Throwback Month

It’s finally here! Say hello to Throwback Month – AKA the month we get to reread all our trashy faves and gush about them! It’s okay, we know you love them, even though you’re still pretending you’re over your The Fault in Our Stars phase. We’ve all been there.

Join us this month to read some of the best (and worst) YA novels published before 2013 and relive a simpler time. A time before the trashfire of a movie Allegiant came out (well, half of it, at least). A time before Instagram’s algorithm wrecked havoc on our bookstagram likes. A time where our biggest memes were Nyan Cat and Grumpy Cat. I wonder how those cats are doing.

Anyway! We hope you’ll be participating by reading some older YA novels and attempting to complete a line of the #ThrowbackBingo board! Don’t forget to check out this post to find out the rules and to hear about all the prizes up for grabs. Exciting!

Today we’ll be sharing the books we’re planning on reading this month in case you need a little bit more inspiration. But it’s pretty simple. If the book you want to read is generally counted as YA (and yes, we’re counting all the Harry Potter books as YA) and it was published before 2013, you can read it for this challenge!Read More »

Throwback Bingo Challenge

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost at the end of 2018! But before we bid this year adieu, we want to celebrate surviving the last 11 months by doing a bit of fun reading with all of you. Last year, we had #LoveOzYA Month – which was heaps of fun – and so this year we wanted to do something equally exciting!

Say hello to Throwback Month! That’s right! We’re going to be rereading some of our favourite YA novels and reminiscing about what we read years ago. Remember the days of The Hunger Games and Divergent and Twilight? The days where we all fangirled over the movie release of City of Bones and cried over the ending of Allegiant? We’re going to be experiencing those feels all over again next month during Throwback Month!

Whether you read those novels as a teen or if you’ve never read them before, we hope you’ll join us for our month of fun. There’s going to be a bingo challenge, and virtual viewing parties, as well as special content! We’re super excited about Throwback Month, but today we’d like to introduce the main element of the month – the bingo challenge!

If you’ve participated in a bingo challenge before, you’ll probably know how this works. But for those of you that haven’t, please scroll down to check out the rules. There are also prizes to be won, so make sure you get involved!Read More »

RECAP: ASK ABOUT… YA PUBLISHING EVENT

Do you drink coffee or tea?

Take a moment to think about it. No pressure, but this could be the question that defines your writing career. Well, perhaps I am being just a tad bit dramatic, but it is an important question. And it was a great way to start a fantastic night! I, for one, am a coffee drinker. I cannot get enough of it. Nectar from the gods, I call it. Without it, I literally cannot function. And it seems that Michelle Madden (Commissioning Editor at Penguin Radom House) agrees with me… Unlike Shivaun Plozza (author of Frankie and Tin Heart), who has never touched the stuff. Perhaps that is the secret to being a successful writer. If so, I don’t think I am cut out to be an author — I am just not ready for that level of commitment. Now, with that out of the way, lets begin…

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If you were unable to attend this event, then allow me to enlighten you on some words of wisdom from our two leading ladies:

 “You don’t want to overdo it, you can destroy an idea and over edit.” – Michelle on how you know your manuscript is done.

Tell me about it, I don’t know about you guys but I have a nasty habit of continually editing my work, freaking out about every little detail. Its exhausting. I think I just need to calm down and drink more coffee.

 “Be wary of giving your manuscript to family to read for feedback. You have to live with them!”

“You want feedback to be negative. Then you can act on it.”

I could have done with these words of advice years ago. I always give my latest WIP (work in progress) to my mother, asking for her opinion. Last time, she told me that she loved every single word. Like, how is that even possible? There has to be something wrong with it. But when I pushed her for some constructive feedback she just told me she couldn’t possible dislike anything I write. Love you mum, but gosh… not helpful lol.

That reminds me, if you guys are in this position too (using your mum as your go to reader) perhaps try joining a writers group. A little bird told me it is a fantastic way to get constructive feedback.

And one final quote for all you aspiring authors:

“Be aware that any feedback you receive from an agent or publisher is an enormous compliment, even if it’s a rejection.” – Michelle

No matter how hard it gets, no matter how many times you get rejected, never give up! All of us, at the YA Room, cannot wait to see your debut book in local book store, libraries and on our bookshelves.

A big thank you to everyone who came to the Ask About…YA Publishing Event, we had an absolute blast learning from two industry professionals, Shivaun Plozza and Michelle Madden. There was a lot to learn from these two amazing women. I hope all of those who attended this event left inspired, to either finish their latest WIP or send a query letter off to a agent in order to get their first book published!

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Happy writing from all of us at The YA Room

Highway Bodies | Alison Evans

This Friday, we’re lucky enough to be revealing the cover for Alison Evans’ Highway Bodies! We’ve been dying to read it ever since it was announced – not only because Ida was our first ever Book of the Month, but because it’s a book we’ll never stop recommending it!

