Things I liked in January | Captive Prince | X Ambassadors | The Rec Center

Previously: April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

I can’t believe it’s February already, and I’ve been making these posts for almost a year! I’m proud of myself for keeping up with it. I still really enjoy collecting tidbits for them, so I’m going to carry on.

January was a month of lots of writing for me, and lots of waiting. In publishing, you have to play the long game, and I’m definitely coming to realise that. I’m full of feelings about stuff I’m working on, but I’m not allowed to share any details about it for at least a few more months. BUT THERE’S LOTS OF EXCITING STUFF COMING UP, GUYS. I can say that, at least.


YouTube channel – A Case for Books By Anna James

Watch here

I love Anna’s new youtube channel. She’s got a very original style, and her taste in books is always spot on. I’ve bought several excellent books based solely on her recommendations – for example,  A Ghost’s Story, The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty and The Ecliptic.

You can read my interview with Anna here.


Non-fiction book – Ice Age Art by Jill Cook003.jpg
I’m kind of obsessed with this stuff at the minute. I keep telling anyone who will listen all about these sculptures and paintings and clay models from FORTY THOUSAND YEARS AGO which are still intact now. I can’t wrap my head around that age, and what these people’s lives would have been like.



Fiction book – King’s Rising by C. S. Pacat

The Captive Prince trilogy is finally complete! I’ve been following this series since it was posted on livejournal in 2008. Almost a decade! It was definitely worth the wait, and I have so. many. feelings. HELP.

Newsletter –The Rec Center

This new email letter is about recommending articles and fics related in some way to fandom. They showcase a different fandom each week (so far, Star Wars, X-Files and Sherlock). This is so much My Kind of Thing that you might not believe me when I say I don’t write this. Here’s an example of their latest recs:


A lovely easy way to find new things to read. Related: at the minute I’m doing research into early nineties fandom for a New Project, and I collected some of my favourite internet archaeology findings here.

Cosmetics – Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Blusherbb_prod_E38105_415x415_0

I have this in Rose, and it’s the best blusher I’ve ever used. I have very pale skin and don’t wear much foundation, so blushers usually look very red on me. This is beautifully subtle, with a healthy glow and some shimmer. I like mixing all the shades together too.

Music – Hozierhozier

I went to see Hozier live this month! He was spectacular. We had a lot of fun mimicking his extravagant hair flips too.

Single – X Ambassadors – Renegades

This is my ‘listen to on repeat until I’m sick of it’ song of the moment.


In other news: Rights have sold to the Czech republic! The Next Together will be released in Czech on November 30th, and you can preorder it here. If anyone’s keeping track, that means that TNT will soon be available in 7 languages – English, American English (yes, that counts!), German, Turkish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian abbtnd Czech! Swooooon. I can’t wait to have those lovely editions lined up on my desk!

Sara Barnard’s debut Beautiful Broken Things was released, and there’s a quote from me in the front! She’s the new star of Contemporary UKYA, so make sure you check BBT out if that’s your thing!

And Cat Doyle listed TNT in the Guardian as one of her favourite doomed romances – thanks Cat!

Published by Lauren James

Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including Green Rising, The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. She is a RLF Royal Fellow, freelance editor and screenwriter. Lauren is the founder of the Climate Fiction Writers League, and on the board of the Authors & Illustrators Sustainability Working Group through the Society of Authors. Her books have sold over a hundred thousand copies worldwide and been translated into six languages. The Quiet at the End of the World was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and STEAM Children’s Book Award. Her other novels include The Next Together series, the dyslexia-friendly novella series The Watchmaker and the Duke and serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise. She was born in 1992, and has a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and many of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. She sold the rights to her first novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the Guardian, Buzzfeed, Den of Geek, The Toast, and the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2022. She has taught creative writing for Coventry University, WriteMentor, and Writing West Midlands.

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