Saturday 28 June 2014

#BondBrunch (Random House Blogger's Event)

How can I start this blogpost sound like a spy novel...?

At a top secret-ish location in London, a bunch of book bloggers met. Asked by Random House to see, chat and gush over books for their children's and YA list that will be published in the coming months. And I managed to tag along (thank you Luna's Little Library for allowing me to tag along)! So, I snuck in (under the alias of Regina - don't ask!) and after a good chat-up with all the other book bloggers (hello to you all!!!), we were split into four groups...

... to be "No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!"

I'm kidding! I'm kidding. Honest!

What the Random House team decided to do was to have a speed-dating type thing - a speed book date, if you will. There were four tables and each team had its own title. These four titles were:- Fiction to Make You Ponder (aka the table that will make you cry), Swoon (aka the gushy table), Things That Go Bump In The Night (aka the table of fantasy and scariness) and Fantastical Fiction and Action Packed Adventure (aka the table everyone wanted to visit).

Because there's a few books I want to chat about, let me pick one/two books from each table and skim over it (there's one book I am leaving till the end because... well... in the worlds of River Song...)

So, let's start with FICTION TO MAKE YOU PONDER. From the man who wrote The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas (John Boyne), Stay Where You Are And Then Leave is a story set in the First World War about a boy whose father leaves for a reason he doesn't truly understand. Until he discovers a letter on a train platform... Touching on themes of Post Traumatic Stress and what happens to those who are left waiting, I sense this book will be very important and will have most of its readers sobbing.

And Boy In The Tower by Polly Ho-Yen is going to be an interesting book. A mutant plant is growing, forcing people to leave their homes. But one boy can't leave his tower block. His mother refuses to leave. Soon, they can't leave. But there are other who didn't leave... Though it sounds like an alien book, it sounds and feels more a story about family - the family we are born into and then the family we make...

There's one book I want to touch upon in SWOON and that is If I Stay by Gayle Foreman. This is because the movie is coming out (I will pop the trailer at the bottom of the post...) and because I REALLY want to reread this book. So, with this new film edition (I know, film edition covers are usually awful, but If I Stay seems to break that rule, no?) cover, Mia is in a car with her family. Then there is an accident. Her parents are dead, her little brother is touch and go and Mia... well, Mia is looking down at her body and she has no idea what to do... All her choices are gone, bar one. To live or to die. To stay or to go...

I was very lucky to be given a copy of this (I misplaced my old hardback edition to If I Stay) so a reread is HAPPENING! Not sure when but soon. And you will know when I'm doing it as I shall be tweeting about the feels/the heartbreak this book will give me!

I really want to talk about all the books from the THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT table. But the Lockwood and Co series by Jonathan Stourd sounds awesome and scary, and Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller sounds very interesting (a few of us decided that this book could be desrcibled/have the tagline of "Like the movie Labyrinth but without the awful sexual awaking". (See? I told you all that I would put this in the blog) but the one that I REALLY want to talk to you guys about is Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens. An Agatha Christie style murder mystery with a sense of humour, diversity and the sentence "I am much too short to be the heroine of this story, and who ever heard of a chinese Sherlock Holmes?". And bunbreaks! This book I went out after the event and bought. Yep, I HAD to have this book!

Now, the FANTASTICAL FICTION AND ACTION PACKED ADVENTURE table. I am going to talk about two because the third is the next paragraph. So, Dragons at Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett is a collection of short stories which contain dragons, fast cars, dinosaurs and cavemen. If you can, WAIT FOR THE COLLECTOR'S EDITION! There will a heck of illustrations and they sound yummy! And now, the book everyone gasped over - The Iron Trail: The Magisterium by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Call has been told never to trust a magician and to never go to the Magisterium... You can guess what happens next, don't you?

And now, the reason for the event. Random House is going to publish Young Bond. They have a new author and the first book sounds AWESOME! And we were very lucky to have the author, Steve Cole, talk to us about Shoot To Kill. From the little he could tell us, this will be set in 1930s in Hollywood, where something very wrong is happening in Tinseltown and it looks like one James Bond might find himself in the middle of it.

Steve is one very funny and very passionate guy and, after the event, he came with us to the pub to chat books (aka our plans to set up a Book Mafia and how we were going to make Malorie Blackman to be the next Prime Minster [#MalorieBlackmanForPM]). I shall also put the book trailer for Shoot To Kill at the end of the post as well.

So, what do you guys thinks? Are they any books that you are very excited over to read? I have a bunch and it looks like my bank account will hate me...


  1. Wow that sounds like a wonderful event and I loved your names for the tables!!

    1. The names for the tables were all Random House. I love the idea of speed dating a book!

  2. Aww Regina - I LOVE this post! *clinks cocktail glass*

    1. HUSH! People might discover my true identity! *Clinks glasses*