Book News Round-Up! August 17th- #soapgate edition!

Welcome to your fortnightly YA news update with your host, Katie! I’ll be rounding up all the top stories of the last two weeks in the YA world (including the *ahem* soap that took my timeline by storm this week).

Let’s begin!

Let’s start with #soapgate, shall we?

So… where to begin? This week bookstagram and book twitter where shaken by the news that a book subscription box, Bookish and Stuff, included a, *ahem*, soap shaped like an anatomically correct piece of male genitalia- or as the internet is dubbing it- the soap dick- in their most recent Illyrian box (which did come with a 18+ warning before purchase).

I have included a photo below which I don’t think is toooooo graphic- seeing as it’s still in it’s wrapping- plus also, it’s a soap- but viewer discretion is advised…

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Neadless to say, twitter had more then a field day over this, I’m talking like a field week. Everyone had something to say-

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and,

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Whether you think it was funny or grossly inappropriate, it has started up the conversation about the importance of correctly age rating books when they are released. For instance- this box was based on the book series ACOTAR, which is pretty smutty, let’s all admit, yet for some reason it’s classed as a YA book and as such is listed as a ‘Children’s Bestseller’!!!! For a book series I wouldn’t even be able to read aloud without blushing!

It seems that retrospectively placing age warnings on the back haven’t achieved anything either; the books are still stocked with YA books either way- so really can you really say the soap dick was inappropriate for the age group of the readers when it’s more or less in line with the books contents (albeit in a tongue in cheek way)?

Bookish and Stuff have commented on the controversy to say that the debate really comes down to whether ACOTAR ‘should really be YA or NA’ but the fact the series contains ‘graphic sex scenes’ is a fact we are all aware of, and they did warn consumers ‘multiple’ times to the 18+ nature of the box’s contents, which amounts to what is normally sold as a ‘bachelorette joke favors in the real world’.

They added most of their feedback from their costumers has been positive and ‘with everything in life there will always be those that are scandalized. If the box scandalized you, it wasn’t for you’.

Personally, I agree. I was quite shocked when I saw the pictures of the unboxings, but as I read further my opinion changed when I found out this was no rogue dick situation- consumers knew what they where getting themselves into. The argument about whether ACOTAR is YA or NA isn’t within their control, but they had warned people this box wasn’t suitable for teens. I’ve seen people say this is adults encroaching on teen space by oversexualising teen literature- but come on, ACOTAR sexualises itself!

Overall this has proved the age old adage that no publicity is bad publicity, I’m sure this box will see a pick up in sales in the future.

Though if anything in the box was crossing a line for me, it’s the fanfiction which was bound like a booklet and sold- something which really isn’t legal or appropriate.

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We all know authors and publishers have more or less turned a blind eye to the rise of all of this unlicensed merchandise- I’m talking candles and pillows, etc- in the past- but there is a line, and that line is fiction. You cannot sell fanfiction people! You just can’t! Put it online for people to read for free as much as you like, but don’t sell it.

Whether or not Bloomsbury will react to any of this remains to be seen, but what happens in the next couple of weeks could end up changing the things book subscription boxes can get away with without the approval of the rights holder and publisher- or maybe in a month this will have all blown over. We’ll see.

Leigh Bardugo announces new magical yearly planner!

This week we got exciting news from the Six of Crows author, who announced this week she has been working on a grisha/ magical journal/planner!

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We even got a cover AND a release date, all in one go!

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The Severed Moon is on sale from the 29th January 2019, and you can preorder it here!

The most exciting thing about this release is what it means for YA books- is this a new trend? If it is, would you like to see more yearly journals with quotes, inspiration and snippets from your favourite books, or would you rather save your money for real books? I think this is an interesting direction for Leigh to go in, and I’m sure if it’s successful other authors will follow.

Happy release day to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix!

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The movie adaptation of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is released today on netflix, and has already been receiving critical praise, with Variety commenting-

If John Hughes were alive today, he might very well make a movie like “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” which doesn’t talk down to its audience about subjects such as sex and dating, but instead treats them as young adults, demonstrating how anyone’s initial attempts at romance are like learning to walk: We’re all a little bit wobbly at first.

