Best books of 2017 part one

Turtles all the way down by John Green

You’d have to be living under a large and leafy rock not to know that John Green (of Fault in our Stars and Vlogbrothers fame) has released a new book this October. Turtles all the Way Down is the newest volume about an unusual girl trying to find her way in a strange world. The novel follows 16 year old Aza who has embarked on a quest to solve the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett – who could say no to a $100,000 reward? Well, Aza possibly could, but her best fearless friend Daisy wants to investigate, and Aza can’t think of many more reasons to say no. Throughout this adventure, Aza struggles with mental illness, and with her friends expectations of her. Turtles All the Way Down heroes female friendship and is the off-kilter narrative we have come to expect from John Green. If you were a Nancy Drew girl and loved the Secret Seven then this strange little mystery will brighten your day.

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman is one of my top three authors and His Dark Materials has been one of my all-time favourite books since I was twelve. I waited years and years and eventually gave up on ever hearing anything about The Book of Dust (the sequel to the series). That was until February of this year, when Pullman announced that the first ‘equal’ to the acclaimed  fantasy series would be released in October. I’ve been hyperventilating ever since. La Belle Sauvage follows eleven year old Malcolm Polstead and is set in the same universe as Lyra Belaqua’s. In fact, baby Lyra is just a few miles away from Malcolm, and he decides that he wants to meet this very special girl. La Belle Sauvage is the first in a trilogy of books planned to accompany His Dark Materials. The first is set ten years before and the second and third will be set ten years after. Fans (including myself) are hopeful that Lyra and Will will get to somehow meet once more in the sequels but knowing Pullman, we’re sure to get a surprise.

All the Crooked Saints

Maggie Stiefvater is a powerhouse of YA fantasy. Her Raven Boys series is a gorgeous mix of magic, mysteries, fortunes and teenagers. This new series, All the Crooked Saints features the talents of the Soria family who are no strangers to miracles. In every generation of the Soria family each member have the power to perform unusual miracles. At its heart are three cousins, Beatriz, Daniel and Joaquin, all of whom are looking for miracles of their own. But ‘be careful what you wish for’ is a cliché for a reason. There has been some controversy surrounding Stiefvater’s new book, questions about the way that it portrays Mexican and Latinx culture. However Stiefvater published a frank and honest essay concerning her feelings about the book and responding to the criticism. I’m going to give Stiefvater the benefit of the doubt and look forward to seeing for myself how she develops this new world.

Runaways by Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka

Our favourite YA romance author, Rainbow Rowell has turned her very talented hand to re-launching Marvel’s teen superhero title, Runaways. According to Rowell, Runaways is her favourite comic and she was blown away that she got to revive the series. Her six-comic arc began in September and continues this month. It follows a team of five teenagers who are the children of supervillains and decided to – you guessed it – run away. They also acquire a friendly dinosaur sidekick, as you do. The series ended over ten years ago and Rowell has brought it back – with a few changes and a new beginning for the characters. Quite frankly, we would read Rowell’s to-do lists, so we can’t wait for this.





It’s a Witches World!

Happy Halloween to one and all!

And for the day that’s in it, we’ve decided to publish our favourite witches article from volume one issue six!

Halloween is our absolute favourite time of year in Cinders. We love the masks, the dressing up and the very scary stories. But the best thing might just be, the chance to head out with all of our favourite witchy ladies. Grainne Coyne and Méabh McDonnell put together a list of their all time favourite fictional witches.

Continue reading It’s a Witches World!

Worlds Collide: When Rainbow met Leigh

This article was first published in issue one of Cinders magazine.

Two fantastic YA worlds collided when authors Rainbow Rowell and Leigh Bardugo came together for a fantastic author event in Dublin in October. Méabh McDonnell was delighted to be in the audience for the event, where she was able to bring us the low down on everything that the two authors had to say about writing, diversity and how to write the perfect kiss.

Rainbow Rowell and Leigh Bardugo are two of the biggest names in YA literature right now. If you haven’t heard of them, you need to race out to your nearest library and demand everything they’ve ever written. You won’t be sorry.

I was lucky enough to attend their recent World’s Collide event in Dublin and literally fangirl all over both of them!

The event was originally born out of NY Times bestselling author, Leigh Bardugo’s launch tour for her new novel Crooked Kingdom, the hotly anticipated sequel to Six of Crows, where she – as Dave O’Callaghan, chief children’s buyer for Easons, Dublin put it – wanted to bring a friend.

And what a friend she brought – Rainbow Rowell, author of the heart-soaring (and heart breaking) Eleanor and Park and the wonderful Fangirl to name but a few of her fantastic novels. The two friends came together in a tour that went from London to Dublin, to Edinburgh to Manchester to read, meet and discuss each of their weird and wonderful approaches to writing, the story behind Rainbow’s name, how to write the best love scenes and overcoming writers block. The evening began with the two ladies swanning onto the stage,  explaining how they met, and how Leigh wasn’t expecting to like Rainbow as much as she did.

Continue reading Worlds Collide: When Rainbow met Leigh