Summer Book Haul 1

A long time ago, in a land far far away (relative to your position to London) I went to my favourite, and let’s face it only, book convention of the year: YALC. And afterwards I got really excited and snapped a host of photos of my haul. I had a big plan to go put up a fancy book hoard post and then look back next year and see if my initial blubbering thoughts aline to my actual opinion on the books. But then the post sat in drafts, undiscovered, until I had the crazy idea to sign up to post something everyday for a month.

And then, lo and behold, I unearthed these forgotten posts. And, well, long story short, lacking the big quest and the dragon and all that (sorry about that one), I smartened up the post and hit that ever scary ‘publish’ button.

The post has my original thoughts, from August, about the books and my predicted rating. Once I’ve finished them all we can see how well they did…

Enchantee

The French set historical fantasy all about the revolution? I love the sound of this fantasy Les Mis. My friend has highly recommended me this one so I’m going with an optimistic five stars. No pressure Enchatee.


A Thousand Perfect Notes

I traded a book at the book swap for a very pretty arc of Paper Fury’s debut novel. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll like it since I don’t often read contemporary but I’m curious what this blogger come author can do. I’m thinking it’ll be a three star read based on what I’ve heard, but wanting to be proven wrong.


I Am Thunder

Another book swapee! I don’t know much about this novel other than it has a gorgeous cover and seems to be pretty popular. As I’ve no clue what to expect I’m going for the middle of the road 3 stars.


Into The Crooked Places

I won a proof of Alexandra Christo’s new book. I loved To Kill a Kingdom so can’t wait to dive into another of her novels. I’m hoping it’ll be five stars, like I rated To Kill a Kingdom.


Skulduggery Pleasant: Resurrection

I haven’t read a Skulduggery Pleasant for years. Derek Landy finished the series back when I was at school but then came out with a sort of continuation thing set a few years after The Dying of the Light. When I heard the author would be at YALC I thought I’d give it a try, but I’m nervous jumping back into my childhood favourites. I’ll give it a cautious four star prediction.


Fangirl

Honestly, I picked this novel out at the book swap because it always looks so cute on Bookstagram. But I have wanted to read it for a while since bookworm at university might just sum up the last three years for me. I’m going with an optimistic prediction of four stars because it’s not my genre but I’ve heard good things.


Shadow and Bone Trilogy

I’m finally going to read some Leigh Bardugo! And just look at those covers 😍 I’ve heard good things but everyone tells me Six of Crows is better than the original trilogy, so I’ll predict four stars for all three.

Lets Compare Notes

There you have Summer Book Haul part 1! Stay tuned for part 2, which should appear on the 18th, depending on how well I stick to this blogtober schedule.

Have you read any of the books? Are they on your tbr? What do you think of my ratings and what would you predict/rate the novels yourself, if you haven’t/have read them? Hope to chat to you in the comments section!

YALC Wrap Up

Every year for the last five years I’ve attended YALC, the Young Adult Literature Convention, in London. Circled my calendar, pooled over the schedule and, with pages curling in the 38 degree heat of last Thursday, stuffed my rucksack full of books. After a brief debate if I’d really need a hairbrush for the one night I’d be staying at my friends in London I was set and ready to go. And for those wondering, I decided I did not need the hairbrush, and I’m sporting a frizzy birds nest by day two just to prove it.

On the train up I was casually pondering if I’d forgotten my toothbrush when my friend, book blogger inspiration and bookish partner in crime, Jo rung me to gush that she was ready, about to stumble to the convention three hours early and would I please hurry up. My apologies on the railways behalf, because what does signalling problems even mean, and my assurances that I’d be there before 10:30 quickly turned to fangirl babble as we compared books and planned our day.

The convention centre felt suspiciously cool when we arrived, usually a sweltering hall crammed with book lovers in the thirty degree heat of July. Suspicious but relieved, we grabbed a few signing tickets before heading over to the agents arena because Jo wanted querying tips for the book she’s just written.

On unforgiving plastic chairs that creaked everytime I shifted slightly, which of course I couldn’t stop doing all of a sudden, I vaguely listened to the agent explain query letters while Jo dutifully took notes. There may have been some scrolling on my part. And I may have thrust my Twitter in front of Jo a handful of times because cute puppy or exciting read. Basically if Jo struggles to query her book it’s all Twitter’s fault.

Leaving the talk we assured each other we’d take it slow. Split the stands up so we wouldn’t be bored, as our first signing wasn’t until frustratingly late in the afternoon. So obviously, with the best of intentions, we started weaving our way greedily through the stands, ogling at the glistening covers and snatching cute badges in a giddy and excited rush. We’d done them all pretty much by lunchtime.

