Wednesday, July 29

Waiting on Wednesday


Never Never
Brianna Shrum

Published By: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Genre: YA - Fairytale Retelling
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From Goodreads:
James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.

When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.

But grow up he does.

And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.

This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.

Except one.

OH! MY! GAWD!!!!
I love the fairytale of Peter Pan and this sounds AMAZING!!!
I am so freaking excited. I am dying to read Captain Hook's story. Is it September yet?


Tuesday, July 28

Early Review: Am I Normal Yet? (Normal #1)

Am I Normal Yet? (Normal #1)
Holly Bourne

Published By: Usborne Publishing
Publication Date: August 1, 2015
Date Read: July 24, 2015
Genre: YA - Contemporary Romance
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 434
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From Goodreads:
All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?

"There is no normal. There's only what's normal to you."

Am I Normal Yet? is one of the books that I was looking forward to most this year. I'm already a big Holly Bourne fan and when I heard about this one I couldn't wait for it and I am so excited that this is the first in a series. I have been a huge fan of Holly Bourne's books ever since I read her debut novel Soulmates. Even though I have read and loved all of her books Soulmates has always remained my favourite. It had made me fall in love and it had broken my heart all at the same time and it was the book that made me love Holly. I can no longer say that Soulmates is my favourite Holly Bourne book. Am I Normal Yet? is one of the most touching and meaningful books I've ever read and it completely blew me away.

Evie suffers from a very severe case of OCD and we join her story while she is in recovery. This instantly made me love this book. I am a big fan of books that touch on mental illnesses but I can often get irritated by them if they are just the very stereotypical 'public views' on them. This was not the case with Am I Normal Yet? whatsoever. Although we do have the stereotypical symptom of OCD (the hand washing) but it's put forward in such a severe case that it really documents a true-life depiction of what it is like living with OCD. We live in a time when people say OCD like it's a quirk. I myself sometimes do this too. I often say I'm so OCD with my book collection and this book really showed me that we shouldn't say things like that. It's not a quirk it's a very serious condition.  I absolutely loved Evie and my heart just broke for her throughout this book especially as we started to see her starting on a slow downward spiral in her recovery.

Am I Normal Yet? is a touching and beautiful story of friendship, love, mental health and feminism. I loved every moment of it and this truly showed the extent of Holly's phenomenal writing skills. She tackled this incredibly hard illness with such dignity and respect. This book made me laugh and cry and I loved every moment of it. It is without a doubt one of the best books I have read this year, if not ever! I cannot wait for the next book in the series. It cannot arrive in my hands soon enough!

"You've got to love you before worrying about anyone else loving you."



WIN A COPY OF AM I NORMAL YET?

I am giving away a copy of Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne to one lucky follower. It is international and will be ordered from The Book Depository so please check that they deliver to your country before entering. The giveaway will close on Sunday 2nd August.

Enter below and remember not to be so obsessed with normal!

"You're so obsessed with being normal, but that's well boring and you're extraordinary Evie."

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Monday, July 27

Saturday, July 25

Review: The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (Steampunk Chronicles #0.5)

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (Steampunk Chronicles #0.5)
Kady Cross

Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
Date Read: May 4, 2015
Genre: YA - Steampunk
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
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From Goodreads:
Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined.

"Aristocrats were a queer lot - marrying for money, staying with spouses they couldn't stand, living by all manners of foolish rules, selling their daughters to save their own hides."

I've had the Steampunk Chronicles series on my shelf to read for what feels like forever. I've put it off quite a lot because Steampunk is a genre that I often have trouble getting into and enjoying but when a friend was going to read book 1 we agreed to buddy read it. I decided I would start with the prequel and I am so glad that I did. I loved this prequel and it was a fantastic introduction to the series.

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne introduces us to our main protagonist and throughout this short prequel I just loved her. Finley is awesome and hilarious and mysterious. I loved getting to know her and her strange situation and potential powers. This novella definitely left me wanting more. It made me fall in love with the characters the time and the world. I can't wait to see what happens in the first book.

