Monday 13 August 2018

Event Report: Penguin YA Secret Society Party

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Penguin YA Secret Society Party which was a fab event with Sally Green, Melissa Albert, Elizabeth Klehforth and Emily Barr. It was one of the hottest days of the heatwave so we practically melted on the journey up to London and with the venue being in a basement pub it was a super hot night but we had such a fab time that it was definitely worth it.

Penguin had gone to so much effort to decorate the venue and each author had their own section that was decorated with something that had a meaning to their book and there were even four different cocktails to try, one inspired by each story!

The first section was where we got to meet Elizabeth Klehforth who was there to talk to us about her book All These Beautiful Strangers which sounds like a really exciting thriller that I'm really looking forward to reading! In this section we all got to choose props and pose for polaroid photos which was a lot of fun.

Charlie Calloway has a life most people would kill for.

With her wealthy family's pedigree, a loyal set of friends, and a fast-track to whichever college she chooses, she's all-but untouchable at her exclusive East Coast boarding school.

But Charlie isn't interested in what most people want.

She's a Calloway. She's been taught to want more.

So when she's invited to join her school's exclusive secret society- the A's - her determination to get in is matched only by her conviction that she belongs there.

But behind their mysterious facade is a history of lies and cruel games which threatens to unravel everything Charlie thought she knew about herself... including the story behind her mother's disappearance ten years ago.

In the second section we entered the Hazel Wood to meet Melissa Albert and talk about her debut novel The Hazel Wood which is a modern fairytale that sounds just up my street! I have a feeling I'm going to love this book so I'm definitely planning on reading it very soon.

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice's life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels.

But when Alice's grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate - the Hazel Wood - Alice learns how bad her luck can really get.

Her mother is stolen, by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world from her grandmother's stories.

Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD.

To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began . . .

The third section was where we got to meet Sally Green to talk about the first book in her new series, The Smoke Thieves. I've already read and loved this one (you can read my review here) so I'm impatiently waiting for the sequel but if you're a fantasy fan you definitely need to pick up a copy! Here we also got to choose a glitter tattoo to represent one of the main characters and of course I picked the demon hunter!

A princess, a traitor, a soldier, a hunter and a thief. Five teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Five nations destined for conflict.

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father, while her true love, Ambrose, faces the executioner's block.

In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town.

And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.

As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our five heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war.

Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?

Last but not least we got to meet Emily Barr and talk about her latest book The Truth and Lies of Ella Black. I have to say that even though I don't read much contemporary YA these days I'm really intrigued by this one and looking forward to giving it a try!

Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . .

Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things.

And realises her life has been a lie.

Her mother and father aren't hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they'll never think to look - the favelas.

But there she learns a terrible secret - the truth about her real parents and their past. And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Penguin for inviting me to the event and to all the authors for taking the time to talk to us. I had such a fantastic time and can't wait to read all of the books I came home with!

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