asking for it

YALC Reading List: Part 3!

It’s the third week of the YALC reading list and I have nine more authors to share with you…

Again, the YALC reading list will be updated every Sunday evening – you can read the first two parts here and here.

Let’s get started…

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19. Derek Landy

Book to read: Demon Road/Desolation

Derek Landy is perhaps best known for his Skullduggery Pleasant series, and if I remember correctly, he was a very popular author at last year’s YALC. I have a copy of Demon Road that I won from Maximum Pop! Books, so I’ll be getting this one signed. Landy’s most recent release is the sequel, Desolation.

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20. Louise O’Neill

Book to read: Asking For It

Both of Louise’s novels, Only Ever Yours (review here) and Asking For It (review here), are feminist must-reads – if there’s one book you have to read this year, it has to be Asking For It. Both tackling difficult issues (body image and gang rape, respectively), these aren’t easy reads – but you will feel better for having read them. After getting my copy of Only Ever Yours signed last year, I’ll be bringing my hardback copy of Asking For It to YALC this year.

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21. Annabel Pitcher

Book to read: Silence is Goldfish

Annabel’s first novel My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece won the 2012 Branford Boase award, and her second novel Ketchup Clouds won the 2013 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. Her fourth novel, Silence is Goldfish, came out in March 2015, and is about a girl who, upon discovering a family secret, decides to stop talking. I haven’t picked up any of Annabel’s novels, but I will look into her work, if not only because the titles are quite cool.

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22. Philip Reeve

Book to read: Mortal Engines

The Mortal Engines quartet won the Nestle Childrens’ Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award, and the Guardian Childrens Book Award – the books focus on a steampunk version of London, which has become a giant machine struggling to run on limited resources. I haven’t read these books but they sound really cool. Reeve’s latest novel, Railhead, looks equally intriguing, and was released in October last year.

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23. Chris Riddell

Book to read: Goth Girl series

Chris Riddell is the current Children’s Laureate, and winner of numerous awards for his books. He’s also a renowned political cartoonist! He’s written and/or illustrated a truly awe-inspiring number of books – but the ones I am most interested in are the Goth Girl series (the first book in the series being Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse).

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24. V.E./Victoria Schwab

Book to read: A Darker Shade of Magic

This year, the hype surrounding the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, was unbearable. I read A Darker Shade of Magic (review here) and while I wasn’t blown away, I did enjoy it, and the blurb of AGOS is making me want to read on. The third book in the trilogy, A Conjuring of Light, releases next year. I’ll be bringing A Darker Shade of Magic to YALC, and I’m sure there’ll be a long queue to see Victoria. (This Savage Song, a YA novel, is out in July, and also looks to be a bestseller).

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25. Darren Shan

Book to read: Cirque du Freak

I haven’t read any Darren Shan – mostly because of the gendering of books and this always seemed like a ‘boy’ series to me. There are 12 books in the Cirque du Freak series (made up of four trilogys), focusing on vampires. Darren’s most recent series, Zom-B, is also made up of 12 books, with the final book released in April 2016. These are both series I should probably pick up at some point, but I’m not sure if that’ll be before July.

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26. Samantha Shannon

Book to read: The Bone Season

I saw Samantha Shannon at YALC last year, presenting (I think) one of the panels. I’ve debated all year with buying The Bone Season, and I’ve seen TBS, and the sequel, The Mime Order, for £2 each on The Works website. I’d definitely pick these up in person, but unfortunately my local copy of The Works has closed down! This is definitely a book I’ve been debating about purchasing, and (probably) will end up picking up at some point.

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27. Holly Smale

Book to read: Geek Girl

Geek Girl is probably the book I’m most likely to pick up before July on this list – with the aim of catching up to the fifth and penultimate book (Head Over Heels) before the final book comes out. Some of the books are on 3 for £10 paperbacks, so I’ll probably pick this one up in July once I’ve moved out of university (I have a lot of books here that will need carrying!). All these books have incredible reviews, so I’m looking forward to picking this series up.

That’s it for this week’s installment of the YALC reading list! What did you think? Which authors do you want to see? Which books will you be picking up or getting signed?

Comment below or tweet me at @annalisebooks!

Annalise x

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#ThisIsWhoIAm Time Capsule

To celebrate the release of The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood (review here), I’m going to be making a virtual time capsule, just like Thomas and Gottie do in the book (except theirs isn’t virtual).

First though, let’s appreciate the cover a little more…

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My Time Capsule

Favourite Photographs

So, it hasn’t happened yet, but in less than 3 months, I’ll be graduating! With some picturesque background, I’ll be all dolled up in my academic dress, this time with a big poofy gown (like a black cape rather than a ballgown) and a mortarboard – that will probably make for an interesting photo, so I’ll put it in here.

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I’d also put in a photo of my bookshelf, mostly because the book:shelf ratio is massively off, and I am struggling to fit all the books in my university room. (Pic above a little out of date – many books acquired since then). I’d also throw in a photograph of my collage wall (each room in uni comes with a huge noticeboard, and mine is covered in fashion advertisements and movie posters, as well as cinema tickets and Game of Thrones art prints). The photo below is my collage at the beginning of the year – it’s expanded a bit more now.

