john green

Why I’m NOT reading the new John Green book…

Evening book lovers!

Today is the 10th October and also the release date of the heavily anticipated new John Green book – Turtles All The Way Down.

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(Is anyone else underwhelmed by the cover? There’s exactly ZERO turtles.)

Unlike what feels like most of the YA community, I won’t be reading this (yet?).

Why?

The short answer is that I am on a book-buying ban and so all the books I’m desperately lusting after have been relegated to the christmas list.

The long answer is… I just feel meh.

I read Looking For Alaska years ago; it was one of the first YA books I read. There was hype around this book and it just didn’t do it for me.

I read The Fault in our Stars around publication day and thought it was ok, then reread it in preparation for the film and absolutely loved it.

Yet I still have two John Green books on my TBR (An Abundance of Katherines and Will Grayson, Will Grayson), both of which I have started and struggled to get through. Maybe John Green is just not for me, or maybe I should give his new book a chance (although the premise doesn’t excite me the same way a lot of YA books do?)

Please let me know if you’ll be reading Turtles All The Way Down, and if you have/haven’t read it, let me know why! I’d love to hear all of your opinions 🙂

annalsie

YALC Reading List: What To Read for YALC16

A ridiculously amazing selection of authors will be attending YALC in Hammersmith, London on 28-31 July. Now, there are some amazing authors attending, who have written amazing and inspiring novels – but there’s one problem. There’s so many of my favourite authors attending, how am I going to carry all the books?!

Obviously, the solution here is to buy more books, so I thought I’d write a series with the authors who will be attending and which book I will be/would be getting signed by each author.

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1. Malorie Blackman

Book to read: Noughts & Crosses

The pioneer of YALC will be returning for a third year – and admittedly, I still haven’t read any of her books! There was a time in high school when EVERYONE was reading this series (everyone except me, apparently) but I just never picked it up (I was either reading Harry Potter, dark romance or errrr…. Vanity Fair (the magazine)). I think I am well overdue a Malorie Blackman novel so I’ll either be diving into Noughts & Crosses or her brand new novel, Chasing The Stars (Out 21 April, 2016).

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2. Melvin Burgess

Book to read: Junk

Junk is constantly referred to as one of many Young Adult authors’ favourite books. Junk was released in 1996, before the advent of the YA genre, and follows two teenage runaways, as they squat, become addicted to heroin and embrace anarchism. A real YA classic, I’ll be sure to pick up a copy of this before YALC. This book won the Carnegie Medal and Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.

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3. Alwyn Hamilton

Book to read: Rebel of the Sands

Rebel of the Sands has been one of the most talked-about novels this year – not only because of its frankly stunning cover. A retelling of Arabian Nights, every scene in this novel could be a direct scene from a movie. I’m sure there’s going to be a long queue to get this one signed! Read my review here.

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4. Frances Hardinge

Book to read: The Lie Tree

The Lie Tree has to be one of the hottest books of the year – it won the Costa Book of the Year Award 2015 (a HUGE achievement, especially for a children’s novel). The Lie Tree has also been shortlisted for the Young Adult Book Prize 2016. Definitely the book of the moment, I’ll be trying to squeeze this one in before July.

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5. Nina LaCour and 6. David Levithan

Book to read: You Know Me Well

Coming this June, You Know Me Well is a dual perspective novel (think Will Grayson, Will Grayson that David Levithan with John Green – which I’m about halfway through). This one is about first love, and at 256 pages, should be a quick read!

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7. Melinda Salisbury

Book to read: The Sin Eater’s Daughter/The Sleeping Prince

The recipient of some of the most glowing Twitter praise ever seen, Melinda Salisbury is one of my favourite people-I-follow-on-Twitter. I won both The Sin Eater’s Daughter and The Sleeping Prince in a Twitter competition, but haven’t picked them up yet – but I absolutely will have to before July.

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8. Maggie Stiefvater

Book to read: The Raven Boys series

I currently own one Maggie Stiefvater book and that is Shiver (the first book in The Wolves of Mercy Fall series), which I read years ago (probably around 2009). The Raven Boys series has been making waves in the book blogger community, especially recently as the final book in the series, The Raven King, was released in April. This is one series I don’t think I can hold out purchasing for much longer.