We’re thrilled to be a part of this cover reveal and get y’all excited about this awesome 2019 release. Can Highway Bodies just be out already?! But in the meantime, we have a Pinterest and a playlist to share with you that encapsulates all the atmosphere and vibes of this novel. And who doesn’t want a queer Aussie zombie book on their TBR?!

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This or That? with Alison Evans

Tea or coffee? Coffee.

City or country? City.

Paperbacks or hardbacks? Paperbacks.

Write in the morning or write at night? Morning.

Binge-watch or pace yourself? Binge.

Instagram or Twitter? Twitter.

Spring, summer, autumn, or winter? Spring.

Cats or dogs? Cats.Read More »

5 YA Books That Include Epic Sea Adventures!

I adore books that take me out into the open waters. I love pirates, sea dragons, mermaids and epic ship battle. I love treasure hunts and hidden islands -— stories that let me feel the wind in my hair and survey a vast, uncharted sea.

It is not just the open water that gets me excited, but the strong women who command them. Protagonists like Lysandra from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, who is capable of transforming into a monstrous sea dragon and wreaking havoc upon unsuspecting battleships. There is something about a leading lady and a piratey adventure that gets me super excited. But then again, I am a huge fan of Pirates of the Caribbean (the first three movies at least, the others don’t exist in my opinion).

The books below are not solely set at sea or focused around living your best pirate life, but they do include some of the funnest and most epic sea adventures I have read to date.

Oh, and I should warn you… SPOILERS ahead. Turn back now and find a quiet place to read, if you don’t want any plot points ruined.

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The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

I am a huge fan of fantasy books. I find it very difficult to read contemporary as they, more often than not, put me in a book slump. When I found out that The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy was going to be our Book of the Month, I was quietly biting nails. But this book took me by surprise. It dazzled me with beautiful prose, it caught me off guard with its loveable characters, all the while swirling me around in a rich, vibrant world full of pirates and sea dragons. That is right, sea dragons!

It isn’t just the magical elements that made me fall in love with this book, but the relatable characters. Felicity is such a refreshing protagonist (although, with a tendency to rant all too often). She knows what she wants, and she is not prepared to let anyone tell her that she cannot achieve her goals. What I love most about Felicity is her character growth. She is so strong-minded, and opinionated that she cannot see past her own nose. She views petticoats, high heels and make-up as a form of weaknesses. And because of this, she cannot bring herself to accept Johanna as an equal. Johanna is everything that Felicity has convinced herself is counterproductive to achieve her life long dream. So, it is fair to say I love the interactions between these two characters, and the conflict that ensues. That moment when Johanna finally gives Felicity a healthy dose of reality… priceless!


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Truthwitch

Windwitch has a great dynamic between its leading ladies. Stafi is hot-headed and ready to start a fight, where as Iseult is clam and calculated. With these two, there is never a dull moment. Stafi and Iseult go head to head with empresses, princes and witches alike, all the while on a pirate-like-adventure. Susan Dennard keeps the plot fast-paced and action heavy. Which is great if you are like me and have been stuck in a book slump. Beware, you may fall in love with a certain steamy captain. I certainly did. And if that isn’t enough, add warring kingdoms, deadly curses, and an epic battle with sea foxes! This book has everything you will need to cure that inevitable book hangover awaiting you after reading, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy.


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Crown of Embers

The Girl of Fire and Thorns series is one of my most beloved YA books, EVER! Why? Because it is breathtaking. The main character, Elisa, is my favourite female protagonist. At the beginning of the first book, Elisa is married of as a political pawn to a far away kingdom. Book to book, you really get to see her grow as a character, as she gains confidence and strength in her own abilities. She is such a dynamic character, who is constantly self reflecting, learning from her mistakes and actively trying to improve on them. She isn’t strong because she is a master warrior with a hot temper; she is strong because she is intelligent and thoughtful. And that is such a welcome and refreshing change from your typical YA characters.  So if you are after magic, betrayal, combat and one hell of a sailing scene, then this is the book for you.


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Siege and Storm

I love anything written by Leigh Bardugo, all her characters are absolutely amazing. Every book she writes in the Grisha worlds is an action packed adventure. The Grisha books are such a fantastic series. Although, I know this might be a bit of a controversial choice as I am aware there is a lot of hate for these books. But if you are like me and you love fantasy books that involve mythical creatures, magic and one hell of a villain then you will throughly enjoy this series. And what is not to love, when Alina’s journey takes her to the Bone Road, a deadly iceberg filled passage that is home to an ice dragon.


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Monstress, Vol 2: The Blood

Okay, this choice is a kind of cheating, because it isn’t technically a Young Adult book. Instead, it is an incredibly well-written and beautiful illustrated graphic novel. I am personally guilty of not reading many graphic novels. Honestly, I considered them to be a little childish. I was so wrong! The story contained within these pages is one of my favourites to date – graphic novel or not.

