Wednesday, July 23

Waiting on Wednesday


Talon (Talon #1)
Julie Kagawa

Publisher: Harlequin TEEN / MiraINK
To Be Released: October 28, 2014
Genre: YA - Paranormal
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From Goodreads:
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Holy crap I am so excited for this book. I adored Julie's Iron Fey series and her Blood of Eden series and now she turns to dragons. I FREAKING LOVE DRAGONS! Seriously cannot wait!


Monday, July 21

I Still Haven't Read...


This week's pick...






Jessica Series by Beth Fantasky:

#1 Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
#1.5 The Wedding of Antanasia Jessica Parkwood and Lucius Valeriu Vladescu
#2 Jessica Rules the Dark Side

Have you read this series?


Sunday, July 20

Book Haul: The YALC Edition



Hardcopy Books:

For Review:


In the Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright #3) by Gabrielle Zevin
Killing You Softly (St Jude's Academy #2) by Lucy Carver
Eternal Dawn (Vampire Queen #3) by Rebecca Maizel
The Rain by Virginia Bergin
The Young World (Young World Trilogy #1) by Chris Weitz

Gifted:


Fearsome Dreamer (Fearsome Dreamer #1) by Laure Eve
Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe
The Darkest Part (Living Heartwood #1) by Trisha Wolfe

Bought:


The Memory Keepers by Natasha Ngan
The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles
Rolling Dice by Beth Reekles
Out of Tune by Beth Reekles
Four Years Later (One Week Girlfriend #4) by Monica Murphy
A Beautiful Wedding (Beautiful #3) by Jamie McGuire
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A Midsummers Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Lobsters by Tom Ellis and Lucy Iverson
Say Her Name by James Dawson
Salvage by Keren David
Frozen (Heart of Dread #1) by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne
Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

E-Books:

For Review:


Between by Megan Whitmer
Flawed (Perfection #2) by JL Spelbring
Swimming to Tokyo by Brenda St. John Brown
The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

Bought:


A Beauty so Beastly (Beastly #1) by RaShelle Workman
Glaze by Kim Curran
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


 


Thursday, July 17

The Undoubted Success of YALC

Last weekend saw the arrival of the one event I, and many other UK book bloggers, had been longing for since... well... forever. July 12th and 13th 2014 saw the arrival of the first ever young adult book convention to be held in the UK. YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) was put forward by Childrens book Laureate, legend Malorie Blackman in conjunction with Booktrust. Mergine with the ever popular LFCC (London Film and Comic Con) it was without a doubt an incredible success with hundreds of thousands flocking to Earls Court for the event and checking out the incredible "book zone".

This is my wrap-up of the weekend and my experience of what is possibly the best weekend of my life.

The Journey To YALC:

With me living in little 'ole Teesside, a part of the North East of England, I had an extremely early morning on Saturday. Getting up at 5am I wasn't even sleepy. I was far too excited. Because it was time for YALC! The first EVER UKYA book convention. Having already packed everything after a quick coffee it was time to head to the train station to catch the 7:10am train to London Kings Cross. My first trip to London and I was very excited!

After a 3+ hour train journey and a London Underground Tube I was ready to hit LFCC and YALC. I was most definitely NOT expecting the amount of people that were there. I was so overwhelmed. I have honestly never seen so many people in one place. Having already bought my ticket for entry in advance I got to skip the enormous queue and after half an hour of waiting I was in!

And when I say a lot of people I mean a LOT! They had to close the doors as they were at capacity at 12pm! It was so crazy hot in there as the air-con was apparently not on someone made this. If you weren't there you won't accept that fact of how accurate it was. I went through 5 bottles of water in one day. Craziness!



YALC Day One: Saturday

Once I got in, although I was still anxious about the amount of people there, I was so excited. These were my kind of people. People who love Doctor Who and Game of Thrones and BOOKS! I took a wander around the book stalls which were AMAZING! and there were lots of amazing publishers there!


The Events:

Saturday's events kicked off with a talk on Dystopia with Malorie Blackman, Sarah Crossan, Patrick Ness and James Smythe. By the time I got to the event the tickets for the events were all gone. I hear this was amazing and included a welcome speech from Malorie Blackman in Klingon. Awesome Sauce right there! Other talks throughout the day included ones about graphic novels, fantasy books and heroes of horror with numerous authors on each panel.

