As you may have already noticed from my various internet platforms, I went to an event called Penguin Teen Australia Live in Perth last night. It was a great event that featured a variety of YA books and also some fangirling. The event was hosted by the hilarious and informative Felicity, who you should definitely check out on twitter and youtube.
And We're Live!
We walked into the room and there was a free book on every seat. As soon as I saw that I was sold. I saw audience members looking at the free books with confusion. Were they really going to give us books just for turning up? Well, of course! I happily took mine and inwardly fangirled. The books were Half Bad, which I've wanted for ages, and The Cinderella Moment which I definitely look forward to reading.
Outside, Boffin Books were selling YA and a believe a few NA (New Adult) books. There were so many books to choose from that I didn't know where to start. In the end I had to pick just two, though I would have happily taken seven or eight.
Once everyone was seated Felicity kicked off the event by promising us all food. We had books and now food? We were all set. Felicity apologised for not coming to Perth last year, as they were supposed to, and commended a few audience members for making sure the event came to Perth She said that, "Perth is a city too and we demand to be felt." A blatant reference to The Fault In Our Stars.
Felicity's Top Five Penguin Books
After a little talk about Henry Caville, Felicity told us about her top five Penguin books:
Side Effects May Vary
The Fault In Our Stars
Anna and The French Kiss
On The Jellicoe Road
She highly recommended Side Effects May Vary as it has an antihero who can be a pain in the ass and On The Jellicoe Road as she said that author is the John Green of Australia.
Great Titles From Other Publishers
She also recommend these books, none of which I've read. I'm glad that this wasn't just a "buy our books!" kind of event. I love books, but what I hate is when someone tries to over sell their brand. Luckily for us Felicity is a genuine YA fan and couldn't stop gushing over these titles.
If I Stay
Eleanor and Park
Going Too Far
The Impossible Knife of Memory
Pushing The Limits
These Broken Stars
At this point, I was ready to just throw my money at her in return for these books. They all sound so good guys, you should definitely check them out.
Falicity made sure to point out that YA is for everyone. Adults and teenagers alike. There's no age restriction on YA and adults shouldn't be ashamed of reading. See all those great titles I've listed? Yeah, most of them are YA. Good books are good books, regardless of where they are placed in the library or the bookstore.
After a short, and much needed food break, we were introduced to the books that are being released in the coming months and early next year. I'm leaving some books because I can, and one other mainly because I don't agree with how the book is being written and I don't want to start a rant.
That being said, here are the books! There are quite a few of them so feel free to skim over them until you find something you like.
Masquerade is a debut YA novel which was described to us as downtown abbey meets gossip girl. The cover isn't really that appealing to me but the book sounds really good. It's set for release on the 23rd of July.
Winger was described as being about bullying and rugby. I didn't catch much about this book, but you should definitely check it out on goodreads. I think it's already out in the US but it's being released in Australia on the 23rd of July.
The room broke out in various discussion, and a few giggles, when this book came up on the screen. Silver Shadows was pitched as a book that will blow you mind with an ending you won't expect. The book also has a dual perspective that jumps between Adrian and Sydney. While that sounds great I'm both keen and hesitant to go anywhere near Adrian's POV.
This is the sequel to The Cinderella Moment which was given to some of us at the start of the event. I see what you did there, Felicity. The Rapunzel Dilemma is a spin on the classic fairy tale. In this version the girl ends up locking herself away from everyone because she's a bit awkward and she doesn't fit in. If you like boarding school books and rom-coms, this book is for you. It will be out on the 27th of August.
Shatter is a stereotypical NA book. If you want a hot, fun and steamy book and you aren't bothered by overused tropes, then this book is for you. It will be out in September.
Sisters' Fate (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #3) is about witches and sisters finding their places in the world. It has a love triangle in it as well. It's also the final book in the series and will be out in September.
The Hunted is the sixth book in a a series that kicks you in the pants and keeps kicking you until you can't take it anymore, but you read on anyway. Apparently, all of the characters come together in the same way we recently saw some of a favourite characters come together in the Game of Thrones season finale.
This book was highly recommend. Felicity would have thrown this book at us to read if she could have. It's the sequel to the Fifth Wave and the books are about an alien invasion. This invasion is apparently done so well that we'd be screwed if it really happened. Don't expect your favourite characters to make it through as the author is ruthless in a way that George R.R. Martin could admire. This book will be out on the 14th of September.
You guys are going to want this one. It's told from two perspectives: a writer who goes to NY and is in the process of publishing her book and the character she is writing about. This book is apparently two great stories that alternate between the two characters to become one great story and a meta reflection on publishing and YA. It's out on the 24th of September, but I wish it was out now. Scott Westerfeld is a great writer and he never fails to deliver.
Althea and Oliver is a quiet novel in a good way. It's a debut novel set in 90's New York about expectations in life and love, and when expectations meet reality. It's out on the 9th of October.
Atlantia is a book that I'm not sure about as Ally Condie's last series felt a bit stretched out. Though, this one sounds promising as it's about a girl, from underwater Atlantis, who goes to the shore to navigate a truce between her people and the people on land. She alone has to stop a war. It's a stand alone novel and will be out in November.
Gathering Darkness is the third book in the series and was pitched as approachable YA fantasy that is simple, but in a good way. It's for fantasy lovers and people who like an easy read fantasy instead of a dense epic. This one is out in December.
I've read the first book in this series and I think this series could be really good. We weren't told much about it but the first book was interesting enough for me to want to read all of the books. Winter is out in 2015.
We were given a sneak peak into the last title in the Bloodlines series: The Ruby Circle. Everyone fangirled when we were shown this and I don't blame them. We weren't told much, but we were told that it's full of surprises and moments which will make you want to throw the book out the window. This book is out on the 10th of February 2015.
After all of this book madness we were asked if we had any questions and, like a complete dork, I put my hand up like this:
I asked what her thoughts are on the push to have more diversity in YA. She said that a good book is a good book and that she doesn't discriminate on books. She loves the push as it's definitely needed to recognize diversity. I wish that question could have opened up more discussion, but sadly everyone had a different question and we quickly moved on. I wish it would have opened up a proper discussion as I want readers to recognise the important issues that exist around YA books so we, together, can create a change.
That's All Folks
I left this event with three books and a hope that there will be more events like this.
My sister and I had to take the train home we walked to the station only to find out 30 minutes later that there was an accident on the tracks and train services were cancelled. Fast forward to 11pm after a bus ride and car ride from mum, we were home. It was definitely worth it as these events don't come around all the time. As Felicity said, "Perth is a city and we demand to be felt." There is no denying that Perth is a city and we want more events like this, especially if they're this good.
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Anjulie Te Pohe
Founder of Koru Mag | Mookychick contributor | Avid reader and writer of YA | Takatapui (Maori & bi/queer) | She/Them | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org