Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Songs About Us by Chris Russell

Today for Waiting on Wednesday I've chosen one of my most anticipated releases that arrives on shelves in just a few weeks. I am counting down the days. It's of course Songs About Us by Chris Russell.

Two months on from the explosive finale to book one, Charlie's life is almost back to normal again: rebuilding her relationship with her father, hanging out with best mate Melissa, and worrying about GCSEs. All the while, Gabe's revelations about her mother are never far from her mind. And neither is Gabe.

It's not long before Charlie is pulled back into the world of Fire&Lights - but the band seem different this time. But then again, so is she...

Meanwhile, tensions between Gabe and Olly continue to run high, leading to more turmoil between the band members and press than ever before. But when Gabriel and Charlie stumble upon yet another startling truth that links them together - everything they have stands to implode in front of them.

I read Songs About A Girl earlier this year and devoured it in a day so I cannot wait to get my hands on book 2. I absolutely loved everything about the first book, but Yuki was quite honestly my favourite and I am so excited to finally get to read about him even more.

I also need the answers to book one's wonderous, evil cliffhanger; I must know if my assumptions are correct!

Songs About Us comes out on the 13th July and I'll be meeting the man himself, Chris Russell, at YALC only a few weeks after. July is going to be tunetastic! (Too cheesy?)

As always thanks for reading and do feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter.

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books of 2017 So Far

I'm back participating in Top Ten Tuesday and this week we've been asked to list our top ten books of 2017 so far!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish, here, inviting bloggers and readers to list their top ten for a certain category. 

1) The Scarecrow Queen - Melinda Salisbury
2) Caraval - Stephanie Garber
3) Noteworthy - Riley Redgate
4) Lost Boy - Christina Henry
5) Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor
6) Tash Hearts Tolstoy - Kathryn Ormsbee
7) Frostblood - Elly Blake
8) The Upside of Unrequited - Becky Albertalli
9) Moondust - Gemma Fowler
10) Wing Jones - Kathrine Webber

If you have your own top ten or have participated in Top Ten Tuesday yourself do let me know in the comments below or @ me on Twitter.

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Monday, 26 June 2017

Cover Spotlight Monday: The Sin Eater's Daughter Trilogy by Melinda Salisbury

It's once again Monday which means its time for another cover spotlight to brighten up those Monday blues. Today I'm featuring The Sin Eater's Daughter trilogy by Melinda Salisbury which has not one but three stunning covers!

If you're not aware of this series it's a powerful tale of war, revolution and magic; of long lost princes and fairytales. It is in my opinion one of the best fantasy series' out there, and it has three gorgeous matching covers I'm going to explore. Very minor spoilers ahead, though very general.

Book one is the story of Twylla Morvern, daughter of Loremere's Sin Eater, and Daunen Embodied. She carries poison on her skin through a ritual where she must drink poison. She is both feared and revered. Book two meanwhile introduces Errin Vastel, an apothecary and sibling to one of Twylla's guard in book one. What I love first and foremost is that the long running theme through the books - alchemy, its siblings and the natural ingredients it uses - is represented quite clearly on each cover. Book one for Twylla's poison, two for Errin's apothecary career, and three for the most important item that I won't spoil. The very essence of the books is so clearly shown, almost telling the reader that these are not lighthearted fantasy books (They really aren't), and that a dark tale (Very dark) lies beneath each albeit beautiful cover. With these covers, the reader can be under no false pretence of what the books entail.

I also love the detail of the lead characters trapped in the bottles, emphasising how they are almost bound, in one way or another, to these mystical properties around them, and also the fight they must endure to break free and win the war they are inherently part of. On further inspection I also realised the covers 'reveal' the main protagonist of each story.

Book two is Errin's story, shown by the girl being dark haired and surrounded by plant life, while 1 and 3 (though Errin does feature heavily in 3) are Twylla's, shown by her red hair and the streaks (1) and drops (3) of blood surrounding her. I thought that was a pretty cool way of keying the audience into each book's main POV.

I also love the colours used, both in the choice of colour but also their vibrancy. To me, the green of book 1 signifies poison, which the book utilises quite heavily, while the blue of 2 signifies blue sky - the parting of clouds - and therefore perhaps hope? Finally the gold-yellow of three signifies not just loyalty (As in Queen) but also victory. The vibrancy also highlights the rich story, world and prose beneath.

Lastly I love the font used for the titles, a rich cursive that I think represents the fantasy genre and 'royalty' aspects of the series, but also in the masterful stroke of each letter represents the equally masterful storytelling each book contains.

If you haven't read The Sin Eater's Daughter trilogy, I really do urge you to do so.

As always, thanks for reading. I do hope you enjoyed my thoughts on these covers. Do feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter with any thoughts.

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Saturday Series: YALC - My Reading List

Today for Saturday Series I'm still writing about YALC, the Young Adult Literature Convention held in London at the end of July, and in this post I'm bringing you my reading list. These are the books by authors attending that I'm hoping to read in the next five weeks. Fingers crossed I get through them.

Genuine Fraud (E Lockhart)
Beautiful Broken Things (Barnard)
Riverkeep (Stewart)
Archived/Unbound (Schwab)
Rebel of the Sands (Hamilton)
Lorali (Dockrill)
The Graces (Eve)
The Rest of Us (Ness)
The Bone Season (Shannon)
Gilded Cage (Vic James)
7 Days of You (Vinesse)
Becoming Betty (Wood)
The Falconer (May)
Witches Kiss (Corr)
Truth or Dare (Pratt)
The Battlemage (Matharu)
Ariadnis (Martin)
Lobsters/Freshers (Ivision/Ellen)

It's maybe a little long... Maybe? Tee hee.

If you've got a YALC reading list do let us know in the comments below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Saturday Series: YALC - Why Go?

In the first of a new series of posts, I'm writing about the UK's only YA convention. I'm of course talking about YALC - the Young Adult Literature Convention. I am in no way affiliated with the event, I'm just an avid YA reader and lover who adores attending this event and wants to spread some knowledge for those who may be unsure about going or are nervous about attending for the first time. This will be the third time I've attended but the first time I'll be attending for the whole weekend, so these posts are just as much for me as they are for you! I do hope you enjoy them!

First up, why is it worth going?

With over 100 authors attending you'd be mad to miss out on all the inclusive signings, panels and group sessions running over the three days. This year they have former attendees and YA faves such as Melinda Salisbury, Taran Matharu and Victoria Schwab, plus debut authors like Chris Russell (Songs About a Girl) and Anna Day (The Fandom), as well as the incomparable Laini Taylor!

If you're still unsure, there's also the wonderful publishers attending; selling a wide range of books from their backlists, and maybe a few sneaky early copies too! They also run competitions throughout the weekend, give away fab swag, and have snazzy tote bags to boot. You might even spot an odd ARC competition or two.

Not to mention that any YALC entry ticket includes access to LFCC, the UK's largest comic convention. They've got so many media stars and artists attending its unbelievable. Personally I'll be there for Richard Dean Anderson and Christopher Judge, but there's sure to be someone for everyone.

Lastly and most importantly, you'll be surrounded by people with the same interests - people who understand. Who knows, you might even leave with a few new friends?

It's the book event of the year - a geeky spectacular - that should not be missed. I'll be there. Will you?

Thanks for reading! Be sure to pop back next week for my YALC TBR!

If you are attending do feel free to comment below and let us know who you're excited to meet. Or feel free to @ me on Twitter if you have any questions!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf