GAP YEAR IN GHOST TOWN | August Book of the Month

Hey friends! August is now well and truly underway, and we’re so excited for our upcoming Book Meet. This month, we’re lucky enough to be joined by the author of Gap Year in Ghost Town, Michael Pryor! As usual, we’ll be meeting in the upstairs section of the cafe in Dymocks from 2.30 – 4pm – it’s bound to be a great afternoon.

If you haven’t already got your free tickets to this event, click here to do so! Our Book Meet is only a week away!

Gap Year in Ghost Town by Michael Pryor

Gap Year in Ghost TownLet’s get this straight – ghosts are everywhere. I can see them. You can’t. And, see them or not, they’re dangerous. This is why my family has hunted ghosts for hundreds of years to protect people like you.

The Marin family are outcasts of the ghost hunting world. They run a two-man operation in inner city Melbourne. Anton has the Ghost-sight, but his father does not.

Rani Cross is supremely skilled in hand-to-hand combat, with enhanced speed and strength thanks to her magical initiation into the Company of the Righteous.

When it comes to ghost-hunting methodology, Anton and Rani don’t see eye to eye – Anton likes to ‘ease their passage’ to the next world, while Rani’s all about the slashing.

But Melbourne is under threat; with a massive spike in violent ghost manifestations, Anton and Rani must find a way to work together to keep supernatural forces at bay.

And what with all the blindingly terrifying brushes with death, Anton must decide if he really wants in on the whole ghost hunting biz anyway.

If you can’t attend our Book Meet, don’t forget to participate in our Twitter chat – #YARoomChat!

Even if you haven’t read Gap Year in Ghost Town you’re still more than welcome to join in. We’ll be talking all about our favourite ghost stories and books set in Melbourne. An hour of bookish fun!

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We’re also super excited to be attending Michael Pryor’s launch of Gap Year in Ghost Town this Thursday night!

We love attending book launches – they’re always so much fun! Don’t forget to RSVP if you’re thinking of coming.

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In other news, we’ll be helping to launch Ellie Marney’s latest novel, No Limits, this Friday night!

We were lucky enough to get an eARC of this glorious book, and we can assure you that this is a book that needs to be on your TBR. If you’ve read Every Breath – and even if you haven’t – you’re in for a treat! It’s spectacular, snarky, and so, so Australian.

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We can’t wait to see you at all of these awesome upcoming events!

Sarah & Alex ❤️

June Book Meet

Wow, last month just flew by! Complete with book launches, successful Twitter chats and another fantastic Book Meet, it only felt like the blink of an eye before we were waking up on June 1st. But this month holds more exciting things, because our Book of the Month is the #LoveOzYA Anthology!

Comprised of short stories from phenomenal Aussie authors, this anthology is a must-read for everyone who appreciates and adores Aussie YA. We’re lucky enough to have a few authors joining us at our next Book Meet, so if there’s one Book Meet you attend all year, make it this one! You won’t want to miss it.

LoveOzYA AnthologyThis month’s Book Meet will be held at the Wheeler Centre, so it’s vital to book your tickets. There’ll also be snacks and goodie bags! Grab your ticket here.

Until then!

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April Wrap-Up // THINGS IN MAY

Hi everyone! Wow, it’s hard to believe yet another month has passed! April was a busy month for us, as always, and we’re so excited for what this month will hold!

As you may recall, at the beginning of April we had our Autumn Picnic! Even though it was rainy, we still had a lovely time indoors, feasting on all the snacks everyone brought and chatting about what we’ve been reading recently! I don’t know about you, but picnics are one of our favourite things to host. We’re already planning our next informal get together!

As usual, we hosted our Twitter chat and our Book Meet at Dymocks, where we talked all about our Book of the Month – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor! Everyone really loved this book, and we’re so pleased we had the opportunity to read it with y’all. Here are some reviews from the people that joined us at our Book Meet!

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Strange the Dreamer – Review (spoiler free) on Bec’s Books

The Magnificence that is Strange the Dreamer on The Sprinkled Pages

Book Review: Strange the Dreamer on Read at Midnight

And of course, here’s Sarah and Alex‘s review of Strange the Dreamer.

