Thursday, 25 April 2013

World Book Night 2013

How was everyone's World Book Night? Did you go to any events or give books or just read anything nice for it?
As I said in my post at the beginning of the week I was lucky enough to be selected to give away Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses as well as get tickets to the London flagshop event.
It was amazing.

I really enjoyed the giving process to start with - rather than hand them out to people, I decided to leave them in places to be found. I liked the idea that someone's curiosity at seeing a book would make them want to pick it up and read it. I pulled in a few accomplices and scattered my books around various parts of London, here are some of the places they ended up:

It became a bit like a treasure trail - leaving them for people to find. It was great fun.

And even better - I put my twitter in the books and someone tweeted me when they found my book!

The event itself at the South Bank Centre was great too - it was packed out with people and there was a fantastic array of authors - WBN and otherwise - reading extracts from their books. Some of my favourites were Mark Haddon reading from 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time', David Nicholls reading from Casino Royale and Graeme Simsion read from his new book 'The Rosie Project'. This last one, in particular, was amazing. 'The Rosie Project' has been on my radar for a while and I've read some reviews that made me interested, but having Graeme himself read from it, it has jumped straight to the top of my TBR pile.

The event as a whole was a great reminder that reading and story-telling really do bring books to life - although they're fantastic on the page, it is nothing compared to having them brough to life out loud, especially by the author themselves.

Do you have any World Book Night stories to share? I want to hear them!

Ali from the Mira Ink offices shared his story with us:

‘This year for World Book Night I was lucky enough to get The Reader by Bernhard Schlink to give out. I decided to put a book in every pigeon hole in the building where I live to give my neighbours a nice surprise when they check their post. I gave the rest out to some slightly bemused looking commuters on my way to work! Working in publishing, I sometimes take it for granted that everybody reads lots of books all the time, but in reality most people don’t. I think WBN is a great opportunity to encourage people who wouldn’t usually to pick up a book and see what’s inside. Next time I bump into one of my neighbours coming in or out of the building, I’ll definitely be asking them what they thought of The Reader. Maybe we can even start a book club!’
Ali from the Mira Ink office

Leave us comments below telling us all about your World Book Night, or even something you would like to do in the future.

Now to wait until World Book Night 2014!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Ink by Amanda Sun *Cover Reveal*

Ink is book one in The Paper Gods series by Amanda Sun, and it's out in July. We're really excited about this book because it's our first foray into the world of Japanese Paranormal, and it's like nothing we've read before!

Katie Greene is lost in the wake of her mum’s death. Sent to Japan, she meets gorgeous but aloof artist Tomohiro, whose tough attitude intrigues and scares her. Then things get really strange. When they’re near each other, Tomohiro’s drawings start to come to life…
Soon the wrong people begin to ask questions, and Katie and Tomohiro must risk everything to protect the truth. 

Do you like the cover? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
Follow Amanda Sun on twitter @Amanda_Sun and put Ink on your must-read list!

Monday, 22 April 2013

World Book Night 2013 - The Before

It's World Book Night tomorrow!
It has come around so quickly and I'm really excited!

For anyone who hasn't heard of World Book Night before, it is the adult version of World Book Day and is held on the 23rd April to share the love of reading and encourage those who don't read to do so.
Each year they had pick 20 titles to give away and select 20,000 volunteers to do so. As well as giving 100,000 books away to institutions and similar places.
It is all about bringing everyone together and sharing the passion for reading!

This year I was lucky enough to be picked as a giver so I have 20 lovely copies of 'Noughts and Crosses' by Malorie Blackman to give away tomorrow and I'm so excited!

 I've still to decide what to do with mine - but I am going to the flagship event on Southbank tomorrow with various speakers and readers, which will be fab so I may give mine out around London before the event.
Is anyone else a giver? What are your plans for the books? How will you celebrate World Book Night?

Check back later this week where I'll update you on how World Book Night went, what the London event was like and also a sneaky insight into what Mira Ink did for it and the givers in their office!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Is Sci-Fi The Next Big Thing?

One of the things I've learnt about YA fiction is that it most of it tends to follow phases of popularity - the vampire/paranormal one is possibly one of the most memorable ones with the popularity of the Twilight books, but there is always the question 'what is going to be next?'

