What is it about YA books: A look at its popularity and fandoms

Over a decade into the boom in Young Adult Literature and 2014 looks like it is still yet the year that the Young Adult genre is going to be cemented as a true force.

There were 30,000 Young Adult titles published in 2009, which is a massive increase from the 3,000 titles in 1997. In the same year, publishing companies’ total sales for YA exceeded $3 billion and it has been publishers’ favourite bet ever since. To add, according to an artice in The LA Times, more than a dozen publishers has launched young adult imprints. And finally, with websites such as Epicreads releasing lists of “The 15 Most Anticipated YA Books Coming” every month since September in 2013 to date, it is evident that YA popularity is as strong as ever if not growing even stronger.

The genre mainly targeted at teenagers has become so popular in the past years that it has been recognized as a separate genre from Children’s and stores and libraries started having entire separate sections with rows of shelves entirely dedicated to YA. Continue reading “What is it about YA books: A look at its popularity and fandoms”

Shoreditch ‘Meows’: The Rise of Cat Cafés

Cats are running the interweb, that’s a fact. Now, it seems like they are taking over the real world.

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Lauren Pears, owner of Lday Dinah’s Cat Emporium

Shoreditch is set to be the home to London’s very first cat cafe. Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is opening soon, near the trendy Brick Lane, at Bethnal Green Road. The café was granted planning permission in September and ever since, the team behind Lady Dinah’s have been busy taking care of the cats and working on the building to get the Emporium fit for cats and people.

Lauren Pears, an Australian-born entrepreneur, introduced the idea of a cat café in the UK in a crowd funding campaign at the beginning of the year. It proved to be really popular and garnered much support and raised a total of £109,510. As we draw closer to Lady Dinah’s grand opening, the excitement hasn’t wavered. Continue reading “Shoreditch ‘Meows’: The Rise of Cat Cafés”

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan | Book Review

Unspoken, the first book of The Lynburn Legacy Series, is a book not to be read at night or in the very early hours of the morning. (Yep. I stayed overnight until the break of dawn reading this.) This is a lesson I learned the hard way. Or maybe, I’m just faint-hearted. ‘Sassy gothic’ is the term used by the author to describe this, which cannot be more spot-on. Romance. Check! Horror. CHECK!  (But then again, I’m easy to scare.) Sassiness? Oh yeah… overflowing in every shape and form.

Unspoken tells of Kami Glass, a female protagonist who can defenestrate her own thugs. What can I say? She totally kick ass and quite literally as well because she knows handy self-defense moves. She’s an aspiring journalist who just successfully set up a school paper. With that comes along her strong nose for stories and incurable and sometimes dangerously placed nosiness too. You can easily rule her out as ordinary (and also awesome, of course) if not for her ‘friend’. This friend exists in the name of Jared and only in her head (have no mistake, she’s still awesome). She’s been talking to this ‘imaginary’ friend all her life – from shared lullabies to puberty tantrums. It is both a connection which became her source of strength and comfort and the cause of her estrangement from the rest of her tiny placid ordinary[1] town. Laughing at nothing and staring at empty space while she’s lost in her head are the norms for Kami until Jared turns out to be corporeal and volunteers to throw thugs out windows for her.

Jared is real and incredibly tall and incredibly handsome and incredibly getting on Kami’s nerves. Just like Kami and the author, Sarah, I have no real objections to handsome princes… so, I’m all in for that! However, Kami’s bewildered. All her life she thought she’s mental but now here’s a deal breaker for her craziness or has she only became even crazier? The story continues to unfold as Kami deals with this big revelation. While that’s happening it’s not like everything else around her is helping as a bigger and more sinister reveal is brewing.

Continue reading “Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan | Book Review”

Oh my Gus!

I am usually one of the first people to know news about my favourite books, especially when a particular book is in the process of being adapted into a film. I am all over it! Hence, I am also the bearer of anticipation or angst among my friends. However, this morning, I’ve been hit by a casting news like it was stone. Like being hit by a stone… it wasn’t pleasant.

I am knee deep in revision, so instead of finding a news article about the one of my favourite fictional heartthrob being finally casted I had the pleasure of finding out about it in my Facebook news feed.

Okay. Picture of the Ansel Elgort and just a caption saying “So we have Augustus Waters” + loads of hashtags. No context or other background information provided. Therefore, I didn’t know that John Green said that he like the casting etc etc.

My face contorted in all directions.

I know. Nobody would be the “perfect” Augustus Waters. Am I right, The Fault in Our Star fans?
Augustus or Gus even exists in different ways, shapes and forms in our creative heads. Our illusions of this particular fictional boyfriend are so unique to us. The same goes for any other characters and that is an amazing thing. Having this outlook instilled in my head, I pride myself at being quite good at dealing with casting news most of the time. But there’s also a downside because it also makes the casting news sometimes difficult to process since you already established a certain image in your head and set sky high expectations.

Continue reading “Oh my Gus!”

My favourite insect. Actually, the only insect I like.

