Uncategorized, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday…

There are so many yet-to-be-released books that I cannot wait for, from books which come out next month and have only a short wait left, to books that are still months away and come out next year. All of the release dates for these books are in my calendar and I am bursting with excitement for them.

Here are some of the upcoming books I am most excited about! I’ve put them in rough order of release date.

 

  • My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton

Goodreads Synopsis: A comical, fantastical and witty re-imagining of the Tudor world, perfect for fans of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger – and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.

This one publishes in the UK on September 1st, so it is tantalisingly close! It’s already, I believe, been out for a few months in America, and I have heard amazing things about it and have seen lots of very positive reviews on blogs and on Goodreads. It sounds like it’s an absolute blast to read. It combines history, fantasy and romance – my three favourite genres – and it’s hilarious to boot! I also find that books written by multiple authors are particularly vivid and creative as multiple imaginations are being combined. This novel sounds right up my street and September 1st cannot come soon enough!

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  • Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

‘Empire of Storms’, the fifth installment in Sarah J. Maas’ fantastic ‘Throne of Glass’ series, releases on September 6th. That is less than two weeks away, which I can hardly believe as I have been desperate for it since finishing the previous novel in the autumn of last year. Although there were a couple of things in ‘Queen of Shadows’ that I was not entirely happy with, I loved the fast-paced, tense and action-packed nature of the novel. This series as a whole can only be described as ‘epic’ and its epic-ness grows with each new novel. Sarah J. Maas’ imagination knows no bounds and her books are always impossible to put down. ACOMAF, published earlier this year, was absolutely outstanding and I’m sure her latest novel will be no different. She is one of my very favourite authors and I am bursting with excitement for ‘Empire of Storms’ and to be reunited with Aelin, Chaol and Dorian. I’m also very excited about the Throne of Glass colouring book, which also publishes on the 6th of September, and for Sarah J. Maas’ UK tour which will take place in October. I’ve met her twice already and it is always amazing and so, so inspiring to hear her talk about her novels and fantasy worlds.

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  • The Deviants by C. J. Skuse

When you set out for revenge, dig two graves

Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.

Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. Their lives are so intertwined Max’s dad even sponsors Ella’s training for the Commonwealth Games. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near. Or the real reason she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level.

When underdog Corey is bullied, the fearless five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?

‘The Deviants’ will be published by Mira Ink on September the 22nd and I highly recommend that you rush to get it on that day. I recently finished reading a proof copy of it and it’s easily one of the best novels I’ve ever read. It’s tense, unsettling, gripping and moving right from the very first page. It’s the perfect novel for fans of ‘We Were Liars’. I was absolutely captivated by it and so involved in the story that I could not put it down. As soon as I finished, I rushed to pass it over to my sister so I had someone to talk about it with – it’s that good. My sister hadn’t read YA for months, but as soon as she started reading ‘The Deviants’ she was just as hooked as I was. Our conversations since she finished have been dominated by talk of the Fearless Five, the main characters in this novel, and reading ‘The Deviants’ has got my sister back into reading YA. It’s a truly phenomenal novel with little twists and surprises dropped in, especially by the character named Fallon, that you will not see coming. It’s the kind of book I wish I could wipe from my memory just so I could have the pleasure of reading it again for the first time. I can’t wait to get my hands on a finished copy.

I will post a full review of it nearer to the release date.

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  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (also to be published on Sept 27th)

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world. 

Aah, ‘Crooked Kingdom’! I have been dying to get my hands on a copy of this book ever since I turned the last page of its predecessor ‘Six of Crows’. ‘Six of Crows’ was absolutely amazing (as Leigh Bardugo’s novels always are). It was tense and gripping with very high stakes, it was full of twists and turns, the world-building was fantastic, and, best of all, it was filled with striking, vivid and unforgettable characters I couldn’t help but immediately grow very attached to. I can’t wait to read the rest of these characters’ story. I particularly cannot wait to see more of Kaz and Inej – they are my one true pairing. I do need to read this book very slowly though – it is the final installment of this duology and I do not want to leave these wonderful characters and this enveloping world behind.

