melinda salisbury

Review: FLOORED

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Disclaimer: eBook copy received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I think the description ‘Breakfast Club meets One Day’ describes this novel perfectly!

Floored is a collaborative novel written by seven of my favourite UK Young Adult authors: Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood. They are the reigning queens of UKYA, and I was so excited when I heard about this book last year. I think it’s an excellent idea to each have an author write a character – there are six characters and one ‘narrator’ who ties up each chapter. 

Our six characters are thrust together in the first chapter, and then they meet up each year after that, and we follow them on one day each year and see how their lives have changed. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book – I loved the time jumps, seeing how the characters developed and which life choices they made, and I also loved how the characters grew up over the typical YA age boundary and broke into university/adult life. This is something I’d love to see more of and I thought the time jumps between each chapter were the perfect vehicle for this.

I thought the format of the book was also the perfect vehicle for exploring issues like the characters’ different living situations, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexualities and disabilities. I loved the diversity in this novel and it didn’t feel shoe-horned in to the story. I also loved how this novel was set in the North of England (Manchester!) – as that is where I am from, and you don’t get too many novels at all set outside of an ambiguous English village or London. 

Considering this book is written by seven different authors, the writing didn’t feel out of place or ‘wrong’ – the book flowed beautifully and was engaging and addictive – I read this book in just over 24 hours, and just needed to know what happened next! I also felt that I could relate to each character – even the not-so-nice ones!

My one gripe would be that I would have liked a lovely definitive ending to tie this book up and I’m not sure I got that.

If you’re a fan of any of the authors involved, or just looking for a fun, addictive YA novel, pick up Floored at your next opportunity. 

 

annalsie

YALC 2016: Day 1!

This year I was lucky enough to attend YALC for the entire weekend! This weekend was made extra special by the fact that I made some friends the day before at a meet-up organised my Karen (A Simple Cup of Tea), which I would heavily recommend doing. Thanks so much Demet, Karen, Lily, Chantal and Kalie (and everyone else!) for an absolutely fantastic weekend!

I first rocked up to Olympia at 8.30am and found my newly-founded squad, then we were let loose on YALC at 9am. The first thing we found – and seriously, I was NOT expecting this – was a GEMINA arc. I wasn’t a huge fan of Illuminae but I’m hoping this will be better and will be posting my honest review (and possibly hosting a giveaway!).

The first panel I headed up was BEHIND THE MAGIC: MAGICAL SYSTEMS IN YA. The panel was led by Katherine Webber, with V E Schwab, Sally Green, Taran Matharu and Mel Salisbury and was a real highlight of the weekend – I even asked a question about how they create a magical system that is original!

After the panel, I got my copy of THE ART OF BEING NORMAL by Lisa Williamson signed – she was so lovely and the book is amazing (definitely a must-read!).

I then headed to the SHE WHO LAUGHS LAST LAUGHS THE LAUGHIEST: HUMOUR IN YA panel, headed up by Claire Hennessy and featuring Katy Birchall, Nat Luurtsema, Jenny McLachlan and Holly Smale. This was another great panel and the panelists were so funny!

Next up was a fan favourite – the A MONSTER CALLS talk with Patrick Ness, who wrote the book, and Lewis MacDougall, who plays Conor in the film adaptation. This was an interesting talk surrounding the movie. After the talk, I got my copy of A Monster Calls signed by Patrick and Lewis which was a nice touch.

Now for the highlight of the day – the Fantasy London panel chaired by Katherine Webber, and featuring V E Scwab, Ben Aaronovitch and Samantha Shannon. Learning about their interpretations of fantasy London was so interesting! An absolute highlight of the week. After the talk, I got my copies of A Darker Shade of Magic and This Savage Song signed by V E Schwab who was SO nice and hung around YALC all weekend.

This is the AMAZING book wall which made a triumphant return!

Day 1 haul included a beautiful copy of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (£10 from the Harper Voyager stand!)

The NEW Mel Salisbury short story The King of Rats was available on the Scholastic stand – I’ll be waiting to read this one but very glad I have it!

Here is a picture of the gang in front of the book wall!

Day 1 of YALC was so amazing – next up will be Day 2!

Thanks for reading – how did you enjoy the first day of YALC?

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