Sunday 14 May 2017

WTF Did I Miss This Week? #32 (w/c 08/05/17)

The publishing world:

I can't believe there are still more new releases coming. Stop, I need a chance to catch up on the ones that have already come out!:
Image result for it started with goodbye christina juneImage result for killing gravity corey j white
Image result for girling up mayim bialik
Image result for woman no. 17 lepuckiImage result for sherrilyn kenyon deadmen walking
Image result for since we fell dennis lehane
Image result for the girl on the bridge haymanImage result for ramona blue murphy
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Image result for brave new girl vincent
Image result for the duke of bannerman prepImage result for deacon locke went to prom
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Image result for the foretelling of georgie spiderImage result for the go-between chambers
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Image result for the lines we cross abdel-fattahImage result for someone else's summer bateman
Image result for that thing we call a heart karim

There were two beautiful cover reveals, which brought tears to my eyes:
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I'm so excited to read both of these books. 

In other news:
  • The shortlist for the 2017 Branford Boase Award was released...
  • ...while the winners of the Nibbies (The British Book Awards, if you want their official title) were announced
  • Marieke Nijkamp is editing an anthology! It's going to feature a bunch of #ownvoices disabled authors and will be released in 2018. 
  • Andy Weir's next novel, 'Artemis', is being released in November
  • Patrick Ness revealed that the Chaos Walking movie is officially happening. Shooting starts this summer, which gives me plenty of time to actually read the trilogy... 
  • Rae Earl has announced her next project: she's releasing a YA non-fiction title called 'It's All In Your Head' on the 10th of August. 
  • There have been two huge YALC announcements in the past week, and it's not over yet: another batch of authors are being announced on Tuesday. 
The music world:

It was a huge week for new releases:
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After the excitement of last week, the new music isn't stopping:

Milk Teeth releasing 'Owning Your Okayness', their first single on Roadrunner Records:

Jenna McDougall of Tonight Alive teamed up with Australian rapper Illy for 'Oh My': 

I Prevail want you to 'Come and Get It': 

Miley Cyrus really loves living in 'Malibu':

Courage My Love 'Need Someone' to watch their new video:

There were also new releases from MGK, Papa Roach, blink-182, Katy Perry, Linkin Park, Hundredth, Miss May I, Broadside, Fleet Foxes, k.flay, Louise DistrasBleachers, Obey The Brave, GreywindEighteen VisionsTigers Jaw, Third Eye Blind, and HAIM, while Patent Pending covered 'Livin' La Vida Loca', The Summer Set's Brian Logan Dales released his first solo song under the name DALES, and The Maine released a live version of 'Raining in Paris'.  