You can read their entire review here.

Last week I counted down five books you should read before their movie adaptation is released, so even though you are out of time for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before you won’t miss out on the rest! You can view that list here!

Holly black finishes her first draft of Queen of Nothing- Cruel Prince #3!

Even though we’ll still have to wait until January to get our hands on the second Cruel Prince book, The Wicked King, Queen of Faeries Holly Black has been hard at work finishing the first draft of the final book of the trilogy- Queen of Nothing.

She tweeted this week-

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To think that right at this very moment, somewhere on a hard drive, is the whole third and final instalment of this series! I’m very excited by this news, though I imagine I will be a great deal more excited when I actually get to the end of The Wicked King!

Authors on Tour!

Laini Taylor has announced she will be on tour to promote the release of Muse of Nightmares from October 2nd to 19th. She will be visiting CA, MO, TX, MN, WI, MI, IL, NJ, NY and OR! See the details here.

 


And that’s it for this fortnight! I’ll see you again in September for the next book news round up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 YA books that are set in SPACE

Three years ago I stepped into a cinema to see Star Wars- the Force Awakens, and something clicked inside my mind. Not only did I leave that theatre a star wars fan (I went on to see Force Awakens seven more times before it left the cinema) I left it a sci-fi fan- and a fan of one common sci-fi setting- space.

Since then I have read many, and bought even more, YA books that are set in space so I thought I would share with you some great YA books set somewhere in a galaxy far away.

1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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My favourite child- The Lunar Chronicles is my absolute favourite sci-fi YA series and ranks as one of my favourite series of all time. I just adore the characterisation, the relationships, the build up- all of it. It’s a great starting sci-fi book if you are unsure about the genre, or space books, because it’s rather mild in terms of new worlds- mostly because its set in this one- about 1000 years and three world wars in the future. Space travel exists, but only to the moon, which we’ve taken over.

The best thing about the Lunar Chronicles is that its a retelling of several fairytales in a futuristic way- starting with Cinderella, then Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White, as they meet up and fight to take down the dictator like Queen of the Moon, Levana.

Cinder synopsis from Goodreads;

A forbidden romance.

A deadly plague.

Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget

[Add to Goodreads]

2. Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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I haven’t yet read Red Rising, but it comes highly recommended by many readers, and I can’t wait to get to it, eventually.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

[Add to Goodreads TBR]

3. Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

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When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Mia and Jules’ different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race’s secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race…

[Add to goodreads TBR]

4. Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

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This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

[Add to goodreads TBR]

5. Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

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She’s a soldier – Noemi Vidal is willing to risk anything to protect her planet, Genesis, including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine – Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel’s advanced programming has begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

[Add to Goodreads TBR]

6. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

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Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an wants vengeance.

The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, Rheehas spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne – and her revenge.

Alyosha is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.

Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.

The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding – even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee’s name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.

[Add to Goodreads TBR]

7. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

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Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space—and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe—in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.

Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

[Add to Goodreads TBR]

8. Starflight by Melissa Landers

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Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…

[Add to Goodreads TBR]

9. The Diabolic by S.J Kincaid

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Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…

[add to Goodreads TBR]

10. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

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Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

[Add to your Goodreads TBR]


 

So thats it. 10 YA books set in space! If I’ve missed any out let me know! I already have another list of 10 YA books set in space to come, but I’d love to keep going until I have ALL the YA books set in space, haha!

 

Five for Friday: 5 Books you should read before their adaptation is released

To_All_The_Boys_I've_Loved_Before_Movie_CoverIn celebration of the release of the Netflix movie of All the Boys I’ve Loved Before- which is released a week today- on the 17th- I thought we could count down five books either soon to be released, in production or rumoured to be made into an adaptation so you don’t end up missing out again.