Now I've heard it on the publishing grape-vine that sci-fi is going to be big for YA in 2013 - what do you think of that?
I'll admit I'm not a massive sci-fi fan - I'm more of a contemporary, real-life fiction reader, but I do read sci-fi titles on recommendation and I find the dystopian fiction alot more interesting that I expected.
YA already has a large amount of dystopian sci-fi titles from the likes of The Hunger Games, Mira Ink's own 'Inside Out' by the ever amazing Maria V. Snyder and Patrick Ness' Chaos walking triology (I'd recommend these is you're a Hunger Games fan, as long as you don't directly compare the two! The first book 'The Knife of Never Letting Go' is a WBN book for this year too) but we've not had a large amount of popular major science fiction - now I'm talking aliens, monsters, stuff from your wildest imaginings. Do you think this is because YA readers just aren't that interested (so far) in these topics?  Or I could be completely wrong - maybe there is a whole YA sci-fi world out there that has not been revealed to me, you tell me? Maybe it could be that there is such a massive market of sci-fi adult fiction that readers haven't needed specific YA versions?

Well maybe this is about to change?
With the recent film release, 'The Host' could be considered to be starting the ball rolling for 'alien invasion' YA stories. Although it has been out quite a few years - and I think it is largely riding on the back of Stephanie Meyer's success with Twilight - the film has brought it back into the spotlight. Have you read it? Or seen it in fact? I've yet to see the film, but I did like the premise of the book - I just found it very long. The first two thirds were quite drawn out and it felt like a bit of an endurance test to be able to get the last third where the pace picked up and it got exciting. It probably says alot about my taste for sci-fi when my favourite scenes were the ones between Ian and Wanda near the end. I prefer it when it has more depth than just aliens - romance and character development are just as important for me than alien invasions and save-the-world-type heroes.
Do you agree? Or am I just trying to fluff up sci-fi into romance too much?

Penguin seem to think that Sci-fi is definitely the YA genre of the year. They have a new title out in May called 'The 5th Wave' and it is going to be huge! They seem to have created a massive marketing campaign around it - Check out the website they have set up for it: - even I admit I am intrigued and have downloaded the taster. It appears to mix the right amount of dystopia with unidentified alien 'others' and is probably going to be film-worthy! What do you think? Intrigued?

Could this, along with The Host be the start of the alien revolution in the YA world of 2013?

If yes, what would you like to added to this list? Either older titles that deserve a light shining on them, or even the type of alien/sci-fi plot lines you would love to see published this year?

Thursday, 11 April 2013

April Showers

Hey! What an April it has been! We're nearly half way through and we've had possibly every British weather combination we can and largely lacking in sunshine so far! It's been pretty miserable weather on some days but maybe it is just a fantastic excuse to stay at home in the warm and read?

What has been everyone's go to books? Are you reading old comforting favourites to try and seek refuge from the cold? Or are you too busy filling up on the hot new releases in April?
A few that have caught my eye recently:

'Gone Girl' is a book that is definitely a popular one at the moment - everywhere I go I seem to see copies of them, either being advertised/sold or being read. So I felt it was time for me to read it too! A contemporary thriller, 'Gone Girl' explored what happens when Nick Dunne's wife mysteriously disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary. What happened to her and is Nick the one to blame? 
It is apparently Amazon's 'most wished for' book at the moment. Has anyone read it? What are your views?

Of course I can't let a post about April books without talking about Rachel Vincent's 'With all my Soul'. The 7th and final book in the Soul Screamers series! After a powerful series it has sadly come to an end, but it doesn't disappoint!

What does everyone think? I think it's a definite must read this April, if nothing else!

Another book I can't help but bring up is 'The Fault in Our Stars'. Although it was out earlier this year, it is the perfect YA book to curl up on the sofa out of the rain and snow and read. If you hadn't guessed it already, I am a massive John Green fan and this book is possibly the book of the year for me! Despite being about two teens with cancer it is both uplifting and humourous. John Green knows when to pick the mood up without taking away from the serious undertones. It's an amazing read and I'd recommend it for definite!

Last book I want to mention, again not an April release but seems to be very popular among bloggers and readers alike. 'The Clockwork Princess' by Cassandra Clare, the third and final book in the Infernal Devices trilogy seems to be what everyone is reading and talking about at the moment! Is it worth reading? Having not read the first two, I would be interested to know what you think of them? Should it be bumped up on my April TBR list?

Do you have any other books you want to add to what we should be reading in April? Either new releases or just bestsellers? I always love hearing about what everyone else is reading!

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Eternity Cure Trailer Reveal

Julie Kagwa is back with book two in The Blood of Eden series, and we're excited to reveal the trailer!