"Learn from it and let it go. Dwelling never helped anyone."


Thursday, July 23

K-Books Time at #YALC 2015: Day 3 - Sunday





After a very tiring Saturday at #YALC I was so glad that the evening was better than Friday evening. I actually slept well and I was super excited for this day. Sunday was the day when the most events that I wanted to see was on. I knew I was going to have to make some sacrifices as there was just too much I wanted to do to be realistic. But anyway I was super excited and me and Laura arrived at Olympia just after 9; time to put our cases in the cloakroom and sign up for the workshops that we wanted to.

Just before I get on telling you all about Sunday I totally forgot to include this on Friday and Saturday's posts. I met one of my very first bookish and blogging friends. The amazing Mara aka The Book Marauder. I was so happy and excited to meet her in person so here she is. If you don't already, make sure you follow her on twitter @bookmarauder


She is so awesome!!!

Anyway check what was on the schedule for Sunday... too much awesomeness to handle!



Panels:

On Sunday there were 3 panels I really wanted to go to and I did end up going to 3 but one of them was not on my original plan. I'll explain a little bit more about this later.


Panel 1: Mental Health in YA featuring Matt Whyman, Brian Conaghan, Annabel Pitcher and Holly Bourne, chaired by Imogen Russell Williams


Mental Health in YA was the first panel of the day and one of the ones I was most looking forward to. Mental Health included in YA novels has been on the rise in the past year or so, especially in UKYA and one of my favourite authors was talking on this panel, Holly Bourne. I was so excited to get in early enough to get a seat quite close the front. They spoke about mental issues in real life as well as in their novels and it was really interesting.


When talking about the books that they read when they were teens Annabel Pitcher said that she didn't remember mental health issues being addressed in the books that she read. Matt Whyman and Brian Conaghan noted that the characters in books they read that had mental illnesses were usually villians. The bad guys tended to have 'issues' whereas Holly Bourne said that reading Jacqueline Wilson's books depicted mental health issues well.

Matt used to work as an agony aunt for a teenage girls magazine but was faced with lots of mail from teenage boys. He got a medical question from a boy in one letter where he clearly felt that he couldn't turn to anyone but a stranger in a magazine. Holly also worked as an agony aunt for a teenage magazine and she was actually trained up by Matt.

When turning towards fiction in Holly's most recent release she depicts a character with OCD and she said that she really wanted to make sure that she got the depiction of OCD right. To show it was more serious than just being 'clean' or 'tidy'. She interviewed many teens with OCD anonymously as research. She claimed that it's a difficult condition to research as it manifests itself so differently in each individual.
Brian Conaghan says that he wanted to be respectful depicting Tourette's syndrome which is a difficult condition to live with. Brian himself was diagnosed with Tourette's while in his 30s.
Annabel Pitcher said that she never set out to write about mental health issues. She is interested in the gap between who we feel we are and who we feel we should be and that mental anguish came into that interest.
Holly went on to inform us that we all have mental health - it's just like physical heath. We all have it and all characters will come in and out of difficulties with that mental health. She says that it is important to remember potentially vulnerable readers. For example, when writing The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting her main character self-harmed but Holly made sure that we were never 'in the room' when that happened. Annabel then drew on this to say that it was important to talk about the issues but to also include that there is hope; there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Panel 2: Bringing Sexy Back featuring Non Pratt, Louise O'Neill, Tom Ellen, Lucy Ivison and chaired by James Dawson.


The Bringing Sexy Back panel was the panel that I 100% could not miss and it turned out to be my favourite panel of the day. It had my favourite author Non Pratt talking and the legendary James Dawson, who came in dressed as Danerys Targaryn I just adore him. They talked about the rise of Sex in YA novels.