If you are anything like me you like to read the book before you watch the movie, and then you forget to read the book and then the film comes out and you are stuck not knowing whether to watch it without having read it, or try and cram it the night before- I’m hoping researching this list will stop me making that mistake again.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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The Hate U Give has become one of the most successful YA books of all time, and it’s rightly deserved. It’s an incredibly moving and important narrative on the reality of black young people in the US, and I highly recommend you read it.

The movie adaptation, featuring Amandla Steinberg, is coming out on October 19th.

[Watch the trailer] [Add to Goodreads]

2. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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The Darkest Minds is also a movie featuring Amandla Steinberg, and hopefully it will be successful enough for us to get a sequel- go see it please?

Its already out by the time this post goes up- on the 3rd of August in the US and today!- the 10th in the UK- but you still have some time!

[watch the trailer] [Add to goodreads tbr]

3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

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News broke a while ago that SJM’s series Throne of Glass had been optioned to be adapted into a TV series.

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There’s been no news about it recently, but with a series as successful as Throne of Glass it seems like inevitably it will be made into either a TV series or movie eventually.

4. The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid

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The Diabolic was optioned when it was first released, but even if it ends up coming to nothing I highly recommend giving it a read- it’s a really good book which I could see being translated for cinema well.

5. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

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This book was picked up a while ago, and is being produced by the same team behind Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars. I’ve had this on my shelf for eons, and now I finally have the push I needed to get around to it!

[Add to Goodreads]

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday! The Wicked King by Holly Black

Last week I did a round up of all my most anticipated books coming up in the second half of 2018, you can read that here!

This week and from now on we’ll be looking at a specific book I’m pretty excited to be released- and we might as well start with my most anticipated 2019 release- The Wicked King by Holly Black.

26032887The Cruel Prince was hands down my favourite book so far of 2018. I read somewhere that Holly Black is the Queen of writing Faeries- and there has been a bit of a boom in fictional YA faeries in recent times- and boy was that right. These fae are the richest in terms of customs, world building, clothes – FOOD- that I’ve ever read.

The story was really unique as well, as well as a return of the (slight spoiler) dark, morally grey heroine- which is a trope that I LOVE.

Also that cover- yessssssssssss.

 

 

The synopsis for the Wicked King- spoilers ahead for Cruel Prince in the rest of this post.

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

COMPLICATED. FEELINGS. FOR. CARDAN.

*faints*

I need this book right now.

Luckily, as far as 2019 goes, I don’t have that long to go.

The Wicked King is released on January 8th 2019.

[Add to your Goodreads]

 

How to get Free Books!

Recently authors have been speaking up against piracy in the YA world- which is rampant at the moment. Every time you pirate a book you are taking away not only from the author who has worked hard on that book, but also the publishing industry which means less published books in the future- it’s a vicious cycle.

Instead of pirating books, if you can’t afford any why not look at these ways of reading free books?

Ah, the magic word. No, not please, but FREE.  Let’s discuss how to get these golden NO MONEY INVOLVED books.

  1. Swoon Reads

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Swoon reads is a website with crowd sources books, and lets readers vote on what book they most want to be published! Writers can upload their work to Swoon Reads and get constructive feedback from readers, and then readers will be allowed to vote on the winning book. There are always a big selection of books to choose from, and if you can take the time picking through books you don’t like all that much to find ones you will like then you might even be able to say you helped get a book published!

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 22.18.58Swoon reads also publishes some great articles on upcoming YA books and news, so it’s a great place to be. On Swoon Reads you can even save books to your shelf and it’ll remember where you last read, so no forgetting your place!

Click here to go and start an account with Swoon Reads!

Advantages:
  • FREE!
  • Easy to use
  • Saves your place
  • No limit to the amount of books you can read at once
  • You can help out aspiring authors!
  • You can vote for your favourite books to be published into actual physical books, so when you pass it in the bookstore you can smile to yourself, knowing you HELPED for that book to be published!
Disadvantages:
  • Due to plagairism you cannot download any books
  • You can only read on Swoon Reads’s website and mobile website
  • This is not a physical book
  • Because of the nature of anyone being able to upload to Swoon Read’s you may have to spend sometime finding a good book
  • Books on Swoon Reads are transient, they move around quite a lot. When they are published they are taken down, but authors can also choose to remove them from the site, so if you get attached to a story you’ll have to remember it could be gone tomorrow.