Although not as paced as we may have planned we did secure some afternoon entertainment in the form of hunting for rubber bats as we tried to win a proof of Alexandra Christo’s Into the Crooked Places. I managed to snag one off the big Y in YALC and Jo and I are now the proud shared owners of this glittery purple proof. I get it first since I spotted the bat.

The day ended with me deliberating far too much over the book swap, babbling incoherently at Derek Landy as he signed off my book with a skull before meeting our friends for dinner in the evening. In just a slight summer drizzle and a sticky humid evening our tired feet made it back to Jo’s London flat where we compared our purchases and admired our Fairy Loot prints.

On Saturday our friend Hannah joined us. You might think this narrative is going get confusing with two Hannah’s on the scene but lucky for you I’ve told it in first person. You see, I think about my readers.

On a rainy Saturday morning we grabbed our bags, mine now significantly lighter after we’d swung by my office Friday night, and rushed to the convention centre. We knew VE Schwab would be popular and wanted to get low numbered queue tickets but we were nearly 300th in the queue when we stumbled to the ticket stand a mere half hour after it opened. The calmness of yesterday had given way to the weekend that dragged an uncomfortably warm, heaving room full book lovers with it, presenting us with a much more exhausting first few hours.

Slightly dejected we consoled ourselves with our low numbered Malorie Blackman and Karen McManus tickets. Hannah was keen to go round the stalls and it didn’t take much convincing for either us to join her, my formally empty tote now restuffed with more books and a very pretty hardback I won of Fairy Loot.

The afternoon was filled with exciting bookish promise. With clammy hands clutching treasured books we queued in the greenhouse that is the signings area, Jo having traded her 281 for a 39 VE Schwab signing ticket. We were only allowed to get three books signed and one dedicated and Jo swapped out one of hers for my new copy of Vicious. Being the incredible human being she is when we were asked which one we wanted dedicating she got my book dedicated to me! Makes me feel bad for stealing all the cookie dough when we get Ben and Jerry’s.

After absolutely melting in front of VE Schwab, both from heat and from love, we located our trusty plug socket we’d unearthed in previous years and dumped our hauls for a moment of chill. With a brief interlude where we played hunt the bat again in the hope of not having to argue over our pretty purple proof we spent most of the afternoon sitting and admiring a nearby dog. If you’re wondering we are now doomed to forever fight over the possession of that proof. I did manage to win a proof of Thorn of Swans by posting an impressive bird impression on Twitter and got Jo and I chocolate cupcakes from the Fairy Loot stand when they unveiled yet more copies of Caravel are being made. It wasn’t all a loss.

Our final signing was with Malorie Blackman at the end of day. We were both beginning to get slightly steamed and a tad icky by that point, as we flopped down on beanbags next to a nearly cleared out stand. The hour wait was not without it’s perks: we got a sweaty snap with Alwyn Hamilton when she finished signing and, because she is a lovely human, she remembered us from the last three years she’d been to the convention. Possibly our giggles and squeeles are very memorable.

The day, and the whole event, ended with a giddy meeting with Malorie Blackman, who is just too lovely, a quick sugar crash and a sleepy trip home. Now for 364 days of recuperating before we do it all again.

Hannah, Jo and I on Saturday

Retrieve Cover Reveal

Hello everyone! Something slightly different going up on the blog today! I’ve been asked to do a cover reveal 😀 I’ve never done one before but thought it might be fun and hey they basically wrote the post for me so how can I say no?

Anyway, the novel is young adult fantasy and will be released in December, it sounds quite good. Without any more rambling, here is the cover:

Retrieve
Sarah Addison-Fox
(The Stormers Trilogy #1)
Publication date: December 26, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

What if the job you took to stay alive might be what kills you?

Kade knows what it is to suffer. He knows what it’s like to lose everything and everyone around him.

His job in a Stormer Unit guarantees not just his survival in the decimated country of Azetaria, but his sister Meg’s. Even if it means facing the Numachi warriors baying for his blood, he’ll do what it takes to keep her safe.

Hadley is alone and surviving the only way she knows how. By hiding where predators won’t find her and scavenging enough just to keep her alive.

When desperation drives Hadley to search for her missing brother, she mistakenly accepts the offer of recruitment into the Stormer’s camp, only to be partnered with Kade and sent as a scout into Numachi territory.

The intimidating young Stormer may just know where her brother has gone. But can they stay alive long enough to find him?