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  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer (November 2016)

 

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

‘The Lunar Chronicles’ by Marissa Meyer is one of my all-time favourite series. I loved all four books – the characters, plot, world-building… everything about them! So naturally ‘Heartless’ has been high up on my most-anticipated list ever since I first heard about it. The synopsis for the novel sounds fantastic and very imaginative. Marissa Meyer is, in my opinion, the queen of retellings, so I am sure that this Alice In Wonderland retelling will be phenomenal, full of magic, excitement, tension, adventure and romance. I am beyond excited to meet Cath and Jest and to enter Wonderland –  November cannot come soon enough!

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  • Windwitch by Susan Dennard 

The follow-up to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, next in a breathtaking YA fantasy series hailed by Alexandra Bracken as “a world you will want to inhabit forever.”

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In this follow-up to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, a shadow man haunts the Nubrevnan streets, leaving corpses in his wake—and then raising those corpses from the dead. Windwitch continues the tale of Merik—cunning privateer, prince, and windwitch.

This novel actually doesn’t come out for months (Jan 2017 is the release date) and it doesn’t even have a UK cover yet, but that doesn’t stop me from bursting with excitement for it. The Goodreads synopsis I have quoted above includes Alex Bracken’s comment that the world of the Witchlanders is a place ‘you will want to inhabit forever’. That captures my feelings exactly. I loved every second I spent in the world of ‘Truthwitch’ and I cannot wait to return to it. If I could live in any book setting, I’d pick the world of ‘Truthwitch’. I would love to be a Threadwitch, to take part in all the dances and to be a privateer!

‘Truthwitch’ is easily one of the best novels I’ve read this year, if not the best. I had the most amazing time reading it and meeting all the characters. I loved the world-building, the plot and most of all the friendship between the two main characters, Safi and Iseult – their friendship is as strong and takes as much focus as any romance and I love their ‘girl power’. I also cannot wait to see more of Safi and Merik and also Iseult and Aeduan together and to learn more about the different types of witchery and about the Cahr Awen. ‘Truthwitch’ marked the start to an epic and outstanding trilogy, and I eagerly await this next installment. (Can it please be January already?!)

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I’m also very excited about two new and upcoming novels by two of my favourite authors that have just recently been announced.

The first of these is ‘Flame in the Mist’ which will be the opening to a new duology by best-selling author Renee Ahdieh. It’s slated for release in 2017, is set in Japan and is inspired in part by the story of Mulan. I’ve always wanted someone to write a Mulan retelling and who better to do it than the wonderful Renee Ahdieh, who writes so beautifully and vividly that she can turn prose into poetry?

There’s a great interview on Bustle with Renee Ahdieh about this new series:   http://www.bustle.com/articles/177389-the-wrath-and-the-dawn-author-renee-ahdieh-announces-new-duology-flame-in-the-mist

The second is ‘Once and For All’ which will be Sarah Dessen’s 13th novel. I’ve read almost all of Sarah Dessen’s novels and have loved all of them. Her novels are always so enjoyable, thoughtful and inspiring. They in general follow teenage girls during the summer holiday and the protagonists overcome difficulties, forge lasting friendships and find themselves over the course of the summer. Her novels are heart-warming and are a joy to read. I think she is the voice of contemporary YA fiction and she understands exactly what it is like to be a teenager. I cannot wait to read her latest novel.

Here’s the current synopsis of it from Goodreads:

The novel, which is the author’s 13th, follows a just-graduated high schooler with a cynical view of romance and marriage. Burned by her first true love, she’s not ready to give her heart to anyone, when she meets a handsome young man. Set in what Viking called “the chaotic world of wedding planning,” Once and for All is slated for a summer 2017 release.

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme created by other bloggers.

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August 2016 reads, Uncategorized

The Architect of Song by A. G. Howard

  • The Architect of Song by A. G. Howard

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 18.48.31.pngRating: * * * * *

Series: #1 Haunted Hearts Legacy

Publisher: Golden Orb Press

Publication Date: August 2016

Goodreads Synopsis:

A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

New Adult: Recommended for ages 16+.

 

Ever since I finished Renee Ahdieh’s sensational debut ‘The Wrath and the Dawn’, I have been looking for something with the same beautiful and mesmerising writing style – a style that renders prose poetry. I found it in my latest read, ‘The Architect of Song’.

The writing of ‘The Architect of Song’, best-selling author Anita Grace Howard’s most recent novel, can only be described as exquisite. I have never before highlighted and bookmarked so many lines, paragraphs and pages on my Kindle device. There were so many  memorable and moving thoughts, speeches and descriptions that I  wanted to savour and read over and over again. There was something so smooth and soothing about the writing of the novel, something – suitably given the title and theme of the novel – positively melodic.

