Day 3 YALC | ARCs and Advice


Day 3 of YALC! The final day!

I actually felt a little sad when I got in the lift to leave and the doors closed on the convention. I can’t believe it’s over! It’s been a hectic three days but so much fun; I’ve loved every minute of it.

If you haven’t already seen my recaps of Day 1 and Day 2, check them out here and here.

Now, Day 3. What did I get?


Today I managed to grab two ARCs which I’m so so so excited about, especially the copy of Goldenhand because, as I’ve said many times before on this blog, the Old Kingdom/Abhorsen series by Garth Nix is my favourite series of all time! My heart was pounding whilst I was waiting for this book, and it’s signed! This 100% made my day.

I’m also really excited to start the ARC of Gilded Cage by Vic James. It has an interesting premise so fingers crossed I like it! I also arrived at the venue just in time to get the last copy so I was very lucky in that respect.

And then with my last fiver I bought How Not To Disappear by Clare Furniss which I’ve heard some great things about.

So, next, what did I see?


  • Publishing 101 and Publishing 102 – 101 was all about how to get published, which was a very insightful talk. I got some great advice from the agents there on all things from query letters to how to handle rejection. Don’t be scared or offended by rejection, it’s not personal! It might just be your book is similar to something they already have, or that it just isn’t the agent’s cup of tea, not that it’s bad! 102 was about how to get a career in the publishing industry. I’d love to work in publishing, but it’s just not really feasible right not as I don’t live near London. However, it was great to hear that publishing houses recognise that this is a problem and they’re working on rectifying it.
  • Next up was a talk with Frances Hardinge, Philip Reeve and Tanya Landman. This was another interesting talk, learning about how the authors research and what their inspirations are.
  • I then went to Frances Hardinge’s signing and got my copy of The Lie Tree signed. She was very friendly and humble and, if you haven’t read The Lie Tree yet, what have you been doing?! It’s an absolutely amazing book. Original plot, beautiful writing and a feisty, well-crafted heroine. I reviewed the book a little while back, so check it out here!

And after that, I left! I wasn’t interested in the Harry Potter party (sorry, the books just aren’t for me, but I like the films) and, whilst I would have liked to buy a copy of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and get it signed, I wasn’t willing to wait in what was obviously going to be a massive queue as I don’t even know if I’ll like the book. When I left Frances Hardinge’s signing, there were already long queues for Maggie Stiefvater’s talk, which wasn’t due for another half hour. So yeah, I wasn’t up for dealing with that.

But all in all, an extremely successful day! I got two ARCs, one from my favourite series, and some great advice on the world of publishing.

I’m sad it’s over, but I’m very glad I went. It was an amazing experience and the whole thing was so welcoming. If you’re anxious about attending a big event like YALC, don’t be. Everyone is there because they love books, just like you, and everyone is up for a chat. It was a really friendly and warm place!

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Did you go to YALC today? Did you enjoy it? Let me know any thoughts in the comments below!




Day 2 YALC | Sci-Fi and Horror


So, Day 2 of YALC!

I thought yesterday was hectic and wow was I wrong. I should have guessed Saturday would be busier because, well, it’s the weekend, but I was still a bit surprised.

Now, what did I get today?


(I don’t have my professional camera with me as I’m staying at my boyfriend’s so no prettily arranged photos I’m afraid, but anyway…)

I bought The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich and Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.

The rest of the books I took to be signed, so I got to meet Alwyn Hamilton, Kass Morgan, Lauren James and Dawn Kurtagich today. I actually got in the queue for Alice Oseman’s signing but then I opened the book to the front page and saw I’d actually bought a signed copy from the Waterstones shop on site!

