Pages

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten things that make me NOT want books

(Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish!)

Last week, I talked about the ten things that instantly made me want a book. This week I'm doing the other side: which things make me run a mile.

10) Convoluted descriptions
Image result for tangled string
If the synopsis doesn't make any sense, I can't deal. I often get this with fantasy books: there will be a very shallow description of the world that the story is set in, and it will just make me put the book down and walk away with question marks swirling around my head. 

9) Hype
Image result for the bone season shannonImage result for the hate u giveImage result for throne of glass maas
If a book is majorly over-hyped, I'm always nervous. What if I'm the only person in the world who hates it? What if my expectations are too high and it disappoints me? It doesn't often happen, but when it does it's utterly crushing, and has put the fear of hype in me. 

8) Bad Goodreads ratings
Image result for nymphs sari luhtanenImage result for her harriet laneImage result for after alice maguire
I trust Goodreads reviewers. I'm very active on the site, and don't often find that my opinion of a novel differs greatly from the general consensus. If a book has an average rating of less than three, I find it very difficult to attempt. 

7) Predictable plots
Image result for other breakable thingsImage result for fallen lauren kateImage result for twilight stephenie meyer
If a book tells you what it's about in the synopsis, it's difficult to find the strength to read it. We all know that the Twilight series is about vampires, so while Bella is trying to work out exactly what Edward is, we're all groaning from boredom. 
If the plot point referenced in a synopsis doesn't happen until over halfway through the book, you're just waiting for that moment to occur. Spoilery synopses are the worst. 

6) Lengthy series
Image result for the morganville vampires book oneImage result for pc cast markedImage result for true blood book
When I start a series, I find it very difficult not to follow through and finish it. If a book is part of a series that has over ten books, I'm probably never going to try it.

5) Top dollar
Image result for handing over money
I never buy brand new hardback books, because they're just too expensive. It's a treat when I buy myself a new paperback, but I prefer finding books in charity shops or borrowing them from the library. 

4) Bad condition

Image result for dirty book
No matter how much I want to read a book, I won't read any that are absolutely disgusting. My favourite thing about working in the library was getting rid of books that were ripped, sticky or stained - I just can't stand them. 


3) 500+ pages
Image result for a court of mist and furyImage result for a game of thrones martinImage result for ulysses
No matter how much I want to read a book, if it has over five hundred pages I'm going to struggle. They're not only long and often convoluted, they're so damn heavy! 

2) Irritating authors
Image result for the crueltyImage result for michael grant novelImage result for hannah moskowitz novel
If an author makes bigoted comments or generally acts like an unprofessional idiot on social media, I'm not going to read their books. This might be overly judgmental, but I always try to be professional on my social media platforms, and I'm just a blogger doing this for fun!
You wouldn't serve coffee in a café while spouting derogatory comments about your workplace or the customers, so authors shouldn't be allowed to either. 

1) Dreadful covers
Image result for terrible ya book coversImage result for terrible ya book coversImage result for looking for alaska john green covers
If a book has a cheesy cover or a terrible font, I'm not going to find it appealing. The story inside might be absolutely amazing, but a lazy cover design often hints towards lazy editing, something I despise. 

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday! What makes you not want to read a book?

Sunday, 23 April 2017

WTF Did I Miss This Week? #29 (w/c 17/04/17)

The publishing world:

Not as many new releases as normal - thankfully!:
Image result for flamingo road book 2017
Image result for the adjustment youngImage result for bang lyga
Image result for meg & linus
Image result for ararat bookImage result for the seventh son kent lester
Image result for missing armstrong

Cover reveals included one of the most exciting YA anthologies EVER: 


In other news:
  • HBO are adapting Ray Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451' into a film
  • The Man Booker Prize International shortlist has been announced. 
The music world:

A heavy new release
Image result for while she sleeps you are we

I'm particularly excited about the new music that dropped this week (can you guess which song specifically?!):

PARAMORE ARE BACK! They've been having some 'Hard Times' since they've been away: 

Lana Del Rey and The Weeknd have a 'Lust For Life': 


You'll be 'Hypnotized' by Set It Off's new video:


State Champs released a beautiful acoustic version of 'Secrets': 

This week there were also new releases from Lady Gaga, Dreamcar, Rise Against, Bleachers, Racquet Club, Have Mercy, While She Sleeps, Fallen Captive, Vukovi, Patent Pending, Meat Wave, Joyce Manor and Balance and Composure. That should keep you busy!