It’s rare that I encourage people to judge a book by its cover, but with this novel I urge just that. The exterior of this novel is stunning, and the inside is just as beautiful.

I loved the way that each chapter starts with a proverb from a different country. The proverbs are very interesting to read and set the tone for each chapter. Each proverb holds much truth and insight. I have to say as well that the illustrations of butterflies and flowers above each chapter heading are very pretty, too. I really need to buy a physical copy of this novel.

I also really enjoyed the fact that often the chapters end with a mini-cliffhanger and revelation. This makes the novel gripping, and keeps the reader turning the pages and not stopping between chapters. Indeed, I devoured this novel in two settings, reading the first 70 percent, sleeping, then reading the next 30 percent. I slowed down for the final few chapters because I did not want the book to end, so enchanted by it was I.

Like any great song, the novel builds to a crescendo for the final few chapters. The ending is filled with twists, turns and revelations that I absolutely did not see coming. It wasn’t predictable at all. At the same time, there were clever little clues as to the reveal at the end dotted here and there. I love it when authors do that as it shows everything has been brilliantly planned out.

The characters in ‘The Architect of Song’ are fantastic. There actually aren’t that many characters, which makes them all easy to keep track of and allows room for them to be really developed. The main character, Juliet, is really likeable – clever, sensitive and good-humoured – and it is lovely to see her grow in confidence over the novel’s course. The two male leads – Thornton and Hawk – both share her sense of humour. Both are charismatic and hold secrets that we cannot wait to discover. Enya, Juliet’s maid, is also a great character – with a secret of her own – and I loved seeing her sibling-like relationship with and loyalty to her mistress.

Another outstanding aspect of ‘The Architect of Song’ is the way that A. G. Howard blends genres. It’s a wonderful mix of history, romance, mystery and fantasy. I love each of these genres individually, so to have them combined is amazing and creates the perfect book for me! It also has the feeling of a fairy-tale to it, which is something else I adore, and something that makes it perfect for fans of ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’, ‘Uprooted’, ‘Shadow and Bone’ and, of course, ‘The Wrath and the Dawn.’

‘Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was a young man who lived in a hole. He was the prince of mud and grime. The rats were his chancellors, the spiders his stewards, and the salamanders his jesters of rhyme.’

I said in my review of ‘The Wrath and the Dawn’ that no-one writes romance quite like Renee Ahdieh. A. G. Howard certainly gives her a run for her money. The chemistry between the characters in this novel is electric, their romantic gestures swoon-worthy, and their affection and adoration heart-warming.

Overall, ‘The Architect of Song’ is a beautiful, unpredictable and mesmerising novel. It’s a new favourite for me and one I cannot wait to reread. I absolutely adored it, from its unique and intriguing opening to its stunning and satisfying close. I heartily recommend it.

I cannot wait for the next installment in this breathtaking series, and I also cannot wait for A. G. Howard’s next novel, ‘Roseblood’, which comes out in January next year. I love musicals and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ is one of my absolute favourites, so this retelling is right up my street and, bearing in mind the beauty and brilliance of ‘The Architect of Song’, it is sure to be amazing.

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August 2016 reads, Uncategorized

What’s A Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne

  • What’s A Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne

Rating: * * * * *

Series: The Spinster Club #3Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 16.44.05.png

Publisher: Usborne

Publication Date: August 2016

Goodreads Synopsis: HOW TO START A FEMINIST REVOLUTION:

1. Call out anything that is unfair on one gender

2. Don’t call out the same thing twice (so you can sleep and breathe)

3. Always try to keep it funny

4. Don’t let anything slide. Even when you start to break…

Lottie’s determined to change the world with her #Vagilante vlog. Shame the trolls have other ideas…

The Spinster Club series is one of my very favourites. We had Evie and Amber’s stories – now it’s the turn of their friend and aspiring Prime Minister Lottie, and her story is just as un-put-down-able and heart-warming as the other two were.

