yalc haul 2018: arcs and queer girls and witches, oh my!

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“Have a book budget,” I said. And you know what? I MOSTLY STUCK TO IT. \o/

Let’s look at the books I picked up at YALC* and then you can join me in staring at my tbr while I wail WHAT SHOULD I READ into the ether and the ether wails back JUST PICK SOMETHING AND LEAVE ME ALONE.

*not all in the photo above shh it’s all fine

ARCs (1)


I was lucky enough this year to pick up a couple of proofs that I really, really wanted, thanks, I am pretty sure, to arriving early on the Friday. *clutches books to chest* QUEER GIRLS. BOOKS ABOUT QUEER GIRLS FOREVER.

Girls of Paper and Fire: I saw someone with this arc in passing and was immediately like “HELLO UM WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?” and then pelted over to the Hodderscape booth at warp speed. A fantasy starring POC queer girls who meet in a king’s harem but INSTEAD FALL IN LOVE WITH EACH OTHER AND REBELLION? YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

Undead Girl Gang:Β  A POC wiccan girl BRINGS HER BEST FRIEND BACK FROM THE DEAD to discover the truth about her murder! I hear the voice in this is great and there are queer girl side characters and also did I mention QUEER GIRLS AND ZOMBIES AND WICCA?

Β ARCs (2)

yalc 1 (2)

The Bone Witch: I have been meaning to read this book for ages and ages and lo! In order to claim the arc of Undead Girl Gang, you had to make a purchase from the same stall, which I think was Melia Publishing Services, and I was like DONE AND DONE. From what I know about this book, it’s a dark lyrical fantasy about a necromancer in training who accidentally brings her brother back to life, and YES PLEASE I would like to read all about it. I should shelve it next to Undead Girl Gang when I’m done and they can both swap necromancy tips while I sleep. (Totally fine.)

The Beast’s Heart: The Girls of Paper and Fire arc was a similar deal to Undead Girl Gang, in that you had to pick up two other books to receive a copy, and Hodderscape had a copy of The Beast’s Heart, which a) has a gorgeous cover (THAT DESIGN IS JUST ON THE BOOK. THERE’S NO JACKET. THAT IS A BEAUTIFUL NAKED BOOK) and b) I’ve also had on my tbr for a while. All I know about it is that it’s a lyrical Beauty and the Beast retelling and frankly, that’s enough for me to pick it up.

Hex: I’ll be honest with you, gentle readers: I needed to pick up another book from Hodderscape and I’d read a lot of the books available. I was picking between this book and Lagoon byΒ Nnedi Okorafor — trying to decide whether I wanted to read about witches or sea creatures — and the friend I was with said she had Lagoon and I could borrow it. And lo! I picked up Hex. From what I know, it’s about a town that is haunted (?) by a witch and is under a lot of, like, tech surveillance and laws in order to try and keep people safe, and a group of teenagers decide to break the rules and send the haunting viral. The mythology/technology combination is what really sold me, plus, you know, WITCH HAUNTING: v my jam.

yalc 1

Truly Devious: Truly Devious was one of my most anticipated books of 2018: it’s a MURDER MYSTERY set in a BOARDING SCHOOL in the PAST. HISTORICAL BOARDING SCHOOL MURDER MYSTERY. Thank you, Maureen Johnson, for writing me a lovely present. There’s a fancy isolated boarding school that accepts people with special talents or interests, and our protagonist, Stevie, is super fascinated with true crime and especially the unsolved murder at that boarding school almost 100 years ago. She sets out to solve the mystery, and we get her story, plus snippets from when the original crime took place. This was the first thing I read after getting home from YALC and I FREAKING LOVED IT. A+ WOULD REC. GO GO GO.

All the Ever Afters: My best friend saw this book and went, “‘The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother?’ How do you not already own this book?” (because I am a person with a type). HarperCollins were having a sale on hardbacks and so I picked this up along with Truly Devious because, you know, fairytale retelling & female fairytale villain narrative = me drawing hearts all over my notebooks.