2. Classics/Out of Copyright

I’m assuming most of you will know about this one, but lets jog your memory if not.

Did you know that books go out of copyright after 70 years? (well, arguably, there’s a lot of rules and exceptions etc, etc) But what that actually means is YOU CAN GET THAT BOOK FOR FREE NOW! With the advent of e-books the only cost of producing out of copyright books, which used to be the cost of printing and binding, has been eradicated. If you want to read a classic on an e-reader or your phone or computer YOU CAN for FREE!

Amazon, or whatever company your e-reader belongs to, will have a catalogue of them if you search for one, but here’s some websites to get started;

Guttenberg.org is a website dedicated to cataloging out of copyright books

This goodreads list lists some popular out of copyright books for you to peruse

(also on sidenote this means you can read ALL THE AUSTEN YOU WANT for free!)

Advantages:
  • It’s free!
  • You can download them to your e-reader or app and take them everywhere you go!
  • There’s loads of choice
  • You can act well-read
Disadvantages
  • It’s not a physical book

3. Free audiobooks

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Much like with out of copyright books, some audiobooks of out of copyright books have been made free for educational purposes. These are totally legal and free to download. There are apps for iPhone and android that will allow you to play them free of charge!

Useful links

Openculture.com is a website used for archiving links to popular free audiobooks

Loyalbooks.com lets you download from their website to your computer!

Librovoxaudio does much the same, but has some foriegn translations of classics as well

Spotify also has a number of audiobooks available.

Advantages:
  • Good for listening/reading while working
  • Good for visually impaired people or people with dyslexic
  • Portable on a mp3 player
Disadvantages:
  • Not always the best narration
  • Takes up a lot of memory/space on your device
  • Not a physical book

4. Netgalley

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Netgalley.com is a website on which publishers share e-ARCs (find out what an ARC is here)to reviewers. The majority of these books are upcoming releases, but some may have already been released and some are even ‘read now’ books, meaning you only have to sign up for a free account to download these books to your reading device and start reading!

Other titles you’ll need to apply to read. Publishers will check things like your location, and the amount of followers you have before they allow or deny you, so these may be harder to get to- but also free.

Do make sure you always leave a review after you’ve been allowed access to a book- even if its to say that you did not finish it, because publishers need these reviews to base marketing and publicity off of- plus netgalley keeps a percentage of the amount of books you’ve accessed vs the amount you’ve reviewed, and if this percentage is below 80% it may affect your future success in accessing books.

5. Your Local Library

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If you are lucky enough to have a local library, then use it! It’s a great resource, plus the more people who use it, the more funding they receive. This is your best bet for getting to read the newest releases for free- and some libraries now have online e-book and audiobook services, so you may not even have to leave your house to check out books.

Book News Round-Up! August 3rd

Hey guys! I’m starting a new series called Book News Round up- a digest of everything you need to know about YA book news from the last couple of weeks. This new series will be updated fortnightly on fridays, and will allow you to catch up with all the latest gossip without the pressure of trawling through twitter feeds and tumblr posts!

Kingdom of Ash gets a cover reveal- plus find out where to buy those special edition copies!

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Kingdom of Ash is the sixth (or possibly seventh book, if like Bloomsbury you are counting the Chaol novel) of the Throne of Glass series- and the last *cries*. How will it end? I’m actually legit scared- I really would be upset if Dorian, Manon and Elide don’t make it out the other side- the other characters I don’t care so much- but don’t touch my children SJM.

Along with any SJM release in recent memory come a plethora of special editions promising extra content, fan art, maps and posters- and Kingdom of Ash is no exception. To find out all the special editions that will be released and where to find them click here.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie releases on Netflix on August 17th

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Bardugo confirms Grisham spin-off series will include fan favourite character Nina Zenik!

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Amazing art by Merwild!

Yes, you’ve read that right, our favourite heartrender will make a comeback in the upcoming Grisha spin-off series, King of Scars, which will follow Nikolai Lantsov in some post Grisha-series shenanigans.