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As April came to a close, we revived our YouTube channel by adding some more content! We’re planning on uploading twice a week, and we’ve already been planning some interviews to share with you soon. Make sure you check out our videos if you haven’t already! We’d love to hit 100 subscribers by the end of the month.

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And finally, we’ve been planning our upcoming Twitter chat and Book Meet for our May Book of the Month – The Upside of Unrequited! If you haven’t already got a copy of this gorgeous book, please do! We can’t wait to chat about it, and we’d love for you to join in. Tickets for our Book Meet will be released shortly, but in the time being, mark it into your calendar! It’s going to be a fun afternoon, as always. We even have a special surprise!

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Talk soon!

THUG Book Meet

Hello friends!

It’s hard to believe another month is almost over, isn’t it? We had our March Book Talk a couple of days ago, where we discussed the powerful and important novel The Hate U Give. It was amazing to get the chance to chat with the author, Angie Thomas, last week via Skype and it was equally as great to hear everyone else’s opinion.

We also held our monthly #YARoomChat on Twitter, where we were joined by readers all across Australia (and a few from overseas too!) to talk about what we loved about The Hate U Give and why it’s such an important and timely novel.

In case you missed it, here’s a video of the interview with Angie Thomas that we uploaded to our YouTube channel! Check it out!

Next month, we’re super excited to be reading Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Make sure you grab your copy to join in the fun! Our next Book Meet will be held on Sunday 23rd April – we hope you can join us!

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Take a look at some of our favourite reviews of The Hate U Give, written by our book club members:

5 Reasons Why You Must Read THE HATE U GIVE – book review by Sarah

The Hate U Give Review (Spoiler Free) – book review by Bec

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – book review by Angel

The Hate U Give

It’s finally starting to feel like March! We’re so thrilled to be reading The Hate U Give with you all this month, and we’re already looking forward to meeting up to discuss what we loved about this book, as well as holding our Twitter chat later in the month! If you haven’t got your copy of our Book of the Month yet, we recommend picking one up as soon as possible so you can join in the fun!

Our Twitter chat will be held on Monday 20th March at 7.30pm AEDT where we’ll be discussing the themes and ideas behind The Hate U Give, and then, as usual, our Book Meet will be held on the last Sunday of the month – Sunday 26th March, 2.30 – 4pm at Dymocks Melbourne! Free tickets for the Book Meet will be released soon, and we hope you’ll be able to join us!

Until then, we’d love to see your photos and reviews of The Hate U Give. Make sure you use the hashtag #theyaroom on Instagram and tag us in your reviews! We’d love to share them with everyone else, and you might even be featured on our social media.

We hope you love The Hate U Give as much as we do!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

hateugive_10-10snap Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighbourhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life.

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Caraval Book Talk WRAP UP!

Yesterday we held our second ever Book Talk – crazy, right? How did that month go so quickly? In case you hadn’t already guessed from the title of this post – and if you weren’t able to make it on the day – we were discussing everything Caraval at our meet up! It was amazing to have so many people there, with familiar faces as well as a few new ones.

For this month’s Book Talk, we were lucky enough to be meeting at Dymocks in the city! It was a fantastic location, and it was so atmospheric to be surrounded by all the books. Not to mention, the cafe below us served excellent food and drink, and it was lovely to be able to order something and munch on it as we talked!

We began the Book Talk by introducing ourselves and what we were currently reading, which is always a fun way to get to know one another, and then gave a quick summary of how we each felt about Caraval if we’d read it. The majority of the who joined us had read Caraval, so it was easy to reference particular scenes and characters, but it was such a fun afternoon even for those who hadn’t had the chance to read it yet!

Soon we began talking about how we felt about specific characters and how we felt about some of the big twists and reveals, as well as discussing more general things such as the relationships between siblings, the overall aesthetic of the book and its layout, and arguing over which edition is the prettiest. Our favourite part was, by far, talking about our favourite lines in the novel. So many feels!

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We went around in a circle and discussed how people rated Caraval as whole, and there were mixed reviews, to say the least. The average rating would have to have been around the 3.5 star mark. Lack of character development and world building seemed to be a common criticism among the group. Could it have been all the hype? All our heightened expectations for what was said to be an amazing YA fantasy read?