Lucy said that sex is still a big deal in YA as it should be. It's still a big deal to have sex and still matters to lots of people. Louise added that sex isn't just still a big deal in publishing but in the movies as well. Violence seems more acceptable yet sex is natural and human. Non added that young people are quite desensitised to sex across visual media as there's more access to it through the internet. YA books, however, help connect the emotional and the physical experience of sex. When it's so easy for people to access porn on the internet, books are giving a 'real-life' depiction of it rather than the glamorized versions in porn.
James says that there are still issues with parents, librarians and teachers when it comes to sex. Lucy, who works as a school librarian, says that the backlash mainly comes from parents. Non's book had been banned in her school library for example due to the teen pregnancy theme and the fact that it is know as the 'sperm book'. Non says that all it takes is for one person to say 'my child can't read this' for no-one to then be able to read it.
When talking about sex scenes in their books Non says that she writes for 14-year-old-Non to be honest in the sex scenes and write them realistically rather than 'fade-to-black'. James pointed out that Louise's books don't portray sex as pleasurable and she says that she thinks sex is sometimes a performance. She says that the media constantly pitches women against each other in a way it doesn't with men. Non agreed and stated that women are portrayed as rivals even in YA novels. Friendships between the girls are rarely the focus.
Non claimed that teenagers have often had more heartbreak and experience of friendships than sexual relationships going on to say that she has only ever had her heart broken once and it was by a close friend and nothing to do with a boy.

Another interesting fact that was mentioned was that co-writers Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison used to date and Tom went on to embarrass Lucy during the panel.

The next panel that I wanted to see was 'Between Fantasy and Reality' but I missed it due to signings but I knew that I would have to make some sacrifices to fit everything in.

Panel 3: LGBT in YA featuring Lisa Williamson, Liz Kessler, James Dawson, Den Patrick and was chaired by Julia Bell

Okay this is the panel that I really didn't plan to go to. I've always been a bit reluctant when it came to LGBT books but I ended up going to this panel and I am so glad I did because it really changed my mind about LGBT books.


James Dawson says that as authors, we are trying to paint a portrait of real life and why wouldn't they write about LGBTQ characters. They are people who exist in the real world.
Liz Kessler wrote 'Read Me Like A Book' around 15 years ago but publishers didn't want to publish it due to the LGBT nature but times have changed now.
Lisa Williamson says that authors have the power to help kids see themselves. By writing about these LGBT characters then we can help these teens that are experiencing these types of things every day.
James says that the special thing about LGBT in books is that you can read it in secret. Unlike adult books that are classified in book stores under their genre all the YA books are together and you can easily find an LGBT book mixed in with other genres, for example a fantasy book.
Den says he would love his books to be stocked in libraries so that all young people can find solace but sadly he doesn't think they will be. Liz adds that libraries do stock them but they receive complaints about children being able to find them. It's hard to find a balance. Lisa added that she found some schools supportive while others refused to even have an LGBT conversation. This is why books like these are badly needed. Lisa isn't transgender but she feels that we have a joint responsibility as authors to write about diverse characters.
Liz states that it isn't always about same-sex romantic relationships, seeing same-sex friendships is just as important.

Signings:

Straight after the Mental Health in YA panel was one of the signings I was most excited about. As usual I headed out of the panel when they opened up for audience questions to start queuing in Holly Bourne's queue. And I'm so glad I did. I wanted to see the next panel the most and her queue became enormous so luckily I was quite close to the front. Before seeing Holly we were sat waiting for her to appear and while talking to my roommate about one of Holly's books I met Charlie. Charlie ironically is in a facebook group that I'm also in as we are both huge JLA fans so naturally after the signings I just had to meet her... we are fast bookish friends now...


Anyway I was soon at the front of the Holly's queue and she was just as awesome as last year. I reminded her who I was. She calls me Ruffle Girl as up north we have these awesome sweets called Raspberry Ruffles that Holly loves so last year I brought her a packet. We had a great conversation and then she signed the copy of her new book which I am oh so excited about and we even got a picture together. She is so awesome! Definitely one of my highlights of the day.