Can I get a WHAT WHAT for these amazing tour announcements?: 
  • For the love of nostalgia, Dashboard Confessional and The All-American Rejects have announced a co-headline tour! With dates running from July to August, there's plenty of opportunity to catch these two. Support comes from The Maine and Social Animals. 
  • This Wild Life have announced an extensive headline tour throughout July and August, playing across North America and Canada. 
  • As well as signing to Roadrunner Records and announcing their new EP, 'Be Nice', Milk Teeth also treated us to tour dates this week. They're headlining shows across the UK during July and August, following their appearances at Slam Dunk and 2000 Trees. 
  • Trivium are headlining shows across Europe in August. Support comes from Obituary and Bury Tomorrow.
  • With Confidence are playing shows in their home country of Australia in August, and they're taking Seaway and WSTR along for the ride. 
  • Korn have announced a UK warm-up show for Reading and Leeds festival. They're headlining Brixton O2 Academy on August 23rd. 
  • The Who and Guns n' Roses are playing some shows together in South America at the end of the year. It looks like more information is still to come... 
  • Rise Against are headlining shows across North America in September and October. Support comes from Pierce the Veil and White Lung. 
  • Against Me are playing across North America during September and October. Support comes from Bleached and The Dirty Nil.  
  • Waterparks have announced their first UK headline tour. They're returning to our shores in September, and playing two headline shows in Germany at the start of October. 
  • Things are getting heavy in November: Counterparts will be touring the UK with Polar and Napoleon. 
The album announcements just aren't stopping:
  • Evanescence have announced their first album in six years, but 'Synthesis' will only feature two new songs.
  • Having been a band for four years, Fort Hope are finally releasing their debut album, 'The Flood Flowers: Volume 1', on June 16th.
  • Imagine Dragons are releasing their third album, 'Evolve', on June 23rd...
  • ...the same date that The White Noise are releasing their debut album, 'AM/PM'...
  • ...and Captain We're Sinking's 'The King of No Man' comes out, too. 
  • 88 Finger Louie are releasing their first album in over 19 years - 'Thank You For Being a Friend' - on June 30th...
  • ...which also heralds the release of the new Calvin Harris album, 'Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1.'  
  • Sheer Mag's new album, 'Need To Feel Your Love', is arriving on July 10th. 
  • In This Moment's 'Ritual' is hitting the shelves on July 21st. 
  • Die Antwoord are releasing 'The Book of Zef' in September, and it might signal the end of the band. 
In other news:
  • Linkin Park announced that Snoop Dogg will be opening their October shows. Just me that's thinking this is a weird mix? 
  • Meanwhile, vocalist Chester Bennington told fans to "move the fuck on" from 'Hybrid Theory', and Slipknot/Stone Sour's Corey Taylor admonished him. Beef? 
  • Korn had to cancel their appearance at Pointfest after Jonathan Davis was ordered by doctors to go on vocal rest...
  • ...while Avenged Sevenfold dropped out of supporting Metallica so guitarist Synyster Gates' could get home for the birth of his first child. Bloody good excuse, and they've already announced the rescheduled date!
  • Another cause for celebration: Issues' bassist, Skyler Acord, got married
  • After five years, Chasing Cadence have called it a day. They're playing their final shows throughout May and July, with their last performance happening on August 11th at The Black Heart in Camden: ticket information is being released soon. 
  • Sexual assault allegations have surfaced regarding Ben from PWR BTTM. It's likely that this story will develop further...
  • will the saga surrounding Pentagram, whose vocalist Bobby Liebling appears to have been fired after being arrested for assault. Oopsies. 
  • It's been a big week for Paramore: they've announced that Parahoy! will be setting sail in 2018, and have settled their lawsuit with ex-bassist Jeremy Davis.
  • Taking Back Sunday are taking their fans to Jamaica for their first ever 'destination event'. Their Island Adventure Fun Time Jamboree runs from January 4th to January 8th 2018.  
  • All of the members of My Chemical Romance hung out, and the world exploded.  
  • The Offspring's frontman, Dexter Holland, casually got a PhD in molecular biology, because why not?
  • Tyler Joseph of twenty one pilots uses his time off to perform his own songs at karaoke bars. Of course!
  • The last three bands have been added to Slam Dunk Festival
  • Rock Sound were named International Publication of the Year. They deserve it. 

'Riverkeep' by Martin Stewart

Image result for riverkeep by martin stewart
*This review will contain spoilers!*

'"Your hands are shaking, Wulliam."
Wull shrugged and shifted his grip on the mug.
"It's cold."
Pappa laughed, releasing a stinging breeze of lakoris tobacco.
"That's no' cold. Cold is when yer eyeballs scratch when ye blink, when it hurts to breathe. Ye'll be a Riverkeep soon. Ye'll get used to that quick enough."
"I'm no' Riverkeep yet," said Wull. Never, he thought.'  

Wull's father is the Riverkeep, but on his sixteenth birthday he has to take the oars and become the Riverkeep himself. His birthday is still a few days away and he's certain he's going to be able to avoid his responsibilities somehow... Until his father gets dragged into the river by a bohdan, which possesses him and starts slowing killing him from the inside out.
Wull hears that the mythical beast the mormorach has resurfaced. Having researched the bohdan he knows that part of the mormorach can cure those who have been afflicted, so he puts his father in the bata - the Riverkeep's trusty boat - and sails down the Danek river towards Canna Bay, where the mormorach is rampaging.
Along the way, he acquires some companions. There's Mix, who was stowing away on a boat with some pirates and decides to stowaway on the bata instead. He also finds Tillinghast, a homunculus with a death wish, and Remedie, who's cradling a wooden baby called Bonn.
The ragtag group head along the river, getting up to all kinds of crazy antics on the way, but Wull's Pappa is still deteriorating. Will he be able to get to the mormorach in time?

