Sunday, 22 June 2014

PTALive recap

Myself, Joy, Sunny, Shirley, Jaz
Starting last year,  Penguin Teen Australia started hosting an event called PTA Live. It is an awesome event about everything YA book related. This Monday it was Sydney's turn to have PTA Live again. It was so awesome to see it grow from last year when there were only 50 of us in Kinokuniya bookstore, to around 300 of us in the cinemas due to the size.

It is such a rare time that so many of us book nerds and fangirls gather together. I got to catch up with book bloggers Sunny, Francoise, Estelle, Jaz and Keely as well as meeting for the first time Joy and Shirley. (Eugenia was there too but I didn't get to meet her). It was also cool to see Amanda from HarperCollins - showing there is no rivalry between publishers ;)  If you haven't come you should definitely come next year, it was one of the highlights of my year so far. I wish we could do more events like this.

Felicity doing her thing
Firstly Felicity (main publisher/marketer/Professional fangirl at Penguin Teen) told us about a bit about who PTA are. She mentioned the Wednesday fortnightly PTAchat, Penguin Teen TV (this is new and super cool), and events like Vampire Academy fan meet event with Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry and TFIOS marathon. She also said that they really want to listen to what we want, and try to do things that we suggest. For example, we were all saying that they should get on instagram, so now they have an instagram account. I thought this was so cool that they are listening to our feedback.

Next came the book recommendations - such a great time to chat about books we had already read and get recommendations about ones that we hadn't.

Felicity's 5 books that resonated with her:

1) Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
2) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
3) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
4) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
5) On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

which I thought were awesome recommendations, I have read and own all but the first and and love them so much. I love how she recommended On the Jellicoe Road because I feel like this is a very underrated books and Looking for Alibrandi always gets the hype (and she is Aussie, so awesome).

Titles we love - some of the favorites of Penguin:

Ones I was super happy to see up there were If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Foreman, one of my favourite authors. We talked about how the first book is a movie coming out later this year which looks fantastic (check out the trailer). Fangirl and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - I haven't read them yet but really want to, I  just bought Fangirl. Lastly Katie McGarry's books: Pushing the Limits, Take Me On and Crash Into You. These are my top faves for contemporary, and although they are stand alones they all kind of link in because of the characters.

Title's We Want - some of the favorites that Penguin hasn't published (again showing the non rivalry between publishers:

The ones I was excited they mentioned was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, a book I am so keen for the Australian release! Also the Lux series by Jenifer L. Armentrout which I feel the hype hasn't come to Australia yet. Get reading this series Aussies! Also THRONE OF GLASS. An awesome series by Sarah J Mass that got me back into fantasy, love those books so, so much!

Underrated titles:

- My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
- Legend by Marie Lu
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer
- The Enemy by Charlie Higson

I loved My Life Next Door (Jase <3) but hadn't read the other books, I am quite keen to read them though they sounded so good and many other people agreed with these recommendations. Legend sounds amazing and I have heard great reviews of it, so especially looking forward to an opportunity to read it.

Then we had guest author Kylie Fornasier whose debut novel Masquerade is coming out 23rd July 2014. I am so excited for this book. It is described as Downton Abbey meets Gossip Girl in 1750's Venice carnevale season. I love DA, GG and books in historical contexts so I am super excited for this book. The way she made it sound so good - everyone wears masks so it is a book all about secrets and identity. I went and talked to her afterwards, and asked about her research methods for the time. She did such a thorough job and was so lovely to meet. I cannot wait for this book.

Felicity interviewing Kylie Fornasier

Joy, Sunny and I with Kylie

Upcoming Titles for 2014/2015:

There were so many of them, which got me super excited. Ones I am particularly looking forward to are:

-  What I Thought Was True by Huntly Fitzpatrick (author of My Life Next Door)
-  The Infinite Sea (sequel to the amazing The 5th Wave) by Rick Yancy. 14th September 2014
-  Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield. 24th September 2014
-  Gathering Darkness by (Falling Kingdoms 3) by Megan Rhodes. December 2014
-  Silver Shadows and The Ruby Circle (5th and 6th in the Bloodlines series, final books) by
    Richelle Mead. 29th July 2014, 10th Februrary 2015

There were quite a few others, if you want a full list you can go to Fiction in Fiction in Fiction, Jaz did a great recap with full lists.

In amongst the book recs came other YA topics of discussion.


- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
- Emma Approved
- Morganville Vampires

LBD and EA are both done by Hank Green
(vlog brothers with John Green) and are
modern adaptations of Jane Austen's novels. I was absolutely obsessed with LBD, it was such a perfect new way to tell the story of Pride and Prejudice. I am enjoyed EA but am super behind, don't love it as much as LBD. Super cute fact about EA though, the actors that play Emma and Knightly are dating in real life <3 Morganville Vampires is an awesome book series by Rachel Caine who decided to kickstart it as a TV show rather than giving away the rights. Such a cool move, especially after the success of Veronica Mars.

Bloodlines extra scenes with Daisy and Nick

Bloodlines series book trailers:

Penguin Teen have been making book trailers for the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. They showed us behind the scenes footage and some bonus scenes as well. Felicity said it was important to remember that they weren't supposed to be perfect renditions of scenes from the book (they don't have a massive budget) but are supposed to start interest and discussion about the books.

Book Bloggers/Booktubers:

Felicity thanked all book bloggers for what they do, and had a page up of recommendations. Clearly I am baised because I am one, but book blogs are an awesome way to connect through books and discuss ideas.

Estelle, Louise and I with our Free books :)
Kinokuniya, an awesome bookshop you should all check out,  was selling books on sale at the event, and I bought Take Me on by Katie McGarry. We all also got to choose one free book out of a selection, and I choose Half Bad by Sally Green. Also the lovely Jaz lent me Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally as part of a book swap.

Thanks so much Felicity and everyone at Penguin Teen Australia for organising such an amazing event and giving us all a free book and an opportunity to fangirl and nerd out about books. This is my book event highlight of the year, and I am so looking forward to going next year.

xx Viv


  1. Great recap! It was too bad I couldn't stay till the end but it was getting late. I can't believe how many people went this time, I can't imagine what next year will be like. I can't wait till the next book event so we can all meet up again. We should just organise a blogger meet up!

    1. Thanks Francoise. I know crazy how big it got in one year. Wow that is a great idea we should definitely organise one!