After the Holly Bourne signing I jumped back into the panel area to get a good seat for Non Pratt's Panel - Bringing Sexy Back and it was as hilarious as I thought it was. When the panel opened for questions I once again jumped out so I could go join Non's queue for her signing but not before hearing that Non's new book that she is working on features an asexual character which I am so super excited for. Anyway I couldn't be more excited about seeing Non again. I love her and if you read Friday's post you'll know how much of a big fan of hers I am. Anyway I was 4th in the queue for Non and when I got to the front she recognised me immediately and we had a long chat which included her asking how Billingham is... that's right she even remembered the small town in Teesside where I live... she's so awesome like that! She told me that she was writing the long version of the tagline in my copy of Remix and after signing mine and me getting a picture I was waiting for Laura to get her copy of Trouble signed in which she told Non she thought she better buy it before I heard her. Non replied that I'm just vocal when it comes to her books and that she approves. While signing Trouble for Laura she mentioned that the thing she doesn't like about Remix is she can no longer draw a sperm in the books. I told her she could in my copy if she wanted so here we go guys my copy of Remix is super special...

I just adore Non. She's the best!!!

After Non's signing we jumped into the enormous queue of James Dawson. When I got to the front Rosi from Hot Key Books was there and after telling James that I was one of their bloggers he said 'yes I know I recognise Kayleigh' I totally fangirled at this point. The legendary James Dawson knew who I was. He was super hilarious as per usual and posed for a picture as he always does. I just love him!


By the time we were finished with James Dawson's queue the fantasy panel was already 15 minutes in so me and Laura decided to skip it and start queuing extra early for the next signing we wanted which was fantasy author Melinda Salisbury. We were like third in the queue so we knew we would have enough time before heading off to the blogger workshop. When Melinda came out of her panel she stood on her chair to take a picture of her queue which can be found on her Instagram. She said that she didn't think anyone would be waiting for her and she'd be able to come out and have a cup of tea before anyone would be there. She was so cool and sweet. I can't wait to read her book.


I thought I'd only have time to see Melinda before heading over to the blogging workshop but after seeing the size of Amy Alward's queue I saw I could fit that in just before as well. She was super awesome and once again I was completely overcome by how gorgeous she is. She recognised me from last year which made me so happy and she joked at having to do two different signatures as I brought her new book under the name Amy Alward as well as a book from her previous series under Amy McCulloch. She was super sweet and I just love her.


After coming out of the amazing Blogger Workshop (which I'll talk about very soon) I headed for JP Smyth's signing. His book has just recently been released and is a YA Dystopia. I went to buy it at YALC and even though I think it was slightly over-priced for a paperback (£13.99 for a paperback! A hardback that I bought later in the day was cheaper!!!) I went over to see him. He had no queue so that was good for me and he was so cool and talked to me a little about his book but promised not to spoil it for me when I told him I hadn't read it yet. Might I just add I think James is very cool but also a giant because he is so freaking tall! I look like a dwarf!


After the JP Smyth signing I headed over to meet Clare Furniss. The author of Year of the Rat. I'm super excited to read this book and Clare was super nice.


In my YALC plan Clare was going to be the last signing that I went to but after I attended the unplanned LGBT panel I was so impressed with Lisa Williamson that I instantly went to buy her book and joined the queue for her signing. She was super awesome and after telling her I'd bought her book because of seeing the panel she talked to me about that being such a great thing about YALC. That you go and try books you never would have without seeing the talks from the authors and she said that she hoped I enjoyed the book. She was so super nice and I have now actually finished her book and it's one of my favourites. It's so beautiful and amazing.


Workshops:

I attended one workshop on Sunday which was the Taking your Blog to the Next Level. I've been blogging for 4 and a half years and yet I still really wanted to go to this as 3 of my favourite bloggers were hosting it. Follow them all on twitter they're amazing bloggers @YAYeahYeah @LucyTheReader @SerendipityViv



First of all, I didn't really hear everything that was being said as the workshop area was right next to the signing area and it got really loud. I would like next year maybe to have them a little bit more separate as the workshop got really hard of hearing but what I did hear was amazing.