All four authors I met were lovely. Kass Morgan was really enthusiastic and so was Dawn Kurtagich, although I actually said no to a selfie with Dawn because I had a train to catch and I felt sooooo rude. I hope it didn’t come across as rude (I didn’t just say “no”, I obviously thanked her because it was lovely of her to ask if I wanted a photo) but I had 6 minutes to leave the venue and catch my train, plus I’d come down with another migraine so I was eager to get the first train I could. Sorry Dawn! You were really lovely and I’d love a photo with you any other time when I don’t have 6 mins to get a train! But look at all the goodies she had on her signing table! Including these awesome little cupcakes, which I practically inhaled whilst hurrying for my train:

Lauren James was also very lovely and Alwyn Hamilton was really friendly and chatty. Although, Alwyn Hamilton’s queue was extremely long and I spent 2 hours queuing which was a bit of a pain but I think Alwyn was so enthusiastic to meet everyone, and people were so excited to meet her, that it meant the queue was quite slow. But hey I can’t complain, I got to meet her and get my copy of Rebel of the Sands signed! I also met some great people in the queue whilst I was waiting so that made it alright.

Now, what did I see?


  • Join the Rebellion! Resistance and Protest in YA with Alwyn Hamilton, Julie Mayhew, Simon Mayo and Kass Morgan. This was the first panel of the day and it was definitely an interesting one. I’ve of course read The 100 series and Rebel of the Sands, but both Blame by Simon Mayo and The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew sounded really good, especially Mayhew’s setting of 2015 Nazi England, what the present day would be like if the Nazis had won. All four of them had some really insightful opinions.
  • I then had my signings for Kass Morgan and Alwyn Hamilton.
  • Alwyn Hamilton’s signing ran over a fair bit so I missed most of To Boldly Go: YA in Space with Malorie Blackman, Eugene Lambert and James Smythe. However, I caught the last ten or so minutes of the talk and both Malorie Blackman and James Smythe were really funny. The panel made the good point that people shouldn’t be scared of sci-fi because it’s just exploring the known and the unknown, discovering the universe around us.
  • I then went to a workshop with Lauren James and Alice Oseman about Creator vs. Fandom – Authors on Social Media which was quite interesting, and they made some good points about the power of fan bases to influence authors or directors etc. I also didn’t realise pirating was such a big issue with books! I’d never dream of pirating a book, and even if I did I wouldn’t know where to start, so it was interesting, and shocking, to hear that pirating is a big issue with novels and can make a huge difference; it can even mean series are discontinued, or books are printed in fewer languages.
  • After that, I got my copy of The Next Together signed by Lauren James and she was lovely.
  • Next was The Fear Factor: Horror Inspirations with Dawn Kurtagich, Derek Landy, Alex Scarrow and Darren Shan which was good, although I left a little earlier to get near the front of the queue for Dawn’s signing because I needed to catch my train.
  • And then Dawn Kurtagich’s signing, obviously.


So, another good day but pretty hectic (that photo was taken not long after doors opened when I was blissfully unaware of what would ensue).

I even managed to bag some more freebies that I missed yesterday; I thought I’d raided all the stands but apparently not.

And that’s another day over!

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Did you attend YALC today? Did you enjoy it? Check back tomorrow for my recap of day 3!


Day 1 YALC | Fantasy and Freebies


So, Day 1 at YALC! 

For anyone who doesn’t know, YALC is the Young Adult Literature Convention and it’s running for three days.

It was a pretty good, pretty eventful day. By eventful, I mean I was fighting off a migraine all day, but brownies helped (trust me on this one).

Anyway, enough of that. What happened? Well, let’s start with what I got.


Books and Freebies galore!

The books I got today were:

  • The City of Mirrorsthe final instalment in Justin Cronin’s excellent The Passage trilogy, which also has a RRP of £20 but I got it for £10!
  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff which I am super super excited to read, especially after just finishing Illuminae and loving it.
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab which I also got signed! (She was lovely, btw).
  • An ARC of Girl Detached by Manuela Salvi. This book has been banned in Italy but the publishers here in the UK, Barrington Stoke, are really pushing for Salvi’s voice to be heard which is great! This is also my first ever ARC which makes me very happy.

And then also tons of freebies, as you can see. I basically raided every stall for samples and postcards and anything that wasn’t nailed down. The publishers’ stalls are all really friendly and stocked with some amazing stuff.

Now, what about the panels?