Tour announcement klaxon!: 
  • Royal Blood are doing a small UK tour in May to celebrate their return. Support comes from Black Honey. 
  • Paramore are touring the UK and Europe in June and July in support of their fifth full-length, 'After Laughter' (which is coming out May 12th!). 
  • The Wonder Years are playing two headline shows in the days leading up to their appearance at 2000 Trees Festival. 
  • AFI and Circa Survive have announced a co-headline tour across America throughout July and August. Support comes from Citizen. 
  • Gorillaz are heading to America, playing shows in the US and Canada from July to October.
  • The Juliana Theory are celebrating their 20th year as a band by headlining a US tour in August
  • Real Friends are going to Mexico for the first time in August, playing three dates with Knuckle Puck. 
In other news
It's my birthday tomorrow, so I'm going to have a day off from blogging - see you on the other side of 21.

Friday, 21 April 2017

You Me At Six - Alexandra Palace, 15/04/17

Image result for you me at six 2017

Bands like black foxxes don't often get to play Alexandra Palace. 
Having released their debut album, 'I'm Not Well', back in August, their star has risen to stratospheric heights in just three years as a band. Supported by Radio 1 Rock Show host Daniel P Carter (who designed the album), and with appearances at Radio 1's Big Weekend and Reading and Leeds festivals and opening slots for Taking Back Sunday under their belts, it's no surprise that they're already gracing the stages of legendary venues.
Vocalist Mark Holley was humbled by the amount of people who were watching their set, saying "thank you for coming down this early, it honestly means the world to us" before offering a "huge fucking thank you to You Me At Six. They didn't have to take a band like ours out and that means a lot to us, so when we come back and we headline we'll do the same thing."
It wouldn't be too surprising if black foxxes find themselves at this level after a couple of albums. At this early stage in their career a few of their songs sounded the same, but when they have a few releases under their belt that will cease to be a problem.
That being said, they still had a nice range of styles weaved throughout their set, from 'Waking Up' with its Royal Blood-esque vibe and strong vocal performance, to 'Whatever Lets You Cope' which started off stripped back but quickly kicked itself up to high gear.
New song 'Saela' was the highlight of the set, and points towards impressive things in their future. It's atmospheric, well-suited to the grand halls of Alexandra Palace, and will work perfectly on the festival circuit (making them ones to watch at Slam Dunk festival next month).
The only song that didn't seem to fit in their set was 'River', the first song that the band wrote together "in a scout hut in Plymouth, which is a shithole". With an echoing vocal reminiscent of Deftones is should have been hauntingly beautiful, but instead just sounded bland.
Closing with the title track of the album, they made the most of their last few minutes on stage by playing around with feedback, Mark swaggering across stage oozing the confidence that will one day make them the perfect headline band. Despite the disinterest in the start of their set, the crowd were screaming for them by the end: black foxxes definitely made their mark at this show.