There was a great discussion about star ratings. Viv hates the Goodreads Rating system with a passion and she said that if you have star rating on your blog then get rid of them as she doesn't think that they work (sorry Viv I'm not listening to you on that one; I like my rating system). They talked about the fact that buying your domain is so much better as if you're looking at being a more professional looking blog it looks better than having .blogspot or .wordpress at the end of it. This is actually something that I've been thinking of doing for over a year and just never made the leap. What these guys said made my mind up and very soon K-Books blog will be moving to my new self-hosting domain. They also spoke about just doing what makes you happy. Blogging is a hobby not a job and you don't need to be on every publicists list as that pile of review books can make you feel kind of guilty. I totally agreed with this. I've tried to really cut down on the books I accept or request for review. They don't make me feel guilty but they make me feel stressed. I always feel like I have to read a book now and if I feel like that I end up not really enjoying it. They also mentioned that if you want to make a name for yourself tweet people you reviews. Tweet the publishers your review links but Never EVER tweet negative reviews to the authors. If you don't like the book that's fine, reading is totally subjective but that's just not a great thing to do!
They also recommended proofreading all of your blog posts. Publicists will not continue to read your posts if they are littered with errors. This is something that I, myself always forget to do so because of this panel it is something I have started to do.

The Blogger Workshop was really helpful and I even had a chat with Jim about it afterwards he is so awesome and I am so sad that I never got a picture with him. Next year maybe!

Other Stuff:

 There's just one more awesome thing I need to write about. After all of the events and signings I went to I noticed Non Pratt had jumped behind the Waterstones stand and was recommending books to people who went past. Naturally I went up and as she was trying to sell some other books I picked up Trouble and was all like 'have you read this' and Non told me she couldn't sell her own book so I sold it for her and got the girl she was talking to to buy it. YES! I was very happy with this and noticed that I am very very good at selling Non Pratt's books. HAHA! Anyway after that I was feeling pretty migraine-y so I just went to chill out in the reading zone for a bit and before Non left she came over and hugged me twice said it was great to see me and she hopes to see me again next year. She also said if she's up north anytime she will tweet me to let me know. AAGGHHHH! I just love her! She is amazing and the best person ever! She is definitely my favourite author ever!

My Highlight of Sunday: Everything with Non Pratt especially me getting others to buy her books and her thanking me and hugging me.

My One Regret: Within the last hour of YALC I got really ill with a migraine and sickness and so when all the publisher stands reduced their books to £2 I was too ill to go and buy some *sad face*

I hope you've enjoyed my Wrap-Ups of YALC 2015. Next week will see my end of month book haul and you can see what books I got there.

Thanks for reading and see you all at #YALC2016



Review: In The Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright #3)

In The Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright #3)
Gabrielle Zevin

Published By: Macmillan Childrens
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Date Read: May 3, 2015
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Review Copy from Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Pages: 286
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From Goodreads:
Anya Balanchine is a teenager with the responsibilities of a grown woman. Now eighteen, life has been more bitter than sweet for Anya. She has lost her parents and her grandmother, and has spent the better part of her high school years in trouble with the law. Perhaps hardest of all, her decision to open a nightclub with her old nemesis Charles Delacroix has cost Anya her relationship with Win.
Against the odds, the nightclub becomes an enormous success, and Anya feels like she is on her way and that nothing will ever go wrong for her again. Until a terrible misjudgment leaves Anya fighting for her life ...

"Because if you love someone, you love them all the way. You love them even when they make mistakes."

The Birthright series was one of the first dystopia novels that I fell in love with back when I read it a few years ago and it still remains one of my favourite series. Having said that when I received the third and final book for review I couldn't wait to get started on it, but it sat there on my shelf for ages and now after finishing it I don't know what took me so long to read it. It was everything that I hoped for and more.

In The Age of Love and Chocolate was a fantastic wrap-up to a fantastic series. We say Anya grow so much and when you compare our lead heroine where she is in the book compared to where she was at the start of the first book there is such a difference. A part of me misses the original Anya before we gained hte weight of the world relying on her shoulders but she became such a fantastic woman and I loved seeing all she did and all of the accomplishments that she gained in the end of the book.

