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!




Review: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

517ux2php6lThe Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Genre: Historical Mystery, Young Adult

Publisher: Macmillan

My Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Faith’s father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.

The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter . . .

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My Review

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding this book. Its own special displays in Waterstones book shops and numerous mentions in blog posts on new anticipated releases. I hadn’t read a good old historical mystery in a while, so I was intrigued by the unique premise of The Lie Tree.

And let me tell you, the hype is well deserved. The eerie mystery of the lie tree; the bleak and claustrophobic island of Vane; Faith’s dysfunctional family. The book had quite a dark tone to it, but it wasn’t sombre. Faith didn’t wallow in her own sorrows, but she wasn’t immune to her emotions either.

She’s maybe a little meek at the beginning, but you can see she has the potential to grow, anger and intelligence carefully concealed beneath the image of the dutiful daughter. When her father dies of a rumoured suicide, Faith’s family is disgraced. The islanders shun them, servants spread malicious gossip, and Faith’s mother seems more concerned with her funeral dress than anything else. The death of her father is just enough to tip Faith over the edge, to reveal the bright spark beneath. And wow, I was really impressed with Faith once she got going.

She’s smart, calculating, even malicious when she needs to be. But you never hate her for it; she’s only mean when others are mean to her. She gives as good as she gets, especially when it comes to her reluctant ally Paul Clay. I loved their dynamic, their retorts. Faith really is a strong heroine, determined to set things right at any cost. She battles against the patriarchal forces trying to keep her from her passion for the natural sciences, even if it means playing the dull-witted daughter to get her way. I really enjoyed Faith as a character and many YA novelists could take some tips from Hardinge on how to craft a female protagonist that is actually strong and witty instead of being argumentative and selfish. She’s not rude for the sake of it, in a bid to seem funny or independent; she uses words to her tactical advantage, but is still ultimately compassionate, a caring sister to her little brother Howard.

The mystery is also one that keeps you guessing. Faith believes her father’s death is in fact a murder, and I had my suspicions from the beginning. They proved to be true, but I was never really sure; Hardinge definitely kept me guessing. All her characters are well-rounded and interesting, the roles they play in the Reverend’s murder tantalisingly ambiguous.

The book was a neat little package. Strong lead, unpredictable mystery, believable fantastical moments. If you haven’t already picked up a copy then I really suggest you do; you won’t regret it.

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Have you read The Lie Tree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Caitlin (1)