Today I saw:

  • 15 mins of Behind the Magic: Magical Systems in YA with Sally Green, Taran Matharu, Melinda Salisbury and VE Schwab before I felt a migraine coming on and had to leave, so thanks for that brain, but what I heard was good.
  • ‘She who laughs last laughs the laughiest’: humour in YA with Katy Birchall, Nat Luurtsema, Jenny McLachlan and Holly Smale. This panel was sooooo funny and the authors made some great feminist (and funny) points on the place of women comic writers in the book scene.
  • I then had an Agent 1-2-1, which was only 5 mins, but really insightful actually and got some good advice from Claire Wilson from Rogers, Coleridge and Wright literary agency on the novel I’m writing. 
  • Fantasy London with Ben Aaronovitch, Samantha Shannon and VE Schwab. This was a really interesting talk, especially as I love the idea of alternate realities, mainly alternate London’s. Ben Aaronovitch was also very funny and I’m definitely going to check out his books now.
  • VE Schwab’s signing which had an exceedingly long queue. Thankfully, I wasn’t too far from the front.


The rest of the time was spent browsing the stalls and, um, eating (the cafe does really good brownies btw).

I didn’t attend any workshops today but I’m definitely going to sign up for one or two tomorrow.

There are also so so so many more books I wish I could get but I simply can’t afford them, so I had to limit myself to the few I really wanted.

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And that concludes day 1 of YALC! I’ll be doing posts for the next two days and then a big wrap up post at the end! Did you go today? Did you enjoy it? What was your favourite panel talk or workshop? Did you buy any books? Let me know in the comments below!



Waiting On Wednesday: A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers 2) by Becky Chambers


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine where you showcase which books you’re looking forward to being released.

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This week I’m waiting on the second instalment of the Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers, A Closed and Common Orbit.


UK Release Date: 20th October 2016

I reviewed the first Wayfarers novel a little while ago, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, which you can find here. I loved the cover to that novel and I think the cover for A Closed and Common Orbit might be even prettier. But, covers aside, the first novel was a fun read, the characters likeable, although the book read like a series of short stories or episodes rather than having one main plot.

I’m hoping the second book will feel a little more cohesive, but not skimp out on the humour and world-building that made the first book so enjoyable.

A word of warning, the synopsis I’m about to post does contain spoilers, so don’t read on if you haven’t read the first novel. If you want to know what the first book was like, check out the link to my spoiler-free review above!

However, this blurb does sound a bit like we might not be seeing much of the original cast, which is a real shame! I became somewhat attached to those characters, so I’ll be annoyed if they aren’t the protagonists anymore. It’s described on Amazon as a ‘stand-alone sequel’ which really does sound like it’s moved away from the original characters. Fingers crossed it actually includes them, but I’m a little doubtful.

Synopsis for A Closed and Common Orbit: 

Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has to start over in a synthetic body, in a world where her kind are illegal. She’s never felt so alone.

But she’s not alone, not really. Pepper, one of the engineers who risked life and limb to reinstall Lovelace, is determined to help her adjust to her new world. Because Pepper knows a thing or two about starting over.

Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that, huge as the galaxy may be, it’s anything but empty.

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Did you read The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet? Did you enjoy it? What do you think of the synopsis for the sequel? Happy or sad that it sounds like it won’t be including all of the cast from the first novel? Let me know in the comments below!





Top 10 Openings in YA

TOP 10 (1)

If a book doesn’t have a great opening page, you’re unlikely to be hooked. A slow-burner of a book isn’t all bad, but we want to be engrossed from the very beginning.

So, I have trawled my bookshelf and found my favourite opening pages in Young Adult books, in no particular order. Some, I must admit, are not the very first page, as I might have skipped a prologue to get to chapter one, but all of them are great openings, I can guarantee you that.

(P.S. Some opening pages have been shortened. If you see ‘…’ then passages have been omitted).

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1. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan


forest first lines

I really love the opening page to The Forest of Hands and TeethIt’s that one line ‘That’s when I stopped believing her about the ocean’ that makes you stop and think for a second. Why on earth would this girl think the ocean doesn’t exist?

