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!

*

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.

*

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.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 12.21.43 pmScreen Shot 2017-05-02 at 12.21.56 pm

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!

Unrequited ChatUpside Book Meet

Talk soon!

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!

img_1026

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!

Our IDA Month Wrap Up!

As you all know, ‘Ida’ – written by Alison Evans – was our very first (of many) BOTM! And as many more of you know, on Sunday the 29th of January, we hosted our very first official book-club meeting in Alexandra Gardens with the one and only, ALISON EVANS! You know? The AUTHOR? OF OUR BOOK OF THE MONTH? ALISON EVaNS?

1478623675-celeb.gif

So naturally, Sarah, being the genius that she is, prepared a few questions for Alison, relating to both the book and themselves, to help fill any awkward silences – AND GUESS WHAT? There weren’t any! Alison very easily answered all of our questions, as well as signing our books and taking photos with us! Author G O A L S !

So let us recap it all for those who couldn’t make it! First off, yes, Alison is amazing, charismatic, humble and very funny! And yes! They have amazing BLUE hair! (also goals tbh)Read More »

WOW… What a month!

January, as it would be expected, has been a month of firsts. And not just in the calendar sense. It was the month we officially launched this amazing thing we’d been planning for months, and it was the month we realised just how exciting this adventure was going to be. We’d always hoped that The YA Room would be a success, for both us and you all, but we never expected to receive the abundance of love and support that we did – so thank you.

We started off the month searching for a venue for our very first Book Talk, which was equally frustrating and relentless, but all our efforts ended up paying off in the end! But even though we didn’t know if or when we would have a proper venue to host our monthly meet-ups at, we still organised not one, but two fun afternoons. Thank goodness the Melbourne weather was on our side.

The first of these meet-ups was our Inaugural Picnic at the Botanic Gardens, where we had twenty gorgeous people show up to support our first event. We sat on the grass and ate food, swapped books, and talked about the novels we loved! We couldn’t have wished for a more spectacular day, and it was the Inaugural Picnic that set the grounds for the rest of the month.

Not long after, we were lucky enough to attend the PTA Showcase in Melbourne, where we heard Shivaun Plozza, Fleur Ferris and Jodi McAlister speak about their new books, as well as hear about all the upcoming Penguin Teen releases! Not only did we get to hang out with all our favourite bookish people again, but there was cake and food and little goodie packages. It was incredible, and we’re already looking forward to the next one!

A few weeks later we had our very first Book Talk, where we were joined by Alison Evans to discuss their new YA novel, Ida. Again, we had such a great turnout and it was amazing to have Alison there too. We asked them some questions about their writing processes, the themes behind Ida, and did a bit of fangirling too.

Here are some of our favourite reviews of Ida, written by the people that are a part of our book club!

IDA BY ALISON EVANS (+ THE YA ROOM JAN BOOK TALK)

Lissa’s Reviews – Ida

I-Dan’t Have Many Complaints // Ida Review (Terrible Pun But Great Book)

*

You should also totally check out Sarah’s review on her blog, Written Word Worlds. Spoiler: She adored reading Ida!

The same evening as our Book Talk, Caraval by Stephanie Garber was announced our February Book Of The Month, as voted by almost 250 people! We’re looking forward to reading this much-anticipated novel and discussing it at our next Book Talk. We’re also currently figuring out some exciting things that will make our next Book Talk even more phenomenal than the first!

caraval-animated-cover

And then yesterday, as if our month couldn’t get any better, we got a very exciting email back from Dymocks! We’re thrilled to announce that our next Book Talk will be held on Sunday 26th February from 2.30 – 4pm at Dymocks 234 Collins Street, in the heart of Melbourne. We hope to see you all there!

the-ya-room-sarah-signature