Tuesday 29 November 2011

Atom Blogger Event - 23rd November 2011

Christi Daugherty, Sarra Manning & some of the Atom team

Last week I was very excited to go to the Atom offices for their blogger event and we were well and truly spoiled with books and nibbles!  When we arrived there were piles of books everywhere & you can imagine our excitement when we were told to help ourselves.  We spent some time mingling with the fabulous Atom team and other bloggers before heading through to the meeting room where the team told us about some of the new books they have lined up for next year and introduced the special guests Christi Daugherty and Sarra Manning.

Here are a few pictures I took of everyone before the presentation started:

First we heard from Christi Daugherty who was talking about her debut novel Night School that will be released by Atom on the 5th of January.  She told us that the inspiration for the story came when her husband took her to see his sister's school.  It was an old Victorian building that was incredibly creepy and Christi couldn't understand why parents would send their children to such a scary school!  Night School sounds like it is going to be a fantastic read and I'm really looking forward to starting it.

Christi Daugherty

Allie Sheridan's world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she's just been arrested.


This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers.

But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Its rules are strangely archaic. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there's the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch.

When Allie is attacked one night the incident sets off a chain of events leading to the violent death of a girl at the summer ball. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what's really going on at Cimmeria Academy.
(Description taken from Goodreads)
Next we found out about Trapped by Michael Northrop which I think will be a very scary story so I may have to read this one in daylight!  It is supposed to have a Lord of the Flies feel to it and we were warned that not everyone will survive until the end of the book.
The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive....
Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision....
(Description taken from Goodreads)
The Book of Blood & Shadow by Robin Wasserman will be published in January.  This is a nail biting thriller that was described as Dan Brown for the YA market with the story taking main character Nora on a quest all over Europe that ends in Prague.
It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.
But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.
(Description taken from Goodreads)

One I'm really excited about is Under the Never Sky which is Veronica Rossi's debut novel and is being published next February.  This is a post-apocalyptic story set in a savage world and it sounds like it has a wonderful romance.

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers abarbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY

The first book in a captivating trilogy, Veronica Rossi’s enthralling debut sweeps you into an unforgettable adventure.
(Description taken from Goodreads)

Next up we have Bunheads by Sophie Flack which was described as Black Swan for the teen set and is due to be published in March.  The story doesn't shy away from the dark side of ballet - the gruelling rehearsals, the food issues, bleeding feet and even the back stabbing as people fight over the lead roles.

As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet.

But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?
(Description taken from Goodreads)

Another one I'm really looking forward to is 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad that will be released in April.  This was first published in Norway 3 years ago and Johan was described as "One of the most important authors to emerge in the beginning of the century" in a Norwegian newspaper.  The story has a classic 70's sci-fi feel to it and is supposed to be very creepy and frightening - it sounds absolutely awesome!

Three teenagers are going on the trip of a lifetime. Only one is coming back. It's been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2 - a place that no one but top government officials even knew existed until now. The three winners, Antoine, Midori, and Mia, come from all over the world. But just before the scheduled launch, the teenagers each experience strange, inexplicable events. Little do they know that there was a reason NASA never sent anyone back there until now - a sinister reason. But the countdown has already begun...
(Description taken from Goodreads)

We also got to find out about some of the books Atom have coming out for younger readers (around the 8-12 age range).  Now, I don't usually read books aimed at younger readers but some of these have me tempted to give them a try!

First we have The Witch of Turlingham Academy by Ellie Boswell.  This one will be available in March and was described as The Worst Witch meets the Chocolate Box Girls with a dash of Enid Blighton.

It's not easy being the only day girl at Turlingham boarding school: Sophie misses out on all the midnight feasts and late night gossip. Things take a turn for the worse when a new girl - Katy - shows up and all Sophie hears is Katy, Katy, Katy from her friends. It's like she's put a spell on everyone. Katy's no witch, but there is a witch at Turlingham. Katy comes from a long line of witch hunters whose fate is to stop evil magic once and for all. Sophie is going to help her - anything to get Katy out of her life and get things back to normal. But what she finds out means nothing will ever be normal again!
(Description taken from Amazon)

In April we have the first book in the Creepover series - Truth or Dare by P.J. Night.  This is a series was described as Goosebumps for girls and is like telling scary stories around a campfire.

Another fun sounding series to look forward to next year is the Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams which starts with Athena the Brain in May.  The next 3 books (Persephone the Phony, Aphrodite the Beauty and Artemis the Brave) will all be published next year so there is no long wait in between installments.

Last but by no means least we got to hear Sarra Manning talk about her next book Adorkable that will be published in May.  Sarra said she wanted to create a heroine who was bolshy but real and said that the story is full of haribo, roller derby's, cupcakes and teen culture.  It sounds like a really fun read, there is currently no cover image available but here is the blurb (taken from Goodreads):

Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian's 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World. And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane's boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend. Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common - she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can't she stop talking to him?
Sarra Manning

After the presentation there was time for more mingling, food and book chat before it was time for us to haul our new books home with us.  I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone at Atom for a fab evening and for letting us loose on the books (there was a lot more space on the shelves by the time we'd finished lol).
So what do you all think of the titles Atom have lined up for us next year?  Which of these are you most looking forward to?
Who was there?
Sam, Rosi, Maddie, Gina & Kate - Atom Website - Event Report
Christi Daugherty - Website
Sarra Manning - Website
Leanne - District YA
There were a couple of new to me bloggers who were also at the event and unfortunately I didn't make a note of their names or blogs.  Please let me know if I've missed you off the list & I'll add you in!


  1. It looks like a fantastic event. I couldn't make it due to school :( Is it wrong to want all of those books ;D
    You are so lucky to get to go to these events <3

  2. It was a brilliant evening. I must catch up with my event posts - I am three behind.

  3. @ Emma - it was a fabulous event but we really need to do something to get you along to them with us - it's been far too long since we got to see you :o(

    @ Viv - it was a great evening wasn't it & it was lovely to see you again. It seems to take me ages to write up event reports but luckily I'm on top of them at the moment, now I just need to catch up with my reviews again lol

  4. Oh dear. I look like such an idiot in one of those photos. Never mind, it was lovely to be there and to see you again :)

    There was a Julianne from this fleeting dream there. As for the others, I was hoping someone else knew! I asked one of the other girls what her name/blog address was and it completely flew out of my head the second she finished telling me :(

  5. I was there too :) In fact I think Clover's probably talking about me coz I vaguely remember telling her my name and blog, but was a bit tipsy by that point!

    It was a great night and was lovely to meet everyone, even if I didn't get to chat to everyone.


  6. Hi Clover, it was lovely to see you again & of course you don't look like an idiot in the pictures! I had the same problem as you, I spoke to a few new to me bloggers & completely forgot their names & blogs by the time I got home. I knew I should have written it down while I was there lol.

    Hi Kat, it was lovely to meet you! I'm sure you're one of the bloggers I spoke to so I apologise for forgetting your name & blog! There were so many people there it was hard to keep track of everyone. I've added your link to the list now though :o)



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