2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver


Delirium was a series that I think got better as it progressed, but you can’t deny this opening fills you with questions.

3. Tamar by Mal Peet


Tamar is a book I’ve previously raved about on my blog. I think this opening line is beautifully subtle, but also instills us with the sense that the naming of this unborn child is going to extremely significant.

4. Red Rising by Pierce Brown

red rising

Red Rising is another novel I’ve raved about on here. Pierce Brown is really a master of these kinds of profound, tense sentences, and it’s a great way to open a novel.

5. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

how i live now opening

How I Live Now is one of my favourite books of all time. Beautifully and uniquely written, and such a harrowing yet hopeful read. I love the opening to this book and the film adaptation is excellent too.

6. Sabriel by Garth Nix


The Abhorsen series is my all-time favourite series, like I’ve said so many times on this blog. This opening immediately introduces us to the magic of Sabriel’s world, but hints at something more sinister beneath the surface – necromancy.

7. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

rebel first lines

I read Rebel of the Sands earlier in the year and loved it! These opening lines perfectly capture the personality of Amani; feisty and honest.

8. Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

heart lines

I read Heart-Shaped Bruise a few years ago now but I can still remember how much I enjoyed it, especially this opening. It’s a bit of a dark read, but also fraught with emotion, and the protagonist Emily is very well-crafted.

9. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

sky first lines

I’m not a huge fan of contemporary, but I really enjoyed The Sky Is Everywhere and should probably read another Jandy Nelson novel! This book was inexpressibly sad, but also so funny and so unique.

10. Pure by Julianna Baggott

pure opening

The Pure series is one of my favourites. It was such an original concept, the writing was excellent, and the characters were brilliant. This is definitely a story I wish I’d written myself.

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Have you read any of these novels? Loved them? Loathed them? Do you think these openings are good? What are some of your favourites in YA? Let me know!


The Sunday Post #9


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer in which book bloggers recap their week and look at what’s to come.

My Weekly Recap

Sorry I haven’t posted much this week but I’ve been ill so haven’t felt up to blogging! I’m a lot better now though and I’ve had the chance to plan some posts so look out for those!

Posts this week:

Coming Up

I’ve just finished Illuminae which was breathtaking. One of the best books I’ve ever read, hands down. Find my review for Illuminae above!


So, what to read next? I’m actually not sure. I try to alternate between YA and adult books so it’s an adult read up next, but I’m torn between The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien or The Fireman by Joe Hill. To be honest, The Little Red Chairs was a bit of a gamble and an attempt to get me out my comfort zone. The Fireman is much more my usual thing, but I’ve heard critics raving about The Little Red Chairs and it has a gorgeous cover. Anyone got any suggestions on which one to go with? Let me know!

I got tagged twice this week for the ‘Books with a Purpose’ tag and the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ tag so thanks to bookstraveller and icebreaker694 for those, I’m excited to do them!

I also have a couple of posts planned to do with some of my YA favourites so keep your eyes peeled for them!

Lastly, I’m off to the Young Adult Literature Convention in London next week and I’m extremely excited! Expect a re-cap post on my adventures there and, if you’re going too and spot me, come say hi!

And Finally

I haven’t been listening to much music this week so here’s another link to my Writing playlist on Spotify that I’ve now updated to 103 songs. Feel free to give it a listen if you need some atmospheric music to help you write. And if you have a writing playlist, link it in the comments!


Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

51pu2bwgixklIlluminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Genre: Young Adult / Sci-Fi

Publisher: Rock The Boat

My Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: The year is 2575 and two mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice covered speck.

Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them Ezra and Kady have to make their escape on the evacuating fleet. But their troubles are just beginning. A deadly plague has broken out on one of the space ships and it is mutating with terrifying results. Their ships protection is seriously flawed. No one will say what is going on.

As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth its clear only one person can help her. Ezra. And the only problem with that is they split up before all this trouble started and she isn’t supposed to be talking to him.

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My Review

I’m really gonna struggle to put into words how much I loved Illuminae. It exceeded my expectations by far. This book made me well up with tears so much it’s almost criminal.