'Out here in the Fringes, there is only one rule: Blood calls to blood.'

In The Immortal Rules, Allie Sekemoto spent her days trying to survive, avoiding the bloodthirsty vampires that hunted her and her crew. Until she died, that is, and became one of them. The Eternity Cure sees Allie searching for her creator Kanin, who has been imprisoned by the psychotic vampire, Sarren. But even as she follows the call of blood, a more dangerous threat arises: There’s a new strain of the Red Lung virus, and it could put both humans and vampires at risk. Check out the trailer below:


The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa is out on the 3rd May. You can pre-order your copy here.

Friday, 5 April 2013

What's your view on Goodreads?

What a week it has been! 
I think one of the biggest things that rocked the publishing boat this week is the news that Amazon has bought out Goodreads!

Now I don't know about you, but my twitter feed was full of everyone's comments, shares and views on the news, with a very mixed reception!
For those of you that didn't know, Amazon announced that they are buying the reading social network Goodreads. Initially, I was disappointed as my first thoughts were that Amazon - such a global, corporate company - is going to swallow Goodreads up and make it all about selling their books rather than a hub for readers and authors to interact, review and recommend books. But the more I thought about it, and discussed it with my friends, I realised that it could be a good thing. Amazon are missing out on a large, successful social network which would make them stand out from Apple and Google books, and Goodreads could do with the expansion of publicity, coverage and functions on the site. As the founders of GR are still going to play an active part in the social network, I think it has potential to lead to greater things for GR and make books possibly even more accessible?

I think that Goodreads is a fantastic go-to place for books - either as an avid reader who wants to keep track of the endless books that have been read and to read, or as a browser who wants to know what's worth reading next. One of the (many, many) lovely things about bookshops is that you can guarantee that one of the booksellers will either be able to tell you about a book you're interested in or recommend you several you may like. Word of mouth when it comes to reading is invaluable and like I think I mentioned in my post about book clubs - one of the greatest things about reading books is then talking about them, or giving them to other people to read so they can experience the book too. But I think sometimes with online book buying, primarily these days with Amazon and the like, the beauty of verbal recommendations and discussions is lost slightly. Yes you can have written reviews, which are sometimes quite helpful, but I think something I read about the Amazon - GR merge, is that readers don't always trust the reviews on Amazon so much as on book-specific sites. Amazon reviews are by everyone and anyone - it could be their first reading experience, it could be their hundredth, but with a reading site, such as GR, you know that these are coming straight from the mouths of avid, readers, or even authors/writers. They're the kind of people you might want to discuss a book with at a book club or book shop, because even if your views on the book are completely different, you're still on the same page as readers! If you get where I'm coming from? I think Goodreads has alot more credibility when it comes to recommendations and reviews. 
An example for you: I went to this month's book club the other day and we were discussing what book to read next. One of the guys said that his (publishing) boss had recommended a book to him, but he didn't know what it was about/like. So he looked it up on Amazon to try and get a synopsis for us all, which simultaneously I looked it up on my GR app. After a few minutes he said he couldn't find a good summary, it was just all reviews from various people, whereas on GR I found a full length synopsis as well as more reviews that I could ever read. Goodreads is definitely the go-to place!

I joined GR a few years ago, but I wasn't particularly clued up on what it was or how to use it. Plus the thought of adding every single book I'd read or had on my bookcases (multiple bookcases!) to my Read and To Read lists seemed daunting. But now I can't keep away from it! I can't read a book without updating it on GR! As a result this does mean that I have hundreds of books in both my Read and TBR lists. 
A point of interest that has been floating around my head for a while - do you use your TBR shelf on GR to list every book you want to read, even if you don't have a copy, or just the one's you have? My TBR will always be never ending, there are too many books that I want to read and not enough time in the day to read them! But then I have a friend who will have maybe 1 or 2 books on his TBR list at a time - to me this seems almost surreal to not have hundreds of books - for me, a good reading period is when my 'Read' books outnumber my 'To Read' books (which at the moment they are by about 50 books!)

As you can probably tell, I am a massive GR fan - I think a social network for books is exactly what readers and authors need! I also love that there are so many readers there ready to share and discuss books or authors, anything book related, if I wanted it!
Do you use Goodreads? Is it something you use regularly, with every book you read? Or is something you just use for reference?
Or maybe even not at all? With 16 million users, there is still a massive amount of readers out there who don't use GR. Maybe Amazon's influence will change that and more people will be using it! Are you willing to try it? I think once you've got into it, there's possibly no going back!