Win... oh Win. I just adore him. Personally there was not enough of Win in this book for me. He was missing for a while and I missed him and everytime we were hearing about the wonderful things that Anya was doing I just kept thinking about where Win was. I missed him lots in this book.

In The Age of Love and Chocolate gave us a fantastic wrap-up in terms of both the storyline regarding chocolate and her family's business and the romance that readers will be dying to read about. I do wish that there was another chapter or two so we could see the after-effects of the conclusion of the series. I was definitely left wanting more but at the same time I was completely satisfied with the ending. It wasn't my favourite of the series but I still loved it. The Birthright series is definitely one of the most amazing dystopia series I have read and I will definitely re-read it again and again.

"So I will wait, because I would rather wait for you than waste my time with someone who isn't you."


Wednesday, July 22

K-Books Time at #YALC 2015: Day 2 - Saturday


After a phenomenal day on #YALC Friday I had a pretty disastrous night. I have a problem with my back and I'm waiting for physiotherapy for it and after dragging the case round all day on Friday it was hurting so bad I cried most of the night in pain and maybe got 30 minutes sleep. So it's fair to say I was absolutely exhausted on Saturday! But regardless I was excited to see what the day would hold on Day 2. We arrived at YALC at around quarter to ten and due to my snazzy YALC Wristband I didn't have to queue I just got to walk straight in. I was sure today would be better as I didn't have my case to pull around I just had my bag full of books ready to be signed.

Check out what was on on Saturday



First of all I bumped into another Blogger that I absolutely adore. Michelle from Tales of Yesterday and I couldn't have been more excited!!!


How awesome is she? We had a good gossip for a while but then it was time for the first panel of the day.

Now this is the time when this post does not go in order of the day like yesterdays. I'm going to talk about all of the panels that I went to first and then the signings. Most of the signings happened straight after the talk with that author participating but I'll tell you later on at what point I went to those.

Panel Events:

I attended 4 Panel Events on Saturday. See the info about those panels including pictures of the panels here.

Panel 1: YA: The Next Generation featuring Alice Oseman, Lucy Saxon, Helena Coggan and Taran Mathans chaired by Samantha Shannon

This panel involved the young authors talking about their journey into publishing from such a young age.


First of all doesn't Lucy Saxon look amazing in her cosplay? She is so awesome!

The Panel claimed that anyone can write YA as we have all been a teenager at one point.
Lucy Saxon claimed that she had been 17 for 3 years in the media as the younger they think you are when you get published the better it looks.
Alice Oseman said she got a lot of inspiration for Solitaire from Tumblr.

Sorry guys I can't remember a whole lot of this one and I didn't tweet very much during this one - it was that good! But it made me really want to read Samantha Shannon's books as she was amazing on this panel.

Panel 2: Shadowhunters featuring Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

Cassandra Clare spoke with her close friend Sarah Rees Brennan about many things and they even showed some pictures from the set of the new TV Series Shadowhunters.


I missed the majority of it as I knew Cassie's and Sarah's signing queue's would be enormous but I got to see some of the pictures from the set of Shadowhunters and it looks amazing! I know this would have been hilarious as I saw the two of them together at an event in Newcastle last year. They are both amazing.

Panel 3: Being a Girl, featuring Hayley Long, CJ Daugherty, Holly Smale, Malorie Blackman and Laura Dockrill, chaired by Anna James

Talking feminism in YA, this panel got heated and was 100% my favourite panel of the day. 


Hayley Long claimed that she didn't feel the need to say that she was a feminist as of course she is. She also wondered whether the word feminism would become redundant as we inch more towards equality.
Malorie Blackman on the other hand disagreed and thinks there is much more to do before we achieve equality. Malorie told us how when her daughter was small she took her to both the female and male sections of the toy shop as nobody was going to tell her or her daughter what she should play with because of her gender *preach*  Malorie then went on to detail that Feminist in YA Fiction is about portraying recognisable, relatable characters with flaws.

