#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – 2019 Books I want to read – Take Two 4am edition

Not sure if I misunderstood the prompt for last weeks Six for Sunday which was 2019 books I want to read by naming all books that weren’t out yet because this weeks prompt is 2019 books I’m excited for which seems like very much the same thing unless the first one was for books that are already out? It doesn’t matter either way as it’s 4am and I can’t sleep so figured why not write a blog post? I’ve swapped these two weeks around now, renaming last weeks post, 2019 books I’m excited for and trying again with 2019 books I want to read, again this week!

Do you Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh

I’ve mentioned this one before having heard it mentioned on my social media feeds a fair bit so it had always been in the back of my mind but it wasn’t until the authors were announced for YALC this year and I saw that Temi would be attending that I decided to add this book to my more exclusive TBR instead of just thinking “Oh I should read that” every time I scroll past a mention of it somewhere.

The Extinction Trials: Rebel by S.W Wilson

I managed to get hold of the third book in the Extinction Trials trilogy a few days early and I was so excited to read it but (shocking no one) I had overbooked myself on other reviews etc and as a result, it got overlooked. I’m desperate to get back to the series and intend to sooner rather than later.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

I preordered King of Scars thinking “Oh I’ve read the Grisha Trilogy, I’ll be fine” but when it arrived I realised that the damned completionist in me wouldn’t let me read it until I’ve read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom which I’ve not fully done yet, I’m over half way through Six of Crows but not quite there yet.

Shadowscent by P.M Freestone

Steph recommended this one to me and the cover is absolutely gorgeous which pretty much sold it to me on the spot (literally, I brought it there and then). I was interested in the different take on a magic system but as usual it doesn’t hasn’t made it to the front of my TBR pile yet.

Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

After really enjoying Ash Princess I was determined to get this on release but as not many people seemed to be talking about it on my social media after the US release date it kind of fell into some deep recess in my brain where I apparently forgot about it. It’s only been recently I’ve realised, damn that’s out now, I need to read it and read it soon I shall!

A Girl called Shameless by Laura Steven

I ADORED The Exact Opposite of Okay and I cried meeting Laura at YALC last year because the book really means a hell of a lot to me but when it’s sequel came out this year I had lost my job, our rent had gone up and we were not doing great financially so I hadn’t brought any books in a good while and couldn’t justify buying more when we were so low on funds. Things are getting a little better now however and I do feel that one of the best ways to celebrate that will probably be to finally get hold of and this book at last.

The sun is starting to rise and I need to be up in an hour to get ready for MCM Expo and the MCM Blogger Brunch which I am unreasonably terrified and excited for so I’m off to try and get a little more sleep. Thank you for reading and I’m hoping it’s legible when it goes live in a few hours. Have a great day!

 

Events

YALC Day Two Recap

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Day Two of my YALC recap is here (yes two weeks later I’m aware). The Saturday of YALC was a great one but easily the most grueling. I had a lot of signings I wanted to get to, three of which were straight after a panel and with very popular authors but I’ll go into more detail about that later.

My first stop of the morning was to the Hot Key Books stand where I signed up for a Siren makeover and grabbed a copy of To Kill a Kingdom to get signed by author Alexandra Christi, I had a digital ARC of the book and loved it so knew I had to get a hard copy. The lovely ladies at the stall also made an easy extra two book sales by informing me that M.A Bennett would be around to sign books later too so I grabbed a copy of The Island and then also telling me that their books were 3 for £10 and I nabbed a copy of Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray after loving her work on Star Wars: Bloodline and Leia, plus I was in a very spacey kind of mood.

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On the way to get my Siren make up done I also paid a quick visit to the Ink Road Stall after having a lovely chat with the ladies there the day before. I figured I’d pop over and say hi, see how they were doing etc and I also wanted to pick up a sampler for Summer Bird Blue when I spot Akemi Dawn Bowman just sitting behind the stand  – which is fine she’s an actual human being who is allowed to sit etc but I just hadn’t expected it as she wasn’t signing until Sunday. I mumbled about how much I loved Starfish and then got super nervous and kind of ran away. I’m an idiot but plucked up the courage after a quick sit down and a drink to head back and say hi properly. She was SO lovely and signed my sampler for me as I wouldn’t have my copy of Starfish with me until the next day and we took a picture together, it was lovely and was a super awesome start to the day. Apart from the running away bit obviously.

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Next up were the signings for the Floored authors! For some reason I assumed that all of the authors would perhaps be at a table together and we’d all queue in one line then when we got to the front we would work our way across each of the authors and DONE. Alas it was not to be! I think I got this idea from the fact that all of the authors were represented on the timetable by a picture of the Floored book cover whereas when they’d been shown on other days they had different pictures, i.e Non’s was Giant days (and I’m an idiot and didn’t take Floored for her to sign with me when I met her then!). The way it was shown said to me that it was a special signing session for Floored but I was horrified to discover when I got to the signing area that we actually had to queue individually for almost every one of the authors and they were NOT small queues by any stretch of the imagination. I managed to only miss Melinda Sailsbury and Non Pratt in the end telling myself I was likely to see them at more events and possibly YALC next year thankfully as I absolutely had to sit down for a but and have something to drink etc. I’d brought a big bottle of juice squash I’d left in the freezer over night and it was an absolute live saver each day so I’ll definitely be doing that again next year.

