Yes, I know last Friday’s post was a book haul. Yes, I know I don’t need to buy this many books in such a short space of time. No, that didn’t stop me buying an unnecessary number of books when I visited The Edinburgh International Book Festival today.
The book festival is a branch of the Edinburgh Fringe which as the name suggests is a book festival in Edinburgh where authors give talks on their books. There is also massive marques are filled to the brim with books for sale, incredible chocolate cakes and horrendous hot chocolate.
I got to see two authors today: Robert Muchamore; writer of the 17 book Cherub series. Yes, a 17 book series and Marcus Sedgewick; who has written many novels and most recently Saint Death, on which his talk was focused. I hadn’t read anything from either author before, but have ended the day with books from both authors, eager to delve into the incredible worlds they passionately described.
So enough rambling about the festival itself; proceed with the purchases…
The first book I bought was Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen. I had read snippets of Dessen’s writing and had really enjoyed it as well as hearing Kacie from Moonstone Books talk about how much she rated it; so when I read this blurb and was entranced, I just had to pick it up. Again all the books I mention I got the descriptions from Goodreads as I haven’t yet read any of them.
Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.
This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.
Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.
The next book I bought was Love Song by Sophia Bennett. I had never heard of this author before but the cute cover caught my easily enraptured attentions and I also added this to my purchases.
She’s the new assistant to the lead singer’s diva fiancée, and she knows it’s going to suck. She quickly learns that being with the hottest band on the planet isn’t as easy as it looks: behind the scenes, the boys are on the verge of splitting up. Tasked with keeping an eye on four spoiled rock stars, Nina’s determined to stick it out – and not fall for any of them.
The third I bought was Marcus Sedgewick’s Floodland. I bought this purely because I enjoyed his speech so much and his presence throughout seemed familiar to my own and was intrigued to see if our writing styles were similar. He did sign this book for me, so I am very happy to now have his best wishes sitting amongst the rest of my collection.
Imagine that a few years from now England is covered by water, and Norwich is an island. Zoe, left behind in the confusion when her parents escaped, survives there as best she can. Alone and desperate among marauding gangs, she manages to dig a derelict boat out of the mud and gets away to Eels Island. But Eels Island, whose raggle-taggle inhabitants are dominated by the strange boy Dooby, is full of danger too. The belief that she will one day find her parents spurs Zoe on to a dramatic escape in a story of courage and determination that leads to an unexpected and touching conclusion. Floodland has a powerful and emotive theme, handled with warmth and humanity.
This is where we left the festival and I decided that entire day at the book festival wasn’t enough books for me; so me and some friends went into town and stopped off in Waterstone’s.
Here I bought another Sarah Dessen; Along for the Ride, what can I say? I must just be in the mood for contemporary’s currently.
It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.
A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.
In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.
I also grabbed the first book in Robert Muchamore’s Cherub series as I had wished to buy it at the festival but it was sold out. I also thoroughly enjoyed his talk; I had a few things in common with him, such as our childhood dream job of an architect and his approach to research/inspiration for his writing.
CHERUB agents are highly trained, extremely talented–and all under the age of seventeen. For official purposes, these agents do not exist. They are sent out on missions to spy on terrorists, hack into crucial documents, and gather intel on global threats—all without gadgets or weapons. It is an exceptionally dangerous job, but these agents have one crucial advantage: adults never suspect that teens are spying on them.
James is the latest CHERUB recruit. He’s a bit of a troublemaker, but he’s also brilliant. And CHERUB needs him. James has no idea what to expect, but he’s out of options. Before he can start in the field he must first survive one hundred grueling days of basic training, where even the toughest recruits don’t make it to the end.
Finally I picked up Jenn Bennett’s Night Owls. I saw this because I was pointing out her other novel: Alex, Approximately to my friend as it was one of my top 5 reads of all time and it was right next to it, and because I loved it so much I thought I would give something else by her a shot.
Feeling alive is always worth the risk.
Meeting Jack on the Owl—San Francisco’s night bus—turns Beatrix’s world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive…and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists.
But Jack is hiding a piece of himself. On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.
And I know I said finally, but as I was going to pay a friend pointed out One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus because she read it a couple of weeks ago and adored it.
One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
And so, that concludes my adventures and purchases at the Edinburgh Book Festival. If you take anything away from this post it is that I can not recommend the festival enough. I would never in a millions years thought to have picked up either of the authors books I did today if it hadn’t been for their talks. I am so glad I did because I can’t wait to read them. Hope everyone had as great a day as I.
Thanks and Happy Reading,