There were also numerous workshops on writing and blogging but they were all in such high demand I didn't get into any of them. But that was fine. I was here to meet authors, bloggers and go to the signings. 

The Signings:

Saturday saw me meet many amazing authors from the likes of Sarah Crossan, dystopia queen to queen of contemp Holly Bourne. I started my signings off with Sarah Crossan, fresh from her dystopia talk. I was armed with her brand new book Apple and Rain that isn't due for release until August 14, 2014 and she was the sweetest.

Next I headed for Rainbow Rowell, whose queue was crazy. People were queuing from 1pm and her signing didn't start until 2:15pm. She was due to finish signing at 4pm and she was still at it at 5:30pm so major kudos to Rainbow for continuing when she didn't even have to. I also got given a great Fangirl tote bag from her publicist which I adore.

I am kinda sad I didn't get my Patrick Ness books signed but his signing was at the exact same time as Rainbow's and by the time I got out of that queue and saw the queue for Patrick's I just couldn't bare to stay in that queue. *sad face*

Next up was the slot of Kim Curran, Amy McCullogh, Holly Bourne and Natasha Ngan. No way did I think I would manage to see all 4 but I did. I headed for Holly's line first as her newest book, The Manifesto of How to be Interesting, due for release August 1, 2014, was on sale and I managed to grab a few copies to be signed. She was so awesome and she called me "Ruffle girl" which made me laugh because I brought her chocolates that we have in the North East that you can't get down south.

Natasha Ngan's new novel, The Memory Keepers, due for release September 4, 2014, was on sale at YALC also but when I got there it was sold out. I was devastated as it was the one book there I wanted. While waiting for Natasha's signing I met the wonderful Rosi from Hot Key Books (I was so excited to meet her) and she sorted me out with a copy of The Memory Keepers after they had ran back to their office for ore. We had a whole 'in-line purchasing' thing going on.

I was also thrilled to meet Kim Curran, Amy McCullogh and Lucy Saxon on Saturday.

After that I headed off to find my hotel. I was freaking EXHAUSTED! I'd gone straight there from the train so was carting my suitcase around all day in the sweltering heat! My biggest regret from Saturday was the fact that I really wish I had gone to drop my case off at the hotel first. But the day was still awesome.

YALC Day 2: Sunday

Sunday was better! There was less people there which was a relief and it was a LOT cooler. Apparently they had found the air-con switch! AND I wasn't carting my bag around.

The Events:

Again there were lots of workshops and talks and this time I got a ticket for the one I really wanted. "I'm too Sexy for this Book" with Cat Clarke, Non Pratt, Beth Reekles and was headed by the amazing Queen of Teen James Dawson. It was hilarious! From start, when James demanded his crown, to end. They discussed sex in YA novels and was an insightful experience, especially discussion New Adult and how the majority of them are not NA but just YA books with sexy times in. I am so thrilled that I got to witness it as it was the only one that I wanted to see all weekend. Other talks included things like how to get published, YAs not just being for kids and the female dominance of YA.

The Signings:
 
I was thrilled to meet Non Pratt, James Dawson, Beth Reekles, Meg Rosoff, Alexia Casale and Julie Mayhew on Sunday.

The best part of my day was definitely meeting Non, discovering that she too is originally from Teesside and she actually hugged me! She is one of my favourite authors and her book, Trouble, is one of my favourite books ever!

Others: James was absolutely hilarious and laughed at me when I said I hadn't read his book yet as I was too scared. Alexia was oh so crazy but in such a fantastic wat and Meg Rosoff asked for my blogger card. Seriously OH. MY. GOD!

I am also sad that I never got to meet Holly Smale but her line was huge and I was exhausted and it was at the end of the time and I just needed to sit down and chill out. 

The Bloggers:

One of my favourite parts of YALC was that I met some of the bloggers I have been friends with for years. I met Faye and Debbie and Daphne and Laura. One I was crazy excited to meet was Lucy, the blogger behind Queen of Contemporary and the genius mind behind Project UKYA. She is so crazy awesome and we are already planning for me to go see her in Bath and go round the book stores.

The Books:

So, as expected, I brought back a whole lot of books! I took like 24 with me to get signed, I came home with 42 books including gifts for friends and books for giveaways. All in all not bad.

So I came home with these...



These are ones I picked up that are not released yet, three of them which are signed *happy dance*



Thanks to ATOM who gave me The Young World free for review. You guys rock!