I had seen lots of other people raving about it in the blogosphere and had always been intrigued to try it, but the format of telling the story through documents, messages, CCTV etc put me off a little. If you have qualms about reading this book because of its formatting, push those to the side right now and buy this book. The format in no way hinders the story-telling; in fact, it makes the whole thing even better.

The format allows Kaufman and Kristoff to introduce a whole range of characters without making the story feel bogged down with character descriptions. I would say this is definitely a crossover novel in terms of genres – it’ll appeal to both young adults and adults alike – as the cast doesn’t centre around only teenagers doing slightly impossible things. Of course, our two protagonists are older teens – Kady Grant and Ezra Mason – but we also get to see this story told through the lives of adults such as Sergeant James McNulty (who I really liked), First Lieutenant Winifred McCall (who I also really liked), Byron Zhang, Syra Boll, David Torrence, the nameless transcriber of CCTV footage; the list goes on and on. It’s a big cast of characters, and some we only meet briefly, but it never feels like our encounters with them are wasted or pointless.

I don’t really know how Kaufman and Kristoff have pulled off such a likeable cast of characters using only digital formats to showcase them to the reader. I’m in awe of what they’ve managed to achieve with this novel. The two protagonists, Kady and Ezra, are so well-crafted. They’re witty, emotional, intelligent, and they have their clear flaws, but I was completely invested in them. Kady is smart and feisty and, for once, she was one of those increasingly rarer teenage girl protagonists who wasn’t whiny. Ezra I really loved too. He was a hopeless romantic and his banter with Kady via IM actually reminded me of my boyfriend, which was a little odd to read, but definitely made me attached to Ezra even more.

Another reason why I would call this a crossover novel is because it doesn’t pull punches. Death, gore, foul language (although that’s ‘censored’ but you can easily fill in the gaps yourself, which I admit was a little fun), this book really doesn’t hold back. There’s a lot of science to satisfy proper sci-fi fans, but it’s not over-complicated or trying too hard. It’s like a good Star Trek film – there’s jargon used, but the average movie-goer can still understand it and become invested in it. It’s definitely a book that people who aren’t usually a fan of sci-fi should read because it’s a great introduction to the genre; you get all the ‘science’ without feeling overloaded or that it’s detracting from the action.

And wow was there a lot of action. This book is non-stop. I struggled to put it down because there was always some big reveal or tense action scene just around the corner. This was another point in which the formatting really helped. The action scenes or reveals never got boring or formulaic because how would they be relayed to us? Classified e-mails? CCTV footage? Instant Messaging? Reports? Schematics? The possibilities were endless. The imagination in this novel was astounding.

I’m now itching to get my hands on the sequel and can’t wait to see where this goes next. The good thing is, this book could have actually been a standalone. Leave out the last few pages and you have an excellent standalone novel, and that’s how all books should be, trilogy or not. The first book in a trilogy shouldn’t be written as though it needs sequels because there are so many loose ends the author has yet to work out. The first novel should tie up as many loose ends as possible but leave a few larger threads hanging to pick up in the sequel. That’s exactly what Illuminae does. There are some pretty big threads left hanging, but I don’t feel cheated by not knowing the answers just yet.

So, overall, this book blew me away. I can’t sing its praises enough. Not a sci-fi fan? Doesn’t matter. Think the format might not be for you? Think again. An adult who isn’t usually into YA and thinks it’s too childish? You’re most definitely wrong here. Read it!

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Have you read Illuminae? Did you enjoy it? Are you excited for the sequel? Let me know in the comments below!


Waiting On Wednesday: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine where you showcase which books you’re looking forward to being released.

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This week, I’m waiting on another YA Fantasy: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge.


UK Release date: 9th February 2017

As I said last week, I’m really liking the resurgence of the Fantasy genre in YA and how it’s no longer seen as ‘nerdy’. I love the cover of this novel and, on Amazon, the book is described as being similar to Sabriel. The Abhorsen series is my all-time favourite series and I can definitely see similarities to the Clair in this cover with the white-clad women staring into what looks like a pool, or space. (For anyone who doesn’t know, the Clair are a group of clairvoyant women in the Abhorsen series).

