It’s mid-July, and what does that mean? It’s now officially less than two weeks until the annual bookfoolery of the Young Adult Literature Convention, henceforth know simply as YALC.
Now, last summer was my first time ever visiting YALC, and I didn’t really know what to expect, and basically missed every important thing that happened because I couldn’t stop looking at the books. This year I’d like to be more prepared.
So, in an attempt to get myself ready I’ve made a small list of books that have leapt to the top of my TBR in time for the event.
“Sorcerer to the Crown” by Zen Cho
“In Regency London, Zacharias Wythe is England’s first African Sorcerer Royal. He leads the eminent Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, but a malicious faction seeks to remove him by fair means or foul. Meanwhile, the Society is failing its vital duty – to keep stable the levels of magic within His Majesty’s lands. The Fairy Court is blocking its supply, straining England’s dangerously declining magical stores. And now the government is demanding to use this scarce resource in its war with France.
Ambitious orphan Prunella Gentleman is desperate to escape the school where she’s drudged all her life, and a visit by the beleaguered Sorcerer Royal seems the perfect opportunity. For Prunella has just stumbled upon English magic’s greatest discovery in centuries – and she intends to make the most of it.
At his wits’ end, the last thing Zachariah needs is a female magical prodigy! But together, they might just change the nature of sorcery, in Britain and beyond.”
I’ve heard great things about this book, the first novel in a trilogy. I’m a big fan of ‘The Oversight’ and ‘Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’ and I’m getting similar vibes from this. Also, that cover is gorgeous, which definitely helps.
‘The Bone Season’ by Samantha Shannon
“A dreamer who can start a revolution
For the past two hundred years the Scion government has led an oppressive campaign against unnaturalness in London.
Clairvoyance in all its forms has been decreed a criminal offence, and those who practise it viciously punished. Forced underground, a clairvoyant underworld has developed, combating persecution and evading capture.
Paige Mahoney, a powerful dreamwalker operating in the Seven Dials district of London, leads a double life, using her unnaturalness illegally while hiding her gift from her father, who works for the Scion regime…”
I’ll admit, the first time I read this book I wasn’t exactly its biggest fan. But, a) it’s been three years and b) since then I’ve started reading a lot more YA again, so now is probably the time for a reread. Especially, since I have copies of book two and three.
I can’t actually remember what it is that I disliked from that first read either…
“The Call’ by Peadar O’Guilin
“3 minutes and 4 seconds.
The length of time every teenager is ‘Called’, from the moment they vanish to the moment they reappear.
9 out of 10 children return dead.
Even the survivors are changed.
The nation must survive.
Nessa, Megan and Anto are at a training school – to give them some chance to fight back. Their enemy is brutal and unforgiving. But Nessa is determined to come back alive. Determined to prove that her polio-twisted legs won’t get her killed.
But her enemies don’t just live in the Grey Land. There are people closer to home who will go to any length to see her, and the nation, fail…”
It should be pretty obvious from the books I read that I LOVE faerie stories, the darker the better, and, honestly, this book sounds exactly like something that I want to read!
“Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor
“The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?”
Yes, I know, how have I not read this already? I’ve had a copy pretty much since release day but it’s so enormous in physical size that I haven’t actually got around to carrying it around with me. I will make a concerted effort to finish this in time, though I’m not feeling particularly optimistic about braving the signing queue!
One author who I am entirely up to date for is the wonderful, incredible V E Schwab. I met her twice last year, once at YALC and once at a Waterstones event and she is honestly one of the loveliest people. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get my copies of ‘Our Dark Duet’ and ‘A Conjuring of Light’ signed this year!
Are any of you lot planning to go to YALC this year? If so, who are you most excited to see?