Oh, if only there was something good to say. Everything about this was terrible.
I don't say that lightly. Normally I can find at least one positive aspect in any novel, but I'm actually scratching my head and feeling completely baffled about how this even got published (let alone why it's shortlisted for the YA Book Prize!).
Okay, I guess I liked the concept. I was expecting it to be more like Claire McFall's 'Ferryman' (a book I also hated, hmm...) as I'd assumed the Riverkeeps were pulling corpses out of the river to welcome them to the other side rather than just because there was an alarming amount of dead bodies in that stretch of water, but I guess someone has to do it!
I appreciated the fact that Wull was trying to save his father, rather than it being a parent attempting to save their child. It was nice to get that flipped on his head, and to see Wull attempting to fill his Pappa's boots as he unexpectedly became Riverkeep early. But Wull does a terrible job.
As you can tell by the fact that the gang get up to some crazy antics, the plot gets distracted regularly. There are needless diversions which just leave you groaning and wanting to tear your hair out. Till is infuriating, making everything harder, and if a characters only job is to interrupt the plot and make things harder it proves that the author doesn't know how to write decent obstacles.
Wull doesn't go through any real character development. He faces a bad guy, and the bad guy just happens to fall backwards, onto his own knife, killing himself in the process!
Of course! That's so feasible!
He faces the mormorach and the bohdan inhabiting his Pappa decides to switch into the mormorach, so he avoids certain death. Till also sacrifices himself to save Wull's life, despite the fact that they've nearly gotten each other killed multiple times because they're both so stupid.
I absolutely adored it when Wull was trying to save Till from certain death, and he said "He's a pain an' he's rude, but he's my friend". No, he's not. Every single thing that Till does is directly against Wull's wishes, they argue all of the time and they have nothing in common. That's not friendship.
Okay, I lied about Wull having no character development. He's hardly affected when his Pappa dies, which I guess is a huge metaphor for growing up and saying goodbye to things - like having your own dreams, and cherished family members.
Meanwhile Remedie, Bonn and Mix run into the night, never to be seen again. That's closure for ya. Mix only becomes relevant two sentences before she disappears for good, so I feel as though it's their adventure was written with an open ending to allow for a sequel, to which I say PLEASE GOD, NO.

I hadn't heard of 'Riverkeep' until it was featured on the YA Book Prize shortlist, and I knew after the first couple of pages that it wasn't the kind of book I'd normally read.
Reading this has proven how stubborn I am. I wanted to give up so many times, but I persisted and I can categorically say I haven't hated many books more than I hated this one.
I need to learn how to DNF. 

Saturday 13 May 2017

Non-fiction books perfect for YA readers

Recently I've noticed that non-fiction for young adults seems to be getting more popular. There are definitely more titles on offer, that's for sure!
As someone who has been reading a lot of non-fiction for the last couple of years, I thought I'd take the opportunity to showcase ten of the best titles I've read and talk about ten of the books that I just can't wait to get my hands on.
I don't review non-fiction titles in-depth because there aren't many I don't like, but that means I forget to tell you guys all about the ones that I've deeply loved.

This is non-fiction at its best: not only are they educational and informative, they're also entertaining and absorbing.

10) 'Mind Your Head' by Juno Dawson
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I'm cheating by recommending 'Mind Your Head', because I haven't actually read it completely yet. I got about halfway through, and it featured some advice that I'd never heard before and helped get me into a better place, so I decided to save the rest of the book in case I needed a pick me up in the future!

9) 'Being a Girl' by Hayley Long
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Both 'Mind Your Head' and 'Being a Girl' are illustrated by Gemma Correll, and that's what attracted me to this title in the first place: I only read it last year, so at 20 I knew nearly everything featured already! I read both the UK and US versions so that I could compare and contrast them, which was fascinating - the US versions celebrated a lot of inspirational women I'd never heard of before, which shows how you only learn some aspects of history by being part of the population of that country.

8) 'PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions From Ordinary Lives' collected by Frank Warren
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PostSecret is an ongoing mail art project in which people write confessions on postcards and send them in. This means it's perfect for young people to read: not only does it put your worries and fears into perspective, it's an easy and fast read. 