Feminism is a very important and very popular discussion point in YA fiction – there is a Twitter chat with the hashtag #FeminisminYA every Tuesday – and feminism is at the very heart of ‘What’s A Girl Gotta Do?’. The novel tells the story of Lottie’s campaign to be an active feminist and to fight sexism by pointing out every case of sexism she notices – whether it’s in a store with the unfair cost of razors or ibuprofen for period pain or it’s in a restaurant with the waiter automatically handing over the bill to the man – for a month. Holly Bourne explores the consequences Lottie faces during her campaign, from taunts from boys at school who view her as ‘man-hating’ to being a source of irritation to insulted teachers when she points out sexism in their lessons. Lottie must overcome the difficulties, disappointments and costs associated with fighting boldly for a cause that not everyone agrees with or understands. At times over the novel’s course, Lottie really struggles to continue with her project. These sections are very moving and the reader is completely behind Lottie, urging her on all the way and feeling very proud and full of admiration whenever she pulls through a particularly difficult stage.

One of my favourite things about each of the books in this series has been the way that Holly Bourne is able to blend humour with poignancy and sensitivity. As I’ve mentioned, there are numerous very difficult and emotional time periods for Lottie in the novel, but there are also very funny sections of the novel – particularly in the dialogue – which will have you laughing at loud and will put a massive smile on your face. I’m especially thinking here of Lottie’s ‘banter’ with her cameraman Will.

I also really enjoyed and appreciated the fact that Lottie’s parents play an active role in this novel (as parents have in all the books in this trilogy in fact). This is different to many YA novels – particularly genres like fantasy and dystopia – in which the main characters are orphans or alternatively they have conveniently constantly-absent parents, so we fail to see the relationship between young adults and their parents/guardians , a relationship at the very centre of teenagers’ lives. Lottie’s parents are not particularly interested at the beginning in her feminist vlog – they worry it will affect her Cambridge application and her A-level grades – nor indeed is her mum happy when Lottie points out that the allotment of household chores in their house is sexist and her mum does everything while her dad relaxes after work. Lottie’s feminist campaign affects every sector of her life – both her school life and her home life.

I love the friendship between the three main characters in this series – Lottie, Evie and Amber – and the fact that, while all three characters have romantic relationships, their friendship is what is central to the series and what matters most to them. All these things that are sometimes overlooked in YA – parental relationships and friendships are often side-lined in favour of crushes and romances – are at the forefront of this series and it is fantastic to see them taking the focus, not least because partners come and go but parents and best friends are constant.  In this novel, we see the first major upset in the three Spinsters’ friendship and I thought this was very realistic and relatable.

And that leads me to another major point about this series – these are three of the most relatable books I have ever read. I can identify with so much in these novels – whether it’s a situation one of the main characters is in or whether it’s a thought, emotion or worry that they have. I see myself in them, and there is something very comforting about that – about knowing through an author’s writing that others feel the same as you and have the same thoughts. The first scene of the novel, for a start – where Lottie is verbally abused by men for wearing lipstick – is something I think that every girl can relate to. We have all, unfortunately, experienced this in some form. Lottie’s story is all of our stories.

To summarise, ‘What’s A Girl Gotta Do?’ is a novel that should be on everyone’s shelves. It’s striking, memorable and impactful, the kind of book that stays in your mind long after you’ve turned the final page. It raises countless points about everyday sexism, points that it is crucial that we all recognise, discuss and fight against. Most importantly, this book left me, as I’m sure it will every reader, feeling inspired and empowered to act and to fight for the changes I want to see happen.

 

 

Book Events, Uncategorized

A post-YALC post!

 

YALC – the Young Adult Literature Convention – happened this past weekend and it was amazing! I had the most fantastic time, as indeed I did when I attended the event for the first time last year. I left YALC feeling inspired by the authors I’d met and the panels I had watched, fulfilled because I’d looked forward to this year’s convention since the moment the last one finished and I enjoyed it just as much as the previous one – if not more! – and just…content (although I did have quite bad backache and shoulder-ache from all the books I either purchased or got for free…no matter, though, the awesome books were all definitely worth it!).

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Here are some of the things I loved about this year’s YALC!

  • YALC this year was bigger and better! Last year YALC took up only about half of the second floor of the building, but this time we had a whole floor to ourselves! There was much more space for publishing houses’ stands and for the HSK Waterstones shop. It was so much fun to walk around the whole space and browse all of the fantastic stands – there were so many wonderful books on offer at each stand and I loved being surrounded by piles and piles of novels, as well as the traditional YALC Wall of Books. 