Alex & Eliza: ELIZAAAAAA the SCHUYLER SISTERS. MyKindaBook had a sort of lucky dip running, where you could buy a wrapped book and take your chances, and swap it if you got a book you already owned. I originally got Carry On, and seeing as we own two copies of that already, I swapped it for Alex & Eliza because… Hamilton. Will Hamilton be bi in this book? I have not lost hope.

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A Little in Love: A YA BOOK ABOUT EPONINE FROM LES MIS. My best friend and I bought this so fast. Have I flicked through it to find Enjolras and Grantaire? Yes. Any regrets? NONE. Also I hear maybe this goes Eponine/Cosette? I will cross my queer queer revolutionary fingers.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post: I have somehow never read this, despite reading my way through basically any queer YA I can get my hands on for years. This edition has rainbow sprayed edges and I was like THE TIME IS HERE and now it is mine. I might have to be in the mood for this — I don’t always fancy contemporary, and I know this book is set partially in a gay conversion camp, so it’s probably not, like, super light reading — but I am definitely looking forward to it. More queer girls in books forever! (And then I will see the movie.)

Neverworld Wake: I first heard about this book over at PeruseProject and it sounded really cool — a group of estranged best friends meet up a year after high school and get caught in a time loop, where they are technically all dead but if they pick one person, that person can wake up and live. While stuck there, the friends try to find out what really happened the year before, when their other friend died. Time loops! Murder mysteries! Those are things I like! Having read this, I can say it fell a little flat for me, but I really liked the writing, and I am glad I picked it up!

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Ariadnis: Honestly, I don’t know much about this book, but the author, Josh Martin, was AMAZING on the panel about queer YA that my bff and I went to, and we came out of that panel like HOW CAN WE SUPPORT HIM IMMEDIATELY. The answer was clearly: buy one of his books! This is a… sci-fi dystopian novel with queer characters and that is literally the extent of my knowledge. V excited to give it a read and find out more!

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And that’s it! One million thanks to my best friend for carrying most of these for most of the day, which is pretty much the only reason I could pick up this many books.

Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your TBR? Books!

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8 thoughts on “yalc haul 2018: arcs and queer girls and witches, oh my!

  1. mphtheatregirl says:

    I am not reading any book for a while. In terms of books that on by TBR books are books that I own that I have not read yet- 8 classics plus three fantasies plus (well, there is this book I bought that was wrapped in brown paper with adjectives on it, which I had buy based on those). So have 11 I have own first. I have some rereads as well I hope to do. Still want to own some new ones- such as additional classics.

    I have committed to a book I am writing- a children’s fantasy. That is why I am not reading for awhile.


      • mphtheatregirl says:

        I have done three blind dates with a book.

        I started writing the book like June/July- then had to stop- couldn’t figure out how to continue. Some characters had to develop. At the time I was in the middle of reading Nicholas Nickleby. I realized I couldn’t that book while writing the book. So I agreed to continue writing after finishing that book.

        My children’s fantasy is going along nicely- kind of nicely. It is my first draft after all- so it seems a bit messy. I do love my story and characters except for my antagonist and his sidekick character.


  2. RedRocketPanda says:

    If you approached the Loud and Proud panel to speak to Josh after it then I was very likely stood next to you! I was the person who asked the question about trans representation and then immediately flocked to Josh afterwards ❀ (and also went immediately to the bookshop to buy both Ariadnis and Annasa which I am really looking forward to reading).

    My one biggest regret of the whole weekend? Not picking up an ARC of Girls of Paper and Fire. I had really, really wanted to get it at YALC but ANNOYINGLY we were in desperate need of a tote bag on the Friday. Me and my best friend teamed up to get 1 book each from Hodderscape but as she paid she picked the tote bag. I really regret not just paying the extra money to get another book so I could get the ARC D:


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