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9. Lisa Williamson

Book to read: The Art of Being Normal

Nominated for the 2016 YA book prize, The Art of Being Normal is an absolutely brilliant stand-alone debut novel, following a transgender teen, David, as he prepares to tell his family that he wishes to transition, and would like to be called Kate. One of the most important books of the year, TAOBN is a novel I genuinely enjoyed, and I can’t wait to read Lisa’s future novels.

That’s it for the first installment of ‘What to Read for YALC’ – I will be posting more blog posts with the rest of the authors who will be in attendance so keep a look out for that!

Which authors are you most excited about seeing? Which books are you picking up for YALC and/or hoping to get signed?

Comment below or tweet me at @annalisebooks!

Annalise x

Non-Fantasy/Dystopian YA authors to try!

I’m packing up my books this week as I’ll be leaving university at the end of this year and my schedule leaves about 3 weeks holiday between now and July, so I’m getting a good look at some of those books hidden on my shelves!

A rut I definitely got in when starting out with YA was that I just loved the Genre of the Day – and so my shelves are full of vampire novels and dystopians. However, there are some series I’ve really enjoyed which aren’t your typical YA book, and they’re great to try if you’re getting bored of the same-old YA books which come out year after year.

Meg Cabot

I know Meg Cabot through the Princess Diaries series – which has recently rebooted – but she’s actually written a few bestselling series. The Mediator series has rave reviews – but is also fantasy. The Princess Diaries, Queen of Babble, The Boy series, and the Heather Well series (which starts with Size 12 is Not Fat) should all be fantasy-free, amusing and fun to read. (The Princess Diaries also led to two Disney films, although they do not follow the plot of the books exactly).

Louise Rennison

The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series is hilarious and brilliantly British. Georgia is a typical British girl on the cusp of becoming a woman, and we follow her as she discovers boys, snogging, and how embarrassing parents can be. There’s 10 books in total but they’re so easy to read and enjoyable (and not too long either) that it’s easy to fly through them. Rennin’s latest series is the Misadventures of Tallulah Casey series, which is very much in the same vein as the first series – in fact, Tallulah is Georgia’s cousin. I’d definitely give this series a go if you’re in a reading slump – and the movie is pretty funny, too.

Morgan Matson

The only Morgan Matson book I’ve read so far is Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which is a classic American road trip story (which are always fun, right?). Since then, Morgan has published two more stand-alone books, with another, The Unexpected Everything, coming in 2016. Second Chance Summer and Since You’ve Been Gone are on my TBR list.

Ally Carter

I absolutely loved the Gallagher Girls series, which follows a student at a Spy School for Girls, Cammie Morgan, and her emerging love life with a fellow spy. These books are only about 300 pages long, so short enough to devour in a day or two. Heist Society is a book I actually own, but haven’t got round to reading yet, but the series (which currently has three books) is in the same vein as Gallagher Girls. Her new Embassy Row series looks exciting too. These books are a little more Middle Grade than YA, so great starter books for easing into the YA world.

Sarah Dessen

When I first got into YA, Sarah Dessen was reigning queen of love stories. Her books are stand-alone, so easy to pick up just one and know you’re not going to face a devastating cliff-hanger at the end – and all of her books have stellar reviews on GoodReads so definitely well worth a dip into. I’ve read Just Listen, The Truth about Forever and Lock & Key but if you’re looking for her most recent work, Saint Anything was released in May.

Cecily von Ziegesar

The Gossip Girl series is 13 books long, but they’re very short and fun books (although a little expensive – still £7.99 each on Amazon). These are the source material for the CW show of the same name (which I absolutely love) although the show deviates quite heavily from the books. There are two spin-off book series too – Gossip Girl: The Carlyles follows the Carlyle triplets, and The IT Girl follows GG alum Jenny Humphrey at boarding school.

Honorary mentions: John Green (who else) and Rainbow Rowell (of course).