The similarities to the Abhorsen series continue with the theme of necromancy in this book, which I’ve always found really interesting, so I’m looking forward to seeing another take on it.

However, it is a Romeo and Juliet re-telling. I like re-telling’s, but Romeo and Juliet has been done so much. The synopsis to this book does make it sound like Rosamund Hodge has really put her own spin on it though, but we’ll have to see. Either way, I’m excited. It sounds creepy and fantastical and I really hope I love it.

Synopsis for Bright Smoke, Cold Fire:

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou, share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on the Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding the Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo only wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . .

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I haven’t read any of Rosamund Hodge’s other work, is it good? Should I try her other stuff? Are you excited for Bright Smoke, Cold Fire? What do you think of re-telling’s? Let me know in the comments below!


Review: Nod by Adrian Barnes

nodNod by Adrian Barnes

Genre: Sci-Fi / Apocalyptic

Publisher: Titan

My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Dawn breaks over Vancouver and no one in the world has slept the night before, or almost no one. A few people, perhaps one in ten thousand, can still sleep, and they’ve all shared the same golden dream. After six days of absolute sleep deprivation, psychosis will set in. After four weeks, the body will die. In the interim, panic ensues and a bizarre new world arises in which those previously on the fringes of society take the lead. Paul, a writer, continues to sleep while his partner Tanya disintegrates before his eyes, and the new world swallows the old one whole.

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My Review

I’m really jealous I didn’t come up with this concept myself because it’s just so interesting. What happens when suddenly the majority of the population can’t sleep? They’re not like insomniacs, who are able to sleep a little, but they cannot sleep at all. I really love this concept and it’s a unique take on ‘outbreak’ books. Who needs a virus when your own body is destroying itself?

We see this quickly decaying world through the eyes of Paul, one of the minuscule few who can still sleep. And when they do sleep, they dream of the same fantastical golden light. Now, I must warn you that this isn’t a novel that gives a lot of answers, so don’t go into this expecting to have everything explained. Instead, this apocalyptic novel is a study of humanity, not a study of science and the unknown.

That’s where the strengths of this novel lie: in its character study of humans. We see the Sleepers attempting to survive in a world that has suddenly gone to the dogs. It’s no longer the sane Sleepers who are in charge, but the insane Awakened. Paul is forced to navigate a world where societal norms and values no longer apply, and where there is danger around every corner.

I thought it was really interesting to have Paul’s partner, Tanya, as one of the Awakened. We meet her as a sane woman and watch her deteriorate, which was pretty bleak. I had a lot of sympathy for Paul; he obviously wants to hang onto Tanya, but Tanya no longer wants to hang onto him, her brain having been overcome by sleep deprivation.

Adrian Barnes has created an interesting set of characters. Charles, a homeless man who finds power in this New World Order. Zoe, a mute little girl who’s oblivious to the decay around her. And the Awakened themselves. I think perhaps their insanity was a little exaggerated for the purposes of the novel, but then again I don’t know much about the psychosis sleep deprivation can cause. However, it was interesting in that this apocalypse had a set time frame. Paul knows that after a month the Awakened will die, their bodies succumbing, and this ramps up the tension as he attempts to survive in a world growing increasingly madder, but with an end goal in sight.

The reason I didn’t give this 5/5 is because I would have liked some answers. Just an answer to one of the questions would be great, but I won’t list them as I don’t want to mildly spoil anything. Also, whilst the writing was good, it wasn’t my favourite style of writing I’ve ever read. Still polished and well thought out, but not entirely my cup of tea.

However, overall, I did enjoy this book. It’s only a short read and an interesting concept so I would recommend it! Just don’t go in expecting all your questions to be answered.

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Have you read Nod? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below!


The Diversity Test Book Tag

The Diversity Test Book Tag

Thank you to Kel at A Reader’s Whimsy for tagging me in this! Diversity is something that’s really important in books and I’ve always preached that, but it was interesting when compiling this list to see just how diverse my reading habits are. Check out my answers below.