Other Comic Con Stuff...

Honestly, the majority of my time was spent in YALC. I rarely escaped from my little book haven but I did for one major thing. To meet the one and only Lena Headey aka Cersei Lannister from the best series ever, Game of Thrones. She is so short and cute and so lovely. Such a far cry from her character. I only met her briefly as they get the pics over so damn fast.

*squeee*


Carrie Fischer also walked past me with her super cute dog but it was so fast I couldn't get a picture.

I also went in search of some merch and found this crazy awesome GoT shirt. LOVE IT!







In Conclusion:

So basically YALC was a phenomenon and undoubted success. I really hope they take this as an indicator of what a fab yearly event this would be. For YALC2015 a part of me would love for it to be held at its own venue so it could be even bigger. But then aain there was a sort of magic of it being at LFCC and Spiderman or Chewbacca could just walk around the corner.

The whole weekend was utterly fantastic. I can't wait for YALC2015.






Giveaway:

1 Signed Copy of Soulmates by Holly Bourne
1 Signed Copy of Manifesto of How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne
1 Signed Copy of Trouble by Non Pratt 




Wednesday, July 16

Waiting on Wednesday


Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)
Sarah J Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury
To Be Released: September 2, 2014
Genre: YA - Fantasy
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From Goodreads:
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

I am so excited for this book. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of the first book, Throne of Glass and since then I have been obsessed with this series. I absolutely love it and I cannot wait to get started on Heir of Fire, the third book in the six-part-series. I am very lucky to have an eARC of this book sitting on my Kindle... by the time this post goes live I am hoping to have read it (I'm writing this post at the beginning of June). I really want to read this before August as I am going to see Sarah then.


Tuesday, July 15

Review: Stolen

Stolen
Lucy Christopher

Published By: Chicken House
Publication Date: May 4, 2009
Date Read: June 28, 2014
Genre: YA - Thriller
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 301
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From Goodreads:
It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere.


Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.

This book is one that has been on my radar for a while and after hearing so many amazing things about it I finally decided to pick it up. I really, really wanted to like this book. It sounded so gripping and raw and I really thought for me, a Psychology graduate, it would be the perfect book. Unfortunately I was really disappointed.

Gemma is sixteen years old when she is taken from Bangkok airport and taken to the outbacks fo Australia. With no towns and no people she is stuck with Ty. The unstable guy who has taken her. Claiming that he is in love with her and they are meant to be Gemma and Ty embark on a disturbing and emotional journey. Can Gemma be rescued or is she destined to be with Ty forever?

I genuinelly thought this was going to be a great book and one great thing about it is Lucy Christopher's fantastic writing style. She really captured the voice of Gemma fantastically. It sounded exactly as a teenager would sound and you really feel the writing change as Gemma changed throughout the book. When she is panicked and trying to escape the sentences grow longer, and more rant-like as if she is out of breath. I think that is absolutely fantastic!

Right from reading the blurb I immediately knew this was going to be a case of Stockholm Syndrome. Right from the start I knew that Gemma was going to develop this and from reading other people's reviews then I thought maybe I would start to warm to Ty to. I didn't. He is genuinelly just a freaking psychopath. As you read more you realise that he has been following and spying on Gemma since she was about 9/10 years old... erm what the hell? As I read more I saw a mental disorder nobody else had mentioned and one not a lot of people have heard of. I think that Ty has St Clerembault's Disorder, or more commonly known Erotomania. If you haven't heard of this disorder this is a case where somebody believed that they are in love with someone and that they love them back. It can be a case where someone has done something kind to them and they take it as an act of love and believe they are meant to be together. This is often a disorder than a lot of stalkers have. Ty shows all of the symptoms of St Clerembault's Disorder so I truly thing that he does have a case of this.

I will admit that this is a thriller book and I am really not a fan of thrillers. I was grabbed at the beginning because of the hint of mental illness but as I got about 70+ pages into it my interest waned and I was just bored. I didn't enjoy it and I really felt like it was a glorification of a horrific crime. The only reason I continued was I wanted to see how it ended, did Gemma get rescued? and I did like the mental illness inflections of the book. I don't think I will be picking anything up by this author again. I wasn't a fan.


Monday, July 14

I Still Haven't Read...


This week's pick...






If I Stay Series by Gayle Forman:

#1 If I Stay
#2 Where She Went

Have you read this series?