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Favourite Songs

This is a difficult one, so I’d probably put a copy of the ‘My Songs’ playlist from my Spotify account – it’s full of loads of random choices from pretty much every decade, and probably sums up my music taste quite well. (Think a lot of cheesy 90s stuff with power ballads, 00s R&B, and a bit of dance music thrown in).

If I had to pick three songs of the moment which I really like, it would be:

  1. Cheap Thrills by Sia; Sean Paul
  2. Me, Myself and I by G-Eazy, Bebe Rexha
  3. PILLOWTALK by ZAYN

Favourite Books

I mean, how am I meant to choose? My favourite books of 2016 so far have been:

  1. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  3. How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne – review here
  4. Asking For It by Louise O’Neill – review here
  5. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – review here

However, the book that reminds me the most of SUMMER 2016 so far has to be The Square Root of Summer!

Favourite Films

My favourite film of all time is Confessions of a Shopaholic, weirdly enough.

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This year I’ve seen Deadpool (great), Captain America: Civil War (amazing) and Allegiant (a bit meh). I’ve posted about my most anticipated movies this summer here and here. I am looking forward to seeing Me Before You (but I need to read the book first!), Suicide Squad and Bridget Jones’ Baby.


If my time capsule has piqued your interest in The Square Root of Summer, the book will be available from all good bookshops, and online from Thursday 5th May – although I’ve seen some branches of Waterstones have them in early (and they have the most gorgeous sprayed pink pages!)


I’m so looking forward to meeting Harriet at YALC this year, although I may have to reread The Square Root of Summer first…

What would you put in your time capsule? Have you read The Square Root of Summer? What did you think? Tweet me at @annalisebooks or comment below 🙂

Annalise x

Review: Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

147045My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes 51h00dvazol-_sx324_bo1204203200_are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does.

Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…

I bought Asking For It in September, in a beautiful hardback edition. It sat on my shelf for a good six months, despite the rave reviews and recommendations. Why? Because Asking For It isn’t an easy read – but it is a necessary one.

I finally picked up Asking For It after a Twitter poll, and devoured it within two days. I didn’t want to put it down.

Asking For It follows the story of a Irish girl called Emma, who is pretty and she knows it. She’s genuinely difficult to like. She’s mean to her friends, self-obsessed with her image, and knows she can have any boy she wants (even if that means destroying her friendships). She dresses provocatively, she drinks, she does drugs… and then she gets raped. She doesn’t remember it, but suddenly it’s all over social media, and her friends don’t want to know her anymore. She feels guilty.

Asking For It is a difficult book to read, because it touches on so many important issues. It tackles slut-shaming and victim-shaming, consent and sexual assault. These issues are hugely important in our society today, where 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence. 11 rapes take place every hour in England and Wales. Emma is wholeheartedly a victim, but one who feels so ashamed that she pretends she isn’t one. The media, her friends and her family don’t know what to believe.

Asking For It also excels in touching upon other important issues briefly – bulimia/eating disorders, masturbation shaming, and the lack of access to abortion services in Ireland (“I’d be on the first boat to England, like”). The pressure on girls to grow up quickly, to dress like adults as teenagers, is also briefly featured.

On a lighter note, I really enjoyed how Asking For It was set in Ireland. Many YA books are set either in America, or an anonymous English town, and I loved the details that made this book so obviously Irish.

If you pick up one book this year, make it Asking For It. Each Louise O’Neill novel I’ve read (and will read in the future) has been so poignant, making pointed arguments and really changing the way I think on serious issues. These are not books that leave you as soon as you put them down – they are thought-provoking and cleverly written.

I also really enjoyed this article by Louise on the aftermath of publishing Asking For It – https://www.the-pool.com/arts-culture….

To summarise, this is a young adult novel with a serious point, and necessary reading for all.

View all my reviews

Annalise x

MOST ANTICIPATED: TBR September 2015

There’s tons of exciting new books coming out this September, it’s difficult to choose what to read first! Here’s a selection of my most anticipated.

  1. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (1st September)

The adventures of Celaena Sardothien continue in the fourth installment in the Throne of Glass series. I’ve only read the first novel so far (review here), but I can’t wait to get stuck into the second and third books (which are apparently even better!).

Synopsis: Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

2. Asking For It by Louise O’Neill (3rd September)

This stand-alone novel has some amazing pre-release reviews and is sure to be a great read, after O’Neill’s debut Only Ever Yours (review here).

Synopsis: It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does.

Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…

3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (29 September)

With a pre-release score of 4.34 and some very excited reviewers, this new series from the author of The Grisha series is set to be a sure-fire hit.

Synopsis: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

4. Menagerie by Rachel Vincent (29th September)

As a huge fan of Rachel Vincent’s Werecats series, I always look forward to her new releases, even if I don’t always read them. Menagerie is looking to be a must-read for me.

Synopsis: When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale. 

What are your most anticipated books? Have you read any of these forthcoming books? Comment below or tweet me at @annalisebooks 🙂

Annalise x