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As you can see I managed to bump into Melinda Sailsbury later on and she was more than happy to sign my copy of Floored for me as she was a bit miffed that the Showmasters staff cut her queue off and didn’t tell her when she was more than happy to keep on signing. As much as I liked the extra space we have on the YALC floor I wonder if it’s time for a bit more of a move around so we have more space for signing queues or a better application of the virtual queue ticketing which I think is a great idea when used right.

Before heading off to the “Among the Stars” panel I met up with a load of the girls from the SundayYA group and got a few group pictures taken (one of which is the header for this post). Again it was lovely seeing everyone and OH MY GOSH Layla’s Kaz cosplay was STUNNING.

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I was SO excited for the Among the Stars panel that I can’t even explain. I literally wore a spacey outfit for the occasion. The panel featured Becky Chambers, Lauren James, Lindsay Cummings, Sasha Alsberg and was chaired by Samantha Shannon. The panel was to discuss space and creating worlds that none of us have had the chance to go to except in our authors wonderful books and it did NOT disappoint. I was lucky enough to even be able to ask a question (who would you chose to take to space with you?). Not to mention at the end of the talk Lauren James revealed the cover for her new book “The Quiet at the End of the World which I am SO SO ready for already. Also look at this cover it’s gorgeous!!

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Next were the dreaded signings. I had been anxious all day about getting to all three authors in their two-hour signing slots because they’re so very popular. I joined the Sasha Alsberg queue first and was super pleased to have managed to get in quite near the front. We (me and Mel) were in fact in the first thirty which meant we won a Geeky Clean Zenith Bath Bomb (which I had inadvertently helped design while wicking candles for a super secret NPC thing). Meeting Sasha was AMAZING. I could talk and talk about Zenith and my copy is FULL of tabs as it was my very first ARC/review copy I had ever had and I’d read it twice so I mean it when I say it is FULL of these little tabs. Sasha loved going through asking me what each colour meant and I was a little embarrassed as a few were frustrated or annoyed bits but she told me it means so much to see a copy of her book like that and I thought I was going to cry which is totally lame. Sasha’s channel was the very first booktube chanel I ever watched and she got me hooked on Shadowhunters so I’m so glad I got to meet someone who had already had such an impact on me. It was also so lovely that she had brought bookplates signed by Lindsay along with her too as Lindsay couldn’t make it as she’s getting ready to have her baby soon and it was such a nice little touch. P.S Don’t ask about the picture we had taken together because I made a face at Steph and that was the picture I got so I’ll include one of us talking while she went though my tabs instead!

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While I was in the queue for Sasha I started to feel a bit dismayed about getting through the other queues as they were building fast. Thankfully the lovely Jenn and her boyfriend were next to us in the Becky Chambers queue and her boyfriend offered to take mine to get it signed which I am super grateful for as I don’t think I would have been able to make it through all of them. I do wonder whether YALC need to consider the types of authors they’re all having signing at the same time and weather or not these are authors people are going to want to meet all of and perhaps stagger them a bit more?

Thankfully I did manage to make it through the queue to meet Lauren James! I absolutely LOVED her book that released early at YALC last year “The Loneliest Girl In The Universe” and was that weekend actually reading her debut book “The Next Together” (which I reviewed on Tuesday if you want to check it out) so it was even more fantastic than normal to meet her. Being one of my top favourite authors and an instabuy for me I was so happy to get this chance to talk to her and get excited about her new book etc.

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The day was coming to an end fast and I had one more signing to get to and that was for Laura Steven, the author of The Exact Opposite of Okay which is another book that really resonated with me and my teenage years. It was lovely to have a nice chat with her and let her know how grateful I am for this fantastic, funny and important book she’s written as well as telling her much I couldn’t wait to get hold of the sequel coming next year!

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It was a long old day and my only real problem were the way some of the signings were done to be honest. The overground wasn’t running that weekend so I had to get the district line back to Liverpool Street, I ended up on a wrong tube but it all worked out pretty good in the end. Mainly because I met a super adorable Dog who wanted to sit with me have strokes and share my fan. Win/win situation. I’ll be back tomorrow for my Day Three recap and my all round sum up!

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I couldn’t not post the picture of this good boy!

Uncategorized

Why I read YA at (almost) 30

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A topic that has come to light on on the bookish side of Twitter lately is that of the mystery of the “not so young adult” readers of Young Adult books. It seems there’s a surprising amount of people out there who think that YA books are for “Young Adults” only but you see, books have this magical property…they’re for everyone. Genre’s are not a limitation, at best they’re a guide line for what you can find inside. I don’t have to be an alien or star ship captain to be able to read science fiction, I don’t have to be a wizard or an elf to enjoy Fantasy (although it’s quite likely I’m probably  at least 1/3rd Hobbit let’s be honest) and I don’t have to be a detective or a serial killer to read murder mysteries. So why would I need to be classed as a “Young Adult” to read the YA genre?