About the Author

Sarah Addison-Fox is a New Zealand-born misfit who writes action-packed fantasy with a smattering of punch ups, mega amounts of romance and a dash of family values. She has an astonishing amount of nail polish, has all her creative writing credentials shoved in a drawer somewhere, and has a husband who, after 28 years, can still make her blush. When she’s not working on her YA fantasy romance series’ she can be found binge watching Mission Impossible movies, drinking lager and eating curry.

WebsiteFacebookNewsletter

So there we have it! My first cover reveal! How’d I do? 😛

Anyway I’ll probably be back next with the usual Top Ten Tuesday on, unsurprisingly, Tuesday! Would love to hear your opinion on the cover/book in the comments!!

My Favourite YALC 2k18 Moments!

Hellloooo. So to not overload you too much (I’ve posted quite a lot last week) I pushed this post to this week. But only slightly. And it’s still a lot of posting in a row. Ooops.

But anyway, with the excitement of YALC last weekend and everyone settling in to enjoy their new books I though I’d share a few of my favourite memories of the day.

If this post is extremely confusing, I have another friend called Hannah who I went to YALC with, I’m not just talking about myself in third person…

I got to practice my French

Not something I’d really expected at book con, but my friends and I attempted to answer a quiz whereby famous bookish phrases were translated into French and we had to work out which books they were from.

Alwyn Hamilton Recognised Us

Having seen her every year for four years, me and my friend were a little excited when she said she remembered us as she signed my copy of Hero at the Fall, completing my signed collection of the Rebel of the Sands trilogy.

My Friends can Pitch Impossible Pitches

My friend Hannah read her elevator book pitch at an agents arena talk and got a round of applause and high praise from the agents! Meanwhile I discovered that pitching a book in a sentence was near impossible 😛

On a similar vein, my friend Jo pitched her YA fantasy to an agent and got told it was very marketable! And she promised that if she’s ever signing at YALC I can tag along, defo not going to forget that one in a few years time 😉

We got Tonnes of Cute pics

I refer you to the image below:

yalc

Also in the pic with Alwyn Hamilton in I am wearing clothes! I’m wearing a strapless dress 😛

I ate Italian Food

Because all good days end with pizza, so we headed to Pizza Express and then a Pizza shop the next day. I may have an actual addiction.

Laura Stevens is just as Happy to see Us

I got to nearly the front of Laura Stevens, author of The Exact Opposite of Okay, signing line and saw her giddy excitement and enthusiastic crowd photo-ing as the attendant told her how long her signing queue was. It’s so nice how excited she was!

I got Cake, obvs

Feeling a bit bummed about missing out on meeting Tomi Adeyomi since her queue was so long, my friend and I got to fangirl about Children of Blood and Bone in the relaxing area and then got to scoff some very tasty cake. Not quite as good as meeting the author, but the cake was pretty great.

I got Books and Met some Fab Authors

My full list of purchases can be found here.

Despite the tricky signing lines and clashes I met Samantha Shannon, Alwyn Hamilton (twice because she was wondering round the convection and we bumped into her!), Laura Steven, Sally Nicolls, Louise O’Neil and Matt Kileen! And they were all fab!

comparenotesSo those are my YALC highlights! Did you go? Whats a cool Book con memory you have? Would love to hear from you in the comments!

Book Haul!

YALC finished exactly one week ago, which is apparently how long it takes me to get a blog post up! But surrounded by some shiny new great reads I have to take to the internet and vent my excitement.

Faced with the impossible challenge of summarising a weekends worth of fangirling, queuing and eating cake I am going to keep these posts brief, uninformative and will probably be really hungry by the end (I’m not joking when I say this post will feature cake).

But something I like even more than cake (yes, yes it possible) is signed books. Especially when accompanied by a happy fangirl moment with the author, a slight bit of gushing on my part and potentially some screaming if they have killed off any characters I really liked recently. I joke, I try and keep screaming to a minimum when in polite company.

So here is a picture of my YALC haul:

yalcbookhaul

(Missing a signed copy of Orphan, Monster Spy because it was only after I’d taken the picture that I spotted that signed gem on my bed discarded and I was not going to try force Ace of Shades to stand up again, that book had a flopping problem.)

And because I like to keep my posts informative I will detail the books I’ve gained, starting with my signed favourites:

  • The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven, all about the horrors of men in our day and age. Also the author was so excited about her signing line and snapped a few pictures of it proudly which was so sweet ❤
  • Hero at the Fall by Alywn Hamiliton, the last in the Rebel of the Sands series, all about magic, rebellions and tyrannical govenements. My friend Jo and I were just a little excited when the author recognised us.
  • Asking For It by Louise O’Neil– After reading The Exact Opposite of Okay I’ve wanted to try some of Louise O’Neil’s stuff since she writes feminist YA too. Having been told to have the Kleenex at the ready, I’m excited to start this novel.
  • The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon– third in the seven part Bone Season series (where I’m only one part in, oops) I’m excited to read this book when I finally get there!
  • Things a Bright Girl can Do– All about woman’s suffrage back in the war time and how different women reacted to the fight for the vote.
  • Author, Monster, Spy– forgot to include this on in the shot above (oops) but this novel is all about Nazi Germany and the perils of being a spy.

