Hey friends, it’s been a while!
I’ve been absent for pretty much the entire month for various reasons which I’ll go into another time, in another post. The weekend just gone through was YALC weekend, one of my favourite times of the year, and I had an amazing time. I’ll be doing a follow-up post talking about the actual event itself like I did last year for YALC 2018, but for now, I wanted to start with something joyous – my YALC 2019 book haul!
This year I got a little bit wild with my book acquisitions despite promising my partner I wouldn’t be getting many books due to financial constraints. However, I was lucky enough to get a good amount of books via the wonderful book swap area as well as win a few in the giveaways run by the publishers. That coupled with the incredible deals (I mean, could you really turn down a 3 for £5 deal?!) meant that in total I acquired 21 books at YALC this year (and still came in under budget)!!! I got about 3-6 books a day which then got taken back to our hotel room so I didn’t realize just how many books I had until I had to pack them all up to transport home. Thankfully my lovely partner was able to help me carry them home and I spent a good few hours yesterday rearranging my bookshelves to make them all fit.
Here’s a look at the books I got from YALC 2019 ❤
At the beginning of June, I wrote a very optimistic reading list for YALC 2019 with all of the books I wanted to prioritize reading before YALC as well as the books I wanted to catch up with from last year that I hadn’t gotten around to reading. I only managed to read 2 books from my 2018 catch-up list, and none of the books that would be at YALC this year. I also didn’t manage to get a hold of my pre-bought books until the first morning of YALC so I literally didn’t have time to read them BUT it now means I have some great books to look forward to reading.
➽ Heartstopper Vol. 2 by Alice Oseman – I didn’t manage to read Heartstopper Vol 2 before I met Alice to get my books signed but I did read it that night back at the hotel room. I adored Heartstopper Vol. 1 and I think I might love Vol. 2 even more. This volume focuses on my best boy Nick and his journey to come to terms with his sexuality and his new relationship with Charlie.
➽ Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh – This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and my friend brought me the beautiful hardback edition. I’m a little sad that I couldn’t read this before meeting Temi but we got to have a great chat about technology and she wished me luck for me PhD ❤
➽ Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – Radio Silence will be my first ever Alice Oseman novel and I’m very much looking forward to reading it. I’ve heard really great things about Radio Silence in particular so thought it would be a good place to start with her novels.
I wasn’t as lucky with winning any proofs this year which was a little disappointing as there was two or three that I would absolutely have loved to have gotten at YALC but I did get these two. Neither of them were ones that I knew much about but one of the best things about YALC is discovering new books and authors. Both of the authors were also really lovely and reached out to me following an accessibility issue I had at YALC this year. I’m excited to get stuck into these and support some new-to-me authors.
➽ The Sky is Mine by Amy Beashel (Rock the Boat)
No one has ever asked Izzy what she wants. She’s about to change all that…
In a house adept at sweeping problems under the carpet, seventeen-year-old Izzy feels silenced. As her safety grows uncertain, Izzy know three things for sure. She knows not to tell her mother that Jacob Mansfield has been threatening to spread those kinds of photos around college. She knows to quiet the grief that she’s been abandoned by her best friend Grace. And, seeing her mother conceal the truth of her stepdad’s control, Izzy also knows not to mention how her heart splinters and her stomach churns whenever he enters a room.
When the flimsy fabric of their life starts to unravel, Izzy and her mum must find their way out of the silence and use the power in their voices to rediscover their worth.
➽ Wranglestone by Darren Charlton (Stripes Publishing)
After a zombie apocalypse turns America into a wilderness, a handful of communities survive in military refuges in the national parks, surrounded by water. But when winter comes, there’s nothing to stop the dead from crossing the ice.
When homebody Peter puts the camp in danger by naively allowing a stranger to come ashore, he’s forced to leave the lake-bound community of Wranglestone. Now he must help rancher Cooper, the boy he’s always watched from afar, herd the
dead from their shores.
But as love blossoms, a dark discovery reveals the sanctuary’s secret past. One that forces the pair to question everything they’ve ever known.
This year I came prepared for the book swap and brought 10 books with me to donate. Over the course of the weekend, I ended up picking up these 5 books; 3 of which were ARCs which had been donated to the shelves! A big thank you to all of the attendees who donated books to the book swap.
➽ Music and Malice in Hurricane Town by Alex Bell – I literally could not believe my luck in finding an ARC of this at the book swap as I had been eyeing up the beautiful postcards advertising the book at the Stripes stall. It sounds amazing and I think this might be the first YALC book I’ll start reading!
Jude Lomax scrapes a living playing the trumpet on the neon streets of Baton Noir. Then she is invited to play at the funeral of the infamous cajou queen, Ivory Monette. Passing through the cemetery gates, Jude finds herself possessed by the murdered queen’s spirit. And Ivory won’t rest until she’s found the person responsible for her death.
If Jude wants to be rid of the vengeful spirit, she must take a journey deep into the dangerous underbelly of the city, from the swampy depths of the Black Bayou to the velvet opulence of the vampires’ secret jazz clubs. But as Jude untangles Ivory’s web of secrets, she is confronted with a few dark truths from her own past…
➽ Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay – This was another ARC which had been donated to the book swap which blew my mind. I’ve heard such incredible things about Patron Saints.
A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.
Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.
Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.
As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.
➽ House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard – Anyone sitting near the book swap shelves can attest to how loud I gasped when I saw a copy of this up for grabs and upon discovering its a proof copy. I love Aliette and her work but have only read her novellas so far, I’ve been meaning to start the Dominion of the Fallen series and now I can!
