After last year’s enormous success, TeenCon went ahead again for the 2016 Sydney Writer’s Festival! The event was even more exciting than the last, especially because there were extra YA-related events throughout the day.
I attended ‘Is This Just Fantasy’ with Michael Grant, Jay Kristoff, Jack Heath and Claire Zorn as panellists. I love Jack Heath’s books – they are fantastic thrillers for reluctant readers set to a time limit; it really gets the adrenaline rushing! Michael Grant is the author of the renowned Gone series (which I haven’t actually read yet….), but I was reading his new book Frontlines throughout the day – it is astonishing! Jay Kristoff is one of the powerhouse team behind Illuminae, and his new book Nevernight looks amazing! I’ve only read one of Claire’s books – The Protected – and it was absolutely divine, even though there wasn’t any fantasy… The panel was interesting – apparently we are obsessed with dystopia and science fiction, because it COULD happen! It’s too real!
I also watched ‘Tommy Wallach Live’. Tommy wrote the phenomenal We All Looked Up. He was at the Sydney Writer’s Festival for his new book – Thanks for the Trouble – but because he is also a musician, he performed for us! It regressed at the end into an argument between Tommy and host Will Kostakis about Harry Potter, and it’s many faults! (NOOOOOO! It’s perfect!)
I was a little bit late to the Tommy Wallach event, because I waited for the Aaron Blabey signing! I absolutely love his books, though Thelma the Unicorn is a definite standout! He even drew a little carrot underneath his signature! Plus, I was busy hanging out with my favourite customers from the bookshop I work in!
’10 Things I Hate About You’ was a fantastic panel consisting of Kirsty Eagar, Will Kostakis, Alice Pung and HSC student Jordan. Together with Adele Walsh (or @snarkywench as she is online) they discussed the Top 10 Hated Cliches of YA. Alice made the most fantastic point about historical fiction – that young adults can definitely hear about the Cambodian killing fields if they’re reading such things as The Hunger Games. Kirsty Eagar wrote the most fantastic poem in regards to the Good Girl/Bad Boy trope.
And last but most definitely not least was TeenCon itself! The swag was AMAZING – I liked that they gave it out on the way in; it gave us something to talk about as we waited for it to start. The event was hosted by the amazing Felicity, previously of PenguinTeen. She had just been to BEA (Book Expo America) and had INCREDIBLE PRIZES! I managed to snag a copy of Caraval – this book has been described as a more intense The Night Circus and I needed it in my life so badly and now I have it!
My favourite part of the event is the Read Now/Read Later, even though it is absolute torture for my reading pile!
Bloomsbury: When We Collided – Emery Lord
Harlequin Teen: What I Saw – Beck Nicholas
Penguin Random House: The Things I Didn’t Say – Kylie Fornasier
Walker Books: A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness
HarperCollins: The Outliers – Kimberley McCreight
Hardie Grant Egmont: The Special Ones – Em Bailey
Pantera Press: Confused – Wanda Wiltshire
PanMacmillan: A Tangle of Gold – Jaclyn Moriarty
Text Publishing: Waer – Meg Caddy
Allen & Unwin: Ruined – Amy Tintera
Simon & Schuster: Thanks for the Trouble – Tommy Wallach
Surprisingly I’ve only read three! When We Collided, What I Saw and Ruined! I desperately need to read Thanks for the Trouble, and A Monster Calls (before the movie comes out)! I’m also excited for The Special Ones which I got a copy of at the event – it’s about a cult; I predicted that cult novels would be the next big thing after I read The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly!
Bloomsbury: Stealing Snow – Danielle Paige
Harlequin Teen: Threader – Rebekah Turner
Penguin Random House: And I Darken – Kiersten White
Walker Books: Shield – Rachael Craw
HarperCollins: Carve the Mark – Veronica Roth
Hardie Grant Egmont: Paladero: The Riders of Thunder Realm – Steven Lochran
Pantera Press: Raelia/Draekora – Lynette Noni
PanMacmillan: When Michael Met Mina – Randa Abdel-Fattah
Text Publishing: The Road to Winter – Mark Smith
Allen & Unwin: The Boundless Sublime – Lili Wilkinson
Simon & Schuster: The Diabolic – S. J. Kincaid
I am excited for all of these titles, but especially Stealing Snow (it’s a variation on the ‘Snow Queen’ fairytale) and The Boundless Sublime (another cult story)! I’ve already read And I Darken, and When Michael Met Mina – both fabulous and both to be reviewed shortly! Shield is the next book in the Spark series – super addictive even if I am really angry after Stray!!
We finished the event with a Q&A session with the publishing publicists, which is where I won my stunning ARC of Caraval. I asked if Latin might possibly be useful in the publishing world, and how I could get their jobs!
Overall, it was an absolutely fantastic day, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I had the chance to catch up with my bookish friends, and also made a new one in Hannah Plus Books! Together we met Maisy!
See this week’s Stacking the Shelves blog post for my book haul!
Which books are you excited about? What do you recommend I read now?