Nina was herself a character in a separate Grisha series spin-off duology, Six of Crows, which followed six very different individuals as they pulled off the heist of a lifetime- think Ocean’s Eleven but with magic. If you’ve read the Six of Crows books but missed out on the Grisha trilogy I highly recommend picking that up before King of Scars is released- and you have plenty of time as it ins’t out until Jan 2019.

If you are completely new to all of the Bardugo Grisha-verse books the best way to start reading them is to start with the Grisha books- Shadow and Bone being the first in the series- and then read the Six of Crows books after that.

Find out everything we know about Queen of Air and Darkness so far!

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You’ll be happy to hear we have only 123 days to go before Queen of Air and Darkness is released on December 4th. Simon teen have released a helpful round up of all the snippets, teasers and other info that has been released so far about Queen of Air and Darkness, which you can read here!

Authors on Tour!

Marie Lu’s Wildcard Tour-

Marie Lu is on tour in September in the US to promote the release of Wildcard! She is visiting ME, TX, NE, OK, WA, AK, HI- visit the Penguin Teen website here to find dates and buy tickets.

Sarah J Maas Kingdom of Ash on Tour-

Sarah J Maas is on tour in October to promote the release of Kingdom of Ash. This tour is a lot smaller then her past tours due to the very recent birth of her first child, so don’t be too sad if she isn’t visiting near you. She is visiting Texas, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles- visit the World of SJM website here to view dates and buy tickets.

Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli visit London in October!

Adam and Becky are promoting their release What if it’s us and will be in conversation with Simon James Wood on October 23rd. Book your tickets here on waterstones.

 

Waiting on Wednesday- My Most Anticipated Reads of the second half of 2018!

The first half of the year hasn’t been the best reading time for me- though I was trying to finish up and graduate from uni so you may have to cut me some slack. Right from the start of 2018, when I first wrote this list of my most anticipated books, that the majority of them are coming out in the second half of this year- so I’ve compiled this list of my most anticipated books that come out in the remainder of this year, and hopefully I’ll actually have some time to read them this time.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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Probably my most anticipated book of 2018- Queen of Air and Darkness is the third and final book in the Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare. I’ve absolutely loved the story arc of this series so far, it’s been so different from the previous Shadowhunter chronicle series and also a lot darker. Things seem to have been set up right from the beginning for this story to end badly, so I can’t wait to see how it does all end.

It seemed for a while that we would be getting the first Last Hours book before the last Dark Artifices book, and I’m glad the publication dates have been changed because I think waiting until 2019 would have killed me after that Lord of Shadows shock ending. (But seriously Cassie, if you are reading, I would literally read anything you write, including your grocery list. I’ve gone that far.)

Queen of Air and Darkness is released on December 4th 2018 (which is practically 2019 anyway *cries*)

[Add to your goodreads TBR]

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #6 #7?) by Sarah J Maas

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Interestingly Goodreads is calling this book the 7th instalment to the series, so I’m assuming they’ve miscounted the prequel or the Chaol novel, because I’m like 100% sure this is the sixth book- don’t test me Goodreads. (Update- so it seems Bloomsbury have decided the Chaol novel is no longer book 5.5 but actually IS book 6- NO, thats not how these things work Bloomsbury).

2018 will be the year the Throne of Glass series comes to an end. Sarah has an AWFUL lot of loose ends to tie up in this finale, and a lot of readers to convince with this ending. Throne of Glass has always been a divisive series in the YA sphere (you seemingly either love it, hate it, or loved it once but stopped liking it after Queen of Shadows) so it will be very interesting to see what the audience reaction to this one is.

I also be interested to see what Sarah does after finishing this series, we haven’t heard about any new projects as of yet (except the Catwoman DC novel which was also out this year) and I’ll definitely be wanting to see what she does next.

Kingdom of Ash is released on October 23rd!

[Add to your Goodreads TBR]

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

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Pirates. Thats all I have to say.