Setlist:
Husk
Waking Up
Whatever Lets You Cope
Saela
River
I'm Not Well

Tonight Alive haven't been back to the UK since their appearance at Reading and Leeds festival last year, but they've been busy. Having recently been signed to Hopeless Records, the Australian five-piece are writing the songs that will make their fourth full-length album, the first of which - 'World Away' - received its live debut on this tour.
Introducing the song with a piece of powerful spoken word poetry ("We are easier to manipulate if we believe that we are weak. It's easier to sell us things if our lives are incomplete") which changed the vibe of the proceedings, it's obvious that Tonight Alive are not toning down the outspoken and inspirational attitude they honed while touring third album 'Limitless'. As for the song itself, 'World Away' isn't just catchy as heck - it's a battle cry. If this had been a headline show it would have received a better reaction, but a surprisingly large chunk of the crowd already knew every word despite the fact that it was released just over a week before this show.
Vocalist Jenna McDougall isn't afraid to make a statement, whether by wearing wings on stage (at earlier shows on the tour) or announcing that Tonight Alive "stand for personal power and emotional freedom". She made the most of every moment, making people throw their horns in the air if they'd seen Tonight Alive before, then closing the set by encouraging everyone in the room to put their middle fingers up. With a cheeky grin on her face, she paraded up and down the stage looking over the crowd with pride: a moment I'm sure she's never going to forget.
Tonight Alive always put on a hell of a show. Their choice of setlist was unconvincing (some of the songs are similar, so wouldn't appeal to someone brand new to the band) but their passion for performing is a delight to watch, and it's impossible not to have fun with them. The band return to the UK at the end of May to headline a stage at Slam Dunk festival: I think they're going to be a highlight of the day.  

Setlist:
How Does It Feel?
The Edge
To Be Free
The Fire
The Ocean
Hell and Back
Waves
The Other Side
World Away
Lonely Girl

The last time You Me At Six played Alexandra Palace, the show was underwhelming. They couldn't compete with the boisterous boys in Don Broco, the songs from 'Cavalier Youth' were too safe to make an impact, and it felt like they just weren't ready to move into a venue of this size.
Everything has changed with the arrival of new album 'Night People'.
The power that they lost during their adventure into indie territory has been rediscovered. Impressive tracks 'Spell It Out' and 'Swear' are both filled with vitriolic lyrics only rivaled in their back catalogue by the ferocity of 'Bite My Tongue', embodying the passion that the new album has imbued them with.
The follow-up to a number one album is always going to be a make-or-break one, and it's obvious just by watching the boys up on stage that they've been reinvigorated in the last three years. They no longer seem bored and complacent: they're fighting to impress.
With vocalist Josh Franceschi roaring the repetitive bridge of 'Spell It Out' in the lead up to the crashing crescendo - the closest thing to a breakdown the band have released so far - it perfectly demonstrates how far they've come. It's more developed than any of their other songs: instead of relying on Josh's vocal and a catchy singalong, it's all about the music. If there were ever any doubts about their credibility as an arena rock band, they're all quashed in just four minutes.
Despite this being the Night People tour, they didn't neglect their old albums. They took risks with the setlist, including old favourites 'The Swarm' and 'Save It For The Bedroom' and making this tour one of the first times they've represented all of their previous releases. With Josh introducing 'Save It For The Bedroom' by screaming "if you want a high five, let's go back to 2005 right now!", it was no surprise that they had a surge of crowdsurfers fighting to get closer to him and showing that there's still so much love for their debut album despite it being almost ten years old.
With this tour the five lads from Surrey have torn up the rulebook, choosing instead to do what they want to do. Yes, all of their set staples still appeared: it wouldn't be a You Me At Six show without 'Underdog', 'Loverboy' and 'Reckless', but this was the least predictable the band have ever been. With multi-coloured fire sparking up throughout the night and Easter jokes galore, this night was utterly unforgettable. Main set closer 'Take On the World' was a particular highlight: Josh took a moment to express his disgust for current US President Donald Trump, encouraging the crowd, "Don't ever judge somebody you don't know. Period." before imploring, "Love who you want, endlessly. Enjoy it. Breathe it in. Think every day, 'Fuck me, I'm lucky', like I do when I look at my fianceé." It was a tender moment and a beautiful tribute, and with the echoing "oh, oh, oh" chant being sang back by every person in the room as confetti rained down upon them, it was concrete proof that You Me At Six are exactly where they should be.
By the end of the set Josh was hardly able to speak to the crowd - a thirty-date tour around the UK and Europe will put a strain on even the most experienced of singers - but he shared that "this was like an injection of adrenaline". Even though he was quite obviously struggling, he pushed himself to finish the show with a bang: 'Room To Breathe' has never sounded so good.
Just before headlining Wembley Arena for 'The Final Night of Sin' back in 2012, bassist Matt Barnes said
"Are we a pop-punk band, a pop-rock band, emo-pop-rockers? We want to be a rock band." 
It might have taken them five years, but they've finally nailed it.
You Me At Six are headlining the NME stage at Reading and Leeds festival this year, but it won't be long until their name sits at the very top of the bill.

