This year has been an interesting time for reading for me. After starting uni I lost touch with my YA passion and was encouraged to read a lot more widely. Not just the expected reading on an English lit course like Charles Dickens and Wordsworth, but genres such as contemporary poetry, crime fiction, literary-prize fiction and travel writing.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve developed a massive interest in a lot of these genres and have enjoyed developing my understanding of them; I was even inspired to take my interests further and applied for a travel writing project in Edinburgh (see CTR website) which I will be starting in September 2018.
However (there was always going to be a however), I’m a YA Fantasy writer which means that my passion isn’t just rooted in YA, I need YA, and up until a month or so ago I hadn’t been reading any.
Ultimately I was feeling completely uninspired with my reading. The thought of spending my hour and a half train journey to uni (there and back) reading my coursebooks sent a shudder through my body. I would conveniently get a terrible headache so I wouldn’t possibly be able to read on my commute. After a month or so this was all getting a bit much.
I pulled myself aside and asked, “Laura, how many books have you read this year that you actually have a passion for, not an interest in, a passion.”
The answer was (ignoring my re-read of half of the Morganville Vampire series), I had read 1 and a half YA books.
1 and a half. For an entire year.
Not good enough.
So in November I made my first YA purchase in far too long (Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys), pulled myself up by my bootstraps and made a conscious effort to make sure I put a little time aside every morning and night to read something I love.
It took one day for me to start feeling myself again. Honestly, it released my happy endorphins than a bar of chocolate. My writing is coming together a lot more, I look forward to the time I spend reading and it doesn’t feel like everything is such a chore.
I want to make sure I keep myself in good stead and carry on my good habit through next year. As a result, I thought I would spend some time writing a list of just some of the books that I’m excited to read in the coming year.
- Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel of the Sands trilogyThis series comes up as number one because I’ve already started reading one of her books this year (as in, this week). I was so hooked by the beginning chapters that I went out and brought the second book AND brought a ticket for her book launch event in London next month. Which means that my January is going to have a very Amini/Rebel theme and I couldn’t be more excited!
- Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven KingThis month my reading has consisted of Maggie Stiefvater. I fell in love with the Shiver trilogy as a young teen and decided that I should dig myself out of my YA slump with an author who I thought wouldn’t disappoint my YA needs. And she didn’t disappoint. The characters are interesting, heart warming, irritating and soul destroying but I love them for it anyway. From the blurb I thought the series was going to be about a young girl, Blue, who finds herself in a bit of a Romeo and Juliet scenario wherein, if she is to kiss her true love, he’ll die. But oh boy, it ended up being SO. MUCH. MORE. I’m not ready for it to end yet so I’m taking a break from the series before I read the final instalment of the cycle; The Raven King.
- Irena Brignull’s The Hawkweed ProphecyThis book was a present from my sister, so I’m inevitably going to be very excited about reading it. But she got it for me for a reason: its MAGIC! I unwrapped this on Christmas day and couldn’t hold back my excitement when I read the blurb: ‘Poppy Hooper and Ember Hawkweed have never met, but they’re bound together, by a raven’s spell, by the boy they both love … and by an ancient prophecy foretelling the next queen of the witches. The battle for the throne has begun.’ I dropped the book in my lap and caught my sister’s smile. “Your book is about witches too.” Yes, I’m really going to enjoy reading this, and the follow ons.
- Victoria Aveyard’s Red QueenAll I can say about this is that I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages. This series was recommended to me by a friend at uni last year and I made a mental note of it but so far have done nothing about it. The blurb declares the story to be about a world divided by blood; Red or Silver…
- Maggie Stiefvater’s All the Crooked SaintsI know, she’s on the list again, but for good reason! I’ve set myself up to be reading a lot of series next year so it seems only right to throw a stand-alone novel into the mix, juts for a little breather; something a think YA is now lacking. If you can write a YA fantasy novel that is covered in only one book including compelling characters and world building then I think you’re doing everything right. P.S. Make sure you follow Maggie on social media because her art work is to die for.
- Sarah J. Mass’ Throne of GlassRemember when I said that I’d read 1 and a half YA books this year. Well, Throne of Glass was the half a book. I know. The uni deadlines pilled in and I never got a chance to finish the book, which is a crying shame because the story was so gripping. I’m planning on leaving a massive gap between when I first started reading the book to when I start reading it again from the beginning so that the story feels fresh and I can get everything that I wanted to get out of it. With that being said however, the Throne of Glass series isn’t the only Sarah J. Mass series that I’m excited to read in the coming future, I also desperately need to fit in A Court of Thorns and Roses; another recommendation from my uni friend.
- Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and DarknessYes, the final instalment of The Dark Artifices series is going to be in my hands late 2018 and I can’t wait. Granted, I was a little underwhelmed by Lord of the Shadows after the amazing first instalment, Lady Midnight, but I have faith that the final book is going to be everything I want it to be and more. Fingers crossed for an epic conclusion, heartbreak and hopefully something unexpected…
Thank you so much for reading my 2018 reading aspirations and for sharing my excitement.
What books are you looking forward to reading in the coming year? Leave some comments and let’s start a discussion. Happy reading!
Copyright: Laura Davis © 2017, all rights reserved.