Holly Smale told us how she was classed as an 'angry feminist' from a young age when she hit a boy with a stick for telling her she couldn't do something because she was a girl (at this point I fell even more in love with Holly). She also told us that it's really important not to undermine anything feminine as not being feminist. Feminism is all about equality not just women. Holly also claimed that books do not have to be 'about' feminism to be feminist.

Laura Dockrill detailed about the problem with trying to write from a male point of view. People always ask about how you got into the head of that character, She says "No one asks that about animals. No one asks how you got in the head of that ZEBRA, but write about a man...'

Panel 4: Carrie Hope Fletcher's YALC Book Club featuring Carrie as chair chatting to Malorie Blackman, Holly Smale and Samantha Shannon

This is the panel I went to but wasn't sure whether I'd really like it but I loved it. Carrie chatted to the authors about writing, getting published and book recommendations. Great Panel.



I don't remember a whole lot about this one as it was just a more informal chat but I did learn that Carrie Hope Fletcher is writing a novel which I am looking forward to as I haven't read her book as I don't really read Non-fiction

Signings:

Following the YA: The Next Generation talk I went for a walk around the publisher stands bought a few books (some I'll show you later in this post) and then went and joined the queue for Cassie Clare... but discovered that I was number 87 so thought I'd do Sarah Rees Brennan first.

I was at the front of Sarah Rees Brennan's queue and I was so excited to see her again. I was given a post-it note to put my name on from some of the YALC staff while we were waiting for Sarah. Once Sarah saw my name on the post-it she said "Kayleigh from K-Books I saw you in Newcastle with Holly" I was so excited that she recognised and remembered me. That's the second author this weekend so far to recognise me. Anyway we had a little chat she gave me a penny necklace (which I ended up giving Laura my roommate for the weekend as I already had one) and she noticed my bookmark in my copy of Unspoken in which she said "oh you haven't finished which means you're not mad at me yet" she made me slightly frightened (FYI I have finished now and I am so angry at her!!!). She was super awesome and super nice and I just love her.


Following Sarah Rees Brennan's signing it was time for me to jump over to Cassie Clare's queue. When I got to the front she noticed that I had the US hardbacks of her books rather than the UK editions. When I told her I liked to get my fave series in hardback and now I had to get all her books in hardback she pretty much finished my sentence for me and said 'so they match right? you can't have books that don't match' Like finally someone gets my obsession with matching editions!!! Anyway even though she wasn't supposed to take pictures with anyone due to having so many people in her line she let me take a selfie with her... I am epically terrible at taking selfies and I've ended up as a floating head but hey... who cares? It's Cassie Clare.


After the Cassie Clare signings I went off to the Being a Girl Panel which I've spoke about already. Now when they opened up the panel for questions from the audience I slipped out of the panel to join the queue for the signings.

First of all was Laura Dockrill, a new author I only came across a few weeks ago when Hot Key Books sent me an ARC of her book Lorali, well the cover is so gorgeous I just couldn't help but buy the finished copy and go get it signed. Laura is so beautiful and amazing and she looks incredible and mermaid-y which was very appropriate for her book.


Now after seeing Laura and after hearing the About A Girl Panel CJ Daugherty has impressed me so much and I knew I just had to read her books. So off I went to buy the first book in her series, Night School. I waited in her incredibly long queue and when I got to the front something unexpected happened. She recognised me... this incredible author that I have never read anything by recognised me! Now, I have followed CJ on twitter for a while but I never knew she followed me back. We had this amazing conversation and she asked me how my journey to London had been because she'd been following my journey on twitter and she was so happy to meet me and I couldn't believe it! I feel so incredibly terrible that I have never read any of her books and I plan to read this one as soon as possible. She is so awesome and I now adore her!