 

  • FREEBIES! I queued very early on Friday morning outside YALC and the wait for the doors to open was definitely worth it as when we all entered there was a large table full of freebies, from books, samplers and proofs to wristbands and posters. What I loved most of all was that there was a bucket of wrapped up books with little teasers on them (such as ‘contemporary romance’, ‘coming of age’ etc.). The mystery of what book might be inside was really exciting and it was a lovely idea! Inside the package I picked up was a proof copy of Harriet Rooter Hapgood’s ‘The Square Root of Summer’, and I’m really looking forward to reading it as it is a book I’ve had my eye on for a while and heard good things about. Additionally, lots of the publishing stands were giving away proof copies of their upcoming novels – I was particularly excited to pick up copies of ‘The Deviants’ by C. J. Skuse which comes out in September and also a copy of ‘A Torch Against the Night’ by Sabaa Tahir – that last one had me over the moon and put a massive smile on my face because I loved ‘An Ember in the Ashes’ and I was not expecting to receive an early copy of this sequel. I’ve heard glowing reviews of both of these novels. On the Friday of YALC, I went home with 18 books (unfortunately for my back!) and at least 10 of these were free! 

 

  • I was also ecstatic to be able to buy slightly early copies of two of my most anticipated upcoming reads – ‘Nevernight’ by Jay Kristoff and ‘Royal Tour’ by Amy Alward. I’m currently reading ‘Royal Tour’ and having just as much fun doing so as I did reading ‘The Potion Diaries’. I also picked up samplers of ‘The Graces’ by Laure Eve and Laini Taylor’s ‘Strange the Dreamer’, both of which I am very excited to read!

 

  • COVER REVEALS! The covers for two of my most anticipated books of 2016 were revealed at YALC – the third book in ‘The Sin Eater’s Daughter’ series by Melinda Salisbury, which we found out is going to be called ‘The Scarecrow Queen’ (what an awesome title!)  and the cover for ‘Wing Jones’ by Katherine Webber. Both covers are stunning! Melinda Salisbury was also giving out copies of a short story she has written, set in the Sin Eater world, and I can’t wait to read that. Her storytelling skills are simply amazing!

 

  • It was fantastic to attend the exclusive YALC ‘A Monster Calls’ panel featuring Patrick Ness and the young actor who is going to play Conor in this upcoming film. I read ‘A Monster Calls’ just before YALC in anticipation of this event and it is a wonderfully poignant and beautifully written novel. We watched the trailer at the start of the panel and it was phenomenal. I cannot wait to see this film as it looks like it truly captures the spirit of the novel. It was really interesting to learn how the book came about – the original idea for the story was Siobhan Dowd’s – and how it was adapted for the screen, as well as to hear from Lewis about his audition experience and the challenges involved in filming this movie. 

 

  • All the panels I attended at YALC this year were really enjoyable and interesting. I wish I could have attended more of these and of the workshops and the events in the agents’ area, but unfortunately I could only attend the convention on the Friday and half of the Saturday this year. The panel I was most looking forward to this year was the panel about magic on Friday morning and it did not disappoint! It was fascinating to learn more about the magical systems in the novels of Sally Green, Taran Matharu, V. E. Schwab and Melinda Salisbury, and more about what inspired them to write their fantasy books. Additionally, I really enjoyed the panel about rebellions in YA – it was a very though-provoking panel as the panelists discussed the different forms of rebellion, from smaller, individual acts to large-scale acts, and also how far one can go with rebellion in YA- with regard to violence, for example. I left the panels feeling very inspired to continue my own writing projects. 

 

  • Finally, it was wonderful to meet the authors at YALC! I especially loved meeting V. E. Schwab as she is my absolute favourite writer – if you haven’t read ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’ or ‘This Savage Song’, correct that immediately! I asked her about her book titles as I think they are all amazing and she told me that ‘A Gathering of Shadows’ went through seventy different titles before that one was chosen. I’d never imagined that! It was also great to meet Melinda Salisbury, Taran Matharu and Alwyn Hamilton, three more of my top authors. The signing queues were very long, but the authors made time to have a conversation with each of their fans which I thought was very generous of them. I imagine their wrists must have been aching from all the signatures! 

 

I would like to say a huge thank you to all the team behind YALC for all their hard work and for making it such a special and fantastic event! YALC is my favourite weekend of the year and attending it and meeting authors, bloggers, vloggers, readers and publishers brought me great joy. It also reminded me of what a warm, inclusive and welcoming community the book community is and how wonderful it feels to be a part of that. I’m already excited for next year’s event….but in the mean time I am going to read the twenty or so books I got at this year’s event!