Friday, 25 October 2013

Paranormal YA Books

Halloween is fast approaching and it got me thinking about all things spooky and paranormal.

Hopefully you will agree with me, but I think nobody does paranormal better than YA.
Would you say that paranormal almost dominates a large proportion of YA books? There are lists and lists on Goodreads for the best paranormal YA books in different variations and they all seem hugely popular.

I think what makes YA + paranormal work so well together is that teens are still in the stage of their lives where they are discovering themselves and paving the way for who they are going to be, and therefore, could progress into paranormal characteristics. It almost seems more realistic (as far as realism can go within paranormal) and believable for a reader that the character turns into a vampire or a magician in their teens rather than a grown up living in the real world.
I read that some think it was Stephen King's 'Carrie' that paved the way for this realization: nothing fits the supernatural better than adolescence and since then we've had the likes of JK Rowling, Stephanie Meyer and Cassandra Clare.

Do you agree? I'm not disregarding paranormal in adult fiction at all - infact I've read quite a few really great titles, but I think there's something about YA that fits with paranormal.
Do you think paranormal YA is still going as strong as ever or has it started to die down abit?

What are your favourite paranormal YA books? Are you going to be reading any in particular for halloween? Or even dressing up as your favourite book character?

Friday, 18 October 2013

*Cover Reveal* Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

It's that time of the week - the weekend is very nearly upon us and there's a special treat for today...
We have the brand new UK cover for Katie McGarry's Crash Into You!


What do you think? Isaiah is looking pretty hot in this cover!

If you've missed the Pushing the Limits trilogy so far, this is the third book following on from Pushing the Limits and Dare You To and is (finally!) Isaiah's story...

Crash Into You is released on the 26th November so not long to wait.

Here's a sneak peak:
The girl with straight As, designer clothes, and the perfect life—that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker—a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.
Isaiah has secrets too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks—no matter how angelic she might look.
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.

ANDDD... to add to the excitement, Pushing the Limits has a new cover being released to match the other two, so the series will now look cohesive.  I think Echo is looking good there (and Noah of course!)

What are your views of the trilogy as a whole? I think they look really effective and will definitely stand out on the shelf!

Friday, 11 October 2013

New YA Series revealed by Julie Kagawa!

Happy Friday! Following on from a super "Super Thursday", I think it's safe to say that winter has set in and it's time to consider hibernation with a massive stack of comforting books.

Now one of the most exciting things that MiraInk revealed recently is the brand new series by Julie Kagawa called Talon!

As if she hasn't already given us enough amazing series to read already with the Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series, Julie Kagawa has treated us to another new series - which means she'll be writing 3 at the same time!

Here's a little taster of what the series is about:
The series revolves around dragons with the ability to disguise themselves as humans and an order of warriors sworn to eradicate them. The dragons of TALON and the Order of St. George have been at war with each other for centuries. The fabled creatures, whose existence is unknown by the general public, are determined to rule the world. Their foes, a legendary society of dragon slayers, are equally bent on driving the fabled beasts into extinction. However, when a young dragon and a hardened slayer unknowingly befriend each other, it has severe repercussions for both organizations.

Julie Kagawa said this when the news was revealed: "First off, I want to say that this is my heart series, the story I've wanted to write since I was a kid.  I remember the very first rendition of this story, written years and years ago as a teen, and I've never forgotten that idea, or those characters.  In fact, the two main characters of the series are the same ones from that very first idea; same names, same appearance, nearly the same personalities.  The setting has changed, and the plot has evolved, but Ember and Garret have stayed with me my whole life, and I'm thrilled to finally get the chance to tell their story."

What is your opinion on the new dragon-themed series? Are you excited?
In YA we've had vampires and faeries and magicians of many varieties but have we really had many big name dragons before, except for the Eragon (Inheritance Cycle) series? How do you feel about this - do you think dragons could be the next trend for YA fiction? The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini has done really well, on its fourth book now and a film release of Eragon as well, but I think the books may still be in quite a niche genre. Can Talon change that, do you think?

In my opinion, with the extreme popularity of Game of Thrones (not YA but still popular amongst most) and the emergence of dragons in the series,I think dragons in a realistic world (as opposed to an animated form) is
becoming widely accepted. If Khalessi can have pet dragons, why can't we? I think dragons as a genre topic could really start to find it's feet (with the help of Talon of course!) and be the new biggest YA trend!

Painfully the first book in the series 'Talon' isn't going to be published until October 2014! Hands up who can't wait that long? Although good news is the film rights have already been snapped up, so we'll have a picture to link up with the book.

To celebrate all things Julie Kagawa we're also treating you to a chance to*WIN* 3 copies of her newest book 'The Iron Traitor' which is out November 1st!

Here's the new book trailer:

Friday, 4 October 2013

It's Friday!

It's finally Friday!

I don't know about you, but I've had a whirlwind of a week but 2 very exciting things happened this week that just had to be talked about!

First up: National Poetry Day!

It was National Poetry Day yesterday (Thurs 3rd October) and the theme was 'Water'. National Poetry Day, for those who don't know is a nationwide celebration of poetry held every year on the first Thursday of October: "it shakes poetry from its dust-jacket and into the nations’ streets, offices, shops, playgrounds, train stations and airwaves" and reminds people of the beauty (and fun) of it.
The theme was taken from the inspiration of Coleridge's 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner':
"Water, Water, everywhere
And All the boards did shrink,
Water, Water, everywhere
nor any drop to drink" 
The National Poetry Day organisation commissioned this fab little animation for the occasion to illustrate the Water, water theme:

Did anyone do anything for National Poetry Day? Either going to an event or even marking the occasion yourself by writing a poem (or failing to if you're as hopeless at poetry writing as me)?
I think one of the great things that has made a real impact in spreading the word for NPD is the use of Twitter. This year, National Poetry Day has been storming its way across twitter (in book-circles anyway) and has allowed so many more people get involved, virtually, than they would've done otherwise (we love Twitter!). The National Poetry Day org. set up a twitter account and reached 12,000 followers!
I also know that a lot of people (publishers etc) ran tweet poetry competitions - how do you write a poem in a 140 character tweet?

If you've got any good ones - share them? or maybe leave instructions on how people who can't do poetry (i.e. me) can write one?

I also found this article from the Independent, which i thought was quite a nice idea for NPD - "10 famous poems you have to read" - I've read 4 out of 10 (English Lit degree helps massively with this)!

How many have you read?

Also, I'm far too excited about it not to mention that the film adaptation for 'How I Live Now' was released today! (Woohoo!)

I read 'How I Live Now' quite a few years ago and absolutely loved it (I'm even quite sure why) and it was definitely one of those books that I was determined to make everyone read it (now it's moved on to TFIOS by John Green!), so the film adaptation has been much awaited!

Here's a quick rundown of the plot for anyone who hasn't read it:
Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

Here's the trailer for anyone who hasn't seen it:
And for anyone who is intrigued you can read an extract from the book here (thanks to Penguin)

What do you think the film is going to be like? From the trailer it looks darker than the book seems, but I wasn't sure if that was just me not remembering it properly. I also read an article from Meg Rosoff when the film was being written that some of the minor characters have been written out but I reckon it makes for a pretty good film adaptation as they go!

Who's planning on seeing it? I have to wait until next week to see it but I'm really excited, so let me know what you think!!

Have a great week!