I love butterflies. I am obsessed! From bookmarks to candle holders, I love everything butterfly. I bought books because they have butterflies on the covers; they are such an eye-candy on the bookshelf.

As much as I love the metal, plastic or wooden butterfly decors, nothing would beat the real ones. The adorable flutters of their wings and their amazingly vibrant colours are just some of the simple miracles of nature. It just so happen that they are my favourites. Unfortunately for me, the blasted weather here in England doesn’t allow for much butterflies. I came from a tropical country where the butterfly population thrives, so it comes as an immense frustration that I don’t see them around. Even during the freaking summer! Continue reading “My favourite insect. Actually, the only insect I like.”

I am a book person. Literally.

Don’t you just love the feel of physical copies? The pretty covers. That unique smell of new books.  The bliss of turning actual pages. The crease you make on the spines. And that amazing look it has when put in a bookshelf. I love all these things… So, I absolutely hate any electronic devices that attempt to replace books.

I see the convenience and handiness of reading from Kindles, Ipads or any other e-book reader. It’s easy; a lot of people love them. I’m not a particular fan but I do suck it up when it comes to textbooks because as much as I hate e-books, I also hate borrowing books. Textbooks are many and expensive, so I’ll be totally broke if I try to buy all of them. I prefer to spend on luxury reads when I can.

But today I’m found myself faced with the displeasure of reading from my Ipad. THE NIGHTMARE! *rolls eyes* The root of this crisis is the publication of What Really Happened in Peru of The Bane Chronicles.

Continue reading “I am a book person. Literally.”

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare | Book Review

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Clockwork Princess is not a roller coaster of emotions. It is a massive dizzying swirl. A moment you are laughing and the next you are pulling your hair out. It shifts so rapidly – not even between chapters. Sometimes, even within the same page.

The Infernal Devices is one of my favourite series. I love it so much and I don’t say that lightly. The historical references, the setting (Victorian London, mainly), the classic book quotations, the concept, the characters, the plot, the narrative, the prose… I love it in its entirety.  My only complaint is that Clockwork Princess is too tragic. But really, having read Clockwork Angel and Clockwork PrinceI should have seen that coming (I love it nonetheless). It’s also the final sequel of the series and it’s harder to get through it when you know that at the end there will be no more.  I am not in the least kidding when I say that strawberries and chocolates got me through this book.

If I have claws or talons for hands, my sheets and mattress would be shredded. Also include the desk and shelf beside my bed as collateral damages in this reading experience, for I might have scratched at them too much. Those didn’t stop me gripping at the pages though or sticking my eyes at the words.

Continue reading “Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare | Book Review”

The Host by Stephenie Meyer | Book Review

This book is described as a “science fiction for people who don’t like science fiction”. That’s about right because the story doesn’t really revolve around the sci-fi aspect of it but rather on the human aspect. And yes, that includes the drama and, of course, romance! But hey! IT IS NOT A LOVE STORY! It is so much more than that. The love story can be your most favourite thing about it, however it is not mine and I don’t see it as the focus of the book.

This is a huge book so, if you like it, it’s gonna be a long amazing read. It’s also just one book. It doesn’t have any sequels like most fictions nowadays… or not yet, anyway. Stephenie Meyer promised a sequel to this novel ages ago but it was only recently that she confirmed that she’s writing The Seeker.

Back to the book.

Continue reading “The Host by Stephenie Meyer | Book Review”

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | Book Review

 

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UK Hardback Cover 2011

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”

Cliché much? Never fear because this book is something else and so much more. In this fantasy fiction, recently named by Amazon UK as the #1 Young Adult Book of 2012, Laini Taylor grabbed the characters of mythology and religion and took them for a spin. And maybe some cartwheels, prances, and happy dances too.

Teenage girl Karou has been threading between the modern world and ‘Elsewhere’ all her life. She’s equipped with wish beads and coins though, so that’s pretty cool. Somehow, she finds the balance and sanity in being raised by magical chimaeras in the completely mundane, yet beautiful, Prague. Well, only until Akiva, also known as her love-interest-slash-mortal-nemesis-of-her-family, shows his gorgeous face. Karou suddenly found herself also trapped between an ongoing war of two ancient races, the Chimaeras and the Seraphims.

Continue reading “Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | Book Review”

Stephenie Meyer’s ‘biggest fan’ queued for almost 13 hours to meet the author

A horde of eager fans flocked to Waterstones Piccadilly and waited in line from dawn to twilight for a chance to meet bestselling author Stephenie Meyer. Out of the hundreds of people who willingly sat in one of London’s busiest pavement, 23 year-old Sinead Tobin Belmont claimed the place at the top end of the line.

Faithful fan, Sinead, arrived outside Europe’s biggest bookstore way before it was even open, sat at the foot of the door and patiently waited for the event to start. She said: “I arrived at 5:30 am and was waiting for twelve and a half hours before the event started at 6pm.” Now, that’s what I call dedication! Thankfully, for her, the day turned out to be England’s rare, dry and even sunny kind of day.

Continue reading “Stephenie Meyer’s ‘biggest fan’ queued for almost 13 hours to meet the author”