I have to say though, I was reasonably more excited for this release before I just visited goodreads to find the cover art, it seems most people didn’t get on to well with this one. I think I’m going to play it by ear when it’s officially released and see what reviewers I trust are saying. Either way though- Pirates. We don’t have enough pirates in YA- we need more.

We don’t have long to wait now, this book is released August 7th.

[Add to your goodreads TBR]

Arch Enemies (Renegades #2) by Marissa Meyer

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Renegades was the best book I’ve read in a WHILE- I absolutely loved it and I cannot wait for Arch Enemies. Meyer is a really amazing series author, The Lunar Chronicles was amazing too. I feel like she needs that space to build up her worlds and characters and relationships. I’ve seen complaints about Renegades that nothing happens- which isn’t true, lots happens, but also its the first book of a trilogy and it’s building up the characters to allow for that drama in the next books. I didn’t enjoy Meyer’s Heartless so much, and I think that was because it was a standalone and she didn’t have the time to make me care about the characters or the world.

I am so so ready to be engrossed in one of Meyer’s series again, and I can’t wait for this book to be released on November 6th.

[Add on Goodreads]

Wildcard (Warcross #2) by Marie Lu

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Warcross was one of my favourite books last year, so I’m pretty excited for the release of Wildcard. I know some people have hated this covers for this series as well, but I love them- and the computer graphic aesthetic is just right for this series. Theres not too much more I can say without spoiling the first book- but if you haven’t read Warcross then I highly recommend you do.

Wildcard is released on September 18th.

[Add to Goodreads]


 

So thats it- my most anticipated releases for the second half of 2018! What books are you anticipating most?

YA Books set in Paris!

These last two years I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Paris four times, and it truly is one of the most amazing cities in the world. There is something so elegant and distinguished about Paris and it’s architecture and presence, so it’s no wonder it has become the backdrop for several popular YA books over the last few years.

I actually started writing this post back in 2017 and it has remained in my drafts folder this whole time- I have 32 unpublished posts at the point, sigh- so I figured it was time to release this into the wild.

I’ll be returning to France this summer so maybe it is finally time to get reading these…

This list is definitely one for lovers of YA contemporary- there are unfortunately no fantasy or sci-fi books in this list, but there is one dystopian and one paranormal romance book, so stay tuned for them!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

The original- the classic- the real OG. Anna and the French Kiss shot Stephanie Perkins to the top of the YA contemporary author pyramid, and I’ve been meaning to read it forever.

More recently I’ve watched some very interesting book tube videos about this book, and none of the reviewers have liked it very much. It’s always very interesting to me when a book comes across as very well received when it is first published but gets sourer reviews over time- sometimes this suggests readers have matured and changed their minds and sometimes it can show that the publishers issued a very strong publicity campaign when the book was first released and the reaction only seemed positive because you are seeing the book EVERYWHERE, and maybe the bad reviews weren’t as public as the influencer posts.

Either way if I get a chance I still will give this one a shot, it deserves it after sitting for three years in my TBR pile.

Maybe in Paris by Rebecca Christiansen

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Keira Braidwood lands in Paris with her autistic brother, Levi, and high hopes. Levi has just survived a suicide attempt and months in the psych ward—he’s ready for a dose of the wider world. Unlike their helicopter mom and the doctors who hover over Levi, Keira doesn’t think Levi’s certifiable. He’s just . . . quirky. Always has been.

Those quirks quickly begin to spoil the trip. Keira wants to traipse all over Europe; Levi barely wants to leave their grubby hotel room. She wants to dine on the world’s cuisine; he only wants fast food. Levi is one giant temper tantrum, and Keira’s ready to pull out her own hair.

She finally finds the adventure she craves in Gable, a hot Scottish bass player, but while Keira flirts in the Paris Catacombs, Levi’s mental health breaks. He disappears from their hotel room and Keira realizes, too late, that her brother is sicker than she was willing to believe. To bring him home safe, Keira must tear down the wall that Levi’s sickness and her own guilt have built between them.

 

[Add to your goodreads TBR]

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

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A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.

Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.

Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can’t shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.

When Summer’s behavior manages to alienate everyone, even Moony, she’s forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that’ll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.

Another book I’ve had in my TBR forever. Sigh. I have to admit this was a total cover buy for me, I adore sunset gradient covers and this one photographs so well… I’m not so sure if I’ll ever get around to reading it but it definitely sounds like it offers a Parisian experience these other books lack- what with the ‘creepy underbelly of the city’ and is maybe a less traditional YA romance book.

 

Nobody’s Girl by Sarra Manning

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Bea thinks she’s the most boring seventeen-year-old in the world. She’s not pretty or popular or funny, unlike her mother who had Bea when she was 17. The only glamorous thing about Bea is the French father who left before she was born and lives in Paris. She yearns for la vie Parisienne every moment of her dull existence.

So when Ruby Davies, the leader of her school’s most elite clique picks Bea as her new best friend and asks her to go on holiday with them, she’s wary but delighted. If nothing else it’s two weeks away from her over-protective mother . But when the gang arrive in Spain, Bea is crushed to realise that Ruby and her posse have simply been using her.

Bea wreaks vengeance on her so-called friends, and plans to decamp to Paris to find her father. But when she falls asleep on the train and wakes up in Bilbao, she meets a group of American students who are backpacking around Europe and bonds with them straight away, especially the gorgeous Toph, who helps heal Bea’s hurting heart. And though Bea has a shock in store when they finally get to Paris, the ‘City of Lovers ‘ really works it magic on Bea and Toph, who spend a week wandering the sun-dappled streets of Paris, talking, holding hands and falling in love.

When it comes time to go home to confront her Mum about her mysterious father, the new version of Bea is determined that she ‘ll never go back to her old, boring way of life – she’s no longer Nobody’s Girl; she belongs to herself and to Toph…But with an ocean between them, will he wait for her?

This is the only book on the list that I have actually read- and loved by the way. I was always a Sarra Manning fan, and this book was one of my favorites back when I was 14. I recently had the chance to meet and talk to Sarra and she was just as enigmatic as I imagined she’d be!

I honestly can’t tell you if this book has aged well because it’s been so long, and I don’t even have my original copy of this one so I can’t reread it either- opps. I definitely had a lot of fun back when I was younger rereading this over and over so if you are in the market for a Paris adventure then this is one I do recommend.

 

Rook by Sharon Cameron

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History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.

The only dystopian on our list, Rook has a rather unique premise of an arranged marriage in a dystopian future with a sort of Robin Hood-esque character woven in. Unfortunately it wasn’t received terribly well, many people have even stated that the choice of setting was mostly unused in the actual plot which is unfortunate, and the general consensus is that the pacing was too slow.

Either way as our only non-contemporary it might be worth a read!

[Add on Goodreads]

Die for Me (Revenants #1) by Amy Plum

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In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again

The supernatural romance book- is that what we call this genre? Or is it paranormal romance?- appropriately titled Die for Me. This is the first in a trilogy which was apparently popular enough to warrant novellas and a book documenting the world-building behind the series. It was pretty well received, but unfortunately it seems it might be another book which uses Paris as a backdrop without doing much to add to the general ambience of the book.

[Add to Goodreads]


 

So thats all! Are there any other Parisian themed YA books I should know about? Or maybe just a YA which has a few scenes set in Paris? I, for one, am very excited to hear that some of Cassandra Clare’s upcoming books will be set in Paris, albeit in the 1900s- we need more Parisian fantasy books!

(Pictured, the Notre Dame on my last visit, it’s so beautiful with the roses in bloom!)

 

When your book slump has lasted FOUR months but Tower of Dawn saves the day

So yeah. Four months. The last book I read was Lord of Shadows back when it was released in May- let that sink in. I’m pretty sure Cassandra Clare broke me.

Normally when I’m in a reading slump I can get out of it by

  • rereading old favourites
  • rereading the book I just read
  • listening to audiobooks
  • reading new adult romance (or any bodice ripper pretty much)

But none of these tried and proven techniques have worked this time around. I’ve also been pretty much absent on instagram because I just have nothing to say at the moment.