Setlist:
Night People
Underdog
Loverboy
Stay With Me
The Swarm
Spell It Out
Bite My Tongue
Swear
Fresh Start Fever 
Heavy Soul
Reckless
Save It For The Bedroom
No One Does It Better
Cold Night
Brand New
Take On The World
-
Lived A Lie
Give
Room To Breathe

Thursday, 20 April 2017

TRAVEL THURSDAY: Cooking Up a Storm

During his Easter trip, AJ fought Cyclone Cook. Luckily the hardy New Zealander survived to tell us the tale...
"I've not seen a storm this big since Cyclone Giselle sunk the Wahine in 1968." 
They're not exactly the words you want to hear when you watch the news before a big adventure. Yes, for the second time in a couple of weeks, the North Island was to be hit by yet another ex-tropical cyclone. This time it was Cyclone Cook, and it was going to hit harder than Debbie. 
Even as we set off in the morning, the weather was beginning to turn

The Bay of Plenty region declared a state of emergency before the cyclone hit, and this forced some unforeseen changes to our Easter travel plans. Tauranga was looking increasingly unlikely as we left Wellington, and we decided we would wait in the Hawkes Bay region overnight to see what damage Cook did 304km north.
 
As we were approaching the small town of Hastings we were battered by wind and rain. Of course we were expecting this; Cook was lashing the entire country and - not only had we been warned that Hawkes Bay were expecting windspeeds of 150km/hr - we'd seen Snapchats and Facebook updates of flooding and wind-damage in our starting location of Marlborough in our absence, a whole nother island away. 
When we arrived at our cabin, it was clear to us that we arrived the same time as Cook. Trees were bending like plastic straws in the wind, and the rainfall was torrential. We pitied the fools who decided to tent in this weather, and got into our little five-bed shack optimistic for a good night. We decided we could wait out the storm, which wasn't going to be bad where we were, with cards and alcohol. 
My shelter for the stormy night

It wasn't until after we bought our poison for the night (a six-pack of Corona for me) that it dawned on us the seriousness of our situation. We were unlocking our cabin door when, for the first time in my life, the eerie cries of emergency sirens sounded. You know the kind, the loud droning from the civil defense, like what you would hear if a tsunami was incoming. We were not anticipating the wave that was about to hit us.
 
The sky began to light up an ominous white as the storm neared, the crack of thunder barely heard over the gale that was making the doors rattle. Outside our windows we watched campers around us running as quickly as possible to their own rented rooms. We pitied even more the fools in their tents, some of who had already lost their protective rain-shelters, now flying like a hawk pursuing a fleeing meal. Our driver left briefly to move his car, fearing that a tree might come down on it, and by the time he came back he was so saturated with water that he might as well have just gone for a swim at Cape Kidnappers. 
We were determined to wait the storm out with a game of cards when suddenly the room went pitch black. This storm was not relenting, and we were too cautious t get too far out of our room when consoling our neighbour and her screaming child. We decided to retire to bed, planing to check our dead phones when the power came back in the morning to see if we could even leave Hastings or if we were trapped. We had no idea what was happening up north, where it was supposed to be the worst. Surely someone would have died if it was worse than this. Someone might have died here, I thought, as the sirens of police and fire engines seemed to sound every 30 seconds. After that first tree came down with an almighty crack and thud, the sound of chainsaws at 11pm became almost as frequent as the sirens. 
It finally gave up around 1am, the rain subsiding to showers, and although the wind was still strong enough to shake the walls it was fantastically calm compared to what was happening before. When I woke up I expected to see huge flooding and dark skies, so I was incredibly shocked to see the exact opposite. The bright blue skies were as devoid of cloud as the grounds were of puddles, so magnificently juxtaposed with the conditions the night prior. 
The local wildlife wasn't fazed by the storm at all! 