After that off I went to the YALC Book Club Panel and once again left the panel when they opened up to questions. This time to join the queue for Holly Smale, author of Geek Girl. The queue was already super long but I had carried all 4 of Holly's books with me, I had missed her signing last year as I had to leave YALC early to travel home so I was certainly waiting for her. When I got to the front she chatted with me for ages. She was talking about how her books are getting published in America and how hard it is for a UK author to make it over there in which I told her I'd already gushed about her books to my US friends. She was super awesome and I'm so happy I finally got to meet her. I cannot wait to read the next Geek Girl book. Oh and she also gushed with me about the fact that I didn't have her latest one with me because I was waiting for the paperback so my books matched. I'd told her I read it on kindle but I need book to match on my shelves and she agreed with me! She told me about how she has all the international editions of her books and how it makes her shelves look odd. She totally understands me!


Agent Area:

This year at YALC there was a special Agents Area where you could talk to them. Saturday saw a talk from an agent and 3 authors about publishing in the UK and the US - what's the difference? Even though I'm a reader, not a writer and I don't intend to be a writer or work in publishing I thought that it would be really interesting to go to... and it was.

We saw an Agent, CJ Daugherty, Marie Rutkoski and Virginia Bergin, all authors that have been published in both the UK and the US. I found out things that I really didn't know. CJ Daugherty told us about when she had already published her book in the UK and when she got her US deal she thought it would be easy as her book had already been thoroughly edited. But her US publisher wanted more story editing which would mean the book would be different from the one already published in the UK. We learnt that this is where the agent comes in and acts as the mediator between author and editor.

I learned that when a UK book gets published in the US they edit the book so that all UK spellings are changed to US spellings and certain words are changed for better understanding for the US readers. Such as pavement would be changed to sidewalk and things like that.

Another area of interest for me was the reasoning behind the paperbacks in the UK and the hardbacks in the US. Here in the UK it is very very rare for a YA book to be published in hardback. The only ones that really get published in hardback is those that they know will sell millions. For example the first Harry Potter books were published straight away in paperback and then mid-series, after they had seen how well they have done, they started publishing them in hardback first. However in the US it is very rare for a YA book to be published straight away in paperback. If this happens then the publisher is basically saying to the business and booksellers that they think it's going to be a flop and not do very well so they haven't invested the money to produce the more expensive hardback.

They also talked about covers and titles. One which was shown was Virginia Bergin's The Rain Series, published in Hardback as H20 in the US. H20 was actually Virginia's original title and the US publisher liked it but the UK one didn't so they changed it. The hardback in the US had little cut out sections on the dustjacket to show the design that is underneath and printed on the actual hardback. The agent present said that this is because of the ride in e-readers and people reading e-books the publishers are starting to do these more fancy designed covers in order to entice people to buy the hardcopy.

Purchases:
As soon as I walked in on Saturday I noticed people walking around in YALC t-shirts and noticed they were selling them. So super amazing and I just had to go buy one #Yalc #ClassOf2015



I bought a few books on the Saturday but there's only two that I want to share. First of all the publicists at MyKindaBook did such a fantastic job selling this book. This book is not released until September and I had never heard of it... which is quite rare for a blogger as usually we have seen it about somewhere online and on other blogs but this one just seemed to come out of nowhere. This is how it was pitched to me which made me want to read it so bad.


It's about a girl, her gay best friend and the boy who is in love with both of them.
Seriously, give me that book now. I am so reading this one very very soon!


The other one I wanted to share was because I got it given to me for free. This one was definitely a right time right place thing as just as I was walking past the Walker Books publisher stand one of the guys behind it asked if I had the book and if I wanted it because there was a damaged copy that they couldn't sell. He showed me the 'damage' and all it was was a smudge on the back that's barely noticable. So I got a free copy.



Saturday was an amazing second day of YALC. I was purely exhausted and so we left soon after the Agent Talk and I was ready to go back to the hotel

My Highlight of Saturday: Probably Sarah Rees Brennan remembering me or talking to CJ Daugherty. They were both the best
My One Regret: Not seeing Amber, an awesome blogger who was there but I didn't see her once. I really wish that we could have met in person. Maybe next year.

Stop by tomorrow for my wrap up of the last day of YALC Sunday