Paris has survived the Great Houses War – just. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens continue to live, love, fight and survive in their war-torn city, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over the once grand capital.
House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.
Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, a alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation. They may be the architects of its last, irreversible fall…
➽ The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – This is my first book swap acquisition which I found on Friday morning and immediately picked up one of the two copies there. I loved I’ll Give You the Sun and have been very intrigued about The Sky is Everywhere so I’m definitely looking forward to reading this.
Adrift after her sister Bailey’s sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby—Bailey’s boyfriend who shares her grief—and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs… though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode.
Join Lennie on this heartbreaking and hilarious journey of profound sorrow and mad love, as she makes colossal mistakes and colossal discoveries, as she traipses through band rooms and forest bedrooms and ultimately right into your heart.
As much a celebration of love as a poignant portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often uproarious, and absolutely unforgettable.
➽ The Peace Machine by Özgür Mumcu – I almost passed this one by but something about it made me curious enough to pick it up. I’ve been interested for a while in reading more translated fiction and haven’t yet read any Turkish fiction, plus I’m interested in how a Turkish author might approach the topics explored in The Peace Machine.
We’ll create a machine. A peace machine that will put an end to all wars.
The twentieth century dawns and the world stands on the brink of yet another bloody war. But what if conflict were not inevitable? What if a mindcontrol machine could exploit the latest developments in electromagnetic science to put an end to violence, forever?
The search for the answer to these questions leads Celal away from his unassuming life as an Istanbul-based writer of erotic fiction, and on a quest across a continent stumbling headlong towards disaster, from the Ottoman capital to Paris and Belgrade, as he struggles to uncover the mystery of The Peace Machine before time runs out for humanity.
There were honestly so many super cheap deals at YALC this year that it was hard not to accumulate books because it felt like passing up too much of a good deal. And that’s pretty much the story of how I ended up buying 12 books! There were are a few I bought that I had already read but had loved so much that I wanted to own my own copy and a few that I decided to take a chance on given the cheap prices.
➽ How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow – This was a bit of an impulse purchase that I bought when I was picking up my copy of Illuminae at the Rock the Boat stall. I absolutely love the cover and have heard a lot of great things about it so decided it would be worth giving a try.
➽ Dear Martin by Nic Stone – I remember the hype surrounding Dear Martin when it first came out but never got round to actually borrowing a copy from the library. It was one of the books in the 3 for £5 deal so decided now was a good as time as any to get a copy of it.
➽ On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – I had been so excited when Angie announced On the Come Up but missed my chance to get a copy when it was released earlier in the year. So imagine how happy I was when I found a copy at YALC in a 2 for £10 deal and with the offer of a free On the Come Up t-shirt.
➽ What If It’s Us by Becky Albertelli and Adam Silvera – I had initially been super stoked about What If It’s Us when it was first announced but after seeing some very lukewarm responses from other bloggers decided to give it a miss. It was one of the books in the 3 for £5 deal though so I thought that if I tried it and didn’t like it, then it wouldn’t matter too much!
All of the books here are ones that I had already read but really wanted my own copy of. I had initially wanted to get hardback copies of the Illuminae Files but didn’t realize that they were no longer available so planned to buy the paperback copies instead and was delighted to find them at the Rock the Boat stall (although they didn’t have Gemina!) Tempests and Slaughter was one I was eyeing up all weekend and managed to snag for £2.50 in the Sunday sales, and More Happy Than Not was my other book in the 3 for £5 deal.
➽ The Dragon Republic by R.F Kuang – There was no way I was leaving YALC this year without a copy of TDR hardback and I am screaming over it. I was foolish enough not to get a hardback copy of TPW last year and kicked myself so much over it, so as soon as I saw TDR I knew I needed to get it especially given that it’s an early release copy and it was only £10!!!!!!!! I have so many feels already prepared for it.
➽ Unplugged by Donna Freitas – I had never heard of this book before but got it in the Harper 360 lucky dip. Each book was wrapped up with the genre on the front, so I grabbed a science fiction book knowing that I was more likely to find something I liked in sci-fi than fantasy or contemporary. It seems I got lucky with Unplugged which is about virtual worlds and technology so it’s both relevant to my reading and to my research interests!
➽ Scythe by Neal Shusterman – Scythe was another one I took a chance on as I needed an extra book to get the On the Come Up t-shirt and the bookseller did a great job at pitching it to me. I’ve also seen that some people really love it so thought it was worth giving it a go.
➽ City of Brass by S.A Chakraborty – City of Brass was another one I managed to snag for £2.50 in the Sunday sale. I haven’t been particularly interested in reading it but was curious about it after reading the blurb so it’s another one I’ll give a go!
That’s it for my YALC 2019 haul. I was honestly so shocked when I added up how many books I had accumulated under my hotel bed at the end of the weekend as it didn’t feel like I had actually picked up that many books! I’m hoping that I have definitely learned my lesson from last year where I put all the books on my bookshelf, stared at them and felt like it was “too soon” to start reading them (??) which is how it’s reached a year later and there are still many of them which I haven’t read yet. I’m not falling into that trap again so as soon as I finish my current read I’ll be diving into my first one.
I’m very pleased with my YALC haul this year and look forward to reading all of these books. Make sure you keep an eye out for my YALC 2019 event review which will be posted up (hopefully) in the next few days!
I’d love to hear from any fellow YALC goers about the books you picked up this weekend. For those of you who didn’t/couldn’t attend, tell me if there’s any books in my haul that you’ve read and loved (or hated!)