But you’ll be happy to say that two days ago I picked up Tower of Dawn, and oh my gosh I AM BACK! It’s weird, but I’ve recently fallen out of love with SJM, I’ve been noticing little things about the Throne of Glass series that were really bugging me (using the world MALE six times on one page for example) but Tower of Dawn has been amazing so far!

I’m not even the biggest Chaol fan but the introduction of a new setting and new characters has really reinvigorated me, and I am so glad Sarah spread this out over a whole book instead of the novella that was planned. I’ve previously said that Leigh Bardugo is worlds better then other YA fantasy authors at culture building, but Sarah is really improving and that’s very clear in Tower of Dawn. I feel like she has paid a lot of attention to filling in and fleshing out the setting and the differences in culture and traditions and I really, really appreciate it.

This is basically a mid-book review, but if you were doubting Tower of Dawn in anyway it’s definitely worth a shot.

 

 

Can authors and publishers fake how popular a book is?

Short answer: Yes. Yes they can. And they do, quite frequently.

I’m writing this post in the fall out of the Handbook for Mortals scandal that had rocked YA twitter and bookstagram in the last couple of weeks. I’ve actually been taking a bit of a break, but you can imagine my surprise today when I logged back on and saw a tidal wave of tweets about this one book.

To simplify matters- Handbook for Mortals by Lani Salem is a book no one had ever heard of, from a publisher no one had ever heard of that jumped to the top of the NY times YA bestseller’s list last month. And I mean JUMPED, it came in a massive 12,000 sales over the second best seller at 18,000 copies sold.

But unfortunately for Lani the sales seem to have been faked, or at least manipulated*. The way the NYT Bestsellers List (the most respected published list of popular books) works is by complying a list from certain bookshops which report to the NYT how many copies they’ve sold that week of new books (backlist books don’t count, or else Potter would always come on top).

People have speculated that Lani and her publisher, GeekNation (which had never before published a book before), had found out the bookshops that do report and bulk brought copies from them. Other people have even said the numbers are fakes entirely as only 3,000 copies were ever printed (pure speculation, but seeing as hardly anyone has seen one of these books in person, it’s not impossible to believe).

Either way, the NYT has retracted Lani’s position on the list, confirming that some kind of foul play was at fault here, though Lani still denies any wrong doing and blames YA twitter and bloggers for the retraction.

It seems unlikely that something on this scale has ever been done before- after all you’d need a LOT of money lying around to decide to buy up 18,000 copies of your own book (which rumor has it Lani is now reselling, at a mark up. Hope that works out for her, otherwise it was a pretty stupid investment (obviously this is still speculation)). But lying about how popular your book is is a pretty common occurrence.

I’ve been blogging about YA books, on numerous blogs now, for 5 years and believe me, I know about a lot of books. I’m not saying I know ALL books, but I keep a strong eye on all upcoming releases from publishers and gossip from fellow bloggers and bookstagrammers so I always have an idea whats going on- but sometimes things seem to slip through the cracks.

Have you ever seen a Facebook advert for a book series, advertised to you because you’ve liked Harry Potter, the Hunger games or Twilight which boldly declares it has more then 5,000 five star reviews? I’ve been seeing these adverts more and more, and for more and more cheaply written, badly edited trash (sorry, not sorry) with the worst plots I’ve ever read.

All of these books are books I’ve never heard of. The majority of them (and I’m not saying this to blast self published books or authors, because you guys are amazing and there are so many books I love which are self published) are only available as an ebook, and yet they have a ridiculous amount of reviews.

I definitely believe the majority of these reviews have been paid for.

When you are looking for your next book, take a look at the NYT list (which is normally reliable) and at the people who are leaving reviews on amazon and on twitter. Look for book reviewers, the majority of good books will have reviews from people with blog titles in their names, and if things don’t add up with anything- be careful, it could be fake.

Also a reminder that you can return an ebook within three days on amazon if you realise it’s actually just 75 pages of hogswash. You’re welcome.


*speculation.

I am not being sued today, no sirree.