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A book starring a lesbian character…



I read Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit at university as part of my ‘The Girl in the Book’ course. Semi-autobiographical, it’s a funny yet sad read as Jeanette struggles to understand her sexuality whilst living in a conservative, Christian community in the 1960’s and 70’s. It’s definitely a book that’s still relevant today as homosexuality isn’t accepted worldwide, especially in more religious countries where it’s seen as a sin. Jeanette’s fight with her faith is a really interesting read.

A book with a Muslim protagonist…


The Reluctant Fundamentalist is another novel I read at uni and I really enjoyed it, along with the film adaptation. Set just after 9/11, it tells the story of Changez. A smart young man, Changez studies and works in America where he begins to build a successful career for himself. But after the events of 9/11, he finds himself feeling alienated in the country he loves. He faces hostility and distrust from people he once called friends and this inevitably pushes him more towards his home country and his faith. It’s an excellent study in how Islamophobia actually only breeds more violence and more disillusioned radical Islamist’s. I really sympathised with Changez and loved the themes Mohsin Hamid tackled so excellently in this novel.

A book set in Latin America…



I wanted to include two very different books for this category. The first novel is Graham Greene’s excellent The Power and the Glory, set in Mexico during the time of Catholic persecution. A somewhat un-likeable protagonist, and filled with an abundance of dark humour.







On the other hand is the second novel in the excellent sci-fi/post-apocalyptic/dystopian Osiris series. This novel travels to South America and I really enjoyed the rich setting and culture. If you haven’t read this series, read it now!

A book about a person with a disability…



I’ve actually read a fair few novels that depict mental disabilities, but my favourite is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Chbosky handles the subject so sensitively and I just loved this book. As for physical disabilities, I haven’t read that many books that depict things like Cystic Fibrosis etc. I’ve read novels, like the excellent Pure trilogy by Julianna Baggott, where the protagonists are physically disabled due to injuries, but sadly I’ve never read a novel where someone was actually born with a disability. Can anyone suggest a good one?


A Science-Fiction or Fantasy book with a Person of Color (POC) protagonist…



There’s definitely a niche for YA fantasy set in Arabian/Persian/Indian inspired settings right now and I’m loving it! I’ve read other fantasy YA books set in worlds based on Japanese culture, such as Across the Nightingale Floor (which is a series I really need to finish), but Rebel of the Sands is definitely my favourite fantasy novel with a POC protagonist. Amani is such a great character; strong, reckless, passionate, I loved this book. You can find my review for it here.

A book written by an Indigenous or Native author…



Now this one was a lot harder and it’s made me realise I need to broaden my literary horizons a little. However, I think this novel counts: The Woman Warrior. Autobiographical, but blended with fantastical elements and Chinese folklore, Maxine Hong Kingston depicts what it was like to grow up in America as one of the first Chinese-Americans, and what it was like for her Chinese mother, who never quite adapts to American culture. This was a really interesting read.

A book set in South Asia…



(Not to be confused with South-East Asian novels, South Asia is India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan etc.) This was another category where I pretty much failed. I didn’t manage to read much of Kanthapura when I studied it at uni. I’ve read short stories set in India before that I really enjoyed, but never a full novel. I suppose I could include The Reluctant Fundamentalist in this, however.

A book with a multi-racial protagonist…




I have a love for zombie novels, and this is one that I really enjoyed. The protagonist, Benny Imura, is half-White half-Japanese. His Japanese heritage and his older Japanese half-brother Tom play a big part in the book which I loved. You can find my review for it here.

A book with a transgender character or transgender issues…




Another novel that I studied for my ‘The Girl in the Book’ course, The Well of Loneliness is once again a semi-autobiographical novel that tells the story of Stephen. Named after the son her parents were expecting, Stephen dresses like a man, loves women, and destroys gender boundaries. The novel was banned when it was originally released.



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I’m not going to tag anyone in particular for this as I think it’s something a lot of people will enjoy doing, exploring how diverse your reading habits are. So, consider all of you tagged! If you do this tag, just link me in your post so I can check it out!