As we were driving up north, past great big oak trees ripped out at the roots all along the highway, news slowly eked through of how Bay of Plenty residents over-reacted to the warnings, and how the only damage Cook had done was confined to the Hawkes Bay area. There's a sweet irony in avoiding cyclonic weather just to find yourself right in the middle of the worst of it.
See, this is why I won't leave England. You don't get storms like THAT over here!
Come back next week for more of AJ's crazy travel stories (if he doesn't get himself killed before then...)

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY: Top five favourite LGBT+ reads

(Top Five Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey. Find out more at the Goodreads group!)

I love reading fiction that features LGBT+ characters. I'm bisexual, so I find stories with characters that include different sexualities far more compelling than reading the same boy-meets-girl story over and over and over again (not that they can't be enjoyable, but they can get boring). 
These five books all feature LGBT+ characters and are absolutely brilliant: I highly recommend all of them!

5) 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' by John Green and David Levithan
Image result for will grayson will grayson
'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' is the first LGBT+ book I can ever remember reading, and I absolutely loved it. I read it way back in 2012 and I'm planning on rereading it soon - I still haven't read David Levithan's sequel/companion novel, 'Hold Me Closer', and I want to revisit the first book before I pick that one up. 

4) 'The Art of Being Normal' by Lisa Williamson
Image result for the art of being normal williamson
I'd never read a YA novel featuring a transgender character before, and this one ripped my heart out and stomped all over it. David wants to be a girl, but he's finding it impossible to tell his family. It's only when new boy Leo arrives on the scene that David finds the courage to be who he wants to be, rather than who he thinks he should be. 

3) 'Far From You' by Tess Sharpe
Image result for far from you sharpe
'Far From You' is a thrilling debut with a bisexual main character who's attempting to solve the mystery of the murder of the girl she was in love with. I cried so much during this story, but it quickly established itself as one of my favourite books of all time. 

2) 'Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda' by Becky Albertalli
Image result for simon vs the homo sapiens agenda
When I read 'Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda', I was falling in love with a girl and was trying to work out how to tell the world (or if I even had to!) and Simon's coming out tale really helped me. It's currently being made into a movie, and while I'm a little dubious of the casting - Nick Robinson, AGAIN?! - I'm looking forward to seeing this story on the big screen. 

1) 'All of the Above' by Juno Dawson
Image result for all of the above juno
There aren't many books I can read in one sitting, but I couldn't physically put 'All of the Above' down. Toria is bisexual, in a relationship with a boy but rapidly falling in love with her best friend. This was the first of Juno's novels that I picked up, and I haven't been able to bring myself to read any of her other books - I'm too scared that they're going to disappoint me, because this was absolutely flawless. 

I hope you enjoyed this Top Five Wednesday! Are there any LGBT+ books that you'd recommend I check out?

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Real Friends - Thekla, Bristol, 13/04/17

Image result for real friends band
This show was originally scheduled to take place on the 16th of December, with support from With Confidence and Knuckle Puck. Unfortunately it was postponed due to Dan Lambton - frontman of Real Friends - struggling with mental health issues and seeking help, and the original support acts were unavailable to perform the rescheduled dates.
I'm actually quite grateful that this show was pushed back. Instead of seeing With Confidence playing a short opening set I was able to attend the Bristol date of their headline tour, and I discovered Microwave and Can't Swim: two bands that I'd heard of before, but hadn't really listened to.

