Yes, we have YA sections in bookshops in the UK. But they are small. This YA section was HUGE. There was even a 'YA sports fiction' shelf. WTF?!
As you can probably guess, I bought a book or two. I could have filled a whole suitcase, but I had to leave SOME room for clothes, right?
On the first day I bought:
From bottom to top, that's:
Going Bovine, by Libba Bray
The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary E Pearson
Boyproof, by Cecil Castellucci
Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta
Tithe, by Holly Black
Break, by Hannah Moskowitz
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Beyond the Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Then a couple of days later, I supplemented that lot with:
The Secret Year, by Jennifer R Hubbard (an ARC for $1.99!)
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green & David Levithan (another ARC for $1.99!)
Willow, by Julia Hoban
Tenderness, by Robert Cormier
Story of a Girl, by Sara Zarr
Once was Lost, by Sara Zarr
I read Story of a Girl on the flight home. The voice is spot-on, and ALL the characters are portrayed as real, actual, interesting people with lives of their own - not just plot devices. It's a perfect read.
So I also met up with the completely fabulous Nova Ren Suma. Nova writes YA AND middle grade. How cool is that? It was very exciting to finally meet up with someone who's been so lovely and supportive and fun to chat to on the interwebs. And she was even more awesome in person, if that's even possible. Check out her debut novel, Dani Noir. It's a treat. And I can't wait to read Imaginary Girls, which is to be published summer 2011. I have a feeling it's going to be ever so slightly blimmin' brilliant. (Nova, if you're reading this, please come to London SOON.)
Here's a pic that perfectly represents my trip (well, except for the mardy face... I really WAS happy most of the time, honest):
It rained. A lot. Proper, torrential storms. Please note the droplets of rain on the hat and the soggy t-shirt. It was way too windy for umbrellas, so I was pretty much soaked for most of the time. But I didn't let that stop me from doing some serious shopping. See below.
I was going to finish off this post with a picture of ribs from Blue Smoke, but I figured some people might not find ribs particularly appetizing... Let's just say they were lip-smackingly good. Nom nom nom.