A few members of the group really enjoyed the story and the way it developed, despite the slow start of the novel. It just goes to show how everyone’s taste in books varies! And that is OKAY!!!

After discussing the rating, we all gushed over the book covers, especially the US hardcover *insert heart eyes emojis* *insert drooling* Although, the UK paperback was the most popular cover of choice, and several ARC copies also floated among the group.

With the cover and rating out of the way, we moved on to our favourite characters and our least, and surprising, the least favourites definitely all of the main characters. Some of the group couldn’t even pick a favourite! “Picking a favourite means I have to have liked them to begin with” one member said, and sadly, many of the members seemed to agree.

As for Sarah and I, Dante and Julian were by far the most engaging and favourable characters.

We talked and talked over coffee and freshly squeezed juice before we had to eventually wrap up another amazingly successful bookclub meeting by introducing our BOTM for March, which is the one and on The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which faces the very real and confronting topic of police brutality in the United States.

Starr is only sixteen years old when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Kahlil, by a police officer.

The Hate U Give, THUG for short, is an important and diverse story which demands to be heard. Not only is this book set in a contemporary setting, it faces real issues that many young adults may not be aware of, and we are so grateful to be reading this with you all in March.

Can’t wait to see you all at our next Book Talk!

The Month of CARAVAL

Hi friends! We hope you’ve had a great month so far. With Sarah off in Middle Earth for half the month and everyone starting school again for the year, getting back to work or sorting out their uni timetable, there hasn’t been much for us to organise this month! However, we’ve been looking forward to our Caraval Book Talk all month and we’re so thrilled that it’s now only a few days away!

Earlier in the week we held a Twitter chat that revolved around the themes and ideas behind our Book of the Month – Caraval by Stephanie Garber. It was lovely to have so many people joining in with the chat and it was so entertaining to read your answers. We could hardly keep up at times with the amount of enthusiasm you were all showing! We were joined by readers who loved the book, readers who hated it, and some who hadn’t even read it, but we all had a great time musing over what magical books are our favourites and what we thought of Caraval‘s unique layout.

If you haven’t already heard, this Sunday is our Caraval Book Talk! It will be held at Dymocks, 234 Collins Street, and will run from 2.30 – 4pm. There’ll be drinks and snacks available for purchase from the lovely Dymocks cafe and we’ll also be selling our March Book of the Month – The Hate U Give! If you’re going to be joining us on Sunday, you can find us upstairs in the cafe area surrounded by books and empty coffee cups.

We’ve also just announced our April Book of the Month, which is Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor! There are some really exciting things we’ve got planned for the next couple of months and we can’t wait to tell you more about them. In the meantime, we’ll see you all on Sunday!

Get your free ticket for our Caraval Book Talk here!

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Frequently Asked Questions

I haven’t read your Book of the Month! Can I still come to the Book Talk?

Of course! We totally understand that not everyone will have the time to read our Book of the Month. While we will be discussing our BOTM at our Book Talk, we’ll ensure that nothing major is spoiled for you. A lot of the questions will be based around general themes and ideas, so there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to add to the conversation anyway! We’d love to see you there.

I’ve never gone to a Book Talk before. Help!

That’s absolutely fine! We’re just starting off too, so we’re not 100% what we’re doing either! But trust us, we don’t bite. We’d love to have you at our Book Talk – it’s a lot of fun and you’re guaranteed to meet a whole lot of bookish people! It’s a very relaxed environment, so there’s nothing to be nervous about.

Does it cost anything to come to the Book Talk?

Nope, it’s free! We just ask that you get a ticket from our Eventbrite link so that we know how many people will be joining us so we can cater for the group. There’ll be drinks, snacks and books available for purchase from Dymocks, so you’re more than welcome to bring some money and grab something there, but there’s no obligation to do so! They do make pretty good hot chocolate though 😉

I booked a free ticket through your Eventbrite link but now I’m unable to attend. What should I do?

That’s fine! It would be great if you could let us know so we’re not waiting for you on the day. You can tweet at us @TheYARoom_Melb or send an email to theyaroom@gmail.com. We hope you’ll be able to join us next time!

I love your The YA Room shirts! Where can I get one?

Aww, thank you! These are custom made from an online site, but we’re planning on opening a little non-profit ordering shop. More information will be released soon!