In the second volume, our protagonist Maika Halfwolf enters the pirate city of Tyria. Where she then ventures out onto the open sea in search of the Isle of Bones. Here, she is not confronted by a sea dragon, as seen in so many other books, but sirens, sea ghouls and all sorts of ghastly creatures.

Maika is such a unique character. She can be brutal and cruel, but given her upbringing, I forgive her. I adore the conflict she has with the creature living inside her, and the grotesque things it makes her do. Mostly, I love that Maika isn’t wholly fearless, she’s flawed down to her very bones, but in spite of all her short-comings she is still a strong and determined woman.

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Happy Reading!

Shaun XOX

13 Books We Cannot Wait to Read

Novemberreads

Yes, it’s November already. Where has the year gone? I swear there is never enough time to read all the amazing books that have been released this year – but gosh do they look superb on my bookshelf. I want nothing more than to take several weeks off work, and simply spend my time reading my way through my ever growing TBR pile. But alas, the Christmas holidays have not yet arrived and by the looks of this month, those piles of books looming over me are just going to get bigger!

I cannot be more excited about all the amazing books being released this month. If you are like me, and you are a huge fan of epic fantasy, then November is your month. This list includes everything from amazing new releases to long awaited squeals. Not to mention, it includes our Book of the Month: Girls of Paper and Fire. Don’t forget to grab a copy, and join us at our monthly Book Meet! We cannot wait to see all your beautiful faces. In the mean time, happy reading!Read More »

TIME TO READ SOME SPOOKY BOOKS

It’s that time of the year again! Halloween is almost upon us, which of course means we get to gush about all our favourite creepy books! And dress up as witches and drink too many pumpkin spice lattes… but we all do that on a daily basis anyway.

So today we’re going to share our ultimate spooky picks with you! If you’re looking for a last-minute addition to your Halloween TBR or if you just need more creepy content in your life, you need to get your hands on these ones ASAP!

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Meet our Teen Representative: Rosie

Just when you thought you’d met your new YA Room facilitators, we have another surprise for you!

Here at The YA Room, we’re passionate about bringing readers together and making a space for likeminded young people. We aim to be an accessible space for teens in particular, so we’ve decided to bring on board our very first Teen Representative!

Rosie, our Teen Rep, will be assisting The YA Room in countless different ways – from event organisation, to social media campaign strategies, to sharing her recent favourite reads with us. We’re so excited to be working with such a passionate YA aficionado, and we hope you’ll help us in welcoming her to the team.

Without further ado, here’s a little piece from Rosie!

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Hello, I am Rosie, a fourteen-year-old book nerd, aspiring physicist, philosopher and novelist. When I am not found utterly engrossed in a book, you can find me watching a period drama, eating an abundant amount of chocolate or daydreaming about fantastical lands and alternate time periods.

I am so grateful to be a part of The YA Room team and am incredibly excited to be a part of the running of such a wondrous book club. Through my position at The YA Room I hope to advocate for the importance of reading amongst young people, and further the accessibility of The YA Room amongst teenager readers.

I am very passionate about young-adult literature and am so excited to be apart of a community also ardent about the genre.

Let’s get reading!

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The YA Room

Welcome to the New Era

It’s the start of a new chapter at The YA Room, and we can’t wait to go on this journey with you. Get ready for even cooler events, more content, and some new friends. We hope you love what we have in store for you!

And with this new era, we’ve decided to expand our YA family! Get to know our two new co-hosts below, and come along to our upcoming Book Meets and events to meet them in person! We’re so excited for you to meet our new friends.

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Become a part of The YA Room

The YA Room is seeking a new content creator / co-host to join the family! We are looking for someone who’s passionate about YA, interested in organising events and creating communities through online engagement, and content creating.

The YA Room is a young adult book club based in Melbourne, which holds a monthly Book Meet at Embiggen Books, as well as an online Twitter chats and other special events throughout the year.

Our aim is to unite Melbourne young adult readers and create a community through interaction both in person and online that celebrates all things YA. We strive to provide a place where YA readers of all ages can discuss books, meet authors, and get to know likeminded people.

Requirements:

  • Must live in Melbourne / have easy access to the CBD for book launches, festivals, and Book Meets.
  • Must be proficient in using Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Must be a confident public speaker.
  • Must have the ability to produce and upload unique content and engage with readers on social media.
  • Must love YA – duh!

Not necessary, but ideal:

  • Can make YouTube videos.
  • Have graphic design skills.
  • Can use WordPress.
  • Have an interest in marketing and entrepreneurship.

This role is perfect for someone wanting to make more connections in the book community and help plan and run events in Melbourne for YA readers.

This is a voluntary position. Workload flexible, estimated 2 – 4 hours per week.

All applications and enquiries are to be emailed to theyaroom [at] gmail [dot] com by 11.59pm Sunday 30 September 2018. Happy to answer questions surrounding job description if required.

In your application, please include your age, whether you’re currently working / studying, any relevant experience, and some information addressing the key requirements.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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The YA Room