good moral.”
Isn’t it weird how the truly significant days of your life often begin as the most banal? There you are, just minding your own business, doing something boring and ordinary like buying a KitKat or, in my case, catching the number 29 bus home from work, and boom! – the most momentous and life-changing event happens to you! Naomi is restless. She’s on her gap year and stuck at home with her parents while all her friends are travelling or away at university. Then she meets Danny, a mysterious and intense musician who opens her eyes to a whole new world around her. Danny is exciting and talented, and his band are on the brink of stardom. But he also has a dark, destructive side . . .Will Naomi be able to save Danny before it’s too late? And, more importantly, can she save herself?→
Reviews for Loving Danny:
“This is a great read and gave me a unique insight into the mind of the modern teenager.”
Simon Lederman, Presenter, BBC Radio London
“…the perfect choice for teenage girls (and their mums). Warm and witty, compelling and insightful, it's a great read.”