Let’s Wrap: July


July has been pretty good! I graduated from university, attended YALC last weekend, and got my first ever physical ARCs! Thanks to everyone who’s followed me this month, I’m now at 141 followers overall through Wordpress, e-mail and Bloglovin! I’ve only been running this blog since March so I am really thankful that it’s grown so quickly. I’m loving every minute of it and hopefully this blog keeps growing!

Now, onto my July wrap-up.

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This Month’s Posts

Favourite Novels This Month

Least Favourite Novels This Month


Coming Up

Thanks to YALC, I’ve got a lot of new books this month, including ARCs of Goldenhand by Garth Nix, Gilded Cage by Vic James, and Girl Detached by Manuela Salvi. I was planning on reviewing these a little closer to their release dates, but if there’s one you really want to see a review for then let me know! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep away from Goldenhand!

I also got tagged three times this month! It’s lovely to be picked for a tag and I’m sorry I haven’t done them yet, I just haven’t had time to sit down and really think about them. So I will try and get through those soon.

I’m a little behind on my reading due to visiting my boyfriend and YALC, but hopefully I’ll finish The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien soon. It’s an interesting book, but it changes POV quite randomly with no explanation and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

And lastly, I have other posts planned to surprise you all with, so look out for those.

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How has your July been? Did you attend YALC? Any preferences on an ARC I should read first? Let me know in the comments below!



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!



Exciting News: I’m Attending YALC! Are You?


I’m attending this year’s Young Adult Literature Convention 2016!

This will be my first time at a book convention/expo/festival, whatever you wanna call it, and I’m extremely excited. Loads of authors I like are attending and there are some great talks and workshops happening that I’m eager to see.

My Dad has kindly paid for a ticket to all three days so I can make the most of all the events. However, I’m going alone, which I don’t particularly mind as the schedule I’m working out for myself is looking pretty jam-packed, and I’m not about to drag my boyfriend along to a book convention. But this does give me a great opportunity to meet some of you guys if you’re attending!

So, if you’re going all three days like me, or just one, it’d be lovely to meet some of you there, especially as I’m relatively new to blogging so I haven’t had a chance to meet any bloggers in real life just yet.

Or, if you have any handy tips for things such as scheduling etc, then please impart your wisdom upon me! I’d be grateful for any hints you have.

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Are you going to YALC? Want to go? Been previously? Let me know in the comments!

Caitlin (1)