This weekend was supposed to be the YA book convention YALC. I’d never been but always wanted to. Obviously it wasn’t possible this year so everything has moved online.
Bloomsbury released a sampler of some of their new and upcoming books and I thought I’d read it and see what jumps out at me and what I fancy reading in the future.
This is my first time doing this sort of thing so it will be interesting to see what if anything I can tell from reading the first chapter of the books.
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
First of all the cover is beautiful. I have heard a little about this book and it is already on my radar for reading. I hope the chapter won’t change my mind.
This one is actually the first two chapters. It looks like a YA F/F romance within a fairytale re-telling. It is set 200 years on from the original Cinderella story and things are not looking great for teenage girls. We find out that they are forced into going to a ball for some sort of matching ceremony.
The style strikes me as leaning towards self-aware, something I love in books especially re-tellings. The female characters, from what I’ve read so far sound interesting and I’m guessing will be opposing the status quo. It won’t be your traditional fairytale.
I’m really excited about this one. The first few chapters were very readable and everything I’ve seen so far ticks boxes for me. It has all the things I usually like in books. I have actually just pre-ordered this book and I can’t wait to see if the rest of the book is just as good.
Cinderlla is dead is published 6th August in the UK
The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff
I’ve not heard of this book and neither the title nor cover gives much away. From Goodreads, it looks like a YA contemporary romance that will probably include some darker, hard hitting elements. Sounds good. I also like the sound of the setting, a holiday home by the sea. Looks like it could be a good summery read.
This sample is the first four chapters. The first is very short and is basically the blurb you get on Goodreads. We have the set up of a family holiday with a potential romance. It is intriguing but I haven’t gotten anything about a plot from it yet.
It’s a really interesting start but I think this one will depend on price and whether I happen to come across it when I’m buying books.
The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff is out now
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
This is an interesting one because I’ve rented this one from my library online and I’m actually planning on reading it in the next few weeks. I know it is a YA M/M contemporary romance set around a NASA mission and that’s all I really need to know to be excited. I love all things NASA.
So far we have a guy who live streams his own news reports from New York. This sample is the first two chapters. I’m really interested to see when exactly this is set. You don’t get a clear picture from the first few chapters. It might be that it is just a vague “sometime in the near future” and it isn’t really referenced anyway.
I want to keep reading it. I’m already sucked in and it will now be difficult to wait to read this in a few weeks. I have it on a list for a readathon so I need to wait.
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper is out now
House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City) by Sarah J Maas
I’ve definitely heard of this one as there was a big buzz around it when it was first released. I’ve read the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas but have never read anything else by her. I’m not as massively into fantasy as a lot of bloggers so it will be interesting to see if this one grabs my attention. Maybe it will finally convince me to read the Throne of Glass series. The blurb suggests a fantasy revenge story, maybe a bit of mystery and thriller thrown in.
So far we have a collection of fantasy characters. I reckon it will take a while to establish the world and I’m not sure it will be accomplished in a short chapter sampler. That’s nothing against the book necessarily. There’s a lot going on in the first section.
I think this is another case of I will read it if I happen to pick up a copy. It didn’t massively draw me in in the first two chapters but I’m sure it will be an interesting read after investing a bit more time in it. I think maybe fantasy chapter samplers just don’t work for me.
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas is out now
We Are Bound By Stars by Kesia Lupo
This one looks like a sequel so that’s immediately a question mark as to whether I can get anything from the chapter sampler. I questioned whether to include it at all but it’s in the book so here it is. The first book is called We are Blood and Thunder. It looks like it is a fantasy about a witch hunt.
“Another thrilling, plot-driven adventure, with an even bigger twist, We Are Bound by Stars is a tale of masks, politics, desire and deception that will have you gripped once again in Kesia Lupo’s rich fantasy world.” – What Goodreads says about the 2nd book.
This seems to have elements of a familiar world which I appreciate. I prefer when fantasy books are closer to magical realism. I don’t really want to say too much about the plot as I don’t know what is a spoiler for events in the first book.
I might pick up the first one to see what it is like at some point but a fantasy series always feels like more of a commitment to me. I would need some free time.
We Are Bound By Stars by Kesia Lupo is out now.
The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein
This is another interesting one because I’ve already ordered it. I hope I like the sampler. Elizabeth Wein is very knowledgeable about wartime and has written some really great historical fiction that I’ve enjoyed in the past.
This one looks like it will be another good one about young women shaking up the war. It’s about an enigma code device that the young people stumble across and their efforts to keep it hidden from the enemy.
Her writing style is just so readable and I’ve already fallen into the time period. I’m excited to continue reading when my copy arrives.
The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein is out now
It was really great to have the chance to sample some of these books at home. I haven’t been able to attend YALC in person yet so this was a great chance to join in.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel after only reading a short section of these books but, I think I am more likely to pick them up after reading the excerpts. I was most interested in Cinderella is Dead and The Gravity of Us, both of which I intend on reading soon. I think overall the contemporary books were easiest to pick up from a small section but I’m intrigued by them all. It was a great way to decide which books to prioritise reading soon.