Microwave were the perfect replacement for With Confidence. Their expertly blended pop-punk sits on the heavier end of the spectrum, and when vocalist Nathan Hardy began verging on screaming in the middle of 'Trash Stains' he effortlessly grabbed the attention of every person in the room.
This was their first UK tour, but it's definitely not going to be their last. A remarkable amount of people were singing along to every word, pushing to get closer to the band and moshing without restraint despite their early stage time.
They're obviously comfortable in front of a crowd, easily joking around and making the entire room chuckle when Nathan said that "Can't Swim almost had to drop this show, because they were a little bit afraid of being on the boat!".
Closing song 'Vomit' was the highlight of their set. As the climax of the song approached, the band split the vocal duties, roaring into the microphone on the repetitive "There's nowhere else, nobody else, nothing", the emotive performance so powerful that it sent chills down my spine.
If Microwave can perform a set like that on their first UK tour, I can't wait until they announce some headline shows and return to our shores. Until then, I'm going to be playing debut album 'Stovall' on repeat. 

Setlist:
Trash Stains
Busy
Drown
Lighterless
Dull
But Not Often
Stovall
Vomit

Can't Swim were the only band on the line-up that I couldn't connect with. Frontman Chris LoPorto's vocal was so gravelly that it sounded like he needed to clear his throat, and it grated on my nerves during most of their eight-song set.
There were a couple of exceptions, the most notable being 'Stranger'. It's catchy "Oh god, I always felt like you were such a stranger" chorus sparked the interest of the previously passive audience members and a few people started dancing along, but for the majority of the set the crowd were standing in polite indifference. When comparing their set with the response that Microwave received it would have made more sense if they'd been the main support for this tour, but closer 'Your Clothes' ended with a bang worthy of a headliner. If the entire set had been as strong as those two songs, it would have been hard to beat their performance.
Can't Swim have only been a band for two years, so it's impressive that they've already landed themselves such a lucrative support slot. It'll be a while until they can headline a venue of this size, but hopefully they'll get better with experience.

Setlist:
What's Your Big Idea
Come Home
$50,000,000
Stranger
Right Choice
Hey Amy
We Won't Sleep
Your Clothes

This was Real Friends first time playing a show on a boat, and they were a tad excited about it.
After screaming about nautical circle pits and recommending The Lonely Island's 'I'm On a Boat', vocalist Dan Lambton asked the audience "How many bands do you see here that make it a point of saying they're on a boat?", grinning proudly at the exasperated groan he got in return. "Well, I don't give a fuck what anyone else says, this is our first time on a boat!"
It must have been a first for the boat, too, because there aren't often shows this raucous on Thekla. You couldn't keep track of the amount of crowd surfers sailing over people's heads, coming to a stop on the stage to sing a few lines with Dan before diving back into the action. This is a band that matters deeply to their fans, and with relatable songs such as 'Summer' and 'I Don't Love You Anymore' it's impossible not to yell the words and let your emotions loose.
'Mokena' was a particularly powerful moment. It may be one of their most stripped back songs, but the "I'm fucking up, and getting over it/I'm over it" chant had every person in the room shouting the lyrics back at the top of their lungs. Yes, it's simple, but it's bloody effective.
Last year's 'The Home Inside My Head' showed a huge development for Real Friends, both musically and lyrically, but every song seemed equally adored by the energetic audience at this sold out show. It doesn't matter if they appeared on one of the various EPs that the band released at the start of their career, or their debut album 'Maybe This Place Is The Same And We're Just Changing' - they were all received enthusiastically, and there wasn't a moment in this set that fell flat. It'll be exciting to see what Real Friends do next: they have upcoming tours in the US and Mexico, and then will presumably start work on their third full-length.
As I mentioned earlier, this show was meant to have happened back in December. Dan bravely opened up when the show was originally rescheduled, and he wasn't afraid to continue the conversation about mental health during the show. "I want you to know mental health is not a fucking joke," he began, just before the band started their two song encore. He shared that he's "not 100% there, but [he's] working on it", before telling the crowd "Please, go get help. I implore you. [...] Take a chance. Because if you stay where you are now, it's not going to plateau. It's going to get lower and lower, and I want you to get higher and higher." With the crowd cheering throughout his speech and applauding furiously, it's obvious that they appreciate Dan's advice and his honesty: he's an inspirational man.