Who are your favourite YA authors? What are your favourite non-fantasy series? Comment below or tweet at @annalisebooks 🙂

Annalise x

TBR: The Post-YALC Pile

After an amazing weekend at YALC, my TBR (To Be Read) pile has grown. It was already pretty big – I’ve spent the last three years procrastinating by buying books, but not really procrastinating by reading them (after many 16 hour days in the library trying to learn Chemistry, you kinda just want to sleep and eat). I’m planning on getting through my pile this Summer though (never going to happen but it’s always nice to be optimistic!).

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1. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, and 2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithian

I’ve read two John Green novels before – Looking for Alaska and The Fault in our Stars. They’re both critically acclaimed, and I thoroughly enjoyed TFioS… the second time I read it. I hardly ever read a book twice, but TFioS was a rare exception, and I’m glad it was – I enjoyed it the first time, and I really want to be a bigger fan of John Green’s work (hence the book buys). Both of these books have interesting premises – AAoK is about a boy called Colin who has dated a grand total of 19 women called Katherine, and WG,WG is a collaboration between two authors, both writing for different characters (both called Will Grayson). I really hope these books exceed my expectations based on previous John Green novels I’ve read – but I won’t deny i’ll be first in line for his next book.

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3. Eleanor & Park, and 4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Confession: I’ve never read a book by Rainbow Rowell. That’s about to change. All I’ve heard are good things about her novels, specifically these two, both published in 2013. Eleanor & Park is a love story, set in 1986, with Eleanor, the slightly overweight new girl with a dysfunctional family, and Park, a half-Korean boy from the ‘perfect home’. Fangirl is about identical twins, moving on to university, still obsessed with their favourite author. I’m excited to start reading these books, if only for the fact that I know people who fit these characters (an achievement in itself).

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5. Forever by Judy Blume

I’ve heard about Judy Blume ever since I started reading YA fiction. She’s a legend, and this weekend, I got to watch her giving a talk at YALC. I would have asked her to sign a book, but I’ve never read a Judy Blume novel. I decided to rectify that. It is a feat in itself that this book is still a bestseller after forty years – and a little disappointing that it’s still controversial. I picked this up at the Waterstone’s book shop on site at YALC – hopefully it’ll be worth the £6.99 I forked out for it.

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6. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

I first heard of the book a few months ago, and I knew I had to buy it. You know why? The cover. I knew I needed that cover on my shelf. I’ve also heard good things – about the plot, the world, the characters – and after attending a talk at YALC with Marie on the panel, I ran out and bought the book. Kestrel is a general’s daughter in an empire which enslaves those who it conquers, and she’s expected to either join the military or get married. Kestrel has other ideas. She buys a slave – Arin – with unexpected consequences, and finds herself falling in love with him.

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7. Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

I hadn’t heard of this book before YALC, and it only took two days before I caved and bought it – I’d heard so many good things (It won the YA Book Prize 2015). To my surprise (maybe I should plan better), the author (Louise O’Neill) appeared on the ‘Bringing Sexy Back’ panel in the morning, and, because I was hauling around all my purchases from the weekend, I happened to have my copy of Only Ever Yours on me, for the signing afterwards! I’m so excited to read this book, and ‘Asking for It’, out in September – mostly because of the comparisons to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

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8. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

This was one of the books my friends bought for my birthday (I sent them a huge lists of books I promised not to buy and let them choose which ones to get). This originally was released in 2011, and it’s been sitting on my Goodreads list since then. Juliette’s touch is fatal, and she must decide whether to use it for good, or for evil. Also, look at that cover!

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9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I’ve known about Gone Girl for a few years, since the book first came out in 2012. I was there for the initial hype, and I was just never convinced enough to buy and read it. Then the film came out, and I went to see it. The film is amazing, and I knew the book would be too. I know all the twists and turns now, but I hear the book is even better, and the film will be tough to beat. Bring it on!

What’s on your TBR list? Have you read any of the books on my list? (I’m not going to lie, I imagine most people have.) Comment below or tweet me at @annalisebooks 🙂

Annalise x