Country: London, UK
Blog: Once Upon a Bookcase
Your Favourite YA Title: Oh, there are so many! My favourite YA I've read recently would be Split by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja, where Jo, a British girl, moves to America with her mother, and while there something strange happens, and Jo becomes two people; Josie the Cool, who gets to hang out with the cool crowd, and Jo the Nerd, friends with the "freaks". It's a brilliant story, full of laughs, and one I feel most people will be able to relate to, but it has a great message about being true to yourself, and not pretending to be anyone else. A great and powerful novel, in my opinion! I love it!
Favourite New Find: I haven't been blogging on YA for too long, and most the books I've reviewed or have to review are recommendations from others. I'm playing catch up at the moment. So I haven't really found anything new. However, I volunteer at an Oxfam bookshop, and we get donations from some publishers, and from the reviewers of The Times newspapers, so I always think it's a great find when I find a fairly recently released book at the shop. I recently bought Wings by Aprilynne Pike, Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway, and Swoon by Nina Malkin, which I got excited about! I've wanted to read these books for a while!
Bookstore of Choice: I don't really have one, to be honest. I use either Amazon UK or The Book Depository, or I pop into any bookshop I go past while I'm out. More often than not, it does tend to be Borders, but I'm not too fussy. As long as it sells books!
Author blog you are most likely to be found stalking: Rachel Vincent's blog. I haven't yet read her debut YA urban fantasy novel, My Soul to Take, but I love her adult urban fantasy series, and her blog is really interesting. Her's and Lisa Shearin's, author of adult high fantasy Raine Benares series.
Book Blogging from London, UK
Best thing about being from England:
Living in London, I have all the tourist attractions practically on my doorstep! I'm a big fan of the museums and some of the art galleries. Then there's The London Eye, Tower of London, and Oxford Street! I like being able to act tourist :)
What is the state of YA literature in your country?
Being new to YA blogging, I'm not terribly sure. However, when I go shopping at Borders, the huge YA section is always well stocked with books I've read reviews of, so I assume YA novels are doing pretty well here. I believe the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer has been doing particularly well, too.
How accessible are international YA titles in London?
Pretty accessible; pretty much every bookshop I go to has a very distinct and well stoked YA sections. And then we also have Amazon UK and The Book Depository, which provide easy online ordering. Not just for YA, but books generally, we have a brilliant website, Book Brain, which compares the prices of a book on several online bookshops, and provides you with the cheapest option. It's brilliant!
Authors that you would recommend:
I would definitely recommend Luisa Plaja; her novels are just so humourous, and the characters actions so believable, it's easy to think such things could happen. I would also recommend Stephenie Meyer, because who can resist beautiful vampires? And Joanna Kenrick, who wrote Screwed, a brilliant book I think should be compulsory reading in all schools!
Most popular YA author in London:
I'd say that is most probably J.K. Rowling. What country is she not popular in? Harry Potter is just huge here!
Best thing about YA blogging:
I'd say the community of bloggers. There are so many great bloggers in the YA blogosphere, and they're all so friendly! It's a great community we all have!
YA blogs that you would recommend from London:
Wondrous Reads run by Jenny
About Books run by Hannah
So Many Books, So Little Time run by Sophie
Another Book Blog-Whore run by Kate
Chicklish run by Luisa, and others
Thanks so much Jo! Tomorrow Alea from the US of A.