7) 'You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)' by Felicia Day
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I didn't know much about Felicia Day when I picked up this book, but my friend told me I'd love it and she was right. Felicia paved the way for geek girls everywhere, so I owe her a lot!

6) 'Ctrl, Alt; Delete: How I Grew Up Online' by Emma Gannon
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Continuing on with the theme of women on the internet, I absolutely loved Emma Gannon's reflections on growing up online. You'll laugh, you'll cringe, and you'll see yourself reflected in every page.

5) 'Everyday Sexism' by Laura Bates
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I want this book to become required reading in schools. It's such an honest exploration of the difficulties that women face every day just because of their gender.

4) 'I Call Myself A Feminist'
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This features essays from women under 30, so it's very relevant to young readers - even more so when you discover it has a contribution from Louise O'Neill!  

3) 'Girl Up' by Laura Bates
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Everything Laura releases is gold. I couldn't resist recommending another of her releases: they're both utterly wonderful, and if you know nothing about feminism or why it's necessary, this is the perfect place to start. 

2) 'Bad Feminist' by Roxane Gay
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You won't be able to stop yourself laughing out loud while you read 'Bad Feminist'. Roxane Gay is a hilarious writer, but she's not afraid to tackle serious topics too: there's something in this collection for everyone. 

1) 'Doing It!: Let's Talk About Sex' by Hannah Witton
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Hannah's book is the inspiration behind this post. I finished it yesterday and I ADORED every single page, and it's another book that I want to recommend to everyone! She's open and easy to relate to: I just want her to be my best friend.

Now, for the non-fiction releases that I NEED to read RIGHT NOW:

10) 'Jane Austen, the Secret Radical' by Helena Kelly
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If you're told to read classics but you think Jane Austen's boring, you just need to learn more about her. I haven't read this just yet, so I don't know how dense it is, but it definitely looks appealing. 

9) 'Hunger' by Roxane Gay
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I absolutely adored 'Bad Feminist' (as you can probably guess by the fact that I just recommended it!) and I can't wait to read more of Roxane's non-fiction writing. 

8) 'I Am Malala' by Malala Yousafzai
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I'm fascinated by Malala's story. Anyone who can go through what she did and come out stronger on the other side is an inspirational role model.

7) 'The Gender Games' by Juno Dawson
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I love Juno Dawson's novels and I love non-fiction, so combining them is my dream. I can't wait to read Juno's observations on gender, because she definitely knows what she's talking about.

6) 'Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World' by Rachel Ignotofsky
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Historically, women's contributions to science have been attributed to their male colleagues and brushed under the carpet. It's about time someone gave them the recognition they deserved. 

5) 'Bad Girls Throughout History' by Ann Shen
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I love the art style on the cover of 'Bad Girls Throughout History'. I'm excited about this for the same reason I'm looking forward to reading 'Women in History' - I want to learn about more women who've done amazing things but aren't appreciated or widely known about. 

4) 'It's All In Your Head' by Rae Earl
'It's All In Your Head' was only announced this morning, but I NEED to get my shit together so it's going to offer me some helpful advice. 

3) 'Girling Up' by Mayim Bialik
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Who doesn't love The Big Bang Theory? Not many people know that Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy, actually has a PhD - she doesn't just pretend to be smart, she's the smartest person on the show! I think this is going to be a brilliant title: women who work in STEM are fighting a losing battle, so they need more encouragement. 

2) 'Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls' by Elena Favilli
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'Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls' was funded through IndieGOGO, raising 1689% of its target, so it's safe to say that this was highly anticipated! It tells the history of inspirational women as though they were bedtime tales, but because they're completely true it's extremely educational.  

1) 'Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World' edited by Kelly Jensen
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This collection is stuffed to the brim with contributors that I admire: Roxane Gay, Nova Ren Suma, Kody Keplinger, Siobhan Vivien, Amandla Stenberg... Need I go on? I know for a fact that I'm going to absolutely love 'Here We Are', I just need to get hold of a copy!

Are you a fan of non-fiction? If so, leave your recommendations down below - I can't wait to check them out!