victoria schwab

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

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

I picked up ADSOM because I have heard so many amazing things, and the hype around the sequel, A Gathering of Shadows (AGOS), was, errr, a lot. This is one book I picked up at Foyles Charing Cross in regular Grey London.

A Darker Shade of Magic is a really original novel, following Kell, a ‘Traveler’ who can move between parallel universes. In Grey London (our universe), he meet Lila, a thief looking for adventure. Both Lila and Kell are fresh, quirky characters, in an interesting magical world with its own rich politics and rules. I like London, and magic, and the marriage of the two was really cool.

It’s been a while since I read this book, but it took me a while to read – I was in a bit of a reading slump after Heir of Fire. I liked the style of the book – it’s separated into lots of parts, with short chapters within, so it’s easy to read a little bit, often.

I also loved how there wasn’t really a romance, at all, which is something I’m really enjoying in novels at the moment – romance doesn’t have to feature in every single novel ever, and it should only really feature if it feels natural to do so.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would (it’s been very hyped up), but I did enjoy it enough to desperately want to read the sequel, A Gathering of Shadows, which sounds actually amazing.

This book is not necessarily YA – I found it in the Sci-Fi section of Foyles, so I’d say it’s being marketed as more Adult, but there’s nothing in here that should put a YA reader off picking this up.

Overall, a good start to a new trilogy, and I will be looking to pick up the sequel in the near future. (Also, the cover is pretty awesome.)

View all my reviews

Have you read ADSOM? What did you think? Comment or tweet me at @annalisebooks!

Annalise x