Recently I discovered a group via Twitter created by Jenn over at her blog Jenniely called The Crone Book Club. A book club for the over 20’s who still enjoy reading YA books and it was a great feeling to see just how many other people around my age still read YA. This got me thinking about how many times I’ve felt embarrassed to talk to some people about what I’m reading. Don’t get me wrong, most of, if not all of my friends know I read YA and my book knowledge is kind of my special ability in the group (that and my ability to fall asleep doing pretty much anything.) but at work where they know I review books I’m often asked what I’m reading and there’s a brief flutter of embarrassment on occasion. From this day forth however I vow to be a proud YA reader! I enjoy what I enjoy and that shouldn’t be affected by anyone else’s narrow opinions and what an (almost) thirty year old should and should not read.

“Why would you read that? Isn’t it for kids?”

 I’ve found myself being asked in the past and with this discussion surfacing on social media again I decided I’d answer that. First of all, yes. Yes this book’s main target audience may be children or young adults but that doesn’t mean it isn’t for me, I just wanted to get that part out of the way first. To be honest, “Because I enjoy it” should be more than enough of an answer for the other half of the question and is all that really matters but I do enjoy YA specifically for a few reasons.

They’re good. 28308823_10155054230546581_1452145189_n
Most YA books are just generally good. The protagonist’s age doesn’t get in the way of compelling plots, original ideas and often swoon worthy romances (which for me can be hit and miss I’ll admit). YA books are more likely than not to be exciting and fast paced to keep young readers interested when they could at the touch of screen (or voice command!) watch a TV show, Film or their favorite Youtuber/Streamer. YA books needs to grab their attention and keep it. This makes for some great reads.

Feels.
I have never cried at a book aimed at adults but YA books make me cry and laugh out loud and feel things on a sometimes daily basis. The emotions conveyed in these books are usually intense and often familiar to older readers which adds a whole other level  of enjoyment (or pain!) to those moments. The best books and the ones that usually have the biggest impact and stay with me are the ones that can make me cry.

Length.
I’m not a huge reader of massive tomes. I find them uncomfortable to read and often I get bored. YA books however are usually much shorter and a perfect size for my busy life and short attention span. A lot of them are cheaper too! I picked up a book from the “Adult Fantasty” section last week and nearly had a heart attack.

Sex. 
This one probably sounds a bit weird but I enjoy the middle ground that a lot of romance in YA occupies. The romances are often just that…romantic. There’s flirting and teasing and almost kisses and everything feels just that little but more charged. As someone who used to read a fair bit of erotica I’m so bored of reading the same words and phrases over and over again to describe people having sex. I would much rather read about the little tense moments before two people kiss and then “fade to black” as it were. I don’t need an exact description of two people  having sex to further my enjoyment of the story, I’ve been married five years and have a three year old. I know what sex looks like, I just want to get on with the story! (Some “New adult” books are a little steamier but these are fewer and further between and although occasionally cringe worthy still often preferable to me.)

Film adaptions.
Now we all know that most of the time books are better than their adaptions but there are so many great books being made into not entirely terrible films right now. This is great because it can help bring more people into the wonderful world of books and because there’s just something about seeing characters you’ve read about and enjoyed (or loved to hate) on the big screen in the flesh. Yes these certainly aren’t always perfect and sometimes they do a disservice to the book but I sill get enjoyment out of them as an extension of whatever world they’re about. Also let’s be honest if film studios are thinking they’re good enough to be made into films there must be some adults enjoying YA right there!

My kind of interesting.
I couldn’t give a hoot who is sleeping with who on whatever soaps are popular at the moment or what this woman said about this other woman and how that guy is planning to leave his wife and blah blah blah. Tell me about the four teenagers who just saved the world from demons, the Siren Princess of an ancient bloodthirsty lineage who just wants peace, the reincarnated girl in love with an angel and a devil, give me fae, GIVE ME HUNGER GAMES, heck, even give me Twilight! I’m much more interested in Emett and Bella arm wrestling than I am in watching two grown women pathetically scrabbling in the street over anything less than a Kingdom or a bow and arrow that may or may not save their lives.

Obviously these points don’t apply to every YA book. I’m more drawn to the Fantasy and Science fiction inclined YA titles but they feel so different from their adult kin and just fit into the niche of what I enjoy much better. That being said READING IS FOR EVERYONE. If you’re an adult and you enjoy Adult books more than YA, THIS IS FINE!! Honestly I don’ care what you read as long as you’re reading because if you’re not reading you’re missing out (and probably lost…this is a blog about books!) I sat in Foyles the other day and read a children’s book about a dragon who owned a bookshop and it was brilliant. Don’t limit yourself! I still read, own and enjoy books aimed mainly at adults as well, I just find that YA stories are more interesting to me and it’s easier to find something I enjoy. So next time you feel like judging what someone is reading have a think about it and let people enjoy things without having to justify themselves to you.

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