Setlist:
Empty Picture Frames
Colder Quicker
Loose Ends
Floorboards
Late Nights In My Car
Mokena
Lost Boy
Old Book
...And We're Just Changing
Stay In One Place
...Maybe This Place Is The Same
I Don't Love You Anymore
Dead
Keep Lying To Me
Anchor Down
Mess
-
I've Given Up On You
Summer

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten things that make me instantly want books

(Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish!)

If it was physically possible I would love to read every book. I'm a fan of lots of different genres and authors, ranging from books for young people to classics and gripping thrillers. 
But because there are so many books in the world and hundreds of new ones get published every month, I'll never be able to read all of them - something which makes me unbearably sad!
These ten things make me instantly WANT to read a book: whether I'll end up reading them all is a different story...

10) Charity shop steals
Image result for charity shop books
I LOVE charity shopping. Sometimes I'll find a book I've never heard of before, but if it looks vaguely interesting - intriguing synopsis, nice cover - and is only a couple of pounds, I'll take it home with me. If a book is cheap, I can't resist it. 

9) Signed editions
Image result for signed books
I hoard signed books. Whether they're signed by an author that I already love or someone I've never heard of before, I can't resist, so if I find a signed book in the wild I can't resist grabbing it. 

8) Intriguing taglines
Image result for caravalImage result for windfall jennifer e smithImage result for the call o'guilin
They might only be one line teasers, but because they hint towards the plot and don't give anything away they can be far more appealing than spoilery synopses.

7) Controversial discussion
Image result for the hate u giveImage result for carve the mark veronica rothImage result for girl out of water
If a book has controversy surrounding it - or focuses on a controversial topic - I'm instantly intrigued. I try to borrow potentially damaging books from my local library rather than purchasing them, but I think it's important to make up your own mind rather than blindly agreeing with the crowd. 

6) Auto-buy authors
Image result for cat clarke girlhood goodreadsImage result for claire hennessy like other girlsImage result for flight of a starling lisa heathfield
I lasted talked about auto-buy authors for Top Ten Tuesday almost two years ago, and the list has spiralled rapidly out of control since then. If one of my faves is releasing a new title, I must read it.

5) Favourite publishers
Image result for hot key booksImage result for my kinda book
Since I started blogging, I've been paying more attention to which publishers release my favourite books, and the same names crop up over and over. As soon as that publisher announces that they've purchased the rights to the first book in a new series or an author's debut novel, they get added straight to my Goodreads want-to-read list and I anxiously wait for the release date.

4) Beautiful covers
Image result for flame in the mist adiehImage result for more happy than notImage result for the thousandth floor
As soon as I see a book with a gorgeous cover, I experience uncontrollable grabby hands. My arms stretch out, fists clenching and unclenching with excitement as I get closer to touching a beautiful book. I don't care what it's about, I just know that it looks amazing and I NEED it.

3) Cait @ Paper Fury
Related image
If you don't follow Cait's blog, you're a fake YA fan! She's not only funny, she's a reading machine, devouring over two hundred titles every year. If I see that Cait's given a book a good star rating on her Goodreads, I'm instantly interested in it - I trust her opinion, and our reading tastes are quite similar. 

2) #SundayYA book club picks
Image result for #sundayyaImage result for #sundayya
Since Rachel - leader of the #SundayYA chat - started the book club, I've read every single title that's been chosen. Admittedly I've finished a couple of the picks after their discussion date (and my review of 'Orangeboy' is coming later today because it's taken me a while to get through!) but I've loved nearly all of them. 

1) YA Book Prize shortlist
Image result for the ya book prize shortlist
The YA Book Prize is in its third year, and after challenging myself to read all of the books on last year's shortlist, I'm doing the same thing this year. I still need to go back and read the titles that were on the 2015 shortlist, but this is something I'm going to be doing yearly.

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday! What makes you want to read a book?