And now a quick recap of the £5 books I really shouldn’t have bought… but they were only £5! And it’s only once a year soooo

  • Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows– I haven’t even finished the second one yet but went ahead and grabbed the next two in a 3 for £10 deal. Maybe a leap of faith but I want to know more about everyone’s favourite assassin fighting off tyranny.
  • To Kill a Kingdom- evil siren, heroic prince, and a fight to the death. Oooh I’ve wanted to read this gem for so long.
  • Ace of Shades– Casinos, gangs and a prim and proper protagonists, sounds like a great combo and one I’ve wanted to read for ages.
  • Caravel– After loving The Night Circus magical circus’s are sort of my jam. And sinister games and challenges? How have I not read this yet??!
  • Alex and Eliza– Ok, mostly because Hamilton (I have tickets for the show in February!!!)
  • The Raven King– Because I need to know if Gansey and his magical gang find their Welsh King and who is getting that wish!!
  • You Only Live Once– Me and my weary friend sat under a stall and I won a proof all about a girl ticking off her bucket list. Not sure what to expect but hey, might as well try it.

comparenotes

So there you have it! My YALC book haul!! I’m pretty pleased with my new collection! Have you read any of these? Any on your TBR? Any idea which one I should read first? Pick up any of these at YALC, if you went? Feel free to chat in the comments!

A Panel with Neal Shusterman, V.E. Schwab and Samantha Shannon

Where: Waterstones, Crouch End

When: Mar 19, 2018 at 7:15

Have you ever travelled on a train for ten hours just to meet an author? I have a friend bookishly mad enough to do just this, so naturally I did the noble thing of joining. Yep, totally didn’t want to see two of my favourites authors and one of my best friends… this trip was entirely selfless 😉 

As expected the evening was brilliant. We stumbled into the bookshop a little late since we took an accidental 15 minute detour around Crouch Hill (this is why I should never be left in charge of navigation!). I think my friend secretly really appreciated an unwarranted, uninformative evening tour of North London.

Luckily the event hadn’t started yet, although we did have to disrupt an entire row so we could squeeze onto the end (before you ask, it was NOT the easily accessible end). But hey who needs to be likeable.

The authors were unbelievably energetic considering they were talking to a packed bookstore. I’d have freezed up and babbled incoherently about peanut butter for the first fifty questions just to get the flow they had going. They bounced off each other brilliantly as they described favourite bits of their books, certain characters in perilous situations and how useful it is to listen to movie sound tracks as they write (who’d have thought?!).

In an attempt to keep this post slightly informative I’ll give you a brief synopsis of some of the things the authors actually said. Neal Shusterman described a lot about what Skythe is like and is interested in the concept of the cloud ruling human kind in a friendly, helpful way (the techy thing, not the fluffy stuff in the skies). V.E. Schwab is terrified of babies who can swipe on iPads, humans loosing the ability to spell due to technology and is rightfully annoying about the recent censorship of her Shades of Magic novels. Samantha Shannon is curious why, in books like The Hunger Games, the reader never sees outside the country the novels set in. She’s tried to set The Bone Season novels in different locations for this reason: Oxford, Manchester, Paris. She always wrote the coolest message in my new signed novel:

Words give you wings – Samantha Shannon signed this in my copy of The Mime Order

Extra bonus, I was even able to ask a question! Following my friends bravery (she asked VE Schwab a question without any incoherent babble or bright red cheeks, it was truly inspiring) I asked Neal Shusterman weather he liked coding. I know this may seem like a waste of the burning cheeks I developed by speaking in front of so many people but his book is about Artificial Intelligence and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to find another coder-gone-book-worm.

For those wondering, sadly Neal Shusterman does not code. However he has a real knack for answering slightly obscure and unrelated questions at events.

Following this excellent talk my friend and I joined the end of the signing queue snaking around the shop (end because we were slightly oblivious to the seats emptying and everyone joining the queue around us… oops).

I got two books signed, snapped a picture of me, my friend and the 3 authors and nearly left without paying for the books I’d picked up. All in all a total success I would say.

Did you attend this event? Ever met Neal Shusterman, V.E. Schwab or Samantha Shannon? Have any burning questions that this post, severely lacking in information that it is, has missed? Love to hear from you guys in the comments!