Review: Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

Sebastien de Castell make his YA debut with Spellslinger, published in the UK by Hot Key Books. Spellslinger, as de Castell mentions on the book’s Goodreads page, is the first in a planned six-part series. Existing fans will be pleased to hear it takes place in the same universe as his Greatcoats series, but in another part of that world, in a place that felt – to me – a bit like a combination of the very masculine Wild West and Classical or Middle Eastern magical mythology. Kellen, our main character, seems destined not to succeed as a powerful mage like his father, while his friends gain their magic and pass trials around him. However, he discovers something more sinister is afoot, and eventually uncovers a conspiracy that could destroy his family and homeland. Continue reading “Review: Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell”

Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Occasionally there are books that garner an extraordinary level of hype in the book community and then deliver on that hype, one hundred percent. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas’ debut novel, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, is one of those rare cases. The book was published a little while ago in the US and has just hit the shelves of bookshops all over the UK. I was very lucky to be given an early proof copy and I gasped, laughed and cried through this brilliantly-written story of discrimination, family, determination and personal resilience. Continue reading “Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas”

The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury – blog tour!

The Scarecrow Queen

Happy publication day to The Scarecrow Queen, the final installment in Melinda Salisbury’s fantastic trilogy which began with The Sin Eater’s Daughter. I loved – devoured? – that book and the follow-up, The Sleeping Prince, in a few days and I’ve been waiting to read The Scarecrow Queen ever since. It doesn’t disappoint; you’re in for as many twists, turns and moments of sorcery, and as much blood and lust as you could possibly wish for. As part of the blog tour, Mel and bloggers are creating vision boards illustrating various characters from the series, including their appearance, characteristics, personality and their important themes, and writing about the other’s presentation. I’m thrilled to present to you… Twylla. Continue reading “The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury – blog tour!”

YA Podcast: Recommending great BAME YA

This month, Kate and Darran recommend great YA books by BAME authors, and chat about the politics behind why it’s important. It’s a bit of a political episode, as it goes, given recent events around the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile and the following protests in the US, and the rise in incidents of racist abuse in the UK following the EU referendum. We wanted to use the platform we have to champion BAME authors, and some books which have BAME characters as part of a realistic diverse cast. If you click ‘read more’, you can listen, click through to buy any of the books we mention, and there are some other positive actions you can take too. Continue reading “YA Podcast: Recommending great BAME YA”

World Book Night 2016: Q&A with Leigh Bardugo

Yesterday, we shared a Q&A with Holly Bourne, author of Am I Normal Yet?, one of this year’s World Book Night books. As supporters of World Book Night, I’m really pleased to be able to share another fab Q&A with you this today, just before World Book Night itself, from Leigh Bardugo, whose book Shadow and Bone I absolutely loved and reviewed. This time, Leigh shares her reading habits, advice on recommendations for reluctant readers, and Shakespearean favourites. I hope those lucky people receiving Shadow and Bone this evening enjoy it as much as I did…! Continue reading “World Book Night 2016: Q&A with Leigh Bardugo”

World Book Night 2016: Q&A with Holly Bourne

We’ve been supporters of World Book Night since before Adventures With Words properly kicked off, in 2011, and we’ve been talking to you about it most years since then. You can read all about its origins on the World Book Night website, but it came about in order to promote reading for pleasure for people who don’t read regularly, by reaching out to people in unusual places with a huge team of enthusiastic volunteers ready to give away a range of brilliant titles. This year’s set of books is no exception, and I was thrilled when the team at WBN got in touch to ask if we’d like to share some Q&As from a couple of the authors involved. This evening, Holly Bourne shares some insights into her reading habits, advice on recommendations for reluctant readers, and Shakespearean favourites (remember that anniversary?), as people all around the country prepare to share their love for her fantastically funny and feminist YA novel, Am I Normal Yet? Continue reading “World Book Night 2016: Q&A with Holly Bourne”

Scholastic Bloggers Book Feast, March 2016

On Saturday 19 March, a group of enthusiastic bloggers, phone batteries duly charged, were invited along to Scholastic HQ to hear about a selection of their new titles for 2016. I’ve storified my tweets from the afternoon, plus a few tweets and pictures from Scholastic and some of the other bloggers – just ‘Read More’ to see what we chatted about. Continue reading “Scholastic Bloggers Book Feast, March 2016”

Mind Your Head – Juno Dawson and Dr Olivia Hewitt talk about their new book, illustrated by Gemma Correll

On Thursday 21st January, I headed over to the first event at the newly opened Waterstones Tottenham Court Road (open until 11pm – try the cocktails!) to hear Juno Dawson and Dr Olivia Hewitt talk to Jo Elvin, editor at Glamour Magazine, about their new non-fiction book for teens Mind Your Head, illustrated by Gemma Correll. Continue reading “Mind Your Head – Juno Dawson and Dr Olivia Hewitt talk about their new book, illustrated by Gemma Correll”

S is for Spindlebridge – the Railhead Blog Tour

As well as taking the time to chat to us about Railhead and his other work, Philip Reeve has written this fascinating blog post about the Spindlebridge, which forms a key part of the story of his new book. As a science fiction fan from a young age, I found Railhead a wonderful adventure and a very interesting take on space travel, and this article gives a bit more insight, without any spoilers, into the world of Railhead and the amazing way in which the characters travel.

Continue reading “S is for Spindlebridge – the Railhead Blog Tour”